PACIFISM Jesus said "Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also" and "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:38, 44). Based on this some denominations of Christians are Pacifist in that they refuse to fight in a war (e.g. Quakers and MENNONITES), and some will even refuse the protection of the police if their family is attacked. NON-VIOLENCE as a method of political force was used by Mahatma GANDHI to free India from British control, and by Martin Luther King to gain basic civil rights for Black people in the United States. This method is effective if the oppressors have some human decency and compassion, but it obviously does not work if an army is willing to mow down all who oppose them.

PAKISTAN When Britain had decided to divest itself of its Indian Empire (1947) Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Moslem League insisted that the only way Muslims could survive was by a partition to provide a country where Muslims were in the majority (the word Pakistan comes from the Urdu pak meaning holy and sthan meaning place). The solution was to give districts with a Muslim majority (including the districts to the east that became Bangla Desh,1971) to Pakistan and others to India. The result was that several million Hindu refugees moved to India and thousands of Muslims moved from areas where they were in a minority. And thousands were killed on the way. There was immediately a war (1947-49, again in 1965 and 1971) between India and Pakistan over the area of Kashmir which had a Muslim majority, but was viewed as a necessary part of India. Pakistan became a republic within the British Commonwealth (1956), then there was rule by Presidents (Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, General Ziaul Haq, Bhutto's daughter Benazir Bhutto, and now General Musharraf (1999). Currently there is strong pressure from the Mullahs (CLERICS) for Pakistan to adopt SHARIAH LAW see CHURCH AND STATE).

PALESTINE Abraham moved south into an area occupied by CANAANITES.. Soon the land had to be divided, and Abraham's nephew Lot took the fertile Jordan valley (Genesis 13:11). Lot's sons fathered the Moabite and Ammonite tribes who occupied the area to the east now called Jordan (Genesis 19:36-38). They were joined by other tribes under the leadership of the descendants of ISHMAEL in the vast area to the east now called Arabia. After theEXODUS from Egypt the twelve tribes descended from Abraham's grandson Jacob (renamed Israel) took over the land of Canaan and spoke Hebrew the language of the CANAANITES.They remained there for 800 years till the first EXILE (597 BC). After their return, they remained in the land for another 500 years till the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (AD 70). The area now called Palestine continued as part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires till the ARABS captured Jerusalem (638 AD). They defended it against the CRUSADES, and. ruled it till the area became part of the Ottoman Turkish empire (1516). The British drove out the Turks (1918) and remained till they gave up their mandate over Palestine thirty years later. After 1800 years of exile, Jews proclaimed the state of Israel (1948) and adopted HEBREW as their language. Since then Arabs have fought for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and Arabic as the national language of Palestine.

PAMPHYLIA Among the Jews present on the Day of Pentecost were some from "CAPPADOCIA, PONTUS, ASIA MINOR, PHRYGIA, and PAMPHYLIA (Acts 2:9). This Province was on the south coast of present-day Turkey. Its capital was PERGA a short distance inland from the main port of Attalia. During the first overseas missionary journey "Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John (Mark), however left them and returned to Jerusalem; but they (Paul and Barnabas) went on from Perga and came to ANTIOCH in Pisidia" (Acts 13:13-14). After planting churches in the Galatian cities, they returned through Pamphylia, and "When they had spoken the word in Perga, they came down to Attalia. From there they sailed back to Antioch" (Acts 14:24-26). .

PANENTHEISM One of the four forms of MONISM is Pantheism which means that everything that there is is God (see Religion: Origins and Ideas chapter 9). Matthew Fox distinguished his model of Panentheism as "God is in everything, and everything is in God" (Original Blessing, Santa Fe, New Mexico: Bear & Co. 1983, p.90). He rejected the idea of God "out there" (THEISM), as Bishop John Robinson had done twenty years before (Honest to God, London: SCM Press, 1963, chapter 2). Since God is in everything, this means that Jesus is not the second Person of the TRINITY who said "Let us make humankind in our image" (Genesis 1:26), and there can be no RESURRECTION to a HEAVEN apart from this present world. Rather Jesus is a mystic and a teacher of mysticism, the expression or sacrament of the Wisdom of God (Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988, chapters 14-18).

PANENTHEISTIC RELIGION The view that our world is created by God (Elohim) as the artist (Genesis 1) is called THEISM. A variant of this HENOTHEISM (Greek enos is the genitive of one) where there is only one God, but he is known under many names. In India PANTHEISMuses a terminology in which all there is in the universe is God (see Religion: Origins and Ideas, chapter 9). But the Panentheism of MATTHEW FOX rejects both Theism and Pantheism for a model in which "God is in everything and everything is in God" (Matthew Fox, Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1983, theme 6, pp. 88-92). Fox then went on to view the Cosmic Christ as the "immanent presence of divinity in Jesus and in the world" The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988, p.69. By then he had defined resurrection as "aliveness, wakefulness, awareness, and rebirth - in short mysticism" (p.38, 141). Instead of a bodily resurrection there is "Jesus as Mother Earth crucified yet rising daily" (p.145). That means there is no life after death. At the most we survive as part of Mother Earth.

PANTAENUS Eusebius reported that Pantaenus of ALEXANDRIA was said to have visited North India (c.180 AD), and found the Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew left there by the Apostle Bartholomew (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 4.10). Perhaps as a result of that journey, when he came into contact with Hindu MONISM, he founded the Catechetical School (c. 180 AD) in Alexandria. He left no books, but after his death (c. 190 AD) he was succeeded as head of that school his disciple Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215) and then in 202 AD by ORIGEN (c.185-c.254) who both gave us a rich tradition of Alexandrian writings in Greek.

PAPHOS At the western end ofCYPRUS, Paphos was the Roman capital with a pro-consul, Sergius Paulus, in Paul's day (see Acts 13:7-12). To the south of Paphos was the great temple of Aphrodite which housed a black METEORITE stone that fell from the sky. The line of priest-kings of Paphos went back to Kinyras who introduced sacred prostitution (a valuable tourist attraction) and in Paul's day all the women of Paphos still had to serve as temple prostitutes for one day every year. By tradition the first Bishop of Paphos was Epaphras (Colossians 1:7, 4:12). The present Greek Orthodox Bishop of Paphos allows the Anglican Chaplaincy community and the Roman Catholics to use the ancient church of Agia Kyriaki (the third church building on the site) for their Sunday services. .

PARABLES Jesus' main method of speaking to ordinary people was to use parables. "With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; but he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything" (Mark 4:33-34). Jesus' parables use a minimum of words that grab us before we know what is happening. Parables are not meant to be read like novels. They are encountered to shock us and make us think. Nor are parables to be interpreted like allegories in which every detail is designed to have a meaning. The Good Samaritan offers a model to tell us what a neighbor is. We are not to fasten on the oil and the wine, the donkey and the two pence for the inn keeper (Luke 10:29-37). The parable of the Prodigal Son tells us what God's parental love is like. We confuse the model if we try to guess at the spiritual meaning of the ring and the shoes (Luke 15:11-32). Jesus' parables usually have an irony, sarcasm, or sudden twist in them. That is the lever that undermines our previous model of what we think God must be like (see Creative Love).

PARADIGM CHANGE see KUHN, Thomas, Model Theology (We use the term MODELS instead of paradigms)

PARADISE This was originally a Persian word meaning an enclosed garden. It was used by the Greek translators of the Old Testament for the Garden of Delights (Genesis 2:15, 3:8, 23-24, 13:10). The word became metaphorical of heaven (2 Corinthians 12:4, Revelation 2:7), and Jesus told the believing thief that he would be joining Jesus there that very day. (Luke 23:43). This is denied by some who introduce a model of going into cold storage when we die until a future resurrection. But, even while his corpse was still hanging on the cross, Jesus was already bringing up the faithful dead out of sheol (see Matthew 27:52-53, John 5:28-29, as explained in 1 Peter 3:18-19). That means that sheol (Hades, the abode of the dead) was terminated for ever, and the penitent thief would never spend time there. Similarly Paul is quite clear that the moment we die we receive our resurrection body (2 Corinthians 5:1-8, Philippians 1:23). The resurrection trumpet is not after a long wait, but it welcomes us immediately we die into the garden (one metaphor) of heaven (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).

PARADOX When the Bible uses metaphors to describe the Son of God we have what seem to be paradoxical opposites. He is King and Servant (Isaiah 42:1, 49:3, Philippians 2:7); Lion (Isaiah 31:4, 50:44, Amos 3:8, Revelation 5:5) and Lamb; Father (Isaiah 32:6) and Little Child, Shepherd and Sacrifice, Rock and Tender plant (Isaiah 53:2). As with all metaphors, we need to grasp what the truth is pointing to without focusing on aspects which contradict the truth of other metaphors. The success of the Narnia stories was due to C.S.Lewis'ability to picture Aslan as both dangerous lion and lamb willing to be sacrificed, and make both believable at once. At first sight the idea of God's Love and Wrath seem absurdly opposite. The paradox is illuminated in a family setting where parents are totally loving, but also need to assign wrath consequences for dangerous or unacceptable behavior. A father who allowed his son to run across a busy highway, or poke his sister in the eye with his pocket knife, would not be loving. The freedom to prefer the light and love of God requires the possibility of choosing the darkness of eternal death (John 3:19).

PARENTS The fifth of the ten commandments was "Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." In some cultures this requires elaborate funeral ceremonies. Others try to submit to a lifetime of subservience to parental control. This is certainly not what God had in mind when "a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). A happy marriage requires a decisive leaving of a previous family to begin a new family with its own identity and lifestyle. How then do we honor our parents? At least it requires a recognition that every gene in our body comes from either one's father or mother. And during our first seven years most of our language, life skills, and personality were built into us by those who raised us. Failing to honor what God has given us through our parents does all sorts of psychological damage. Miserable people are usually those who cannot come to terms with their parents. We do not have to approve of all that our parents said and did, and failed to do. But a thankful recognition of who we are is a foundation of health and healing. "That your days may be long in the land that the Lord gives you" (Exodus 20:12).

PAROUSIA Tne New Testament uses the Greek word parousia (coming, presence, advent) to refer to Jesus's COMING
to destroy the temple and the city of Jerusalem. That DAY OF THE LORD would happen in the generation of Jesus' hearers (Matthew 23:36, 24:34, Mark 13:30, Luke 9:27, 21:32).The suicide of Nero (68 AD) was followed all over the empire by terrible wars, confusion, persecution (Matthew 24:6-7, 21-22, Mark 13:7-8, 18-20). Having tried to take Jerusalem in AD 68, Vespasian was made emperor, and had to go back to Rome (see ROMAN EMPERORS). Two years later he sent his general Titus with a huge army to finish off the rebellious city (AD 70). That would mark the end of the Jerusalem religious establishment, and begin the second very long exile of the Jewish nation (AD 70 to 1948). There had been church growth through Paul (Matthew 24:14), but now Gentile churches would be freed to mushroom under their own leadership all over the world (Matthew 24:31). Paul's epistles make clear that the early Christians expected this world-changing ADVENTto happen shortly (1 Corinthians 1:7-8, 3:13, 4:5, 5:5, 7:26, 29, 31, Philippians 4:5, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:2-4, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, 2:1-3, 7-8, 2 Timothy 4:1, see Hebrews 8:13, 10:25). This New Testament expectation cannot refer to our time two thousand years later (as in PREMILLENIANISM).

