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Why "A minor"?
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A minor


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Baby Finn

Today at 12:31, Hollie gave birth to Finn Alden. He weighed 7 lbs 14 oz, and measured 20 inches. Perhaps one of the easiest deliveries ever, thanks be to God.

And then there were three! (More pictures to come, probably on the boys' blog.)

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Jordan on Women's Ordination
"Liturgical Man, Liturgical Woman" - Part 1, Part 2

jon :: link :: comment ::

Gelatinous Cravings
In the past 24 hours, I have eaten a shameful amount of sugar-free jello. I should save myself the trouble of spooning it in and just hook up an IV.

Ten more days...

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Purpose-Driven Exorcism & Tattoos
From our friends in Ruston...

- Rev. John Allen Bankson's two Purpose-Driven posts: "Laurel Massé Weighs in on PDL" and "Purpose-Driven Part Two"

- BJ's two exorcism posts: "Deliver us from evil..." and "Exorcism: Another Post"

- Adrienne & Brad's tattoo discussion (The initial question was, "Will tattoos still be present on resurrected bodies?" - which grew into a larger discussion about the lawfulness of tattoos for Christians.)

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, September 23, 2005

BH on FV
Be sure to read the latest Biblical Horizons essayletter: "The Closing of the Calvinistic Mind" and "FV, NPP, PCA, AAPC, ETC."

Here's the latter essay's opening paragraphs:

Not all readers of this essayletter may be aware of it, but a tempest has been brewing in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), a tempest created by the liberal party in that denomination. It came about this way.

In January 2002, a Pastor's Conference on covenant theology was held at the Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church (AAPC). The lectures presented at this conference were calls to return to historic Reformational teachings on the covenant. The men who presented lectures did not agree with one another on all points, including some significant ones (such as admission to the Lord's Table by baptism alone: "paedocommunion"). The conference was entitled "The Federal Vision" (FV) to indicate that the topic was the covenant.

This Conference was a conversation.

A conversation for grown-ups.

Shortly after this Conference was held, a condemnation of it was issued by a small group of self-proclaimed "Southern Presbyterians" headed up by Joseph Morecraft of Dunwoody, Georgia. This condemnation linked the AAPC discussion of the covenant with the so-called New Perspective on Paul (NPP) and its best-known evangelical advocate, the Anglican N. Thomas Wright. I gather that this was an attempt at guilt-by-association, since a palpable hatred of "liturgical" (i.e., Reformation-style) worship seems to characterize the group that is gathered around Morecraft.

For some reason mysterious to me, the association of the FV speakers with the NPP has stuck, even though there are no grounds for it. Those of us being called FV have been discussing these issues for 25 years, long before any of us had ever heard of Tom Wright.
Read the whole thing.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Getting Older
Happy birthday, Jon! The gray hairs keep coming. I think it's downhill from here, baby. That's okay, we love you anyway.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

If you haven't heard of Sufjan Stevens, here's an introductory post by Jamison Galt, a St Louis seminarian at Covenant/Providence. Jamison also linked a good Los Angeles Times Magazine article, "The Soft Revolution."

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Receptionism, Consecrationism & Realism
I'm still working out my theology of the Eucharist, and I'm hoping your comments will help me clarify my thoughts.

Receptionism is the Protestant view that only the faith of the recipient enables the bread and wine to be the body and blood of Christ. As such, I am not a receptionist. I think the faith of the recipient is wonderful, but I think the bread and wine are the body & blood of Christ regardless of what the recipient may think or feel or believe.

Consecrationism is the Catholic view that the bishop or priest sets apart (consecrates) the bread and wine from common use to become the body and blood of Christ. As the celebrant prays the prayer of consecration, specifically at the epiclesis, the bread and wine are mysteriously, sacramentally, really changed into the body and blood of Christ. After the celebration, the bread and wine are still sacramentally the body and blood of Christ, and as such may be reserved for communion visitation (for the sick and shut-in, etc). Likewise, all reserved sacrament is to be eaten because it has been consecrated, and to throw it away would be sacrilege. As such, I am not a consecrationist, because I cannot follow its implications, which, for all its talk of mystery, strike me as superstitiously thin and overly simplistic.

Realism (or virtualism, as it is sometimes called), the theology of the real presense of Christ in the Eucharist, is the Reformational Catholic view that the bread and wine are mysteriously and spiritually - yet really - the body and blood of Christ. It does not depend on the faith of the recipient or the consecration of the priest. The Holy Spirit and the Lord Christ Himself make it so in the ritual action of the liturgy. I'm reminded of the passage, "for wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of you." I think this is especially true when the Eucharist is celebrated. We commune with the body of Christ, which is present both in the bread and wine and in the gathered saints. As with receptionism, after the liturgy, any remaining bread and wine are just bread and wine again; they are only the body and blood of Christ during the ritual action of the liturgy. And even then, of course, they are still bread and wine. This is a both/and position, not a false dichotomy of either/or. However, as a eucharistic realist, I would be less inclined to call the sacrament a means of grace, but rather Grace Himself - less inclined to call it a sign or a symbol, but rather the body and blood of Christ.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Calvin on the Eucharist
According to this web page, Calvin maintained:

[1] Jesus Christ is not ubiquitous throughout the universe but rather is "located" in heaven;

[2] by the strength, power (Latin,
vis, vires [plural]) of the Holy Spirit, believers are drawn up to heaven whereby they receive Christ to their blessing; (This position, following the Latin, is sometimes called "virtualism." However, "virtualism" has nothing to do with modern notions of "virtual," "as if.")

