Living for God’s Glory – Joel Beeke

9 02 2009

I’ve never liked the terms Calvinist or Reformed, when they are placed before the word Christian. The first makes you sound like the follower of some guy other than Jesus Christ. The second makes you sound like a Christian who has just been released from prison. The system of theology refered to as Calvinism often takes a lot of flack for its tennets. Often, just for a laugh, I read “the contemporary calvinist” blog which posts some of the more obscure criticisms. They range from the “Calvinism is a heresy and all calvinists are going to hell” type criticisms to the well thought out Arminian responses. Love him or hate him, Calvin has been very influential in shaping the Church. People are still arguing over his doctrinal tennets 500 years later. If thats not significant I don’t know what is.

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John Calvin – A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine and Doxology

12 01 2009

Have you ever wanted to read those authors of old? The ones who wrote with incredibly good grammar, a few words you’d never heard before? Well I have and I’ve put it off for a long time. That is until I picked up a few  cheap re-prints on  a recent trip to Wellington . Its funny how cheap they are. I bet it cost more to print them than they made selling them. The old writers had a way to engage their readers, drawing them into a world of three dimensional characters. They were master wordsmiths. But times change and so do peoples tastes. Thats why we always need a new generation of writers to make sense of the past and contextualise it for today.

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The Road Ahead

1 01 2009

It’s normal at this time of year to start making resolutions. We want to lose weight, get a new job, make better friends and so forth.2007 and 2008 were two great years of discovery for me and I’ve learnt a great deal. I have grown in my understanding of the Bible like I never have before. As the year draws to a close I am a tired man. I have worked hard, and am ready for a rest. Some have said to me that if you’re not feeling stressed in life, then you’re not alive. There is some truth in that, but if all of life is stress that makes for a very poor existence. I owe so much to my dear wife Joy. She has made my life a life worth living

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Foundations of Grace – Steven Lawson

9 12 2008

Ever since I first heard about Lawsons first book in the series I’ve wanted to get my hands on a copy. It sat on my amazon wishlist for some time. But I did the responsible thing and bought all my course texts first, and sadly I’ve had to leave this one till now. Thankfully Reformation Trust helped me out with a copy of this first in a projected five volume series. I’ve enjoyed Lawson’s style of writing (see my previous review) so tackling his (projected) magnum opus seemed a lot less daunting. The book opened with a wonderful 13 page forward by Dr John MacArthur on Divine Immutability and the Doctrines of Grace which as Lawsons says in his preface is “priceless”. How we view the Character of God is extremely important for understanding the actions of God. If God is perfect, just, righteous and does not change, then everything he does is right, true and just. Not only that, his actions are right because he does them. He is the ultimate standard by which we measure good. If  we call something God does as unfair, or unjust then we are calling God’s Character into question. Read the rest of this entry »

Wrestling with Jesus

2 09 2008

Last weekend I went away on a mens camp with my Church. We’re a small church so we had about 40 guys come along. I was priveliged to be the worship leader for the event, but at 25 I was the youngest man there by far. I was also one of the few not to have children (or grandchildren for that matter). It was a great weekend and I learnt a lot. We had Myk (Mike) Habets, a professor in systematic theology, from Carey Baptist College do all the teaching. He’s big on the trinity and expounding practical implications for it for everyday life. So I thought I’d share a few insights into the trinity from the camp and other seminars too. I’m mindful of Stanley Grenz’s book “Created for Community” where he says “Deny the trinity and you’ll lose your salvation. Try to understand the Trinity and you’ll lose your mind.”
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When Theology becomes Doxology

29 08 2008

Music has always been my passion and ever since I can remember I’ve been involved in the worship team at every church I’ve been to (bar one). Lately I’ve been leading the worship once a month at my current Church. My years of experience as a semi professional musician have taught me how to put on a good show and how to act on stage. More importantly it taught me how to engage the audience I’m playing to and how to lead them.

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Keys to the Kingdom

25 08 2008

Have you ever had a bad experience with the Church? Have you ever been hurt, burnt or let down by it? Well I have, and if you’ve read any of my previous posts, particularly “Somethings wrong with this picture” you’ll understand where I’m coming from. There are a lot of people I’ve met who left that particular church. Some suggested the number of people who have left over the years would be equal or greater than the number in that Church. Personally I think that is a very plausible idea.
Recently some people in our homegroup mentioned that they werent really enjoying Church. As much as I understood what they were feeling, I just couldnt bring myself to agree with them. I have been brooding over their words for the past week and I understand why they feel as they do.

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