Saturday, October 31, 2009

John Sanders on Simple Foreknowledge

"Once God has foreknowledge that Lincoln will be assassinated, God can do nothing to prevent it."
-John Sanders, in "Be Wary of Ware: A Reply to Bruce Ware."

This is a really good point, and beautifully illustrates why I don't believe in simple foreknowledge. However, contra Sanders, I believe in meticulous sovereignty, thus God's knowledge of future events includes his exhaustive control of everything that happens.

I would be interested to hear an Arminian response that doesn't appeal to middle knowledge. Any takers?


Although I was successful in beating the rain to Quills, I was not as successful in waiting the storm out at Quills, so it was a very wet ride home.

Thankfully I always keep a back fender on my bike. Also, fixed gear bikes are actually practical for riding in the rain, since I can control my speed without relying on moisture-impaired calipers.

My Seagull messenger bag passed it's most rigorous test yet, as evidenced by the fact I'm updating my blog with my completely dry MacBook. When they say waterproof they mean waterproof!

Oh, trackstand in the pouring rain waiting at the CSX? You better believe it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Moore on Communion

"The common cup is, well, gross to many Christians because they don't like the idea of drinking after strangers. That's just the point. You're not drinking after strangers. You're drinking after your own flesh and blood, your family. And the offense is precisely the issue. You're recognizing Christ Jesus, discerning his Body, in the 'flesh' of his Body the church around you. If drinking after your brothers is 'disgusting,' then how much more eating Jesus' flesh and drinking his blood. That was disgusting to an assembly a while back as well."

- Russel Moore. Read the rest here.


I recently found out that Tom Schreiner, a renown New Testament scholar and professor at SBTS, reserves superlatives like "extraordinary" and "astonishing" exclusively to talk about Jesus Christ and the gospel. This makes a lot of sense. The good news that peace with God is made possible through Jesus' atoning sacrifice is truly astonishing.

This forms a stark juxtaposition with my own parlance. Hyperbole and embellishment are tools in my repertoire which I routinely use to make my conversations seem interesting , no matter how trivial or commonplace. This begs the question, once the mundane has devalued our superlatives, what words will be left to encapsulate the phenomenal?

In a sense, careful word usage is stewardship. We have been given the gift of language (cf. Gen. 11 to see the converse) and are entrusted with the task of clearly communicating the gospel (1 Peter 3:15). The gospel, though simple enough for a child to understand, defies human wisdom. It is so counter-intuitive it requires conscientious and diligent effort on the part of the Christian in evangelism.

I think Tom Schreiner's practice is a good example for us all.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I've split the last 3 weeks between 4 cities... I'm starting to feel like a professional vagabond, perhaps of the traveling Bible salesman variety (cf. O'Conner and O'Neal.).

Makes me sort of glad the whole professional musician thing never really went anywhere- probably don't have what it takes to tour.

Anyway, for some reason it makes me think of this Dylan song... so applicable.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Fourth M

Three obvious mistakes that made what should have been an easy, delicious coffee beverage barely drinkable.

1. Pre-ground espresso. This causes all sorts of problems, the release of co2 being one of them (i.e. no crema!)
2. Too light of tamp/not enough volume. Way too fast of a pull means tons of extraction not taking place.
3. Letting the espresso sit attached to the group head before extraction. Burning the grounds does not taste good!

Sadly, it is usually the fourth "m" that causes bad coffee in Louisville.

Friday, October 16, 2009


"The weight of gold and silver will capture even the passage of time herself. So one could find, within the visual space created by gold and silver, a moment of eternity."
-Matazo Kayama

"The problem that I could not overcome with Art being religion is that the more I focused on myself, the less I could find myself. A schism grew inside between who I wanted to be and what I did...Finding beauty in nature and art, I did not have a 'shelf' to place that beauty inside my heart."
-Makoto Fujimura, Refractions

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Name the City

hFirst person to identify every city gets a prize. Partial credit for each right answer. Some cities appear more than once.

