Aolr vol1(2)

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All of life redeemed newsletter vol 1 (2) Winter 2012

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Aolr vol1(2)

  1. 1. A REFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER! WINTER 2012 VOLUME 1 (2)Perhaps it’s just a sign of A Post-Christmas go to Rome to talk with theage, but every year I find Emperor, or to Jerusalem tothe Christmas story more Reflection discuss theology with theemotionally power-packed Chief Priest; they didn’t ap-than the year before. pear to the loyal Jewish un-Sure, its celebration has derground seeking to over-been grossly commercialized, throw oppressive Romancheapened by over-decoration, rule, or to historians to makeby slickly packaged for movies sure all was recorded prop-and TV, and even declared ille- erly. Instead they went agal in government buildings. couple of Joe Average blue-It’s been badly eclipsed by the collar workers who’d pulledcharming 19th century fairy the night shift on a Judeanstory a New England father hillside – men who are notwrote for his children. But – so even named in the story!far, at least – it hasn’t been By having the angels declarecompletely stifled. Just when it the Great Gift from heavenseems about to be replaced by in this way God shows usits own trappings, the real just what he thinks of humanstory shines through again: a power, fame, wealth, pomp,section of The Messiah on the and wisdom. He says, in ef-radio, the words of a carol in a fect, that since his gift is toshopping mall, a picture on a all people it just won’t mattergreeting card, or Linus’ moving which ones he picks to be therecital of Luke 2 in Charley Brown’s Christmas. representative recipients of his birth announce-What hit me this year harder than ever before ment.was how the central characters of that story are Every year I feel more like a shepherd.such absolutely ordinary folk going about theireveryday lives, and how its message is so clearly Roy Clouserfor us ordinary folk going about our everydaylives. We now think of Mary and Joseph assaints, but to their friends and relatives theywere no different from thousands of other piousJews awaiting the coming of the Messiah. The Contentsbaby Jesus looked and behaved like any other A post Christmas reflection 1newborn. The business about the birth being in a Mike Goheen Interview 2stable, and their having to use a manger for acrib, shows how far they were from being celeb- Book reviews 3rities. Recent and forthcoming publications 7To be sure, the birth itself was a miracle. But at WYSOCS News 9the time only Mary and Joseph knew that. The All of life redeemed updates 10only other thing that was out of the ordinary wasthe appearance of angels to announce the birth. Contributors 10And look where they went to do it! They didn’t! PAGE1
  2. 2. A REFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER! WINTER 2012 VOLUME 1 (2)INTERVIEW WITH Bavinck, Kuyper, Berkouwer, and What lessons does New-MIKE GOHEEN so on. I read sections from bigin have for the reforma- Dooyeweerd’s Critique for a class tional movement? on Christianity and science and  There are many convergences other more reformational books between Newbigin and the ref- during my time in seminary. I ormational tradition. But New- found myself quickly gravitating bigin offers some emphases that toward the Dutch Calvinist tra- can enrich our tradition: a Chris- dition in terms of worldview, phi- tocentric foundation, a strong losophy, and theology. emphasis on mission including the importance of suffering, Who/what were your earliest evangelism, and spirituality, and influences? the importance of the local con-  I’ll take earliest here to mean gregation. I have written on this earliest in my development in the here.Mike, could you tell us a reformational tradition. Probablylittle bit about yourself ? three writers were deeply forma- You have just written a bookI have been married to Marnie tive in my early years: Al Wolters’ on the missional church –for 32 years, and we have four Creation Regained, Herman Rid- could you tell us how thatgrown children, ranging in age derbos’ Coming of the Kingdom came to be?from 24-30, all of whom (as of and other short pieces, and  I wrote my doctoral disserta-August 2011) are married. We Herman Bavinck’s Our Reason- tion on Newbigin’s missionaryhave three grandchildren (as of able Faith. I should probably add ecclesiology. Baker contractedJuly 2011). We live in the Henry Van Til’s Calvinist Concept with me to write a book over-greater Vancouver area of Brit- of Culture that I read at West- viewing missional ecclesiology inish Columbia, Canada. I hold minster. terms of biblical, historical, sys-the chair of reformational tematic, and practical theology. Iworldview studies at Trinity Why did you do your PhD on was challenged by some pastorsWestern University, and am a Newbigin? to limit myself to the biblicalteaching fellow in mission I found both his ecclesiology and aspect since there was such astudies at Regent College. I understanding of gospel and cul- paucity of good exegesis on mis-am also minister of preaching ture quite helpful. In terms of sional church. I also wanted