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, 28 December 2012

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Ernest Kevan by Paul E. Brown

Ernest Kevan
Leader in the Twentieth Century British Evangelicalism

Paul E, Brown
Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2012
294+xvii; pbk; £8.00
ISBN 978 1 84871 156 3

In his introduction Paul Brown, former pastor of Bethel Chapel, Stoke-on-Trent, comments that if you look up Dr Ernest F. Kevan on the internet you are likely to think that he is only known for writing book entitled The Grace of Law. But, no longer, Brown has changed that - a search for Ernest Kevan now leads to several reviews of Brown's book. Brown knew Kevan while he was a student at London Bible College (1957-1960) when Kevan was principal.

Kevan was perhaps best-known as the principal of London Bible College (now called the London School of Theology) (1946-1965) and for his joint editorship of the Inter-Varsity Fellowship's one volume commentary of the Bible. Several chapters are devoted to Kevan's role as principal of the LBC, but only a few paragraphs on the influential commentary.

Kevan's upbringing was Strict Baptist, but of the more open kind. He pastored three Strict Baptist congregations. The first, at Church Hill Baptist, Walthamstow, when he was only 21. Here he found his wife, Jennie several years his senior, engaged in church planting and wrote his first book: London's Oldest Baptist Church. In 1934 he became the pastor of Zion, New Cross. From there he took up the pastorate for a short time at Trinity Road Chapel, Tooting (1944), while being involved with the establishing of the interdenominational London Bible College.

A good third of the book deals with his time at LBC. Two chapters deal with his 'wider ministry'. Unusually for a Strict Baptist (SB) Kevan had been involved with the Keswick movement. He had even encouraged other SB's to attend. It was in 1953 that he was asked to deliver the Bible readings. He chose to preach on Romans 7-8, key Keswick verses. Graham Scroggie had the previous year preached on the same passages, expounding the traditional Keswick view of holiness and sanctification. It could not have been a coincidence that Kevan took up the same verses to expound a traditional Calvinistic view of sanctification. Obviously Kevan was able to go where no other SB had gone before!

This biography is very readable and Brown has made good use of his sources notably Kirby's short biography - Kirby was Kevan's successor as principal of LBC - and the two histories of LBC by Harold Rowden and Ian Randall. He has also made good use of Kevan's written works and this book has numerous extracts from them at key points, allowing Kevan to 'speak for himself'.

One appendix provides a helpful summary of Kevan's doctorate published as The Grace of Law, which is still available; another appendix provides extracts from his other works; and yet another copies of some important documents including letters to Dr Martryn Lloyd-Jones. Several photographs serve to add value to the book.

This book is a worthy tribute to an unassuming, often overlooked, but highly influential Calvinist evangelical of the twentieth century.

Available from ICM Books Direct

High-Lights of Strict Baptist History by C. Breed

High-lights of Strict Baptist History
Charles Breed
16 pages; paperback.
Reprinted for the Strict and Particular Baptist Minister's fellowship, no date c. 1949.

This short, 16 page, pamphlet was written by the first student, and later principal, of the Strict Baptist Bible Institute. The pamphlet is a printed version of a lecture given in 1948 at the Strict Baptist Open Air Mission.

Strict and Particular Baptists were so-called because they were Strict in who they allowed to take communion, held to particular grace and believed in believers' baptism by full immersion. They were strongly calvinistic. 

Breed notes in his opening statement that 'Strict Baptist history have never been written'; this was the case in 1948, but now Kenneth Dix has at least partly remedied that. This pamphlet provides, as the title suggests, a few highlights. Breed recounts vignettes of displays of 'amazing courage and glorious heroism'.The Strict Baptists were born  out of persecution and many of them paid for their beliefs with imprisonment and even death. It was at a time when any meeting together for worship had to be according to the forms of the Established church: non-conformism was illegal in the seventeenth century. 

