Monthly Archives: November 2008

Outsourced

Went and saw the movie Outsourced (starring Josh Hamilton and Ayesha Dharker) tonight at the Carlton Cinema after having sushi — at Daily Sushi, we’re regulars — with Vicky and Corinne. For a light “romantic comedy” I kinda liked the movie. Why is it that cultural differences are so funny? The movie’s basic story is about a guy who has to train a call centre in India to sound more American (of course he falls for an Indian girl). It’s probably a good movie to watch if you’re at all into cross cultural engagement.
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City and Colour – Against the Grain

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Michael Bird’s Take on ETS (and SBL)

One of the papers that I really enjoyed at ETS was Michael Bird’s first one on New Testament canon. Thoughtful, thought provoking, well communicated and funny. I especially appreciated his plea to include early church history as part of doing a New Covenant Theology (not the NCT of Sovereign Grace fame). I picked up two copies of his book The Saving Righteousness of God for Justin and Clint’s birthdays. As I glossed it over I thought that it looks like a very important contribution to the debate on the New Perspective on Paul. I also enjoyed Bird’s interaction with Denny Burke at Burke’s paper on the “righteousness of God.”
Anyways, all that to say, Bird has posted his thoughts on ETS here.

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Old Apostates

I doubt they’d care that I call them apostates. They wouldn’t deny it. They once professed faith, now they’ve abandoned that faith en toto. That sounds like an apostate to me.

My two best friends from highschool, Tim McCready and Nick Bechard, recently did an interview at Aux.tv discussing the recent Bill Maher movie Religulous. The discussion has more to do with their own religious history/beliefs than any sort’ve movie review, but the movie does get some mention.

It was interesting reading the interview because all throughout Nick’s religious experience, I was his close friend. As I was reading, various memories popped into mind. Strange how memory works eh?

It was Tim who shared the gospel with me (and Nick, though a week later) and I was converted. For the first few years of my Christian life, Tim was the guy I looked up to. His dad was my pastor, we played on the worship team together, we hung out all the time, etc. In fact, most of my cultural tastes are a result of my friendship with Tim. The movies I like, the music I listen to, the style I prefer, the books I read, all probably have some foundation in the days when we hung out. He didn’t really teach me the faith in a quantifiable way, that all came later, but I do look back fondly at those early days.

I’ve been glad in the last year or so to reconnect with him. In spite of all the water under the bridge, I still feel like we’re friends. I may never see the guy again, but I’ll probably feel the same way when I’m 80. In fact, I went for breakfast with he and his girlfriend Adrienne a few weeks ago, it was great.

I can’t help but think that if Tim had known what I know about Christianity, and not what he was raised to believe, things might be a bit different. He thanks (Whoever) for not being a part of the Christianity of his past. I must say, that I thank God for not being a part of it either. Those are days we both look back to and don’t have any visions of them being our future.

Tim reads this blog periodically, and I doubt he’d care me saying these things. But the last part of the interchange saddens me slightly:

Tim: We both turned 30 this year. Is it just me, or are almost none of the
people that we met through church in the 90’s still into Christianity?

Nick: It’s true, a lot of the people I’ve known through my days of being a
Christian are now either Agnostic like myself or Atheists, but I still know some
strong believers. Some are still awesome people living their life, but some are
just bat shit crazy. I guess it’s the same with anyone you grow up with. Either
they stay cool or they go bat shit crazy.

I can only think of two people that I used to hang out with that are still Christians. Out of a group of over twenty. Thank God that he persevered in my life – who knows where I’d be?

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Ron Paul on Abortion, Markets and Power

If I could have had my way in the US elections, I would have seen Congressman Ron Paul elected as President. One of the reasons has to do with his stance on abortion. As a libertarian, he argues that abortion is not congruent with principles of freedom. In this piece, he even argues that the market suffers with legalised abortion and that there is a correlation between the pro-abortion position and the centralisation of governmental power.

Read “Abortion and the Centralization of Power” at RonPaul.com.
As a physician who has delivered over 4,000 babies I am very
disturbed by the continued efforts of those on the left to establish absolute
rights to abortion. However, even more distressing is the notion that taxpayers
should be forced to subsidize life-ending procedures such as abortion and
embryonic stem cell research.

