Tuesday, 23 July 2013

back on the saddle

To anyone who still reads Restless and Reforming, you may be interested to know that I've begun blogging again. My new blog is named The Gospel Tavern and my first post in years can be found here.

Blessings. Nick

Saturday, 23 January 2010

when local government attacks the faith

Andy Hunter has an excellent article regarding the treatment of Bridget McConnell, the head of Culture & Sport in Glasgow and head of the department which helped fund the controversial MOMA exhibition that included an invitation for gay people, who felt excluded by Scripture, to record their names in the margins of an open bible. As you can imagine, some of the name recording turned into vitriolic comments against Christianity. Unfortunately, some Christians have responded by sending Bridget McConnell "hate mail" (you get the impression she is loving the publicity). Andy explains why this approach is stupid to say the least.

Would a healthy dose of two kingdom theology save Christians from such madness? I dare say it would.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

american missionaries in scotland

David Robertson has advice for prospective missionaries coming from America to 'bring revival to Scotland':
Avoid the danger of Romanticism. Scotland is not the land of Mel Gibson, Brigadoon, quaint wee redheaded Highland lasses, Eric Liddell running in the Glens and John Knox preaching in the pulpits! Equally Scots going over to America sometimes get the 'grass is always greener on the other side of the fence' syndrome. To be in large churches, with extensive programs and great wealth, who also seem to be making a significant impact upon their community - that is quite an experience and one which sometimes leaves the Scot feeling a) inferior and b) thinking ‘this is it. This is the way God wants us to work'. The result is that some of us come back with the notion that the Americanisation of the Church will be its salvation. That is patently not true. Likewise American missionaries who come over here thinking that all Scotland needs for revival is for things to be done the way they are back home, will not get very far. Having that attitude will do a great deal of harm - not least by causing an opposite reaction whereby anything new is seen as American and thus de facto to be rejected. Cultural sensitivity is a basic requirement for any missionary.
Give it a read.
HT: Iain D. Campbell

Monday, 18 January 2010

john thomson reads meyer

My good friend John Thomson is finding interesting stuff in Jason C. Meyer's The End of the Law. Another book on my "to read" list.

paedobaptism in 1 corinthians 10

I've been thinking through paedobaptism (pb) recently and am currently reading The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism, edited by Gregg Strawbridge. I'll post one or two thoughts on the book in due course. It's a topic that has consumed me for the last 5 years or so. Some days I think I'm convinced and other days not. Sorting this one out is on my 'to do' list this year. One interesting proof-text used by paedobaptists is 1 Corinthians 10:1, 2:
For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea..
In this typological baptism, all Israel were baptized into Moses as they passed through the Red Sea. That's all Israel; men, women, children and babies. (I also heard it said that the only example of baptism by immersion here was the Egyptian soldiers drowning!) An interesting passage, and probably one of the strongest arguments for pb.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

ezra and observance of the law

I came across this little gem in my signed copy (gush!) of D.A. Carson's adaption of the McCheyne readings, For the Love of God, Volume 2:
Ezra devoted himself to the observance of the Law. For some people, study is an end in itself, or perhaps a means to the end of teaching. But even though the subject matter is Scripture, for these people there is no personal commitment to living under its precepts - to ordering their marriage, their finances, their talk, their priorities, their values, by the Word of God. They do not constantly ask how the assumptions of their age and culture, assumptions that all of us pick up unawares, are challenged by Scripture. The study of Scripture, for such people, is an excellent intellectual discipline, but not a persistent call to worship; the Bible is to be mastered like a textbook, but it does not call the people of God to tremble; its truths are to be cherished, but it does not mediate the presence of God. Ezra avoided all these traps and devoted himself to observing what Scripture says. (January 7)