Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Every now and again, I swing over to Alpha and Omega Ministries to see what James White is up to.  If you didn’t know, he webcasts a show called The Dividing Line.  Its primary thrust is apologetic in nature.  He interacts with debates, critiques heretics, takes questions from listeners, and keeps you up to date with the current happenings in the theological world.  I’m not a regular listener, but I do enjoy the program.

More recently, he put together a special podcast, a 2 ½ hour introductory session on Christology.  It’s excellent!  If you’d like to walk through things like the Nicene Creed or the Athanasian Creed, as well as get a handle on terms like Nestorianism, this is the place to go.  His approach and style certainly keeps you awake, so don’t feel the need to preemptively down a five hour energy drink.

Must Listen Factor: Moderate (High if you’ve never thought through these issues before)

Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

To Download: Click picture to follow link

For Bio: http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/bio/jwhite.html

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Apologetics 315 Interview with David Wood

Excellent interview exploring the subject of Islam.  Instead of looking at the historical evidence, which is rarely what Muslims care to explore, David Wood very helpfully shows how one can and should use the Koran itself as a foil to the Muslim’s most common objections against Christianity.  Good stuff.


Epistemology – Andrew Fellows

In one of the most helpful and concise sketches of the history of epistemology I’ve run across, Andrew Fellows of L’Abri ministries shows how nearly everything after Plato and Aristotle, in the history of philosophy, is but footnotes.  Well worth the 90 minutes.


William Lane Craig vs AC Grayling Debate: The Problem of Evil and the Existence of God

What can I say?  I’m a sucker for debates.  If you’re interested in hearing William Lane Craig clearly and masterfully present Plantinga’s free will defense against the logical problem of evil, this is it.  Look no further.  Of course, I can’t say that I feel entirely sanguine with the approach.  Possible worlds and what not simply doesn’t impress me, even if it is logically sound.  See John Frame’s “Apologetics to the Glory of God” for further reflections.


Two Podcasts on the Impact of Media and the Media’s Impact on Preaching

I just happened to listen to these back to back (or nearly, anyway).  Both were very interesting and thought provoking.  David Gordon asks the simple question, “Why can’t Johnny preach?”  The answer: Because he doesn’t know how to write or read.  Curious?  Check it out.

As for the other podcast, Dr. Mohler and Sven Birkerts discuss the impact of E-readers and the digital age and future of printed material, especially that of reading books.  There’s a hint of romanticism in this podcast, but hey, I love holding a book as well.  There is something different, isn’t there?

Sven Birkerts:  http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/05/31/temp-tip-title/
David Gordon: http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/04/04/tip-temporary-title-david-gordon/

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I love a full MP3 player.  And last week, my MP3 player was pretty darn full.  Ah, yes, the simple pleasures in life!

So, yeah, I’ve listened to quite a few messages lately.  It’s been a strange mixture.  A little bit of everything.  Nothing life changing, exactly, but no downright duds either.  It’s for this reason I’m going to go with the shotgun approach today.  Not a slug, but buckshot.  So here we go.  Time to ramble.

The Gospels as Historical Biography, The Gospels as History from Below and The Gospels as Micro-History and Perspectival History – Richard Bauckham    

One of the dangers of presenting a scholarly lecture is boring your audience to death.  Now let’s be honest here.  Richard Bauckham’s recent lectures at SBTS are both scholarly and, yes, that’s right, boring… unless of course you’ve extremely interested in the subject matter.  But even then, you might want to down one of those 5-hours energy drinks.  Don’t misunderstand me, there are a few tasty nuggets here and there, but wading through ancient pagan texts in order to better classify the Gospel genre is a bit painful. 

Lectures here: Link. Link. LinkLink.  And here’s the link to 5-hour energy drinks 🙂

Christianity and Liberalism Today – Michael Horton

Deistic.  Moralistic.  Therapeutic.  This is Horton’s diagnosis of pop American spirituality.  And he’s right. 

Few are able to so ably exegete the spiritual climate of a nation as Horton.  It’s certainly a diagnosis you’ve heard before, but it’s a message delivered with such clarity and skill, it sings.  I thoroughly enjoyed this message.  Give it a go.

You can get it here: Link

Actually, his message was one of many at Westminster’s recent conference on Machen.  It was a good conference.  Some of the messages were a little “been there done that,” but on the whole, it was both informative and encouraging, not to mention invigorating.  I’ll go ahead and especially recommend Joel Kim’s message.  It was entitled “Machen and the Bible.”    


Douglas Moo on Eschatology and the Question of Ecology

I like a clean earth, in the same way that I like it when my neighbors wash their hair.  But I’m not a tree hugger.  And I don’t think global warming is the greatest threat facing mankind. 

