Back in 2004, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia published a book on the 10 commandments. I had the chapter on the 9th commandment. It has been republished by Banner of Truth (2007).
I must confess that at the time I wrote this, I don’t think it was really that clear to me that we were publishing a book. I vaguely remember being in a rush to get something done on the 9th commandment, whilst busy studying at Westminster.
Tags: Christian Life · General · Old Testament · Uncategorized
An earlier post referred to a paper I gave at a PTC conference, ‘Whitefield – the heart of an evangelist’. It has been published in Reformed Theological Review, Vol. 69 Issue 3, Dec. 2010, 164-179.
Whitefield – heart
Tags: Christian Life · General · History · Uncategorized
I’ve just had an article published in AP (Australian Presbyterian) on same-sex marriage.
Here is a slightly amended version of it: Marriage Act shorter amended.
Tags: Christian Life · General · History · Uncategorized
It’s been so long since I’ve uploaded anything to my ‘blog’, I have almost forgotten how to use WordPress. A lot has happened since my last post – I’ve finished my doctorate at Melb Uni, I’ve just got back from three weeks overseas (two weeks at Oxford studying Latin with a Christ Church tutor, and one week in Scotland avoiding the royal wedding), and the Commission of Assembly has just appointed Peter Hastie as incoming principal at the College.
Back in March I wrote the below little article for Australian Presbyterian. It is on the topic of the Christ in the Psalms, and the basic thrust of it is that the Psalms are more typological/Christological than we naturally expect. Now, how do I upload a file again?
AP March 2011 (pdf)
Tags: Old Testament
December 21st, 2010 · 1 Comment
Haven’t blogged for ages. I’ve just handed in my PhD thesis for examination, and now that I’m on holidays, I’ve decided to go Linux. Sorry ‘Bill’. I won’t be going back.
Partitioned my hard drive, and installed Ubuntu (dual booting with Vista), Open Office, Thunderbird (email) and Zotero (to replace Endnote). It’s a bit of a learning curve, and Linux still isn’t for the faint hearted, but with a little bit of computer knowledge, it’s brilliant. It’s free. There are free, good quality apps for everything (DTP, photo editing, etc). It’s quick. It isn’t as demanding on system resources (my 3 gig of ram that I needed for Vista eats up Ubuntu). It seems to be more stable than Windows, and when a program crashes (especially when trying to run Windows programs in Linux), it recovers really well. It reads my external hdd and usb key no probs. Getting my pocket pc syned is the only thing I haven’t managed to do yet.
With the ‘Wine’ program, I can still run MS Office 2007 (not that I want to, although I reckon that Open Office is about 5 years behind where MS Office is at). I can also run Acrobat standard and Endnote (but it doesn’t integrate with MS Office or Open Office).
I haven’t tried running Logos/Libronix yet, but I have got BibleWorks 8 up and running. With Wine, I installed Internet Explorer 7 (in a Win XP bottle), and put all dll settings as at http://www.wine-reviews.net/wine-reviews/applications/ie-7-on-linux-with-wine.html. Then I installed BibleWorks, and almost all of it works.
The toolbar didn’t work, but I changed “comctl32″=”builtin” to “comctl32″=”native”, and that fixed it. Without the above dll changes, not all resources/lexicons opened, but with the changes, they all opened and could be read. Some resources will not let me resize the window, and pressing the x button to close them causes the program to crash. The only workaround I have is to not resize the window and don’t close it (leave it open, and it will close when BibleWorks is closed). Hope this helps someone.
Can anyone help me? I’m puzzling over the alleged words of the Scottish reformer, George Wishart. ‘…a priest standing at the altar saying Mass, was like a fox wagging his tail in July.’
I don’t have a clue what foxes do in July. I gather that foxes wag their tails when they’re happy, but from Wishart’s following words, it is something about being false.
This is the charge in the second article against him at his trial:
“Thou false Heretic did say, that a priest standing at the altar saying Mass, was like a fox wagging his tail in July.
My Lords, I said not so. These were my sayings: the moving of the body outward, without the inward moving of the heart, is not else but the playing of an ape, and not the true serving of God; for God is a secret searcher of men’s hearts: Therefore, who will truly adore and honor God, he must in spirit and verity honor him.
