procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What is God like?

been reading Louis Berkhof's Manual of Christian Doctrine (also known as Little Louis).
got some questions for him:

  • how is God independent, yet all things depend on him?

  • how is God immutable yet ever creating, ever generating, ever sustaining?

  • how can we know about God's incommunicable attributes?
    (that is, his independence, immutability, infinity, simplicity)

    it does seem that there are two categories of attributes of God: Incommunicable and Communicable. That makes sense of a quote i read last night,
    What appears as imperfect in man, exists in infinite perfection in God. (Systematic Theology (also known as Big Berkhof), p84)

    which must be referring not to the incommunicable but the communicable. that makes much more sense.

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  • Saturday, November 15, 2008

    just a post about jazz

    been enjoying a lazy saturday morning - drinking a coffee, doing a few hebrew exercises before monday's all-determining exam, and listening to my good friend Richard Maegraith's album Free Running.

    i saw them last week at the sound lounge at the seymour centre, as well as at the album launch at the basement. they filmed them and interviewed them for 'live at the basement' - hopefully we'll see it on telly sometime soon! if you don't get to see it, or hear the CD, perhaps you'll hear them on Qantas radio, on 'James Morrison presents'!

    Expectantly Waiting For You (track 7) is probably my fave - i'm a big fan of Gary Daley - i've heard him a few times around the place, and Tim Firth (on drums) is amazing at setting what i like to call a 'soundscape'. you also hear the great back and forth between Rich (tenor) and Jonathan Zwartz (double bass), and Kristin Bernadi's (vocals) close just means that the track gets better all the way!

    for some earlier stuff, here's Richard doing Duke's caravan

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    Friday, November 07, 2008

    Backyard Bard does Baldhead

    just got back from seeing the backyard bard's production of Elisha.
    basically it's just really good bible telling, or bible storying - listening to real people reading out God's word in an engrossing fashion. they came up to Sydney last year also, to do Elijah; they've also done Ruth, and one of the members has been in the states doing Elijah on his own. see him here below (the top clip is just a promo, this is the sort of stuff they actually do:

    on a personal note, it's pretty cool to see where they're at now - i went to uni with some of these guys around the turn of the millenium; working out how to use both gifts in theatre, or artistic gifts in general, and love for Jesus to serve the gospel is a real challenge - it's great to see the sort of things they're up to. they started with lots of non-actors doing the whole of Mark's gospel, now they've got a whole swathe of Bible stories up their sleeve!

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    Monday, November 03, 2008

    Wilberforce on Moralism

    William Wilberforce writes against moralism and good manners in A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Higher and Middle Classes in This Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity:
      Suppose, however, their standard of these amiable qualities of benevolence and usefulness were greater than what we have depicted. Could they still be a substitute for the supreme love and fear of God, and the dominant desire to promote His glory?
      To allow them this plea would be like allowing men to abolish the first commandment in preference to obeying the second commandment.
    a great response to the inclusivists, who would insist upon the good moral character of many who do not claim the name of Christ, and would love to believe that this is grounds for their salvation. how i wish they were right, but this quote (and the Bible) mean we have to say no.

    they printed only 500 copies of this book in 1797. within the year they were up to the 5th edition and 7,500 copies. besides possibly the record holder for the longest title of any book ever written, it (like many old books) is just as potent today as ever.

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    Saturday, November 01, 2008

    Historic and Historical

    been pondering MPJs words on tuesday - the gist being that the resurrection of Jesus is not remarkable because it is historical, but because it is historic. that is, we can well say that it did happen, and the importance of it having happened, and the historicity of the event. but in reflection, the fact that is is historical is only important because it is historic - epoch making, a new paradigm, a new way of understanding the world, a vindication of the promises of a creator God both fulfilled and beginning at this moment.

    Badiou's book that i wrote about earlier in the year discussed this also - i was concerned because he didn't care so much about the historicity of the event, believing it was secondary. now i wouldn't want to go that far, in that it is causative (you can't have an historic moment without the historical event), but i think i get his emphasis a little more now.

    i think i get too hung up on trying to convince people of the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, rather than the difference that makes - i need to emphasise that it changes everything!

    [i might add, i feel the former is what Driscoll did when he was here - tried to convince people of the death of Jesus for them, but not of the resurrection of Jesus as changing everything. so saying Jesus died for you, so you can be forgiven - but not challenging their world views, that Jesus being raised makes everything different. just a thought.]

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