Wednesday, January 28, 2004

In Utero Toe Grab

Well, there's no doubt about it. My wife is having a baby. No, it's true. I saw pictures on Monday. This is probably a "first baby" phenomenon, but the reality of having a child is really slow in setting in, at least for me as the father. I knew that my wife was acting funny. I knew that the doctor was saying things regarding "the baby". But I didn't really know anything. But now I know. I saw that head, a couple of arms and legs, and I saw the baby move. The baby yawned or something while we were looking at it. Then it reached out and grabbed one of its feet. That's my kid doing the in utero toe grab.


Friday, January 23, 2004

Frame Jordan

Frame's Evangelical Reunion has been a good read. Published in 1991, I assume it was a bit more of a splash then than it is for me now. It's great to read someone of his caliber doing a demolition on one of the most sacred cows in the modern church. Denominations really are on their way out. People are tired of bureaucracy and faceless committees. The utilitarian gods are sad; we will not burn incense in their temples any more. The humanistic gods are irate; we don't need them to stroke our egos with international clubs full of people who agree with us.

And the other thing is Jordan's Sociology of the Church. Jordan accomplishes Frame's thesis and then for kicks writes an ecclesiology from Genesis 2. Didn't you see that coming? The Church is at the center of the universe. The world is structured such that the church cannot but be at the center. It is not whether the nations will inherit our accomplishments, it's rather: what will those accomplishments be? When churches are full of greed, the world is full of greed. When churches hire clowns to give pep talks, the world is full of clowns giving pep talks. This is because the Church is the garden transfigured on the mountain that is filling the earth. The rivers still flow out of the church and flood the world whether we know it or not. Litter costs a lot more than the sign says.

But the Church is geographical. That is the second greatest commandment.

And speaking of pep talks, it appears my comments are on hiatus, so to speak. So just to tide you over, nod your head up and down if you agree with me and shake it from side to side if you disagree. These will be our secret signs. That's all.


Sunday, January 18, 2004

In search of Hezekiah

What kind of world do we live in? This is the question surrounding the recent reformed controversies. We can and we should discuss baptism and the covenant. We can and we should pursue doctrines of the atonement, predestination, and election. It is necessary to study the doctrine of the Church, its history, and our place within the broader catholic Church. All these things are significant in these discussions and debates, and it is surely possible that some will come to different opinions through the course of their study and discussion. However, these questions are really only surface concerns, which is why so much (mis)understanding is determined by semantics, though not all of course.

The real question that is under debate has to do with the nature of the universe. It asks what kind of world do we live in? Do we live in world where animals could talk? Is it possible for water to sometimes hold the weight of man, allowing him to walk atop it? And with nothing more than a knotted staff, would a roaring sea part its waves to reveal dry ground? And if by entertaining guests, would you come to find yourself in the presence of an angel? Or would an angel and his company come down from the galaxies above and sing to a gang of white trash motorcyclists? Do we live in a world where unicorns have danced, satyrs walked, and where dragons have been fought and killed? Can water fall out of the sky? Can a panoply of colors bend in the heavens? Can old and barren women become mothers? Or could a Virgin be with child?

Logic is a bronze serpent that has become our Nahushtan. Perhaps it has done us some good in the past, but it is now leading many astray. Tear it down, tear it down, Cal Beisner. The world is not a categorical statement, but resurrection is a fallacy. What kind of world do we live in? We live in world where stars sing, lions roar, and crabs walk sideways. Let God be true and every man a liar; we live in a faerie land, where water can be turned to wine and sinners turned into saints.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Isaiah Notes

The following from:
The Literary Message of Isaiah
By Avraham Gileadi (P. 37-38)
Copyright 1994

I. Ruin and Rebirth—chapters 1-5; 34-35
II. Rebellion and Compliance—chapters 6-8; 36-40
III. Punishment and Deliverance—chapters 9-12; 41:1-46:13b
IV. Humiliation and Exaltation—chapters 13-23; 46:13c-47:15
V. Suffering and Salvation—chapters 24-27; 48-54
VI. Disloyalty and Loyalty—chapters 28-31; 55-59
VII. Disinheritance and Inheritance—chapters 32-33; 60-66

“... these categories of themes are arranged chiastically. The first pair of themes (ruin and Rebirth) parallels the seventh pair (Disinheritance and Inheritance); the second pair of themes (Rebellion and Compliance) parallels the sixth pair (Disloyalty and Loyalty); and the third pair of themes (punishment and Deliverance) parallels the fifth pair (Suffering and Salvation). The fourth pair of themes (Humiliation and Exaltation) represents the centerpiece, and as such establishes the key concept...”


Thursday, January 08, 2004

Swift Shot

Feeling rather pleased with the fact that I only made one resolution, kept it, and have since enjoyed the pleasure of a number of fine meals, several chocolates, and 18 inches of snow in my backyard, I've decided to share the following aphorisms, authored by my friend, Jonathan Swift.

The latter part of a wise man's life is taken up in curing the follies, prejudices, and false opinions he had contracted in the former.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this infallible sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

The Stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.

Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same posture as creeping.

Ill company is like a dog, who fouls those most whom he loves best.