Friday, March 24, 2006


Me: So you could call Presbyterianism the father of the Reformed Baptists?

Jacob: I would call them brothers.

Me: But Reformed Baptists came out of the Presbyterian tradition?

Jacob: I would go so far as to call Presbyterianism the older brother.

Me: . . . How about uncle?

Jacob: No!

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

American Fundamentalism and Culture

What J.S. Bach gained from his Lutheranism to inform his music, what Jonathan Edwards took from the Reformed tradition to orient his philosophy, what A.H. Francke learned from German Pietism to inspire the University of Halle's research into Sanskrit and Asian literatures, what Jacob van Ruisdael gained from his seventeenth-century Dutch Calvinism to shape his painting, what Thomas Chalmers took from Scottish Presbyterianism to inspire his books on astronomy and political economy, what Abraham Kuyper gained from pietistic Dutch Calvinism to back his educational, political, and communications labors of the late nineteenth century, what T.S. Eliot took from high-church Anglicanism as a basis for his cultural criticism, what Evelyn Waugh found for his novels in twentieth-century Calvinism, what Luci Shaw, Shirley Nelson, Harold Fickett, and Evangeline Paterson found to encourage creative writing from other forms of Christianity after they left dispensationalism behind - precious few fundamentalists or their evangelical successors have ever found in the theological insights of twentieth-century dispensationalism, Holiness, or Pentecostalism.

-Mark Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

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Friday, March 03, 2006

The Christian Scholar

"The point of Christian scholarship is not recognition by standards established in the wider culture. The point is to praise God with the mind. Such efforts will lead to a kind of intellectual integrity that sometimes receives recognition. But for the Christian that recognition is only a fairly inconsequential by-product. The real point is valuing what God has made, believing that the creation is as "good" as he said it was, and exploring the fullest dimensions of what it meant for the Son of God to "become flesh and dwell among us." Ultimately, intellectual work of this sort is its own reward, becuase it is focused on the only One whose recognition is important, the One before whom all hearts are open."

-Mark Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

These are encouraging words to read in the midst of the stress of my last semester, and as I think about what it means to become a Christian scholar.

Problem: I'd rather read this book than work on my thesis. You can expect more quotations from and thoughts about the book in the near future.

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Piper + Packer + Me = Beeson Divinity School

As many of you know, when I toured Beeson Divinity School in November, John Piper was the speaker for Beeson's annual Reformation Heritage Lectures. Now, scheduled for September 25-27, 2006, is a conference entitled "J.I. Packer and the Evangelical Future." It will have Packer himself, along with Charles Colson, and Edith Humphreys (apparently a prominent Anglican lay theologian--I've never heard of her before this, but here is an article I found through a quick Google search where she speaks out against the Anglican church's reasoning in affirming "the integrity and sanctity of committed adult same-sex relationships"). I don't know exactly what the conference will be about, but it looks like it's going to be awesome.

Seminary rocks my face off, and I haven't even attended a single class! Now I just need to get accepted...

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