RACISM All of us were born into some form of racism. We learned that our tribe, our country, our race, is the best. My Father was a Scottish civil engineer. He did a good job building the West Wharf docks of the port of Karachi, Pakistan, and he treated the local people fairly. But he did not want me to grow up and think like them. So I was sent to my mother's parents in Brussels, Belgium. There my first schooling was in French But my father realized that I was becoming a Frenchman. The French have always despised the British, and the feeling is mutual. So at the age of nine I was sent to an English boarding school. And there I learned about the glory of the British Empire. We sang "Rule Britannia" and foreigners were called froggies (the French), huns (Germans), dagos (Spanish), wops (Italians), chinks (Chinese) and wogs (black skinned people). But during my five years in the Indian Army during the war I served with and under Indian officers, who were my friends, and I loved the men in my regiment. There was no way I could call them "wogs." That was God's way of beginning to undermine my own racism. In the New Testament we see how Paul changed from being a Jewish racist, and how Christians learned to welcome people of all races to their churches. But change is not easy. The Arabs and Jews have fought and hated each other for 3800 years since the time of Abraham. In heaven they will discover that God loves both those nations, and all other NATIONS totally and equally. The quicker we can learn that, the better.

RADIATION X-rays were first used to look through the human body, and pin-point broken bones or cancerous tissue. Then they proved useful in radiation therapy to destroy lesions that hindered healthy growth. At first the problem was that the radiation also killed healthy cells around the malignant growth. But slowly medical science has learned how to focus the radiation so that a minimum of damage occurs and the body can heal itself. Radiation can also be seen as a parable of the work of the Holy Spirit in pinpointing what is wrong and destroying what is harming our spiritual life. The problem is that in the long history of the church many Christians have been heavy-handed with what they think is sinful. They have tried to beat down their God-given instincts. By ruthless asceticism they have destroyed much that is God-given and creative in their lives. The art is to let the Holy Spirit do the diagnosis, and then radiate by his supernatural power what he alone can see is the root problem. Paul discovered that focusing on his FLESH(which we define as our natural instincts as they are twisted by our early upbringing) merely made him wretched (Romans 7:21-24). "To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6). This is no reason to reject the healing work of radiation for a cancer in our physical body. We can pray "Holy Spirit you can intervene to guide the doctors in the healing of my body, but you can also see what needs correcting in my spiritual life. And I can safely leave you to do your radiating work with complete assurance that you will not damage all that is good in my life."

RAMADAN The QUR'AN was first revealed to the prophet MUHAMMAD in the month of Ramadan (610AD). To honor and celebrate that event Muslims all over the world fast from dawn to dusk during that month. During the daylight hours no food, drink, smoking, or sexual intercourse is permitted, except in the case of travelers, children, pregnant and nursing mothers, the sick and the aged. In the MUSLIM calendar the ninth month of Ramadan begins at the first sighting of the new moon, and since a lunar month is on the average 29 days and twelve hours Ramadan begins about eleven days earlier each solar year. In the year 2002 for example the fast began the evening of November the 6th. In 2003 it will begin in last week of October. The fast ends with a three day holiday (id-al-fitr) which begins with the sighting of the new moon of the tenth month. The fasting in Ramadan is viewed as a time of self discipline, which can be very rigorous when the fast comes in the months of extreme heat in Arabia and north Africa. Jesus himself fasted for forty days (Matthew 4:2), and he gave instructions about fasting in secret (Matthews 6:16-18). In the church in Antioch there was fasting by the prophets and teachers before sending out Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:2, see FASTING).

RAND, Ayn (1905-1982) She was born in St. Petersburg (later called Leningrad) in Czarist Russia. In her teens she experienced the Russian Revolution (1917-18). She graduated in history at the University of Leningrad while LENIN (1870-1924) was the Communist dictator (1917-24) and she saw the emerging power of Joseph STALIN (1879-1953). At the age of 21 she emigrated to the United States (1926), where she embraced individualism and the capitalist system. Ayn Rand's first novel, We the Living (1936), pictured the oppressive horror of the Russian revolution. Other novels expressed an agnostic vision based on enlightened selfishness. They included The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957). The Virtue of Selfishness (1965) expressed this powerfully. But then she had to ask, selfishness with what goal in mind? The Romantic Manifesto (Bantam, 1971) was a collection of writings about Romanticism, which she defined as the artistic recognition that humans can make choices, adopt values, achieve goals (64, 88). This moved her from approving capitalism (as opposed to collectivism) merely as a means of freedom to considering what freedom could be used for. In that sense she provides an introduction to the fact that humans evaluate and choose among a variety of religions and ideologies (see God of Many Names chapters 1-4), and American Capitalism offers this FREEDOM of Religion in abundance.

RANSOM Jesus said "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). And many hymn writers have focused on what Jesus paid when he suffered and died for us on the cross. But it is important to remind ourselves that the purpose of ransoming a captive is to free him or her to enjoy the fullness of life. That is why Jesus looked forward to the time "when the Son will set you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36, literal translation of the future tense). As Paul explained, "For freedom the Messiah has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1). The freedom which our ransoming has given us is a freedom from the grip of sin.. "Having been set free from sin, you have become servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:18). "We are servants not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit" (Romans 7:6). "Now that you have been freed from sin and become servants of God , the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life" (Romans 6:22).

