Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cokesbury Rocks!

Okay I may be one of the last few stuck in Virginia, but nothing beats Cokesbury's book sales. They're finishing off what's left of their inventory reduction and now it's down to bags. Bags? you ask...yes bags. You buy a bag and take home whatever you can fit in it. Today's accquisitions:

Science and Religion: An Introduction - McGrath
Engaging God's World - Platinga
The Ressurection of Jesus - Wright and Crossan in Dialogue
A Biblical Theology of Exile - Smith-Christopher
The Last Days of Jesus - Bovon
The Romans Debate - Donfried
Justified Before God - Kaiber
He Came Down from Heaven (on Preexistence) - McCready
Jesus and the Father - Giles
Breaking the DaVinci Code - Bock
Truth and Fiction in the DaVinci Code - Ehrman
From Christ to the Word - an ethics reader including everyone from Calvin and Luther to Hauerwas and Yoder.

How much was the bag? a measly $5. They never saw me coming...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Reading Projects

Though my current reading list is no longer reflected in the margin, I hesitate to update it. I have finished Smith's book on Postmodernism and the church and will probably blog briefly about it if a week or two (though in that amount of time most people could probably read it through several times). I'm reticent to post the new volumes I've undertaken because both of them exceed 700 pages. Of course, this means 1) no I probably won't ever finish them, seeing Vanhoozer's work is sadly the longest I've read in the last 8 months or so 2) I'll probably get distracted and start reading something else in the next few hours and 3) Even if I did finish them, It would be several years from now and that's a long wait for a review. So...maybe I'll add them and maybe I'll just read Confessions again (Yes, Driscoll, not Augustine).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Enough is Enough

No play on words to this title; this post is simply a heads up to a number of people who wish to remain anonymous and post comments on my blog. While I'm inclined to call you whiners who lack the intestinal fortitude and integrity to stand behind what you say, I'm more disturbed by the self-righteous sniping that you inflict on others who aren't afraid to speak their mind. Your pharisaical pride will likely contiue to engender self-justification and prevent you from ever responding to my requests to identify yourself so here's the remedy: I've always been reluctant to moderate my comments officially -- it takes too much time for real dialogue to happen. Therefore, AS ALWAYS, I encourage ANYONE to feel free to say ANYTHING in the comments on this blog, but if you don't have the maturity or integrity to ID yourself, it will be deleted as soon as I read it. Wow. I can't believe I had to say that...

In case I used words with too many syllables, let me simplfy by extending my metaphor from above:

If this is how you behave in the comment section:

This is how I will respond to your comment:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

An Apologetics Quiz

Who said this:

"Thus, the highest proof of scripture derives in general form the fact that God in person speaks in it. The prophets and apostles do not boast either of their keenness or of anything that obtains credit for them as they speak; nor do they dwell upon rational proofs. Rather, they bring forward God's holy name, that by it the whole world may be brought into obedience to Him."

"Since for unbelieving men religion seems to stand by opinion alone, they, in order not to believe anything foolish or lightly, both wish and demand rational proof that Moses and the prophets spoke divinely. But I reply: the testimony of the Spirit is more excellent that all reason. For as God alone is a fit witness of Himself in His Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men's hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit."

"Let this point therefore stand: that those whom the Holy Spirit has inwardly taught, truly rests upon Scripture, and that Scripture indeed is self-authenticated; hence, it is not right to subject it to proof and reasoning."

A) Van Til
B) Edwards
C) William Lane Craig
D) Calvin
E) Platinga

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gathercole on the Atonement

Here I go again, posting an article I haven't finished yet. However, knowing what I know about Gathercole and SBTS, I'm pretty sure I know how this one's gonna end. Check out Simon Gathercole's article on The Cross and Substitutionary Atonement.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Philosophy of Ministry and the Gospel Coalition

While I know every student of the Scriptures and aspiring teacher/preacher/theolgian/exegete/etc ad naseum is supposed to develop their own philosophy of ministry, I've given serious consideration in recent days to jettisoning mine. Why? Because I read the Gospel Coalition's Theological Vision for Minstry. Yeah, I admit anything with the word coalition in it sounds pretty cheesy, but the substance of this document is outstanding. Sure you might nit pick with fine points here and there, but as for me an my house...

