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Showing posts from July, 2009

Off to Penygroes...

Well, it's Convention time again; so I'm off to stay with friends in Penygroes for Ablaze UK (in Swansea).

The latest Themelios is out now

If you're a theological student or a pastor and don't read any theological journals, Themelios is the place to begin. Unlike some other journals which aim more at the professional theologian, Themelios is specifically aimed at pastors and students, and so the content is always accessible and informative. Plus it's edited by D.A. Carson. What's more, it's available for free online! You can see the latest issue here, or have a look through the previous editions here. Each issue also has a large number of book reviews to help you decide what's worth reading.

Theological Education Under Threat in Sweden

Theological education in Sweden is in a precarious position as the National Agency for Higher Education demands that religious studies be favoured over theology. Proficiency in biblical exegesis will no longer suffice for accreditation; rather, courses of study must included papers in history of religions taught by lecturers holding PhDs in that field. Smaller institutions committed to the training of ministers say that this will be onerous. There is also a worry that such a shift in emphasis could leave prospective ministers unprepared for the ministry. Christianity Today has the full story. Hopefully other European countries will not be quick to follow Sweden's example.

God breaks bones!

In Psalm 51 David cries out to God from under the weight of his sin. One of the particularly striking parts of this penitential prayer is when David exclaims Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.(Verse 8) According to David, it's not simply that his bones are broken, but rather that God Himself has broken them. Now, of course it is clear in the Psalm that David's speaking poetically here; his physical bones have not been snapped. Rather David is talking about being crushed by the weight of his sin. Yet the point remains: it is God who does the crushing.
Now that might not sound the nicest, but in fact being crushed by God is a great thing. Why on earth would I say that? Well, you see being crushed is essential to repentance. In fact the New Testament uses even stronger language than that of God breaking bones; in the New Testament we're told that God kills us by His law (Rom 7:9-12)!
Now, perhaps that sounds a bit depressing; however, Paul m…

Front Page Liturgy

I've just got back from a holiday in the UK, but while I was there I was slightly surprised to see that liturgical developments in the Church of England had made it onto the front page of The Times. If you're in the UK then I'm sure you've heard about this already (given that it was front page news), otherwise you can read the Times main article here. As I was driving along I also heard a discussion with two Anglican bishops on the matter on Radio 4's PM. Not being Anglican and not believing in the paedo-baptism (the baptism of babies), I'm not going to say anything about the liturgy itself. However, what did interest me in the coverage was the theological thought which had gone into arguments on both sides of the debate. The Anglo-Catholic response was that the sacrament of Baptism should not be detached from the Sunday act of worship. They argue that the act of baptism should be seen as the child being received into the church and so should occur when the chur…

If you're thinking of buying commentaries...

If you're thinking of buying some commentaries, but don't know which to choose, then the Best Commentaries site may be just what you're looking for. There you'll find information, reviews, lists of commentaries by Biblical book or by series, as well as information about forthcoming commentaries. The site takes information from a number of respected published and online commentary surveys to help determine the best available commentaries for each book of the Bible.

Gospel Growth

Of course, the church should seek to maximize the impact of the gospel in new and innovative ways; but in no way should this missiological imperative undermine the church's celebration of the gospel and its growth therein. The growth of the church must never be allowed to take place artificially and at the expense of the gospel itself as the theological resource of the church.
Ian Stackhouse, The Gospel-Driven Church (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2004), 75

Happy Birthday Calvin!

In case you've missed it, today is the 500th Anniversary of the great reformer John Calvin's birth.

Some Light Summer Reading

Bible Manuscript Online

Want to see one of the world's oldest surviving manuscripts of the Bible? Well, now you can view the Codex Sinaiticus online.
From the Site: The Codex Sinaiticus Project is an international collaboration to reunite the entire manuscript in digital form and make it accessible to a global audience for the first time. Drawing on the expertise of leading scholars, conservators and curators, the Project gives everyone the opportunity to connect directly with this famous manuscript.

Probably the Best Book I've Read This Year

Doctrine & Discipleship

Sound doctrine is not, as so many seem to assume today, a distraction from the real life of Christian discipleship, but preparation for it.
Michael Horton, Too Good To Be True: Finding Hope in a World of Hype (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 168