RAPE When a Hivite prince saw the daughter of Leah, "He seized her and lay with her by force." Rape is forcing a woman to have sex against her will. In this case the man's "soul was drawn to Dinah, he loved he girl, spoke tenderly to her," and said "Get me this girl to be my wife" (Genesis 34:1-4). But however much he loved her, it was still rape. Usually rape is followed by hatred for the person, as when Amnon raped his sister (2 Samuel 13:15). The most horrendous form of rape is gang rape. "The man seized his CONCUBINE, and put her out to them. They wantonly raped her, and abused her all through the night until the morning" (Judges 19:25). Date rape is when a woman shares some affection with a man, firmly drawing the line at sexual intercourse, but she is overpowered against her will. Judges then have to make the difficult distinction between seduction, which is a form of persuasion, and rape. If a girl agrees to go to a friend's bedroom, and lies cuddling with him on the bed, lawyers will argue she wanted to be forced to have sex with the man. If she was high on drugs, or too drunk to resist, it should be called rape, but a conviction might be difficult. In any case LOVEcares about the FREEDOM of the other, and rape, even in marriage, robs a woman of her freedom and dignity.

RAPTURE In the model of the second coming called PREMILLENIANISM true believers will be taken up (snatched) out of the TRIBULATION of this world before the SECOND COMING of the LORD. This is based on "We who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever" (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, which is used to explain John 14:1-3, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52). These texts are often quoted by preachers to threaten their hearers with the prospect of being left behind when their believing loved ones are raptured. There are notices on cars saying "When Jesus comes this car will be driverless" (see Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth, Zondervan, 1970, pp.136. Hal Lindsey expected that to happen by 1988, p.54). In the model used on this website there is not one SECOND COMING, but the Lord keeps coming to intervene among the nations, and this can be seen again and again in the great events of history. There seems to be a final day of the Lord when the world is terminated in a fiery conflagration (2 Peter 3:10).


RECRUITING The old-fashioned army recruiter had to find so many bodies for cannon fodder. The modern term is hiring, as if there were so many slots to be filled. But that misses the note of inspiring, inviting, and encouraging people to want to work with a LEADER. That involves the insight to avoid those who will cause future trouble in the organization. When MOSES was trying to do too much, Jethro, MOSES' father in law, gave him the right advice about DELEGATION. "Make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do. You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them" (Exodus 18:20-21). Jethro was still bound by PATRIARCHY, so he never imagined women could qualify.

REFORMATION Jesus said he would build his church (Matthew 16:18), and how it was to function and the good news it was to proclaim is set out in the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles. In the first century churches flourished by the power of the Holy Spirit. But as time went on church leaders made changes which were not in keeping with the New Testament. Reformation means reforming a person or institution according to the original intention. LUTHER was able to restore the certainty of forgiveness by GRACE alone, our freedom from LEGALISM, and the right to read the Bible in our own language. That was a very great achievement. But abuses and false emphases continually need to be reformed. Protestants maintained the authority of a one male ministry with the laity as pew sitters. It was only in the twentieth century that we began to recover the model of personal transformation by the ENERGY of the Holy Spirit, and the reformation of churches to function as a body with many gifts in each city.

REINCARNATION Some think this life is all there is. Others imagine the soul leaves the body at death and wanders around till eventually it can take birth in another body (see TRANSMIGRATION). In HINDUISM and BUDDHISM this is not good news because there is no final salvation until the soul can escape this miserable round of rebirths (samsara) by merging its life in the Absolute. If this was true it would mean that God has no future in mind for us as persons. Human personality must be terminated to attain it goal of NIRVANA. In total contrast Christians believe in the resurrection of the body to enjoy the perfected life of heaven (see ETERNAL LIFE). Jesus did not die to be reincarnated, but for forty days he showed his disciples what a resurrection body is like. We are not to be disembodied souls, but alive in perfected bodies to express our personality to the full. "Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; fora ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have" (Luke 24:39-41).

RELIGION, Comparative In books on religion, and in university courses, huge amounts of information about the history and practices of various religions are collected (as in a museum). On this website the emphasis is on trying to identify the alternative kinds of explanation that are given by individuals. If we observe people praying or meditating, singing, or gathering for instruction, many of their practices will look similar. But if we ask individuals what ultimate purpose they have in mind each person's explanatory model will be different. In that sense every person's religion or ideology is unique. These various species of explanation can be grouped and given names (as in Botany and Zoology). In our modern world ANIMISM, HINDUISM, BUDDHISM , ISLAM, MARXISM, and CHRISTIANITYare not one thing, but rather umbrella groupings for dozens of different personal faiths (goals, visions, commitments). We have no business saying "If you are a Muslim, you must believe so and so." Rather we should ask "can you help me understand what you hope to achieve (goal), what you feel hinders you from attaining that (what is wrong, or doctrine of sin), and how you intend to move from what is wrong now to the perfection you would like to attain (this method is set out in God of Many Names).


RELIGIONLESS CHRISTIANITY Alan Richardson pointed out that if the German religionclose had been translated as "unpietist" or "unchurchy" instead of "religionless" much confusion would have been avoided (The secular Meaning of the Gospel, London 1963, p.73). But BONHOEFFER's suggestions about "religionless Christianity" went much further when he wrote that "We are proceeding towards a time of no religion at all: men as they are simply cannot be religious any more" (Letters, p.91). He added that "God is teaching us that we must live as men who can get along very well without him" (Letters, p.122). Whatever Bonhoeffer meant by those statements, and whatever he offered as an alternative, we are still left with the fact that humans continue to use at least 24 explanatory models to explain why they commit themselves to one of a variety of religions and ideologies (God of Many Names chapters 2-4). One of those is Jesus' good news about a loving Creator (see Creative Love) who gives us the freedom to reject the pious practices required by the Pharisees. He did found a church (Matthew 16:18) but it was a gathering to learn freedom and the power of the Holy Spirit.


