Monthly Archives: January 2005

Breathless Without You…

Man oh man, the more I listen to this album by Nick Cave the more impressed I am. It is absolutely excellent! Nature Boy – what an awesome song!!
I picked up my dad’s sister at 4:30 and drove with her out to Montana’s restaurant by the Silver City movie theatre. We met my dad there and had dinner. I haven’t seen my dad since Christmas. Before that, I hadn’t seen him since my wedding in July. He has (had?) a new girlfriend, and due to the fact that he hasn’t reconciled with myself, my sister or my mom I have a hard time being around him when he has a girlfriend. When he doesn’t have a girlfriend, I love hanging out with him. But it’s too hard for me emotionally to be around him when he’s living his life without his family.
Right now we don’t know if he’s still with Joan. Because I tend to think not for various reasons, I was willing to go out tonight. It might just be me allowing myself the illusion as an excuse to see him…I don’t know. There were certain things he’d say to my aunt tonight that made me think he may still be with Joan. On the car ride home I was very tempted to ask my aunt if he was. My aunt is such that she’d lie to me if she felt necessary, and I didn’t want her to lose it on me.
The meal was good though.
I’m looking forward to Vicky coming back home. She’s still at her old house studying for her exam on Monday. I miss her. I haven’t seen her since this morning. It’s weird when she’s not around.
I shaved off my side-burns today. I feel weird without them. I had a chin-strap beard (no moustache), but shaved it into very long side-burns a few weeks ago. One of the Korean students said I looked like the guy from X-Men (Wolverine). I thought that was dope. I figured cause I’m preaching tomorrow I should clean up a little.
I want to pastor a small country church where it’s alright to have side-burns.

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Get Ready for Love, Praise Him!

I’m home in Windsor. Vicky and I drove home last night. I’m preaching at my home church tomorrow night. My church’s website is http://www.gbce.org Right now my pastor has a bad case of bronchitis and hasn’t been in the pulpit for a while. His wife has it too, which really stinks for them.
I haven’t done much today. Time flies by very quickly. I should have spent my day on my sermon, but I haven’t. Instead I went to the mall and bought a new shirt and tie (sort’ve a purple/pink colour). I also bought Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. What an excellent album! Thanks to Ben who recommended it. It’s sort’ve different (but not too different) than his earlier stuff. It’s quite beautiful really.

“St. John of the Cross did his best stuff imprisoned in a box.”

There’s a line for Crookedfingers.

Vicky is at her parents house studying for an exam she has on Monday with her sister. I’m getting ready to have dinner with my dad and aunt at 5pm. I hardly ever see my dad anymore. I guess he’s coming to hear me preach tomorrow night, which is cool. May God convert him! How amazing that would be.
It is nice to see my mom. One of the hardest things about living in Toronto is not seeing her regularly. I miss her a lot. She had a back spasm a couple of days ago and is in a lot of pain. I’m sure it’ll be hard for her seeing my dad Sunday night. My mom is a member at my church. So is her sister. Both of them were baptized in the fall. I couldn’t believe it!
I also bought U2’s greatest hits for my boss. I didn’t buy him a Christmas gift, so this is a bit belated. He thinks that he might like U2, but isn’t sure. He bought the Vertigo single but didn’t care for it. I thought I’d get him their greatest hits. I bought him The Band’s greatest hits for his birthday in Nov. He loves The Band. So do I.
It was mine and Vicky’s 6 month wedding anniversary on the 24th, so I bought her a nice little Japanese looking “wishing pot”. It has bamboo on it and it’s green colour matches our bedroom. I think it will look nice. I hope she likes it!

Anyways. Off I go.

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Me so sleepy

I slept in today which felt nice. I’ve been so tired lately.
I took Dr. Constant to the train station today. After that I went out for lunch with Clint and Christian. I hadn’t eaten all day, so the pizza and Greek salad were extra tastie. I had a good time with the guys chatting about theology etc.
I downloaded and printed Tim Gallant’s (pastor from Montana – part of the Federal Vision group) summary of the Gaffin/Wright conference at Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church in January. If you want a look at it check out: http://www.rabbisaul.com/monroe2005/index.htm I’ve started it and can’t wait to finish. The whole conference looked quite amazing. Both Wright and Gaffin are top notch Pauline scholars and I’m sure the interchange was amazing. I think I’ll likely buy the recorded lectures and listen to them.
I’m reading Gaffin’s “Resurrection and Redemption” which is incredible.

