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Why "A minor"?
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A minor


Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Quote from the Nicotine Theological Journal (NTJ)

Do any of you read this journal? I've never seen it, but I found this NTJ article, "Whither Presbyterianism" by Henry Lewis, here and here. Criticizing the language of the PPLN's values and mission statement, Lewis writes:

What makes this language funny is the way “leader” and “leading” keep surfacing (providentially they avoided the dreaded “servant-leader” construction). It is as if putting the word “leader” before “church” automatically makes it so, as if the PCA, with roughly 300,000 members, is on the precipice of becoming one of the most visible and highly respected denominations. As the NTJ has remarked in the past, this kind of rhetoric is a form of Presbyterian self-delusion, one to which the much smaller Orthodox Presbyterian Church (25,000) might be prey if she ever broke six figures. It is so because, to use one example, the PCA is 100,000 members smaller than the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a church that most inhabitants of the United States have never heard of.

Additional quote added Thursday, November 28:

Truly innovative leadership development might address the problem of how few Presbyterians there are in the United States compared to Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, and Pentecostals, and might involve adopting a strategy for a limited range of targets....

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, November 24, 2002

More Discussion of the Episcopate among Non-Episcopals

My favorite Lutheran blogger, Josh S, writes (Thursday, Nov 17):

If I thought there was a proper form of polity that was a true mark of the church, I'd have [to] go with the episcopate. Good thing I don't believe there is such a thing, or I'd be in trouble.

...to which, the catholic doctor and Presbyterian, Joel G, comments:

One can distinguish between bishops and episcopal succession being of the essence of apostolicity (so that, if every bishop died, so too would the church) and their being the ordinary bearers and guardians of apostolicity among those baptized into the apostolic Faith, for the well being and full being of the church.

In the latter case, restoration of the historic episcopate to all parts of church would certainly be something to be striven for, but would not be regarded as the sina qua non of their being a church at all.

Added Sunday, Dec 1: If you're interested in this topic, be sure to read the rest of the discussion (22 comments to date) on Josh's blog. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have a permalinking system, so you'll just have to find his post from Thursday, Nov 17.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, November 23, 2002

"And I lift up me glass in his honor!"
Tonight we had a bachelor party for my longtime friend, Remy Wilkins (son of Steve). It was great in every way - a great, hilarious song from Guido & Paul; a great Top 10 List from Gibbs; a great, brief time of prayer and psalm singing; and one great beer too many for me. Not really...I just woke up from dehydration at 4am, realizing that the pesky flies in my dream were just that - a buzzing dream. Combined with the fact that I've been sick this week, that's all it took to mess with my already dysfunctional sleeping patterns. Hence the absurdly early Saturday morning blogging. But, hey, Remy's worth it (or I'm stupid, or both).

As I said, he's a longtime friend. In fact, just tonight, we were reminiscing about a camping trip we took to Arkansas when we were probably 13 years old. Although I seldom see Remy in Moscow, it's been comforting just knowing he's around. I intended to ask him to be Ethan's godfather, but I forgot, and still haven't gotten around to it. I really need to do that, although I guess since we're Protestants and Ethan has already been baptized, there's no rush (sayeth the ever procrastinator).

Anyway, he's about to marry Bethany, a wonderful lady. She's a native Idahoan (I think), a Logos and University of Idaho alum who's lived and studied abroad in Guatemala, is fluent in Spanish, and whose parents are Seventh-day Adventists. Some of us still find it incredible that a queer poet like Remy has been blessed with such a woman!

Their move to Monroe in the summer will be a bittersweet thing for me - bitter in that they won't be here; sweet in that they'll be in Monroe, the one other place in this world that I'm always bound to (at the least) visit regularly. But, who knows, maybe we'll be moving in the summer, too.

