Monthly Archives

Church policy on paedocommunion

Wed, 29/08/2007 - 16:28 -- James Oakley

Thanks to Neil Robbie for pointing me to this one.

How do you come up with a policy for a church on paedocommunion that allows for:

  • difference of opinion on the issue, and
  • clarity on how responsibility and government are apportioned between church and family?

Well, Neil pointed me to the policy adopted by Trinity Presbyterian Church in Birming ham, Alabama. Very helpful indeed.

Reformed is Not Enough - part III: Sacraments and Sacerdotalism

Wed, 29/08/2007 - 16:10 -- James Oakley

Sacerdotalism is not a view that the sacraments do something. Rather it is

“the belief that grace is imparted in a mechanical or magical fashion through the instrumentality of the sacraments. In other words, the sacraments dispense grace ex opere operato, the way a hot iron burns.” (Page 85)

We deceive ourselves if we think we can do without the sacraments altogether.

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Trying a new coffee part 2: Cupping

Wed, 29/08/2007 - 12:55 -- James Oakley

The Sulotco has had 24 hours to rest now, so time to do a bit of cupping.

It’s easy to worry too much about doing cupping “properly”. At its heart, cupping offers a method of preparing and trying coffee that allows someone to explore the flavours and components of a particular bean as fully as possible. Cupping is about maximalism in coffee exploration.

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Tying together Jonah 1 and 2

Tue, 28/08/2007 - 11:13 -- James Oakley

— Jonah sent to Nineveh (1:1-2)
—— Jonah goes to sea – boards a ship (1:3)
——— Jonah in the belly of the ship; the sailors cry to their gods (1:4-6)
———— Jonah tells the sailors that he worships the one true God (1:7-10)
———— The sailors worship the one true God (1:11-16)
——— Jonah in the belly of the fish; Jonah cries to his God (1:17-2:9)
—— Jonah back on land (2:10)
— Jonah sent to Nineveh (3:1)

Corroborates my suspicion that Jonah’s ministry to the sailors is very important to these chapters

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The search for a new Indonesian

Mon, 27/08/2007 - 15:40 -- James Oakley

I need to find an Indonesian coffee I like.

Indonesian coffee, to generalise, can handle a much darker roast than many other origins. The result is a caffeine-rich, dark-roasted, full-bodied coffee – nice to have from time to time for variety’s sake.

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Consistent Calvinism admits non-Calvinism

Sun, 26/08/2007 - 22:34 -- James Oakley

I’m delighted to see James Cary’s post showing what a consistent Calvinist he is.

How do we react when we meet those who hold Arminian views? (Or, indeed, are clearly Christians yet oppose the doctrines we subscribe to in any of a thousand ways).

Is it

  • Some Christians have managed to escape what God wants them to believe, so we get frustrated at the mixed nature of the church


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Reformed is Not Enough - part ii

Fri, 24/08/2007 - 11:28 -- James Oakley

One of the reasons why I’m enjoying this book is because there are lots of things that I’ve been thinking for some time but struggling to synthesise. What Doug Wilson does is do the drawing together that I had been struggling to do, so that there are lots of moments along the lines of “Ah! That category you’ve just introduced helps make sense of those 6 things…”

On we go.

What is a covenant?

“Covenants among men are solemn bonds, sovereignly administered, with attendant blessings and curses.” (Page 63)

And this seems to me to be a crucial step in the argument…

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Reformed is not enough

Thu, 23/08/2007 - 12:23 -- James Oakley

I’ve been greatly enjoying reading Doug Wilson’s Reformed Is Not Enough, subtitled Recovering the Objectivity of the Covenant. I know – it’s a badly overdue read, but never mind – better late than never.

So far, I’ve read Part 1, which is some necessary ground clearing. What he wants to say could easily sound like a rejection of orthodox Christian faith. So that we realise that it is not this, we have 6 chapters affirming much that Christianity has always taught, and showing how these truths relate to and do not contradict what he will go on to say.

Even though much of it is pre-amble, they are very important chapters, and they contain some great moments. Like the ones below…

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Job, the man of sorrows

Wed, 22/08/2007 - 08:57 -- James Oakley

Job is one of those books of the Bible that I still feel I don’t really know what to do with. I’m not happy with treatments of it that read it as if the bulk of the book were a paranthesis. But I can’t do better. So I keep reading it, to see what I can learn.

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Jonah 1 and representative responsibility

Mon, 20/08/2007 - 10:26 -- James Oakley

I’m doing some work on Jonah 1 at the moment (again!), and it seems that we have another fine example of responsibility being passed between groups of people and representative individuals.

Jonah seeks to flee from the presence of the Lord; as a result, distress comes on the entire crew of the ship. Jonah is very clear in verse 12 that this is “on my account” that this has happened. His individual sin has led to judgement on the whole crew.

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The word for "children" in Luke 18:16

Sat, 18/08/2007 - 15:16 -- James Oakley

Jesus said: “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”

I noticed the other day that Luke uses a different word for “children” here than either Matthew or Mark. Luke uses bre,foj==. Both Matthew and Mark use paidi,on==. (Again, you’d have to have the BW font to see that correctly – the words are brefos and paidion, for those without the fonts.)

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New site layout

Thu, 16/08/2007 - 18:30 -- James Oakley

Just a quick post to state the obvious – I’ve given my blog an overhaul.

Technical details to follow later, but for now please leave me a comment to let me know what you think – especially if you have any problems.

I while ago, I had to turn off anonymous comments, due to the volumes of spam. Now I’ve found a way to implement a CAPTCHA, I’m keen to see if I can have anonymous comments on again.

Bye for now – more later!

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So do we blacklist Potter?

Thu, 02/08/2007 - 10:59 -- James Oakley

On Sunday, I used an illustration from Harry Potter in a sermon. Nobody challenged me over it afterwards. But they could have done because HP arouses strong feelings in some Christians.

The frequently asked question is: How bad is Harry Potter for us?

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