James's Weblog

Election and the covenant / Creature and creator

Fri, 15/09/2006 - 09:55 -- James Oakley

Extremely helpful quotation.

(OK, I can't resist writing this: James reads David who quotes Barb listening to Lusk quoting Leithart)


In particular, I've never before seen the conceptual link between the covenant community / elect distinction and the creature / creator distinction. Thanks David for fishing these things out for us.

"God speaks through his spirit"

Wed, 13/09/2006 - 14:16 -- James Oakley

Before you say,... I know – these observations have been made before and are not new. But…

Here are two true statements:

  • God speaks through the Bible
  • God speaks through the Holy Spirit

I assume we wish to join the Eastern and Western churches throughout their history in affirming that the Spirit is one of the three persons, that the Spirit is divine, is God. If not, the implications are serious indeed – but it also makes the rest of this post redundant. Proceeding, then, on that assumption…

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Which came first, the wedding or the marriage

Thu, 07/09/2006 - 16:35 -- James Oakley

I’m often saddened when, in these days, weddings seems to matter more then marriage. (How encouraging, by contrast, to be helping one couple, who have recently become followers of Christ, to organise a wedding in the shortest possible time. They are keen to be married and are prepared to sacrifice lots of elements of “the ideal wedding”).

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2 Peter - the bare bones

Wed, 06/09/2006 - 17:41 -- James Oakley

Having flow charted 2 Peter, the main points stand out quite clearly from the subordinate ones.

Again – just in case this is helpful for anyone, here are two summaries of 2 Peter.


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Flow diagram of the text of 2 Peter

Wed, 06/09/2006 - 12:52 -- James Oakley

I’m doing some study of 2 Peter, and have prepared for myself a flow diagram of the English text. For those not familiar with flow diagrams, the idea is that the text is laid out to show the grammatical structure. Main clauses are placed against the left hand margin, and all dependent clauses are indented. Where it makes sense to do so, those dependent clauses are indented so as to place them directly beneath the word they depend on.

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So, let's have a "good list"

Fri, 01/09/2006 - 11:25 -- James Oakley

The BBC reports today on the Independent’s recent compilation of a British “Good List”. Not just those people who did something good, or changed things for better, but those who expressly sought to do so.

The list is interesting. Most of Britain’s religions have someone on their because of their affiliation with that religion. We have a Muslim leader, a rabbi and a Sikh leader. That affiliation qualifies their inclusion.

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Mark 13-14: "Watch!"

Fri, 01/09/2006 - 10:18 -- James Oakley

Re-reading Mark 14 is interesting. In Gethsemane, the disciples were urged to stay awake, watch and pray so that they might not fall into temptation. Jesus himself stayed awake and prayed – presumably including prayer to remain faithful under the forthcoming trial.

A sobering statement on human nature. The disciples could see Jesus, the Son of God incarnate, praying to his father that he might not yield to temptation. Yet they thought (implicitly or explicitly, it doesn’t matter) that they could endure without the Father’s help. Astounding – and sobering.

That also gives a point of contact between chapters 13 and 14. The concluding exhortation in chapter 13 is “stay awake”, the same thing Jesus has to tell the disciples in chapter 14. Could this be one key to working out Mark’s intent in these chapters?

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