Revolution in South Asian history

It is an amazing ‘message’ that has lain buried in the sands of time in the ancient city of Anuradhapura. First brought to light in the late 1980s by Dr. Siran Deraniyagala of the Archaeological Department that early settlers in Anuradhapura communicated through the use of the Brahmi script long before the Ashokan period in India (during which time this script was earlier believed to have come into use), parallel evidence has now emerged in South India.

Dr. Siran Deraniyagala. Pic by Nilan Maligaspe

This changes the history of South Asia and is considered “momentous” since the discovery of the Mahavamsa.

Transfer of information depends on writing and here the Sunday Times details how this information technology revolution was unearthed in the 1980s in Sri Lanka and confirmed in research publications last year in India.

Archaeological research excavations were conducted in the ancient administrative centre, the ‘Citadel’, of Anuradhapura by Dr. Siran Deraniyagala of the Archaeological Department in 1988. They probed the origins of the settlement at Anuradhapura, at depths of nearly 30 feet below present ground level. Contrary to hitherto held belief, these beginnings were scientifically (radiocarbon) dated to around 900 BC, with a settlement area of as much as 35-65 acres, representing a large village. The associated cultural material comprised the use of iron tools, paddy cultivation, high grade pottery and the rearing of horses and cattle (Deraniyagala 1990, 1992; Deraniyagala & Abeyratne 2000).

By 700 BC the settlement covered over 125 acres, and by 500 BC a city of around 180 acres. Subsequently, in the 3rd century BC during the reigns of King Devanampiya Tissa and Emperor Asoka of India, the Citadel had reached its peak of over 250 acres.

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Religion & Philosophy

Restaurant’s ‘Prayer Discount’ Sparks Mix Of Praise, Anger

When Jordan Smith got her tab after breakfast at in Winston-Salem, N.C., she was pleasantly surprised to find a 15 percent discount — for “praying in public.”

Smith, on a business trip, that she and her colleagues “prayed over our meal and the waitress came over at the end of the meal and said, ‘Just so you know, we gave you a 15 percent discount for praying.’ “

Smith then snapped a photo of her receipt, complete with a line item for “15% Praying in Public ($6.07)” and posted it to her Facebook page. Not surprisingly, it’s gone viral.
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Religion & Philosophy

Robin Williams’ Death an Opportunity to Look at Depression in the Scriptures

“The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14).

The shocking news of the suicide death of actor Robin Williams has left millions of people all over the world with a mystery: how could someone known for a whole-face smile that caused multitudes of people to laugh to the point of tears be so distraught that he would take his own life? Many are perplexed, and there are many others who are saying to themselves: if anyone knew how desperately depressed I am, they would be surprised.

Religion & Philosophy

Beware of Obscurantism

“I can't go to your church, I'm not a Republican.”

That was what a pastor friend of mine heard from a neighbor to whom he was reaching out. He eagerly replied, “You don't have to be!” to which his friend responded, “But everyone at your church is.”

That's hard to argue when it is true.

So, why does that matter? Well, it matters in a way that might surprise you. You see, this is not a blogpost about politics, but about the gospel—and the need for it to be clearly understood.

Not Politics, But Gospel

The fact of the matter is that the more you to go church, the more likely you are to be a Republican. That's just math. (See my earlier article with cautions about that reality.) The less you go to church, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. (There are individual and group exceptions, but that is what the media call “The God Gap.” Don't yell at me about it—I did not create math.)

Religion & Philosophy

Former Bergdahl Pastor Calls for Mercy for ‘Prodigal Son’ Bowe

“Christians are getting engaged in the lynching,” he says. “In any other situation, we'd be hugging the parents.”

Since his release on Saturday, white-hot controversy has dogged US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was exchanged for five senior Taliban leaders. The Taliban held him captive for the past five years. Bergdahl is being branded as a deserter for abandoning his unit in eastern Afghanistan.