That being said, the issue of going green is important.  It deserves consideration.  Like I said, I don’t like smog and acres of parking lots.  But let’s not discuss the subject with foam dripping from our mouths either. 

Thankfully, Dr. Moo is deliciously balanced in his approach.  Other than downplaying, in my opinion, Peter’s words in 2 Peter (maybe just a tad), I found myself nodding time and time again.  It was a good lecture.  Scholarly.  Clear.  A bit boring, perhaps, but relevant, and therefore of interest.  If you’ve ever wondered how a Christian might develop a biblical doctrine of ecology, this is the place to start.  It is a great model for us.     


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I’d like to draw your attention to a new, snazzy, Reformed, gentle, but not too gentle (like pansy gentle or girl pushup gentle) blog where yours truly is a fellow contributor. 

In a nutshell, we share our musings about theology, culture, history, books and pretty much anything and everything that strikes our fancy.  Since Calvinists, especially Presbyterian Calvinists, have a reputation of thrashing their theological opponents- like all those poor shivering Arminians out there- we wanted to blog in a more gentle fashion; write in a winsome and constructive manner.  Not too much demo-work.

Naturally, my niche centers on the world of podcasts.    

The mastermind behind the project is Barry York, pastor of Sycamore Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA).  You can find out more about him here

As for the other contributors, they include: C.J. Williams, Professor of Old Testament Studies at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Jared Olivetti, pastor of Immanuel Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA), and Michael LeFebvre, pastor of Christ Church (RPCNA).

Anyway, check it out!  I’m sure you’ll appreciate the blog.   http://genref.wordpress.com

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Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  I did.  The turkey was tasty, the time with family was good, and we watched the fantastic movie “How to Train a Dragon.”

Good times.

As far as audio is concerned, I’ve been busy working on my new house, so I haven’t been scavenging quite as much as usual.  That being said, I did stumble across this great lecture from Dr. Trueman.  It’s an interesting look at the Heidelberg Catechism… though not the catechism, narrowly considered, although it does do that a bit, but the historical events leading to its formulation. 

If you’re into history, you’ll definitely enjoy this lecture.  It’s interesting and informative.  I know I certainly learned a lot.  Dr. Trueman is a good lecturer, as well.  He knows how to hold people’s attention.  But then again, I’m a total sucker for an accent.  It’s just simply cooler.  

Difficulty: Fairly specialized.  Not meant for new Christians.  But is nevertheless very understandable. 

Must Listen Factor: Medium.  Like the mashed potatoes and freshly cooked turkey, history gurus will want to gobble this up.  For them, I suspect that this very high. 

Length: 1 Hour

To Download: Click picture.   It is lecture 5 (I suspect this link will go bad after a while.  The page will probably be changed when a new conference hits the scene).

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In the 1920s, H.L. Mencken defined a Puritan as, “A person in constant dread that someone somewhere might be happy.”

Many think of the Puritans as a community of people with continually downcast expressions, sour affections, and long, jabbing pointy fingers.  Oh, and they’re probably carrying torches too; looking for witches to burn. 

I must say that when I downloaded this lecture, I expected to be bored.  Much to my surprise and delight, however, I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Noll’s presentation.  Not only did I find it extremely informative, but I especially enjoyed his willingness to fairly praise and criticize the Puritans.  It felt balanced.  Very balanced.  And I came away really feeling like I learned something about our Protestant forefathers.   

Difficulty: Intermediate

Length: Just short of an hour.  Q and A takes up 10 or 15 minutes at the end. 

Must Listen Factor: Well, let’s be honest here.  Not too many people are going to want to listen to this.  And that’s ok.  But look.  If you like history at all, as well as theology, then you’ll definitely want to give this a listen.  As for the rest, save space on your mp3 player.    

To Download: Click picture.  If your browser won’t open Itunes properly, simply open Itunes, search “Westminster Notable Guest Lecturers,” and look at #16 within the folder.

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For many, the idea of being locked in a room with a professor for the better part of an hour while he discusses pottery fragments, rabbinic scribal errors, and bits of scrolls found in Quamran caves, probably isn’t going to conjure feelings of unbridled joy.  Few are going to high five the person next to them, “Yes, we’re going to study ancient Hebrew textual traditions!  Bring it on!” 

Let’s face it, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  But it’s still an important topic.  And for those who have dedicated the better portion of their lives to studying background issues like this, such as Dr. Peter Gentry, professor of OT at SBTS, I’m truly grateful. 

So if you’ve ever wondered about the reliability of the OT, come and listen.  It’s a fascinating discussion… but only if something in your life is making the subject live, as it were, or “in the milieu.” 

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

Must Listen Factor: Specialized (which means low for most).

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