toat New West Christian Re- ecclesiology, I was a church open up mission to embrace theformed Church, Burnaby, B.C. planter and pastor for the first full scope of our cultural missionI enjoy most kinds of sporting seven years of my career after in public life—a theme dear toevents and working out each seminary. I found the two tradi- reformational folk.day. tions—confessionalist and church growth—unhelpful forHow did you discover ref- ecclesiology. One was theologi-ormational philosophy? cally rigorous but out of date When I went to Westminster while the other was pragmaticTheological Seminary in Phila- and little rooted in Scripture. Idelphia, PA, USA, there were found in Newbigin a way thattwo Reformed traditions in evi- was faithful to the gospel, theo-dence in the curriculum. I logically rigorous, and culturallycouldn’t sort out the two at the relevant. I also heard many ech-time but now realise they were a oes of the reformational tradi-more Presbyterian tradition built tion that I had adopted by thaton Scottish Common Sense phi- time. In terms of gospel and cul-losophy in writers like Warfield ture, I found his theory of con-and Hodge, and a more Dutch textualisation to be quite pro-Calvinist tradition in writers like found in relating gospel, church, and culture.! PAGE2
  3. 3. A REFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER! WINTER 2012 VOLUME 1 (2)MIKE GOHHEN enjoy conversation with my INTERVIEW (CONTD) children and their spouses, play BOOKREVIEWS with my grandchildren, hike.What was your aim inwriting the book? What was the first piece of The Western church has lost music you bought?its missional consciousness.  In the 1970s I bought an al-What we need are two things: bum by Creedence Clearwatera missional self-understanding. Revival. They remain one of myThat is, our identity is defined favourite groups. I know thatby our role in the biblical story both the music and technologyto witness to the coming king- date me!dom in our whole lives. We ex-ist for the sake of the world to What music are you listen-be an attractive preview of ing to now?what is coming and to invite  Well, I have a very musicalothers into the coming king- family. My four kids were adom. Secondly we need a sense string quartet and two of themof a missional encounter with are now professional musicians. Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personalculture. The myth of a Chris- My wife has started a very suc- Introduction.tian culture and the myth of a cessful choir and orchestra for Richard Mouwneutral, secular culture (in both young people. But I am aes- Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 2011.its modern secular and its thetically and musically chal- Paperback. Pages xi + 136.postmodern pluralist forms) lenged. However, I have had to ISBN 978-9-8028-6603-5.don’t allow us to see the deep work on this to fit into my ownreligious and idolatrous roots family! But my tastes are still This is a superb introduction toof Western culture. If we are to quite limited I’m afraid. I listen Abraham Kuyper. As the subtitlebe a distinctive people shaped suggests it is short (less than 140 mainly to two kinds of mu-by the biblical story rather pages), but it is also a very accessible sic—classical and oldies. and compelling reading.than the idolatry of the West-ern story we need to develop What are you reading now? Mouw seeks to introduce some ba-this consciousness. The book At the moment I am reading sics of Kuypers thought. Kuyperwas meant to provide some for the writing I am doing. So I was a great polymath, and he wrotebiblical foundations for this. am reading in the area of medi- on such diverse subjects as art, poli- aeval philosophy and in various tics, science, the Holy Spirit andWhat other projects are in areas of mission and world biblical devotional material. Tothe pipeline? Will be see the Christianity. cover all that ground would requirethird part of the Drama/ several monographs. Hence, theCrossroads trilogy soon? If you were on a desert is- personal nature of the book; Mouw Craig Bartholomew and I are focuses on some of the aspects of land and were allowed twoworking on a philosophy book Kuyper that lured him into Kuype- luxuries what would you riansism.that will include history and sys- take?tematic philosophy. It is with I suppose the immediate re- The book is in two parts. SectionBaker and we are working toward sponse would be books, a one looks at an overview of Kuypera first draft later this month. I am computer, and a TV to watch on theology and culture. Section twoalso working on an introduction sports but that would be pre- looks at his legacy for the twenty-to mission studies book with IVP dictable—and it’s three! So I’ll first century.and hopefully the first draft of try to be a little more crea-that book will be ready by the tive—which is hard for me— This is an excellent first place toend of the summer. and say chocolate and Tim look to understand Kuypers work.What do you do for fun? Hortons coffee (although I But dont just take my word for it-Exercise, watch numerous kinds see a fuller review and endorsement don’t know how you storeof sports, travel with my wife, of the book by Byron Borger. them on an island).! PAGE3