Fall Reading Daze

I acquired several books over Fall Reading Days (which is ironic considering we are supposed to be reading assigned reading during our break). Perhaps the book I am most excited about is Refractions, which is a collection of essays on art and faith by Japanese Christian artist Makoto Fujimura. Tim Keller wrote the forward.

I also bought and finished Flannery O'Conn0r's first novel, Wise Blood. The book's skeleton is a collage of various short stories she had previously written, which admittedly feels a little disjointed at times, but I do not think that it detracts from the thrust of the book. If anything, it was interesting to see how she developed the characters from their embryonic versions. As always, it was especially interesting to see O'Connor's perspective on God, depravity, and divine grace in her native South. As a southerner by birth, I completely concur with O'Connor's commentary:

"anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic."

Friday, October 09, 2009

Quote of the Day

"American Apparel ruined onesies for me. Now I think all babies look like slutty teenage girls."

-Nedelle Torrisi in an interview with Sufjan Stevens

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Best Coffee In Boston... that I have personally tasted anyway.

The greater Boston area has a great selection of independent coffee shops. Here are the best ones I visited.

Barismo. Walk into this Arlington shop and you won't find a lot of peripherals, whether it be chocolate, blenders, or even table & chairs. The focus is solely on the coffee, which is roasted exclusively in small batches on the premises. The crew shared a traditional cap, a siphon, and a pour-over, all which were delicious. This shop far exceeded my expectations and ranks among one of my favorite coffee experiences.

Diesel Cafe. Davis Square has become the "it" place in Somerville, MA and this ultra-mod coffee shop fits seamlessly into this post-Bohemian community. Diesel, which has the largest floor I have ever seen in a shop, serves Intelligentsia, and faithfully follows the Chicago style.

Epresso Royale. Official winners of the Most Pretentious Baristas Ever Award (MPBEA). However, they serve Barismo's Sonato 3 espresso- which is quite delicious in an iced latte.

Crema Cafe. Only a block from Harvard University, this shop is a fitting counterpart to its prestigious Ivy League neighbor. Both times I came here my cappuccino was too wet but was still a tasty, pleasant beverage, largely due to beans from acclaimed local roaster, Terroir. It's hard to find a table that isn't occupied, usually by students with a misplaced air of superiority.

High Rise Bakery. This Cambridge shop is just as serious about coffee as they are about their freshly baked bread products. Unfortunately I got there after they ran out of gluten-free pastries.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Blowin' up Beantown

For the last four days I have been in Boston/Cambirdge, MA with my roommate Matt and my little brother David. Here is the abridge, non-chronological list of things we have done:

Coffee: Barismo, Cafe Crema, Diesel Cafe, High-Rise, Espresso Royale, and Flour (which had some delish gluten free options)

Campuses: Harvard, MIT, Boston University

Pubs: The Burren, The Druid,

Shops: The Coop, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel

Churches: Christ the King (Redeemer Pres. church plant), Hope Fellowship (where we have been sleeping in the balcony)

Oh, throw in Fenway for a Red Sox game (they won!), the Museum of Fine Arts, Quincy Market, the Harbor, and an absurd amount of sight-seeing.

Pictures and legitimate commentary coming soon.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Birthday Blog

Today I turned 22 years old. I worked a shift at Java Brewing Company, ate some delicious Thai food with a few friends, and studied at Quills for my exam tomorrow. A good day to be sure.

Man, life is moving pretty quickly. It's been a year since this, and two years since this.

Perhaps it was because I was in a collision with car just over six months ago, but the brevity of life has really been impressed on me as of late. Well more accurately, the fact that I live as though life isn't transient has been impressed upon me.

Take for instance this exert from Psalm 139:

... in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me...

The Psalmist seems to be suggesting that God has already predetermined every single day of our lives. Like this Psalmist I see God as the great author who wrote me into existence; a God who has a purpose for my life that he will accomplish. For some reason this plan included me being born on September 30th, 1987.

I love that.