Digital Age Delusion

rev_dr_david_b_garner_2_web_shot_wts071907_97Here’s another thought-provoking article by Dave Garner, from Westminster Seminary. It is published in Equip magazine, but it can be read in full below.

In a fast-paced culture, it is so easy to lose one’s bearings and to get lost. Dave reminds us, very eloquently, of a basic commitment which reformed people have to the authority of Scripture which has direct implications for how we think about church and worship, as well as the spiritual realities which underpin our faith.

They thought they were going to die.  Already begrudging the outdated notion of wilderness camp hundreds of miles from home, the vanload of teenagers was jolted by the ground rules at their non-virtual form of distance education. Posted at the wilderness camp’s entrance gate was the media bouncer barking authoritatively, “No MP3 players. No I-Pods.  No DVD players. No cell phones. No laptops.  No kidding.”   The prehistoric demands aroused sleepy youth from their digital slumbers.  Disappointment heated into outrage; outrage ignited panic, and I-Pod toting teens banded into a digitally mastered surround-sound symphony: “How can we possibly survive for 10 days without our music?!” Continue reading “Digital Age Delusion”

Wisdom from Tom

It was announced last week that Bishop Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham, is resigning his position at Durham to become Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity in the School of Divinity at St Andrew’s University. It is clearly a significant appointment for the university.

Some of Bishop Wright’s views are controversial among conservative and evangelical Christians, but some of his writings are very lucid and helpful. Here’s a couple of paragraphs from Virtue Reborn in which he reflects on Jesus as our example. I think he nails it. And he uses a great example from sport to make his point. Continue reading “Wisdom from Tom”

Christianity and Evolution

bruce-waltkeThe issue of the relationship between science and Christianity continues to be fraught with controversy, and during this past month it made the news headlines with the resignation of Professor Bruce Waltke from the faculty at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. The ABC report can be viewed on Youtube.

Professor Waltke is a preeminent Old Testament scholar, holding doctorates from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.D.), Harvard University (Ph.D.), and Houghton College (D. Litt.). His teaching appointments at Dallas Theological Seminary, Regent College, Westminster Theological Seminary, and at Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando, have earned him a reputation as a superb teacher with a pastoral heart. In addition to serving on the translation committee of the NIV and TNIV and as editor of the Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible, Waltke has written commentaries on Genesis, Proverbs, and Micah. His latest publication, An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical and Thematic Approach, earned the Christian Book Award in 2008. Continue reading “Christianity and Evolution”

Virtue Reborn

virtue-rebornI have just purchased a copy of Bishop Tom Wright’s new book, Virtue Reborn, and the opening chapter is really good. I can’t wait to read the rest. This volume is a sequel to Simply Christian and Surprised by Hope, in which he addresses what many of us would call sanctification, and which he refers to as Christian character or virtue.

What makes the opening chapter so good is how relevantly he addresses the current situation. With all the issues surrounding the global financial crisis, Tom Wright’s brief analysis of that collapse is very apposite and helpful, not to mention his excellent illustration from the world of rugby. Here’s a sample, which may whet your appetite for the entire volume. Continue reading “Virtue Reborn”

A Psalm for Palm Sunday

file-jesus_entering_jerusalem_on_a_donkeyThe metrical version of Psalm 24 is an appropriate item of praise for Palm Sunday. In the older version of the psalter, the two stanzas which cover verses 7-10 of the psalm were traditionally followed by a third stanza that (in a slightly unPresbyterian style?) contained lots of Hallelujahs and Amens. When I first sang it, the third stanza seemed a bit out of place.

The second half of the psalm represents a song that was probably sung at one of the great temple feasts, perhaps the festival of New Year when God’s people celebrated his enthronement as king of the world. It is an antiphonal song that was sung by two choirs. One choir would be approaching the temple is solemn procession, carrying the sacred ark or some other symbol of God’s presence. They would be chanting and singing: “Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.”

The other choir from within the temple precincts sings back: “Who is this King of glory?” And the first choir responds: “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” Continue reading “A Psalm for Palm Sunday”