To Remy & Bethany, head slightly aching, I lift up me glass of water (and take a drink with old Rosin the Beau)!

jon :: link :: comment ::

I'm The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Not usually a big fan of quizzes or surveys (unlike my wife), I had to take this one. As I went through it, at times I think I tried to be The Last Battle, but I guess the quiz knew better than I. Ah well. I do love The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - just haven't read it in a while. Maybe after I finish Grahame (The Wind in the Willows) and start Rowling (Harry Potter), I'll take up The Voyage again.

By the way, be sure to read this prayer.

"The only book which doesn't take place in Narnia at all, per se, you're the story of a voyage to find the end of the world and hopefully the Seven Lost Lords (remember Rhoop!). You contain some of the most unique people and places and beautiful descriptions of the whole series."

Find out which Chronicles of Narnia book you are.

- via Emeth, Kristen, Josh, Valerie, Joel & Laurel...
(since I still don't have a blog roll, I feel compelled)

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, November 22, 2002

Heat Rises at Barlow Farms
Here's a peppery comment from Brian Mattson of Captive Thought:

Hi, I'm an unabashed NON-admirer of Doug Wilson, and this is all I'll say.

When you spend your life writing and speaking in a half-cocked, shoot-from-the-hip fashion, publishing books on every topic under the sun, displaying not your universal expertise but your mediocre ignorance on a vast number of topics, in the process castigating everyone who thinks differently than you with biting and vicious sarcasm...you shouldn't be surprised that when you actually get a SERIOUS thought in your head, there will be nobody around to listen.

Jon [Barlow]'s on the right track: better get some new spokespeople.

Strong words verging on slander, but I laughed. Some might say it's disrespectful of me to post such comments about my own pastor. Well, speak up.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Opinion Pieces on the AAPC Pastors Conference

For some thought-provoking posts about the conference, etc., be sure to read Jon Barlow, Mark Horne, and Matt Colvin (as well as their readers' comments).

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Official Auburn Avenue Pastors Conference Info

See this nice ad at Covenant Media Foundation, or go directly to the new conference pages at Auburn Avenue for registration.

Neither place mentions RC Sproul Jr, but at least they now have something up. I'm sure Duane knows what he's talking about; plus, in his comments, John adds:

Here, as I understand it, is the plan:

Steve Schlissel ("What Does the Lord Require?")
Respondent: Carl Robbins

Doug Wilson ("The Visible/Invisible Church")
Respondent: Morton Smith

John Barach ("The Covenant and Election")
Respondent: R. C. Sproul, Jr.

Steve Wilkins ("The Covenant and Baptism")
Respondent: Joey Pipa

Each speaker will give a 45 minute summary of his position, and then, after a break, there will be a 45 minute response, followed by a discussion (not a debate) between the speaker and his respondent.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Still in the Early Church

The following quote from Jamie Soles was the launching point for Rich Bledsoe's subsequent post:

I was reading some stuff that I accessed from Jon Amos' weblog the other day talking about how the centers for the faith are shifting from west to south and east, and I thought about this phenomenon. There are not yet any places that I am aware of where the gospel has taken deep root in a country, then been uprooted through apostasy, which has ever returned to the faith. Think about the area around the Med. sea, then northward into Europe and Russia, and now the west seems to be in serious decline. But "ever" is a long time...perhaps one should say, "yet."

The promise of God is that the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. It appears to me that the waters that sprang up in Palestine are working their way around the globe, but they are only ankle-deep yet. Sort of sloshing along. Maybe they will circle the world seven times till finally unbelief comes crashing down. Maybe we still are in the early church. That's what I think.
- Jamie Soles, musician, Grande Prairie, Alberta, from an email dated 14 Nov 2002. Posted here by permission.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Bledsoe on Stories: Ideologies, Myths, and the Gospel

I recently read something about the growing dominance of individuals' seemingly insignificant stories (e.g. memoirs, autobiographies, journals - a genre that obviously includes blogs) over and above the older, more grand, daimon-filled stories (e.g. pagan myths and ancient epics). This is indeed a noticeable trend, as evidenced by the fact that university creative writing programs have more and more students working in the memoir genre. Anyway, the piece I read was arguing that this phenomenon can actually be seen as a veiled indicator of the gospel's triumph in history. Or at least I thought I read something along those lines...