RENAISSANCE (Latin renesus meaning renewal or revival). As a result of the Arab advance to the gates of Paris (732) and the disasters of the CRUSADES (1095-1270), Christians in Europe discovered the magnificent Islamic civilization of the BAGHDAD Caliphate (786-1258). Soon universities were founded in Constantinople (863), Bologna (c.1100), Paris (1150), Oxford (1167), Cambridge (1209). They discovered the works of ARISTOTLE and other Greek writers which were copied in the monasteries and taught by the DOMINICANS. The translation of the New Testament into English by WYCLIFFE (c.1329-84) and the preaching of the LOLLARDS enabled ordinary people to begin questioning the authority of the papacy. Meanwhile the wealth of Italian cities like Florence and Venice provided vast sums by way of patronage for Artists, explorers, scientists, and inventors such as Michelangelo (1475-1564), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). Philosophically the emphasis changed from the rule of the church to the humanism of Erasmus (1469-1536). His Greek and Latin version of the New Testament (1516) was published in the year before the beginning of the REFORMATION(1517).

REPENTANCE It is often suggested that repentance is a deep conviction of one's sin and unworthiness . But the experience of contrition is usually a later fruit of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. FAITH is a direction of looking, and the root meaning of repentance is turning (conversion) to look in the right direction and begin learning as a disciple (1 Thessalonians 1:9). This was why in the New Testament a turning to be baptized could be immediate (John 4:1, Acts 2:41, 8:12, 38, 9:18, 16:14-15, 33). It is only later, as a result of learning from the Holy Spirit, that there is a realization of how much needs changing, and the inability to do what is required in one's own strength (as Paul experienced in Romans 7:14-24). For a fuller explanation of the difference between repentance and the later contrition (see Go Make Learners chapter 4.) An essential part of church growth principles is that as soon as a group is ready to turn and begin learning the Christian faith they should be baptized and be formed into a church for the Holy Spirit to teach them. This is important in our day as many of the DALIT people seek to find freedom from the caste system. If there is a delay to enforce a deep conviction of sin and change of behavior, the harvest will be lost, as has happened in the work of many overzealous missionaries.

RESPONSIBILITY There was an important job to be done and anybody could have done it, but nobody did it because everybody thought it was somebody else's responsibility. We assume that this is how the world works and the only solution is to make strict rules for every organization, and punish those who don't obey them. But how does responsibility work in a church congregation? We are a community of volunteers, and nobody is forced to do anything. In every city there are thousands of jobs that the Messiah would like the members of his church to do. Some try to persuade others to do his work by making them feel guilty, but Paul totally rejected LEGALISM as a motivation. What he did was to give a VISION of the church (see CHURCH, Body). The vision includes a rich variety of gifts, services, and activities (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). "All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses" (1 Corinthians 12:11). Nobody is forced to do anything, but those who are open to the Holy Spirit find themselves longing to do what they enjoy doing. And REVIVAL occurs when Christians are freed to begin doing that.  I have been helped by the words of J. B. Phillips "Our strength lies in quietness and confidence, not in frantic challenges, and hysterical efforts. The world remains primarily God's responsibility, and the best we can do is to find out our own part in his vast purpose and make sure that we are fulfilling that to the limit of our ability" (Making Men Whole, 1952, London: Collins Fontana Books, 1955, p.20). In prayer I feel free to say "I can't cope with that terrible situation. That's your problem. Just show me what I can enjoy doing, and I will leave you to be concerned about the rest."

RESTING Outside Christ Church, Kingston there is a tombstone with the man's name and dates on one side and a large RESTING on the back. I told the people that when I died I didn't want "resting" put on my stone. They could put "having a whale of a time!" After living under great pressure, or suffering chronic and excruciating pain, it is good to look forward to "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away." But our Christian hope is not doing nothing for ever and ever. It is making our own contribution to the life and excitement of the city of God (Revelation 21:3-4, 22-26). Jesus said "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2). We need our own place for peace and quiet, but we want to go out from it to enjoy our friends and engage in creative activities. It is time we updated "Rest in Peace" from our funeral services to "Enter into the joys heaven."

RESTITUTION The legal right to restitution for damages was carefully provided for by Jewish law (Exodus 21:22-27, 30-36; 22:1-5, 10-15). Citizens have similar rights to restitution and payment of damages in all civilized societies. But Jesus ruled that in cases of personal insult it was much better to turn the other cheek (see EYE FOR EYE). What is never right is taking revenge into one's own hands (VENGEANCE). We can add that part of genuine REPENTANCE is making a voluntary restitution for any we have wronged. When Zacchaeus came down from the tree, and invited Jesus to his house, he said "If I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much" (Luke 19:8).

