Wednesday, September 20, 2006

J.I. Packer, Regent College, and the Basics

While in Christian History this morning at Regent College I heard that J.I. Packer would be speaking at Chapel. I was pretty stoked. After reading Knowing God last year I began to develop a strong appreciation for Packer. So, of course, I was expecting something revelatory from Dr. Packer. Well, it was the case, just not how I was thinking.

Dr. Packer's message was fairly simple. He didn't delve into an arcane avenue of Puritan theology; nor did he provide some unexepected exegesis on a passage in Romans, instead he talked about what it means to "finish well" in our walk with Christ. He offered a fine maxim regarding this spiritual sojourn, "Let Christ fill your horizon". It may sound like spiritual immaturity but I was initally bummed because of the message's accessibility and obviousness.

After thinking about it I realized that this message came from someone who had taught at a number of seminaries, who was trained at Oxford, and is one of the most respected theologians in the world today. In that context the message opened uncharted vistas. J.I. Packer had, so to speak, seen it all and he was still championing the same message, "Let Christ fill your horizon". Unexpectedly, this afternoon I learned volumes: in our walk with Christ there will be nuanced 'trinket' theology that often steals our attention from Jesus Christ, Dr. Packer reminded me of the "one thing that I need" that is, to "Let Christ fill my horizon".

Friday, September 15, 2006

St. Irenaeus: The government is on His Shoulders

I am taking a class called Christian Thought and Culture at Regent College. The class is composed of lectures that, as the class name suggests, reflect on the intersection of Christian thought and culture. This week our reading is from Irenaeus. Irenaeus was one of the earliest church fathers and most well known for his thoughtful, incarnation-drenched, anti-gnostic, theology. Here's a quote I liked:

'A child is born to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is on his shoulders' (Is. 9:6)... The words 'the government us upon His shoulder' figuratively signify the Cross, to which His arms were nailed. The Cross was and is ignominy for Him--and for us, for His sake. And yet it is the Cross which He calls His government, the sign of His kingship.'

St. Irenaues, The Scandal of the Incarnation

Monday, September 11, 2006

Here We Are

The Summer, though not officially over with, is done. And since that last sentence was so riddled with irony I'll post something straight forward.

Here's a list of things that has kept me busy and entertained this summer.


Fear and Trembling, Soren Kierkegaard
Finally Comes the Poet, Walter Brueggemann
Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner
Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
Marking the Sparrows Fall, Wallace Stegner
Standing By Words, Wendall Berry
The Heart of Matter, Graham Greene


ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT! (dirty but delightful)
Tsotsi (South African film, WATCH IT)


Anything by Sufjan Stevens
Derek Webb's, Mockingbird

So... keep checking out Quest. There'll be more in the upcoming weeks.