Thursday, November 30, 2006

Today programme

Last Friday, the Today programme on Radio 4 came from the Royal Society. Lewis Morgan, speaking with the usual breath-taking naivity of the rationalist said:
'Scientific knowledge is value-free, it has no ethical content.'
Speaking more sense was the Chief Rabbi, Dr Jonathan Sachs on In Search of God:

'Science is good at explaining things, but not so good at explaining people.'

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Scarecrows. Supply and demand. Reflected glory. Dull blue light. Credit. Voters. Bones. Loopholes. Credit.

Tell them how we feel. Let them know what is here.
Come inside this wasteland. Come and pull it apart.

Select writings from the artwork for AMNESIAC, RADIOHEAD

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Chinese whispers

Today, the school was shut so the children sat in on 10 minutes of Nick Needham's church history class over the video link (they were off-camera and off-microphone so the giggling went un-noticed) until Rachel came to collect them. Over dinner they wanted to know why the man was talking about MyScene (a variant of Barbie) and Basil Brush. It was actually the Nicene Creed and Basil of Caesarea! Quite amusing!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dead orthodox

'A congregation of decent people, giving it laldie in the singing. Dead orthodox...dead respectable...dead.' Iain MacAskill on Rev 3, the letter to Sardis

Friday, November 17, 2006

'The people are out of Egypt, but Egypt is not out of the people. The whole of scripture from this point on is about taking Egypt out of the hearts of God's covenant people' Hector Morrison on the Murmuring Stories in Exodus 15 to 18.
'This world, in which common grace operates, is the atmosphere in which the kingdom comes. The kingdom is coming!' Sionaidh Eaglais

Monday, November 13, 2006

Here's what Packer has to say about Bavinck's Systematic Theology, now available in English:
Bavinck's Dutch masterwork was the Everest of which the textbooks by Louis Berkhof and Auguste Leoerf were foothills and Berkouwer's studies in dogmatics were outliers. Like Augustine, Calvin, and Edwards, Bavinck was a man of giant mind, vast learning, ageless wisdom and great expository skill, and to have his first volume now in full English, with a promise of the other three to come, is a wonderful enrichment. Solid but lucid, demanding but satisfying, broad and deep and sharp and stabilizing, Bavinck's magisterial Reformed Dogmatics remains after a century the supreme achievement of its kind. J. I. Packer
Berkhof now officially relegated to a foothill! When I say 'officially', I mean 'unofficially'. Packer is not 'officially' in any meaningful sense of the word. That's not to say his opinion is not meaningful - on the contrary....[tails off into indistinct muttering...]

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Was really blessed in singing the last two verses of Psalm 30 (Sing Psalms version) to close the communions preparatory service in Benbecula tonight...

You turned my wailing into dance/ no longer was I sad/My sackcloth gone, you gave me clothes/ of joy, and I was glad

Therefore my heart will sing to you/ and never cease to praise/ To your great name, O LORD my God/ I will give thanks always

Friday, November 10, 2006

In my Pentateuch classes, I'm covertly using an open copy of Bruce Waltke's commentary on Genesis during the class (this cannot be seen over the video link, due to my expert camera alignment). The occasional glance at Waltke turns up some good stuff - is there a better Genesis commentary, pound for pound? This is a quote from Hoekema found in Waltke's discussion on the 'image of God':
To be creatures means that God is the potter and we are the
clay; to be persons means that we are the ones who fashion our lives by our own
'Accordingly', says Waltke, 'humanity has the potential to sin and to accept God's grace.' Yes -we like Waltke.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Clement of Rome wrote his First Epistle to the Corinthians around 96AD - interesting to compare the situation he writes to with Paul's letters. Clement seems to be addressing a problem with people attacking the eldership. Noel Due, commenting on the Epistle says 'In all of this there is an implicit assumption that the correction of church structures will go a good way to dealing with the pastoral problems'.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

'The functions of Torah are totally subsumed by Jesus: he reveals God's will, he judges, he offers the spirit, he gives light, he sets free, he gives life. What Torah was as a text, Jesus is as living Son: God's Word' Johnson, Writings of the NT