Turns out, I was thinking of an email from Rich Bledsoe on the BH list. His post actually mentioned the stories of large ideologies or religions rather than the stories of the pagan myths or modern memoirs, although I think his points can be applied to both. Here's the bulk of his post:

One of [Eugen] Rosenstock-Huessy's contentions is that the next thousand years will be a time of "regrafting the dead branches of humanity back into the Tree of Life." ERH has proven to be remarkably insightful so far, and I hope his prophetic mantel continues to bear fruit. I take him to mean Europe, and even more radically, the Middle East.

In terms of Europe, can "the last man" really be "the last man"? Did not Christ die to redeem him as well? The "last man" is a prodigal son who is still in the pigpen, and to date has determined to remain there.

Half of Christ's program has thus far been completed. Nature is dead. The "last man" is the man who has thoroughly seen through nature, but has not yet gone on to be reconstituted by super nature. Islam is simply a violent attempt to return to blood and clan. It is thoroughly reactionary, and I think now spent. Whatever violent convulsions are still in it, it is incapable of creating any kind of future at all.

I struggle with all these issues partly because of where I live. My town is almost nothing but a populace of prodigals wallowing in the swill. I wake up every day trying to find some way to help some to find their way home.

Here is where I see it at this point. Jesus said that if anyone wanted to follow him, he must "hate his father and mother, and follow him." When St. Francis walked naked away from his father in the 13th century, it was still a revolutionary act. But no longer. By the late 20th century and early 21st century, everybody hates their father and mother. It is no longer revolutionary, or even interesting. Blood ties are no longer adequate to define us. The only real way forward is through working out the meaning of baptism. Since this isn't done, the alternatives are, a) reactionary and dead Islam, b) thoroughgoing neurosis - that is, being very unhappy at the fact that blood does not satisfy, and spending most of my life carping about parents, etc., to some psychotherapist trying to make it pan out, when it never can, or c) Buddhism or eastern mysticism which tells me that all the old natural bonds were illusory in the first place. The other older options of large public ideologies (like Marxism or fascism) appear to be dead or at least non-functional at the moment. Hence, our mythologies are pretty limited and uninteresting. We are mostly reduced to family myths. The older larger ones were more interesting (i.e. communism or nationalism, or some other -ism). Now it's only my father's or big brother's or mother's fault instead of the Jews or the capitalists. Pretty boring. But also, perhaps a victory for Christ. Christ appears to have reduced all the large myths to nothing. Now, the only really interesting direction to turn is to Him [to] spiritualize and supernaturalize the old bonds of nature. Nietzsche foresaw how boring it was all going to become. Jesus is really the only exciting thing left.
- Rich Bledsoe, pastor of Tree of Life (PCA), Boulder, CO, from an email dated 14 Nov 2002. Emphasis mine. Posted here by permission.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Spoils from tonight's "feast of fat things" shopping excursion:

Haagen-Dazs Macadamia Brittle (for Hollie)
Nestle Crunch with Caramel (New! Four for $1)
Chewy Runts (for me)
Nat Sherman Classic Lights (for me)
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Porter (for Ethan)

"And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined." (Isaiah 25:6, KJV)

jon :: link :: comment ::

Thursday, November 14, 2002

"You lose sleep...you do stupid things...you are Augustine!"

"God will not suffer man to have the knowledge of things to come; for if he had prescience of his prosperity he would be careless; and understanding of his adversity he would be senseless."

You are Augustine!

You love to study tough issues and don't mind it if you lose sleep over them. Everyone loves you and wants to talk to you and hear your views, you even get things like "nice debating with you." Yep, you are super smart, even if you are still trying to figure it all out. You're also very honest, something people admire, even when you do stupid things.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

By the way, how do you pronounce 'Augustine'?

