By the Way…

… I think the Job exam went better than expected. I answered everything except one small question, so that’s a good sign. I had a good 3-hour drive home last night. On the way, I listened to some of a series of lectures Sinclair Ferguson gave on Christian Doctrine at The Tron in the 80’s when I was a member there. (It’s frightening to think that he was younger then than I am now!) It is still good stuff!

Reflecting on my prep for Job, the way the exams were scheduled, I had virtually 42 hours to mug up on the topic (into which I also had to fit sleep, eating, getting clean etc as well) while at the college. I have to confess (now that I have finished) that before the exam I had only covered 25% of the course work. You can see why it was a train wreck waiting to happen. However, in that 42 hours I think I covered nearly 60% more of the course while cooped up in my room. I read a huge amount, made loads of notes, and virtually thought of nothing else (except when I got hungry, of course).

So you can see then why now I am thinking:

  • Could I not have got through the coursework when I had plenty of time, but without the stress?
  • Think what could be achieved in reading if I really set my mind to it. Maybe I could get through those dozens of unread books on my shelves!

Anyway, lets have a look at some blogs…

By the Way…

Quick Update

A shakey thumbs up for the Hebrew Grammar exam this morning, though I need to wait for the results to be sure, but it felt ok-ish.

I have been cooped up in my college room now for virtually all of the 53 hours I have been here trying to catch up. Can’t help feeling that in the effort to get on top of Hebrew in the last few weeks I have sacrificed studies on Job. I am just about getting to the point where I feel I could at least tackle the questions in the past papers. But this is hardly a comfortable position to be in. This is my worst ever preparation for a module exam!

Roll on 5pm tomorrow and I can go home…

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, not much learning.

Quick Update

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