Although brief this pamphlet provides an insight into the courage, faith and tenacity of the early Strict Baptists in the scriptures and the God of the scriptures. They were also involved in the cause of religious liberty, at the forefront of the abolition of slavery and held a strong commitment to the advancement of education. 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Best books of 2012

In no particular order:

Andree Troost What is Reformational Philosophy? Paideia Press

Craig Bartholomew and David Beldman (editors) Hearing the Old Testament Eerdmans

Ian J. Shaw Churches, Revolutions and Empires 1789-1914 Christian Focus

Albert Weideman A Framework for the Study of Linguistics Paideia Press

James Eglinton Trinity and Organism: Towards a New Reading of Herman Bavinck's Organic Motif T&T Clark

George Harinck (editor) Kuyper in America Dordt College Press 

Lydia Jaeger What the Heavens Declare: Science in the Light of Creation Cascade

Amy Sherman Kingdom Calling IVP (my reviews Intro  Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 )

Best books of 2011
Best books of 2009
Best books of 2008

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Terry Eagleton and Roger Scruton debate 'culture'

A great debate between Terry Eagleton and Roger Scruton on culture. Is is it a tradition to be imparted or a context to be critiqued?


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Odds and sods

Byron Borger on the re-release of Dooyeweerd's Roots of Western culture
Mark Roques reports on his recent visit to Cumbria
Willem de Witt on Bristley's Guide to Bavinck
Nelson Kloosterman on H. Henry Meeter on the Bible and politics in the Calvinist worldview (1) and (2)

A helpful critique of Twilight and expose of how Christians have engaged with it.

Friday, 7 December 2012

The idolisation of being extrovert

This fascinating TouTube is based on Susan Cain's book Quiet - a look at the the quiet introverts. This is an interview with Susan Cain.


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Church parties according to W J Conybeare (1855)


PRTJ issue on Herman Bavinck

The November 2012 issue of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal is a special issue on Herman Bavinck.

There articles on Bavinck the man and his theology, his covenant theology, and his view of common grace. There is also a review of Ron Gleason's biography of Bavinck.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Hope in Hope Street by Gervase Charmley

The Hope in Hope Street
200 Years in Hanley
Gervase Charmley
Bethel Evangelical Free Church, 2012

Every church building can tell a story. Unfortunately, not many are told. This book tells the story of one small evangelical congregation through the years. The book was written by the present pastor, Grevase Charmely (who blogs here), to celebrate Bethel Evangelical Church's 200 years of existence.
This local expression of church is currently affiliated to the FIEC. But that wasn't always the case. It started life as a congregational chapel, became associated with Edward Jeffrey's Bethel movement before returning to its congregational roots and then became affiliated to FIEC.
                                                      Now ....

                                                                         ... and then

Founded in October 1812 as Hope Chapel by some who had seceded from the large Congegational Tabernacle, which was formed as a result of the preaching of Revd George Burder and Captain James Scott when they came to the Potteries town of Hanley. Hope's first pastor came two years after it was founded. 

One small criticism is that the story of the church is told through its pastors. Little is provided of how the congregation were engaged in ministry outside of the church. This is probably inevitable as the historical documents relate to the pastors and not the congregation. However, it implicitly leaves the impression that the only ministry is that done by the pastor, the minister.

Revd John Greeves (1791-1846), a Methodist convert from Buxton, was the first to fill the pulpit full-time. On leaving Hope Chapel a few years later he went back to his Methodist roots. The more experienced  Revd William Farmer (1780- ) took up the reigns in 1816. Farmer was embroiled in accusations of sexual infelicitations - he strenuously denied them; but this had an effect on his church ministry. He left Hope Chapel in 1824. When he left he took about 50 of the congregation with him and formed a new local church. 

Being an evangelical church mission was rightly and inevitably high on its agenda and a number of saints were sent from Bethel as overseas missionaries. The first ones sent from the church were contemporaries of the Serampore trio in india. 

1824-1827 was the time of Pastor Samuel Jackson, this was followed by John Edmonds and then in 1842 the Revd Charles Fox Vardy (1806-1889). Vardy's health meant he had to resign in 1847. Other pastors in the nineteenth-century included Robert Macbeth, James Deakin, John Kay and Richard Henry Smith and David Horne (uncle of Charles Silvester Horne, the notable Congregationalist). Smith was a particularly interesting character. Smith had a great interest in art and wrote several books on art, including Expositions of the Cartoons of Raphael (1861). He used this interest to help working class people understand art and to introduce them to the Gospel, in part he was the forerunner of the Pleasant Sunday Afternoon men's fellowship (PSA).  

