Monthly Archives: October 2009

Hitchens/Wilson on Imus

Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson discuss their new movie, Collision, on the Don Imus show {HT: Blog and Mablog}:


1 Comment

Filed under apologetics, atheism, christopher hitchens, debate, doug wilson, ethics, philosophy, presuppositionalism, video


There is a new blog at the First Things website called Evangel. It has quite a good list of contributors and the posts thus far are great.

Leave a comment

Filed under blogging

Globe Article on Theology Pubs

For the last year or so I’ve been going to the monthly gathering of theologues for a pint at Toronto’s “Theology Pub.” Apparently these pubs are bigger than I realised. Darryl Dash, who organises our Toronto gathering, is intereviewed in the Globe and Mail (here).

This month’s pub night is Monday and the topic for discussion is John Calvin, it being the 500th anniversary of his birth this year. Here’s the website for information – you’re more than welcome to come!

For the beer of Calvin’s choice, check out Calvinus!


Filed under alcohol, darryl dash, theology pub, toronto

Helm in the Guardian on Calvin

Paul Helm is doing a column on John Calvin in England’s The Guardian newspaper. His first is entitled, “On Calvin, Part 1: A World Figure.”

Leave a comment

Filed under articles, calvin, church history, paul helm

Preaching the Synoptics and John

There’s a question that’s been rumbling in my brain for quite some time now. It has to do with preaching from the gospels. Should preachers when they’re dealing with, say, Luke, go to Matthew  in their sermon for a related theme and offer extended discussion of it?

Of course, evangelicals believe in the full inspiration of scriptures, the unity of the canon and the analogy of faith. So it would seem that answer should be “yes.” But my question has a further consideration that we don’t often think about: What about authorial intent and themes local to a particular gospel? If I’m preaching from Matthew and am aware both of Matthew’s consistent “kingdom emphasis” and his audience that is familiar with the Old Testament and then throw in a parallel from Luke that has different emphases am I not disregarding Matthew’s purpose in writing? Of course there are parallels between texts, but many times those parallels are located contextually within a gospel for a purpose that is different between authors.

The problem gets even muckier when we consider the gospel according to John. Not being one of the synoptic gospels John has themes and narrative that are not found in the other three gospels, or if they are, it is to a limited and often different degree. Is it hermeneutically sound to turn from John in a sermon, to Matthew to discuss the Lord’s Supper?

I tend to lean against hopping from gospel to gospel on one particular theme because I fear that I’m not doing justice to the gospel writer’s purpose in writing the way he did and situating it where he did. It’s not that it is wrong to point out harmony and differences between the gospels, but to develop meaning from one gospel to another on a given theme disrupts the flow of what the author is trying to communicate. It runs the possibility of bringing in brand new themes that the given gospel writer is not commenting on. It also runs the risk of confusing the hearers of the sermon.

This problem is not the same as comparing the letters of Paul with each other. Why? Because to compare Colossians with Philippians is to compare Paul with Paul. His emphases, his language, his style is often the same. Therefore, in probably all cases, his intentions are the same. It’s comparing apples with apples, whereas in the case of the gospels, it is comparing apples with oranges.

I’m interested in other perspectives on this. Are there any good homiletical books that deal with this subject from one view or another?


Filed under gospels, preaching

Athanasius, Arianism, Christ and the Spirit

This one’s for my old pal Mark (no, not you Nenadov!):

“From Athanasius we learn that the Arians believed Jesus to be dependent on the Holy Spirit for his own spirituality, growth in grace and consequent inhabitation of the Father…In contrast to the Arian position Athanasius believes that Christ’s divine being does not allow Jesus in his life among us to require or need the Holy Spirit either in his relation with his Father or in his public ministry. It is rather the divine Word who gives from himself to the Spirit and also dispenses the Spirit to us…Athanasius is not able to concede that Jesus in his own person and for his own good was in any way comforted, guided, empowered, enable, sanctified or encouraged by the Holy Spirit…Their [Arians] point is that in the Scriptures the Son’s high status is dependent on the Father’s pleasure rather than being a natural consequence of the Son’s essential divinity. If it is something he has been given then he clearly does not have it by nature, that is, from his being or essence.” [Alan Spence, Christology: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: T&T Clark, 2008), 29-30.]

1 Comment

Filed under athanasius, christology, church history, quotes

The Sadies – The Horseshoe

Coolest video from one of the coolest bands:

Leave a comment

Filed under music, the sadies, video

Upcoming NCB Related Events

The next little while will be busy for New City Baptist. Here’s a list of things we’ll have involvement in one way or another:

1) October 16, 2009 – John will be speaking at Grace Fellowship Church‘s singles night. A time of fellowship will start at 7pm. Worship in song at 7:45pm and John will speak at 8pm. GFC is our “mother” church and we’re thrilled that John was invited to speak!

2) November 20, 2009 – The denomination that NCB is part of, the Sovereign Grace Fellowship, will be hosting their annual General Assembly at Trinity Baptist Church in Burlington. It was at last year’s GA that NCB was taken on as a plant. We’re extremely thankful to the churches who have supported us over the last year.

3) Once a month on Mondays – GFC and SGF co-sponsor the Toronto Pastor’s Fellowship. This is predominantly a gathering of pastors, though others are more than welcome, who come together for fellowship and a time of intellectual stimulation. The first meeting was this past Monday where David Robinson encouraged pastors to find their competence in God.

Leave a comment

Filed under conferences, grace fellowship church, new city baptist, sovereign grace fellowship, toronto, toronto pastors fellowship

Theology Lookalikes: Burk and Rappaport

Over the last little while I keep getting the same thought: this theologian looks like that actor/singer/whatever. So it dawned on me, why not blog about it and see what others think? I know this is all pretty ridiculous, but hey, it’s my blog and I can do as I like with it.

The one lookalike that’s been in my head for a month or so now is Denny Burk and Michael Rapaport. This likely has to do with meeting Burk at Southern Seminary’s book room in August and recently watching Rapaport act in True Romance. So waddaya think?


Filed under theology lookalikes

Hebrew Vocab Pronunciation

My good friend Mark Francois is a PhD student in Old Testament at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. He also teaches Hebrew at Toronto Baptist Seminary. Mark has a working knowledge of around eleven languages, both ancient and modern, and is only in his mid-twenties! Anyways, as an aide for TBS Hebrew students, he has posted mp3 files of Hebrew pronunciation at the seminary’s website {here}. He even sings a Hebrew alphabet song!

Leave a comment

Filed under audio, friends, hebrew, linguistics, tbs, toronto