Anyways, off to pick up Vicky. I have to prepare for my sermon tonight that I’m going to preach this Lord’s Day back home.

God bless.

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Senior YEar in Highschool. Where was I then?

What year was it?
1996

What were your three favorite bands?

Zao, xdisciplex AD, the Misfits

What was your favorite outfit?

Baggie pants, t-shirt, and yankee hat.

What was up with your hair?

Shaved, mohawk, or messie.

Who was/were your best friends?
Tim McCready, Matt Beneteau and Nick Bechard.

What did you do after school?
Play in a punk band.

Where did you work?
Didn’t.

Did you take the bus?
Either rode a bike or skateboarded. I sucked at skateboarding though.

Who did you have a crush on?
The girl I was dating at the time.

Did you fight with your parents?
Not a while lot. I usually got along well with them.

Who did you have a CELEBRITY crush on?
Joey from Dawson’s Creek! Yeep.

Did you smoke cigarettes?
Nope, by that point I was straightedge.

Did you lug all of your books around in your backpack all day because you were too nervous to find your locker?
Hehe. No.

Did you have a ‘clique’?
Just us weird punkers and skaters I guess.

Did you have a “Max” like Zach Kelly and Slater?
Tim’s basement.

Admit it, were you popular?
I’d say that I was well known by people and generally liked. Popular? No.

Who did you want to be just like?
Ian MacKay

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I had no idea.

Where did you think you’d be at the age you are now?
Probably somewhere in Windsor Ontario doing something mundane.

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The weather was very bad last night, so I didn’t go to see Ravi Zacharias speak at McMaster University like I had planned. The first book that I ever read as a Christian was “Can Man Live Without God” by Ravi, and although I didn’t understand it much it gave me reassurance that Christianity isn’t about taking blind leaps of faith, but that there is a rational element to faith.
Granted, I’m not in agreement with Ravi’s apologetic approach, but I think he’s a fabulous writer. I enjoy receiving notices in the mail from him. Apparently the Canadian director for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries is Reformed. His name is Joe Boot. I was glad to hear that, because I’m starting to see a shift in Ravi towards a more Reformed view. A while back I was listening to Ravi on the radio and heard him give kudos to Greg Bahnsen in his debate with Gordon Stein. Bahnsen used a more conistently Reformed method to debate Stein, and Bahnsen absolutely slaughtered him. It was neat to hear Ravi’s appreciation for it. Ravi also wrote in one of his newsletters a couple of years ago about going to Scotland to speak and visiting the grave with John Piper and Sinclair Ferguson, both strongly Calvinistic. Now hearing about Joe Boot, it makes me wonder even more.
Because the weather was so poor, Dr. Haykin stayed in Toronto so that he wouldn’t get killed driving to Hamilton where he lives. He slept on our couch last night. At around 10pm he and Dr. Pierre Constant came over for tea and we had a good time chatting, just the four of us. Vicky and I really enjoy their company. Both have a great sense of humour. They’ve been friends for so long, that it’s hilarious to see the interaction between the two of them. We spoke about a wide variety of things, from movies to history to TBS etc.
I took Vicky in to work early this morning and then came back and showered. While I waited for Dr. Haykin to get ready, I read from Psalm 91. I will be leading the student chapel service today, so I think I will read from that Psalm. I also read the bulk of Galatians. I’m trying to figure out the relationship between the Law and faith.
Paul says in Galatians that we are children of God because we are in Christ and Christ is the Seed promised to Abraham. The Law is a tutor that points us to Christ – but I don’t know how I understand those verses. I am at a point in my life where I believe that the Law does not save anyone, rather it condemns. But I also believe that the Law is to be followed by the Christian not as a means of salvation, rather as a means of santification.
This morning Dr. Haykin told me that when he goes to the Evangelical Theological Society in Nov. 2005, he wants me to lecture three of his classes. This is thrilling, yet absolutely horrifying. I would be giving a lecture for his class “The Theology of Jonathan Edwards”, the Book of Acts and his spirituality course (he doesn’t know which one yet). I would do Acts 17-18 (two lectures), Edwards’ view of the Sabbath (which should be interesting because I’m the only Sabbatarian here), and Edwards’ view of the Lord’s Supper. I don’t know what I would lecture on yet for the spirituality course. If it is early Church spirituality I might be sunk, because I’m not well-versed in the patristics.
I’m very flattered that he would ask me to do this for him.