PAROUSIA, Coming When Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem he said "They will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God" (Luke 19:44, as in 9:26-27). This makes clear that the imminent destruction of the city was the result of the city's rejection of Jesus' coming among them. He also pictured this in parables. "When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" And they answered "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants" (Matthew 21:40-41). Similarly in the city's rejection of the wedding banquet, "The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned the city" (Matthew 22:7). Having exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, he said the blood of those they had martyred would come upon them. And he added "Truly I tell you , all this will come upon this generation" (Matthew 23:36). Earlier he had said "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" (Matthew 16:28). This means that the imminent Day of the Lord would be the evidence of his coming. When the metaphorical portents of the Day of the Lord in the fall of Babylon (Isaiah 13:9-10) were going to be repeated he said "They will see 'the Son of Man' coming with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:29-30). And he added "This generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place" (Matthew 24:34). And we know that his coming in the destruction of the temple took place as he predicted in AD 70.

PARSEES (Parsis or Persians) see ZOROASTER

PARSIS (PARSEES) A group of ZOROASTRIANS emigrated from IRAN, and in a terrible storm they promised Ahura Mazda that if they were preserved they would build a magnificent fire temple. They did this in what became Bombay (Mumbai). They became very wealthy under the administration of the British East India Company. Parsi worship is by the person alone in a Fire Temple, where the only decoration is the sacred fire (symbolizing the light of Ahura Mazda) burning continuously. The most striking aspect of Parsi religion is the death ritual when the body is laid in a walled enclosure called a dakhma (the British called it a tower of silence) where the vultures and crows can devour the flesh. The purpose of this is so that the death caused by the evil one will not pollute the earth (the bones are eventually cast into a pit).

PASCAL, Blaise (1623-62) From his earliest days he suffered from terrible convulsions, and had to walk on crutches, but he soon became a mathematical and scientific genius. By the age of sixteen he had developed a precursor of the first computers, and written a "Treatise on Conic Sections" (1639). His other works included books on hydraulics, pure geometry, and the theory of probability. His "first conversion" (1646) was through contact with the JANSENISTS, and his sister, Jasqueline, entered the Jansenist convent of Port Royal (1651). His "definitive conversion" is dated exactly as 23 November 1654. This seems to have been the time when he was filled with the Holy Spirit. He said he had an ecstatic experience of God's grace which lasted for two hours, and he carried the record of what happened in the lining of his waistcoat the rest of his life. He wrote Lettres Provinciales (1656-7) against the JESUITS in defense of the Jansenists.His last eight years were spent in strict retreat near Port Royal. His famous work, Pensees, was published after his death from hundreds of disorganized fragments of his writings. The famous wager about the leap of faith remains unanswerable. If you win you win all, if you lose you have nothing to lose.

PASSOVER The freeing of slaves from Egypt (the EXODUS) began with a simple meal (Exodus 12:1-11) which is still celebrated every year in Jewish families (Luke 2:41). Jesus had a last supper with his disciples on the Day of Preparation for Passover (Matthew 26:5, 17, 27:62, John 19:14, 31, 42). John the Baptist said Jesus was the eternal LAMB of God who keeps taking away the sin of the world (John 1:29, a present continuous). And he experienced this lambness physically on the CROSS when he died on the Day of Preparation (among Jews the day began from the previous evening). This was exactly at the time lambs were being sacrificed in the temple area for the Passover celebration that night (beginning after sundown). That is why Paul said "Our paschal lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the festival"
 (1 Corinthians 5:7, see 10:1-4, 16-17). The Passover is a Jewish festival, but its symbolism is very important to Christians, and it is at the root of much LIBERATION theology. When I was Rector of St. James, Kingston, Ontario, we used to celebrate a Seder (Hebrew for order) supper on Good Friday evening, which is when the apostles would have celebrated Passover (Hebrew pesakh, Greek pascha) the evening of the crucifixion.

PASTOR In the Psalms the LORD is our shepherd (pastor, Psalm 23) but King David was also described as the one who "tended them, and guided them with skilful hand" (78:72). And the religious leaders in Israel were meant to be shepherds of their people (Jeremiah 23:1-2) but they were rebuked for failing to do this (Jeremiah 23:1-2). Ezekiel reported God's complaint "Should not shepherds feed the sheep . . . You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them" (Ezekiel 34:2-4). In contrast Jesus could say "I am the good shepherd . . . My sheep know my voice, I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:11, 27). The chief shepherd has under-shepherds (1 Peter 5:1-4). That is why the gift of shepherding is listed among the ministerial gifts, "The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry" (Ephesians 4:11-12, see MINISTER, PRIESTS).

PATIENCE We are never impatient when we are working long hours at something that we enjoy. Impatience sets in when we feel our rights are being infringed, we are overworked, unappreciated, being made to wait, others get ahead of us unfairly, our sickness is not being treated. We also feel impatient when God is not answering prayer for our family. The problem is that patience is not something we can work up by gritting our teeth and trying harder. It is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that emerges from a changed heart (Galatians 5:22-23). What is the heart attitude that needs changing? From Jesus we learn that it is OK to be treated unjustly. But the Spirit can also show us that he is in control, and he will in due course work out our VINDICATION. That gives us faith to WAIT.

PATRIARCHY The Old Testament family system was based on total male domination in marriage. A man could have more than one wife, keep CONCUBINES, and divorce his wife merely by giving her a bill of divorcement to prove she was free to go with another man (Matthew 5:31-32). A woman had no rights of inheritance except through the sons that she bore (an exception was in Numbers 26:33, 27:1-8). "Thank you, O God, that you did not make me a woman" was prayed by devout Rabbis. But Jesus brought from heaven a completely new vision of marriage based on mutuality and mutual submission. And when Paul the patriarchal Rabbi was converted he was soon teaching the new model of MARRIAGE, Mutuality (see 1 Corinthians 7:1-16) which would have been unthinkable in patriarchal culture.

PATRIPASSIANISM The term (Greek patyr meaning father, and pascho the verb meaning to experience, be treated, suffer, endure) was used to describe a UNITARIAN view of God in which it was God the Father who was born, suffered, and died as Jesus on the cross (see MONARCHIANISM). Tertullian (c.160-c.220) wrote Adversus Praxea (c.217) against a heretic called Praxeaswho appeared in Rome (c.200) and proclaimed himself leader of the Patripassian Monarchians. But Praxeas apparently recanted this strange doctrine. The model taught by Sabellius (perhaps c.230, see SABELLIANSM) seems to have been another variant of MODALISM. in which God appears in different forms as Father, Son, or Holy Spirit

PAUL Saul (also named Paul, which is a Roman surname) belonged to a Greek speaking family in Tarsus (18 miles inland on the Cydnus river of south-east Turkey). He was a Roman citizen by birth (Acts 22:25-28). But he was sent to Jerusalem to train as a rabbi under the famous Pharisee teacher, Gamaliel (Acts 5:34, 22:3). We don't know if he ever met Jesus, but when a Greek speaking Messiah-believing synagogue was formed in Jerusalem (Acts 6:5), he realized this development would transform Judaism all over the Roman world. The Jesus movement had to be stamped out (Acts 8:1-3, 9:1-2, 1 Corinthians 15:9). But he had a sudden CONVERSION on the road to Damascus. He went on three missionary journeys (see Acts Commentary chapters 13-20) during which he often had to support himself by tent making (Acts 18:1-3). He was often beaten and imprisoned (2 Corinthians 11:23-25), and suffered a serious medical condition (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). He was often accompanied by the "beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14), who also wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. Paul was arrested and sent to appeal his case to Rome, where he was probably martyred under Nero in 62 AD.

PAUL, Imprisonment The Apostle reported that he had suffered many short term imprisonments (2 Corinthians 11:23) including the night in jail with Silas in Philippi (Acts 16:23-30). He was jailed in Jerusalem for his own protection (Acts 22:30), and then again in Caesarea (Acts 23:35, 24:23, 27), though he was not guilty of any crime (Acts 26:30-32). He was under house arrest in Rome for two years (Acts 28:16, 30-31), and probably brought out to be beheaded on Nero's orders. In what are called the prison epistles (Philippians 1:12-14, 17, Colossians 4:10,18, 2 Timothy 1:16-18, 4:16-17, Philemon 1, 23) commentators assume that they refer to an imprisonment in Rome. But the chronology of all the members of Paul's team (Romans 16:3-15, Colossians 4:7-16, 2 Timothy 4:19-21) point to this imprisonment being in Ephesus at the instigation of the makers of silver shrines to Diana (Artemis) and Alexander the coppersmith (Acts 19:23, 33, 2 Timothy 3:14). A very minor emendation of a scribe's mistake who wrote en romy- (in Rome) instead of en ropy (in the nick of time) would explain how Onesiphorus arrived to save Paul from certain death in Ephesus (2 Timothy 1:16-18. There is no textual evidence for this, but it explains everything else). And Luke would not have recorded this imprisonment in his book of Acts in case it prejudiced Paul's case before Nero in Rome.

PAUL in Crete Paul's mission to CRETE is not reported in the Book of Acts, so commentators have guessed that Paul went on a missionary journey to Crete after being under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:16, 30). But it is much easier to fit a mission to Crete after Paul "set sail from Ephesus" (Acts 18:21) at the end of the second missionary journey. Paul would have visited the main synagogues in the island and left TITUS with the help of local Christians to organize church congregations in each town (Titus 1:5). Then from Salmone there were frequent ships to Caesarea (Acts 18:22) from where it was a three day walk up to Jerusalem. Then sailing back north to Antioch he traveled back across present day Turkey strengthening churches along the way to Ephesus (Acts 18:23). If this itinerary is correct then Paul might have written the Epistle to Titus from Asia minor before going on to winter in Nicopolis (in Dalmatia, the southern part of Illyricum in present day Croatia, Romans 15:19) where Titus had begun church planting (2 Timothy 4:10, Titus 3:12).

PAVLOV, Ivan Petrovich (1849-1936) By working with dogs Pavlov was able to show how a conditioned reflex (like salivating) is produced by association with a repeated stimulus (like ringing a bell). He also showed that humans, like dogs, will suffer a nervous BREAKDOWN if subjected to long and severe stress which their nervous system cannot cope with. Raised in the old regime of the Czars, Pavlov continued to work under LENIN and STALIN who recognized his work as a useful contribution for making changes under COMMUNISM. There are conditioned reflexes in any kind of church life, but this kind of manipulation has no place in Christian faith.

PEACE There is not much evidence that the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) is active preventing wars all over the globe. Actually most men rather enjoy a war until he sees a friend shredded by shrapnel. Wars and rumors of wars are likely to continue to the end. Instead of intervening to end war between nations, God seems more interested in love between individual men and women, between friends, parents and children, employers and employees. That means moving our focus from the macro problems of the whole world to the micro situations we are involved in. Peace begins in the heart when you know you are loved and accepted by the Prince of Peace, and then learning to love one other person, and then another. Eventually the ripple moves out in all directions.

PEACE MAKING Some wars end when one or both sides are too exhausted to go on fighting. But Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). We are not children of God by procreation but by a change in character effected by the Holy Spirit (see John 3:6-8). And one of the first evidences that this change has begun to happen is that we find ourselves having God's kind of love for those who don't deserve it. Jesus said "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be the children of your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-45). Impartial love and prayer for both parties in a war or a quarrel is the basic qualification for Jesus' kind of peacemaking. This is especially true when we are one of the parties in a family quarrel. Jesus is not suggesting we allow ourselves to get walked over. A woman being cruelly divorced needs a good lawyer. We have a right to begin with prayer for our own protection (see VINDICATION). But we accept the fact that God the Father loves the other party impartially, and longs to be the peacemaker for the good of both of us. God the Son also reminds us that he made peace - at his own cost. And that prepares us to let God the Holy Spirit guide us to take creative steps into peace making.

