Archive for December, 2010

Another Year (of Reading)!

So many books to read!

Books on my read-soon list:

  1. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.  Supposed to be a really, really good book (according to Tim Challies, at least), and it’s about a guy from Torrance!
  2. The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God by John Frame.  I’d like to read the whole Theology of Lordship series (especially the newly-released Doctrine of the Word of God), but the beginning is a very good place to start, especially with an epistemology semester in the Torrey Honors Institute coming up.
  3. The King James Version of the Bible.  2011 is the 400th anniversary of the KJV, so I’d like to give it a read through (h/t Will Sprague for the idea).  [UPDATE: see here.]

What books are you planning to read?

The Preservationist

I just finished reading The Preservationist by David Maine.  It is essentially a dramatic re-imagining of Noah’s story from Genesis.  David Taylor recommended David Maine’s novels as a way of showing and explaining art to pastors.  Interestingly, as far as I know, David Maine is not a Christian.  However, The Preservationist is extremely high quality writing, and I much enjoyed reading it.  It is very raw in style (definitely not for young or “polite” company), and Maine’s portrayal of the story is not romanticized in the least.  Noah (“Noe”) receives visions from Yahweh, and his family is expected to comply with his instructions, no questions asked.  The family dynamics are great, and Maine’s artistic licence is for the most part quite well used.  All possible issues about fictionalizing Scripture aside, I think this was a fairly faithful portrayal of the biblical account.  The characters understandably question the justice of God’s actions, and are generally unsatisfied with Noe’s attempt at theodicy, but in the end they remain largely faithful.  There are a couple of issues near the end which might suggest a questioning of the historical, orthodox interpretation of Genesis (for example, one of the sons’ wife finds really old sea shells in the mountains, suggesting the world might be older than Noe claims), but the large majority of the novel does not conflict with traditional interpretations.  If nothing else, this book is just really high quality literature.  There were quite a few words whose meaning I had to look up, and that doesn’t happen very often in a novel; I was glad I was reading on my Kindle with its handy dictionary feature!  I wouldn’t recommend The Preservationist for everyone to read, but I really did enjoy it.

Top Albums of 2010?

Tim Challies has a list of his favorite albums of 2010.  In an effort to expand my musical horizons, I’ve decided to give his list a listen.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?

Memory Projects for Early 2011

  1. Ephesians.
  2. Westminster Shorter Catechism.
  3. Koine Greek.  Okay, so I’m not memorizing the language, but learning Greek involves a fair bit of memorization, so it counts…

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Yesterday at Branch of Hope Orthodox Presbyterian Church we sang “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” (or here).  While this was not the first time I’d sung this hymn, I was struck by its beauty, and I really appreciate how it is set to the tune of Picardy.  I definitely have a new addition to my list of favorite hymns.  Here are the words:

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

OPP vs NPP: Which is Augustine?

Check it out over at Leithart’s blog… it is an old post, found while randomly searching.

Read it here.

Thoughts anybody?

The Extra Calvinisticum

When the Word became Flesh, the second person of the Trinity did not lose his omnipresence.  At the same time, the physical body of Christ is not omnipresent; omnipresence is a characteristic of his divine nature while his physical body is proper to his human nature.  This is the Extra Calvinisticum as I understand it (in its simplest form).  Quite an important thought while celebrating the incarnation!