If you're interested in hearing some of these points developed a little more thoroughly, I reccomend going to the Resurgence Podcasts and listening to everything and anything Tim Keller. I've been doing that anyway and when I read the Theological Vision for Ministry stuff, I thought "Hmmmm...this sounds awfully (or should I say delightfully) familiar." Keller stuff is all over this document...and that's a good thing. I also added the Gospel Coalition to my links in the side bar with the same disclaimer.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Some thoughts on "Missional"

As usual, I pick up on the trendy things a few years too late; I guess that comes from growing up as a fundy. While the rest of evangelicalism may view this term almost as dated as the term "postmodern" they both are still in my vocabulary.

I admit, it took me awhile to figure out exactly what was meant by "missional" and I'm not sure there is actually a concrete definition out there. But the gist that I've picked up on by it's usage (which of course is all that matters in my book - form vs. function again) is that it pertains to a church/individual who is on mission (duh). By that, it is often implied (and often explicit) that it is being on the mission of Jesus (or more likely the Triune God) and is often connected to the Kingdom. Teasing it out a little further, it's often used as those who are on mission and or missionaries to their culture, wherever they may find themselves. It typically has cultural engagement overtones and is used often in emerging church contexts (though of course the really cool emerging church types have probably abandoned it because it's too trendy these days).

For what it's worth, I like it. Some have argued that the term missional is not very missional itself (i.e. unbelievers don't know what you're talking about). True perhaps, but I think it's still a good term for inhouse discussion. Anyway, I like an adjective that can be used to sum up the idea of being on mission with Jesus that is Kingdom oriented in engaging the culture with the Gospel. It doesn't get much better than that (even if ascribing such a definition to a single word is culpable of being a raging linguistic fallacy capable of eclipsing TDNT).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bourne Again

My kind of Ultimatum - check this one out too (click on the movie trailer under the first hit).

Monday, July 09, 2007

Books I'd Like to Read...Someday

While some may happen sooner than others, and some aren't in print yet, these are some titles I've come across recently that I'd really like to read sooner rather than later. Since the pictures are kinda blurry, they are The New Perspective on Paul by James D.G. Dunn (forthcoming this fall), A Better Hope by Stanley Hauerwas and Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer. No agenda here or anything, I've just been thinking about these titles a bit lately and thought this might help get them off my mind.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

More on the Drama: Triangulating my Position

I mentioned previously that I'd try to post some things that I enjoyed/benefited most from Drama of Doctrine; here's my first shot:

Vanhoozer makes the observation on p. 301 regarding Knowledge in the Theodramatic Perspective "Getting knowledge is more like plotting one's position with a set of maps, than it is building a house on a foundation or catching a fish in a net." This metaphor was groundbreaking fore me in the sense of it's contribution to my own self-awareness. I feel like over the last 5-7 years, my theology is constantly being revised, reinvented and/or jettisoned. About the only thing that has held is a reformed understanding of God, the Bible and the Gospel. I've been thinking more in terms of the foundation metaphor and thus felt like I was constantly tearing down and rebuilding the foundation. Or perhaps, more accurately, the foundation is a reformed understanding of these things but I keep having to clear out the first floor and never think I'll get to setting the trusses, let alone sheeting the roof. It felt like there was little continuity.

Enter Vanhoozer's helpful metaphor; now I can see continuity. I've been thinking in terms of constructing and deconstructing the house often leading to a hermeneutic of suspicion (i.e., I assume what I've been taught is wrong). Instead, I have been constantly trying to find my location using a series of maps. Each lesson learned helps to more precisely triangulate my position. Not only was this breakthrough incredibly encouraging, such a perspective gives more hope and less pessimism about the future.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Back in VA Beach

We're home now and back in the daily grind of the routines of life. Nevertheless I thought I'd post some final images about our NH trip. The first two are from our flight up. Though I thought I was taking a break from work, I was reminded, you can't escape the World's Local Bank. HSBC stuff was plastered everywhere at La Guardia - our first layover (that's Noah and me in the silouette).

Not to fear however, La Guardia also provided an in house means of grace for fleeing the corporate ominpresence:

Just Kidding - it was only 8 am after all :-)

Finally, something to make a few conoseurs drool, on the flight back I snapped this shot right down the way from our boarding gate:

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