Monthly Archives: November 2009

Review: Logos Version 4 for Windows

One of our students, Donovan Palmer, has posted a helpful review of Logos 4 for Windows at his blog. You can find the full review at

And also, in case anyone has forgotten, there is a discount for current KEDS students and alumni for the Logos Bible software of 30% discount. The offer is available through 2010: please visit the link at

— Andy Cheung teaches Biblical Languages And New Testament Studies at King’s Evangelical Divinity School, a distance learning college.

Kids and Obedience

I like to watch people, particularly parents with little kids. I am always interested in how the child responds to the parents’ directives or more commonly how often the child does not obey. Usually, the conversation goes like this. The child behaves in a manner that is not publicly acceptable. Parent tells child to stop. Child pauses for a moment, as if she/he was actually considering the directive, and then proceeds to ignore it.

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I never read ‘agony’ columns in newspapers, but whilst reading the Daily Telegraph the other day (Tuesday, 17th November 2009), my eye was caught by the following headline in Lesley Garner’s LIFECLASS column. It read: “I was brought up a Christian and my life revolves around church, but now I fear I’m losing my faith.” Read more »

Psychological Interpretation of Crime

Whenever someone commits violent crime, news-watchers are inundated with the standard line that individual in question must be mentally deranged. Mental-health professionals are interviewed in the hopes that they can provide some kind of “explanation” that will help people understand, and thereby, regain a sense of control over the chaotic event. As C.S. Lewis has shown, such an understanding of criminal behavior is dangerous to human liberty.

In God in the Dock, Lewis explains how suggesting that criminals are “sick” transforms them from victimizers to victims. Once we treat them as victims, we can then “help” them by taking away their freedom in the name of protecting their interests. Some of you may be nodding in agreement. Treatment, you say, not vengeance is the answer to these people.

Not so fast. If we treat criminals as mentally ill, then we cannot release them from confinement until they are cured. How does one know when they are cured? If we treat criminals on the basis of their behavior, then their punishments must relate to the crime. There is an endpoint.  I also have another reason to oppose the psychologization of crime. It relates to the way Christians were treated in the former Soviet Union. Christians were diagnosed as mentally ill and thereby sent to asylums for treatment thereby losing the few rights they might have had if they were designated as criminals.

As Lewis pointed out, criminals have rights. Sick people don’t.  Think about that the next time you hear someone saying that a criminal needs treatment rather than punishment.

Stephen M. Vantassel is a tutor at King’s Evangelical Divinity School

Copyright, 2009 Stephen Vantassel.

The Nature of Reality (Again)

My very first blog entry as ‘Provocateur’ concerned the nature of Reality ( I thought it about time I added a small update to that topic to see if I can provoke more discussion.

For those interested in questions on the nature of reality, one key thinker who can’t be avoided is George Berkeley (1685-1753). Berkeley became a bishop in the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. He was both a scientist and theologian, writing on subjects as diverse as economics and medicine. Berkeley’s main contribution to philosophy was his famous dictum ‘to be is to be perceived’ (Esse est percipi). Read more »

Baby Seals & Animal Rights Fund Raising

One of the most effective profit centers for the animal rights groups has been their save the seals campaign. Seals are the perfect poster-animal for fund raising. They have big eyes and cute fur combine to make people’s hearts melt and their wallets open when they hear of the “alleged” horrors of seal hunting. Christians should make sure that they are not spending the Lord’s money on these anti-sealing groups.

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