The Week Has Arrived

Finally, I am at ETCW for my end of year exams. I had the first this morning on Pastoral Principles and Practice. It was just a short one, with one question. The gist of it was, “How do you deal pastorally with a childless couple who come to you for help. He is addicted to internet pornography and has some online friends with whom he shares intimate details. As a result their marriage is suffering. What would you do?” (There is of course more detail than this in the paper.)

So, come on then, whay would you do?

Hebrew Grammar tomorrow. I think this is under control.

Book of Job on Thursday. This is a disaster waiting to happen. But I have 42 hours and 20 minutes to turn this tanker-baby round…

The Week Has Arrived

Sproul on Institutions

In his book Bound for Glory, R. C. Sproul, Jr. makes the following observation (from a US point of view, of course)

God, in His mercy and his power, has established in this world four institutions. One is the individual. The second is the family. After that comes the church. And finally he has established the state. The drive in our age is to reduce that number down to two, to eliminate what the sociologists call the “mediating institutions,” the family and the church. The culture looks at each of us principally as individuals who are likewise part of the state. Our identity in the family or the church is seen as coincidental, if not problematic. But in actuality the family and the church are mediating or middle institutions, in that they protect us from being swallowed into one of the other two institutions.
(p. 26)

Sproul’s identification of the four institutions is not something I have thought about before, but seems obvious now. Of course, it fits. The rampant individualism of the last 40 years has damaged the culture’s concept of the family, and certainly corroded the way the church thinks about itself. It is no surprise, therefore, that when Christian individuals can’t deal with issues increasingly even their cry is to the government to legislate and/or act to the point of damaging the middle institutions they are part of.

Sproul on Institutions

The Big Picture

Google introduced a maps feature which seems pretty good. The US version also has the feature of showing satelite images of the map that is in view. I’ve had an interesting time trying to identify the houses of one or two people I know who live there. Just for fun, you understand.

Sometimes one comes across interesting views on the satelite image. Google Sightseeing collects such views and makes for interesting browsing in a spare moment.

The Big Picture

Gravitational Pull

To assume that because man has ability to love he therefore has the ability to love God, is about as wise as to assume that since water has the ability to flow, it therefore has the ability to flow uphill; or to reason that because a man has power to cast himself from the top of a precipice to the bottom, he therefore has equal power to transport himself from the bottom to the top.

Predestination, Loraine Boettner, p62.

I like when theologians use physics to explain a theologocal concept. Here, Boettner is trying to explain how man has “wholly lost all ability of will to any good accompanying salvation” (WCF 9.3). The effect of sin is likened to a gravitational pull.

Like it.

Gravitational Pull