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Grrrr.
I just wrote a whole entry and then screwed it up and lost it. I hate that!
I wrote my thoughts on a book that I’m reading, Richard Gaffin’s “Resurrection and Redemption.” It took me about a half hour to write it, so now I don’t feel like writing it out again.

Sucks.

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Spin City

Last week was a crazy week. Taking weeklong intensives on any subject can be brutal, but philosophy (especially post-Kantian, post-Hegellian) makes it even worse. I’m still untying my brain from it all.
Saturday was spent working on Pierre’s lecture, finding the Greek and Hebrew fonts and inserting them etc. Also editing it for style. Vicky and I were up until about 1am printing and assembling the lectures in a presentable format.
I was very happy with the turn-out for Pierre’s lecture today. We had about 70 people, mostly students and area pastors to hear him lecture on the use of Typology in the New Testament. The lectures are available in taped format for $10 (2 tapes). I can also email the lecture in PDF if anyone wants it. I know that all three of you are probably chomping at the bit! Especially because the one person who would be interested already has a copy. Hehe.
Pierre did his PhD at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois under DA Carson. I can’t remember if I already mentioned that in here or not. Ah well.
I read from an interesting book today called “The Wages of Spin” by Carl R. Trueman while I waited for Vicky and Toronto General. The chapter I read from had to do with the Martin Luther and his views on justification, specifically related to the ecumenical dialogue between the Finnish Lutherans and the Russian Orthodox. Trueman gives a very witty and informed historiographical (sp?) response that I enjoyed. I borrowed Dr. Haykin’s copy of the book, so now that I’ve got the bug I have to buy it.
Trueman deals with other interesting topics in the book as well. Melvin Tinker endorsed the book by saying something to the effect that Trueman has the wit of an evangelical Chesterton, the prophetic insight of Francis Schaeffer and the accessibility of John Stott. I would say from what I know of Trueman’s writings that that is a dead-on assessment.
He has written two articles for TBS’ publication “The Gospel Witness”. One article dealt with Luther and justification. It was in a two-part series we did on justification last year. The other article is on the Puritans and will come out in the next issue. Trueman is the editor of Themelios, a journal published by the UCCCF in England. I like the journal just for his editorials.
I don’t know why I’m writing this huge endorsement of Trueman, but I’ll continue. If this bores you, so be it.
Trueman is professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. I believe he did his schooling at Aberdeen, he may have taught there as well. He wrote a book on the Reformation that I have published by Dr. Haykin (The Joshua Press), which is a series of lectures that Trueman gave on that topic. He also has an excellent book on John Owen that is a definitive study, it is called “The Claims of Truth – The Trinitarian Theology of John Owen.”
A book that I’d love to get is one he co-edited with Paul Helm called “The Trustworthiness of God – Perspectives on the Nature of Scripture”. I’ve perused it and it looks fabulous. It is a book for one who loves it all: systematics, bib-theo, historical theology etc.

Anyhoo. I think tonight we’re going to watch Kill Bill Vol. 2, I’ve seen it already and loved it and am looking forward to seeing it again.

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Rorty and the death of language, truth, morals, and everything else.

Well, the snow is coming down very heavily outside. I haven’t had any water today so I feel headachie. Coffee is good, but if that’s all you drink in a day, it’s gross.
I had my final exam for 20th Century Thought yesterday and I absolutely demolished it. If I don’t get in the high 90’s I’m going to be quite shocked. Part of the exam was taking two philosophers from the 19th Century and explain how they impacted the 20th. My choices were Friedrich Nietzche and Soren Kierkegaard. Another part of the exam consisted in taking two philosophers from the 20th Century and explain their postmodernism. I chose Martin Heidegger and Richard Rorty. For the record, Rorty makes me insane. Of all of the philosophers who have ever existed, I think that Rorty is the one who makes me incredulously angry. I don’t even think he should be considered as a philosopher.
Heidegger doesn’t bother me at all for some reason, nor does Nietzche or Kierkegaard, but men like Rorty, Foucault, Derrida etc., are a real bother.
I’m thankful that I don’t have to read any philosophy for the next bit. I need to let my mind unwind.
Greek starts next week. I won’t comment on my feelings about that. ;)

Adios.

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Running On Empty

I’m existing (not merely as perception) purely on caffeine and the grace of God. I’m in the midst of a one-week intensive class on 20th Century Thought. That is, it is from 9am to 5pm for one whole week. We’ve done an over-view of Western Philosophy from the pre-Socratic period down to Marx as well as an introduction to presuppositional apologetics. We are now getting into the recent stuff and will end with postmodernism.
Our professor is David Kim who is a PhD student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He did his ThM in New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Phillie and also did work at Baylor.
As preparation, some of the guys and I have been listening to lectures on tape at night by Greg Bahnsen on 20th Century Thought. Last night we were up til about 1am listening to Bahnsen lecture on Personalism and Realism. I like Realism’s disagreements with Hegelian Idealism, but Realism doesn’t go far enough.

I feel like I’m going to die.

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This is the story of Johnny Rotten…

Yesterday my friend John and I were walking down Yonge Street, and I asked him what he thought was the greatest guitar lick/solo in music history. The question is pretty subjective, as it is more a question of taste then it is of pure talent or genius. I won’t give his answer (because I don’t agree!), but I’ll give mine. It’s likely not anyone else’s favourite, but I love the guitar from “Hey, Hey, My, My” by Neil Young and Crazy Horse. I think it sounds quite apocalyptic.
Last night Vicky and I, both being sick, fell asleep at 7pm and woke up at 6:30am. I stayed in bed till about 7:30, so I got over 12 hours of sleep! Why do I still feel like crap?
Corinne is coming to Toronto today which should be cool.

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Holy Word

I went with Clint and Christel to Holy Word for prayer meeting last night. I haven’t been to Holy Word since before the Christmas break. Holy Word is a Chinese Church that I attend here in Toronto. Prayer meeting is a great place to learn about the latest Kung-Fu movies and the latest gadget technology. Last night there was an extended discussion on “Shaolin Soccer” and why that movie is so funny. I’ve never seen it, so I couldn’t really interact.
It was good to pray with my Christian brothers and sisters, I’m looking forward to going to Holy Word on Sunday. We’re also going to the Charis Bible study at Christian’s (Holy Word’s pastor) on Friday, which should be cool.

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Chalmers

I’m currently typing out parts of Thomas Chalmers’ Introduction to Abraham Booth’s classic “Reign of Grace”. It will be published in the next issue of The Gospel Witness.
Chalmers is dealing with the issue of “covenant”.
I’m going to pick Vicky up shortly.

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Poor Hippo

Still sick, but better than I was. Mornings are the worst, when all the medication has worn off. This morning in particular, because I had to drive Vicky in the freezing rain.
Last night Vicky and I were going to go with Clint and Christel to see The Motorcycle Diaries, but we cancelled because Vicky and I both felt like crud. We’ll see it later I’m sure.
I did, however, go to Tim Horton’s (coffee place) with my friend Josh last night. We hung out there for about an hour and a half. We’re both in the same 20th Century Thought class next week, so we talked a lot about the readings for it and apologetics in general. It’s nice to be around Christians who are informed about their faith and actually care about it. Not just in some form of intellectualism, but as a spiritual and pious faith.
We also chatted about his prospects with a certain girl I’ll refrain from mentioning in a public forum. Although we both know that his chances are pretty good.
When I got back from Tim Horton’s, Vicky and I watched National Geographic. I actually tried to read, but the documentary on Hippo’s was too much, so I had to watch. In the end a baby Hippo got eaten by another Hippo, which caused an UNCEASING flow of tears from my cutely over-sensitive wife. It was literally a river of tears! To say that she loves animals would be an understatment. And the fact that she thought the baby Hippo looked like her old dog Cydney who died last year (Cyd was an English Bull Terrier), I’m surprised that she didn’t mourn in sackcloth and ashes. ;)

Dr. Haykin gave me a copy of the July 2004 volume of The Reformed Baptist Theological Review (www.rbtr.org), which I read from yesterday and this morning. Last night I read Robert Martin’s article on the abiding nature of the Sabbath, taken from Hebrews 3&4. It was alright, but I’m sure not overly convincing to the non-Sabbatarian. I much prefer Richard Gaffin’s treatment of the same section of Hebrews in “Pressing Towards the Mark”. Gaffin was excellent in drawing out the eschatological nature of the abiding Sabbath in the already/not-yet.
I also read much of Richard Barcellos’ critique of John Reisinger’s treatment of John Owen and New Covenant Theology. I think Barcellos made a good argument that Owen rooted his Sabbath observance in the Decalogue, not just in creation. And that Owen viewed the Decalogue as multi-functional contra Reisinger who claimed that Owen saw the Ten Commandments as just the Old Covenant that was abrogated.
This morning I started to read, and eventually skimmed James White’s treatment of the newness of the New Covenant. I’m looking forward to reading the second part of that article in the next RBTR coming out this month. I also read Sam Waldron’s book review of Herman Bavinck’s recently translated Prolegomena. I enjoyed the review immensely and would love to get Prolegomena, except I don’t have the money to buy it as it’s rather expensive. I have Bavinck’s The Doctrine of God and Our Reasonable Faith that I should read through first I guess. I’ve read sections of both books, but never cover to cover. If the Dutch Reformed Translation Committee do all four volumes of Bavinck’s Dogmatics, I’d be happy to collect all.

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Drinking coffee

You gotta love it.

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Abandoned

I’m still getting over my cold. Vicky has it as well, and apparently my mom does too. So I guess that means I caught it from somebody and then passed it along. I thought it was due to the change in the weather.
Vicky and I had soup last night for dinner because we were too tired to eat in the cafeteria or make anything on our own. I read more of Groothuis’ book, but unfortunately fell asleep again. Being sick makes me sleepy. I’m reading the most enjoyable part of the book for me right now – it is dealing with postmodernisms deconstruction of beauty and truth in art. You can tell that he is influenced by F. Schaeffer, as much of it sounds like Schaeffer’s “Art and the Bible”, which is an excellent booklet.
Probably the area that I’m most shaped by postmodernism is art and my artistic tastes. Granted, I’m no artist by any stretch, but I do have a profound love of the arts. Especially music.
My tastes vary greatly, and not just in the way people will say, “I like everything, except country”. I literally enjoy various genres of music, much of which is postmodern.
Groothuis gave an interesting contrast between true art and postmodern. He used Coltrane and Kenny G as his examples, arguing for Kenny G as the postmodern and Coltrane as true aescetic art. I completely agreed with his examples and conclusions – that Kenny G’s music doesn’t really correspond with any truth or beauty. There is really no style to his “jazz” and primarily he plays music because he likes to. There is no transcendent, objective quality about his music that one would find in Coltrane. No obvious influences, no value, no raw talent. Groothuis doesn’t offer a mere subject “I don’t like Kenny G” which many of us would utter, he has reasons rooted in the objective reality of art as to why he dislikes him.
The same can be said of anything artistic. The difference between a Rembrandt and the moron who decided he was going to put water-bottles all over the waterfront gardens in Windsor Ontario that was supposedly “art”.
The ultimate point Groothuis was making as that an objective view of art as beauty and truth can only be rooted in the fountainhead of beauty and truth, and that is God. That is not to say that people who don’t believe in God don’t make beautiful and truthful art, far from it. But it doesn’t change the fact that they are reflecting their Creator, either willfully or not, when they create beauty.
He, like Schaeffer, explained how our God is the most innovative, creative and beautiful Artist who inspires all true art. It was interesting to read about the beauty of the temple, or the ark of the covenant, or the vestments of the priests. All were directed to be decorated by God, sometimes for no apparent practical reason other than the fact that God loves artistic beauty. I really enjoyed that, being reminded that God takes delight in the good things of His creation, sin marred as it may be.
Groothuis also reiterated an interesting point made by Richard Mouw about the end of days. After God has judged creation, separating the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats – He will retain all of the good things from “the nations” and they too will be ushered into the New Heavens and New Earth. All that is good and beautiful, all that reflects the goodness and beauty of God, will be retained for use (even artistic pleasure) in the new creation. What an awesome thought! I was delighted to read about that. Mouw drew heavily from Isaiah and his prophetic statements concerning the New Heavens and New Earth, passages which I have read but glossed over. I was encouraged greatly.

While I napped, Vicky studied for a mid-term she’s to take at the end of the month. When I awoke from my slumbers, we watched “American Experiences – Citizen King”, a documentary about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It has been a while since I read or watched anything on MLK, and I was greatly saddened to watch the depravity of humankind in their dealings with black people during King’s civil rights campaign. My eyes literally stinged with tears watching them being paraded around like dogs, tear gassed, beaten and shot. I was in pure disgust and sadness. To say that, in human terms, King was a great man is an understatement. Being older and “wiser”, I was glad to watch this documentary and see that there are those who will stick to their principles come what may. I was saddened to realise that King had affairs on his wife. That actually greatly distressed me and really took the edge off of the respect that I hold for the man. Adultery sucks, no matter who it is who does it.

I woke up this morning and took Vicky to work. I ate some breakfast (toast and marmite, with tea) and read from 2 Timothy. Much like the sadness I felt for King when many of his followers turned from him, I felt the same sadness for Paul. 2 Timothy was his last letter, written while he was awaiting trial and death. Many of his comrades had turned from him as well. But he never turned from his path. Christ was his all, and no matter if the whole world turned against him, Christ was his and that was all he needed. What an encouragement for us! For me.

After my nap last night I ran over to the office to check my email quickly, and was surprised by a screen that popped up saying that someone had added me to their Messenger and asking if I wanted to in turn add them. It was an old friend from grade-school and highschool. I’ve literally known the guy since grade five when he moved from the west side of town to my area. We named Christ around the same time, maybe within a week of each other. We went to church together, we played in a couple of bands together, we hung out constantly and I truly counted him as a brother. He moved a number of years ago to Toronto, and since abandoned Christ. I met up with him last spring and we went for a pint. It was a sad time spent, as he came with two beers already in him (it was noon), he downed two beers quickly before my eyes, and then went off for more beer after we had lunch.
Every word he uttered oozed with conceit and self-aggrandizement. He had to make the point, much like he did last night as we chatted, about how much sex he gets, about how much he drinks and just had to make sure that I knew that he liked to frequently use the word ‘f*ck’.
Not only he, but all of the people I used to hang out with considered themselves Christians. I think that there are maybe three of us who are actually Christian. All the rest have turned aside, including the one who led me to the Lord, whom I considered my best friend and brother.
Now they are all completely pagan and debauched. The taller they are, the harder they fall. They have all fallen quite hard.
The strange thing is, not a day goes by where I don’t think about them. Not a single day. In fact, I dream about them every couple of weeks. I’m horrified for them, not merely for the junk that they’re immersing themselves in while sojourning this life, but for what awaits them at the judgment seat of God. Apostacy is such a horrible horrible sin, one that will be judged so horribly:

26For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31).

May God, in His matchless grace, have mercy on them and convert them truly.

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Uncle Liang Jailed

I received this from our homiletics professor, Dr. Bob Penhearow, who also heads up Carey Ministries: a fast paced missions organizations.

Dear friends,
“Remember them which are in bonds, as bound with them…” Heb. 13:3
As you are aware Pastor Zhang Rongliang (Uncle Liang) is a key leader in
China. As mentioned, his arrest is very significant to the House Church
Movement. If you have not done so please write to your Chinese Embassy in
your respective country protesting this unjust arrest.
To guide you, I have enclosed a letter written by a friend. Please feel free
to use any part(s) of the letter, modify it as you wish but do send your
letter by snail mail by the end of this week. It may be too late if you
delay. Make sure you include your own address.
Please Do NOT mention my name.

Here is the latest update from China received today, Blessings Pastor Bob:

As of December 31, Uncle Liang is officially under arrest. Before
that, he
was just being detained for questioning. It is expected he will be
charged
and sentenced in a week or so. After the sentencing Uncle Liang is
allowed
one week to appeal.

Please keep praying for:

* Uncle Liang’s health as well as early release

* His family for God’s protection and peace

* The other leaders in his movement that God will grant them
the
wisdom and anointing to continue leading the churches to reach China
for
Christ and send missionaries out to the Middle East

Thank you for your partnership.

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Heidegger

– born in the Black Forest region of Germany in 1889
– early schooling at Freiburg and Constance
– introduced to philosophy at 17 after reading Brentano’s “On The Manifold Meaning of Being According to Aristotle (given to him by his pastor)
– also influenced by Kierkegaard, Dostoyevski and Nietchze
– studied philosophy at Freiburg under Husserl
– was Husserl’s assistant until appointed associate prof. at Marburg in 1922. Here he studied Aristotle
– gave a fresh interpretation of phenomenology
– also worked on a draft of “Being and Time” at Marburg
– Being and Time was incomplete upon first publication (on purpose) in 1927 and was hurriedly titled
– became Husserl’s successor at Freiburg in 1928
– was briefly a member of the Nazi Party
– elected as Rector in 1933
– resigned in 1934
– wrote and taught critically of the Nazi’s interpretation of philosophy for 10 years
– drafted into The People’s Militia in 1944

– never developed a set of ideas or a system of philosophy. His concern was thinking, and individuals thinking than scholarship

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Life this weekend.

Man alive, trying to type or use a mouse on a desk this messy is ridiculous. I guess I should clean my office. The problem is that I have so much stuff that I don’t know what to do with it all. Mostly it’s just books and paper, so it should be too bad, but the three huge bookshelves in here are almost full. Dr. Haykin will be in tomorrow, so it would be good to have it clean.
The weekend was pretty hectic. Vicky and I left Toronto at about 5pm on Friday and drove to London. We went to Greg’s to get the last of Corinne’s stuff out of his basement apartment and then drove it over to Corinne’s new place. We helped her fix up her room, then the three of us went to Kelsey’s to eat. I started getting a cold on Thursday, so by Friday I was really feeling it. By the time the three of us made it to Windsor, it was about midnight.
Vicky and I slept at her parents house, only to wake up in the morning to a tonne of snow on the ground. I went out and helped her dad shovel snow and clear the cars, and then had a nice breakfast with Vicky’s family. We hung around her house for a while talking about whatever, and then I went to my mom’s to shovel her snow. Vicky and Corinne took the car and did some shopping. I slept in the afternoon cause I felt even more ill after shovelling all of the snow.
I ate dinner with my mom and then Vicky came over. We went back to her parents house and watched The Bourne Supremacy with them. Corinne was at work, so when her shift was over at 9pm, she met us back at my mom’s to watch Bend It Like Beckham (which I really enjoyed). Corinne then went home at about midnight and Vicky and I slept in my old room.
Sunday morning we all got up and went to the Lord’s Supper service at church for 10am. Pastor Valade has bronchitis so he didn’t preach. Keith Lozon led us in communion and Al Cook preached a good message from Mark about Jesus calming the storm. The 11am worship service was preached by Bart Bryant, one of the elders at Grace Baptist Church of Canton, Michigan. He preached on being a pilgrim. You can access the sermon at http://www.gbce.org under the “sermons” section.
After church we went back to Vicky’s to eat lunch and take a nap. By this point my sinus cold made me feel like a zombie. Instead of napping, I played Red Dead Revolver and finally killed “Bad Bessie”. I freakin’ love that game.
Vicky and I then went back to my mom’s for dinner and tea. At about 7pm we left Windsor for Toronto. Vicky and I had some good conversations in the car about the future, family, work etc. I also listened to the final tape of a three part series by Richard Gaffin on the biblical theology of Van Til’s apologetic. While Vicky slept I listened to the first tape of a two part series by Arie Van Eyck on family worship. It was very paedobaptistic, but I gleaned some good principles.
This morning I was up at 6am and out the door at 6:30 to pick up Dr. Ben Hegeman who flew in this weekend from London, England. He is teaching a one-week modular course on Islam at the seminary, so I had to pick him up from his in-laws. Ben is a missionary in Benin (sp?) and a very interesting and godly man.
Now here I am typing away on my blog in a messy office. Vicky is home sick.

