You will notice I have not spoken of the ministry of the Gospel but of the Word of God, and this I do advisedly. It is not that I want to avoid the word 'Gospel', but because I want you to be very sure what I am talking about. I am not talking about a set of fundamental doctrines of the Word of God, systematic or otherwise, nor any formulation of doctrine (sub-Apostolic, Patristic, Reformed or Modern) culled from the Word of God, but the whole Bible itself. In evangelical circles the danger that the Gospel may be equated with the mere rudiments of the Word of God has become almost a disaster, for these rudiments are only the beginning of the Good News. There are profounder things by far in the Bible than what is called 'the simple gospel', although they issue from it. Indeed, in a sense, those who proclaim almost exclusively forgiveness of sins and justification, only make known the preliminaries to the best Good News, which is not that our sins are put away and that we are justified in God's sight, wonderful though that is, but that God wants us for Himself and to that end brings us to the birth in Christ. After all, the death of Jesus, for all its wonder, is a means to an end, which is not merely that we might be right and clean but that we may be His, which involves personal relationship in love. The Work of the Pastor, 62-63.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Harvie Conn citing Herman Bavink, 'The Future of Calvinism,' The Presbyterian and Reformed Review 5 (1894): 23:
'All the misery of the Presbyterian Churches is owing to their striving to consider the Reformation as completed, and to allow no further development of what has been begun by the labor of the Reformers…. Calvinism wishes no cessation of progress and promotes multi-formity. It feels the impulse to penetrate ever more deeply into the mysteries of salvation and in feeling this honors every gift and different calling of the Churches. It does not demand for itself the same development in America and England [and the author of this volume adds, Africa, Asia and Latin America] which it has found in Holland. This only must be insisted upon, that in each country and in every Reformed Church it should develop itself in accordance with its own nature, and should not permit itself to be supplanted or corrupted by foreign rule' ,221-222.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The soul cannot survive without God. That is true of every human soul, not just the deeply pious. Many or most may not understand the thirst that disturbs and drives their living, but it is there because God created the human soul to correspond to God. Where that correspondence is weakened, disturbed, or interrupted, the experience of its lack becomes like the thirst and hunger that is the opposite of being satisfied. The advantage of the psalmist is that he knows what is missing.Psalms, Interpretation
Friday, April 17, 2009
A mature Christian is one who is able to look at the whole of reality through Christian eyes. He is in the process of achieving an integrated overview of reality in those areas that belong to his experience as well as in those areas that he knows only theoretically. He is learning to understand all things in terms of what they are in this corrupted realm and of what God intends them to be by virtue of his redeeming work. Thus, he is an integrated person who is learning daily through the gospel how to relate, not only to himself, but to all things according to the creative purpose of God. Trilogy, 356
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
What God did for Jesus that explosive morning is what He intends to do for the whole creation. We who live in the interval between Jesus's Resurrection and the final rescue and transformation of the whole world are called to be new-creation people here and now. That is the hidden meaning of the greatest festival Christians have.This true meaning has remained hidden because the Church has trivialised it and the world has rubbished it. The Church has turned Jesus's Resurrection into a “happy ending” after the dark and messy story of Good Friday, often scaling it down so that “resurrection” becomes a fancy way of saying “He went to Heaven”. Easter then means: “There really is life after death”. The world shrugs its shoulders.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Following a search and selection process, the Board of Governors of Highland Theological College UHI has unanimously approved the appointment of Acting Principal Hector Morrison as Principal of the College, with immediate effect.In an announcement to staff today, Chairman of the Board of Governors, the Reverend Alexander Murray, said, “Always passionate about theological education, Hector is committed to wanting the best for his students. He has a very clear vision for the future of HTC as an independent constituent college in its role within the UHI network. In the best sense of the term, Hector is a ‘godly’ person and minister and, as a capable academic, theologian and leader, has a wealth of experience to bring to the role of Principal. We look forward to working with Hector as he leads HTC forward to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
Hector gained the degrees of BSc, BD and MTh from Glasgow University. He is a Church of Scotland minister, having worked in parishes in Glasgow, the Western Isles and Lochalsh. Along with the Reverend Professor Andrew McGowan, he founded Highland Theological College and has been its Vice Principal since its inception in 1994. With research interests particularly in the discipline of Biblical Studies, most of his teaching concentrates on Old Testament and Hebrew. As well as his teaching commitments, Hector has been a key figure within the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences faculty of UHI. He is Subject Network Leader in Theology & Religious Studies for UHI and also has responsibilities for Academic Management, Quality Assurance and Enhancement and Subject Reviews, amongst other things.
Hector has been Acting Principal at HTC since the former Principal, Andrew McGowan, left in January to become minister of the East Church in Inverness.
Friday, April 10, 2009
The passion narrative at its heart is about the cross, and it still holds true that how we react to the cross of Christ tells us a great deal about ourselves...The cross is the great truth serum and litmus test. Our reaction to it shows what we really believe about God and about life. Some are all too ready to wear the cross, but not to bear the cross. We often prefer a health-and-wealth gospel to one of suffering and service. We join churches because they meet our needs, not because they give us the most opportunity to serve and sacrifice for the gospel. Yet still, the cross beckons us to come and stand in its shadow. Whether we do so or not is the ultimate test of our discipleship. Mark, 409
Friday, April 03, 2009
Wisdom is the critical, reflective, discerning reception of Yahweh’s gift of generosity. That gift is not for self-indulgence, exploitation, acquisitiveness, or satiation. It is for careful husbanding, so that resources should be used for the protection, enhancement, and nurture of all creatures. Wisdom is the careful, constant, reflective attention to the shapes and interconnections that keep the world generative. Where those shapes and interconnections are honored, there the whole world prospers, and all creatures come to joy and abundance. Where those shapes and interconnections are violated or disregarded, trouble, conflict, and destructiveness are sure. There is wisdom in the very fabric of creation. Human wisdom consists in resonance with the “wisdom of things,” which is already situated in creation before human agents act on it.
Brueggemann, Walter: Theology of the Old Testament : Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy. Minneapolis : Fortress Press, 1997, S. 532