Thursday, 24 January 2008

Christian Heritage Cambridge

I have just been sent info from Christian Heritage in Cambridge regarding some apologetic downloads.
These include David Robertson on his book 'The Dawkin's letters' and Dr Wayne Grudem on Bible Translations. You can access them here Christian Heritage.
God Bless

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Tulip Blooming amongst the Baptists

I have just read an interesting article from CT called 'Tulip blooming' about the growth of Calvinism with the Southern Baptist Church. I find the resurgence of Calvinism in the States as a real encouragement. Here in the UK particularly through a generation of leaders like Martyn Lloyd Jones and John Stott, interest in Calvinism has grown but not amongst the mainline Baptist denominations. It is so encouraging that SBC which was turning liberal a few years ago was rescued through the work of people like Charles Stanley and Al Mohler.

The two main Baptist denominations in the UK, The Baptist Union of Great Britain and the Baptist Union of Scotland are in a situation where they need godly solid theologians to rescue their colleges to the glory of God. Neither BUGB or BUS are particularly reformed and could only be described as evangelical in the broader sense. In the north of Scotland where we live, Baptist churches seem to both conservative evangelical and reformed but sadly this is not the national picture. Oh that God would raise up a new generation of evangelical baptists who will contend for the faith!


Tuesday, 8 January 2008

A Time to Question

I have just finished reading Michael V Fox's book a Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up. From the title it should be clear that it is a book on Ecclesiastes, Fox really gets to grips with Qohelet (the preacher-or as Fox' prefers the public speaker). I found the book depressing and at first thought that he was off the mark making Qohelet out to be less than orthodox. I realised towards the end of the book it is because we often overlook the message of Qohelet, 'that everything is hebel' (Fox opted for absurd as his preferred translation of hebel), because it doesn't sit comfortably with our theology. I think Fox does go too far in his conclusions, missing the message of the prologue and epilogue, that it is only under the sun that everything is Hebel, but it is a necessary corrective. Qohelet's message is not all about the answers that can be found with God, but about the uncertainties of live in the here and now.

Fox rightly points out that Qohelet has a questioning type of faith, Qohelet is not afraid to ask the difficult questions of God, and life, I think this is what separates evangelicals from their fundamentalist cousins. A questioning faith is the only type of faith to arrive at answers which leads to growth in our understanding and aids us in helping others who are going through difficult times or times or questioning. faith in a truly biblical sense is one that is certain through proven experience, God is faithful and will always be proved to be so. As God is faithful we can trust God during the difficult times and yet still ask questions.



Sunday, 6 January 2008

Seize the day-to live with all my might

One of Edward's resolutions, "to live with all my might as long as I do live" is very important to me this year. I realise that my time at HTC is coming to an end, having just one semester left. Also I realise that if I am going into ministry this year then we shall soon be leaving Culloden Baptist Church, so I earnestly intend to enjoy every moment of both. Today was a good day, with much encouragement. I wasn't in the service for the sermon, instead I was with the young people, where we were discussing the place of the bible in their day to day living. I was encouraged not only by their successes but by their honest. After the service one of our more mature members came up to me to ask me some "on the spot questions". I was really encouraged that she could come to me with these questions but even more, I was encouraged by how the questions had arisen. She has a good friend that is an atheist who asks her challenging questions. I think she is somewhat unusual in having that type of relationship with someone, but it is something we should all seek to have. I am glad that I was able to answer her questions and hopefully she will continue to have fruitful conversation with her friend. Richard Dawkins accuses Christians of not being open minded, I know many Christians that have read his latest book. I have read bits and have also read a couple of other books by people antagonist to the gospel, if we are to understand people, their hurts and their questions we need to do this.


Tuesday, 1 January 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I don't normally make New Year's resolutions but I have a couple of things I'd like to do this year so the New Year is as good a place to begin. Last year I set myself the task of reading John Owen for 20 minutes a day, I did pretty well, I read two books but then got busy with college so I stopped. I am ashamed to say that I have never read John Calvin's Institutes. Like Jonathan Edwards I would describe myself doctrinally as a Calvinist but the name is convenient and I am not dependent upon him for them, but upon Scripture. Nonetheless I think reading Calvin will be a fruitful exercise, again I need to take my cue from Edwards and read with a pen in my hand, and my laptop open, ready to mark, highlight and write down anything truly significant. The other thing I'd like to is read Wesley's and Edwards resolutions. One thing I don't have on my list is to blog as often as Dr Mike Bird, there are not enough hours in the day!

May God Bless you