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.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Plantinga on Dawkins's God delusion

Alvin Plantinga has a review of Dawkins’s God Delusion here.

He writes:

Now despite the fact that this book is mainly philosophy, Dawkins is not a philosopher (he’s a biologist). Even taking this into account, however, much of the philosophy he purveys is at best jejune. You might say that some of his forays into philosophy are at best sophomoric, but that would be unfair to sophomores; the fact is (grade inflation aside), many of his arguments would receive a failing grade in a sophomore philosophy class. This, combined with the arrogant, smarter-than-thou tone of the book, can be annoying. I shall put irritation aside, however and do my best to take Dawkins’ main argument seriously.

He concludes:

The God Delusion is full of bluster and bombast, but it really doesn’t give even the slightest reason for thinking belief in God mistaken, let alone a "delusion."

The naturalism that Dawkins embraces, furthermore, in addition to its intrinsic unloveliness and its dispiriting conclusions about human beings and their place in the universe, is in deep self-referential trouble. There is no reason to believe it; and there is excellent reason to reject it.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

AoLR - Goudzwaard pages

I have added three more articles by Bob Goudzwaard to the All of life redeemed site:

These are the first three chapters from his Aid for the Overdeveloped West (Wedge, 1975). Although over 30 years old these papers ring out with prophetic import.

In 'Our gods have failed us' he makes these insightful comments:

In order to understand our own times, I should like to draw your attention to three basic biblical rules which together explain man's relation to God and to his theoretical and practical pursuits.

The first basic rule is that every man is serving god(s) in his life.

The second basic rule is that every man is transformed into an image of his god.

The third basic rule is that mankind creates and forms a structure of society in its own image. In the development of human civilization, man forms, creates, and changes the structure of his society, and in doing so he portrays in his work the intention of his own heart. He gives to the structure of that society something of his own image and likeness. In it he betrays something of his own lifestyle, of his own god.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

The Reformational Publishing Project

One of the most exciting projects this millenium has been launched:

From the site:
... we have begun taken the first steps towards the publication of such works by republishing Egbert Schuurman’s highly influential earlier work, Technology and the Future. The complete writings of H Evan Runner, both published and unpublished, will be included, along with the translation of Willem Ouweneel’s Heart and Soul, a summary of an earlier comprehensive psychology text. We also intend to translate Ouweneel’s exceptionally important work, De leer van de mens. These publications will be followed by the particularly insightful intellectual biography by Marcel Verburg entitled Herman Dooyeweerd: The Life and Work of a Dutch Christian-Philosopher. Following these latter works will be the outstanding example of systematic analysis in Linguistics by Albert Weideman entitled Beyond Expression. We will also publish a small biographical gem on Groen Van Prinsterer by Roel Kuiper that has been translated by Harry Van Dyke. We are also working on the collected writings of Robert Knudsen, and Peter Steen, as well as two volumes of highly significant articles that will be arranged thematically by Danie Strauss.

All of life reedemed update- Goudzwaard pages

I have recently added several papers - and there are more to come - of Bob Goudzwaard's on All of life redeemed:

From the journal Vanguard

Economic life - a confession from A Christian Union in Labour's Wasteland (Wedge, 1978)

Rookmaaker on Dooyeweerd and Schaeffer

In the course of the years [Francis] Schaeffer and I discussed many things, among which philosophy and particularly Dooyeweerd’s philosophy were favourite topics. Dooyeweerd’s ideas have had an influence on Schaeffer and L’Abri in that way. Of course Schaeffer incorporated these ideas in his own thinking and continued on. Neither of us is a slavish pupil of Dooyeweerd. I make quite an effort not to use his difficult terminology, which in a way belonged to the style of the 1930s. So you will not find Dooyeweerd’s vocabulary in our discussions at L’Abri, but his thoughts are there just the same.