William Landsell was responsible for leading the congregation out of the long nineteenth-century into the somewhat troubled twentieth. It was during this time that falling church numbers began to hit Hanley and  far wider. The church suffered from the effects of the First World War. During this time there were several attempts at linking congregations, as there was a problem with small congregations supporting full-time pastors.  Respite from decline came in the form of Edward Jeffreys, son and nephew of the Pentecostal pioneers Stephen and George Jeffreys. Edward Jeffreys had set up the Bethel Evangelistic Society He came to the Potteries in 1930. Hope Chapel were enamoured with him and agreed to become part of the Bethel set-up. This involved a name change to bethel temple and Jeffreys provided them with Pastor W. J. Jones and then Pastor Alfred Anderson Brown. Edward Jeffreys originally held a Pentecostal theology, but later came to amend his views. Pastor Ernest John Vernon took over from Brown in 1934. In 1939 the Bethel movement was wound up and this left bethel once more an independent church. Edward Jeffreys went on to be ordained into the Anglican Church. 

The Second World War caused as many issues as the first. Vernon's sudden death in 1953 left the way for Mr Archibald Walter Mead to become the pastor. Under pastor Mead Bethel affiliated to the FIEC.

The next major event of the church involves the new building - here they had to take on the supermarket giants Tesco and won. the result was a modern new building which now stands on the site of the old.  This was under the pastorship of Paul E. Brown, the author of the recent biography of Ernest Kevan.

This is a fascinating story of two centuries of church history. It is well written and well researched. Many primary documents as well as family history documents consulted. It provides ample evidence of God's sovereign grace in a local congregation. 

Africa for Norway - share the heat: Radi-Aid

[HT First Things]

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Odds and sods

Nelson Kloosterman discusses Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms in Dutch Theology

Paul Otto, the reformational blogger, has switched to Wordpress and has posted a list o his top ten reformational books see the discussion on them here.

Jim Skillen's paper on The Bible and the State. From the Churches and the Rule of Law
John Knox Center, Geneva, Switzerland, 28-31 October 2012.
Jason Goroncy's brief report on the conference and his response to Skillen is here.

Reformed academic's Jitse van der Meer on Bavinck and evolution:
Finally, I referred to Bavinck not because I think he should have the last word on the relationship of Scripture and scholarship. I referred to him because I believe no one in the Reformed tradition has improved on his views in this respect. If we want to improve on his views we should start with Herman Bavinck.
My short piece on William Carey, statistics and the modern missionary movement

Lawrence Osborn on theology as stamp collecting.

Anthony Smith on Creation care

The Evangelical Times interactive Church History Timeline

Saturday, 17 November 2012

E. J. Poole-Connor on English evangelicalism in the nineteenth century

After having dealt with the tail end of the eighteenth-century Poole-Connor now turns to the nineteenth. He spends most pages discussing C. H. Spurgeon, for whom he obviously has the highest regard.

Here is a scapple of pages 199-238.
"... the history of religion in England during the nineteenth century was, from the Evangelical stand-point, one of bright hope and ultimate disappointment. The flood-tide was followed by a rapidly-running ebb." p. 201.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

E J Poole-Connor Evangelicalism in England

Here is a scrapple summary of Poole-Connor's section on 18th Century dissenters from his chapter on the 19th century.

Monday, 12 November 2012

E. J. Poole-Connor on Evangelicalism in England

I've been dipping into E. J. Poole-Connor's Evangelicalism in Britain, FIEC, 1951.

Poole-Connor was a friend of Martyn Lloyd-Jones - who wrote the forward to this book - and was the founder of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) in 1922 (though at the time it was called 'The Fellowship of Undenominational and Unattached Churches and Missions'). Poole-Connor's biography is called Contender for the Faith.

Here's a scapple of the first part of chapter 7 of Evangelicalism in England on the nineteenth century. In it, he begins by looking at the eighteenth century. He makes two interesting points: the eighteenth-century revival wasn't restricted to the Wesley-Whitfield circle; and there was a strong attachment by the major players to the Church of England.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Music for a Sunday - Mozdzer, Danielsson & Fresco

Herman Bavinck's Christian Family newly translated

Herman Bavinck's Het Christelijk Huisgezin. Kampen: J. H. Kok, 1908, has now been translated by Nelson Klosterman and is available from Christian's Library Press. (ISBN 978-1-938948-14-5).

