Wednesday, July 27, 2005

New Website--Reformation 21 (from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals)

A new resource that I'm excited about is Reformation 21, a website that is the new online magazine for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. From what I've seen so far, it looks great.

Here are some highlights.

Editorial - intro to the new online magazine.

J. Ligon Duncan on the New Perspective of Paul - "NPP," as it is called, was my first introduction to both J. Ligon Duncan and ACE. He wrote a very readable introduction to NPP that was linked through (Monergism now has a whole section on NPP).

The Front Desk - this section has a 3-part discussion of the NPP, and promises a fourth based on reader questions (which may be the most useful for those who are unfamiliar with this growing movement within the church).

Reformation 21 Blog - Perhaps my favorite part so far--in the short time it has been in existence, it has identified some interesting and resources (blogs & books), and had some interesting discussions, which take the form of the contributing writers responding to each other (with the reader looking on).

Counterpoints - this section has articles from the contributors. If you've ever wondered if there will be a Starbucks in Heaven , or want to hear about a good kind of fundamentalism, go here.

Great resources, with the promise of a lot more to come. This will be one to watch.

Thanks to Peter Bogert (via a Blogspot from Phil Johnson) for bringing this to my attention.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 - Learn how Everything Works!

Just what it says. Learn how things work. A great site for someone who needs an thumbnail sketch, or that homeschooling parent that needs a more informative, less technical explanation of things.

A Precious Promise-Phil Johnson & Spurgeon's "Comfort for Tried Believers"

Comfort for Tried Believers: "All his people are kept by his almighty power. How greatly this ought to comfort you who are sorely tried! Every twig of the rod of correction has been made by God, and every stroke of it is counted by him. There is not a drop more gall in your cup than the Lord has ordained. He has weighed, in the scales of the sanctuary, every ingredient of your medicine, and mixed it with all his infallible skill so that it may produce the cure of all your ills; should not this make you rejoice in the Lord all the day long, and in the night seasons as well?"

This quote, from a Charles Spurgeon message, struck me.

I followed Phil's link to the Metropolitan Tabernacle Message he preached at the School of Theology & downloaded the message. I hadn't even finished listening when I had the chance to quote from it to a fellow believer who was indeed going though enormous trials. Thank you, Phil.

(P.S. Normally I wouldn't be an ex-post facto poster, but given the subject matter of this message, and it's relation to time, I decided to leave it as the date it was composed, not the date it was completed and posted.)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Phil Johnson's Blog--PyroManiac

Like a seething volcano that occasionally erupts. That's a brief first impression of Phil Johnson's blog PyroManiac. Reading his stuff makes me think of William Tyndale--the same kind of wit and the same kind of passion for the truth.

Though I haven't met Phil, a friend told me a little about him (see the end of this post). I've been to the Spurgeon Archive, the Hall of Church History, and the World Famous Annotated Bookmarks. I've even heard him speak at the Shepherd's Conference, via the wonder of compact disc.

I still wasn't prepared for the blog. It's a combination of review & commentary, with sharp analysis and an ironic tone, which on occasion even perhaps slides into sarcastic. Highlights include: critique of the Emerging & Purpose-Driven Church movements; the state of evangelicalism today; and a discussion/critique of the "new breed" of Calvinists.

He's at his sharpest in his Blogspotting, where he commends some and takes others to task. For some, it clearly would have been better never to be noticed at all (I still wince for the Thinklings).

He's at his best (in every sense) in the post where he answers a question on the difficult doctrine of Calvinism. I appreciated his exegesis, as well as the graphic that shows the parallels between the John & 1 John passages.

All in all, there is much to recommend him as a regular read.

But mostly, I just wanted to tell Phil thanks for discovering the blog of my friend & former pastor Chris Pixley.

Monday, July 11, 2005

ESV Bible Blog --Will the ESV do away with Commentary Use? (Wayne Grudem Discusses...)

"A related question to this is whether the accuracy of the English Standard Version will mean that people will trust it so much that they won’t read commentaries anymore, or will read them less. In one sense, I think that’s true. I think that in our philosophy of an essentially literal translation, we have tried to produce a translation where people can trust every word, where it is reliable and faithful to the original in all the details, insofar as the English language allows."

An interesting answer to this question. In my experience, most people don't consult commentaries based on the reliability of their Bibles. In other words, they don't go to commentaries when they don't trust their Bibles--but when they don't understand them.

Understanding that my primary version is the ESV, I would still submit that those who have a literal translation (one where the focus is translating words more than meaning) would need to go to commentaries more, not less, and that this is a good thing, not a bad thing. I would further submit that translations that focus primarily on meaning (dynamic-equivalent) are in many ways more like a commentary than a translation.

ESV Bible Blog--Will the use of the ESV eliminate Hebrew & Greek (Wayne Grudem)

I appreciated Wayne's answer on this. He makes a great point--a good translation actually drives people to ask more about the original, not less. This principle is at work both in the idea of learning Greek/Hebrew, but also in consulting commentaries (more on that in another post).

Saturday, July 09, 2005

If the Modern Press had covered the Revolutionary War

Here's an interesting idea about what might have been said by the modern press if they had covered the Revolutionary War. From National Review Online.

"Why Dad is So Important" [to church attendance]

Interesting article with statistics about how parental church attendance affects attendance of children.

I know nothing about the "Church for Men," by the way. I found the article above off a link from the World Magazine Blog.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

BBC'S Reporters' Log: London explosions

Among the current coverage of the bombing, here is a link that has reporters in various parts of London writing about what they are seeing.