RESURRECTION Whereas the Sadducees (mainly priests and others connected with the temple) did not believe in the resurrection, the Pharisees said there would be a resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:8). Till then those who died would remain in Sheol (the abode of the dead, Greek Hades). But Jesus said of himself "The hour is coming when all in their graves will hear his voice and will come out" (John 5:28-29, see SHEOL) and this was fulfilled when Jesus'corpse was still on the cross (see PARADISE). As a result death as a waiting period in Sheol was terminated for ever. When we die we are resurrected directly into heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Philippians 1:23-24, 3:21 - the Lord comes for us the moment we die). This means that there is a judgment and consequences for what we do in this life (see WRATH) but there is no resurrection to a last judgment (as believed in ISLAM and some Christian preachers who threaten us with eternal damnation). There is however a krisis that divides those who love the light of God from those who prefer eternal darkness (John 3:19-21). Christian faith in the resurrection of the body is nothing to do with the REINCARNATIONof disembodied spirits.

RESURRECTION, Appearances For a possible outline of Jesus' resurrection appearances on successive Sundays see "Eight Sundays from Easter to Pentecost."

RESURRECTION, Third day Mark records that Jesus made at least four announcements of his imminent death on the cross (Mark 8:31, 9:12, 31, 10:34). In three of these prophecies Jesus said "They will kill him, and three days after being killed he will rise again" (as Matthew and Luke, and 1 Corinthians 15:4). There is therefore unanimous agreement about a third day resurrection. And it was the resurrection body of Jesus that met with the disciples in a recognizable form over a period of forty days (Acts 1:3). When was that resurrection body of Jesus given to him? It is commonly assumed that the Spirit reconstituted Jesus' dead body only after three days on the first Easter morning. In the model used on this website Jesus was immediately raised by the Spirit ("today you will be with me in paradise") while his corpse was still on the cross (see SHEOL). That means his discarded corpse was laid in a grave where Jesus had it disintegrated (leaving the grave clothes behind) to avoid it being venerated. Paul tells us that Jesus' bodily resurrection is a prototype of our resurrection. "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised the Messiah from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you" (Romans 8:11). In one view our dead body lies in the grave till it is reconstituted by the Spirit one day in the future. We prefer to picture our earthly body being disintegrated in the grave or by cremation, but the moment we die we have already received our resurrection body (2 Corinthians 5:1-6) and Jesus immediately comes to welcome us to the place he has prepared for us (John 14:2-3).

RESURRECTION of the Body The New Testament writers had no doubt that Jesus rose from the dead and he appeared for forty days with a recognizable body that could walk, talk, and eat with them (see RESURRECTION Appearances). In the Apostles' Creed we declare our faith in "The resurrection of the body." In his great chapter on the Resurrection Paul explained that after being sown in the ground every seed is resurrected as a body, and "to each kind of seed its own body . . . So it is with the resurrection of the dead" (1 Corinthians 15:35-44). For a sermon on the topic see "Funeral Meditation." And for a model to explain how the body could be reconstituted after its total disintegration see "My Android Helen."

RETALIATION When we have been unjustly harmed the first reaction is to say "I will get him for that." At its worst this becomes VENGEANCE (see EYE FOR EYE). There is nothing wrong with our initial anger, but Paul said "Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down upon your wrath" (Ephesians 4:26). The art is to cool down before going to bed that night. But that does not deny our right the next day to seek redress in a court of law (see RESTITUTION), as is necessary in cases of business fraud, automobile accidents, and divorce settlements.

REVELATION There is a general revelation of God as Creator. "The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1). As Paul said, "Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are , have been understood and seen through the things he has made" (Romans 1:20). There is also a revelation of God's wisdom by the Spirit (James 1:5, 3:17). And however ignorant people are of the Word of God, the light of the Son of God always "shines in the darkness" (John 1:5, 9). People either love that light or hate it, and could ultimately prefer the darkness of eternal death (John 3:19-21). When individuals or nations reject that light (as in Romans 1:19-32) they come under wrath (bad consequences in this life) but that is to help them turn to the light. What the Gospels record is the special revelation of the Son of God taking birth among us, and we were able to see his glory in a human life, death and resurrection (John 1:14). When we believe that good news we have wonderful assurance of God's love. Others only know that light dimly, and can respond to it, but they lack our assurance of forgiveness and eternal salvation.

REVENGE Already in the law of Moses we read "You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people" (Leviticus 19:18). Instead of personal RETALIATION, people had recourse to the judges for JUSTICE and proper RESTITUTION. Where the justice system failed (as is the case in many countries), people had the right of appeal to God
for VINDICATION (as in Psalms 9:4 17:2; 26:1, 35:23-24; 37:6). But it was never right to take justice into one's own hands. This is why Paul wrote "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God" (Romans 12:19). And he quoted the law of Moses "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord" (Deuteronomy 32:35). God's vengeance on our behalf is never a vicious personal revenge. But he does intervene in due course by assigning WRATH (bad consequences here on earth). And it is our right to demand it when we are deprived of justice (see IMPRECATORY PSALMS), but happily God does not have to give us exactly what we ask for.

REVIVAL When deadness has begun to set into something that was alive, revival is the renewing of that life. Plant and animal life can be renewed by receiving water. A human body can be revived by breathing OXYGENinto the blood stream. Which is why both water and inbreathing are both used as images of the HOLY SPIRIT. The word revival (renewal) is correctly used to describe new life coming into a local congregation by the Holy Spirit, or in a wider sense into the life of the church in a city. It is quite wrong to say "We are going to have a revival here on such and such a date," as if the Holy Spirit could be programmed by human decision and artificial excitement. Spiritual life is always the result of prayer. "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13) Some church signs announce "there will be a revival here Friday to Sunday." This is then carefully organized. There is advertising, and helpers are trained. A song leader prepares people to respond to the preacher, and success is measured by how many people come forward to accept the Lord, or accept prayer for healing. But reviving means the coming to life of what was in danger of dying. In the New Testament the specific kind of life that is in mind is the organic life of a CHURCH Body that meets under many different names in a city. Success is measured not by numbers who are added to the roll of a particular congregation, or by money for new buildings. What counts is how many people are freed to become effective MEMBERS of the one church of the Messiah in that place (see EVANGELISM, EMPOWERMENT).

