Monthly Archives: February 2009

No Blogging For A Week…

…because we are going here.

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Review: The Lost Gospel of Judas

It’s been a while since I’ve written any reviews for the Discerning Reader (sorry Mark and Tim!). So this past week I finally sent something in – well actually two things. The first is up, a review of Stan Porter and Gordon Heath’s excellent The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact From Fiction. You can check it out here.

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Filed under books, discerning reader, gnostics, graphe, reviews

EthOS: Thesis Research

This was recently brought to my attention: EthOS. It’s a website that catalogs all theses done in Britain. The ones I’ve searched thus far aren’t available for download though.

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Essay: English Reformation

Here is an essay that I wrote for my first master of theology reading seminar with Dr. Michael Haykin. This seminar was on the English Reformation. The essay itself is a survey and (slight) evaluation of three contemporary historians of the English Reformation, namely A. G. Dickens, Eamon Duffy and Diarmaid MacCulloch. I did well on the paper, praise the Lord!

I’ve also linked this in the “Graphe” page (to the right) where I’m going to catalogue anything of substance that I write.

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Filed under church history, english reformation, essays, graphe, me, michael haykin, tbs

Veritas Forum in Toronto

Veritas Forum is a great place to for Christians in a university setting to come and learn how their faith applies to issues of culture. The University of Toronto will be one of those places this coming March. Check out the Veritas Forum’s website for more info. I’m especially interested in checking out the lecture on Tolstoy on March 5.

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Vanderbilt Bibliography

Vanderbilt University has a fabulous bibliographical website on church history called the Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity. It’s a nifty resource to be aware of.

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Review: Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell

Gary Galles reviews Thomas Sowell’s recent book Economic Facts and Fallacies (2007) at The Freeman. As I’ve said before, anything Sowell writes is golden. This book looks to be a must-read, alongside Henry Hazlitt’s Economics In One Lesson. Here are some quotes from Galles’ review:

Economic Facts and Fallacies exposes an array of widely held beliefs to careful logical scrutiny and evidence—evidence that is usually ignored by those who favor interventionist government policies. Time and again, readers are shown that support for expanding government control arises from mistaken reasoning and interpretation of data…

The bulk of the book consists of six chapters dealing with subjects where economic misunderstanding abounds: the urban economy, male-female comparisons, academia, income, race, and the Third World. In each of those sections Sowell rebuts a group of beliefs that are widely accepted despite their fallaciousness and incompatibility with the evidence…

Economic Facts and Fallacies highlights many instances where questionable if not downright foolish policy choices were made. So why don’t we change them? Sowell writes, “Many beliefs which collapse under scrutiny may nevertheless persist indefinitely when they are not scrutinized, and especially when skilled advocates are able to perpetuate those beliefs by forestalling scrutiny through appeals to emotions or interests.” This book makes it harder for such advocates to keep pulling the wool over our eyes.

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Filed under books, economics, reviews, the freeman, thomas sowell

Reading Thomas Goodwin

Thomas Goodwin (1600-1679) was an English Puritan who lived during one of the most tumultuous times in England’s history: the English Civil War. Goodwin was a theologian and a chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. A number of years ago I seriously toyed with the idea of studying Goodwin and began collecting his works. I’ve heard it said that he is a “readable” Puritan. I can agree with that, but then again, everyone is readable next to John Owen!

Joel Beeke, president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, has a great article at the Reformation 21 online magazine recommending Goodwin’s works. He lists them in the order that he thinks they should be read. After listing each volume, he gives a brief summary and shares some of his own thoughts on the piece (this post is also here). I found reading this extremely helpful and it makes me want to pull Goodwin out of the boxes at my mom’s house where most of my library is stored.

My friend Mark Jones is coming to the final stages of his doctoral studies at the University of Leiden where he is studying Thomas Goodwin. Mark has a piece at I Will Build My Church…In Ireland on why he chose to study Goodwin. This is well worth reading also.

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Filed under friends, joel beeke, mark jones, puritans, thomas goodwin

Recommendations for Readings in Philosophy

I’ve been afforded the opportunity to team-teach a course on the history of western philosophy next year with Michael Haykin. I’m very, very excited about it. Out of a twelve-week course, I’ll be giving six three hour lectures. My topics will be Aristotle; Anselm/Aquinas; Descartes/Locke; Hume/Kant; Marx; Foucault.

