Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another week in my life: Day 3

We have two children, Jonathan & Rebecca. Jonathan is coming toward the end of his second year of Secondary School. Rebecca is in her last year of Primary School. Today she went to Secondary School for an "Induction Day" where she met her form tutor and attended some lessons. Before the kids set off at 8.00am, we had a time of family worship. I read Psalms 132 & 133 and prayed.
I start my working day with a time of prayer. The longer I go on in ministry the more I realise how entirely dependent we are upon the Lord. "Facing a task unfinished that drives us to our knees." Read another chapter of John Frame's The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God. He adopts a perspectival approach to theology, looking at things from a normative, situational and existential perspective. The norm for theology is Scripture. We do theology in a given situation, using the tools of language and logic. Today's chapter was on The Existential Perspective - The Qualifications of the Theologian. Very thought provoking. Theologians must be personally engaged in their work. Detachment is both impossible and undesirable because all we know we know as individual persons. Theology is personal because it is an attempt to apply the truth of God's self-revelation to people. The knowledge of God is not merely cerebral, it is heart-knowledge. Frame makes the important point that the theologian's character will have an impact on his work. Love, honesty and humility will ensure that the theologian will deal fairly with those with whom he disagrees. Then comes an extended discussion of the place of reason, experience, emotion, the will, skills and intuition in the work of the theologian. Good stuff.
Then I wrote up a report of the London Theological Seminary End of Year Service. I've already done a couple of blog posts on this here and here. But I was asked to produce a 400 word account for the Protestant Truth Magazine. I work part-time for the Protestant Truth Society, which mostly involves taking meetings, preaching and writing.
After lunch visit a church member who has been unwell. She is suffering from bad arthritis and is getting over a bout of bronchitis. She is in a lot of pain. But I find her refusing to complain and rejoicing in God's goodness to her. I has the privilege of baptising this lady a few years ago. This afternoon she spoke of how the Lord have her remarkable freedom from pain on the day of her baptism. I read Psalm 90 and prayed before leaving. I felt humbled and challenged by the grace of God at work in the life of this elderly sister in Christ.
Back home in time for the children to get home from school. Beccy enjoyed her day at "Big School". Read another chapter of Frame. He applies his three perspectives to Method in Apologetics. Phone rings. A consignment of chairs is about to be delivered to the chapel. Can I be there by 4pm? I grab a book and go. As I leave my son asks why do I have a book in my hand. I explain that with a book waiting time is not wasted time. The lorry arrives at 4.30! But in that half hour I was able to get through some of The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies (Penguin, 2007). It's a fascinating book which asks, "Why is the universe just right for life?" The section I read while waiting for the lorry suggested that the chances of the universe being right for life is the statistical equivalent of tossing a coin and getting heads 400 times in a row. Does Davies therefore postulate the existence of a Creator God? I'll have to wait for the chapter on "Intelligent and not so Intelligent Design". Judging from his earlier work, God and the New Physics, Davies does believe in some kind of deity, but his god is not the Lord God of the Bible.

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