REVOLUTION When there is a radical change in a nation or institution, we call it a revolution. The industrial revolution changed England from an agricultural society to one that was run by factories and heavy industries. The French revolution (1789-99) made France a republic, and the Russian revolution (1917) prepared the ground for eighty years of communist rule. As a result of the life and preaching of Jesus, a moral revolution has impacted one country after another over the past 2000 years. Lepers are healed. Slavery, caste, and class are no longer approved. Democracy is toppling tyrants. Women are being freed from subservience (see MARRIAGE, Mutuality). Children have a right to a home, freedom from abuse, and free education. Hospitals should be accessible to anyone. The love of enemies, and care for the poor, the handicapped, and the downtrodden are ideals that have begun to surface. In all these areas churches have acted as pilot projects. And best of all there is forgiveness, freedom from guilt, and death is no longer seen as the end. There have been many failures and much remains to be done, but we have a direction of progress and hope for the future. CONVERSIONis a person's own revolution, either for good (as with PAULor LEWIS or BROW see Autobio) or evil (see God of Many Names).

REVOLUTIONS, Scientific see KUHN

REWARD In Jesus' parable of the talents the reward depends on the proper use of the talents of each servant (Matthew 25:20-22), but in the parable of the laborers, they all got the same daily wage as a reward (Matthew 20:13-15). Paul wrote "If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw - the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built upon the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss: the builder will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Corinthians 3:12-14). Here the Day is the day of testing, and for all of us there come days when the quality of our work is tested. C.S.Lewis preached in a sermon (1941) "A general who fights well in order to get a peerage is a mercenary; a general who fights for victory is not, victory being the proper reward of battle as marriage is the proper reward of love. The proper rewards are not simply tacked on to the activity for which they are given, but are the activity itself in consummation" (printed in The Weight of Glory, The MacMillan Company, 1949, Chapter 1). The reward seems to be in the satisfaction of doing the work well, not just the money or the hope of a special place in heaven..

RHODES One of the Seven Wonders of the World was the Colossus of Rhodes. This was a huge bronze statue of Helios the sun-god on an arch that straddled the entrance to the harbor (modern Mandraki) . It only survived 65 years till it was toppled by an earthquake (227 BC). A thousand years later it was retrieved from the harbor and broken up by the Saracens (ARABS). It required 980 camels to deliver the brass fragments to EDESSA in Syria. During his third overseas missionary journey, Paul's ship "came by a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes" (Acts 21:1), but there is no record of him planting a church there. . Rhodes is now a very popular tourist destination in the Greek Dodecanese islands off the south-west coast of Turkey.

RIGHTEOUSNESS In the Old Testament there was a clear distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous. "The Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish" (Psalm 1:6). "The perverse are an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are his delight" (Proverbs 3:32). The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence" (Proverbs 10:11). Similarly John's Epistle distinguishes those who have been born again as children of God and those who are still children of the devil. This is not a question of physical or legal relationship, but of two quite different directions of life. The work of Satan is "sinning from the beginning" (1 John 3:8), which is a deliberate delight in lies, malicious accusation, creating guilt, murderous hatred, pride, mocking, dividing families, and the final darkness of death (as in Proverbs 6:17-19). This dark direction of life is impossible for those who have the seed of eternal life (1 John 3:9). The children of God (like the children of any human family) are still imperfect in many ways (1:8, 10). But they have been put right (Romans 5:1,see JUSTIFICATION) by the Spirit. "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us" (Romans 5:5).

RIGHTS "Mediaeval society was held together by a complex network of reciprocal rights and duties, and the idea of human rights in general, apart from this web of reciprocal duties and rights would have been unintelligible" (Leslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: the Gospel and Western Culture, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1986, p.26). Similarly "There is no way in which the idea of human rights could have been expressed in Classical or Mediaeval Hebrew, Greek, or Arabic" (quoting Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue, London: Duckworth, 1981, p.123). Newbigin adds that in our modern world the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is assumed, but "Who is under the obligation to honor that claim?" (p.27). This question is answered by "totalitarian ideologies that use the power of the state to extinguish the rights of the living for the sake of the supposed happiness of the unborn" (p.28). Christians know that we have no inherent right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. These rights are graciously given to us as children of God with a view to their perfection in the City of God.

RIGHTS, Foregoing Many people assume that rights somehow belong to us inherently as humans. But even basic rights to life or property can be taken away by a ruthless power. We only have rights when they are given to us by law or in a constitution, or a declaration of human rights. Often rights had to be fought for by the people themselves or because people cared. Slaves were given the right to be free. Women were given the right to vote. Other rights for women are being fought for all over the world. Martin Luther King marched and died to obtain civil rights for Black people. A characteristic of Old Testament law was the astonishing stress on rights for ALIENS, WIDOWS, ORPHANS, and the POOR.  Even the rights of ANIMALSto rest one day a week was recognized (Exodus 20:10). In the New Testament people were given the right to eat any food that suited them. People of all races were given the right to be welcomed to Christian communion. But in an important chapter Paul wrote about the voluntary foregoing of rights (1 Corinthians 9:12, 15, 18). Peter and other apostles were married but Paul gave up this right so he could do his work (1 Corinthians 9:5). He also gave up the right to earn his own living, and became dependent on his churches (1 Corinthians 9:6-15). Any kind of voluntary service, or care for others, involves the giving up of rights to our time and comfort.