It is a 'study of the different aspects of the family from a Christian perspective.' In the original Bavinck looked at:
(1) the origin of the family
(2) the disruption of the family
(3) the family among the nations
(4) the family in Israel
(5) the family in the New Testament
(6) dangers to the family
(7) marriage and the family
(8) the family and education
(9) the family and modern society
(10) the future of the family.
There is an introduction from James Eglinton.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Snippets from Kuyper's Pro Rege by Nelson Kloosterman

In his excellent piece Peering Into a Lawyer’s Brief: An Extended Examination of David VanDrunen’s Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms Nelson Kloosterman quotes Abraham Kuyper:
Christ does not undo the work of creation, but joins himself to that creation and builds upon it. This same truth applies to Christian society. If the foundation of society is provided in creation, and if sin has deformed the edifice of that society, then Christ comes not to establish an entirely new kind of society alongside it, but his kingly authority rather extends in order to restore the original, to correct what had become deformed, to perfect the unfinished construction. The church is an entirely new establishment, one that is added to the work of creation, but family and society were present at the origin of humanity’s life. Christ recovers both of them, and does not establish them anew, and where his authority governs both, this authority proceeds according to the laws of life ordained for both of them from Paradise onward. . . . At the moment we can suffice by letting the general rule guide us: ‘Christian’ does not mean a new invention and a new creation, but a return to the original creation, and a further building upon that ancient foundation, always involving the struggle with and the atonement for the sin that incessantly seeks its ruin (Pro Rege, 3.23).
And provides an excellent summary of Pro Rege the soon to be translated work of Kuyper:

In order to show the reader what is “out there” in those pockets of Kuyper-land accessible only in the Dutch language, permit this embarrassingly brief summary of these volumes. Volume 1 of Pro Rege treats the kingship or rule of Christ in his exaltation, discussing in turn the darkening of Christ’s kingship, the undermining of Christ’s kingship, and the kingship of Christ according to Scripture. Interestingly, chapter 22 explores “De twee Rijken” or “The Two Kingdoms,” where Kuyper analyzes the kingdom of Satan in opposition to the kingdom of Christ. Volume 2 examines the kingship of Christ in its operation, paying attention to the subjects of Christ’s rule, to Christ’s rule in his church, together with the relation of Christ’s kingship to the Christian (!) family, including a discussion of headship, of feminism, of authority, of family worship, and of childrearing. This examination continues in volume 3, where Kuyper devotes entire sections with multiple chapters to explaining the relationship of Christ’s kingship to society, to the state, to science, and to art. In these magisterial volumes, Kuyper wrestled with the relationship between creation and redemption. Precisely in that context, he explained extensively the nature of Christian activity within the creation and within culture. He spoke frequently of a Christian society, with Christian institutions, Christian policies, and Christian practices. If the life of society is indeed grounded in creation, then the kingship of Jesus Christ over society is exercised according to creational ordinances. A Christian society is not a novel invention that came into existence with the incarnation of Christ, but rather a Christian society consists in the perfecting of what had been established at creation (which clearly resembles the “grace restores nature” motif championed by Kuyper’s contemporary, Herman Bavinck!).

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Michael B Thompson on the New Perspective

The New Perspective on Paul
Michael B. Thompson
Grove Books, revised edn 2010
Biblical Series B26
ISBN 9781851745180
28pp, pbk, £3.95

This short accessible book examines the controversial issue of the New Perspective on Paul. Often this debate has generated more heat than light, but Thompson has produced an excellent eirenical introduction that will help illuminate the debate.

He examines the problems with the Lutheran view that shaped the 'old perspective' and looks at how Sanders, Dunn  and Wright have responded to that. He then looks at the benefits and the threats of the New Perspective in an even-handed way.

If you wondered what the New perspective is all about, then there is perhaps no better first place to look at than this booklet. A page of further reading is provided for those who want to take the issues further.

A scrapple summary of the book is available here.

Michael B. Thompson on the New Perspective

I've recently been using the beta scrapple - it's very good!