PELLA Just 2 miles (3 km) east of the Jordan river (modern Tabquat Fahil 50 miles, 80 km north of Jericho and 18 miles south of the Sea of Galilee) was the ancient city of Pella. It was settled by Macedonian colonists, destroyed in the Maccabean period, and rebuilt by the Roman general Pompey (Consul 70-48 BC) as one of the ten cities of the Decapolis. Jesus had warned his disciples to leave Jerusalem as soon as they saw it being surrounded (Matthew 24:15-18, Mark 13:14-16. Luke 21:20-22 and made clear that the signal would be when the Roman legions were on their doorstep, 69 AD). Eusebius recorded that the Christians of Judea, "having been commanded by a divine revelation removed from the city, and dwelt in a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella" (Ecclesiastical History 3.5). The Church of Pella flourished from the second century till the Arab armies came in to take Jerusalem (638 AD).

PELAGIANISM Soon after the year 400 AD a British monk named Pelagius came to Rome and wrote commentaries on the Epistles of Paul. He denied that the sin of Adam was transmitted by procreation, and so made infected and guilty the whole of humanity (as set out by St. Augustine in 397 AD, see ORIGINAL SIN). Pelagianism was condemned by several Popes of Rome and at least seven councils, but we do not even know the dates of his birth or death, and what he actually believed is all second hand through the writings of his enemies. In our day when a doctrine is called Pelagian it is usually because it suggests that a person can be saved by good works. Our model of Creative Love Theism denies that we can attain perfection by our own unaided efforts. Paul explained that the bondage of our will (Romans 7:14, 23) has its origin, not in Adam's original sin, but in our fleshly instincts which have no desire to do the good that is required for us to be perfected in love (Romans 7:18-19). The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23, see John 15:1-5) are not within our power to produce. They can only appear by setting our mind on the creative power of the Spirit (Romans 8:4-6).

PENTECOSTALISM recovered the basic truth that it is impossible to function as a Christian without the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 1:4,16, 8:5-7,15:13). Their gatherings were able to begin with music that appeals to a younger generation. When a person first experiences the infilling of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-19) there may be strong emotions and manifestations such quaking, shaking, groaning, crying, laughing, falling to the ground, speaking in tongues. Things only go badly wrong when people imagine it is producing the signs that counts, and they feel the need to experience these manifestations again and again to be sure of their faith. In gatherings like the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship people are allowed to express these emotions (as in a hockey match or football game), and the leaders recognize that some excitable people may get carried away. A problem is that the attempt to control them can easily move into legalism (Galatians 3:3-5) with an emphasis on obeying cultural rules and submitting to authoritarian leaders. Rather than risk quenching the Spirit (Ephesians 5:19-20) better let the Holy Spirit channel this enthusiasm in creative directions through regular teaching of the Word of God.

PERFECTIONISM There is the healthy pursuit of perfection in a cabinet maker, pianist, writer, or accountant. But people who demand perfection from others cause immense misery, and eventually destroy themselves. So why does the first chapter of the Sermon on the Mount end with "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48)? The word "therefore" refers to the perfection in love that Jesus has outlined in terms of anger, adultery, divorce, making promises, retaliation, relating to enemies. How can we possibly hope to be perfect in any of these areas? Evidently we are being given a vision of God's kind of perfect love. This is what God has in mind for us. But we know that it is not attained by LEGALISM and self-effort. It is more like a syllabus of what the Holy Spirit will be working on as we learn each according to our own pace, sequence and ability. We certainly cannot demand perfection in another. And if we demand it of ourselves we will live riddled with guilt. What we can do is pray "Holy Spirit I am angry with so and so" (tempted with lust, living a lie, determined to retaliate viciously, hating an enemy) and I need you to create your kind of love in my heart for this situation.

PERFUME We are still shocked by the price of perfume. And Judas calculated that this flask of pure nard (nalda from India) could have been sold for the equivalent of a year's wages. It could have been used to feed the poor. Mary probably had it set aside for her wedding day, but she did not say anything. She just broke off the stopper, poured the ointment on Jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair so that "the house was filled with the fragrance" (John 12:3-4). But Jesus knew that Mary was the only one at the party who grasped what was about to happen to him. Then he made a strange statement that does not fit our usual Christian activism. "You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me." There are occasions for meeting physical needs, but there is also a time for extravagant devotion. Spiritual discernment is to know the difference.


PERGAMUM When the Apostle John wrote to the seven churches of Asia (Revelation 1:4). The one that was the furthest north in the Province of Asia was Pergamum (modern Bergama Revelation 1:4, 2:12). Its library was the second largest in the world after ALEXANDRIA. In Paul's day this was the capital of the province, and "Satan's throne" (Revelation 2:13) may refer to the imperial cult with its demand that the emperor be worshiped. It was furthest city in the north of the Province of Asia Minor a hundred miles (160 km) as the crow flies due north of Ephesus, and there is no evidence that Paul visited there. But as a result of his teaching in the hall of Tyrannus for two years "all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord" (Acts 19:10).

PERSECUTION In a Toronto Globe and Mail article (March 1, 2003) Martin Levin wonders why massive injustice against Christians is less newsworthy than "Tantric Sex for your Pet." As evidence for the fact that "Christians are not only discriminated against but actively oppressed," Levin refers to the Dutch historian J. Gyula Orban's Violence Against Christians in the Year 2001. It is a vast "catalogue of outrage and injustice," and that is only a sample of what happened just in a single year. Levin wonders "why there is no outcry in the Christian West?" One reason is that Jesus made it clear that there are rewards for Christian service but persecution is inevitable (Mark 10:30). Having viciously persecuted the followers of Jesus before his conversion, Paul later wrote, "all who want to live a godly life in Jesus the Messiah will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:11-12). As evidence of his work as apostle he listed "Imprisonments, with countless floggings, and often near death. Five time I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning" (2 Corinthians 11:23-25). We take it for granted that when you take up the cross of love, you are going to get hurt. That is why Paul said "I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of the Messiah; for when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10). He did not expect sympathy for the persecutions he endured, and we do not agitate or expect the press to fight for us. But we are glad that Levin was surprised.

PERSIA see IRAN - The original inhabitants were Elamites (see ELAM) who are listed as Shemites (not Semites) under SHEM. As a result of the Aryan invasion (c.1500-1000 BC) of Medes (Madai in Genesis 10:2) and Persians the language became Persian, which belongs to the INDO-EUROPEAN group listed under JAPHETH in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:2-5). After Nebuchadnezzar II (King of Babylon 605-562 BC) had destroyed Jerusalem (586 BC), The Persian King Cyrus II (c.559-530) was able to topple Babylon (539 BC) as predicted by Isaiah (Isaiah 13:1-22). He then ordered some Jewish exiles to return (538 BC) to Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:22-23) to rebuild the temple (see the books of Ezra and Nehemiah). But many Jews remained in Persia (see the book of Esther). Persia engaged in a long war (499-449 BC) against the Greeks which ended when the Persian navy was defeated in the battle of Salamis (480 BC). Persia fell to Alexander the Great at the battle if Issus (331 BC). It had many Christian churches (see EDESSA) before Ctesiphon the capital was taken by the ARABS (c.641 BC). In recent times the name was changed to IRAN (1935). There was a brief monarchy till the Shah was exiled (1979) and an Islamic republic was established. As a result Christian influence almost disappeared. There was a terrible bloody war against IRAQ (1980-88).

PETER The fisherman, who was chosen as the first LEADER of the Christian church is described as an impetuous imperfect man. But Jesus said "I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 16:19). As CEO his task was to free others to enter what could have been a sect, and invite them to engage in the work of the MESSIAH. He used this unexpected authority to welcome 3,000 orthodox Jews into the church in Jerusalem, then he formed a synagogue of easy-going Greek speaking Jews, he let the despised Samaritans have a CHURCH in their city, and he even welcomed the family of a Roman officer to form a congregation in CAESAREA (see KEYS). That is what leadership is all about.

PETER THE GREAT The interference of the Russian Othodox Church in politics was broken by Peter 1 (the Great) who reigned (1672-1725) and took over absolute power as Czar of RUSSIA(1689). He founded St. Petersburg (later called LENINGRAD), moved the capital from Moscow (1713), and soon transformed Russia into a European nation from the Black Sea to the Baltic. He abolished the Moscow Patriarchate and made the RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH a department of the state. By paying the clergy (see CLERICS) he brought them under state control. The Church gained a huge amount of security, but lost its freedom and spiritual authority for two hundred years. With the revolution of 1917 (see LENIN) the church lost its security and the prestige it had under the Czars, but regained its spiritual freedom. And with the toppling of the Communists in 1989 Christian churches were welcomed to their rightful place as servants of God engaging in spiritual service (see SERVANT LEADERSHIP). .

PHARISEES In all religions, there are tiresome people with a huge zeal for God, but they imagine that faith is making rules for oneself and for others. By studying the Old Testament the Pharisees of Jesus' day listed the 613 commandments required to obey the law (torah). 248 of these were positive and 365 were negative. Among these negatives there were 39 things prohibited on the sabbath day. Obviously it was impossible to keep these burdensome rules, and Jesus gave people the freedom to be free of them. That is why the Pharisees hounded him to the kill. As Jesus predicted, the whole Pharisee establishment in Jerusalem would be destroyed in the events of AD 70, which would "come upon this generation" (Matthew 23:36). The problem is that a legalistic, judgmental mentality is the weed that Satan continues to sow as a perennial in all our churches. Paul wrote, "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?" (Galatians 3:1-3. Here the flesh is living by rules).

PHILADELPHIA The Apostle John wrote to the seven churches of Asia (Revelation 1:4). One of them was Philadelphia (The Greek word Philadelphia means city of brotherly love, Revelation 3:7). It was located ninety miles as the crow flies east-north-east from Ephesus (modern Alasehir) There is no evidence that Paul visited there, but as a result of teaching in the hall of Tyrannus for two years "all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord" (Acts 19:10).

PHILIP, the Evangelist There was a Philip who was one of the twelve apostles (Matthew 10:3). This Philip was one of the seven elders of the first Greek-speaking synagogue in the church in Jerusalem (Acts 6:1-6). After the martyrdom of Stephen, Philip was moved by the Spirit to take the good news to the Samaritans. As a result a church of the Spirit was formed in the city of Samaria (Acts 8:4-17). His next task was to baptize a senior official of the Queen of Ethiopia (Acts 8:26-39). The Spirit then guided him to work (probably planting a church in each city) all the way north along the Mediterranean coast to CAESAREA (Acts 8:40). He decided to make that city his home base, and we later find his four daughters functioning as prophets (Acts 21:8-16) in the congregations of that big cosmopolitan church. He probably supported Paul when he was imprisoned in that city. In our day any ordinary Christian, who have the gift of persuading others to learn from Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 11:22-29) should be honored as an EVANGELIST as Philip was.

PHILIPPI Macedonia stretched from the Aegean port cities of Neapolis, Amphipolis, and Apollonia (Acts 16:11; 17:1) west across the area north of Achaia (Greece) to the Adriatic. When Paul had his vision of a man of Macedonia inviting him over to help them Silas and Luke joined him (probably leaving Timothy in Troas, Acts 16:11) to plant the church in the city of Philippi (as described in Acts 16:10-40). Philippi had become a Roman colony (42 BC), and it was populated by army veterans, and business people from far and wide (Acts 16:14). His Epistle to the Church of Philippi was written when Paul was in prison (Philippians 1:12-13) Many have assumed (based on Philippians 4:22) that the Epistle was written from Rome, but the movements of Paul's team (e.g. Philippians 2:25-30, 2 Timothy 4:9-21) make it almost certain that Paul wrote from Ephesus. (There seems to be a scribal error in 2 Timothy 1:16-17 reading en romy meaning in Rome as opposed to Paul's en ropy meaning in the nick of time). From the Epistle we know that the church in Philippi sent support for Paul's team (Philippians 1:5; 4:10, 14-18). Paul revisited the church and used it as a base for the outreach to Dalmatia and ILLYRICUM (Acts 20:1-6, Romans 15:19, 2 Timothy 4:10). The Epistle is best known for its hymn of the INCARNATION (Philippians 2:5-11).

