Friday, April 18, 2008

In memoriam: 4/18/07

One year ago today my brothers in the faith Necati Aydın, Uğur Yüksel, and Tilmann Geske were bound to chairs and had their throats slit in Malatya, Turkey, by a band of young men (teenagers, really) who saw them as threats to the stability of the Turkish national identity.

Good soldiers of Jesus Christ, you have kept the faith, run the race with endurance, and fought the good fight. You did not love your lives so as to shrink from death. For that our
Shepherd has given you rest, and our King holds out for your heads a crown of love, honor, and exaltation. May we love our Master and others as you did.

Good Lord, keep the testimony of these men's lives burning brightly in Turkey. May their memory and the outcome of their lives spur others there on to cling to you and share their faith openly as you lead others to see the light of the stark reality of your resurrection and kingdom. And may their loved ones find healing in you as their forgiveness of the murderers bears witness to your mercy found only at the Cross. Amen.

Here is my post from this date last year.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

No time for reading . . . and less for blogging!

To my handful of "avid" readers: I'm busy. Don't expect much productivity for a few weeks yet. In the remaining six hours a week when I'm not teaching, tutoring, planning to teach, grading, fretting about teaching, or going crazy about my students, I get to do three things, (1) talk with my lovely girlfriend over the phone, (2) search for a pastor for Franklin Street Community, or (3) read, read, read for Intro to Pastoral and Theological Studies.

What am I reading? I'm sure Ted cares, if few others. But here's what now occupies my time instead of blogging or journaling or photography or drawing or other pursuits of mine:

Peter Lillback, ed., The Practical Calvinist -- This collection of essays is a helpful and diverse introduction to various issues in the Reformed and Presbyterian heritage. I actually found this book, as a whole, to be really informative and enjoyable to read.

Dennis Johnson, Him We Proclaim -- Johnson issues a call to re-adopt the apostles' own interpretation and application of the Old Testament in preaching to congregations with both believers and nonbelievers. Johnson emphasizes a typological, but sensible, interpretation of the OT that should serve to call all people to faith, to retrain minds, and to edify believers in lives of holiness. I'm learning a lot of new things while being confirmed in what I've already been coming to see in Scripture over the past few years.

John Frame, The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God -- In this book Dr. Frame addresses the question of how we know truth about God and our relationship to him. It is basically a book about epistemology (the study of truth and knowing), with a nod toward presuppositional apologetics (i.e., Scripture's validity and authority above all other ways of knowing).

John Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms -- Bible + Holy Spirit (+ Calvin) = Christ-centered, covenantal exposition of the Psalms.

In addition to having written a ten-page reflection on The Practical Calvinist, I'll also be composing a ten-page sermon or exposition of a psalm based on Johnson, Calvin, and Frame. (Any suggestions for a psalm?) So, consider the blogosphere down one blogger for the next six weeks.

P.S. You need good, energizing music. Mute Math makes good, energizing music. Problem solved. Now if only I had an iPod . . . C'mon economic stimulus check!