Dooyeweerd himself wrote a good and short introduction to his work called [In] The Twilight of Western Thought. In the first part of that book he asks the question how Western thought is to be approached. Is it really Christian and if not, what is it? Escape from Reason is Schaeffer’s version of what Dooyeweerd develops in those chapters. They both talk for instance about nature and grace and about the influence of Greek concepts. Dooyeweerd tries to trace the various ways of thinking in Western history to their starting points. A starting point can be defined as the basic answers that are given to basic questions like: What is the world? Who is God? or What is the source of this world? The answers given to those questions colour the answers that are given to all other questions. The second part of Dooyeweerd’s book deals with a truly Christian approach to reality. Firstly it is basic to such an approach that we begin with a world that is created. Secondly we hold that this world is fallen, it is not perfect. But thirdly we say that this is not the end, there is redemption as Christ came to redeem this world. On the basis of these truths we can try to grasp reality and analyse how this world is made. Dooyeweerd then proceeds to give such an analysis.

Hans Rookmaaker 'A Dutch view of Christian philosophy' The Complete Works of Hans Rookmaaker edited by Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker Vol 6 Part III The L'Abri Lectures. (Piquant, 2005)

Calvinism and philosophy

Macht has recently highlighted a discussion on Calvinism and philosophy by Keith DeRose at Generous Orthodoxy. Now Jamie K A Smith has responded.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Plantinga on Religion and science

Rookmaaker on Dooyeweerd

Who would you say you have been helped by in the past? Have you been helped by the Dutch thinker Herman Dooyeweerd?

I am a pupil of Dooyeweerd. In fact, I am a pupil of a pupil of Dooyeweerd, namely of Professor J.P.A. Mekkes. What Dooyeweerd has discovered has given a better answer to many things than most other philosophies because it is more open; it is not such a narrow description of reality. Most philosophies try to approach everything either from history or from physics or from morality, etc. But in his philosophy all things have their own place. It is very wide and it is great for that reason. I do not think that all Christian philosophers should follow his exact terminology and system. But it is good to work in the same direction.

How exactly did he help you? .

There are two sides to Dooyeweerd. Firstly he gives an interpretation of the history of philosophy, and secondly he made his own philosophy. When I became a Christian just by reading the Bible while I was a prisoner of war, there was nobody around to help me. At the same time as reading the Bible I was studying philosophy. So I came to the point where I said: ‘Well the Bible gives me all the answers I need, but Kant is very interesting. If I become a Christian, can I also be a Kantian?’ In a way, this was the problem of the relationship between thinking and starting from the Bible.

Then somebody [J. P. A. Mekkes] pointed out, ‘Why don’t you read Dooyeweerd?’ His first twenty pages utterly convinced me that Christianity was right, because they showed me that Kant had his own religious starting point. He was not just a neutral thinker using a neutral logic; he started from a point of view just as Christianity does. Knowing this liberates one to make an honest choice between points of view. I am very thankful to Dooyeweerd for this insight. I have worked along his lines rather freely.

Another man who has been important to me is someone whose books were never published in English, which is a surprise, for he was known in England. He gave lectures there. That was Groen van Prinsterer. He wrote a book in 1848 on revolution and unbelief, on the background of the French Revolution. In a way the thesis of my book [Modern Art and the Death of a Culture] is the same as his. He was warning the people of his day not to think that the French Revolution was over, for it was still around because the same mentality was still around, but that there would be many more revolutions to come. His book now reads like a prophecy.

From 'Articles and interviews' in Complete Works of Hans Rookmaaker vol 6. Interview first published in Crusade magazine April 1972.

A feed for All of Life Redeemed

Using feedYes I have created a feed for All of Life Redeemed’s ’What’s New’ page. This will enable all those who use feed reader’s to keep in touch with any changes and developments on the site.

It’s experimental - so let me know if it works (or not!). Paste this line into your reader:

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

They will in a minute!

A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."

The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

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All of life redeemed search engine

All of life redeemed is a series of linked websites, this causes problems for searching the whole suite of pages - until now:

I have created an All of life redeemed search engine - it will (hopefully) search all of the pages on the site.