  4. 4. A REFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER! WINTER 2012 VOLUME 1 (2) BOOKREVIEWS have been sympathetic to the neo-Kantian The Crisis in Humanist Political Theory: as democratic perspectives of Max Weber and seen &om a Calvinist cosmology and epistemol- Ernst Troeltsch. This was a few years before ogy Hitler became Chancellor of the Reichstag in Herman Dooyeweerd (Translated M. Ver- 1933. Of interest to historians of political the- brugge, edited by D.F.M. Strauss, co- ory will be Dooyeweerds analysis of the apo- edited Harry van Dyke) logia for dictatorship from Carl Schmitt (1888- Paideia Press, 2010 1985). Schmitts theory, forged in the heat of ISBN-13 9780888152121 the inner spiritual crisis of humanism, pre- pared the way for the Fuhrerstaat. This volume is the translation of an early ! The second half of the book pro- work of Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977), vides Dooyeweerds (neo-Calvinist) view of originally written and published in Dutch the way the State must function if it is to in 1931. It is the summation of extensive study made carry out its calling "under heaven", and "do" public jus- while he was a policy researcher for the Abraham Kuyper tice. Dooyeweerd, the professor of jurisprudence, was Foundation, think-tank of the major Calvinist political keen to appropriate positive aspects of Abraham party in The Netherlands. It contains an initial system- Kuypers vision of "sphere sovereignty". But that also atic formulation of the Christian philosophy that is asso- meant avoiding some of the dogmatic concepts implicit ciated with his name. in Kuypers uncritical view of science and scholarship. ! The term Calvinist in the books title, will for For Dooyeweerd, political theory in the Calvinistic line some suggest a political justification of the doctrine of (from Johannes Althusius (1563-1638), required its own predestination and the Biblical teaching of the "chosen Christian philosophical critique of the scientific task, people". Such a suspicion is not entirely unwarranted, and those a radical critique of any theological endorse- given for example the historic connections between ment of sciences autonomy that go all the way back to Dutch reformed theology and the apartheid ideology in Aristotle and Plato. ! South Africa. But readers of Dooyeweerds work will ! For Dooyeweerd, Christian political theory is discover that his "reformational" perspective is cut from born outside any attempt to bring Christian and pagan another cloth. This is no work of Protestant triumphal- thought into a synthesis. Such an attempted marriage ism. It self-critically maintains a critical distance from has diverted Christian scientific endeavour since the the worldly pride that has repeatedly dogged many po- days of the early church. That is not to say that litical contributions of those claiming a Calvinistic in- Dooyeweerds argument defaults to a triumphalist view heritance since the 16th and 17th centuries. of Calvinisms contribution to world-history. Not at all. ! Indeed, in his line by line analysis of the then cur- Calvinism as much as other strands of Christianity have rent body of political thought - an incredible library of all been implicated in this attempted "monster mar- weighty scholarly tomes from the German historical tra- riage". Calvinisms distinctiveness is to be found in its dition, in the tradition of humanistic idealism of Kant idea of law centred on Gods will for His creation. and Hegel (and many more) - Dooyeweerd presents him- Dooyeweerds "philosophy of the idea of cosmic law" self as a reformer of the intellectual tradition. He sifts thus is a signpost to Christians "doing political theory" and evaluates the theories and analyses of those who had that they need to exercise self-critical discernment about formed, and those who were shaping, the contours of the concepts they develop and avoid presuming on their political science. "purity". ! Political theory is assumed to be an important, ! The significance of Dooyeweerds contribution to though not totally indispensable, scholarly contribution political theory is in his comprehensive definition of the to the work of those called to political office in the ad- States task in the promotion and maintenance of public ministration of public justice. Led by the concept of justice. His analysis rejects any view that suggests the public justice, this is the discussion of a reformer of po- State should impose or justify any nationalist, ethno- litical theory. He does not proceed to the articulation of supremacist or religious communitys ideology. This his own contribution before "doing yeomans duty" as "neo-Calvinistic" political theory also decisively rejects one who has mastered the strengths and weaknesses, any presumption of its "manifest destiny" to succeed twists and turns, and most importantly the underlying where all other world-views have failed. The implication "ground principles" (what he would later come to refer is that it is not only neo-pagan America which fails but to as "religious ground-motives"), of the prominent po- also any neo-pagan Calvinism! Calvinisms decisive con- litical theories of the day. tribution to political theory is thus interpreted from the ! It is also important to note that this is a work that standpoint of a Christian world-view which promotes was written to be appreciated by a predominantly Ger- scientific engagement motivated by the Christian- man post-World War I readership. The Netherlands had Biblical ground-motive of creation, fall and redemption remained neutral in the Great War and this analysis was in the communion of the Holy Spirit. penned during the years of the Weimar Republic, said to Bruce C. Wearne! PAGE4
