Places to visit in the British Isles

If you feel so inclined and wish to leave a message with my PhD passed article, please do so here. Thank you!

PhD passed

I am still quite tired from my United States, Netherlands, Wales and England trip. My sleep apnea makes it worse. I am working on getting materials for revisions and should have more energy soon.

I will try (no promises) and produce four articles between thekingpin68 and satire and theology each month and so half of what I produce now. I will be quite busy with revisions, and then finding work and then working full-time from now on.

While on the trip my good friend Mr. X suggested that since I was teasing him about not taking his wife to many places, while he was playing the Wii, that I should write an article concerning romantic places in the United Kingdom to visit. Well, let us make it the British Isles so I can include Dublin.

Please note Mr. X is a very smart and diligent worker outside of Wii!

Mr. X and his wife LX reason I am romantic. That is difficult for me to know as I have basically been married to theses for ten years and degrees for eighteen. After these PhD revisions are done and the degree is on my wall I will seek a divorce.

I suppose I do have some female admirers on and off-line, but a few of them are under 5 years old and see me as Russ the big dumb teddy bear/big dumb monsta.

But I do love those little critters.

I have visited the British Isles nine times and lived in the United Kingdom for two years. Here is my take.


For a break from all the 'luvvy', gushy stuff, take your sweetheart to a football match in Manchester (United, United, United, United, or City), Liverpool (Liverpool or Everton), Birmingham (Aston Villa, and no this is not in Alabama!), Leeds (Leeds FC has tanked and now dropped down from the Premier League and so tickets will be cheaper).


London, England:

Go and see Arsenal of course.;)



'Visit the Big Ben.
Photograph the Thames River.
Take a river cruise on the Thames.
Visit the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. You can take a river cruise to get there!
Ride on the London Eye, the largest ferris wheel in the world.
Stop by Grosvenor Square.
Immerse yourself in culture at the British Museum.
Watch a Broadway show.
Buy gifts for friends and family at the over 300 shops located on Oxford Street.
Stroll down The Mall, a road that leads to the Buckingham Palace.
Visit the Buckingham Palace.
Experience the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Hike up the geometric staircase at a St. Paul's Cathedral tour.
Take a bus through one of London's largest transportation hubs: Victoria Station.
Pub much? Be sure to visit one of the J.D Wetherspoon chain pubs.
Take the London Underground: These trains have cushioned seats and there's a nice LED display overhead that gives riders the estimated time for the next train.
Make sure to "mind the gap."
Go on the Circle Line ... in a circle. (I did this in college.)
Witness the fountains in Trafalgar Square, or photograph the great Christmas tree that is erected during the winter months.
Tour the Tower of London, where you can see the very precious Crown Jewels. '

Durham, England

I visited here in 1997 and almost signed with Durham for the PhD program following. A very impressive area esthetically.



'Durham Cathedral is a wonderful reminder of the age of the Prince Bishops. The cathedral was founded in 995 by monks from Lindisfarne who had fled their island home when the Danish Vikings came calling. The monks needed a home for the relics of St. Cuthbert, and they built a superb church on a rise above a bend of the River Wear. The church built by Cuthbert's followers was pulled down by the second bishop of Durham when the present building was begun in 1093.

The nave is astonishing; the relatively slender composite piers alternate with massive drum columns. In this building the three main innovations of the revolutionary Gothic style come together; pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses (hidden above the aisle vaults). Durham is one of the high points of cathedral architecture in this or any other land. For a final tribute to Saint Cuthbert, see the items discovered in his coffin, now on display in the upper library.

Not to be outdone by the cathedral is Durham Castle, begun in 1073 to house the Prince Bishops in style. Essentially a motte and bailey design, the castle has been much altered over the years. The Norman Chapel within the castle, with its sandstone arches and carved capitals, is a superb example of Romanesque architecture. In 1837 the last Count Palatine (Prince Bishop) granted the castle to Durham University, and it now serves as a residence for students. During summer university holidays visitors may stay in the castle.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Some of the local bus drivers may provide you with a wee bit of a wild ride, especially if you are standing up.

I almost signed up with Edinburgh for my PhD program, but the man I was willing to work with left.



'Welcome to Edinburgh and the Lothians, where the buzz of Scotland's capital city sits in perfect contrast to the peaceful tranquility of the surrounding Lothians region.

Edinburgh has one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world, making it the ideal city break destination. With Scotland's most famous castle dominating the city skyline, there is plenty to see and do with the perfect balance between all things traditional and contemporary.

Discover world-class museums and galleries, take a tour on an open-top bus or even visit the city's own zoo. From the world famous Festivals to top-class restaurants and bars, not to mention fabulous shopping, you'll be spoilt for choice.'

Dublin, Ireland

I really enjoyed the bus tour here. It is very classy historical city in my opinion. I did not enjoy having the lady run in front me of while trying to jump into the River Liffy and perhaps killing herself. I managed to talk her out of it until the police came. Her baby was in a carriage across the street.

I overlooked studying here, but will not overlook the possibility of working here.