PHILLIPS, J. B. The year I was converted from atheism to Christian faith J. B. Phillips (born 1906) published a translation of Paul's Epistles titled Letters to Young Churches (1947). They were an instant success, and they have spawned his own and many other translations of the New Testament into simple readable English. I was also helped by his book titled Your God is Too Small (London: Epworth Press, 1952, with a dozen reprints in 20 years). When I wondered what denomination to join, I was helped out of confusion by his observation that "Churches give the outsider the impression that God works almost exclusively through the machinery they have erected and, what is worse damns all other machinery which does not bear their label"  (Your God is Too Small p.36). That insight has influenced much of what I have written on this website about the one church in each city and the DENOMINATIONS that support a wide variety of Christian expressions. See Phillips' comments on HURRY and RESPONSIBILITY.

PHILISTINES According to the Table of Nations the Philistines belonged to the same language group as the Egyptians and the Minoans who settled Crete (Genesis 10:13). That means they would have spoken a similar HAMITIC form of language (wrongly named Semitic) as the Canaanites. One group of them, known as Sea Peoples, established a colony in Palestine, and for 300 years they fought constant battles against the invading Israelites. They were organized under the five cities (Joshua 13:2-3) of Ashdod (1 Samuel 5:1-7) and Ekron (1 Samuel 5:10) in the north, Gath in the foothills (1 Samuel 5:8, 21:10-14), Ashkelon on the coast (Judges 1:18), and Gaza (Judges 16:1, 21-30) now known as the Gaza strip. Each of these cities had a temple where Dagon (see 1 Samuel 5:2-7) was worshiped. The Philistines defeated the Israelite army led by Saul and his son Jonathan (1 Samuel 31:1-7). Kind David had previously killed their champion Goliath (1 Samuel 17:41-54), but when he became king he finally decimated them (2 Samuel 5:17-25, 8:1), and they disappeared from history. But the Philistines (Hebrew pelistim) gave their name to what is now known as Palestine.

PHILO (c.10 BC to 45 AD) was a wealthy Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria. That was the city where the Old Testament was translated into Greek (the Septuagint LXX version). He wrote many books which attempted to interpret the Old Testament in the light of Greek philosophy by using the allegorical method (of which he seems to have been the originator). Some suggest that the Epistle to the Hebrews was influenced by this approach, and was perhaps written in Alexandria. We can certainly assume that Apollos of Alexandria (Acts 18:24-25) had been influenced by Philo's philosophy. The Logos was a key part of his philosophical system, but Philo was not consistent in incorporating this into his theological model. His insights and methods were however adopted in the development of Christian apologetics and theology in the next three centuries, for example by Clement of Alexandria and Origen of Alexandria. But he also commended the experience of ecstasy as a way of knowing the presence of God in the human heart (compare 2 Corinthians 12:1-7).

PHILOSOPHY  Sophia means wisdom (as in Proverbs 1:2, 20, 8:1, 9:1). So the Greek word philosophia means the love of wisdom. That seems to have been true of Socrates (c.470-399 BC), and he is remembered for the "Socratic Method" of asking questions to expose a person's basic assumptions. A philosophical system is a particular person's explanation of the meaning of the world and our life in it. As taught in our universities, philosophy is the discussion of what can be known with absolute certainty (see LOGIC). And one of the key questions has focused on the proofs for the existence of God. But you cannot prove the existence of beauty, justice, love, energy, least of all God - you can only describe your experience of them. Paul said that "in the sophia of God, the world did not know God through sophia" which is why he avoided philosophical discussion (see 1 Corinthians 1:21, 2:1). Like Jesus, he never made any attempt to prove that the creator (Artist) of our world exists. We can see his handiwork (Genesis 1). For Paul's encounter with some philosophers see ATHENS.

PHOENICIANS The CANAANITES were driven out of CANAAN, but continued to the north as the Phoenicians based on the cities of Tyre and Sidon. They quickly began using the alphabetic language developed at the time of Abraham (see ALPHABET). Their Hamitic (see HAM) language went with them to their colonies around Carthage in North Africa. The Greek alphabet was probably taken over from the Phoenicians. The woman whose daughter Jesus healed was "of Syrophoenician origin" (Mark 7:26), and Paul was later welcomed by the church in Tyre (Acts 21:3-7).

PHRYGIA Among the Jews present on the Day of Pentecost were some from "CAPPADOCIA, PONTUS, ASIA MINOR, PHRYGIA, and PAMPHYLIA (Acts 2:9). Some of these must have taken the good news of Jesus the Messiah back to the area of Phrygia to the west of ANTIOCH in Pisidia. In Paul's day the area straddled the Provinces of Galatia and ASIA Minor. During the second overseas missionary Paul, Silas, joined by Timothy (Acts 16:1), traveled across present-day Turkey intending to go straight on the main road west to Ephesus. But they were "forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia" so they went "through the region of Phrygia" (Acts 16:6). From the area of Phrygia they went north through the western part of the large Province of Galatia, and tried to go into BITHYNIA.

PIETISTS A hundred and fifty years after Martin LUTHER, Herbert Spener (1635-1705) felt the need to bring Lutheran congregationsback to life from the formality and control of their ministers. In 1666 at Frankfurthe began devotional meetings for prayer and Bible study twice weekly in his own house. He encouraged lay people without theological training to share their thoughts from the Bible, and this very much displeased the professional theologians. Such gatherings grew into a great movement of renewal across Germany, and resulted in the foundation of the University of Halle (1694). But the theological faculty in Wittenberg counterattacked with the publication of a list of 383 errors in his teaching. As often happens, this movement of the Spirit soon fell back into legalism, but it also flourished in the missionary spirit of the Moravian colony at Herrnhut. John WESLEYcame to personal faith (1738) through the Moravians. He adopted the pietist model of small groups (class meetings) of his converts from open air preaching to revive the Church of England. We could view the Pietist movement as the origin of the house groups which have mushroomed in our day. For many they have replaced regular denominational gatherings.

PIGS Among Jews the pig was viewed as an unclean animal (Leviticus 11:7-8 see PORK). This suggests that the 2000 pigs that drowned like lemmings near the city of Gadara were owned by people who did not want to be viewed as Jews (Mark 5:1-17).


PLAGUE A recurrence of the Bubonic Plague (1348-50 seeBLACK DEATH) carried off 70,000 victims in London (1665), and it was followed by the fire of London (1666). It is now known that the main form of plague is transmitted by the bite of flees carried by infected rats. Two other forms infect the lungs and the blood. All forms of the plague are now controlled by immunization with a vaccine. That does not contradict an unseen divine origin, as in the plagues before the Exodus from Egypt. There is an account of a pestilence sent by the LORD when 70,000 people died before the LORD heard prayer and averted it (2 Samuel 24:15, 25). 185,000 soldiers of Sennacherib's army died overnight (2 Kings 1935). And the pale green horse of death killed by sword, famine, and pestilence (Revelation 6:8). Based on such references some blamed the plague of London on the WRATH of God due to the restoration of Charles II (1660-85) and the Act of Uniformity (1662) when 2,000 ministers were ejected from the Church of England, and both Protestant Independents and Roman Catholics were severely persecuted by the Conventicle Act (1664). For an account of how other scourges have devastated populations, including the native peoples of America, see William H. McNeill, Peoples and Plagues, New York: Random House 1976, Anchor paperback 1998.

PLYMOUTH BRETHREN J.N.Darby (1800-82) was an Anglican priest who wanted to retrieve the New Testament pattern of assemblies governed by elders without a paid professional ministry. He began in Ireland with believers (led by A. N. Groves) who joined in a simple communion service (the Breaking of Bread). In 1830 he began the first assembly in England at Plymouth (hence the name Plymouth Brethren). A very influential member was George MULLER, who began a huge orphanage near Bristol. The aim was to gather a church of true believers as opposed to the inclusiveness of the Anglicans, Methodists, and Presbyterians. But the Brethren soon became a loosely connected denomination, who only welcomed into fellowship those that they viewed as born-again genuine believers. Their important contribution was to recover the idea of the variety of spiritual gifts in each congregation. They included elders, evangelists, and teachers, but they assumed that other more CHARISMATIC gifts such as apostles, prophets, and speaking in tongues, died out in the New Testament period (see The Church: An Organic Picture). There was a basic division (which began in 1845, and became final in 1849) between the Open Brethren and the Exclusive Brethren. The latter, at first called Darbyites, to this day keep themselves separate by refusing to eat with others (even family members) who do not join with them.

POET The word comes from the Greek poietes which means someone who makes or does something (Greek verb poieo to make, create, perform). A poet is a creator by using words to name things. This reminds us that God is the original CREATOR by the power of his words. "God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being" (John 1:1-3). "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared (katartizo means put in order, put into proper condition, create) by the Word of God" (Hebrews 11:3). That means our world is God's poem for us to enjoy and gain insight into reality. When our eyes are opened we see nature as full of metaphors and imagery. But God also gave us the CREATIVITY to be poets in his image. Ordinary poems are constructed by human ingenuity. Lovers write love letters. And great poetry is given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But all of us function as poets (creators) by the use of words. When we adopt a cat, name it, and treat it as a pet by our use of words, we have made it into something different from an alley cat. And with children and adults "I love you," "I welcome you," "I forgive you," "I pray for you" are all creative acts.

POLITICAL EQUALITY In mathematics it makes sense to say that 2 + 3 + 4 is equal to the product of 3 x 3. That is a certainty built into Base 10 maths. But the only place where mathematics works in politics is in the slogan of "one man one vote." But even this has to be interpreted. Ancient Athens was a democracy, but slaves were not allowed to vote. In Russia women were given the right to vote in the Revolution (1917). In Germany women were enfranchised (1919), but under the Nazis (1933-45) Jews were excluded. In the United States white women began voting in1920, but in France (see FRENCH REVOLUTION, Slogan) this was delayed till the end of the war in 1945. In the United States Black people had to fight against the unfair restriction of the vote to poll tax payers, and property owners. Where a religion is PATRIARCHAL by definition the right of women to vote is impossible until there is a separation of CHURCH and State. In the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, where locally born ARABS are only one tenth of the working population, there is no way the vote could be extended to all residents.

POLITICS In our discussion of SYMBOLIC WORLDS we note that individual commitments to different religions and ideologies yield different perceptions of what is real and unreal. In an absolute MONARCHY, as in Saudi Arabia, or the previous dictatorship in IRAQ under SADDAM HUSSEIN, religious and ideological differences can be suppressed. But a DEMOCRACY can only work if these differences are respected and allowed as much freedom as possible. The solution in the United States was to allow total FREEDOM OF RELIGION (by the first Amendment to the Constitution). America still maintains the same (free) public school system for all citizens. Many propose a voucher system to allow a variety of religious schools. But if say ISLAM is the religion of the majority (as in Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia) democratic elections can result in parties coming to power that are intent on curtailing the freedom of other religions. Christians live by Jesus' words "Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's" (Mark 12:17, see Romans 13:1-7). And they have proved that as long as they have Bibles to read they can survive under persecution (see CAPPADOCIA, Underground churches).

POLITICS, Language In addition to differences due to citizens living by a variety of religions and ideologies (see SYMBOLIC WORLDS) mutual understanding is hard if there is more than one language of government (as in Canada with English and French). In India where half a dozen major languages are spoken, a solution was to use English as the common language among politicians. This is also a solution for the problem of tribal languages of Africa, and increasingly so in a united Europe. Where one language dominates a whole culture, as does Mandarin in China, or Arabic in the Middle East, or in Indonesia, mutual understanding with the rest of the world is very difficult. With the break up of the U.S.S.R. Russian is being abandoned in the new republics, and we should expect further disintegration. The Christian solution has been to translate the Bible into hundreds of languages, and make sure that these Scriptures are made available in every home wherever possible. Every language will offer different insights into the character of Jesus the Messiah. But he is free to reign through his Word in every place. For the choice of moral alternatives see LANGUAGE, Reality.

