Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Aaron Reed: Dead at the age of 18

I hesitated to post this, but I just need to let feelings out. It's all part of the grieving process.

About 5 years ago I meant a 7th grade student (The one pictured far left) who would change my life forever. I had just begun working with Allegheny Center Alliance Church's (ACAC) Student Ministries in the North Side of Pittsburgh. At the time I was a lost soul still recovering from a violent and tragic ending to my ministry in inner city Atlanta. I had no idea where God wanted me.
Working with the students at ACAC was itself proving to be rather difficult. I had no idea how to relate to them what-so-ever. Me, a skinny (I know hard to imagine isn't it) white kid who loves British rock trying to minister to inner city kids. I just couldn't find a connecting point. That was until I met Aaron Reed.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I've never really been into poetry but...

I was unpacking from my move and I ran into a book of poetry (The Norton Anthology of Poetry) from a class I took in undergrad. Upon finding it I started to look at a couple poems. One of them that spoke to me was a poem called "Hymn to God my God, in My Sickness" by John Donne. In it, as the title suggest, he beautifully pours out his heart to God in his sickness.

One line in particular stuck out for me. In a few words I thought it gave a great description of the Reformation concept "simul iustus et peccator" (At the same time righteous and a sinner). In it Donne gives a description of how the two Adams are present in his suffering. The first Adam being the man through whom sin entered the human race and the second Adam being Christ who healed us by his blood shed on the cross.

Here it is:

"Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;
As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my face,
May the last Adam's blood my soul embrace."

I just thought this was pretty cool. In few words Donne beautifully illustrates what theologians have been struggling to write describe since the Apostle Paul. It's a perfect picture of everyday life here on earth.



For the poem in full click here.

Predestination Part V of VI: “Whitacre’s View”

We now jump from Calvin to the present by looking at Rod Whitacre's understanding of Predestination. Whitacre is Professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity School for Ministry and author of numerous books/articles including an excellent commentary on the Gospel of John and "A Partristic Greek Reader." He was also my professor a plethora of times during Seminary.
The reason I chose to look at Whitacre's understanding of Predestination is this: the man has a passion for every word of Scripture. He never intentionally places one part of Scripture against another. Thus, you can be certain that any understanding he offers on the subject is based on the complete testimony of Scripture. Because of this, Whitacre has had to deal with those places in Scripture that seem to contradict one another. It is from this that his understanding of Predestination is birthed.