Try it and let me know what you think.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Odds and sods

There is a brief history of blogger here.

A list of 10 great web tools here.

Victor Reppert, author of C S Lewis's dangerous Idea, has a second blog here - the first is here. Dangerous idea 2 is a blog to discuss the argument from reason.

Camshafts has some interesting questions/ issues for neo-calvinism:
(1) There is an inherent ambiguity in the language of 'worldview' or 'groundmotive'.
(2) Ground-motive isn't explanatory.
(3) Is it foundationalism?
(4) Its criticisms of dualism seem unfounded.
OttoBib is a free bibliography generator - I've not tried it out yet, but hope too soon. [HT lifehack]

Scott McKnight has been discussing Wayne Grudem's take on William J. Webb's excellent book Slaves, Women and Homosexualsand his redemptive movement hermeneutic.

Friday, 16 February 2007

Chaos Remains

Chaos Remains ... remember that name (they previously went under the name Engystrimyth and Pandemonium). They will be the biggest band out of Bristol since Portishead and Massive Attack - and there average age is only 14.5 years . (I'm only a litle biased the drummer is my son!)

They played the coffee shop at went down brilliantly - it's not often you get a mosh pit inside a church building! They went down a storm at a Sunday evening service at the local Anglican church - even if they were a bit too loud for most peoiple - and now they won the Battle of the Bands at their local High School.

Check them out here.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Believing scripture but playing by science's rules

The New York Times has an article on Marcus Ross who has just obtained a doctioarte from the University of Rhode Island and is a young earth creationist.

For him, Dr. Ross said, the methods and theories of paleontology are one “paradigm” for studying the past, and Scripture is another. In the paleontological paradigm, he said, the dates in his dissertation are entirely appropriate. The fact that as a young earth creationist he has a different view just means, he said, “that I am separating the different paradigms.”

The website poses an interesting question: 'Can a scientist produce intellectually honest work that contradicts deeply held religious beliefs?' Comments are here
[HT Faith-Science News]

Uncommon Descent comments:

For the pro-ID and creationist students out there, Ross shows how to make it through a Darwinist controlled secular institution. Ross was never deceptive about his beliefs, yet demonstrated he could accept Old Earth Darwinism as a working but falsifiable hypothesis. One has a better chance of overturning prevailing paradigms when one is well-versed in it. Accepting a wrong theory as a working hypothesis is no more a profession of faith than accepting the wrong idea that the square root of two is rational in order to prove it is irrational.

Odds and sods

Wes Daniels of the Gathering in Light blog has a list of Fuller Seminary bloggers.

Including Richard Mouw.

A new edition of Reformed Perspectives is out. Including articles on teaching by Noel Weeks and the Reformed view of education by Van Til.

David Field who despite not liking principled pluralism redeems himself by posting some comments by Bavinck on God.

Between Two Worlds posts three sites where there are 'seminary level classes for free'. These are:

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Saturday, 10 February 2007

Speaking from faith in democracy ...

... is the title of Jonathan Chaplin's inaugral speech as director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics. It is available on-line here.

David Field has some comments on it here.

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Backing up your blog

The Google Operating System blog has a great piece on how to back up your blogger blog here. [HT Lifehacker].

This page lists the latest N posts from the blog:

Instead of N, type the number of posts. If your blog has less than 1000 posts, you can save this page:

Then save the page!

To save the images use DownThemAll a Firefox extension.

The Google Op blog also notes that GMail is now open to all.

And useful tips on navigating Google Reader.

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Friday, 9 February 2007

How well do you know your environment?

1) Point north.

2) What time is sunset today?

3) Trace the water you drink from rainfall to your tap.

4) When you flush, where do the solids go? What happens to the waste water?

5) How many feet above sea level are you?

6) What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom here?

7) How far do you have to travel before you reach a different watershed? Can you draw the boundaries of yours?

8) Is the soil under your feet, more clay, sand, rock or silt?