POLITICS, Machiavelli see MACHIAVELLI, LEADER, Political

POLAND, Early The Christianization of Europe took 900 years. The origins of Poland as a nation can be said to begin with the marriage of a Christian Princess, Dobrawa, sister of Boleslav II of Bohemia, to the Polish Duke Mieszka. He was baptized (966 or 967), and the first Bishop of Poznan was appointed (968). As a result Mieszka's son, Chrobry the Brave (ruled 992-1025) led Poland to become the largest kingdom in eastern Europe. He was crowned King of Poland by the Pope (1024). As a result of the REFORMATION some parts of Poland became Protestant for fifty years, and the arts and sciences flourished. With the incorporation of Lithuania (1569) Poland stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea. This prosperity only lasted a hundred years till the monarchy was taken over by Saxony (1697), and the country was divided between Prussia, Austria, and Russia. A century later Poland became a Protectorate of Russia (1795). NAPOLEON(1769-1821) came through Poland on his way to the rout of his army at the gates of Moscow. As a result Poland reverted to Russian and Prussian control. After World War I Poland was finally granted its independence as a country and became a republic. Since the baptism of Mieszka (967), and the defeat of Protestantism (1572), the Polish bishops have been solidly under the authority of the Bishop of Rome.

POLAND, Modern Hitler's armies invaded Poland (September 1, 1939), and this provoked World War II.. The country was partitioned between Germany and Russia, and thousands of Jews died in the Warsaw uprising. Only half a million Polish Jews out of the previous three million survived the gas chambers of the Holocaust. The German army was expelled by the advancing Russians (1945), and Poland became a Soviet state as Communists (see MARXISM) took over the government. Gomulka came to power (1956-70) and put down strikes and serious unrest. Lech Walesa founded Solidarity in the port city of Gdansk, which was banned till 1987 and after the collapse of Communism in Russia he was elected President (1990-93). He made friendship treaties with the newly united Germany, France and Russia (the last Russian troops did not leave Poland till 1994). The election of Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II (1987) firmly established Roman Catholicism as the religion of Poland.

POLYGAMY In patriarchal cultures it was acceptable for a man to have more than one wife (Genesis 4:19, 29:21-27, 1 Samuel 1:2, 25:42-44). Solomon was not faulted for having wives for political reasons, but for having too many of them and adopting their idolatry (1 Kings 11:1-8). Early missionaries in Africa foolishly forced converts to keep one wife, and dismiss the others. But the early church was much wiser. Monogamy was not required for baptism, or church membership, but polygamy was forbidden in the choice of elders (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6). Why did polygamy end so quickly in the first generation of the church? Paul must have learned from Jesus and the first apostles the total mutuality he set out in his instructions for Christian marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1-16). The mutual submission of a couple is incompatible with having more than one wife. "The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does . . . the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband" (1 Corinthians 7:4, 14).

POLYTHEISM In the Bible the Artist or Creator of our world (Genesis 1) is in due course given many names to describe his work and character. There can only be one God, but nations soon got the idea that their tribal or national god was more powerful than others. Baal was worshiped among the Canaanites, Dagon was the god of the Philistines, the Ammonites served Milcom, Rimmon was the god of Syria, and Egypt had many gods. Among the ancient Indo-Europeans, instead of looking to the Creator (Greek Zeus, Latin Deus, Sanskrit Deva, French Dieu) people imagined that there are different gods fighting and lusting against one another. And each of these gods expected to be honored and bribed for various favors. Polytheism inevitably has a weakening and fragmenting effect in a nation. Muhammad managed to wean the various Arabian tribes from polytheism into the worship of ALLAH (Elohim or El in Hebrew), and the resultant ISLAM became a powerful force and it flowered in a great Arab civilization. The growth and power of America was derived from the idea of "One nation under God," but one wonders how any civilization can survive by throwing God out of our schools.

PONTUS Among the Jews present on the Day of Pentecost were some from "CAPPADOCIA, PONTUS, ASIA MINOR, PHRYGIA, and PAMPHYLIA (Acts 2:9). Pontus was the province next to Bithynia, so some of these must have taken the good news of Jesus the Messiah back to that area. The apostle Peter wrote a letter to "the exiles of the Dispersion," one of which was the Province of Pontus (1 Peter 1:1). Sinope was the port for Pontus on the north shore of Turkey, and it was the capital of the Province. So there was certainly a church there by the time Peter wrote to them.

POOR Together with widows, orphans, and strangers, Moses gave strict instructions that the poor should be protected and cared for (Exodus 22:22-25, Proverbs 14:31, Psalm 41:1, 82:3-4). They were in danger due to the perversion of justice (Exodus 23:6, Amos 2:6, 5:12). Every seventh year the land must be left fallow, and only the poor should eat its fruits (Exodus 23:10-11). No one should be tight-fisted with the poor (Deuteronomy 15:7-10, Psalm 112:9). Job claimed he was "a father to the needy" (Job 29:16). And when the poor cry out, God takes note of their plight (1 Samuel 2:8, Psalm 69:33, 107:41, 109:31, 140:12). The early Christians were expected to welcome poor people to a banquet (Luke 14:13, 21). And in a church gathering they must not honor the rich as more important than the poor (James 2:1-6). See POVERTY.

POOR, Liberation A month before the opening of the Second Vatican Council Pope John XXIII expressed his hopes for "the Church of all the people and, in particular, of the poor" (Vatican Radio, September 11, 1962). One result of this in South America was the emergence of LIBERATION THEOLOGY (see Gustavo Gutierrez, A Theology of Liberation: Politics and Salvation, in Spanish1971, New York: Orbis Books, 1973). This was a movement of middle-class people writing about and working for the poor. But it was the BASECOMMUNITIES that empowered poor people to see the implications of the Bible for their own liberation and freed them to organize themselves for an EXODUS out of poverty. We might compare the impact of John WESLEY among the miners, and the early METHODIST movement which effected the social changes which saved Britain from the horrors of the French Revolution. Similar changes took place through the group movements that brought millions into churches in India and other parts of the world (see The Church: An Organic Picture, chapter 4 and Go Make Learners chapter 8).

POPE The more people are impressed by a great leader's energy, love, and dedication, the harder it is to question details of what he or she has insisted on. But no human leader (whether LUTHER, CALVIN, WESLEY, William Booth, or the Archbishop of Canterbury) is infallible. Some Popes ordered CRUSADES to crush the infidels, and other Popes allowed the Inquisition to torture people into faith. As a Protestant with great respect for the current Pope (John Paul II, elected 1978), I suggest five areas in which I hope another Pope will lead the Vatican in new directions. It is time to distinguish the missionary orders, who can encourage celibacy for some kinds of service, from parish clergy who would often be more effective married. We now recognize that Jesus' church is to function as an organic body with many members (1 Corinthians 12:4-13). That is not compatible with hierarchy, enthronement, and human lordship. Nor does it allow us to divide the CHURCH, Body to exclude women from ordination for certain functions. Roman Catholics should not be forced to deny the faith if they practice birth control. I also object to rules that exclude other Christians from the Lord's Table.

POPE JOHN XXIII (Pope 1958-63) The first sign of a powerful wind of change among Roman Catholics was the fact that Pope John refused to be "enthroned" (that would be taking the Messiah's place). Within a year (1959) he had called the second VATICAN COUNCIL (it met 1962-65), which received collegial input from bishops, theologians, and lay people all over the world. For a brief, heady time the power and rigid conservatism of the Roman Curia seemed to be contained. The communion cup was offered to the laity, and married men were ordained to the diaconate. Soon after the Council Christians in every country were encouraged to read the Bible and worship in their national language rather than in Latin. As a Protestant I remember finding myself welcomed as a brother in God's family. I did not need to submit to the Roman Catholic denomination to make it to heaven. But sadly the windows that Pope John had so courageously opened were soon closed to maintain the tight control of the Vatican.

POPE JOHN PAUL II(born in Poland 1920, elected Pope 1978) As a contrast to POPE JOHN XXIII, who looked forward to change, John Paul II was formed by "the Church's singularly successful, no-nonsense resistance to communism in Poland: a combination of old-fashioned pieties, unquestioned doctrinal certainties, down to earth preoccupation with basic human rights, and a dose of sheer populism" (Adrian Hastings, Modern Catholicism: Vatican II and After, London SPCK, 1991). With tremendous energy John Paul has presented himself as an impressive figure-head in many countries. But he has backtracked on the collegiality of the second VATICAN COUNCIL, and refused to move an inch in the direction of giving up hierarchical control. He has not allowed priests to marry, or opened the door for women to be ordained. He does not admit members of other denominations to communion, and he condemns birth control (other than abstinence). He has also tried to make sure by his appointment of Cardinals and Bishops that the next Pope will remain as immutable as he is.

PORK (French porc meaning meat from a pig used for food). The eating of pork was forbidden among Jews (Leviticus 11:7-8), as it is still forbidden for a MUSLIM of any nation. But Jesus "declared all foods clean" (Mark 7:19), and as a result of the revelation to Peter the old kosher rules were completely dismantled among Christians. (Acts 10:14-15).

PORNEIA The Greek word porne means a prostitute, so porneia is prostitution type behavior. The word is unhelpfully translated FORNICATION (as in Matthew 5:32, 19:9; 1 Corinthians 6:13, 18; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Acts 15:20). In some cases it is translated sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 5:1, 7:2; 2 Corinthians 12:21). In our day porneia includes sleeping around and the sex for fun that is practiced by many young people. Paul lists it as one of the works of the flesh in the sense that casual sex is instinctive behavior that can be engaged in without help from God and with a modicum of human effort (Galatians 5:19). God's kind of love is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians5:22). In PATRIARCHY it is assumed that a woman must be faithful, but a man can engage in as many affairs before and after marriage as he chooses. Only sex with a married woman is forbidden (see Adultery : An Exploration of Love and Marriage). In total contrast, for Paul the purpose of sex is to express our worship (worthship) in a committed relationship based on mutual submission (as in 1 Corinthians 7:1-16). In our day sleeping around may teach some sexual techniques (like playing golf to improve one's handicap) but it is not a good preparation for a faithful love marriage. When porneia has been engaged in, there can be forgiveness, real heart cleansing (Matthew 15:19, Mark 7:21), and a miraculous change (Romans 7:14-8:8) effected by the power of the Holy Spirit. But without that change, the prognosis for marriage is dismal.

PORTENTS We expect the sun and moon, planets and stars to continue in their normal courses. So a portent is something in the heavens which is totally unexpected. But the word portent can also be used metaphorically. Babylon was the capital of the empire that force-marched the people of Israel into exile. But Isaiah announced the day of the Lord that would topple that ruthless empire: "The stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising and the moon will not shed its light . . . I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place" (Isaiah 13:10, 13). Here the sun was the emperor, the moon was the queen, the stars were the generals, the nobility, and the rich merchants. And Jesus quoted the same portents from Isaiah to predict the destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem in AD 70 (Matthew 24:29, 34). As Mary sang, God brings down "the powerful from their thrones" (Luke 1:52) throughout human history.

PORT ROYAL was founded (1204) as a convent of CISTERCIAN nuns on a marshy site 18 miles south-west of Paris. It suddenly came into the public eye when the Abbess Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661) had an experience of deep conversion (1608). She and her sister Agnes came under the influence (1633) of the JANSENISTS. The scientist and philosopher PASCAL (1632-62) spent his last eight years in strict retreat near the Port Royal convent.

