Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2007 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

The Free Church Assembly has come to an end, London FC minister, Dave Strain, my old pal and perennially pessimillennialist (at least as far as the FCS goes) has a good -- and `strain'gely optimistic analysis of the week on his blog: www.lifetowardsgod.co.uk

The big event was the Moderator's plea for evangelical church unity in Scotland, a formal visit by a C of S delegate to the Assembly (goodness -- we let any old riff-raff in these days), and the passing of a joint declaration by C of S and F C of S.  While I personally long for the good old days of butchering each other with claymores on the hillsides of Ayrshire (out of love, of course), perhaps that is a little counterproductive these days.

The Moderator's address can be found at Dave's blog.

One former C of S minister told me this week that, if I lived long enough, I might be able to conduct his funeral.   Not quite. Sadly, while the C of S are now welcome in St Columba's, poor old Trueman has been forced to seek shelter in the OPC.  More cause for Free Church optimism, I suspect.

Posted on Friday, May 18, 2007 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

A friend brought the following article to my attention.  It's from Britain's Guardian (or `Grauniad')

http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/news/story/0,,2080361,00.html

It's rather reminiscent of an article in a British broadsheet a few years ago which painted David Peterson, Principal of Oak Hill, as a kind of Australian Christian jihadist, sent over by Moore College to subvert the British way of life.  

It is a shame that `homophobia,' conservative Anglican evangelicals, and the internal politics of an Oxford theological college seem to create more concern and hysteria in the British media than those adherents of another religion who stand in the streets of London, waving banners demanding the beheading of the democratically elected Home Secretary.  Trashing the conservative Anglicans for hate crimes and alleged bullying?  Thank goodness there's someone brave enough to champion that cause.  Now we know that our traditional freedoms are safe and secure.

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

Having spent all Saturday with a Free Church of Scotland minister watching that great opera Quadrophenia Live (won't identify this man of the cloth; suffice it to say that he's the North American FCS minister who doesn't listen to Shania Twain and Michael Jackson), I was delighted to get a note froma brother in New Zealand pointing me to this event.  Positively eschatological -- if the lion shall lie down with the lamb, then what does it mean when Del-Boy shall be tempted to go to a concert with Trotter?
http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSN1047035320070514?pageNumber=1

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

For those interested, there is a very thoughtful and perceptive response to my little piece on Francis Beckwith from Catholic philosopher, Dr Michael Liccione, which can be found at

http://mliccione.blogspot.com/2007/05/why-beckwith-matters.html

Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2007 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

Still the emails come in on patristics.  Look, I'm temporarily a pen-pushing bureaucrat, more interested in balance sheets and wielding power over subordinates like some petty Napoleon on speed than in doing something constructive and theological.  But, for those interested in exploring the link between the seventeenth century Reformed and the Fathers, I have the following thoughts:

Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2007 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

I have been really encouraged by the positive response to the postings about the importance of reading the early church fathers.  Two further comments on this.

Posted on Monday, May 07, 2007 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

I'vve had some requests to give more info on what to read/where to go to start learning about the early church fathers.  Below I have appended a basic resource guide.  Hope it helps.

Posted on Monday, May 07, 2007 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

The paper on the ETS to which I allude in my Beckwith piece can be found on Ray's website at
http://www.uu.edu/personal/rvannest/Professional/ets.htm

Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2007 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

Del,

Seems that the last few paras of my reflection on Beckwith are missing.  No -- I don't announce my own conversion to Rome in them; but the article currently ends in mid air.  Just can't get the staff these days.

CT

CT heading for Rome; too painful to contemplate. Sorry, sermon prep got the better of me. Try it now. Readers, I apologize for any character assassination discerened from Carl's missing final paragraph. It will be the stuff of source critics for years to come. The ICTC source view (Is Carl Tueman Catholic?). The full, unexpurgated version, HERE.

Posted on Friday, May 04, 2007 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

Phil's blog got me thinking about the whole issue of women in Reformed and conservative evangelical circles in general.   On the whole, I don't think the church provides the kind of environment that helps.  Two examples: in Britain, certain denominations don't pay their ministers a proper living wage (though this is often due to sheer economic hardship, not miserly giving); yet those same denominations, in my experience, have a culture which heavily criticises the minister's wife for then going out to work to make ends meet. Result: ministerial bitterness and burn-out; women who feel guilty either that they bring in no money, or that they do and are thus not proper pastor's wives.

In the US (and it is the US -- I have not seen this so much in the UK) , I have lost count of the number of women I have come across, particularly in presbyterian circles, who feel the need to conform to some Reformed cultural norm.  You can tell them on the Sundays: the exhausted and haggard mothers whose husbands expect them not only to cook and to clean, but also to home-school the kids. For every omnicompetent wife who seems to be able to run the world and then some, and still look like a million dollars when hubbie gets home for dinner (already on the table, of course), there are ten or more who look crushed and dispirited, who really need to send their kids out of the house in the morning so they can get some rest and some mental sanity, who need their husbands to see the problem and take steps to help them.  Are they inadequate as Christian mothers?  No.  They are crushed by a "Christian" culture that demands their all and gives no slack.

I am no feminist (my wife will confirm my impeccable Neanderthal credentials); I have strong views on women's ordination; but I am saddened by the way Reformed church culture so often tramples its women underfoot with its mindless identification of biblical manhood with something akin to John Wayne and its assumption that all Christian women should make Mary Poppins look domestically incompetent.