  5. 5. A REFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER! WINTER 2012 VOLUME 1 (2) Purpose in the Living World fession of a "hermeneutical horizon" does Jacob Klapwijk not lead to a damning of his opponents Cambridge University Press but almost the opposite: "I acknowledge ISBN:9780521729437 without hesitation that the naturalistic 322pages continuity faith, which I dont share, also has heuristic value" (51-52). For Klapwijk it The discussion around creation and nevertheless leads to dogmatism when the evolution is often polarized and faith of "naturalistic evolutionism" gets intemperate. Characterised simplis- disguised as science and claims for itself a tically as a conflict between science scientific monopoly that wipes all compet- and religion opponent positions are ing faith horizons from the table. dismissed as creationism or evolu- tionism. Despite this many of the Klapwijks main thesis is what he calls a former reject a literal 6 day creation "general theory of emergent evolution" and the latter insist they do not (GTEE) which "draws our attention to stray from the conclusions of sci- significant differences in level that occur ence. Is there a way out of such an not only in nature but also in human be- impasse? Well lets be realistic, too much is invested ings and human society. It can be seen as an ontologi- in both sides to expect a sudden shift to a more cal vision of the differences in level that have, moderate and creative dialogue. Still no one should through evolution, delineated themselves in the feel bound by the current terms of the debate and world of our experience. In this sense "levelism" is a thankfully Klapwijk gives us a fine example of what it theory not only of emergent evolution but also of can look like. Klapwijk does not take up a mythical ontological stratification. It implies that the world posture of neutrality on the topic. He is up front has gradually disclosed itself in an all embracing hier- about developing his ideas within the context of a archy of lower and higher levels that reach from the "final hermeneutical horizon of our knowledge and physical and biotic domains up to the complex understanding of reality" (197). Klapwijk takes his spheres of human society" (153-154). This is Klap- stance from the Genesis account as "a believing wit- wijks own original articulation of philosophical ness regarding God as the source of all being and the themes pioneered by the Dutch philosophers Her- origin of all that lives" (9). He distinguishes this crea- man Dooyeweerd and Dirk Vollenhoeven. tion belief from creationism which goes further in taking the Genesis account as "also a scientifically One possible misunderstanding of what Klapwijks reliable representation of the manner in which He thesis is supposed to achieve is the criticism that it brought the world and diverse forms of life into be- fails to offer a mechanism to explain emergence. But ing at the beginning of time" (9). this is the scandalous heart of his proposal which argues that no overall explanation can be offered Given his philosophical inclination for hermeneutics (162) because explanation always works within idi- and siding with creation belief it seems surprising onomic domains or ontological levels (135fn). So that very early on he states that evolutionary theory GTEE is "an open scheme of thought" that works at is based on "facts as hard as nails". Given later com- the approximating level of ideas rather than the pre- ments - on evolutionary science "not as rectilinear cise objective level of conceptual determination (161- and objective a scientific approach as it would seem 162). Klapwijk rejects the continuity faith of natural- at first" (76), and "isolated facts do not exist" (163) - it ism which believes that on the basis of a single sci- is probably best to read this opening gambit as more ence all the mysteries of life can be solved. Evolu- a rhetorical positioning than a philosophical asser- tionary naturalism is a one-dimensional scheme of tion. This is not meant in a critical sense. Klapwijk is thought which involves itself in all sorts of contradic- making clear that in this book he is not interested in tions when it confronts the multidimensional world a philosophical critique or rejection of the results of we experience. Each special science has its limits and science, but a philosophical reflection on those re- is unable to provide explanations capable of crossing sults (so perhaps we could say "critique" in the kan- ontological levels or idionomic domains. tian sense of discerning the limits of scientific re- Rudi Hayward sults). Another surprise is that his own upfront con-NOTHING MATTERS BUT THE KINGDOM. BUT BECAUSE OF THE KINGDOM EVERYTHING MATTERS. GORDON SPYKMAN! PAGE5