On Sunday at a White House press conference, President Obama with Bergdahl's parents Robert and Jani at his side announced Bowe's release. Earlier this week, Phil Proctor, pastor of Sterling Presbyterian Church, an Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Sterling, Virginia, began distributing an email in response to questions he was receiving about the Bergdahls since he served as their pastor and has remained close to the family. In the five years since Bergdahl's capture, there has been a nationwide campaign for his release with many posters describing Sgt. Bergdahl as a POW.

Religion & Philosophy

Now Are We In Christ Jesus ?

When you accepted Jesus as your Lord, and actual creation took place. The old man – your unregenerated spirit man – was replaced by a new man, created in Christ Jesus. Old things passed away and all things became new. The new birth that occurred in you was done by the creative power of God. It took place inside you – in your spirit.
The “creation” that ocurs at the new birth is the same type of “creation” that took place in the first chapter of Genesis. The word translated created in Genesis 1:1 gives the impression that before God brought heaven and earth into existence, there was nothing like it anywhere else. The same is true with the “new creation in Christ Jesus.” You are a “new species of being that never existed before.”
As a born-again believer, sin has no dominion over you. It can’t dominate you. It has to leave you. Satan is a defeated foe; he is not your god. James 4:7 says that if you resist him, he will flee from you.
You need to see yourself “in Christ” and know the reality of it. If you ask some people today, “Are you a son of God?” They’ll say, “Who me? Certainly not!” When you ask, “Are you saved?”, they’ll say, “Oh yes, thank God, I’m just an old sinner, saved by grace.” No , you are not! You were a sinner; you got saved by grace! You can’t be both at once. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus. You have been born into the kingdom of His love. As far as God is concerned, you are holy, blameless, and beyond reproach. So quit thinking, speaking, and acting like the world. Let go of all those religious “sin tags.” Begin confessing that you are the righteousness of God in Christ.
Everything Jesus received when He was raised from the dead, everything that has happened to Jesus since He was raised from the dead, is yours – not just part of it, all of it!
When Jesus was raised from the dead, He received a glorified body. You will get one, too.
Where did Jesus go when He was raised? To the right hand of the Father. That’s where you are now! Ephesians 2:6 says, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Jesus was raised from the dead by the mighty power of God and was seated at His own right hand in the heavenly places. That same mighty power of God worked in you when you made Jesus the Lord of your life. It raised you up and set you in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
He is in you and you are in Him. His inheritance and your inheritance are one in the same. You are a joint-heir with Him.​………However, you will never receive any portion of your inheritance until you begin to acknowledge it. With your thoughts, your words, and your actions, you acknowledge the fact that you are in Christ Jesus, that you have received an inheritance, that you have the right to walk in all the blessings and promises of God’s Word. Acknowledge the things of God and allow the assurance of them to enter into your heart. Then see them become a part of your life in every area.
How have you been approaching God…on the level of a king or on the level of a beggar? Are you backing your way into the presence of God, hoping to get a handout?
When you made Jesus your Lord, He made you able to stand in the presence of the Father God as a king and a priest, not as a beggar – as the righteousness of God in Christ, not as a sinner. You have been redeemed out of the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. You have been redeemed into kingship and priesthood. You are a king and a priest in Christ Jesus!

Read Kenneth Copeland’s full article

Religion & Philosophy

Three Views: Why Confess Sins in Worship When It Seems So Rote?

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he value of corporate confession comes simply from the fact that we are doing it with people—those we've been glad to share ministry with, and those we find more difficult to appreciate. A person in the next pew may have slighted us; we may have just learned that a person across the aisle was insulted by something we said. Corporate confession is a time to air it all out and reflect on our regrettable tendency to harm one another. It is a great equalizer, reminding us that we are all guilty of sinful actions and omissions, and that we all need forgiveness.

In his classic rule for monastic living, Benedict recommends that the community recite the Lord's Prayer together several times a day to help uproot the thorns of contention that spring up in community life. I believe that corporate confession on Sunday mornings can work in much the same way.

Of course, anyone can sleep walk through confession. You may begin to pray with good intentions, and may even be painfully conscious of having done something regrettable, when suddenly you are preoccupied with whether or not you took out the dinner rolls to thaw.

Religion & Philosophy