Here's a scrapple of Michael Thompson's Grove booklet on the New Perspective.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Three major events at Kuyper Center, Princeton

The Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology
In April 2013, The Kuyper Center at Princeton Seminary is hosting three major events

April 17th–18th “Neo-Calvinism and World Christianity”
A symposium with Daniel Bourdanné, Mark Gornik, Darrell Guder, and Stefaan Paas

Thursday April 18
2013 Kuyper Prize Lecture
with Dr Russell Botman, Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University, South Africa

April 18th–20th Kuyper Center Annual Conference
“Church and Academy”
with William Carl III, Kris Culp, Gordon Graham, Jeroen de Ridder, and David Sanchez
PAPER PROPOSALS are invited on all aspects of the general theme. Papers selected for inclusion will run concurrently. In addition, each block of concurrent sessions will include a session reserved for a graduate student paper. Graduate Student Awards are available for student presenters to assist with the cost of travel and lodging. Proposals should take the form of an abstract of not more than 300 words and be submitted as an email attachment to December 15th, 2012. Decisions will be announced by mid January 2013. All accepted papers will be considered for publication in the Kuyper Center Review Volume 5, to be published in 2015.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Resources for a Christian approach to art and aesthetics

  See Artway's list of suggested readings here

Craig Bartholomew 1994. “'Dominion’ as a Key to Understanding Art,” in Venster op Die Kunste: Christelike Perspektiewe/ A Window on the Arts: Christian Perspectives (Potchefstroom: IRS, 1994), 41-57.

Graham Birtwistle
  • 'Art and the arts' In Tim Dean and David Porter (editors) Art in Question, Marshall Pickering, 1987. 
Hilary Brand and Adrienne Dengerink Art and Soul: Signposts for Christians in the Arts Piquant, 2001.

Adrienne [Dengerink] Chaplin , 'Past the Post: Post-modernist Art and Beyond,' Third Way (March 1988) 14-16

Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin 'What's the point?' Summer reading and the arts Comment 2007.

William Dryness Visual Faith: Art, Theology, and Worship in Dialogue. Baker Academic, 2001.

Geoff Hall [website]
  •     The Artists Autobiography
  •     Translating the Invisible Wind

     All published by Upptacka Press and available here.

Nigel Halliday [website] 'Christians and the arts' Affinity Bulletin (March)

Abraham Kuyper 'Calvinism and art' in Lectures on Calvinism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Nancy Pearcey Saving Leonardo. B&H, 2010.

James Romaine (editor) Art as Spiritual Perception: Essays in Honor of E. John Walford Crossway, 2012.

Hans Rookmaaker

Art Needs no Justification (IVP, 1978) on-line version

Modern Art and the Death of a Culture (IVP, 1970)

Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker (editor) The Complete Works of Hans R. Rookmaaker (Piquant, 2002/3) vols 1-6:
1. Art, Artists and Gauguin
2. New Orleans Jazz, Mahalia Jackson and the Philosophy of Art
3. The Creative Gift, Dürer, Dada and Desolation Row
4. Western Art and the Meanderings of a Culture
5. Modern Art and the Death of a Culture
6. Our Calling and God’s Hand in History
       On Rookmaakker Transpositions series

Anne Roberts Outside the frame: Postmodern art Cambridge Papers 20 (2) June 2011.

Duncan Roper
'The gospel, art and aesthetic theory'. Issues Number 6, November 1990.

'Aesthetics, art and education: a Christian look at art' (1980) [pdf] No Icing on the Cake: Christian Foundations for Education (ed. Jack Mechielsen) (Brookes-Hall Publishing Foundation, 1980)

'Aesthetics, art and education: consequences for curriculum' (1980) [pdf] No Icing on the Cake: Christian Foundations for Education (ed. Jack Mechielsen) (Brookes-Hall Publishing Foundation, 1980)

'A Christian Look at Educating Art & Aesthetics' (Sept 1978) [pdf]

Richard and Janice Russell 'The darkening West: a study in contemporary art and philosophy' (available from CSU here.)

Philip Graham Ryken Art for God's Sake, A Call to Recover the Arts. Presbyterian and Reformed, 2012.

Francis Schaeffer Art and the Bible. IVP, 1973.

Calvin Seerveld

Seerveld's books are available from Tuppence Press (in North America) and the Christian Studies Unit (in the UK) and Piquant (in the UK)

Rainbows for a Fallen World. Toronto: Tuppence Press, 2005

Bearing Fresh Olive Leaves: Alternative Steps in Understanding Art Piquant 2000.
The gift of artistry - God's clothing for human life

    Creativity [pdf] Big Picture 1 (3) (Trinity 1999): 5-6, 31-32.
    'Two Writers Engage in Rainbow Action: Nick Looks at Cal; Cal Looks at Nick' in Vanguard 10.6 1980 4, 5 and 18.

On Seerveld:
Gregory Baus Seerveld’s Hineinlebenshaltung
Lambert Zuidervaart and Hernry Luttikhuizen eds., Pledges of Jubilee. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995
Daniel Sidell God in the Gallery: A Christian Embrace of Modern Art. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008.

Peter Smith 'Making paintings'. In Tim Dean and David Porter (editors) Art in Question, Marshall Pickering, 1987.

David Thislethwaite The Art of God and the Religions of Art
[available at the link from the author]

E. John Walford

  • Great Themes in Art. Pearson, 2001.
  • 'Learning to perceive through visual art'. In Jeffry Davis and Philip Ryken (editors)  Liberal Arts for the Christian Life. Crossway, 2012.

John Wilson One of the Richest Gifts. Handsell Press, 1981.

Margaret Wilson ‘A Window upon the world: Engaging with painting’ Cambridge Papers 11(3) September 2002.

Margaret Wilson ‘The window is closed: Engaging with early to mid-twentieth-century painting’ Cambridge Papers 16 (3) September 2007.

Lambert Zuidervaart, Art in Public: Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture. Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Lambert Zuidervaart, Artistic Truth: Aesthetics, Discourse, and Imaginative Disclosure. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Lambert Zuidervaart and Henry Luttikhuizen, eds., The Arts, Community and Cultural Democracy (St. Martin's, 2000).

Many of these books if they are in print are available from Byron Borger's Hearts & Minds Bookstore in the USA. See also his list of books for the creative arts.
Or Richard Russell's CSU in the UK.

Other bibliographies for a Christian approach to ...

... mathematics
... technology
... geography
... psychology
... language and linguistics
... worldview books
... biology
... sport
... politics
... economics
... biblical view of what it means to be human
... sphere sovereignty
... education
... law
... history
... vocational discipleship
... music

odds and sods

Bob Collins has a review of Al Wolters's Creation Regained

Willem J. de Wit "Who Wrote Bayna al-ʿaql wa-al-īmān? An Invitation to Read Herman Bavinck in the Middle East"

Mike Wittmer on the recent publishing phenomenon: The Year of Living ...

Anthony Thiselton on hermeneutics:

[HT Anthony Billington]

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Three books by Dooyeweerd recently (re)published

Paideia Press have recently reissued three key works by Dooyeweerd - and each one is under £10.

The Roots of Western Culture

This work is a must-have item for both the general Christian community and students and teachers alike. Teachers will find the book a excellent entrée to Dooyeweerd’s broad historical and systematic vision, and a work that can be assigned for student use in introductory classes. Written as a series of articles for a weekly newspaper in The Netherlands, it is Dooyeweerd’s attempt to provide “renewed reflection on the meaning and scope of the religious ground-motives that have controlled our western culture in its historical development.”

In the Twilight of Western Thought

The publication of Twilight in this PAIDEIA edition will finally provide easy access to the essential systematics of Dooyeweerd’s position.
Based upon a lecture series given by Dooyeweerd in North America during the late nineteen-fifties, this work was prepared in English by Dooyeweerd himself and first appeared in 1960, published by The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was reprinted in 1968 by The Craig Press, Nutley, New Jersey. This latest edition contains some significant new features that have been added by the editor. “For instance, the text has been divided into four main parts and, with the exception of chapter eight, all other chapter headings have been revised or added by the editor. They are intended to more accurately indicate the development of the argument and to break up the text into more manageable sections, particularly for use in teaching.” (From the editors remarks)

The Struggle for a Christian Politics

This early study (1924-27) reveals the depth and scope of Dooyeweerd’s emerging philosophy. The historical topics covered include Early Christianity and the birth of the idea of the Corpus Christianum; the unitary ecclesiastical culture of the Middle Ages and its dissolution; the emergence of modern Humanism in the Renaissance; and the rise and self-destruction of the Humanist theories of natural law. The attention that Dooyeweerd pays to the development of the modern concept of science and the new concept of matter may appear a needless digression yet paves the way for his probing analysis of the mathematical method prevalent in the views of political theorists like Grotius and Hobbes. (From the Foreword)

Which book to read next?

Whichbook can help you find an interesting fiction book to read - based on criteria you choose

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

A Mormon redaction of the Nicene Creed

    From the archives:

We believe in one God, the main God of a number of Gods(1), who acquired His place as Supreme Being over a long period of time by living a righteous life(2), the FatherAlmighty, Maker one of the Makers (3) of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible (and Who is married, by the way) (4);
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, one of the spirit children of God (Lucifer being another), (5) the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father (6) by whom all things were made: Who won God’s favor by agreeing with God’s plan of salvation when Lucifer disagreed,(7) and who was called Jehovah in the Old Testament(8).
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, of a physical relationship between God the Father and Mary, (9) and was made man, and was married at the wedding in Cana (10);
And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;
And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;
And ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father in the celestial kingdom, the highest of the three kingdoms of heaven;(11) And He and Joseph Smith (12)shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets;
And we believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. in the Mormon Church, which restores Christianity to the form it had in the time of the apostles.(13)
We acknowledge one Baptism – for both living and dead – (14) for the remission of sins as long as that baptism is conducted by the Mormon Church (15)
We look for the Resurrection of the dead which will be presided over by Joseph Smith,(16)
And the Life of the world to come. And Joseph Smith. (17) Amen.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Odds and sods

These links are well worth checking out:

David Koyzis on 'Tracing the logic of liberalism'
Douglas Groothius 'The need for Christian education'
Wess Daniels 'Quakers, tithes and a chocolate factory' [link now corrected]
James Sire 'Is atheism a worldview?'

Bob Goudzwaard "Daring to hope'

Koers: Bulletin for Christian Scholarship

The South African reformational journal Koers is now online and open access. The editor is Helena Hoogstad.

Koers promotes the development of Christian scholarship/science in all fields of science and publishes original (mainly reflective) research contributions with an integrated worldview as foundation. We provide a platform for authors to engage constructively and criticallywith Christian scholarly/scientific points of view in all fields ofscience.

The latest issue has two excellent papers by Bennie van der Walt and James Olthuis.

Original Research - Worldview & Education
Flying on the wings of Vollenhoven’s radical Christian worldview: A
reconsideration of the usual typology of Christian worldviews

Barend J. van der Walt
Vol 77, No 1 (2012)

Original Research - Worldview & Education
A vision of and for love: Towards a Christian post-postmodern worldview
James H. Olthuis
Vol 77, No 1 (2012)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Abraham Kuyper's Particular Grace (Part II) - mindmap

Abraham Kuyper's Particular Grace Part II - a mindmap. Part I is here. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

X Factor: three in a row

Bored with X factor? The rest of the family aren't? Then play X Factor three-in-a -row. First one to get three in a row is allowed to decide if the TV stays on or off.
Cut out the four cards and give them to members of the family - and wait for the cliches to come.
  X Factor: three in a row

Music for a Sunday Morning - Sigur Ros

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Kuyper Particular Grace (part I) - a mindmap

A mindmap of Abraham Kuyper's Particular Grace: A Defense of God's Sovereignty in Salvation (Granville, Michigan: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2001)

Thursday, 4 October 2012

George Harinck on the Barmen Declaration

The Barmen Declaration from Fuller Seminary on Vimeo.
Speaker(s): Dr. George Harinck
Professor of History and Archivist at the Free University of Amsterdam

"Dr. Harinck brings a fascinating--and challenging--interpretation regarding the historical context in Nazi Germany in which this confessional document came forth.” President Richard J. Mouw
Dr. Harinck is also one of the leading present-day Dutch experts on theologian Abraham Kuyper.

Michael Polanyi's view of knowledge - a concept map

A concept map of Michael Polanyi's view of knowledge.

Polanyi Knowledge

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The antithesis in pictures

The antithesis in pictures. Cartoon by Albert Hahn.

The text underneath reads: "Free thought against/ opposite dogma". 

Multatuli was the author of the satirical novel Max Havelaar.  

Source: BG C13/308 (print), The Dutch Labour Movement till 1918, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

(Some) reformational basics by David Hanson

These are the slides from David Hanson's presentation at WYSOCS' Open day on 29 September 2012.
The talk is a summary of a series of talks on a presented at Leeds and Sheffield.
If you'd like to book David to do a series of talks contact him via WYSOCS.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Richard Mouw's Abraham Kuyper (Eerdmans, 2011) - a mindmap

This is a mindmap of the second section of Richard Mouw's Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Introduction. Eerdmans, 2011. The first part appeared here.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Staves - Winter trees

WYSOCS - Open day Sept 2012

WYSOCS provides opportunities for learning from a Christian perspective in all aspects of life, it seeks to engage with and transform culture from a distinctively Christian worldview.

