Monthly Archives: December 2007

Libertarian Links

Here are some things on libertarianism that have appeared on blogs I frequent:
Doug Wilson offers some positive thoughts on Presidential hopeful (emphasis on hope) Ron Paul. See here for reasons why not to vote Huckabee.
Justin Taylor offers a four part interview series with Robert P. George who teaches jurisprudence at Princeton Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.


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No More Commentaries???

Michael Jensen, who blogs at Blogging Parson, a blog I enjoy reading, has a provocative post on the use of Biblical commentaries. His is a plea to biblical theologians to stop writing them, or at least reduce their size to less than 250 pages! He also asks pastors to stop buying them, instead opting for a few classics (i.e. Calvin, Barth, Augustine).
It’s an interesting post, but I’m not sure I agree with him. I get his point, and he may be going to extremes just to get the idea across, but are commentaries that useless?
I just completed my first semester of New Testament exegesis. We studied Paul’s epistle to the Philippians to great profit. We translated, parsed, diagrammed and gave exegetical notes on the text. I really enjoyed it and learned alot. One of the great helps in learning was Peter O’Brien’s excellent commentary on Philippians (NIGTC), which was our course text. I also used Moises Silva’s helpful little (under 250 pages) commentary. In the process I could see the tremendous value in having such men as my guide. Although I was dealing with the text myself, I had the benefit of them spurring me along, pointing me to interesting options and offering opinions on the text.
I do agree that we need to spend more time in the original text and in prayer, but should we sell all of our commentaries? I don’t think so. We should be careful in our choices, that’s why little books like the one by D. A. Carson on choosing commentaries is indispensable.
So, read Jensen’s thought provoking post and take to heart the criticism of over-reliance on commentaries, but let’s not throw them all out (even Doug Moo on Romans, whom Jensen doesn’t care for much!).


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R.C. Sproul on Worship Reviewed by Paul Martin

Last year I had the tremendous joy of taking Paul Martin’s course on Pastoral Leadership at Toronto Baptist Seminary. The course was quite practical and provided the students with great principles and models for leadership (who could forget the lecture on risk taking?). It was a very convicting and soul-searching semester for me; so much so that I went through much spiritual growth being confronted with my own sin coupled with the immense responsibility that pastoral ministry entails. For any who want a course in pastoral theology, take Paul Martin’s! Next semester I am looking forward to taking his “Worshipping Church” course. This is why I was happy to read Paul’s review of R. C. Sproul’s latest book on worship entitled A Taste of Heaven.
When I first became interested in things theological, in particular after I had become Calvinistic in my thinking, I read a number of Sproul’s books to great advantage. His book Chosen By God was very helpful in my early days of trying to understand predestination and election. Alongside that I read Faith Alone which provided a helpful look at the issues surrounding the relationship of Protestant and Roman Catholic thought on the doctrine of justification. Both books shaped my early theological developments.
Over the years, however, I began to grow disappointed with Sproul’s work. In particular, when I re-read the book that he co-authored with Gerstner and Lindsley called Classical Apologetics, I realised that maybe it was time to go beyond Sproul’s introductory works into something more substantial. Classical Apologetics was a text for a course on apologetics that I took in my undergrad. The professor was vehemently opposed to presuppositionalism and Cornelius Van Til. For a while, due to the professor’s influence, I was just as opposed. But as I began to read books by presuppositionalists, including Van Til himself, I realised how shoddy the Sproul, etc., book was. I won’t go into the details, but it really is a terrible book that fails to understand presuppositionalism and Van Til.
Therefore I wasn’t surprised when I read Paul Martin’s disappointment with Sproul’s latest on worship. It’s too bad in a sense because Dr. Sproul has done tremendous good in the Reformed community. His influence on the new wave of “young, reformed and restless” probably cannot be measured. I just wish that Sproul would go beyond his hobby-horses and give us something truly substantial before his days in ministry are over. Before you consider buying the book, read what Paul has to say and take his recommendation on buying Carson’s book instead.


Filed under apologetics, books, cornelius van til, don carson, paul w martin, presuppositionalism, r c sproul, tbs, worship

Clint Humfrey on the Net

It seems my good friend Clint Humfrey, pastor of Calvary Grace Church in Calgary, AB is getting some blog coverage lately. His post on streams of Reformed Baptist renewal gained an interesting discussion at And Clint’s recent (and convicting) TBS chapel sermon on tent-making for ministry was nicely summarised and commented on at Redeeming the Time.

Having Clint, Christel and their new baby Hunter in Toronto last week was a true blessing. With Justin and Elisha Galotti (Justin is teaching NT in India as I type!) here last weekend, it was like old times with the six of us hanging out (w/John Bell too!).

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Filed under calgary, churches, cowboyology, friends, reformed baptist