9) Before your tribe lived here, what did the previous inhabitants eat and how did they sustain themselves?

10) Name five native edible plants in your neighborhood and the season(s) they are available.

11) From what direction do storms generally come?

12) Where does your garbage go?

13) How many people live in your watershed?

14) Who uses the paper/plastic you recycle from your neighborhood?

15) Point to where the sun sets on the equinox. How about sunrise on the summer solstice?

16) Where is the nearest earthquake fault? When did it last move?

17) Right here, how deep do you have to drill before you reach water?

18) Which (if any) geological features in your watershed are, or were, especially respected by your community, or considered sacred, now or in the past?

19) How many days is the growing season here (from frost to frost)?

20) Name five birds that live here. Which are migratory and which stay put?

21) What was the total rainfall here last year?

22) Where does the pollution in your air come from?

23) If you live near the ocean, when is high tide today?

24) What primary geological processes or events shaped the land here?

25) Name three wild species that were not found here 500 years ago. Name one exotic species that has appeared in the last 5 years.

26) What minerals are found in the ground here that are (or were) economically valuable?

27) Where does your electric power come from and how is it generated?

28) After the rain runs off your roof, where does it go?

29) Where is the nearest wilderness? When was the last time a fire burned through it? 30) How many days till the moon is full? :

31) What species once found here are known to have gone extinct?

32) What other cities or landscape features on the planet share your latitude?

33) What was the dominant land cover plant here 10,000 years ago?

34) Name two places on different continents that have similar sunshine/rainfall/wind and temperature patterns to here.

[HT Kevin Kelly]

Loving technology, loving God ...

Loving technology, loving God is the title of the new Comment by Rosie Perea.

Among other things, the sense of a disconnect between my faith and my interaction with technology led me to leave a successful career as a software engineer and become something of a Luddite, resisting new tech toys and computer or software upgrades for years, in order to seek out spiritual growth, instead, as if this were an either-or proposition. This ultimately brought me full circle to examining the relationship between technology and Christian faith. The examination led me to consider the goodness of technology when it is used for good, and employed in a healthy way. Only over the past few years have I begun to integrate two formerly disparate parts of my life, and to find pleasure once again in being a "techno geek." I have come to the conclusion that our love for technology, if not derived from and subordinate to our love for God, can compete with our love for God. That danger is still a reality for me, and I am always looking for ways to keep my love of technology grounded in the deeper love of God. Here follow some thoughts on how to keep a proper balance.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Not For Sale

Christian bloggers survey

recently participated in a Christian Bloggers Survey. We were asked to post the list of those who participated - so here it is.

The results of the poll will be posted at Church Communications Pro, as well as in Rick Warren’s Ministry ToolBox.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

What is the emerging church?

Here are two brief video introductions to the emerging church.

Ryan Bolger:

Eddie Gibbs:

Ryan Bolger’s blog: TheBolgBlog; Bolger’s class site

Tuesday, 6 February 2007


A couple of days ago I posted a useful tool for analysing a text. Here is another tool - this one measures the readability of a text - the lower the number the easier it is to read it is called a SMOG test. SMOG - Simplified Measure of Gobbeldygook (I kid you not) - was devised by Harry McLaughlin in 1969. Details are available here and the code for the test is here.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

What is the emerging church?

Scott McKnight excellent piece on the emerging church has now been published on-line at Christianity Today. It is drawn from this paper he delivered at WTS in October 2006.

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Net Finney

Worried about Calvinism being the new emergent? Concerned for your loved ones stumbling over neocalvinsm sites on the web that might wreck their lives? Fear no more - there is Net Finney. Developed by a team at Liberty university, and named after revivalist Charles Finney, Net Finney filters out 99.9% of Calvinist and Reformed literature on the web. [HT Idiot Savant]

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Saturday, 3 February 2007

Analysing a text

There is a great tool to analyse a text at It provides a number of interesting statistics. The following are data from a section of Dooyeweerd's New Critique of Theoretical Thought:

A word cloud: