Dr. Michael F. Bird (New Testament Lecturer at Highland Theological College) has just published an engaging monograph, The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies in Paul, Justification and the New Perspective (Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster, 2007). In the US, it is available through Wipf & Stock Publishers and Amazon.com, and for a much better price than in the UK. To get something of a preview of Bird’s approach to these topics, you can download an earlier version of the fourth chapter that was published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, “Incorporated into Righteousness: A Response to Recent Evangelical Discussion Concerning the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness in Justification” (a pdf file for download; JETS 47.2 : 253-75). Michael also has an informative and engaging weblog, Euangelion.
As you can see, I’m in the process of recreating my website. I’ve been really busy lately researching and writing my PhD thesis, which explains why my blog has been down for so long. Of course, this is no promise that I’ll be blogging much. I still have a lot of work to do right now. On top of that, we’re expecting the birth of our baby (this time a boy!) within a couple of weeks. So, a lot of things to think about and do right now. Cheers!
I’m regularly impressed with the Westminster Confession of Faith. Not that I agree with everything: Some things I’d phrase differently, others I’d simply address differently. But I continue to appreciate the confession. One particular chapter that I find illuminating and instructive is chapter 18, “Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation.” I’ve included it here for your consideration. While some of the language is rather archaic, and some of the proof texts could be improved, the substance of this chapter is worthy of much contemplation and appreciation. It is, I believe, profoundly pastoral in essence. Enjoy!
Our youngest daughter has an issue. She’s admitted it, to be sure. She may recover. Unfortunately, she seems to relish the problem. You see, she’s “bad guy.” No, she’s not a bad guy or just any bad guy. She’s Bad Guy — apparently the one, the only. This is her preferred self-description and title.
“Bad Guy likes oranges,” she declared to her mother the other day.
Emmeline had been saying this often enough that my dear wife was a bit tired of it.
“We don’t have any oranges. Besides, this ‘Bad Guy’ thing is driving me nuts!” Angela blurted, only half-jokingly.
“Oooooo,” Emmeline excitedly grinned, “Bad Guy likes nuts!”
Yea, sometimes Emmeline’s that fast. We can’t win.
Later I asked our eldest daughter if she knew how Emmeline came to such a self-appellation. Elizabeth explained that one day she and Katherine were playing and had made Emmeline “the bad guy.” “Quick, run from the bad guy,” they exclaimed as they dashed from the room, Emmeline huffing behind them, willingly adopting the epithet.
Well, it stuck! For how long, we don’t know.
What we do know is that a “bad” characterization makes for a corruption of company.
Theodore Dalrymple (whom I recommended in a previous post) has written an unnerving piece on life in Britain. He keys the essay off of Anthony Burgess’s controversial novel, A Clockwork Orange. In, “Oh to Be in England: A Prophetic and Violent Materpiece,” Dalrymple escorts us through the erie story line of the novel Burgess most disliked, and then brings it to enlighten the ways and means of a significant faction of youth culture in Britain (some of which we’ve witnessed).
Mark Steyn’s at it again!”The Real Reason Why the West Is in Danger,” is the subtitle for Steyn’s recent piece in the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Page, Opinion Journal. “The design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birthrate to sustain it. Post-Christian hyperrationalism is, in the objective sense, a lot less rational than Catholicism or Mormonism.”
Ouch! But isn’t that the truth?