RITUAL All nations have rituals for birth, marriage, and death. But what happens when these are ignored? A baby coming home from hospital is no more celebrated than a pet from the pound. Marriage is an afterthought. And funeral directors tell me that the most common instruction is "Get rid of the body. We don't want to be there, or anyone else." Like the ritual of saying "thank you" appropriate words enable us to express our appreciation. The rituals of a banquet or ballroom dancing enrich the occasion. Bedtime and birthday rituals are very important for children. And no army can survive without parade. A school without rituals is a zoo. The problem with rituals is when they become a chore. We have to work at them to keep them alive. Among Christians the heart of our rituals is the communion service. We are thankful, we celebrate new birth, death and resurrection. There is a parade, a procession, a banquet, singing and dancing, concern for others. The Messiah allows us to engage in this ritual in any way people choose to do it, and we can keep enriching it in wonderful ways. "Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the manner of some, but encouraging one another" (Hebrews 10:24-25). That is what good ritual is about.

RIVER Civilizations have been nourished by great rivers: Ancient Egypt by the Nile, the Sumerian and Islamic civilizations by the Tigris and Euphrates , China by the Yang-tze-kiang, the Indus valley civilization by the Indus, North India by the Ganges, North America by the Mississipi and the St. Lawrence. Germany had the Rhine, England the Thames, France the Seine, Russia lived from the Volga, and right now Brazil is prospering on the Amazon. But spiritual life is by the river of the Holy Spirit. It flows from the temple to sweeten the stagnant waters (Ezekiel 47:1, 7-9, see Psalm 46:4). In the New Testament the TEMPLE is Jesus' body, the church of the Spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22). Jesus said "the water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life" (John 4:14). "As the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from his koilia (belly, womb, John 7:38). John added "He said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive" (7:39) . In the last book of the Bible "the river of the water of life" gives the fruits of the Spirit and healing in the city of God (Revelation 22:1-2).


ROCK Already in the Old Testament the names of the Messiah Son of God appear as paradoxical opposites: King and Servant, Lion and Lamb, Father and Little Child, Shepherd and Sacrifice, Rock and Tender plant. Often a cleft in a rock provided a hiding place. So David sang "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge" (2 Samuel 22:1, Psalm 71:3). The name Rock also speaks of steady justice. "The Rock, his work is perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God, without deceit, just and upright is he" (Deuteronomy 32:4, see I Samuel 2:2, Psalm 92:15). This is why the Lord is "the Rock of Israel" (Isaiah 30:29), and they should "look to the Rock from which you were hewn" (Isaiah 51:1, see Psalm 78:35). Jesus picked this up to contrast those who build their life on his teaching, and those whose house is built on sand (Matthew 7:24, see Psalm 40:2). When Jesus called him to be a disciple, Simon was given the name Cephas (Aramaic kepha meaning rock). And Jesus reminded him of this when he was appointed to be the leader of the apostles. "You are Peter (Greek Petros) and on this rock (Greek petra) I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). Could we say that those whose house is built on the rock in turn become a rock for others?

ROMAN CATHOLIC The Greek word katholicos (meaning general, universal) does not appear in the New Testament. It refers to the CHURCH that Jesus is building throughout the world (Matthew 16:18). The Epistles of PAUL are addressed to churches in each of the main cities, and in each of these there were various congregations meeting in homes within walking distance (as in Romans 16:3-15). By the sixth century, city churches were grouped by languages under five patriarchs in Jerusalem (Hebrew), Antioch (Syriac), Alexandria (Coptic), Constantinople (Greek), and Rome (Latin). The Patriarch in Rome was called the Pope (Papas in Greek, Papa in Latin).. Popes gradually took on the title of Pontifex Maximus (Supreme Pontiff), and claimed authority over all Christians everywhere. As a result there is a DENOMINATION of the universal church called Roman Catholic with its head office in Rome. And to preserve its claim to authority it refuses to accept Christians of other denominations to the Lord's Table. It differs from all other denominations in requiring CELIBACY for its priests (but see UNIAT for exceptions to this). Under Pope John XXIII (1958-63) the Second Vatican council allowed each country to worship in their own language (instead of Latin).

ROMAN CULTURE After Rome became a Republic (510 BC), LATIN (the Italic branch of the INDO-EUROPEANlanguages) was standardized as the language of the Empire, and a Code of Roman law was drawn up (451 BC). As republicans, Roman citizens were clean shaven and wore a simple toga. The empire depended on slaves for many tasks. Other people, such as Jews, were counted as inferior, but those who were citizens had important rights and advantages (see Acts 21:39, 22:25-29). When people were baptized, and became members of Christian churches, Paul the converted Roman citizen said, "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave of free, there is no longer male or female" (Galatians 3:28). Christians also refused to worship the Emperor, and this could result in the death penalty. It also meant that Christians refused to burn incense to Caesar, and so could not serve as soldiers in the Roman legions. The idea that someone who was crucified under Roman law could have an important message for Romans at first sight seemed absurd. That is why Paul and other preachers had to keep explaining the meaning of the crucifixion.