'The city of Dublin can trace its origins back over 1000 years when the city was founded by Vikings.

The Vikings refered to the settlement as Dyflin, from the Irish Duiblinn or "Black Pool"

In Irish Dublin is known as "Baile Átha Cliath" which means "the town of the ford of the hurdles"

In 1649 Dublin was taken over by Oliver Cromwell following the English Civil Wars. At that time it was a small medieval town with about 9000 people living there. By the early 1700s Dublins population grew rapidly and became a very wealthy city. It soon became the second city of the British Empire.

Dublin became Ireland's capital city following Ireland's independence in 1922.'

Bristol, England

I could have signed with the University of Bristol for a PhD program, twice. I liked the town but there were drunk students walking around.



'Although the old town center suffered heavily from bomb damage during the Second World War, Bristol (only 6mi/10km from the Bristol Channel) retains its charm as a historic port. It also has some fine residential suburbs, balanced, it should be said, by some poorer ones. Bristol is noted for music and film industries, the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, and the Watershed Media Centre. Having for many years been the home of two of Britain's biggest aeronautical companies, Rolls Royce and British Aerospace, both with large engineering plants in the north of the city (and involved in Concorde and the Airbus project), Bristol has turned increasingly for its prosperity to the insurance and service sector (Sun Alliance, Sun Life, Lloyds) and the electronics industry (marked by the arrival in the 1980s of firms such as Hewlett Packard and IBM). Food manufacture, tobacco processing, printing and chemicals are also important to the economy. When, because of deeper draught, ships could no longer navigate the narrow River Avon up to Bristol, a new port with modern docks, oil refineries and industrial estates sprang up in the Avonmouth/Royal Portbury area.'

York, England

If you every have a chance to go to York Cathedral...go.



'York is the former center of the largest county in Great Britain (Yorkshire). Although Yorkshire was divided into four individual counties in 1974, York continues to be the capital city of the north of England, the counterpart of London. York is also the ecclesiastical capital of the Church of England, the archbishop of York being second only to the archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican Church. The Lord Mayor of this both medieval and modern town also has a special status, sharing only with the Lord Mayor of London the honorific prefix of "Right Honorable". The title of the Duke of York is traditionally awarded to the second eldest son of the Sovereign.

York's fame rests on its amazing sights. York Minster is the largest medieval church in England and beyond question one of the most beautiful. Its large amount of medieval stained glass is unique. The townscape is characterized by magnificent half-timbered constructions, three medieval guildhalls, numerous churches and public buildings, and romantic streets. York also has the longest circuit of medieval town walls, approximately 3mi/8km long. The walls offer a pleasant walk with marvelous views of the city. Several excellent museums enrich the cultural life of the city.'

Cambridge, England

I almost signed with Cambridge University. My contact from the University took me out for tea and biscuits...all class.



'Home of the famous University, carols in King's College Chapel and punting on the river Cam. Cambridge is a compact cosmopolitan city with outstanding architecture old and new. The beauty of its ancient centre is preserved with its walkable medieval streets, college courts, gardens and bridges.

Cambridge is a delight to visit in any season: relax in its many pubs, restaurants and cafes whilst exploring the independent shops around the historic market place. There are brand new shopping areas too, with all the high street favourites that you would expect.

Be inspired by the museums and art galleries; spot the stars of the future at a student theatrical production, or see a show at the Arts Theatre. Film, live music of all kinds, poetry readings, public lectures - enter into the intellectual life of the students while you are here.

Cambridge is easy to get to by road, rail or air – just 50 minutes from central London and 20 minutes from London Stansted Airport.

There is too much to see in a day. Stay a few nights and explore the market towns and country houses around Cambridge.'

There are other places to visit which I may mention in comments.


Conwy, Wales photos by Russ Murray

By all means visit Wales as well.


I am pretty stressed from PhD revisions and related.

Here is some humour.

I have near mint copies of both comics that went from their original wrap to being bagged and boarded.

I owned copies of these when I was six-seven years old.

For the Captain America audio just scroll down slightly once you get to the site.

The Captain America one is especially funny.

My second audio post: New Years

Seattle this morning

Click on for moving picture...

I will be in the US/Netherlands/UK January 10-22

Warning there is variation in volume!

There were too many 'uhs', from the three of us. My first original presentation on thekingpin68 was by myself and without two clowns sitting behind me! I was trying not to laugh and this was take 5! My concentration was better with thekingpin68 audio presentation, but this second presentation was funnier.

Thanks to Chucky and Walter Thomas Frankin for the help.

a2 new years.mp3

Matthew 24: 24 (New American Standard Bible)

24"For false Christs and (A)false prophets will arise and will show great (B)signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even (C)the elect.

R.T. France notes concerning Chapter 24, that a clear aim of the text was to prevent premature excitement about the parousia. France (2001: 334). According to W.R.F. Browning, the term parousia in the Greek New Testament means presence. It is used in the context of the Second Coming of Christ within the eschatological framework which includes judgment and resurrection. Browning (1996: 282). Millard Erickson writes that parousia literally means ‘being by’ and presence, coming or arrival. Erickson (1996: 993).

