Tag Archives: friends

Sipping Saints

My good friend Mark Nenadov has posted a series of quotes at his blog All Things Expounded from the bible and church history about alcohol consumption. I thought I would share them with you for your thoughts:
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Sermon: "The Old Is Gone, The New Is ‘In’" (2 Cor. 5:17)

I preached my first ever “New Year’s sermon” yesterday at Grace in Essex. I must say, I was quite excited to do it and felt really good about it. The whole morning, both the Lord’s Supper service and the regular one (I preached at the “regular” one) were particularly affective for me. Keith Lozon preached a bang-up message for the Lord’s Supper service reminding us that we are a part of Christ’s flock. It really set the mood for what I felt was a very unifying partaking of the elements. Just looking around at everyone as we took communion together really warmed my heart.
Anyways, enjoy the sermon (if you can!). I preached on 2 Corinthians 5:17 where Paul discusses being a new creation in Christ. The old is indeed gone and by virtue of our union with Christ, we are new creatures. Praise God!

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Island Connection

Peter Kennedy is a student at Wycliffe College and comes into Crux somewhat regularly and buys good books. If you live in Canada, you may recognise him from various commercials (ie. Canadian Tire). He is also the artist behind Tuffkat Productions and Island Connection – A Spiritually Positive Screenwriting Project. He has done work on figures in church history like John Donne and is currently writing a screenplay on an Irish figure from our past (I won’t mention who).
Anyways, check him out and throw him some support!

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New Blog, New Radio

My Scots friend, Dave Shedden (Shed), is blogging again. He’s also got a show on Revival FM in Scotland. Shed recently (and aptly) did a thesis on W. G. T. Shedd at Princeton Theological Seminary.

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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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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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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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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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Thirty Nine Articles and the Westminster Confession

My friend Rogers Meredith has an article in the new journal The North American Anglican comparing two great statements of faith that came to us from England: the Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England and the Westminster Confession of Faith.
I haven’t had a chance to get all the way through it yet, but it looks great.

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Review: Foundations of Christian Thought

Stephen Yuille has a helpful review of Mark Cosgrove’s book Foundations of Christian Thought at his blog Deus Pro Nobis (trans. “God for us”).

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Valedictory Speech – Ian Hugh Clary – May 2, 2008

President Thompson, Principal Wellum, Faculty, Staff and Students. It is my great privilege to stand before you this evening as Valedictorian for the academic year of 2008. I am greatly humbled by the honour that you have bestowed upon me and am thankful to God for the work that he has done in my life through TBS.
I first came to Toronto Baptist Seminary and Bible College in the summer of 2003. Michael Haykin had just become Principal and he asked me to join him as his research and administrative assistant. It was an interesting period in my life; a period of great change. I am originally from Windsor, Ontario and before coming to Toronto, I had never moved. The house that I came home from the hospital in as a baby was the same house that I left to come to the big city. For any of you who know me, I am much more at home in a boat with my fishing rod in the water than I am in a place like this. Coming to Toronto was an eye opening experience with its size, its cultural diversity, its population and its noise all beyond what I was used to. I would sometimes joke that I came to a city where the Rolling Stones held a concert whose number more than doubled the population of my hometown!
Yet, moving to Toronto and enrolling at Toronto Baptist Seminary, first as an undergrad, and now as a grad student, was one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my life. What I have received from TBS far surpasses merely academic knowledge, though it certainly includes that! TBS has developed my character, it has shaped my spiritual life and it has given me the tools to be able to approach this world with the life-changing gospel of the living Christ.
I want to take a moment and speak about character. This is a word that is so misunderstood in our day. No longer do we live in a society where good and evil are clearly distinguished. Gone are the days of John Wayne who could squarely face a tough situation and you could be sure that he would do what is right. But what I have found amongst the community of TBS is character. It is character that was clearly modeled to me in the lives of my professors. These men and women who sit before you today are not just teachers who sit coldly removed from their students as in so many universities. Rather, these are people who care deeply for not only the academic achievements of their students, but also for the character of each person who sat in their classes. TBS is a place where we learn that doctrine is practice, that you cannot have right living if you do not have right belief. When we learn about the mysterious depths of the Trinity, or of Jesus as the God-man, or how a holy God can forgive sinners, we are learning how to live our lives. Such living is manifested in the regular daily devotions of the Christian life, in prayer and in Scripture reading. It is manifested in character.
One of the most profound memories that of I have of TBS is of a trip to England that I went on with Dr. Haykin four years ago. What struck me, just as much as seeing all of these fantastic sites from church history, was the time we spent praying and reading the Bible together in a hotel room. Those were glorious times where I saw the depths that Christians were willing to go to honour Christ, as in the case of Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, sixteenth century Protestant martyrs whose place of burning I stood in Oxford. Yet, just as profound, I saw the Christian life modeled before in the life of one of my professors.
Probably the most spiritually enriching class that I have ever had, and probably ever will have, was Prof. Martin’s course on pastoral leadership. It is not often that one sits in a class in tears having just been confronted powerfully with the reality of my own sin and the even greater reality of the grace of God in the gospel. Each one of us men who took that course were changed deeply and would count Prof. Martin not only as a teacher, but as a mentor. I can never thank Prof. Martin enough for that life changing experience.
Character development also manifested itself in the relationships that I have shared at TBS. We are a small school and that has many wonderful advantages. Over the course of five years of study I have made deep and long lasting friendships with some of the most amazing people that I have ever come into contact with. I can recall time spent in Prof. Humfrey’s office where the weight of spirituality was so heavy in the room that it was almost physically tangible. Although Clint was only ever my first year Greek professor, his impact upon my life will only be realised in the life to come. I have found great friends in former students like Justin Galotti, John Bell, Josh Moser and Scott Bowman. Friends who have so shaped me that I would not be the Christian I am today if it were not for them. And I credit all of this to the glorious plan of God who brought me to TBS.
Toronto Baptist Seminary is a school that has high academic standards. I have heard testimony of students who have attended both the University of Toronto and TBS and who swear that our Seminary is much more rigorous. We learn languages like Greek, Hebrew and Latin. We take courses on western philosophy and church history. We delve deeply into the bible both in terms of biblical and systematic theology. We learn first hand applied theology in our fieldwork, internships and pastoral theology classes. When a student graduates from TBS you can be assured that he or she, to quote Prof. Humfrey, “Knows his onions.” Yet all of the rigour, all of the late nights writing papers and studying for exams, all of the long classes and Greek and Hebrew exegesis, all of this is for nothing if it does not help us come to know God more in Christ.
The measure of a school is taken by how well it prepares the student for whatever line of work they have trained for. The value Toronto Baptist Seminary is immeasurable because of what they have both taught and shown their students is priceless. You have shown us Christ and for that I am profoundly thankful.
Last year TBS celebrated its 80th anniversary. May it be in the providence of God that we will celebrate another 80 years with the same commitment to academic rigour, biblical fidelity and the building of Christian character. And may it all be to the glory of the Triune God.

