Over at Reformation Theology, Nathan Pitchford has posted an excellent review of A Theological Guide to Calvin's Institutes, edited by David W. Hall and Peter A. Lillback. In this Calvin's 500th year, give yourself a gift!
Sunday, 10 May 2009
Saturday, 9 May 2009
Friday, 8 May 2009
Ford Lewis Battles was one of the 20th century’s greatest scholars on John Calvin. His greatest work of course was his translation of Calvin’s Institutes, published in 1960. He’s written extensively on Calvin, the Institutes, and on early and Medieval Christianity – his writings span Augustine, Boethius, Peter Abelard, Peter Lombard, Hugo Grotius, and more. He and Charles Miller created a computerised concordance for Calvin’s Institutes (1559 ed.).
Here’s Battle’s summary of Calvin’s view of idolatry:
… [A]n idol can be either a construct of the human mind that reduces the majesty of God and his ways of revelation to a mere shadow, or it can be a physical, palpable construction of the human hand that itself becomes an object of that worship and honor due to God alone. The one is a defect of the truth; the other, an exaggerated imitation of it. Both are false…
Page 163 of ‘Calculus Fidei: Some Ruminations on the Structure of the Theology of John Calvin’, pages in 139-178 in Interpreting John Calvin (ed. Robert Benedetto; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996).
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Yesterday evening I visited Windsor, in the NW of Sydney metro area, for a meeting. To avoid the traffic, I drove early - which allowed me to take in the changes that have happened in the last ten or so years.
Back in the good old days, when I was just a little lad, Old Windsor Road was one lane each way. And was surrounded by pleasant green rolling farm paddocks. Now, the new suburbs of Kellyville and Rouse Hill have been built amazingly quickly. The place feels like California (well, it's what I imagine California would look like...): big, multi-lane roads, freeway overpasses, enormous shopping centres, totally inadequate public transport (!)... and everything looks to NEW and FRESH and ATTRACTIVE!
Then I got to Windsor, which is still a cute country town perched on the edge of encroaching suburbia.
This reminded me of a passing comment that Peter Hughes made once in a seminar on evangelising Sydney. He said it's useful to think of Sydney as a bunch of separate countries cobbled together. By that he meant the different parts of Sydney look and feel different. They have a different history, a different ethnic mix, a different climate. So they feel different. It's like they have a different culture.
Maybe we need to think more broadly about multicultural ministry. Maybe, if we move from one part of Sydney to another, for home, work or ministry, we need to think of ourselves as cross-cultural ministers. Maybe we need to think more deliberately about engaging the culture of the particular part of Sydney that we're in, with its particular challenges and enticements and barriers to the gospel.
Kevin Martineau has just posted some very insightful thoughts on the connection between the health of a pastor's marriage and the health of his ministry. Well worth a read.