Archive for October, 2010

Raising Cain

27 October 2010

I’m finishing up a remarkable book called Cain’s Redemption. It is about Angola prison in Louisiana. Virtually everyone there is on a life sentence or a death sentence for the crimes they have committed and have almost no hope of ever being free again. Almost all will die there, either by lethal injection or old age. But what you read about is quite surprising: a seminary, pastors, preachers, missionaries…and hope. You can see an illuminating documentary about the prison HERE. It’s twenty-odd minutes, but worth it.

Just one quote from the book that I found quite challenging and humbling. A prisoner said, “I’m praying that my desire to serve God would exceed my desire to get out of prison.” It’s quite a remarkable story of God’s grace. Read, watch, whatever, but see how God reaches all people in all places.


NIV Update

22 October 2010

The text of the new NIV update will be accessible online starting 1 November.

Yorkshire Worthies

22 October 2010

When we found out we were moving to Leeds, West Yorkshire I thought I should try and find out some of the history of the area and such, in general and particularly in regard to the church. My initial searches didn’t reveal too much that didn’t revolve around Leeds United Football Club, which does say something about the area. I’ve found some general history bits, but very little about the church.

It is not all drought though. Yesterday I thought I’d have a wee flick through and old copy of Calamy’s Nonconformist Memorials that we have. These 2 volumes are filled with brief biographies of the ministers who were ejected in 1662 (which, now being at a nonconformist church in England is a heritage I have been grafted into). Helpfully, the biographies are arranged by region. So…it was off to Yorkshire. And what did we find? 3 chaps from Leeds mentioned, and even 1 from Beeston! Just whetting your appetite today folks. More to come in the days ahead on the specifics of who these men were.

The Bad Guys

21 October 2010

It seems evangelical creationists are the bad guys. A bit disappointed to see these 2 articles (one & two) at, but I suppose they are wanting people to think, which is good. Here is how the first article ends, “Arguably, attacks by well-meaning Christians on evolution promote rather than counteract atheism.” So, to be against evolution is to be against God. Thanks for that.

That being said, there are some articles that promote an alternate view at the site as well.

I’m hesitant to get into a debate about this issue, but just a few questions for the theistic evolutionist to answer (none new, but none that have be adequately answered either):

– At what point does the image of God enter into creatures who have evolved to human status? Is this something that is earned by reaching a certain evolutionary point?

– It seems extremely difficult to maintain the historicity of Adam and Eve.

– Death before the fall?

– By implication/necessity there would be a need for Christ to come even without the fall for one of the results of his work of redemption is the redemption of creation.

– Are the resurrection bodies something we’ll evolve into as well? Why not?

– Should we seek to explain something scientifically that is miraculous?

A Good Question

20 October 2010

In every area of life (government, science, arts, etc.) men and women are under the necessity of distinguishing between an authority derived from God and the sovereign province of God himself. There is infallibly a moral dimension in the perception of the distinctions.

~ 1 & 2 Chronicles – McConville


Sinclair Ferguson preaching lectures

19 October 2010

Good stuff here. It’s downloading as I type. 4 lectures on preaching by Sinclair Ferguson. You can download them HERE. And while you are there, be sure to check out Covenant Seminary’s worldwide classroom. There are scores of classes that you can download for free. You can also download the classes via iTunes, just search for Covenant Seminary (and they aren’t the only ones either, other seminary have courses on iTunes as well). Enjoy.

Where in the world have you been?

18 October 2010

I’d like to address this question my two readers may be asking (dangerous assumption). The last number of months have been a whirlwind. We finished at Carrubbers in Edinburgh in June and moved down to Leeds in July to start a new pastorate. We were in temporary accommodation during July, in California most of August, and moved to our house in Beeston at the end of August, just in time for Anna to start school on 1 September. That’s the schedule as such.

These last months have also included our settling in to City Evangelical Church. Getting to know people (and remembering names!), getting a feel for the church, hearing what things people think are good and bad, and diving in to preaching James and 2 Chronicles.

A brief aside on books: I’ve always enjoyed my library, but that relationship was put in danger during the move. Currently my study is split between a church office and the loft (attic) at our house (accessed by one of those pull-down steel ladders). Needless to say, carrying dozens and dozens of boxes of books up this ladder (with the faithful help of my father) put the relationship in a delicate situation. But, I’m happy to say that all is resolved now. We’re waiting on one more bookcase for the bedroom to house some choice volumes.

I think this last week we finally feel like we’ve been able to surface for a bit to catch our breath.

We love our new home and the new church family that we are now a part of. What a joy!

Well, let me put something worthwhile here rather than just ramblings.

If you haven’t read The Word Became Fresh by Dale Ralph Davis, you are missing out. It is an excellent help in preaching through OT narrative, and it is immensely enjoyable to read (and it’s short!).

The new Amazon Kindle is a wonderful leap forward from the 2nd Generation, and it’s loads cheaper. It keeps the pile by the bed a bit shorter.

Lots of new music out lately. A new Matthew Smith album is certainly worth your time. Old hymns, new music, good stuff. There is also a fairly new release from Sandra McCracken of new and old hymns. It’s good, but The Builder and the Architect is better. Bebo Norman also has a new album out. I like it a lot. Caedmon’s Call has a new album out, I don’t like it as much (and if you’ve had the guild cds in the pass don’t sign up for the guild, because there is nothing new there – thanks to the band for taking my money anyhow!:). And then there’s the new Jars of Clay. I’ve been enjoying it the last couple of days. Lots of guest musicians and singers on it. Eyes Wide Open is my current favourite.

Well, I hope to maintain posting things here, that aren’t as random as this one.