An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Friday, 31 March 2006

Academic revival

What are the marks of an academic revival? Keith Martel looks at nine of them in this week's Comment.

Mark 'Rocky' Roques - a new website

Mark Roques, author of Fields of God and a good mate of mine, has a new website which is certainly worth checking out: .

Under publications are details of two of Mark's books - click on the Fields of God book and there is more about football and the kingdom. Under the links there is a page that examines the five key questions for different worldviews. Mark has an excellent way of communicating the message - do check out his site - even better book him to speak; there are details of his workshops on the site too.

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Maths website

I've just started another website. This one is devoted to maths education resources and can be found here. At present it is a list of web links for pre-GCSE, GCSE (ages 14-16) and A-level maths (ages 16-18).

Monday, 27 March 2006

Vincent Brümmer on Dooyeweerd in new book

Vincent Brümmer the author of a critical study of Dooyeweerd, Transcendental Criticism and Christian Philosophy: A Presentation and Evaluation of Herman Dooyeweerd’s “Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea” (Franeker: T. Wever, 1961), has a new compilation of essays out: Brümmer on Meaning and the Christian Faith: Collected Writings of Vincent Brümmer Ashgate, 2006.

The full table of contents is here. There are two chapters on Dooyeweerd: 'Dooyeweerd and the role of religion in philosophy' and 'Dooyeweerd and the neutrality of a transcendental criticism'. Unfortunatley, the books costs £70.

Sunday, 26 March 2006

On the Shoulders of Giants (IX)

Reformata, Semper Reformata has a piece on Abraham Kuyper written by Jeffrey Waddington; he begins:

At this point in our series we will turn to Abraham Kuyper. We should hasten to add that we must dismiss the suggestion that Van Til totally rejects Warfield and wholly accepts Kuyper.

Not so. We happen to believe that Kuyper is correct in recognizing that the antithesis between belief and unbelief is absolute in principle. However, he apparently failed to understand how this antithesis works itself out in history.

We have already noted that Kuyper works with what might best be labeled a territorial view of the belief/unbelief antithesis and common grace. I suspect this sets up a see-saw relationship between the two so that Kuyper must account for what looks to him like areas of neutrality or practices which are not affected by the fall. As in a war, there are zones of neutrality where enemies can meet on equal terms and come together to forge common notions of peace.


Yarr! - The Weblog of Bob Heffernan is the the title of the blog, suprisingly, of Bob Heffernan. He is a mathematician, poet and Christian studying at University College Cork.

Decorating with Dooyeweerd?

Angie's humor blog has a nice piece on a Dooyeweerdian cross-stich!

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Theological journals on-line

Abraham Kuyper - two books on-line

The full text of Abraham Kuyper's Work of the Holy Spirit and Encyclopedia of Sacred Theology are now available on-line, thanks to the Abraham Kuyper Center of Public Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Zygon March 2006 out

Zygon vol 41 March 2006 is now out. It has a symposium on the work of Marc Berkoff, and several articles, including one by Wolfgang Pannenberg: 'Problems between science and theology in the course of their modern history'.
Abstract. It is misleading to speak of warfare between science and Christian theology, as Andrew White did in 1896. White also was mistaken in exaggerating the conflict between the church and Galileo and Copernicus. The more important issue between science and theology has to do with the mechanistic interpretation of nature. When he introduced the principle of inertia in his natural philosophy, René Descartes insisted that God's immutability renders it impossible for God to intervene in the creation. He reduced the idea of God to a deistic notion by speaking of motion exclusively as a property of bodies. Even though Isaac Newton offered a different view, the Cartesian view dominated subsequent thinking. This made dialogue with theology difficult. Michael Faraday, followed by Albert Einstein, introduced the idea of field; bodily phenomena were subordinated as manifestations of fields. The precursor of the idea of field is the Stoic idea of spirit, which is close to the biblical concept of spirit. Thomas Torrance and I have taken this concept of field as an occasion to reopen dialogue. Mechanistic thinking accounts for the tension between Darwinian thought and theology. In principle the tension can be resolved, because the Bible itself asserts that all living things were brought from the earth—that is, organic life emerged from inorganic matter. Thus, emergence, contingency, and novelty are consistent with Darwinian evolutionary thinking. Contingency can be related conceptually to the activity of God in creation.

Monday, 20 March 2006

McGrath on Barrow

Alister McGrath writes about John Barrow's popularisation of the anthropic principle and looks briefly at its implications for theology:

But what of the nature of the “God” who emerges from such reflections? As a Christian, I am forced to ask whether this God that might be discerned within the ordering of things bears a direct relationship with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Is there a secure theological link between the anthropic principle and the incarnation?