[3] faith alone receives Christ (everywhere in Calvin, because everywhere in scripture); unbelievers do not receive him, since the Saviour cannot be received to anyone's destruction;

[4] communicants receive Christ in the totality of his reality: body and blood; i.e., they do not receive something "spiritual" in the sense of a disembodied spectre. At the same time, they do not "chew his flesh" (Luther). Concerning this viewpoint Calvin said, "Every time Luther mentions the Lord's Supper he has in mind something that a butcher handles";

[5] the primary purpose of the sacrament is to strengthen weak faith (i.e., strengthen in Christ those who remain sinners in themselves); the secondary purpose is to pledge publicly our loyalty to our Lord.
I would disagree with point 3, and I'm not sure I would (or even if Calvin would) pin down the primary and secondary purposes of the sacrament exactly as point 5 does. Otherwise, I think this is a helpful summary of Calvin's and my own views.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, September 19, 2005

27th Birthday
My birthday is coming up in a few days. I'll be 27, the last year of the mid-twenties. I dreamed last night that I was turning 40-something, which suddently became 72, as is the way of dreams; whatever the case, whether 40-something or 72, I was surprised I had lived that long.

Since no place in Monroe carries things like Sufjan Stevens albums or Radical Orthodoxy books, Hollie let me order Seven Swans and James K.A. Smith's Introducing Radical Orthodoxy from Amazon. I'm looking forward to both of them, and I'm sure I'll have more to say about them later.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Recent Leithart
"Who May Do the Sacraments?" and "Who May Do the Sacraments? Again" are both well worth reading. If I were independently wealthy, I would offer to fund a sabbatical for their author, my former pastor and teacher, in part to give him time to work on that follow-up to his dissertation* that he planned/plans to do on ordination. What would/will it be called, though, I wonder. The Priesthood of the Patricians? The Priesthood of the Fathers?

Dr Leithart also has a piece against pluralism in the current Touchstone. It's not online, though; the Fellowship of St James has to pay the bills somehow, you know?

But it's posts like the above and like his most recent ten blog entries (starting with "Isaiah 61" and going back to "Marilynne Robinson") that reflect Dr Leithart's ecclectic genius. (I especially enjoyed the posts in there on art and poetry, inspired by some Rowan Williams lectures and a David Jones essay.)
* A theology of baptism and the baptismal priesthood, The Priesthood of the Plebs, written under John Milbank, the Anglo-Catholic political-philosophical theologian and Radical Orthodoxy author. Following his tenure at Cambridge and the University of Virginia, Milbank is currently Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics in the Department of Theology, University of Nottingham, where he is also Director of the new Centre of Theology and Philosophy.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

WHI Interviews Wilson
Just got around to listening to the White Horse Inn's interview with one of my former pastors and teachers, Doug Wilson. (Scroll down to 6/19/2005.) I thought Pastor Wilson [bio] answered all of the interview questions very well and admirably. Too bad the interviewers' level of charity and catholicity wasn't quite up to their own standards, although I know I've been guilty of the same thing.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, September 12, 2005

Revisiting Plans & Future Stories
Here's one of my favorite stories. I dug through Joel's archives tonight to find this post. I was reminded of it today after meeting with a friend of mine who's an Anglican priest and a gifted spiritual director. He made the comment that my particular vision for ministry sounded primarily diaconal.

Oh, and he encouraged me to move our membership (back) to Auburn Avenue and perhaps become an Anglican again at a later time. It's a long story, but how's that for a curve ball?! You gotta love Anglicans.

jon :: link :: comment ::

-I'm looking forward to House tomorrow night. That is one freakin' good show.

-Levi had his 18 month check-up this morning. He was subjected to the fearsome needle but survived despite a torrent of tears. Also, his lead levels are excellent and continuing to drop. Praise God.

-I also had a doctor's appointment this morning. Everything is right on track. My due date was upped to Oct 8 and I have an induction scheduled for the 12th just in case. There is still lots to be done around the house in preparation for our little one's arrival. Let's hope I can get off my butt and actually do it. Oh, and we still need a name for our son. Let's hope we can work on that one too.

-I still really want chocolate. Really.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Church Calls
Having worked for a while as a church administrator, I can really relate to this story of shameless church marketing. Whenever the receptionist was on the other line or away from her desk, I can't tell you how many times I answered the phone and my male voice was mistaken for that of a priest's, the urgent person on the other end expecting me to give them money, buy their marketing program, etc.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Desire Street & Daniel Ballard
My mom just forwarded an email to me from our friend Daniel Ballard, who is a teacher/administrator at Desire Street Academy. He and 100 others from New Orleans evacuated to Twin Lakes, near Jackson, MS, and he is serving as the continued relief coordinator for Desire Street Ministries. See their hurricane update, complete with information on how to support them, satellite images, etc.

jon :: link :: comment ::

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