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Michael Horton – Christless Christianity

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James White on the Reliability of the New Testament Text

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ETS and Books

In a major feat of self-restraint, I only bought two books at ETS. With the hordes of book sellers, offering their wares at ridiculously low prices, I’m amazed at my sanctification! It probably helped that my wife was with me as I perused the books (note: she bought more books than me!).
The two books that I purchased are ones that I am very glad to have in my library (am I ever not glad?). The first is the late David F. Wright’s Infant Baptism in Historical Perspective published by Paternoster in their Studies in Christian History and Thought series. What’s so neat about this book is that it argues strongly against the historical primacy of paedobaptism by one of the world’s top patristic and reformation scholars, who happens to be a Presbyterian! I’m very anxious to digest this work.
The second book is Death By Love by Mark Driscoll. A week ago Vicky and I spent Sunday afternoon with a couple from Trinity Baptist in Burlington, the Perry’s, who have a copy of the book. As I looked through it I was amazed to see how Driscoll applied the gospel message of penal substituation by Christ’s propiatory death on the cross to pastoral situations. For instance, he applies it to rape, abuse, religiosity, lust, adultery, demonic possession and other such intense subjects. I’m about half-way through the book and am really enjoying it. It’s very easy to read (much of it is in letter form) and is very, very pastoral. I would highly recommend it to pastors (I almost say it is incumbent upon them to read it!).

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Filed under books, church history, david wright, ets, mark driscoll, paedobaptism

Old Friends, ETS, Providence and NYC

Vicky and I got back into Toronto around 9pm on Saturday night. We returned from a fantastic weekend with our close friends Clint and Christel Humfrey (and their son Hunter) and Justin and Elisha Galotti (and their son Jake). It has been a year since we all hung out together, so it was refreshing to be in their company. It’s funny how deeply you realise you miss someone when you see them after a long period of time.
We flew into La Guardia on Tuesday night where Justin met us and took us to his dad’s summer home near Providence, RI. Vicky and I had eaten at the TGI Friday’s in Pearson Airport (Toronto) and I got pretty sick from the disgusting hamburger. As we flew around Manhattan, Vicky enjoyed taking in the sights and I merely tried to keep my cookies from being tossed.
It was great to see Justin. I was struck by the feeling that it had only been a few days since I saw him last. I guess that’s a sign of our lasting friendship. We had a good three hour drive trying to follow his GPS to RI.
Justin’s dad’s summer home was awesome. Very spacious – with a cabin-esque feel. Walking in to see Elisha and the Humfrey’s was like coming home. We sat up for quite a while catching up. The boys were asleep so we only got to see them in a quick peak.
In the morning we got ourselves ready and headed into Providence for the 60th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. The whole of Wednesday and Thursday was taken up by attending various sessions. What a strange thing to be walking around the facility seeing people like John Piper, Vern Poythress, Justin Taylor, Denny Burk, Michael Bird, Ardel Caneday, Bruce Ware, Peter Gentry and a whole host of others just hanging out. I felt like an idiot gawking at everyone’s name tags.
Over the course of the conference I took in the following lectures (no particular order):
Miles Van Pelt – Framework Hypothesis
Clint Humfrey – Paul as a tentmaker
Joel Beeke – Calvin on Prayer
Michael Bird – NT canon
John Piper – Why God is not a megalomaniac
Peter Gentry – OT text
Dan Wallace – NT text
Charles Hill – NT canon
Denny Burk – Righteousness of God
Daniel Janosik – John of Damascus
Al Mohler – Desecularisation (Q&A)
I think there was more, but I can’t remember.
In spite of all of the excellent lectures, the highlight was being able to hang out with friends. Driving about, eating food, sitting up at night chatting, that was the best part.
On Friday we drove to Newport, RI (where they hold the famous jazz festival) and had a good time touring the place. We ate (awesome chowder) in the White Horse Tavern, supposedly the oldest tavern in America. The food was fantastic as was the old atmosphere. We had a nice little room to ourselves where the kids could be kids.
We walked about Newport, bought some fudge, saw the ocean and then took a drive up the coast past all of the mansions. Rhode Island is one very picturesque state and it’s coastline is unbelievable. I felt like I was in a movie. If you’re friends with me on Facebook I’ll post pictures soon.
On Friday night we drove back to the Galotti’s in Ossining, NY. We were so wiped from the drive that we just lounged around until bedtime. In morning we awoke, had breakfast and drove into Manhattan. I must say: I really, really like NYC. I wish that I had more time to explore and take in the city. It’s much bigger than Toronto and (I think) much cooler. We walked around Times Square and then went to eat pizza in Little Italy and a fantastic restuarant called Lombardi’s.
It was there that we parted ways with the Humfreys as they went in search of the perfect dessert and the Galotti’s took us back to La Guardia for a less nauseating flight back to Toronto.
It was very sad to leave our friends, in spite of the promises to see one another again soon. God has blessed Vicky and I with amazing friendships and our hearts desire is to have them close to us. Calgary and NYC are nice, but they ain’t close. We really miss them.