POVERTY Some religions say that it is impossible to make progress in the right direction until you divest yourself of all your possessions. That makes poverty a good in itself. But when artists, actors, and activists put up with poverty for a time, they are not ascetics. They hope for better days when they will be recognized and enjoy plenty. Even the Messiah's voluntary poverty was only temporary for the purpose of his work. "For the sake of the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2, see Philippians 2:8-9). Paul was willing to suffer extreme deprivation on his missionary journeys, but he was not an ascetic. "I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of having plenty and of being in need" (Philippians 4:12). There is no merit in poverty for its own sake. It is often the cost of certain kinds of Christian service, but the preaching of austerity does not commend our good news.

POWER , Gospel Paul said "I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who has faith" (Romans 1:16). Many interpret faith as accepting the power of God to forgive us on the basis of the sacrifice of his Son. On this website we view forgiveness as part of the eternal love of God (already known in Psalm 103:1-13). Forgiveness does not need to be paid for by a law court transaction (see ONCE FOR ALL, JUSTIFICATION). The cross is the visible expression in our space-time world of the heart of God (see LAMB). The good news that Paul preached was the power of the Holy Spirit to transform us. "My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and of power (1 Corinthians 2:4). This is the thrust of the Epistle to the Romans, which builds up to Chapter 8 on the power of the Spirit (as set out in our Romans Commentary). It concludes with the prayer "that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13). Similarly "Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20) and "May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power" (Colossians 1:11, see Acts 1:8). This power is what Jesus had in mind for his disciples at the Last Supper (John 14:12-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15). In our day people know that God loves and forgives, but what they desperately need is the power of the Spirit to transform their shabby lives.

POWER, of the Holy Spirit The key to Paul's effectiveness was "My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God" (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). A sermon can be based on human logic offering propositions and arguments ending with a conclusion. But faith based on such "plausible words of wisdom" is easily shaken by other arguments. That is why he said "I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). There is the totally unexpected simplicity and power of the "old, old story." It focuses on Jesus' coming into our world, his love for ordinary people, his willingness to die, his resurrection, and his release of the power of the Holy Spirit in our churches. Faith is based on what God has done, not on the logic of our reason. Then as the power of the Spirit is experienced we begin to "understand the gifts bestowed on us by God" (1 Corinthians 2:12). Those gifts include God's love for us as individual persons, our forgiveness and total acceptance as children in his family, our freedom to let the Spirit pray in us, produce his fruit in us, and empower us with spiritual gifts. Paul expresses the result in his blessing "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Spirit" (Romans 15:13).

POWER, Holy Spirit see POWER, Gospel and Romans Commentary, Introduction

POWER, World The Greeks used triremes. Romans built roads for their legions. Arabs had camels to give them power in the desert. The Spanish built galleons for their colonies. Britannia defeated their Armada (1588) and ruled the waves with warships. The Germans used tanks and submarines. Stalin used the KGB. Americans wrested air power from the Japanese. Except for a few years under Solomon (c.971-931 BC), the Jews never had a great empire, and they should have known that God's Kingdom does not work by military power. "Not my might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6). This is why the MESSIAH decided to have his churches of the Spirit in every city scattered throughout the world.. They are never to depend on political power to do their work as leaven in society. Depending on the power of the Roman Empire did not help. The CRUSADESwere a disaster. Russian Orthodox churches were muzzled by the Czars. Christians have always been at their best when they are persecuted and rely only on the power of the Spirit. That is why Paul wanted us to "abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13, 19, 1 Corinthians 2:4, 4:20). "We do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

PRAGUE Prague Castle was built (870), a Bishop was appointed (973), and the city became the residence of the first Bohemian King Vratislav I. It was the capital of the Bohemian Kingdom and Holy Roman Empire (1346-78). A hundred years before the REFORMATION John HUSS became the Rector of Prague University (1402) and preached the pre-Protestant ideas ofJohn WYCLIFFE. Huss was excommunicated (1411) and burned at the stake. After the first world-war Prague became the capital of an independent Czechoslovakia (1918). The city was occupied by Nazi Germany (1939-45), and later forced back under Communist control (1948). With the separation of Slovakia (1993) Prague has remained the capital of the Czech Republic. There is FREEDOM OF RELIGION and slowly through various DENOMINATIONS and house gatherings Christian life is reappearing in the church of Prague.

PRAYERS The best prayers are given to us by the HOLY SPIRIT (Romans 8:26). We know they will be answered because they come from the very heart of God. The first prayer I prayed the day of my conversion (October 7, 1947) was "if you can do anything with me, please get on with it." The prayer I was soon taught was "Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law" (Psalm 119:18, and some of what I have seen is on this website). During five years in the army I used to touch wood whenever something good happened (having time to throw a grenade out of the pit when a recruit had pulled the pin and let go). Now I say "Thank you, Lord" a hundred times a day for all sorts of things. When the work is overwhelming, Jesus told me to pray "please send more laborers" (Matthew 9:37). My first prayer every morning is "Father, I am glad you are watching over me like a loving parent. Jesus, as you reign all over the world, is there anything I can do for you today? Holy Spirit, I need inspiration as I write, and I could do with some love, joy, peace, and especially patience" (Galatians 5:22). Last week I was given a new prayer "Lord help me to enjoy others and be a joy to them today." When faced with three serious medical conditions, I have prayed "Lord, touch me," and he did. But the apostle Paul got another answer (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

PRAYER, Directness In many of the Psalms God is addressed without any elaborate introduction. In Hebrew there is often just one word "Yahweh" (LORD as in Psalms 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, etc.). In Greek the Lord's prayer begins with Father (Pater). Jesus used the word Abba (equivalent to our Daddy), and Paul says this is the natural cry of a Christian moved by the Spirit (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6). Loving parents expect their children to blurt out what is on their mind. There is no need to prepare an elaborate introduction to inform God how great he is. God is not niggly. A common problem is that Christians agonize in prayer week after week trying to find out the will of the Lord for their lives. Better decide what we really long for, mention that to God, discuss it with him, and wait to see him "accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20).

PRAYER for Government How do we pray "for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity"? (1 Timothy 2:2). If we want to be involved in influencing the course of our world, a good way is first to ask the Holy Spirit to help us picture the outcome we long for. That may take time to clarify. Then we pray for that to happen. The advantage of this is that, if we have got it wrong, God can correct our perception, and in due course reveal to us what was his better purpose. That enables us to learn in prayer. But if things work out as we prayed, we then gain confidence in prayer the next time.

Right now (September 18, 2001 one week after the attack on Manhattan) I am praying that world leaders will abandon the unattainable objectives of bringing Bin Laden to justice and smoking out terrorism. Better give the military the simple task of toppling the Taliban (who have consistently supported Bin Laden's terrorism for years) by destroying their tanks and guns and command posts (avoiding civilian casualties as far as possible). When that is done the people of Afghanistan who long for freedom can take over, Afghan women will be freed from terrible oppression, and aid agencies and missions can feed the starving and help rebuild the country. Ben Laden can be left to stew in his own juice till one of his own people kills him as he has just murdered the leader of the Afghan opposition. That is an outcome many people, including freedom loving Muslims would applaud. If this plan and my prayer is wrong-headed I can trust God to do justice with great love and compassion.

PRAISE On holiday in the Rockies, we were looking at a magnificent glacier among spruce trees with a waterfall into a crystal blue lake. Just in front of us a woman was enthusing about the scene, but her husband said "It's just a pile of rocks with water at the bottom." When you praise a superb winning goal in hockey, what if your friend sneers and says "that's what he is paid for, isn't he!" C. S. Lewis said that "Praise is inner health made audible" which means that a person is spiritually sick if he or she cannot praise God. But we need to distinguish praise from flattery. Flattery is buttering up someone to get what we want. We do that with other humans, and some think you can do that with God. But obviously God cannot be bribed. When we say "Look at that beautiful sunset," C. S. Lewis pointed out that we are not looking for some advantage from the sunset. The Presbyterian Shorter CATECHISM asks "What is the chief end of man" and the answer is "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever." We glorify God by praising him. And a good way to start is to praise the Father for his continuing love for us, then praise the Son for his victory on the cross and his delight in our friendship. Thirdly we praise the Holy Spirit's willingness to inspire and empower us for every challenge we face. A daily diet of that kind of appropriate praise is the most healing thing in the world.

PREACHING Some sermons entertain by a string of stories. Others offer a pablum of trivialities that make no difference to our life. And some preachers work hard at giving elaborate explanations of Christian doctrine. The hardest to sit under are those who nag us every week about what we should do (give more money, be kind, serve others, love the world, save souls, save the environment). At an anniversary gathering for the Diocese of Ontario, June 2, 2002, Canon Harold Percy told us to change our preaching from OUGHT TO in the direction of HOW TO. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what we would like to be and do. The problem is how to do it. Paul said "I can will what is right, but I cannot do it" (Romans 7:18). But he immediately went on to give us the HOW TO of life in the Spirit (Romans 8:2-27). How do I love my wife, my kids, my parents, my friends, my enemies, my fellow church members? How do I deal with my sex life, anger, depression, failure, sickness, discouragement, loneliness? How do I pray, read the Bible, talk to friends about faith? Alcoholics Anonymous would be a disaster if they just preached "You OUGHT TO be sober." They give the HOW TO of freedom from guilt, brotherly love, and drawing on the higher power that will change us.

PREDESTINATION   In a model called double-predestination our eternal destiny is settled already in the mind of God. Only God has the right to choose us (as in the weighty and very influential works of Benjamin Warfield, 1851-1921). Faced with this fatalistic "decree" what do we make of references to being predestined in the New Testament? "As many as had been destined for eternal life became believers" (Acts 13:48). "Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Romans 8:29). These verses refer back to the original purpose when the three Persons of the Trinity said "Let us make humankind in our image" (Genesis 1:26). Since God is love, we can only be made in the image of God by being perfected in love. As Paul explains, "He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love" (Ephesians 1:4-5, 9-11). On the one hand the Lamb of God keeps taking away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and the extent of this became visible on the cross, so nobody is excluded from heaven. But love can be welcomed or rejected. So in John's Gospel we need to hold together the fact that the Father gives us to the Son, and nobody can be perfected for the love of heaven apart from him (John 6:37, 39, 44, 65, 17:2, 6, 9, 12, 24), but we are given the awesome freedom to welcome or reject him (John 1:12,3:16-19, 36, 9:41, 12:46). "This is the judgment (Greek krisis) that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light" (John 3:19), and God does not settle that preference for us (see ARMINIANISM). For the different problem of the Jewish family line (Romans 9:7-21) see Romans Commentary.

PREDESTINATION Parable Clark Pinnock illustrated predestination from the experience of many immigrants. "When my father decided to emigrate to Canada he 'predetermined' me to be a Canadian, and 'decreed' that Canada should be the locale in which my own life and freedom should develop. This 'predestination' of course did not nullify my own freedom; rather it provided for me certain prior conditions for its exercise" (Grace Unlimited, Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1975, p.102. But how do we answer the objection that some are given the advantages of a Christian home, and others are born in areas where there is no access to the love of God? Paul said "From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him - though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:26-28). This suggests that God has predestined every person to be born into an environment, however bad, in which he or she has the basic human freedom to grope for the light of God's love. It seems that little children and retarded individuals do this naturally. It is only later that love can be rejected and eternal darkness preferred (John 3:19-21).

PREJUDICE Philip Yancey was raised in a Fundamentalist church in the old south with an intense hatred of black people. He remembers the day when people clapped at the news of the murder of Martin Luther King. He was asked (CBC Tapestry June 10, 2001) how he managed to escape from racial prejudice? He explained that as a Junior in college he was given an award to work for a brilliant research scientist. To his horror when he walked into the laboratory he found he was black. I know two or three who ranted viciously against homosexuals until the day they discovered their son was gay. And some men who viewed women as inferior got liberated when they married to a woman who obviously wasn't. Protestants used to think Catholics were not Christians, and the feeling is still mutual in some circles. Saul of Tarsus was "breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord" (Acts 9:1) as he was approaching Damascus the very day his mind was going to be changed. And it is a fact that good strong atheists make even stronger believers. Which means we should not view prejudice as if it was a permanent part of a person's personality. We are to watch, and pray with thankfulness that our loving God has the matter in hand. It might even be wise to ask myself which people I despise most, and what would it take to change my mind?