ROMAN EMPERORS Some references to Roman emperors and local governors help us locate the New Testament in its historical situation:

27 BC- 14 AD Augustus Jesus born (5 BC?) under Herod (47 BC - 4 BC, Matthew 2, Luke 2).

14-37 AD Tiberius Pilate (governor 26-36 AD, Luke 3:1-3, Jesus crucified in AD 29?)

37-41 AD Caligula Herod Agrippa I, king in Judea (41-44 AD, Acts 12:1, 20-23)

41-54 AD Claudius Felix (52-58 AD governor in Caesarea, Acts 23:24-25, 24:27)

54-68 AD Nero Festus (58-62 AD governor in Caesarea, Acts 24:27, 25:1,13)

68-69 AD Galba Wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6-7)

69-79 AD Vespasian Titus destroyed Jerusalem (AD 70, Matthew 24, Mark 13).

Other very tentative dates include Paul's conversion (c.35 AD, Acts 9); the first missionary journey (c.46-47 AD, Acts 13-14); the Council of Jerusalem (c.48 AD, Acts 15); second journey (c.48-51 AD, Acts 15:40-18:21); Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome (49 AD, Acts 18:1-3); the third journey (c.53-57 AD, Acts 19-20); Herod Agrippa II (reigned 44-70 AD, Acts 25:13-26:32); Paul's journey to Rome (c.59-61 AD, Acts 27); Paul imprisoned in his own lodgings in Rome (c.61-63, Acts 28:31-33). I believe Luke was sent back to Ephesus with the Book of Acts before Paul was put in jail and martyred under Nero (64 AD). The death of Nero was followed all over the empire by terrible wars and confusion (tribulation, Matthew 24:6-7, 21-22, Mark 13:7-8, 18-20). Before his crucifixion (c.30 AD) Jesus clearly predicted his PAROUSIA in a DAY OF THE LORD to destroy the temple and city of Jerusalem in that generation. That happened exactly 40 years later in AD 70 (see ADVENT)

ROME Romulus (from the ETRUSCANS?) founded the city (753 BC). It grew as seven villages on seven hills to the east of the Tiber, each with its own king. This system failed, and a republic was set up (510 BC). It was ruled by a Senate and two Consuls. Rome defeated Carthage in the Punic Wars (264-146 BC). Roman roads fanned out in all directions for the legions to move rapidly to control the empire. Rome took over Macedonia (146 BC). Pompey (106-48 BC) annexed Syria and Palestine (66 BC). Greece became part of the empire. (27 BC). Julius Caesar (101 - 4 BC) had conquered Gaul (58-51 BC), and crossed the Rubicon into Italy (49 BC) to become Dictator (48 BC). Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt (51-30 BC) was the mistress of both Caesar and Mark Antony (who became head of the eastern provinces in 42 BC). Caesar Augustus became the first Roman Emperor (27 BC-14 AD). One of his vassals was Herod the Great (King of Judea, 47 BC - 4 BC), in whose time Jesus was born (c. 5 BC). Tiberius (14-37 AD) was Augustus' adopted son. Claudius (Emperor 41-54) brought the Celtic tribes of Britain under Roman rule (43 - 410). He expelled the Jews from Rome (49-50, Acts 18:2). Nero was Emperor (54-68) while Paul was in prison (57-62, Acts 24:28). Vespasian attacked and took Galilee (67 AD). At this time there were "wars and rumors of wars" (Matthew 24:6-8) and Samaria fell to the Romans (68 BC). Christians saw Jerusalem surrounded and escaped the siege (Matthew 24:16) before the destruction of the temple (AD 70). See ROMAN CATHOLIC, ROMAN EMPERORS, ROMAN CULTURE.

ROOM A room is a place we can occupy. And the innkeeper earned his living by hospitality, which is giving room to people. His job was to provide a place to eat and drink, party, sleep, have a baby. So what do you do when you have no room? You find room. "Mary laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn" (Luke 2:7). A stable is better than nothing, and a manger is really quite a good room for a baby. Happily the innkeeper didn't have to ask "What do you give to a person who has everything?" He might have rushed around to buy a fancy toy for such a baby to play with. Giving room for God was more than enough for his place in history.

ROSES Poets claim "My love is like a red-red rose" and "roses are red, and violets are blue." But they forget that roses can also be yellow. To be scientifically correct, in the family of Rosaceae (erect, climbing or creeping shrubs, usually with prickles) in the genus rosa, Cistus incanus creticus cv is the precise scientific DEFINITION for a Pink Rock Rose. Botanists claim that in the great love song of the Bible the girl called herself a flower of the genus Asphodelus, but I prefer the King James Version "I am a rose of Sharon" (Song of Solomon 2:1). We give roses to show our love and appreciation, but who would give an Asphodel? . In English history the House of York and Lancaster picked the rose for their heraldic emblem. And when they fought like cats, it was called the Wars of the Roses. But I am proud of my college crest which has three roses and a chevron pointing up to a lion (who of course must be ASLAN). I have the hunch that it would be impossible for a rose grower to be an ATHEIST. I am sure there will be roses in heaven, perhaps with the thorns to indicate they are to be appreciated, not eaten by wild beasts. I admit I don't have the patience to grow roses, but I praise God when I see a rose in a neighbor's garden, and can go up to it, bend down and smell it. Like wines, roses should be classified by their bouquet (distinctive perfume), and image of God humans should have a FRAGRANCE. But Paul said some might not like our aroma (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).

ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques (1718-78) Rousseau was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and wrote in French. He glorified nature and all that was natural. This included the idea that before the advent of civilization tribal people were unspoiled as noble savages. As opposed to traditional ideas of ORIGINAL SIN, he believed in the fundamental goodness of human nature. His explanatory model was a form of DEISMwithout any of the distinctive doctrines of Christian faith. .His political ideas developed in his Discours sur l'origine de l'inegalite (1755), Julie ou la Nouvelle Heloise (1762) and Le Contra Social (1762) influenced the French Revolution (1789-1793) and modern theories of DEMOCRACY. In his book Emile (1762) he argued the need to free children to develop their own creativity. This has influenced every area of our modern theories of education. But Emile also argued that women are formed by nature to please men and live in subjection to them. If women are given any liberty, they will misuse it.

ROYAL PRIESTHOOD Jesus said "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church" and he gave him KEYS to open for the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:16-19). As the church grew into a world-wide temple in every city he wrote "Like living stones, be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a royal priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices" (1 Peter 2:5,9). MELCHIZEDEK was a priest King of Jerusalem, and our Messiah Priest-King is "high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 6:19). And every Christian is called to be a PRIEST in the Messiah's royal priesthood to serve people in every city of the world.

RUSSIA Vladimir I, Grand Prince of Kiev (980-1015), decided Poland would be Christian and was baptized (985 AD). There was a set-back when the Mongols burned Kiev and massacred the inhabitants (1240). But Russian power began to increase after Ivan IV (the terrible) was crowned in Moscow as the first Czar (1547). Peter I (the Great) founded St. Petersburg (later called Leningrad) in 1703, and transformed Russia into a European nation. Napoleon invaded Russia and his army had to retreat in disorder (1812), Serfdom was abolished (1861) but the excesses of the Czars were ended when the Czar Nicholas abdicated (1917). LENIN (1870-1924) became the premier of an atheistic Bolshevik government (1918-21). The USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was formed (1922). After Lenin's death Stalin (1879-1953) gained total control (1929). He initiated the collectivization of the farms, and by means of the KGB (secret police) and the GULAG (death camps) he purged all opponents (1936-38). The failed invasion of AFGHANISTAN (1979) began the erosion of Russian power in the cold war. With the fall of the iron curtain the power of Communism was broken (1989), and the disintegration of the USSR soon followed. After 70 years of atheism millions flocked back into the RUSSIAN ORTHODOXChurches.

RUSSIA, Leningrad Peter I, the Great (Czar 1682-1725 ) took over absolute power (1689). He defeated the Turks (see OTTOMAN Empire), then defeated Sweden (1709) to gain access to the Baltic. He built St. Petersburg as a European city, transferred the capital from Moscow (1713), and transformed Russia into a European nation. After the revolution (1917) LENIN moved the capital back to Moscow (see RUSSIA, Moscow), and renamed St. Petersburgh as Leningrad. .

RUSSIA, Moscow The ancient capital of Russia was Kiev (see RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH). After the fall of Constantinople (1453) the Patriarchate of Moscow (Russian Moskva) assumed the leadership of Orthodoxy, and he crowned Ivan IV (the terrible) as the first Czar of Russia (1547). Moscow was the capital of Russia till PETER THE GREAT (1672-1725) became Czar of all RUSSIA(1689), founded St. Petersburg , and transferred the capital there (1713). Moscow University was founded 1775. Napoleon's troops took Moscow in 1812, and the city was mostly destroyed by fire before they had to retreat. After the revolution (1917) LENIN again made Moscow the capital of Russia (1917). The mediaeval citadel was called the Kremlin, located between the Moskva River and the Red Square. It became the seat of government for Russia, and later of the U.S.S.R.

RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH Founded after the baptism of Vladimir I (980-1015) the Russian Orthodox is the largest of the family of Orthodox churches. It was centered in the monasteries of Kiev, but after the fall of Constantinople (1453) the Patriarchate of Moscow assumed the leadership of Orthodoxy. But Peter the Great (Czar 1682-1725) abolished the patriarchate, and made the Russian Orthodox church a department of the state. In the revolution (1917) the church was dismantled as an integral part of the old Czarist regime. After 70 years of atheism, with the fall of the iron curtain (1989) and the end of Russian Communism, people flocked back to the churches. Meanwhile evangelical groups had met underground throughout the reign of Stalin, and when they were joined by missionaries from the west, the Russian Orthodox priests did their best to maintain their authority.

RUSSIAN REVOLUTION The seeds of the Russian Revolution (1917) had been sown by the oppression of the peasants, the weakening of the middle class, and the corruption of the Czars with the support of the Russian Orthodox churches. Under LENIN(1917-24) the Czarist MONARCHY was replaced by what MARXISM called "the dictatorship of the proletariat." In theory the power of the state and the judicial system would wither away and usher in an era in which ordinary people would give according to their ability and receive according to their needs. There was also a change in the religious model. In spite its many faults the RUSSIAN ORTHODOX churches had provided the CEREMONY needed for civilization, the RITUAL needed for the occasions of birth, marriage, sickness, death, and the teaching of values such as compassion and the respect for individuals. As opposed to this Christian undergirding of society, MATERIALISM offered an explanation for all human behavior and a means of evaluating human life merely in terms of usefulness.