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Auburn Avenue Pastors Conference

Since I haven't seen this info anywhere else on the web, I'll post it here.

Auburn Avenue Pastors Conference, 2003
The Federal Vision: Examined

Tentative Schedule (Please don't hold us to it!)

Monday, January 6
7:00 - 7:45 p.m. - Session #1, Steve Schlissel
7:45 - 8:15 p.m. - Break
8:15 - 9:00 p.m. - Session #2, "Respondent"
9:00 - 9:30 p.m. - Discussion

Tuesday, January 7
8:30 - 9:15 a.m. - Session #3, Doug Wilson
9:15 - 9:45 a.m. - Break
9:45 - 10:30 a.m. - Session #4, "Respondent"
10:30 - 11:00 a.m. - Discussion
11:00 - 11:15 a.m. - Break
11:15 - 11:45 a.m. - Questions and Answers
11:45 - 1:55 p.m. - Dinner
2:00 - 2:45 p.m. - Session #5, John Barach
2:45 - 3:15 p.m. - Break
3:15 - 4:00 p.m. - Session #6, "Respondent"
4:00 - 4:30 p.m. - Discussion
4:30 - 6:30 p.m - Supper
6:30 - 7:15 p.m. - Session #7, Steve Wilkins
7:15 - 7:45 p.m. - Break
7:45 - 8:30 p.m. - Session #8, "Respondent"
8:30 - 9:00 p.m. - Discussion

Wednesday, January 8
8:30 - 9:15 a.m. - Discussion between all participants
9:15 - 9:45 a.m. - Break
9:45 - 10:30 a.m. - Questions and Answers
10:30 - 11:00 p.m. - Break
11:00 - 12:00 p.m. - Discussion and conclusions

Our four "respondents" will include Dr Joseph Pipa, president of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary; Dr Morton Smith, professor of systematic theology at Greenville Seminary and former stated clerk and moderator of the PCA; Pastor Carl Robbins of Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC; and Dr RC Sproul Jr, editor of Tabletalk magazine, director of Highlands Study Center, and a pastor of Saint Peter Presbyterian Church in Bristol, TN/VA. These brothers will respond to the Reverend Steve Schlissel, pastor of Messiah's Congregation, Brooklyn, NY ("What Does the Lord Require of Us?"); Pastor Douglas Wilson, Christ Church, Moscow, ID ("The Church Visible and Invisible"); Pastor John Barach, Covenant Reformed Church, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada ("Covenant and Election"); and Pastor Steve Wilkins, Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church, Monroe, LA ("Baptism and the Covenant").

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Registration Form

Name: ________________________________

Amount Enclosed:
$75 Early Registration _____ (prior to December 20)
$100 Regular Registration _____

If you will need transportation from the airport, note the day and time of your arrival: ______________

Mail Registration Form to:
AAPC Pastors Conference
224 Auburn Avenue
Monroe, Louisiana 71201

phone: 318-323-3061
fax: 318-387-5135

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, November 11, 2002

Dr Jim Jordan, Non-cessationist

I agree that the miraculous signs of the apostolic age were designed to get the Church started, and are not part of the ongoing work of the Church - except when sometimes miracles briefly appear in new mission fields. I do not think that any of the gifts have "ceased," however. They still exist, but in a general form. Whenever the Bible is translated, the "gift of tongues" is in operation in a general form. Similarly, when the Church meets to discuss what to do, the gift of prophecy, of being led by the Spirit, is in operation. Noting has been withdrawn. All is still here, but in more mature form.