PREMILLENIALISM Jesus spoke of COMINGseven times in one chapter of the Gospels. There would be "the coming of the Son of Man" (Matthew 24:27), "the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matthew 24:30), and five references to his coming unexpectedly (Matthew 24:37, 42. 44, 46, 50). Jesus also defined the portents that would accompany his coming (in the sun, moon, stars, the powers, Matthew 24:29). Albert Schweitzer concluded that Jesus had these expectations of his coming, but Jesus was deluded and proved wrong. The Pre-Millenial model agrees that this coming did not take place in that generation, and therefore we are still in the generation (Matthew 23:36, 24, 34) that awaits his coming. On this site we explain that Jesus announced the destruction of the temple in his generation (Matthew 24:1-2), and that took place when Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70. He compared that destruction of the city to the fall of Babylon (539 BC) by quoting Isaiah's portents (Isaiah 13:10, 13) exactly. That implied that, just as Babylon had its "Day of the Lord" (Isaiah 13:6, 9), he himself was the Messiah Lord who would come to topple Jerusalem. The many references to the parousia in the Epistles give evidence that the early church expected that coming to occur in their lifetime. This model avoids the term "second coming." The Lord King Messiah Son of God kept coming again and again in the Old Testament period, he came again in AD 70, but he continues coming in Days of the Lord throughout history.

PRESBYTERIAN The essence of the Presbyterian model of church government is the rule of presbyters (see ELDERS). An original component of the Presbyterian system in Scotland and Holland was the Calvinistic model of strict predestination, but this has largely lost its importance. The minister of a church congregation is called the Ruling Elder, but he shares his authority with the other Session Elders. The government of a group of church congregations is called the Presbytery. As opposed to the appointment of ministers by Bishops in an Episcopal model of government, Presbyterian ministers are elected by the congregation that receives them, but ordination to that congregation is done by Presbytery. At the next level several presbyteries are grouped under a Synod. The final court of appeal is the General Assembly, which consists of minister and other elders, usually in equal numbers, who are appointed by the Presbyteries. John Calvin originally believed that Holy Communion was celebrated weekly in the New Testament period, but the people of Geneva viewed this as too solemn an occasion requiring serious preparation, and as a result most Presbyterian congregations celebrate Communion four times a year.

PRIDE We don't need the Bible or the church to tell us that pride is an abomination. We may not notice it in ourselves, but we are disgusted when we see it in another person. The pride we hate involves cutting down others and humiliating them to bolster our self-importance. Why is pride so dangerous? "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but wisdom is with the HUMBLE" (Proverbs 11:2). Why does pride eat away at human wisdom? It prevents us learning anything from others. We don't listen to advice or reproof when we are going off course. Because others feel humiliated they resist the best of our plans. Worst of all "those who are arrogant are an abomination to the Lord; be assured they will not go unpunished" (Proverbs 16:5). How does one cure this deadly cancer? It is good to laugh at our pompous self-importance (other people certainly do). Then we could recognize that all we have to use in our life and work is given to us. We did not invent our brain. Anytime it could addle us into incompetence. If God is the Creator, then the most insignificant person is as important as we are. Which is nicely summed up as "God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter 5:5-6).

PRIDE, National The importance of HUMILITY also applies to nations. As Paul explained in Athens, "The God who made the world and everything in it . . . made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him" (Acts 17:26-27). But when they become powerful nations soon begin to despise and humiliate others. The prophets noted this again and again. "We have heard of the pride of Moab, his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance, and the haughtiness of his heart" (Jeremiah 48:29, see 50:31). "This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed her when I saw it" (Ezekiel 16:49-50). Concerning Tyre the LORD said "By your great wisdom in trade you have increased your wealth, and your heart has become proud in your wealth." (Ezekiel 28:5). Assyria towered high and set its top among the clouds, and its heart was proud of its height" (Ezekiel 31:10). Is there any antidote for the arrogance that God will surely topple? A nation is made up of individuals, and both arrogance and humility are contagious. We can train our children, rebuke the media for prejudice, and vote against racial bigots. If all else fails we can look to God, as Mary did, to topple the pride of nations (Luke 1:51-52). .

PRIESTS We believe in the priesthood of all believers, and we are priests in the Messiah's royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5,9). But what are priests meant to do? There are some ceremonial functions like taking part in the worship of the temple. But in all cultures everywhere priests are also expected to have a five-fold ministry to individuals. The hardest part is being able to listen patiently with great attention and without being judgmental. Having heard the worst, a priest then pronounces absolution, "Jesus says you are forgiven." There should be a prayer to express to God that person's particular heart concerns. And we can teach something appropriate from the Scriptures. Finally the person must receive God's blessing, "All is well. God loves you." Every Christian should be able and willing to perform those five priestly functions. And when we do function as priests it is very greatly appreciated. It costs nothing except the time needed to listen.

PROBATION In Model Theology probation refers to a model of baptism in which no one is baptized until they have been proved to be faithful over a period of time. This model was adopted in the second century, and it resulted in long periods of preparation before baptism. In some missionary situations there was a three year period of probation. But in the Book of Acts baptisms are pictured as taking place immediately (Acts 2:41, 8:12, 38, 9:18, 16:33). Anyone could be enrolled as a disciple in the school of the Holy Spirit to begin learning. Inevitably this meant that some failed to go on and produce fruit, as pictured in the parable of the Sower. This explains why so many of Jesus' baptized disciples (John 4:1) later got miffed (John 6:60), and "many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him" (John 6:66). The attempt to keep out undesirables by a long period of probation denies the power of the Holy Spirit to teach and change them in due course, and in his own way.

PROMISES of God A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties outlining mutual rights and responsibilities. . That means a covenant is conditional. And when the agreement is made between God and humans, the human side of the covenant can be broken (see COVENANT with ABRAHAM). But God's promises can never be broken (see Galatians 3:16-17). In some cases God made promises which have no human conditions, as in the case of God's promise to Hagar concerning the ARABS (Genesis 16:10, 17:20, 21:13, 18). Similarly when Paul spoke of the promise of restoration for the Jewish people, he said "the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). God the Father also made unconditional promises relating to his Son. As Paul explained, "in him every one of God's promises is a 'yes.' For this reason it is through him we say the 'Amen,' to the glory of God" (2 Corinthians 1:20). The Great Commission included "Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20), and that is true even though we often fail to do our part. The Christian faith is based on the fact that "God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God" (1 John 4:16). God promises never to stop loving us, but there are bad consequences (WRATH) as in the case of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-16) for not abidingin his love.

 PROOF Absolute proof is only possible in what philosophers call the Analytic, which includes mathematics, geometry, logic, and language (including scientific models where certainty is built into the system). In geometry there is no way Pythagoras' theorem could be wrong. Relativity is now part of scientific certainty, but there is no absolute proof that the sun will rise again tomorrow. On this web site we work with the alternative explanations (models) which individuals give for their faith such as Original Buddhism, Nazism, Marxism, Existentialism, Islam, Taoism, Trinitarian Theism . Within each kind of explanation proof is possible. For example heaven and hell are absolute certainties in Islam, but it is equally certain there is nothing after death in Marxism. There is no scientific proof of our model of Creative Love Theism in which we assume that God is love, that he forgives sin, and the Holy Spirit can perfect us for heaven. It is only when we decide to live as if love is the supreme value of life that we enjoy the certainty of faith. And say we were wrong, and God is really a monster, what would we lose by loving and enjoying love in this life? (That is called Pascal's wager). It is when you commit yourself to love and loving regardless of any absolute proof that God is love that you can begin to do something worthwhile.

PROPAGANDA At it's best, advertising in business is merely to inform customers about a product. But these days it is no different from propaganda in war. The use of the media and spin-doctors by politicians, is more subtle but just as manipulative. It can also occur in propagating a religion (see PROSELYTINGin the bad sense) when the aim is to change people's minds without their informed consent. The methods that William Sargant called BRAINWASHINGare much more violent and intrusive. They involve causing a mental BREAKDOWN (Battle of the Mind, 1957). But when people go to hear an evangelist, or watch a religious program, or attend a church service, they voluntarily choose to be persuaded.

PROPHETIC IMAGINATION The term was used as the title of Walter Brueggemann's The Prophetic Imagination, Fortress Press, 1978. In the face of Solomon's absolute MONARCHY the Old Testament prophets were charged with keeping alive "the ministry of imagination." They dared to "keep on conjuring and proposing alternative futures to the single one the king wants to urge as the only thinkable one" (p.45). Prophets "engage the promise of newness that is at work in our history with God" (p.63). Their ministry is "to bring to public expression those very hopes and yearnings that have been denied so long" (p.67). Most dictators would like their sons to continue as absolute monarchs, which is why for every totalitarian regime imagination is a danger. Prophets, artists, creative writers and poets must be suppressed. In IRAQ in the spring of 2003 a first sign that SADDAM HUSSEIN had been toppled was that the prophetic imagination was freed and artists and writers began to picture what their hopes and longings. (see DEFINITIONS, Created). A problem is that, together with true prophets, FALSE PROPHETS will also take opportunities to ply their trade. The continuing importance of the Old Testament prophets was that they created the language to describe the Son of God reigning as sovereign Lord, King, Messiah, intervening in WRATH, VINDICATION, and LOVE.

PROPHETS There were two ways in which the Old Testament prophets received their message. Some received a vision, which they described and interpreted to the people they served. Others received a tongue which seemed garbled till they could put the message into words (as explained by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:6-13). But they did not do this in vacuum. The books of Samuel and Kings were written by a school of prophets who carefully recorded their national history, and noted what kind of behavior resulted in God's wrath (bad consequences). Individual prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Minor Prophets, wrote down the messages and visions of hope which they received. In our day there are prophets who watch what God is doing in our world. It should be obvious that historical events do not happen by chance, though most people prefer to ignore this. But if we can watch and listen and pray, we may be able to see hope for the future , and save our nation from disaster.

PROPHECY When a baby is born loving parents hug, kiss, smile, provide milk, change diapers, bath, walk, settle to sleep, keep warm, and constantly talk, sing, pray. In a few years the child will know the language of their love. The Old Testament prophets also knew that God is continually communicating with us. He speaks through nature. "The heavens are telling the glory of God . . . their voice goes out through all the earth" (Psalm 19:1-4, see Romans 1:19-20). The PROPHETS wrote the historical books, and continually tried to understand how God assigns consequences (WRATH) and intervenes in our world. They also studied the written Word of God (SCRIPTURE) and commented on it. When they had VISIONS they would seek the meaning of what they had been given (as in Zechariah 1:7-9, 18; 2:1) so they could declare it to the people. A fifth method was when they received unintelligible words (called TONGUES in the New Testament) which they then interpreted in plain language. There were occasions when God revealed the future to a prophets, but Paul explained the main purpose as "those who prophesy speak to other people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation" (1 Corinthians 14:3). He went on to say that though he himself received communications in tongues, "in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue" (1 Corinthians 14:19).