Then the Accuser stopped his mouth with an other Article.”
Tags: History · Theology
Re PTC Mission 2010 again, one of the candidates compiled statistics for the week.
Out of 878 doors we knocked on, 555 were not home (63%), 240 said no thanks (74% of those who were home), and 83 conversations were held. In other words, about 1 in 10 spoke to us. Of the 83 conversations, 56 answered the questionnaire, and 27 included discussion of the Gospel. I’m not quite sure how those stats work, but I suspect that the 27 also answered the questionnaire (so that 83 actually did the questionnaire in total). Bit confused.
Conclusions: there is in doorknocking some useful community contact, but it would probalby need to be done with some regularity to have any extensive exposure. I think the candidates quickly discovered what I had found from my own experience – door knocking can be frustrating just from the sheer number of people not home.
I found the stats for busstopping more confusing, but I think the gist of it is that there were 148 conversations held, which includes the answering of the questionnaire 130 times, and 55 Gospel discussions. We didn’t collect stats for how many said no thanks, but anecdotally it seemed that more people were willing to talk to us at the busstop than in their homes.
I confess that I forgot to tell the stats man my figures for the last day (sorry, Adam), and by the time I remembered I had forgotten, the stats had already been published. I didn’t have the heart to tell Adam, so I thought I’d confess to it on the internet.
Conclusions: busstopping gave much better contact than doorknocking. It was interesting that on the first day of the mission, almost no-one put their hand to go to the busstops. Doorknocking was seen to be the much safer option. However, one we tried both, most did not want to go back to doorknocking. Busstopping actually provides a more encouraging experience, and provides for more personal, one on one conversations, on neutral territory.
Combining doorknocking and busstopping, 186 questionairres were completed, 231 conversations were held, and 82 Gospel discussions were held. No, I haven’t checked if all the figures add up.
Do we like the idea of keeping stats? Are they accurate? Do they measure what we are really hoping to achieve? Do they tell us anything we didn’t already know?
I think doorknocking has a significance that the stats do not show, but perhaps for a busy pastor who is looking for a way to speak directly with his community, grab an elder or the minister from the adjacent parish, and go to your local bus stops.
Tags: Christian Life · General
If anyone was interested in knowing more about PTC’s 2010 mission, here is a summary done by one of the candidates, Phil Court: Mission to Hume. Here is a picture, too (but I have omitted the photos showing the Sunday evening youth event).
For the doorknocking and busstopping, we did the old questionnaire routinue:
‘My name is…. and this is…. We’re from/representing Hume Presbyterian Church. Just doing a quick questionnaire – got time to answer 6 quick questions’. Etc.
The questionnaire looked like this, on a piece of paper about 1/5 of an A4:
- What is your greatest concern at the moment for this community?
- Are you part of any religion or do you currently attend any church?
- If so, where?
- How often?
- If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
- Do you think the church prepares people for life after death?
- If you were to die tonight, where do you think you would go?
- If God said to you “Why should I let you into heaven?”, what would you say?
Would you like a visit on Saturday? Y / N
Tags: Christian Life · General
I’ve had a few people leave ping backs on my blog. Not sure what that means, but I approved them all the same. One of them took me to a blog by an Associate Reformed pastor in the U.S., Tim Phillips. The photo of the Baptist Church advertising that it is ‘Yes, A Liberal Church’, caught my eye, but the LOL moment was the holiday kids’ programme theme, ‘Go Green for Jesus’. Thanks, Tim! http://gairneybridge.wordpress.com/
I was on college mission all last week – a week of evangelism based at Hume Presbyterian in the northern suburbs (near Melbourne airport). It was a great week, with a lot of doorknocking and speaking to people at local bustops – particularly Muslims and Italian Roman Catholics. The candidates were energetic and engaged, and we were perhaps all surprised at how ready people were to speak with us.
Lesson learned: the doctrines of the atonement, justification and assurance are still as vital and relevant as ever!
It never ceases to amaze me that most people think:
1. they are going to heaven – even the athiests;
2. they get to heaven by being good;
3. they have done bad, but the good outweighs the bad;
4. that God agrees with their view of things.