  6. 6. A REFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER! WINTER 2012 VOLUME 1 (2) Creation, Revelation and human attempts to deliver, from some alleged Gods-eye point- Philosophy of-view, the answer to all questions." Johan Mekkes Translated by Chris van Haften In Mekkes own words scientific theory is just one sector of Dordt College Press our life and so "can only arise from within this life, and its systematisation is a matter of recurrent activity by living peo- Johan Mekkes was a student of ple." Philosophy is one activity that people can pursue and in Herman Dooyeweerd and wrote doing so they respond to the needs and possibilities of human four books which elaborate in his life within their historical context. Philosophy has its life as own distinctive way the reforma- part of the historical context that is the development of west- tional philosophy that ern culture and so an investigation of the limits of philosophy Dooyeweerd pioneered. This is must confront the place given to reason in this tradition. the first book Mekkes published Given that philosophy must be rational, what are the limits of and the first to be translated into this standard of rationality? Once again Mekkes insists that English. In his brief introduction "rationality is no more than an abstraction from one of mans Bert Balk, who attended Mekkess lectures between 1964-1970, many living acts and actions, acquired by way of theory" and so writes that "He did not teach us a philosophical system, but philosophy cannot find its unity in what is called "reason". We delivered philosophy in actu. In particular, he imposed upon are forced back into the very root of our existence and here we his students an awareness of all attempts to transgress, by rea- must make a choice to either listen or not listen to creational son or otherwise, the boundaries set by time and the human revelation. Mekkes claim is that since "the avenue of creation condition. Put otherwise, his was a critical attitude towards all is the avenue of the kingdom" so "Life is only revealed through the cross". Rudi Hayward Simply Jesus: Who He W What He as, (Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Academic, 2009), Smith, James K.A. Did, Why It Matters “Worldview, Sphere Sovereignty and Desiring the Kingdom: A N.T. Wright Guide for (Perplexed) Reformed Folk” (Pro Rege, 39 (4), June 2011, pages 15-24) SPCK, 2011 Simply Jesus is the first of Wright’s popular books that really shows the power of this wholistic, big picture approach. Jesus, he I am just finishing reading Tom contends, came to bring God’s wise, healing rule to bear on the Wright’s latest book: Simply Jesus: Earth. He did not come to teach people ‘how to get to heaven’, or Who He W What He Did, Why It as, to mount some kind of quasi-military revolution, or to do things Matters (London, SPCK, 2011) It that ‘proved his divinity’: carries a glowing (back cover) The gospels are not about ‘how Jesus turned out to be God’. commendation from Rowan Wil- They are about how God becameking on earth as in heaven. liams (‘Tom Wright is, as always, … It has been all too possible to use the doctrine of the incar- brilliant at distilling immense nation or even the doctrine of the inspiration of scripture as a scholarship into a vivid, clear and way of protecting oneself and one’s worldview and politicalaccessible form. This book is yet another of his great gifts to the agenda against having to face the far greater challenge of Godworldwide Church.’). taking charge, of God becoming king on earth as in heaven.What distinguishes his approach and makes the book quite dif- But that is what the stories in the Bible are all about. That’sferent from any other on Jesus that I have ever read, is Wright’s what the story of Jesus was, and is, all about. That is the realworldview approach (which, of course, is no guarantee that there challenge, and sceptics aren’t the only ones who find cleveraren’t other books like it – if you know of any, do tell me!) Wright ways to avoid it. (page 147)has applied this approach in his major academic series Christian One of the greatest challenges facing the church today is theOrigins and the Question of God and the first book in that series evangelisation of young people. On average half of the childrenThe New Testament and the People of God (SPCK, 1992) is of Christian parents do not grow up to share their parents’ faith,dedicated to Dr Brian Walsh from whom he gained the inspira- whereas nearly 100% of the children of non-religious parentstion for this approach. Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat have applied it grow up to share their parents’ lack of religious commitment.in their Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire (Downers Today many Christian young people find themselves in schools orGrov e, IL, IVP, 2004), but Wright has established himself as the colleges with few or no other identifiable Christians. My, andmajor theologian and Biblical scholar using it. Mark Roques’, experience is that stories incorporating that who-Wright’s worldview approach is as developed by Reformational listic, big picture approach engage young people effectively,scholars (Brian Walsh, Al Wolters, Michael Goheen et al.) rather whereas many traditional approaches no longer work. But afterthan Evangelicals. For commentary on the distinction see, e.g. years of worldview-based mission I am still learning a lot fromBonzo, J. Matthew & Stevens, Michael eds After World View: Wright’s new book. I’ll have to seriously revise my teaching notesChristian Higher Education in Postmodern Worlds (Sioux Cen- on both ‘Biblical Introduction’ and ‘Worldviews’!ter, Iowa, Dordt College Press, 2009), Smith, James K.A. Desir- Arthur Jonesing the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation! PAGE6