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Shaker on Shields

Bob Shaker is one of those men whom I look up to in the faith. In his nineties, he has long been a model of fidelity to the truth. Shaker served at Jarvis Street Baptist Church in the days of T. T. Shields and has done much to keep the memory of Shields alive. Proof positive is his new website cataloguing everything Shields. If you are into the “Canadian Spurgeon” then this resource is must-reading. While you’re there, send Mr. Shaker a note, he’d really appreciate it.

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Death Cab for Cutie – Cath…

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ETS

Tomorrow Vicky and I are flying to New York City to spend the night with our good friends Justin and Elisha. On Wednesday morning we drive to Providence, RI to attend the annual meeting for the Evangelical Theological Society. We’re really excited because another good friend, Clint Humfrey, is giving a paper called “The Apostle of Calloused Hands: Paul’s Vocational Spirituality Reconsidered.” It’s going to be great to hear his paper and to see him and his wife Christel. What’s also especially great is that we get to see their baby boy Hunter and Justin and Elisha’s baby boy Jake (whom we’ve yet to meet). This will be a great reunion of old friends.

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Haykin on Islam

A year or so ago I attended Sola Scriptura Ministries’ Toronto conference on Islam. The key note speakers were Thabiti Anyabwile, James White and Michael Haykin. While all of the talks were great, Dr. Haykin’s stood out. He offered an historical survey of the rise and conquest of Islam concluding with an early Christian response to this religion from the writings of John of Damascus. The Andrew Fuller Center has now posted the audio for this lecture which I took an opportunity to listen to while I grocery shopped this morning. Then, as now, I found this lecture to be intellectually stimulating.

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The Daily Scroll

There are some blogs that I check every once in a while to see what’s going on and there are others (like Justin Taylor‘s) that I check more than once a day. A new blog that just popped into the blogosphere is The Daily Scroll, that is fast becoming a “more than once a day” check.
The proprietor of the blog is Chris Ross, a PhD student (?) at Edinburgh whose focus is in church history. You may be familiar with some of his contributions to The Conventicle.
Anyways, make this a regular stop in your frenzy of gathering information. It’ll be well worth your while.

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Passing From This World Into The Next

A dear friend’s wife passed away from cancer and I just received the news. I am very sad for him to say the least. One of the most helpful pieces that I’ve read on dying is Dennis Ngien’s book Luther As A Spiritual Advisor. For those who haven’t read the book, Ngien has an article at the Christianity Today website called “Picture Christ” that is a condensed version of it.

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The Pogues – And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Here is a song appropriate for today as we remember those who have lost life or limb for our freedom. It is a sad and raw song. Lest we forget.
When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It’s time to stop rambling ’cause there’s work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off to Gallipoli
How well I remember that terrible day
How the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he’d blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia
But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then we started all over again
Now those that were left, well we tried to survive
In a mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
But around me the corpses piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And when I woke up in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying
For no more I’ll go waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me
So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
Then turned all their faces away
And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory
And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men answer to the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me
And their ghosts may be heard as you pass the Billabong
Who’ll come-a-waltzing Matilda with me?

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Trueman on the Trinity and Owen

The Reformed Forum has an audio interview with Carl Trueman, professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary. I have yet to listen to it, but having heard Trueman discuss trinitarianism and John Owen, it is sure to be good. Here’s the site and here’s the mp3.

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Interview with Palin’s Thoughts

I think that this interview paints a different picture of Sarah Palin than has been seen in the recent past:

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Walter Block on Free Market Environmentalism

Thanks to Brandon for offering a link in a comment on an earlier post on free market environmentalism. The link is to a YouTube video of Walter Block discussing the relationship between the environment and economics. Check it out:

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Book Reviews Website

The Review of Biblical Literature has a website where they post their reviews. Lots and lots of good stuff here!

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