The multi-faceted David Gelernter offers a rousing call to the Bush administration to defend their Iraqi policy on a moral rather than strategic basis in the October 6 edition of the Weekly Standard . He compares the debate over Iraq today with the debate between Chamberlain and Churchill in the period leading up to World War II. The party of appeasement, he points out, was not motivated by “laziness or indifference,” but “conviction,” specifically a (mistaken) Christian conviction that war… Read more

In the September 29 issue of the Weekly Standard , Sam Munson reviews Peter Carey’s novel, My Life As a Fake , a fictionalized account of a famous Australian literary hoax. As Munson summarizes the (true) story: Over a single wet weekend on an army base (or so at least the legend of their hoax has it), [Harold] Stewart and [James] McAuley composed reams of mock surrealist poetry. They invented a properly tragic biography of oppression and early death for… Read more

Exhortation for September 28: We sometimes think of the church as a collection of families, and in some respects that is true. More fundamentally, though, the church is a family. We are brothers and sisters of one another because we are all brothers and sisters of Jesus, whose Father is also our Father. This is what Jesus says in our sermon text this morning. When his own mother and brothers come to visit Him, he doesn’t stop what He is… Read more

The Twelve apostles are all men of Galilee, but as soon as Acts opens they are based in Jerusalem and remain there, even after the stoning of Stephen and the dispersal of the church. Perhaps there’s a connection with the remnant typology mentioned in an earlier post: The remnant has moved from the North (Galilee) to the South (Jerusalem) and remains there until the destruction of the city. In this scenario, the apostles are like Jeremiah before the destruction of… Read more

I don’t have my sermons taped, and have been asked why. Here’s a couple of reasons: 1) Jeff Meyers pointed out a number of years ago that taping sermons tempts a pastor to preach to a group other than the church in front of him. Instead of addressing the specific local concerns, he will be tempted to be a “prophet to the nation.” Some preachers are called to that; most aren’t. I’m not. 2) As I’ve mulled over this more… Read more

Listening to Jim Jordan’s tapes on Daniel has helped me to put some pieces together in Luke. Jim discusses the “remnant covenant” at some length in the first couple of tapes, and points out some of the main features of that period of Israel’s history. In many respects, these features are brought out also in Jesus’ ministry: 1) Elijah and Elisha form a “church” independent of the temple. Jesus does the same, offering forgiveness and atonement and cleansing apart from… Read more

The gods in Euripides are savage, unpredictable, random, liable to sneak up and destroy you at a moment’s notice. No wonder that Paul’s announcement that Jesus had defeated the principalities and powers came as such great good news. Read more

The gods in Euripides are savage, unpredictable, random, liable to sneak up and destroy you at a moment’s notice. No wonder that Paul’s announcement that Jesus had defeated the principalities and powers came as such great good news. Read more

Lecture #3: Chosen in Christ: Election and Trinity INTRODUCTION Scripture teaches that God does all things according to the purpose of His will (Ephesians 1:11), and that the God who does this is the Triune God. How are those two teachings of Scripture related? How does the doctrine of the Trinity shape our understanding of election? How does a Trinitarian doctrine of election help us to avoid determinism? How can a Trinitarian doctrine of election make election a comforting rather… Read more

Lecture #2: Surplus at the Origin: Trinity, Eschatology, and Story INTRODUCTION This is going to be difficult. I hope it’s worth it. I begin with two observations. First, on any millennial view, the Christian account of history is progressive, moving from the garden to the city. It is eschatological not only in that there is an end, but that the end is a glorified beginning, not merely a return to origins. To say the same in other words, the Christian… Read more

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