Home with Friends

Well, we are in the States. It was quite a wild trip and already the Clausing house was hit by some pretty nasty sickness. However, we think everyone is on the other side of that. It has been truly wonderful to see old friends and to renew relationships. Getting here was exhausting, but we are so grateful to have this time here.

#TheologyThursday: Travel Edition

This one is going to be fast because we are at the Edinburgh airport about to board a flight to London. After a quick trip down to London we get on a flight to Miami. Short jump over the pond and we board a flight to Nashville. In less than 24 hours we will be home and vacation/work/visa application/conference trip begins. We are looking forward to this time.

Loving my Neighbor

Last weekend Taryn, Calvin, and I went to an old mansion in Perthshire, Faskally House. It was built in 1831 and is located just outside Pitlochry (between Perth and Inverness). The house is owned by Faskally Christian Trust, and they rent it out to Christian groups throughout the year. This last weekend our church, Christ Church Edinburgh, spent the weekend there. It was fun and a great way for our family to better connect with folks in the church.

Memory and Hope

This week we have had the Croall Lectures at New College. The lectures were endowed by John Croall who died in 1872 and vested £5000 for the public lectures to take place. The lectures normally have theologians from the Church of Scotland, occasionally they are allowed to have someone else from another church. Over the years they have had people like: John Cunningham, H.R. Mackintosh, John Mackay, George Barclay, James Barr, Bruce McCormack, and Marilynne Robinson. This year we had Professor Werner Jeanrond, Master of St Benet's Hall, Oxford. He gave three lectures on 'hope'.

Humor and Theology

A couple of weeks ago my supervisor, James Eglinton, and I (with some other students) were having a conversation about the place of humor in theology. It was an interesting conversation with wide ranging thoughts and implications. The question posed was: to what extent is there a place for laughter/humor in doing theology? We all granted that laughter is good. We all agreed that we should not take ourselves too seriously. However, the question still stood: to what extent is there a place for laughter/humor in doing theology?

Reading Well

I am in the midst of trying to get the first chapter of my thesis done. I want to have it completed before we leave for the States next month. There are times that it is going well and then there are times where getting words down on paper is a little like pulling teeth. However, I think I am in a good place and the chapter will be finished on time. This process has reminded me once again of the importance of reading well.

Modest and Free

Dogmatics show us how God, who is all-sufficient in himself, nevertheless glorifies himself in his creation, which even when it is torn apart by sin, is gathered up again in Christ (Eph 1:10). It describes for us God, always God, from beginning to end — God in his being, God in his creation, God against sin, God in Christ, God breaking down all resistance through the Holy Spirit and guiding the whole of creation back to the objective he decreed for it: the glory of his name. Dogmatics, therefore, is not a dull and arid science. It is a theodicy, a doxology to all God's virtue and perfection, a hymn of adoration and thanksgiving, a 'glory to God in the highest' (Luke 2:14).

Theology and the Church

I am auditing one class this semester called Critical Debates in Christian Mission. The subject matter has little to do with my particular area of research. To be honest, I would not have even considered the class if a friend had not told me that it was one of the best classes he has taken at New College and that every PhD in systematic theology should take it. This was high praise, and it intrigued me. So, now I am taking the course. As of right now (granted it has only been one class), the course is living up to the billing.

The Struggle is Real

Richard Weaver said, 'Ideas have consequences'. Weaver taught English at the University of Chicago, but he was also an intellectual historian and philosopher of sorts. The thesis, in its most basic form, is correct. What people believe about how the world 'is' will affect how they live in the world or our 'worldview' is not just a set of disembodied ideas, but has consequences on how we live. Taken as a large meta-narrative of human history, it could be argued that the thesis is a bit more tenuous, but I will leave that to intellectual historians.