- James B Jordan, "Comments on The Covenantal Gospel by Cornelis van der Waal," unpublished, November 2002. (This review may be published eventually in Biblical Theology Basics when van der Waal is reprinted.)

jon :: link :: comment ::

Thoughts on Apostolic Succession
Using a paragraph from Doug Wilson's "Reformed" is Not Enough (Canon Press, 2002) as his launching point, Tim Gallant posts on apostolic succession and two opposing views of the esse of the church. He writes:

The true view is that the Church is tied to baptism - no baptism, no church. And of course, the well-being of the Church is tied to office-bearers. But those office-bearers are appointed out of the midst of a "nation of priests," and therefore are not constitutive of the Church.
Wilson and Gallant's points about baptismal succession are immensely helpful in defining the esse of the church, but they do not address the unique functions of apostolic and episcopal offices in the mission of the church. I agree with them that the church is not constituted, first and foremost, by her officers. However, for the sake of shepherding and orderliness - for the bene esse or well-being of the church - the body of Christ has been blessed with officers. And so the following questions, among others, are important to consider: Are apostolic and episcopal offices still exercised in our day, and if so, how? Also, if so, how should such officers be recognized, commissioned, ordained, appointed, or consecrated - and by whom? What kinds of men are suited for such offices? Etc.

With all this in mind, it occurs to me that the episcopate has always been associated with the apostolic function and commission. Even today in episcopal polity, a bishop's apostolic succession (which resembles a genealogy that can be traced, purportedly, all the way back to the early church) is taken very seriously. Now, I do not believe such episcopal "genealogy" is necessary, as history proves. Take, for example, men beginning with the Apostle Paul to contemporary "pastors of pastors" like Doug Wilson or my wife's grandfather, Francis Martin - men who clearly serve(d) an episcopal function, but who were not consecrated by some presiding bishop (or in Paul's case, by Jesus Himself while He was on earth).

Moreover, John Kelly's "The Role of Apostle in the Transformation of Churches" develops the geographical-orientation of apostles. Under the sub-heading, "Apostles Unify a Region," he writes:

Apostolic pastors will sense a call to a city or region to pastor and reach it. They will pastor their local church, but they will also sense a responsibility to pastor and have an apostolic vision to reach and influence their city.

God has called us to carry out the Great Commission: to "make disciples of all nations." This calls for an overall plan; it is a huge undertaking. This cannot be accomplished without the apostle serving the churches and ministries so a unified force can be mobilized against everything which exalts itself against Jesus Christ. And it is through relationships that this is accomplished, not through a denominational structure or democratic polity. A denominational church or a democratically run church can have an apostolic vision to win their city, but it will take all the local churches working together to win that city; one church cannot do it alone.
The term "apostolic succession" is thus defined in a few distinct ways. First, there is episcopal "genealogy," which often assumes that the esse of the church resides in her officers.

Second, there is the view that the precursor to the office of the modern-day pastor/elder is the apostolic office of the early church. This was the view I most heard growing up in a Southern Presbyterian church; only later did I learn the first and more common meaning of apostolic succession.

In contrast to both of the above views, there is the third position articulated by Gallant and Wilson (who builds on Peter Leithart's "Womb of the World: Baptism and Priesthood of the New Covenant in Hebrews 10:19-22," Journal for the Study of the New Testament 78 [June 2000]): Apostolic succession is passed down through baptism, not ordination. I certainly agree that this is true of the New Covenant priesthood. The church is primarily the community of the baptized, not of the ordained. However, not all New Covenant priests are apostles, so I think it might be confusing to co-opt the term "apostolic succession" in this way.

Finally, there is the view that interweaves aspects of each of the above positions. This view maintains that, in the tradition of the early church apostles, some men are still called to be citywide or regional pastors. Considering the language of Scripture (episkopos) as well as continuity with church history, there is no problem with designating such men "bishops," regardless of whether they are consecrated by a presiding bishop who stands in a flawless line of episcopal "genealogy." It should also be clearly stated that there is no obligation to use the designation "bishop." This is a matter of wisdom, and factors such as the local community's preference and tradition should be considered.