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Goodwin and Formula One

It was good to have lunch with Thomas Goodwin yesterday. No, not the 17th century Puritan, but Mark Jones, the guy who runs a blog named after said Puritan. Mark is in the midst of writing a PhD thesis on Goodwin for the University of Leiden. Dr. Haykin is one of Mark’s supervisors and they met yesterday at TBS to go over what Mark has done so far.
Mark is also pastor of Faith Vancouver, a PCA church on the west-coast. We had a good time yesterday, it was good to finally get together. A memorable moment came when we were discussing pastoral ministry sitting in P.J. O’Brien’s. He said something to the effect: “Academics is great, but pastoral ministry is Formula One.” Great quote.

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Tyrannicide Brief

Clint has posted some thoughts about the excellent book The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold. I read chunks of it last summer before school started again, but had to put it down. I can’t wait to finish it – John Cook was a great example of a godly man who risked his life for the cause of God and truth. Read this book!

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Silence – A Review

My friend Colin Giesbrecht has a great review of a book by Susaku Endo called Silence. I was just as struck by Colin’s clear writing as I was about the book itself. One of my favourite things in the world is reading a good writer (I’m reading John Stott at home and am in heaven!).

Anyways, the book is about Japan and the influence of Christianity upon it in the form of Jesuit missionaries. It looks to be an informative and entertaining read.
(Note: the pic above is a self-portrait done by Colin.)

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Review – The God Who Draws Near (Haykin)

Here is a link to the review that I wrote of Dr. Haykin’s recent book The God Who Draws Near.

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Haykin Lecture on John Newton

The Sovereign Grace Pastor’s Fellowship will be holding it’s November 19th meeting at Toronto Baptist Seminary with Guest Lecturer Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin (left in pic above).
“The Life of John Newton” Presented by Dr. Michael Haykin
November 19, 2007 – 10:00 AM
Toronto Baptist Seminary
130 Gerrard Street East,
Toronto, Ontario, M5A 3T4
(416) 925-3263
In the chapel of Jarvis St. Baptist Church (Limited free parking is available!). There will also be an excellent (both in content and price!) booksale upstairs at Jarvis – bring your wallets!
Register in advance by calling 416.925.3263
[HT: Kerux]

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Multroneous on the Island

My friend Colin posted some thoughts about an event we attended on Saturday at Grace Toronto church. It was an artful evening that we all really enjoyed. Check out Colin’s thoughts.

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