  7. 7. A REFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER! WINTER 2012 VOLUME 1 (2)Less Than Two Do)ars a Day ity to the stranger are norms of righteous-A Christian View of Poverty and the Free Market ness. The parable of the rich man and Laza-Kent A. Van Til rus condemns the rich man not for a par-Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., ticu- lar act of theft or fraud but for his gen-2007. eral neglect of the poor Lazarus (Luke 16:9–pp. 180. $16.00 pb. 31). The parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:13–ISBN 978-0-8028-1767-9. 21) shows just how futile constant accumula- tion can be. In Luke 12:33, Jesus tells all hisThis books title is taken from the fact that disciples (not only the rich young man), “Sellabout 40% of the worlds population have less your possessions and give to charity.” In athan 2$ per day on which to live. Van Til shows similar vein, James insists that caring forhow the free market is unable to help those in orphans and widows constitutes true relig-desperate poverty. The free market distributes goods on ion (James 1:27). In passages such as these, we seethe basis of desert - what you can pay for - rather than that doing justice requires more than passively doingneeds. The first chapter examines the key terms and defi- no harm to our neighbor. It requires, rather, that wenitions and then in chapter two Van Til examines the ori- go out of our way to love the neighbor by seeking outgin and role of the free market. He also highlights some of their good, especially the physical good of the poorthe often undisclosed assumptions of the free market. The neighbor. p. 79.next chapter reveals why the poor dont gain from the free Moving from the Bible to the contemporary context is themarkets distribution. He argues that the free market is topic of the next chapter. Here Van Til builds bridges bynot designed to provide basic sustenance and examines six connecting the scriptures to theological traditions, toreasons why it is unable. economic definitions of basic needs and contemporaryIn chapter four he carefully, albeit briefly, examines what political language. From this he maintains that sustenancethe Bible says about poverty. He ably shows that the bibli- is a basic right that implies a duty for contemporary soci-cal mandate requires that we provide basic sustenance for ety.all. Particularly helpful is his discussion of the phrase the In chapter 6 he draws upon Abraham Kuypers spherepoor you will always have with you. This is not a pretext sovereignty and Michael Waltzers spheres of justice toto dismiss our care of the poor to take such an attitude is provide a way forward for workable approach to distribu-to face the same condemnation that Judas and the disci- tive justice. In the final chapter acknowledging the worksples incurred. As, he goes on: of Bob Goudzwaard and John Tiemstra he shows what can Elsewhere in the New Testament, Jesus regards com- be accomplished with a theory of distributive justice. passion for the needy as the standard of genuine This book is a thoughtful and thought-provoking ap- righteousness. In the end-times tale of the sheep and proach to a Christian view of the free market and to pov- the goats (Matt. 25:31–46), Jesus insists that feeding erty. For as little as $100 a year we can make a difference the hungry, clothing the naked, and showing hospital- to those on $2 a day. The Cultural Way of Being (Spiritual Direction in a Postmodern Land- It is in this collaboration that artists can make art, art scape) that becomes culturally formative, rather than mere Geoff Hall personal expression. But it is not just with investors that Bristol: Upptackka Press, 2011 this creative collaboration can take place, it can be also pbk, 82pp with gallery owners, publishers and educationalists. Primarily, though the collaboration must be with God: Available in kindle, pdf, print and iBook The life of the artist is an intimate walk with God (p. here. 33). Through this walk with God artists can be sensi-How does the institutional church treat artists? By and tised to what is going on "around Christ" (p. 34).large it doesnt! Art becomes a means of propoganda for All in all this book is a vigorous and articulate call for art-evangelistic or advertising purposes, or it becomes a means ists to take their place in Gods kingdom and for kingdomof self-expression. Hall writes, in part, to try and alleviate people to support them, so that art can be a communalthis disdain for the artists cultural calling. expression for the public domain. The church can then be Hall pleads for a collaboration between artists and angels: transformed from a culturally reclusive institution.   It is interesting that Jesus last days in the Wilderness It needs to be read by all who long for the artist to take involved being looked after by angels before His re- their place in Gods good creation. turn to the public sphere. So if you are an angel inves- tor, this may well be your service to the artist. ! PAGE7