There could be – but it is not already there. It needs to be constructed. ...

Religion, culture, and cultural agency

Richard Greydanus of House at Pooh Corner fame has posted a paper he has written on Dooyeweerd's nature-grace groundmotive: 'Religion, culture, and cultural agency'. He questions the usefulness of the notion for teaching intellectual history.

Also on Richard's Writings website is a paper on Kuhn's Structure of Scientifc Revolutions.

Saturday, 18 March 2006

All of life redeemed website update

I have now updated the Further resources section on the All of life redeemed website. I've added a few more reformational blogs (if I've missed any let me know and I'll add it to the list) and added a few more resources under the diferent subject categories. I also added links direct to the various papers at the Ethics:person practices and society symposium; these are:

Andrew Basden Enriching humanist thinking

Doug Blomberg Teachers Living the curriculum

Henk Stoker The ethical dilemma of ‘unethical’ religious movements

Ralph Vunderink Love, power and justice

Bennie van der Walt A shame-/versus a guilt-orientated conscience: an explanation for difference between African and Western ethics

Hans Burger The significance of ‘being in Christ’ for Christian ethics

Harry Cook These all look to you: Darwin and Psalm 104

Rudi Hayward Naïve experience and differentiated practices

Michael Heyns The transcendentalness of the moral order

Yasunori Ichikawa God, man and nature in the Christian and Japanese-Shintoistic views, implications for environmental ethics

Ananka Loubser Nature vs culture in sustainable environmental management

Martin Rice Moral intuitionism: moral properties as directly perceived, non-mysterious parts of the world

Jonathan Chaplin Public justice as a political norm

Giacomo Carlo Di Gaetano The reception of reformed epistemology in the Italian philosophical context

Peter Stoker Christian ethic and the concept of creation

Danie Strauss Legal rights for plants and animals

Pieter Vos Educating for Autonomy: Reconstructing a Moral Ideal

Marc de Vries Ethics and the increasing complexity of technology

Albert Weidman Integrity and accountability in applied linguistics

Friday, 17 March 2006

God and proofs

To find God is something completely different from proving God.

G. C. Berkouwer General Revelation (Eerdmans, 1955, p. 78)

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

British astrophysicist wins 2006 Templeton prize

John D. Barrow has won the 2006 Templeton prize. Barrow reflects on the grandeur of the universe here. Barrow is the author of numerous books including (with Frank Tipler) The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, The World within the World, Theories of Everything, Pi in the Sky, The Origin of the Universe, The Artful Universe, Impossibility, The Universe that Discovered Itself, The Book of Nothing, The Consttants of Nature and over 300 academic papers.

There is a brief biography and interview here.

Monday, 13 March 2006

Ronald H. Nash dies

Ronald Nash, former professor of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has died.

He was the author of over 35 books on theology, philosophy and apologetics. He also wrote a critique of Dooyeweerd: Dooyeweerd and the Amsterdam Philosophy (Zondervan, 1962). There he concluded:

Inasmuch as it is the purpose of tis book to prepare the way for more profitable discussions of this new philosophy in the future, it would seem some suggestions are in order.

First of all, there should be exerted in all future writings of this philosophy a greater effort to avoid the ambiguity and problems of terminology that are to be found in all of the previous publications. Good thinking is never complimented by and should never be accompanied by poor communication.

Secondly, I believe attempts should be made to come to grips with the objections raised by others and myself.

Thirdly, I believe that Dooyeweerd's American disciples should extend the implications of his philosophic thought to the peculiar American and English brands of philosophy such as Logical positivism and the school of linguistic analysis.

We have yet to hear the last of either for or against the Philosophy of the Idea of Law. I trust that this brief study may help point out the future discussions of it should take.
p. 105.

Other details of Nash can be found here, here and here. [HT Albert Gedraitis]

Thursday, 9 March 2006

Idéia Fiksa

Guilherme Carvalho, a Christian who lives in Brazil, has a blog Idéia Fiksa in Portugese - an English translation of it is here. He has some excellent links in his sidebar - including some Dooyeweerd links! He describes himself as:

...a Christian, astonished and frightened for being Coram Deo! I see the establishment of bridges between the faith and the culture contemporary as the biggest challenge of the Christianity today.

Translation courtesy of Babel Fish Translation.

It's well worth checking out - especially if you can speak Portugese - he has an amusing cartoon on ID.

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

National Science Week 10-19 March

10th-19th March is National Science Week.

Ruse and Dennett

Michael Ruse and Daniel Dennett have had an 'interesting' conversation'; see here.