Our textbooks will likely be:
W. Andrew Hoffecker, Revolutions in Worldview (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2007).
Anthony Kenney (ed), The Oxford History of Western Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

I was wondering what resources you would recommend for studying either the full swath of western philosophy or individual figures – mostly the ones I’ve listed above. I want to amass a good bibliography. I already have a decent collection, but the more the merrier! This includes good primary and secondary sources; critical editions; out-of-print titles; websites; audio; etc.

You’ll note here at RearViewMirror that I’ll be posting resources both for this course and for my master’s work. It’s a good place to keep everything under one hat and at hand for quick reference.

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Filed under books, me, michael haykin, philosophy, tbs

Welcome to RearViewMirror

Well, if you’ve linked here through my old blog Ruminations By The Lake, you know that it’s officially dead over there. Here’s where it’s at.

RearViewMirror will be the place where I continue my forays into the blogosphere, but I also hope to have it as a general site where I can host information about me so that it can be used as a sort’ve online resume.

There are still some bugs that need to be fumigated, so you’ll notice the odd change here and there. Right now the banner pic is useful, but I hope to change it and some other pics.

If you have any thoughts or recommendations, please let me know! I’d love to hear from you. For more info see my “But Why RearViewMirror?” page to the right.

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Why We’re In the State We’re In – Genesis 3

The Fall

John Bell preached a great sermon at New City Baptist last night on Genesis 3 and the Fall. Here’s his outline:

1. The instigation of the revolution (:1-6)

2. The revolution’s results: shame, fear and loss of
fellowship (:7-13)

3. The revolution’s judgment (:4-24)

— a) Husbands and wives
— b) God’s good creation falls
— c) Death
— d) Original sin

Check out the audio.

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Filed under audio, friends, genesis, john bell, new city baptist, sermons, sin, toronto

Pierre Constant

Clint Humfrey has an encouraging post on TBS’s New Testament professor, Dr. Pierre Constant. I totally agree with everything that Clint wrote. I had Dr. Constant for second and third year Greek as well as for New Testament Theology and Academic Research. I know from personal experience that he is rigorous when it comes to scholarship, compassionate when it comes to students, and God glorifying when it comes to his life. He is truly an example of the theologian-pastor. Thanks Clint!

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Racial Reconciliation

This is a very powerful story of racial reconciliation. A racist who beat African Americans during the civil rights campaign has openly apologised to those he hurt. Watch this video of Elwin Wilson apologising to John Lewis. As a Christian hearing this you can tell that this is very likely as a result of Wilson’s conversion to Christ. The “If you were to die tonight…” line is a dead give away.

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Wilson on Wright

Doug Wilson is blogging his way through N.T. Wright’s new book Justification, which the bishop has written in response to certain critics, including John Piper. Wilson thus far is hitting the nail on the head with Wright. As seen in the following:

[Quoting Wright] It is central to Paul, but almost entirely ignored in perspectives old, new and otherwise, that God had a single plan all along through which he intended to rescue the world and the human race, and that this single plan was centred upon the call of Israel, a call which Paul saw coming to fruition in Israel’s representative, the Messiah” (pp. 18-19, emphasis his).

This is great stuff, but it is hardly Columbus planting the flag on a virgin continent. Find me one word in that summary that would not bring forth a chorus of amens from B.B. Warfield, Jonathan Edwards, or any Reformed stalwart between the years, say, 1550 and 1900. Take that phrase “almost entirely ignored” and hold it up to the light in wonderment. So where did I obtain the tall stack of books that I read that persuaded me of this view long before I had ever heard of N.T. Wright? Wright really needs to get out more, and stop acting like he has discovered things that many Christians have known and taught over the course of generations.

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Filed under doug wilson, justification, n t wright, reviews

Solomon and Mann on Global Warming

Glenn Fox sent this out to the Free Market Environmentalist group on Facebook today. It’s an interchange by Lawrence Solomon and Michael Mann on global warming. It’s a fairly serious interchange. If anything, it confirms that consensus does not exist on the issue.

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Art Azurdia Audio

Calvary Grace Church in Calgary, AB recently hosted a conference with Art Azurdia entitled “A Call To Worldly Christianity.” The audio is now up. Three lectures and a sermon. I haven’t listened to them yet, but I don’t doubt that they are excellent.