When we begin to think in terms of multi-congregation city churches (a.k.a. presbyteries, classes, or dioceses), the idea of apostolic succession takes on a whole new dimension. I believe it is this sense of apostolic succession that needs more attention in the contemporary mission of the church.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, November 9, 2002

"Gin & Tonic, anyone?"

For those of you who don't know, I work weekends at Kinko's. Several weeks ago, I noticed a grocery bag containing a few bottles of tonic water in the lost & found. (The Moscow Kinko's is near two grocery stores.) Well, today, I had to look into the lost & found for a customer, only to find the tonic still there - as well as three very spoiled limes! So I threw out the limes and took the tonic home with me. Ah, the fringe benefits of working at Kinko's...

Now if only someone would leave a couple bottles of Bombay or Beefeater!

jon :: link :: comment ::

Gallant on "All Israel" in Romans 11

Thanks to Tim for this article.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Church Officers and the Administration of the Sacraments

I originally wrote most of the following as a comment to Matt Colvin's post, "Wilson on Minister-Administered Sacraments." I'd like more input, so please comment away!

Here in Moscow, I've always been puzzled by the following scenario: Pastor Wilson is out of town, and someone preaches who is not ordained (e.g. one of the Greyfriars seniors). After his sermon, the non-ordained does not administer the supper. Instead, someone who is ordained proceeds to lead the supper.

Every time I've seen this happen, the person administering the supper has not been one the regular Christ Church elders (nor even one of our two teaching elders, Doug Jones or Chris Schlect), but rather someone who previously served as a full-time pastor of a church (namely Peter Leithart or Mike Lawyer, Doug Wilson's assistant). Ecclesiologically, this seems to place an emphasis on presbyterial ordination over and above congregational ordination - despite the fact that Doug Wilson, Christ Church, and the CRE have tended to emphasize congregational ordination. This also seems to suggest that a man who is commissioned to preach might be unqualified to lead the supper (cf. PCA licentiates), which seems very odd to me. If he can't perform the very simple task of leading the supper without making a mockery of it, why is he preaching?

Related to this, I can't make sense out the tradition that says that a man may be ordained to congregational service and oversight (including deacons and elders) but not also to the administration of the sacraments. I'm not saying that all offices are alike, or that there aren't unique gifts and duties, but rather that leading the supper is one of the simplest duties performed by a church officer.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Garver on Spiritual Gifts

Be sure to read Joel's post, "Spiritual Gifts," if you haven't already.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Warmth in the Global South

I have seen more and more stuff lately about the global south's emerging church (i.e. in Africa, South America, southern Asia). It seems that the center of the Christian faith is already shifting from the global west and north. I went to the university library to get Philip Jenkins' book, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (OUP, 2002), but it wasn't on the shelf; I keep waiting for an email from the library telling me they found it. Anyway, I got Alister McGrath's The Future of Christianity (Blackwell, 2002) instead, which was right next to Jenkins' empty spot on the shelf. Fascinating. Here's a quote from McGrath's preface that stuck in my head:

"It has been entirely natural in the past for members of the Church of England to think of themselves as the bastion and epicentre of the Anglican Communion. Yet on any given Sunday, there are now more Anglicans attending church in the west African state of Nigeria than in the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia, taken together." (page x, original italics)

I've compiled a short list of reviews and related articles:

The Atlantic Monthly, October 2002
"Christianity's New Center"
by Katie Bacon

Books & Culture, March/April 2002, Vol 8, No 2
"Turning the World Upside Down"
by Mark Noll

AMiA Bishop's Corner, no date, accessed 6 November 2002
"White Soldiers Following Black and Brown Generals"
by the Rt Rev Thaddeus Barnum

Books & Culture, July/August 2002, Vol 8, No 4
"Should the Lord Tarry: The Future of Christianity"
by Philip Jenkins

jon :: link :: comment ::

Coldness in the Inland Northwest

Kristen Knox's mention of Washington State University in Pullman prompted a discussion about the Moscow-Pullman area, and here's my take on the matter. I have lived in Moscow for four years and spent my fair share of time in Pullman. My experience echoes Jon Sutton's comment: This is an "awful place" to live (although nice to visit) because "the people are too cold." The momentum of this general human coldness is so great that even the Christians exhibit it. Lamentably, it has begun to wear off on me, too.

Perhaps I could bear to continue living around cold people if I was on the coast, in real mountains, or maybe in a nice big city, but I suspect that even those wonders would become insufficient. To (poorly) adapt WH Davies' "Leisure" -

What is this life if, full of coldness,
We feel no warmth to hang out and bless.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, November 5, 2002

"Vanity of vanities"

Tim Eaton writes about "those blasted whiskers," and I know what he means. I usually go back and forth from full beard to goatee because shaving is a pain, not to mention futile. Well, tonight it was time to trim my well-kempt beard, which is more trouble than just shaving. So I said no to vanity, going the beard-trimmer-with-no-attachment route instead. My moustache and goatee haven't been this short in years. Kinda feels & looks weird. Hopefully my beard will have grown out enough in the next couple days that I won't look like a stranger to Hollie and Ethan when they return on Wednesday from their trip to Monroe!

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, November 1, 2002

Dividing Lines

Can anybody tell me what code(s) to you use for inserting a line between posts, days, etc.? Or maybe you can recommend an HTML book or site...

jon :: link :: comment ::

Link Format

Any suggestions on what to do with my links? You can see my predicament: I have so many different background colors that choosing a color for links is a hard task. I'm sure there's a way to put different color links in different cells, but being the HTML ignoramus that I am, I don't know how...nor can I figure out how to get rid of that darn' (inactive link) underline.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Atlas School

Josh Clark asked, "What is Atlas School?" Atlas is a small liberal arts school for boys, where we use terms such as "poetic knowledge" and "worship-centered" to describe our educational philosophy. We start each day with a lively liturgical prayer service, and we conclude our school week with a festive meal together.

Most of our students have come from homeschooling families that simply wanted more structure, more accountability from male tutors, and more instruction in the context of worship. At present, everyone involved in Atlas is part of Christ Church, Moscow.

We are now just in our second year. We currently have a half-day format, under twenty students (ages 8-14), two main teachers (Toby Sumpter and me), two part-time teachers (Peter Leithart for Hebrew and Wes Callihan for Great Books), and a parent-couple who oversee administrative matters (my folks). We meet in an old movie theater in downtown Moscow, which we sublet from Community Christian Ministries (directed by Doug Wilson's father, Jim Wilson). We are in a season of small beginnings; we are a work-in-progress with a long way to go. But God has been very kind to us.

Our school name tries to hint variously at maps and at travel; at Greek mythology's globe-bearing god; and at the Christian church's international character, as well as her geographically-distributed local churches. If you're interested in reading some of our "big picture" influences, see for starters, Alexander Schmemann's For the Life of the World, James S Taylor's Poetic Knowledge, and James B Jordan's Open Book, No. 41 & 42. Also of interest is Rod Kirby's dissertation [PDF], Homo Adorans: Man as a Worshipping Creature, and Its Implications for a Christian Philosophy of Education.

jon :: link :: comment ::

"What's in a name?"
Well, I've finally done it. I started a blog of my own.

First of all, no, I'm not underage (as Rick pointed out). I actually just entered my "mid-twenties" - a season of life that, according to my friend Matthew Greydanus, begins at age 24 and continues through age 27 or 28.

My last name is Amos, a name that I share with one of the so-called Minor Prophets of the Hebrew Bible. "I'm not a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but a simple shepherd and gardener - and yet the Lord told me to prophesy" (7.14f, paraphrase). So, there's that.

In addition, my background has included a good deal of music, particularly classical guitar, and all you guitarists know the beauty of A minor. I hope this blog will do justice to its name - despite the fact that I'm not doing much with music (or prophecy) at present. One of these days....

jon :: link :: comment ::

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