PROSELYTE In Paul's day a prosylutos was someone who converted from paganism to Judaism (e.g. Acts 2:10; 6:5; 13:43). Some of these conversions were obviously a genuine desire to learn more about God as revealed in the SEPTUAGINT Greek version of the Old Testament. But in his rebuke of the theologians and Pharisees, Jesus complained "You cross sea and land to make a single convert (prosylutos), and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell (GEHENNA) as you yourselves" (Matthew 23:15). Their high pressure converting zeal obviously had very bad results (see PROSELYTIZING)

PROSELYTIZING Hindu Nationalists have complained of low caste people (see DALITS) being bribed and pressured into conversion as Christians. There is certainly some truth in the fact that some of the early converts a hundred years ago were "Rice Christians." When they were baptized, they were fed and given jobs. There are also evident advantages when untouchables are welcomed to communion as brothers and sisters in the family of God. The very impressive changes in lifestyle, social status, and new opportunities for work are documented in J.W.Pickett, Christian Mass Movements in India, Nashville: Abingdon, 1953 (see the discussion of Group Movements in Go Make Learners chapter 8 and the bibliography that follows). At their best Christian Missions give people the opportunity to evaluate the theology and social outcome of Trinitarian Theism in comparison with the religious model they inherited from their parents. And there is every evidence that after conversion Christians are loyal citizens, and make a huge contribution to the life of India, Africa, China, and every other country where churches have been planted.

PROSPERING "The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man. He was in the house of his Egyptian master, and the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field " (Genesis 39:2-3, see 30:27, 30, 43). But Jesus reminded us that prospering has its hazards. "The land of a rich man produced abundantly, and he thought to himself, 'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' Then he said, 'I will do this; I will pull down my barns and build larger ones.' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you.' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves, but are not rich towards God" (Luke 12:16-21). There is nothing like a heart attack to bring us to our senses. John Wesley used to complain that when the Holy Spirit had lifted his early Methodists out of the gutter, they soon forgot and despised those they had left behind. Wisdom is to view all our prospering (house, car, cottage, health, income) as entrusted to us by the Messiah to be invested in the work of his Kingdom.

PROSTITUTION In every culture women have allowed men to use their bodies for money. The seventh of the ten commandments prohibits ADULTERY, but sex for money is not against the moral law (see the contrast in Proverbs 6:26). There were social and health consequences, and selling one's daughter into prostitution was forbidden. Rahab the Canaanite harlot of Jericho was welcomed into the congregation of Israel (Joshua 2:1-15, 6:22-25). She is also listed in the Messiah's genealogy (Matthew 1:5) and honored among the heroes of faith (Hebrews 11:31, James 2:25). In the Old Testament what was viewed as abhorrent was the use of male and female prostitutes as part of temple worship (Deuteronomy 23:17-18, 1 Kings 14:24, 15:12, 22:46, 2 Kings 23:7, Hosea 4:13). There is no mention of these in the Gospels, but they may be referred to among Paul's Greek converts (1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:10). In the New Testament the word porneia is used both for sleeping around and prostitution. In both cases the object is to "get sex" without any continuing love or commitment. Paul points out that half an hour with a prostitute is a rudimentary marriage. "Do you not know that he who is united with a prostitute becomes one body with her?" He then quotes the marriage text "The two shall become one flesh." (1 Corinthians 6:16, Genesis 2:24). He also teaches a tenfold marriage mutuality (1 Corinthians 7:1-16) which has no room for casual sex.

PROTESTANTS In Europe all who protested against the teachings and authority of the Roman Catholic Pope were called Protestants. The term is not used for the Eastern Orthodox denominations. It was the watchword of the Orange Order in Ireland with the battle-cry of the Battle of the Boyne (1690). It is no longer a useful word since we should all be committed to studying the Bible and correcting the errors of emphasis in the past. Paul certainly protested against LEGALISM in his Epistle to the Galatians, but we do not call him a Protestant. Martin Luther protested against the offering of indulgences to buy places in heaven. And Martin Luther King was right to protest against the denial of civilrights as Americans to his Black brothers and sisters. In that sense, Pope John XXIII (1858-63) rightly protested against some of the exclusive ideas of his predecessors, and freed Roman Catholics to read the Bible in their own languages.

PROVERBS Before his wives and concubines led him into idolatry, "God gave Solomon very great wisdom, discernment, and breadth of understanding as vast as the sand on the seashore" (1 Kings 4:29, 10:23). Among his many other interests, he "spoke 3000 proverbs" (1 Kings 4:32-34), and no doubt some of these formed the basis of the Bible's Book of Proverbs (Proverbs 1:1). Later other collections were included in the book (The Wise Men, 22:17-24:34), Agur, 30:1-33, the mother of King Lemuel, 31:1-9). Proverbs are common in every country of the world. In English for example we have "a stitch in time saves nine; a fool and his money are soon parted; penny wise and pound foolish; a bird in the hand is worth ten in the bush, the road to hell is paved with good intentions; a bad workman blames his tools - the Hindi equivalent is natch na jane angan terha which means that if you can't dance you complain the floor isn't level. The way a proverb works is that we store it in our subconscious where it is ready to come up to give insight at the appropriate moment. Some object that Solomon's proverbs are not particularly "spiritual." Evidently God does not want his children to be so heavenly minded that they neglect the practical duties of life (see Proverbs Commentary)

PSALMS Three thousand years ago God inspired David, a shepherd boy who became a much loved King, to sing songs. These were written down, sung in the temple services, and added to over time (as in any modern hymn book). The zabur (Psalms) are viewed as inspired by the QUR'AN. The poetry is full of metaphor and imagery. "Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord" (Psalm 98:7-9). Our emotions are expressed including depression (42:5, 11) and despair (69:1-3; 88:3-8), terror (6:2) and helplessness (17:9-12, 22:1-7), sickness (38:3-8) and old age (71:9, 18; 92:14), penitence (103:8-14) and confession (51:1-4), but these are all constantly laced with awe, wonder, joy, gratitude, praise (33:1-3; 116:1-6; 150), and enthusiastic love for the LORD (23:1; 27:1-4). The term "steadfast love" comes again and again (5:7; 6:4; 13:5;17:7; 18:50; 21:7, etc.) and there is a psalm of 26 verses about the love of God (136:1-26). Psalm 119 has 8 verses for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet about the riches of the Word of God. We are uneasy with the calls for vengeance (58:6-8, 109:7-15 see IMPRECATORY PSALMS) and VINDICATION(9:12, 18:47, 26:1) but these are also human emotions. Obviously God wants us to be free to express our feelings to him, but happily he is not bound to do what we expect.

PSEUDO-EVENTS Daniel Boorstin wrote a satyrical account of American life in which he coined the term "pseudo-events." He described these as events which are created for the media to be propagated as facts (The Image, New York: Atheneum, 1961, p.21). The problem is that in our modern world this is less satire than reality. Dictators can reconstruct a nation's history to suit their purposes. But even in a DEMOCRACY elections can be manipulated by carefully planting pseudo-events, which people then swallow as truth based on a minimum of historical reality. Spin doctors are paid to put a spin on what would otherwise be embarrassing situations. Their art is to work with symbols which the gullible are glad to adopt (see SYMBOLIC WORLDS). How do we escape from being brainwashed by the media that impact us? Christians begin with REVELATION. We prefer to believe what God has chosen to give us as a framework for our thinking. God has created our world. He has designed us as moral beings in his image. He is love, and wants us to be perfected in love (see Creative Love). Each person is important to him, and therefore deserves our respect. The life and RESURRECTION of Jesus the Son of God assures us that DEATHis not the end, only the beginning of the life that God has prepared for us. None of these facts can be proved by logic, but if we adopt this framework for our thinking we are freed from many of the lies that are invented and propagated to confuse us.

PTOLEMAIS The ancient Phoenician port of Akko was just north of Mount Carmel. It was renamed Ptolemais by Ptolemy II (285-246). It became a Roman colony under Claudius (Emperor 41-54). A church was probably organized there by refugees from the persecution at the time of Stephen (Acts 11:19). Just after that time Paul stopped and visited with the church there in Ptolemais for a day at the end of his third overseas missionary journey (Acts 21:7). Acre (modern Akko) was occupied during the CRUSADES. After the city was lost and retaken (1290) the Crusaders deceived, and then slaughtered thousands of the Muslim garrison. By way of retaliation Akko was raised to the ground by the Muslims (1291). It was rebuilt 300 years later, and it became a British citadel (1918). It was taken by the Israelis (1948), and there is now a large residential area north-east of the old city.

PUB SONGS At its best the traditional English village pub was a place where strangers and the lonely could meet and find a welcome. At its worst men got each other drunk and sang bawdy songs abut seducing women. By contrast Paul said about a Christian gathering "Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery (Greek asotia meaning dissipation, losing control); but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything" (Ephesians 5:18-20). The contrast suggests that we are most under control when our hearts are full of THANKSGIVING.

PUBLISHING Adele Wiseman's "Thumb-nose Law" is that "the excellence of a truly original work of art is equal to the product of the initial recoil of most editors and of most critics." The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S ELIOT (1888-1965) has proved to be by far the greatest influence on modern poetry. It was written in 1910, but only gained acceptance in 1915 when Ezra Pound recognized its importance. Animal Farm by George Orwell was rejected by more than a dozen publishers in England and the United States. When it was finally published in 1945 it was translated into many languages as an exposure of the inner corruption of the Communist system. Irving Stone's story of the life of Van Gogh, Lust for Life, was rejected by the sales department of Doubleday & Co. who commented "There is no way to sell a book about an unknown Dutch painter." Lust for Life was put out by another publisher in 1934, and it is still a best seller. In 1950 Tolkien offered the Lord of the Rings to Collins, and it was returned in 1952. Allen & Unwin took two years to accept it, but the second volume was published in 1954, and the third volume a year later. Now the trilogy has gone through dozens of printings. We might wonder if any of the 66 books of the Bible would have been accepted by a publisher, though the Bible as a whole is printed in over 600 languages, and every year it sells more than any other book ever printed.

PURGATORY Although all Christians believe in the ultimate forgiveness of sins for true believers (as in the Apostles Creed) some think that we have to be absolved for our failures in this life. Roman Catholics are taught that absolution is granted after confession to a priest in the sacrament of penance. But at death some unconfessed sins remain, and we will suffer and pay for these in purgatory (as taught by Augustine, City of God, 21:13, 24). In the model commended on this web site, God is like a loving parent who assigns consequences for unacceptable behavior on earth (see WRATH). But at death we are immediately accepted into HEAVENwith our perfected RESURRECTION body (2 Corinthians 5:1-5, Philippians 1:21-23). That leaves no room for purgatory. Only those who prefer the darkness away from the love of God exclude themselves (John 3:19-21). But whether we choose heaven or eternal death there is nothing to pay. Love does not work by demanding payment.

PUT In the Table of Nations the people of Put are listed with CUSH, MIZRAIM (Egypt) and CANAAN (Genesis 10:6). They probably settled in North Africa and some of them became the MINOANSof CRETEwho probably spoke a Hamitic language (see HAM).

PUTEOLI On his final journey as a prisoner going to face trial in Rome, Paul was able to stay seven days with the church in Puteoli (Acts 28:13-14). This port (modern Puzzeoli) was on the Gulf of Naples 110 miles (176 km) south of Rome .

PYRAMIDS The great pyramids of Egypt were built during the period of the Old Kingdom (c.2700-2150 BC). ABRAHAM went down into Egypt (c.1870 BC) to escape a famine (Genesis 12:10-13:1), and must have admired these astonishing tombs of previous Pharaohs. His geat-grandson Joseph was sold as a slave into Egypt (c.1685), and when he was eventually promoted to supreme power under the Pharaoh he built storehouses of grain within sight of those already very ancient pyramids (Genesis 41:45-49). These huge structures were over a thousand years old when the children of Israel were enslaved and forced to make bricks for other building projects (Exodus 1:8-14). When Joseph and Mary escaped to Egypt to save their son from being killed by Herod (Matthew 2:13-16) Jesus may have been taken to see the pyramids when he was only two years old. There is no record in the Book of Acts that Paul ever went into Egypt. When he was a theological student in Jerusalem it would have needed a ten day journey each way to make a trip there. But Apollos, the eloquent preacher, came from Alexandria (Acts 18:24-26) which was on the coast 150 miles north of the pyramids, which he must have seen and probably mentioned in his sermons.