Outlaws Gone Before

Thank the Lord for all His outlaws gone before us.

See about William Tyndale and others like him, here and here.
Good family education and entertainment.

Other excellent videos can be found at monergism.
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship. So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.
--WCF 20.2


More Thoughtful Audio

In case you hadn't noticed, over at my reformatorischeblog you will find a number of new links on the sidebar. Notice especially the CPRT Reading Room link, the nonEnglish site links, and Christian scholarly journals links.

I also have a group of links under "philosophy audio". Be sure to check out the Work Research Foundation's "think" audio resource. Currently, nine CDs are now available online in free mp3s, with more to come. These presentations reflect on faith and work in a broadly accessible style. Manual laborers, academicians, office workers... persons of all vocations can benefit from these recordings.

click HERE or image below


Quiets The Soul

Over this past year I've come across some music I like. You might like it too.

Damien Jurado has a new album "Now That I'm In Your Shadow".

Ox's "American Lo Fi" has just been released.

I can't say I've listened to a large number of Dutch bands, but At The Close Of Every Day, and their lead singer Minco Eggersman, appear to have something going on.

I think Timesbold [*] and the Baptist Generals [*] are due for something new. And I should mention that long-time favorite Will Oldham's latest "The Letting Go" sounds pretty good.

And did you know you can buy CDs of Mr. (Fred) Rogers' music?! Absolutely fabulous. See the bottom of this page for the four CDs: You Are Special, Bedtime, You Are Growing, and Coming And Going. (Don't even bother with the hackjob of a "tribute" album.) You can listen to some of his classics online here. I'm fairly certain that Mister Rogers was my introduction to jazz. One of my favorite songs to this day is "It's You I Like."

update : Speaking of jazz, I forgot to mention the music I heard months ago in a cafe near a neighboring town's train station. I was intently reading when the song lyrics crept to the fore of my consciousness. "Why does this sound so familiar?" I wondered. Don't miss Paul Anka's clever re-make album Rock Swings. Yes, Paul "put-your-head-on-my-shoulder" Anka doing a jazz rendition of Nirvana!


The Difference It Makes

So I'll be heading back to the U.S. in order to finish my thesis there. For now, I've ceased to make approximations about how soon I will complete it. But since I will not be finished by the end of this month as I had initially intended, financial considerations (among others) make returning the best thing. Plus, this way I won't miss the Great Thanksgiving Feast! But other celebrations will have to wait. I should be in the middle PA area by 15 November.

In any case, in light of my recent post about the SBC especially, I offer you this reflection:

In my nearly year&half experience here I have found that nothing is more conspicuous among the college age youth of the would-be orthodox confessional reformed churches in the Netherlands than the conviction that confessional reformed teaching is utterly irrelevant to authentic and practical Christian living. I perceived the substantial presence of this same conviction among the third and fourth generation Dutch immigrant communities I encountered in southern California and southern Ontario.

I suspect this conviction stems from their ironic but profound ignorance about reformed teaching and its biblical basis. But, even among some of my readers who are not ignorant about reformed teaching and knowledgeably embrace it, there may yet be a hesitance to unambiguously affirm that nothing is or can be more relevant to genuine Christian life. So, I want to take a moment to explain what I believe is the crucial practical difference between gospel proclaiming & believing overagainst that of a false gospel (which we will call, simply, 'nonCalvinism'. There are many false gospels, but this is an expression of the most prominent "Evangelical" one).

I focus here on the gospel because it is the sine qua non of salvation, the heart of Calvinism, and the essence of the whole of reformed teaching. I focus on the practical difference in terms of 'proclaiming and believing' this gospel because out from this root springs all real Christianity. So, the central question is what is meant in the actual proclamation of and faith in "Christ, and Him crucified." The difference at stake is not theoretical, but a question of life or death.

The nonCalvinist proclaims that Christ died for every single person whether or not they ever believe and are saved. He proclaims, not that Christ alone guarantees salvation by His death, but that sinners must contribute their native ability to believe, and that this action is what ultimately makes the difference for salvation. In stark contrast to the nonCalvinist's gospel, the Calvinist proclaims that all persons for whom Christ died will be given faith and full salvation. He proclaims that Christ absolutely guarantees this salvation by His death, and that no sinner is able to believe of themselves, so that Christ and Him crucified makes the exclusive difference for salvation.

When a person believes the proclamation of the nonCalvinist gospel, that person is not given faith by Christ, nor do they trust in His work alone as guaranteeing salvation. This is a false gospel. It does not come with the power of God, and no one is saved by it. In total opposition to that, when a person believes the proclamation of the Calvinist gospel, that person is given faith by Christ and they trust in His work alone as guaranteeing salvation. This is the true gospel. It alone is the power of God unto salvation.

Only when, by God's sovereign grace, the churches in the Netherlands and around the world repent of their culpable ignorance and diligently live and teach this truth with and to their children, will they know His power. Until then, you yourself, dear reader, can know the reality of that power in your own life with assurance through the Spirit as He speaks in the Scriptures.


Le Garçon In DarkTown

Brother Gary got to meet and play with Lee Konitz* recently; a phenomenal opportunity. He's says he'll do some more sax study with Konitz at some point.

Gary's also been playing more in his duo with Brendan O'Connor, The Darktown Strutters. You can listen to a bit of their repertoire. Who doesn't love "My Favorite Things"?

His DoubleTime dj gig still seems to be as swingin' & hoppin' as it ever was.

Thanks to Donal for the DTS pic and heads-up on their myspace site!


Honest To Pod
from my computer to yours...

My new podcast module is on the sidebar, and you can subscribe via this link. The first episode, now available, is about the Reformation.

It's about 7 minutes long, and features a selection from an article by Dr. Robert Godfrey that you can find here. I also mention my short "Reformation Day" blog entry from last year.

Let me know what you think.


Reconstructing The Puzzle

The material complexity of Dooyeweerd's transcendental critique is hidden by a comparatively simple formal structure. But in order to really explain the critique (as I must for my thesis) one cannot, obviously, avoid explaining the material concepts. This is a significant part of what's taking me longer than I had hoped.

For example, in his A New Critique of Theoretical Thought (3 volumes), Dooyeweerd asks on page 41 of the first volume "And how is this abstraction possible?" Then, approximately 525 pages later, on page 6 of the second volume he says "The question how this entire process of abstraction is possible will be answered later on in a special chapter on the epistemological problem"... referring to a section approximately 990 pages after the original question!

Everything in between is building up to the answer. Thankfully, I don't need to distill and summarize everything in between. But the necessary "selection" process, prior to distillation, is itself a puzzle. I think I've got a handle on it, but my grip feels slippery.