  8. 8. A REFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER! WINTER 2012 VOLUME 1 (2) Work Matters Illustrations come from films such as Narnia, WALL-E Connecting Sunday Worship to and Mr Hollands Opus. He also draws upon a wide Monday Work range of sources Paul Marshall, Os Guinness, Tim Keller, Tom Nelson Tom Wright, Miroslav Volf, Luther and Gideon Strauss Wheaton, Crossway Books, are all mentioned. He utilises the neo-Calvinist/ Kuype- 2011 rian framework of creation, fall and redemption to good ISBN 978-1-4335-2667-1 effect.  221 pages, pbk. At the end of each chapter is a short prayer and then sev- There is a tendency for Christi- eral questions for reflection and discussion which makes anity in some circles to be a this book ideal for church small groups. leisure activity. We are encour- aged to pray, evangelise, wor- The final chapter The church at work is particularly ship, study our Bibles in our spare good. Here he draws upon Lesslie Newbigins notion thattime. Sadly, the 40 hours per week, for forty or so years the congregation has to be the place where its membersdont seem to matter - or at least if you looked at the are trained, supported, and nourished in the exercise ofcontent of most Sunday sermons from the pulpit. It has their parts of the priestly ministry in the world. he offerslong been my contention that pastors should every seven some excellent ideas and suggestions how this can beyears or so take a sabbatical and work in an office, educa- developed. The role of church leaders is to prepare thetional establishment, retail outlet or such like. This will saints for work of service (Eph 4:12) Too often this getshelp them connect with the everyday pressure those in narrowed down to church-related activities, here Nelsonfull-time work experience. Hopefully, it will help them in shows with examples that it doesnt have to be that way.their discipleship programmes and in what they preach.  Ideas include embracing a new vocational paradigm as he puts it:Christianity is a whole life activity, despite the implicit A primary work of the church is the church at work. Ourdenial of this from many pulpits. This book, however, work not only forms us spiritually; in and through ourprovides a refreshing look at whole life Christianity. Its work, Christs gospel mission is advanced in the world.key message is that work does matter. (p. 190)Nelson uses many everyday experiences - including dis- Many churches employ youth workers and ministers -cussions in coffee shops and vignettes from those who maybe one day well also see work and vocation ministershave considered how Christianity impacts their work life. too. That will certainly need a paradigm shift. Nel- sons eminently readable and accessible book may wellRECENT & FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS! PAGE8
  9. 9. A REFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER! WINTER 2012 VOLUME 1 (2) he Matrix Reformed seriously film, science fiction, technology and philoso- Science Fiction, Technology and phy. But not only that it provides an excellent intro- Christian Philosophy duction to a Christian philosophy. But it doesnt do it Bert Cusveller, Maarten Verk- in a superficial, icing on the cake or WWJD approach. erk and Marc de Vries Dordt College Press, 2011 The Matrix raises many of the perennial philosophical ISBN: 978-0-932914-90-3 problems such as the nature of reality, freedom or de- terminism, machines and moral judgments. These are This book is a translation of the dealt with in this book in a clear and concise manner. Dutch De Matrix Code. The They examine how the issues are raised in the film, Wachowskis 1999 film The Ma- they then look at how the issues have been dealt with trix has been responsible for a in philosophy looking at philosophers such as Plato,whole cottage industry of books. These include books Descartes, Dennett, Putnam, Heidegger. They exposethat deal with the philosophical issues such as Christo- how unsatisfactory such approaches have been andpher Grau (ed.) Philosophers Explore the Matrix OUP, then develop a Christian approach to the issues. They2005), William Irwin (ed.) The Matrix and Philosophy do it in a way that is accessible and illuminating.