From Matthew 24: 3

NT Greek

'Word Detail
Word/Inflected Form Lemma Part of Speech Lexical Entry
παρουσίας (6) παρουσία (28) Noun coming, arrival, presence
Parsing Genitive Singular Feminine
Context in Matthew 24:3 τὸ σημεῖον τῆς σῆς ... καὶ συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος
Strongs # 3952 a being near, i.e. advent (often, return; specially, of Christ to punish Jerusalem, or finally the wicked); (by implication) physically, aspect'

A rough translation of

τὸ σημεῖον τῆς σῆς ... καὶ συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος

the sign that thine/of thee coming and also completion (of) the age

France writes that there should not have been an immediate expectation of a close of the age. France (2001: 334).


Reformed On-line

By Presbyterian Reverend Brian Schwertley

The site states is the 'About our Church' section:

'Brian has authored a number of scholarly books and monographs and has been published in The Christian Statesman, The Homeschool Digest, Semper Reformanda, Chalcedon Report, The Puritan Journal of Brazil, The New Southern Presbyterian Review and The Counsel of Chalcedon.'

He stated:

'Our Lord begins the discourse with a word of caution. "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many" (Mt. 24:5). The disciples are to be on guard for the many false christs and false prophets (Mt. 24:24) who will make their appearance before the destruction of Jerusalem. Tragically, these imposters will be very effective in gaining a following. Did this prophecy come to pass before Jerusalem was destroyed? Yes, it did. Both the Bible and secular historians confirm our Lord's prediction. When the Jewish leader Gamaliel discussed the claims of the apostles regarding Jesus Christ with the council, he said, "For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him....After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him" (Ac. 5:36-37). Luke also tells us about Simon whom the church fathers tell us was a significant false messiah in his day. "But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, 'This man is the great power of God'" (Ac. 8:9-10). "Justin, himself a Samaritan, reports in I Apol. 26.3, Dial. 120.6 that really all his countrymen revered Simon as the highest god. It is clear from the history of his movement that 'the great power' was a Samaritan designation for the supreme deity. Simon declared that this deity had come to earth in his person for the redemption of men." (32) "According to different early writers, he professed to be the Logos, the Messiah, the Samaritan Archangel, and the Power of God personified." (33)

There were so many false teachers in the first century that John could write: "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour" (1 Jn. 2:18). The noteworthy phrase, "it is [present tense] the last hour" reveals that the prevalence of false teachers indicated to John that a major eschatological event was about to occur. The only major event that we know occurred shortly after this epistle was composed was the destruction of Jerusalem. (This author rejects the late date (A.D. 92) for the authorship of 1 John).

Although false messiahs and teachers can be found throughout church history, it is the prevalence of such imposters in the first century Palestine that Jesus said is significant as a sign. This prediction was literally fulfilled.'

I can accept that Matthew 24: 24 is primarily discussing within the first century false Christs and is also discussing false prophets that may support a false view of Christ.

But as the Reverend noted, these false religionists can be found throughout history and therefore for 2009 I must be aware that many of these religious teachers still exist. I still accept Matthew 24: 24 as a warning for today.

What is the path of being in the truth to avoid being a false religionist?

God must regenerate one in order that he or she can deeply understand and live spiritual truth. John 2: 7 notes one must be born again. One must be chosen by God as in Ephesians 1 and Romans 8.

This is an act of grace through faith, and prepares one for good works in Christ as in Ephesians 2: 8-10. A person in Christ is regenerated and freely believes and trusts in the Biblical God. This will include a repentance from sin, although I do not reason any believer has a complete grasp on personal sin, but a repentance in general terms should be a result of being regenerated.

First Corinthians 3: 15 indicates quite likely that some Christians are saved but have works that are burned up. The type of foundation in Christ one builds upon will determine the reward as in 3: 10-15.

There is a judgment seat of Christ in 2 Corinthians 5: 10 which is likely for believers sometime after death.

There are false Christs and false prophets and teachers that will ultimately share in the lake of fire in Revelation 20. Those who advocate wrong doctrine not in line with Jesus Christ in Scripture are considered conceited and lacking understanding in First Timothy 6: 3-4.

Christians should ask the Lord for guidance to make sure that the works performed are done in both love (Matthew 22, Mark 12) and with sound doctrine. Second Timothy 3: 16 reminds the reader that all Scripture is inspired by God for teaching and training. The same text in Chapter 2 verse 15 tells one to be diligent and accurately handle the word of God.

Stoke City striker Ricardo Fuller was given a red card for slapping his own team captain, Andy Griffin, in a English Premier League match against West Ham United on December 29th.

BROWING, W.R.F. (1997) Oxford Dictionary of the Bible Oxford, Oxford University Press.

ERICKSON, MILLARD J. (1996) ‘Second Coming of Christ’, in Walter A. Elwell (ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Books.

FRANCE, R.T. (2001) Matthew, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans.

More audio!