Saturday was an open day to provide a taste of what WYSOCS does.

Cal Bailey, a trustee of WYSOCS, opened the day by opening up the scriptures. As a businessman he was embarrassed by some of his fellow business folk. Capitalism has become distorted and become 'my gain at any cost'. It has been sold as a story of freedom but has become a story of slavery. In contrast Deuteronomy 6: 1-9 appears to be a story of slavery and yet brings great freedom. He posed a vital question: What is God's required behaviour for business?

WYSOCS has three main strands: RealityBites, LifeMatters and the newly launched Faith-in-Scholarship.

As part of LifeMatters a number of successful day events have been held. these include: Creation Regained with Al Wolters and Harry van Dyke, The Story of Richard Oastler (David Hanson), Healthy bioethics (James Rusthoven), three talks by scientists (Richard Gunton, Anthony Smith and Gareth Jones), Religious roots for secular law (Nicholas Aroney). A Reformationals' colloquim (July 2012) was also organised.

Mark Roques was winging his way to the Antipodes and couldn't make the day - instead we were treated to a clip of him doing his stuff at a recent Youth Workers event. This clip gives a flavour of what RealityBites is about - an attempt to communicate in a non-cliched way, to inspire and envision youth workers, teachers and students with the transforming gospel.

David Hanson then provided us with a short refresher on (some) reformational basics. This was a much shortened version of a series of talks he had given at Leeds and Sheffield. He remined us of the need to listen to the whole breadth of the word of God. All of creation is a spiritual reality and all of creation is a material reality .... all the way down.

During the refreshment break we were treated by some piano music by the multi-talented Anthony Smith.

The newest facet of WYSOCS is Faith-in-Scholarship. A new project to support postgraduates. This is headed up by Richard Dunning. Here, with his permission, are the
slides from his presentation:

I then gave a brief introduction to the All of life redeemed website, highlighting the subject and journal resources there.

Richard Gunton concluded by showing the results for a recent survey of WYSOCS supporters.

You can still take part in the survey here.

The morning finished with a really excellent lunch.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Workflowy - an excellent organiser

I have recently signed up to workflowy - it is an excellent, easy to use organiser/ to do list.
It is browser based so there's nothing to download and so can be use on multiple machines.

Use this link to sign up and you'll get 250 extra items per month (and get more for me too!).

Here a short vid to show how easy it is.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Is work a paycheck or a calling?

Howard Butt of shares a story about three people who have very different perspectives on their work.

Friday, 17 August 2012

How the Church Fails Businesspeople by John C. Knapp. Eerdmans, 2012

How the Church Fails Businesspeople
(And what can be done about it)
Eerdmans, 2012
ISBN 9780802863690
pbk, 178pp, 
publisher's web page

"Is faith only of value when healing is needed? Is it not essential to living our daily lives as instruments of God's healing power in the world? Church culture, like business culture, reinforces the notion that the proper place for faith is the private sphere. Despite this, many men and women in the pews are not easily persuaded that the God they worship on Sunday morning is unconcerned with how they make their living."
So writes John C. Knapp, director of Samford University's Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership. This perspective resonates with many. Our life outside the congregation is of little 'spiritual' value; Christianity is a part-time activity.These are the implicit messages conveyed by far too many church services. Knapp's contends that the church has failed us and has failed businesspeople in particular.

The ground covered in this book is similar to, but more focussed, than Amy Sherman's excellent Kingdom Calling. Going to most church services we would never realise that there are over 2000 Bible verses that deal with business, the impression given would be more in tune with Augustine's when he is alleged to have declared that 'business is in itself an evil'.

Knapp and his team interviewed 230 people to see how church has helped them in their businesses. It makes for sombre reading.  Most found that the church was too concerned with the (so-called) private sphere of life and uninterested in the public realm. The majority found that the church had done 'little or nothing to equip them for faithful living at work'.

It's not all doom and gloom though. Knapp identifies some glimmers of hope. The faith at work movement provides some promise. He stresses that this is a laity led movement. But is that such a bad thing? This highlights one weakness of the book. It doesn't really address the role of the church - it fails to distinguish between the church as an institute and as an organism.

This is a book to give to your pastor. My concern is that it will only be read by the 'laity'. Until we see a change in clergy training it may be a while before we see a paradigm shift in the way that the church as institution equips the church as organism for 'works of service'.

Buy from Byron Borger's Heart & Minds store.