(Open Court, 2002) andMore Matrix and Philosophy(Open Court 2005), Matt Lawrence Like a Splinter in The book then works on a number of different levels:Your Mind (Blackwell, 2004) Glenn Yeffeth (ed.) Taking it is a great discussion of film in general, The Matrix inthe Red Pi) (Benbella, 2003) and books which use the particular and other science fiction films (mentionedfilm to explore Christian themes such as  Steve Couch alongside The Matrix are Star Wars, Star Trek, Total Re-(ed) Matrix Revolutions (Damaris, 2003), Gregory Boyd ca), Minority Report, Simone, Final Cut and manyand Al Larson Escaping the Matrixand Chris Seay and more); it acts a primer on philosophy and on ChristianChris Garrett The Gospel Reloaded (Pinon Press, 2003). philosophy.And now we have this volume. Is there room for an- This book will undoubtably be of value to anyoneother one? For one as good as this book - undoubtedly! studying media or philosophy and to anyone who hasThis one is head and shoulders above the rest. It takes seen the film! NEWS Then in Contemporary Islamic Bioethics in Theory and at the Bedside, Dr Rusthoven reported onJames Rusthoven on Healthy Bioethics a conference in the U.S. convened by October 22 2011 Islamic ethicists and medical practi- tioners to consider the ethics ofDr James Rusthoven, medical oncologist, explored different healthcare, life and death for Muslimsparadigms for the ethics in western societies. Islamic bioethicsof life, death and health. emphasizes the best protection of life not only from cradle to grave but also before birth and afterIn Anchoring Medical Ethics: A Christian Framework, death. There are disagreements, however, as to what role vari-Dr Rusthoven began with a critique of the dominant ethical ous bioethical principles should play in developing a biomedi-paradigm in biomedical ethics: the four-principles approach cal ethical framework. We were introduced to some major(autonomy + justice + beneficence + non-maleficence). Without differences between Shiite and Sunni traditions, as well asdisputing the potential importance of these guides to ethical within these traditions, regarding moral deliberation andthinking, he argued that simply appealing to them is an inade- sources of authority for patients seeking expert religious ad-quate foundation for ethical practice. The belated addition of vice on particular health care decisions.‘non-maleficence’ alongside the three longer-established prin-ciples epitomises the failure of this approach to understand This was followed by a response from Sharif Al-Ghazal, a plas-true beneficence as taught in Scripture. We then heard about tic surgeon working in Bradford. Mr Al-Ghazal’s insights intothe approach developed in Dr Rusthoven’s PhD thesis, which Muslim thought, combined with his medical experience, pavedappeals to a covenantal ethic that better respects important the way to stimulating discussion with contributions frominteractions among diverse interested parties (physician, pa- other medical practitioners in the audience.tient, family, medical businesses, etc.). The priority of patientcare and the integrity of medical practices would be respected Richard Guntonby grounding decision-making in discourse among the partiesconcerned, so that principles such as justice and beneficence arekept in proper perspective viz-à-viz a patient’s rights and indi-viduality.! PAGE1
  10. 10. A REFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER! WINTER 2012 VOLUME 1 (2) ContributorsUPDATES ROY CLOUSERH. G. Stoker page has beenupdated with an updated biography Professor Emeritus, Trenton University. He is theand author of The Myth of Religious Neutrality andPhilosophy of the Creation Idea a  a Knowing with the Hearttranslation of 1970. Oorsprong enRigting. Volume II, Section 6.Tafelberg: Cape Town (pp. 202- 331)  MIKE GOHEENRoy Clouser Professor of of worldview and religious studies at2011. "A reply to J. Glenn Friessen" Trinity Western. He is the author of A Light toPhilosophia Reformata 76.’ the NationsHarry van Dyke2011. Slaying Goliath: The gene-sis of Reformational philosophy RICHARD GUNTON Development officer for WYSOCS, Leeds, UK- paper presented at WYSOCS,Leeds August 2011.Added to the Danie Straus pages:Scholasticism and Reformed Scho-lasticism at Odds with GenuineReformational-Christian Thinking RUDI HAYWARDTranslated by Dr. David Hanson. Teaches Philosophy at a UK school, he blogs at[It originally appeared in Ned. IntermezzoGeref. Teol. Tydskrif (Dutch Re-formed Theological Journal), March1969 (pp.97-114).]"God in himself " and "God asrevealed to us": the impact of thesubstance concept Acta Theologica ARTHUR JONESVol 30 (1) 2010:123-144. Church Army’ Tutor with responsibility for Co-The central religious community of ordinating Training. He is editor of Science in Faithmankind in the Philosophy of theCosmonomic Idea, Philosophia Re-formata, 2de kw. (pp.58-67).Three papers by Mike Goheen BRUCE WEARNEadded:Continuing Steps Toward a Mis- Scholar-at-large, based in Australia. sional Hermeneutic, Fideles, Vol- ume 3 (2008), 49-99.A Missionary Encounter with Western Culture, ACT 3 Review, 15, 1, (2006), 155-171.Imaging God in Our Bodily Lives, BC Christian News, (October 2007) 27, 10, 28-29. Forthcoming eventsNew pages added: February 16-18 2012 Tony Tol Forum on Music and Scholarship Calvin College. Grand Rapids, USA, M. C. Smit www.fmcs.us/conferences Paul Otto David Koyzis April 19-21 2012 Neo-Calvinism and democracy conference Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology ! PAGE2

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