Thursday, February 02, 2006

Correction and More Information Concerning Evolving Church Conference

I received a very kind email today from Nathan Colquhoun, one of the four primary organizers of the Evolving Church Conference I blogged about here. He asked me to make these corrections to my original post and I am glad to do it.

1. This event is not being organized by Tyndale Seminary. Tyndale is a sponsor of the event and also the venue for it, but Nathan and his pals are the ones organizing and running it.

2. Nathan and the others are not interested in "pushing emergent." He wrote:

Also, this isn’t an Emergent sponsored event, I know that wasn’t stated, but it's always good to make that clear, but you’re right, 2/3 of the speakers would represent Emergent... We are just four young guys with no agenda of any sort like pushing emergent and making it mainstream, or any political agenda... Anyway, I just wanted to clarify, because it seemed like you and a few of your commenters have a completely wrong idea of what’s behind this conference (though maybe correct about the speakers themselves).”

3. I indicated to Nathan in our private correspondence that since all that is true, it would
a) probably be a good idea to make that clear on the event website, and
b) be wonderful if they would consider inviting at least one speaker who is opposed to the emergent agenda.

He graciously took those ideas into consideration. I know it is only email, but Nathan struck me as a great guy. Let's pray for these brothers as they seek to do good and exercise Biblical wisdom. (email quoted with permission)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Review: The Big Picture Story Bible

Review: The Big Picture Story Bible

It seems to me that most Christians fail to grasp the flow of redemptive history – understanding the actions of God in saving His church, from Creation to Consummation. I know I had very little training in this regard and have been extremely thankful for the work of scholars like D. A. Carson in helping to grow my understanding.
While at the 2005 Bethlehem Conference for Pastor’s I suddenly had that rush of adrenaline as I realized I had not bought anything to take home to my kids yet! (My Dad always came back from business trips with a present and I loved it!) So, I ran down to the book tables to see what I could find for my brood.
I didn’t have much of a problem stocking up for the older ones, but I could not find anything for my then 3-year old son. In desperation I grabbed The Big Picture Story Bible and rushed off to the airport (after paying for it!). My thought at the time was that this was just a Bible... that was big (since it is)... and that had pictures. As in "a large book with large pictures." I would not have even thought of buying it if not so desperate, as we already have a whack of every kind of kid-Bible there is. Boy, was I in for a fantastic surprise!
The idea of “big picture” in the title is that this Bible teaches God’s big picture, meaning His plan or scheme. When we are dealing with some issue, we often have to think of “the big picture” – how do all these decisions relate to one another, what will the impact be on others, etc. Well, that is what this particular Bible seeks to do – to teach how the whole meta-narrative pieces together, following the big themes like promise, temple, king, sacrifice, redemption, etc.
True confession: I have learned a lot from this kid’s Bible!
David Helm has done a wonderful job of developing these “big picture” ideas and most importantly, demonstrating how they are fulfilled in Christ! In other words, this is a Christ-centered Bible. I realize that may sound odd, but I think that is a good description. Sometimes there is great benefit in putting aside detail in order to get a grasp of the whole, and that is what Helm has done so well.
Most importantly, my now 4-year old son (with learning disabilities) is grasping significant theological themes. The girls, too, are increasing in their grasp of the overall reason why Jesus had to die for sinners.
There is no cure-all or perfect tool to teach our children. The catechism, novels, kids programs, DVD’s may all serve in various ways. But one great tool in your home arsenal is this Bible.
I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006



Tyndale Seminary here in Toronto is hosting a conference on the emerging church.

I won't go in to why I think this is particularly sad (like the seminar where we can "address certain nagging problems" with the Biblical text and "struggle toward addressing our problems with the Bible"), but I do think it is worth noting who the sponsors are of this event. Besides Tyndale (no surprise there...)

Compassion Canada
Campus Crusade for Christ
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

The last one I can understand... but the first two baffle me.

Emergent is fast becoming mainstream. I think pastors in particular need to wake up and realize this is not going away fast. Best to do some investigation and prepare to deal with its inherent errors.

Randy Alcorn - Perspectives on End of the Spear and the Chad Allen Controversy

Randy Alcorn writes a summary of his interaction with the various parties in this controversy. I agree with his first conclusion which is to keep the viewing of this movie a matter of private opinion (see my earlier posting on this here.) I wish Randy had written more, though, on what I consider to be the silly reasoning of Saint in moving ahead with Allen in the role of his father. Like most problems, there is a theological root to this one! God does not speak to people in dreams.
All that being said, it is worth hearing the warning Alcorn includes for bloggers. It follows here:

EPM Resource - Perspectives on End of the Spear and the Chad Allen Controversy: "This End of the Spear situation is also a timely reminder of the inherent dangers of blogs, and I am not just referring to the Sharperiron blog by Jason Janz. Usually there is no editor. No checks and balances. Yet because you have words attractively placed on a screen, there is an illusion of credible research. Often the research is minimal and limited to internet sites.

But there are a lot of truths you can't just Google. You've got to make the effort to go directly and privately to your brother, just like Jesus commanded us to.

Blogs have no publisher with a legal department or wise counsel to look at potentially slanderous accusations and say 'Have you gone to them and asked them to respond?'

After writing more than twenty books, I know there can be inaccuracies even after a dozen people in our office and at the publishing house have looked over manuscripts. But when it's just the lone blogger, where's the process, the give and take, the wise counsel and accountability? Where's the iron sharpening iron?

With blogs, there is often almost no gap between composition and publication. The potential result is misinformation by the truckloads."