Ruse accuses Dennett and Dawkins of being:

...absolute disasters in the fight against intelligent design ... neither of you are willing to study Christianity seriously and to engage with the ideas - it is just plain silly and grotesquely immoral to claim that Christianity is simply a force for evil, as Richard claims - more than this, we are in a fight, and we need to make allies in the fight, not simply alienate everyone of goodwill.

Update: the exchange between Dennett and Ruse can be seen in full here.

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins: how a scientist changed the way we think is to be published shortly to commemorate 30 years since the publicatiion of Dawkins' imfamous Selfish Gene. Dawkins is an evangelist for atheism and is one of the talking heads the media - in the UK at least - wheel out when they like some soundbites regarding religion and science. What is suprising is the Dawkins is the professor of public understanding of science and yet still hold to an out-moded view of science!

My friend Mark Roques - who hasn't yet got a blog, but should - has recently written this brief piece on Dawkins:

Richard Dawkins and Reason

In recent articles about Richard Dawkins and his crusade against ‘religion’ no-one has noticed that Dawkins is committed to a worldview that destroys rationality and scientific objectivity. He claims on numerous occasions to be the very voice of ‘reason’ and the sneering opponent of ‘religion’. This is abject nonsense.

For Dawkins humans are a gathering of selfish genes. Each gene has its own craving for survival. Reality is nothing but a vast collection of genes pulling in different directions. If we buy into this aggressive dogma then we are forced to conclude that our own existence is illusory. At the end of the day reality is a barren wasteland of deceiving, little liars who resemble Alphonse Capone and Jimmy ‘The Weasel’ Fratianno. Selfish genes are masters of spin, manipulation and illusion. Organised crime flourishes in every nook and cranny of this Darwinian universe.

Press home the implications of the deceiving gene and scientific rationality vanishes in a puff of smoke. We do not believe anything because it is true. We believe what we believe because gifted con-artists (selfish genes) control and tyrannise our intellectual activities. Reason is not autonomous; it is merely the by-product of genetic crime.

Dawkins should remind us of the Greek god Cronus who swallowed his own children. His selfish gene theory devours both science and reason.

Mark Roques

Two good books dealing with Dawkins are:

Alister McGrath has a mp3 of his lecture on Dawkins, 'Has science eliminated God?'

Monday, 6 March 2006

ID and Dover: the debate goes on

Alvin Plantinga argues that 'Whether ID is science isn't semantics'. According to Plantinga Judge Jones's arguments for his conclusion that science is not science are unsound.

Robert Pennock maintains that the battle to get ID into schools was lost at Dover and that it's tiem to lay down swords.

Also see Steve Fuller's piece and Robin Colins piece. Fuller looks a two criteria for defining science and Collins thinks that although ID may not be science it might be fruitful outside of physcis.

Sunday, 5 March 2006

In other languages

You can now read my blog in other languages - thanks to Google - see the new additions to the side bar.


rejesus has some resources on The Da Vinci code [HT jonnybaker]

Kenn Hermann's article on Christian education from the Reformed Journal is now on-line as a pdf.

Kenn has also some posts on being a Christian student at his Radix Perspectives.

Black Squirrell books have some great second-hand books including M D Stafleu's Time and Again.

Timothy Sherrat has an article on' Prophetic politics goes to Washington?' in CPJ's Capital Commentary [HT David Koyzis]. Incidentally, if you are interested in politics then David's book Political Visions and Illusions is a must read. It is clear readable and chock full of insight and wisdom - it is worth every penny; get it here from Richard Russell's CSU.

Owlb of refWrite has two other blogs worth checking out: Orthography and Christian Homomemo.

Christians in Engineering and Technology's Newsletter for March 2006 is here.

Friday, 3 March 2006

Mathematics as art (literally)

The art of Justin Mullins. This is his 'Beauty' (1988):

PowerPoint and technology

Kenn Herman at Radix Perspectives has some excellent blogs of late. Of particular interest is his piece on Christian faith and the classroom, provocatively entitled Confessions of faith do not belong in the classroom. He provides some important guidelines; including:

  • Don’t substitute your confession of faith in Christ for academic rigor
  • Don’t substitute a season of prayer for a season of intense study

He also has an interesting post on the ubiquity of PowerPoint, with links to an article by Edward Tufte 'PowerPont is evil'. Tufte notes: Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely'. It's a shame that he didn't use Powerpoint to put over his message.

Thinking of PowerPoint, Macht points us to a PowerPoint on the philosphy of technology by Mark De Vries.

And thinking of a reformational approach to technology brings me back to Kenn's blog - he has some excelent posts on computers; including one 'Toward a reformatinal ontology of computers'

Skillen on the Bible

Comment are continuing the excellent series on the Bible with an article by Jim Skillen: 'Reading the Bible in public'.