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Hello Operator

Well, getting ready to wrap things up. I’m gonna go pick up Vicky, come back and pack, then head to Windsor. On the way we’re going to her twins place in London to help her finish moving. I’m looking forward to going back home.

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Tolkien

Last night I could feel a cold coming on, and sure enough it did. I awoke in the middle of the night to a horrible sore throat. So I’m hopped up on sinus medication and vitamin C.
Toronto was pummelled with snow in the night, Windsor got it yesterday so I knew this was coming. I helped my friend Justin find a frame for his and his new wife’s bed. He came over for tea afterwards. Justin lent me the only text I don’t have for the 20th Century Thought class, Stumpf’s “Philosophy: History and Problems”. I started to read it last night and am enjoying it. I read through the sections on analytic philosophy, the Vienna Circle, Russell and Wittgenstein. Linguistic analysis is an interesting field of philosophy, but I can’t get into it as much. I’d love to love languages, and in theory I think it’s great. But philology, the actual doing of philology is utterly foreign to me. Even if it was a study of just language, not specific to any particular one. Even the study of how we use language as a construct for life’s problems.
Russell’s logical atomism is an interesting concept, but really who cares? Even if one attained to a “perfect” or “ideal” language, it’s all so subjective that it doesn’t really matter.
As I read these various non-Christian thinkers, I am constantly reminded that if we don’t not think God’s thoughts after Him, we will be left in utter intellectual darkness. As Van Til would say, “Chaos and Old Night”.

I came into work late this morning due to the sore throat and the disrupted sleep. I read more of “Tolkien and the Great War” while I had tea and toast (with Marmite!). I didn’t drive Vicky to work, which I feel badly about. She had to walk in the inclement weather. It would have been a bad idea for me to drive though, feeling the way I do. I’ll be sure to pick her up at 4pm though.

I chatted with Greg on the phone today about the nature of pastoral ministry and preaching. We discussed the necessity of being an outstanding orator when it comes to preaching. We both agree that the primary need of the preacher is to effectively feed his flock. Weather one is a Spurgeon, or the no-name farmer whom Spurgeon was converted under, our goal is to feed our flock. If others think our preaching is mediocre, so be it, so long as our flock grows.
I think that the problem these days, in certain circles, is that we’ve tried to establish ourselves as preaching centres, and not churches. The community aspect of church – even the family aspect – is lost on us. Take for example Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Here is a man I highly revere in Christian history. He was an outstanding preacher, writer and theologian. There was so much that he contributed in a positive way to the church that it would be too much to count. The problem was that he set up Westminster Chapel as a preaching centre instead of a church. When he retired, the church was not established in terms of pastoral leadership and it went to pot. I believe that pastors really need to invest their time and care into their flock. Preaching is so important, but it’s best effected when the congregation hears the preacher and grows from his message. It shouldn’t matter what outsiders think, it matters most what the congregation thinks.

Anyways, I should get back to work.

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