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Obama’s “Stimulus” Package

I felt like garbage much of yesterday. So I watched more TV than I usually do (I didn’t do laundry, that’s for sure!). During the twelve o’clock news I watched Barack Obama at a townhall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana push his stimulus plan estimated at over 800 billion dollars. It was really, really sad to watch. How depressing to see all of these false hopes bandied about willy-nilly, being received with a gleam in their eye from hard-working people who have no idea that they’re swallowing the biggest dupe in US economic history.
Professor Robert Barro teaches economics at Harvard University. Conor Clarke at The Atlantic recently did an interview with him where Barro called Obama’s stimulus package “the worst bill that has been put forward since the 1930s.” (HT: Justin Taylor).
I was home in Windsor this past weekend for my niece’s first birthday. One of the things I love about being home is sitting on my mother’s couch with the sun beaming through the windows with a cup of coffee and the Windsor Star newspaper in my hands. Saturday papers are great because they always have a column by the excellent Thomas Sowell. I don’t think that I’ve ever read something by the man without being in almost full agreement. His recent column on Obama’s stimulus plan, I think, explains clearly the stupidity of the whole thing (I could only find a link to the same column in the Washington Times). Sowell is a well-known author, columnist and fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Finally, how could I do a post about Obama’s 800 billion blow out without reference to Ron Paul – the guy who should be president. Here’s a YouTube video of Dr. Paul explaining why this package isn’t what many think it is and why it’s going to severely damage the US greenback. Hear Ron Paul:

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Filed under barack obama, economics, ron paul, thomas sowell

Newborn Thrown in Dumpster Alive

Denny Burk links to a horrible story from the Daily Mail about a young girl who recently went into a Florida abortion clinic to have an abortion. The doctor who was to perform her abortion showed up late and the young girl gave birth to her daughter. At this point you would think that the story has a happy ending, because even those on the pro-abortion side don’t advocate murdering a living, fully born, umbilical-cord-cut baby. No, this is not the case.
The staff at the clinic took the living baby and threw her in a biohazard bag and tossed her in the dumpster.
I could leave it here at its worst, but if you read the story, there is a glimmer of hope. The young girl who had the abortion is now suing the clinic. Why? Because when she saw her daughter being carried away, she realised that she had a living child who deserved life. The young girl changed her mind after seeing her daughter face to face.
May this horrifying story change the minds and hearts of a nation so depraved that we let your babies die in dumpsters.
Read Denny Burk’s thoughts on it here. Especially this quote:
Finally, a word to those of you who either support abortion
rights or who are indifferent to this whole issue. If you are shocked and
appalled at how this little girl was killed, then why not be shocked and
appalled at the fact that if the doctor had arrived on time the same outrage
would have occurred? The only difference would have been that the killing would
have taken place in a different location.

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Jesus is Yahweh

At Crux yesterday I met a guy who was interested in researching the Trinity and Jesus’ divinity. He has been meeting with some Jehovah’s Witnesses and has found some of their arguments to be thoughtful and possibly even biblical. Of course, Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the doctrine of the Trinity and the deity of our Lord Jesus.
I emailed him this morning with the hopes of getting together. I included in my email some verses that ascribe to Jesus titles/attributes that are ascribed to Yahweh in the Old Testament. These are culled from Murray Harris’ awesome book Jesus As God (Baker, 1998).
I AM (the covenant name of God)
Exodus 3:14 (see Isaiah 43:11) – John 8:58.
Salvation and Yahweh
Joel 2:32 – Romans 10:9-13
Yahweh Described
Ezekiel 43:2 – Revelation 1:13-16
There are plenty more, but I thought that these were helpful.
I also directed his attention to the use of Isaiah 6 when applied to Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, namely John 12:41 and Acts 28:25.
My prayer is that my friend would come to see Christ as the eternal God whom true Christians everywhere have worshipped since the beginning of the church!

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Filed under apologetics, books, crux books, cults, jehovah's witness, jesus, trinity

150th for Origin of Species

Many of us Calvinists are excited to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin this year. We’re attending conferences, we’re reading through the Princeton Seminary daily readings of the Institutes, etc. But how many of us are aware that this year also marks the 15oth anniversary of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species? Are any of us reading through it this year? Are we familiarising ourselves with its basic thesis? I believe this will provide us some excellent opportunities to share Christ with those interested in naturalistic evolution. I think I may pick up a copy.

Marvin Olasky of World Magazine has a good article on Darwin’s infamous book and how we can appropriate this anniversary.

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