Sunday, May 27, 2007

Aren't planes amazing...

...they can fly from places like Newark, NJ, to San Antonio, Texas, to Missoula, Montana, and back again in no time. And then you can do it all over again, or just go back home to live with your Mum and Dad for a few weeks while you recover. Brilliant!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday, May 14, 2007

Guggenheim Redeemer and Famous Dead People

Travelled back to NYC yesterday. Visited the Guggenheim, possibly the second coolest art gallery building I've been in. (I think the Tate Modern in London is the best.) The art works themselves were pretty amazing, but I only recognised the Picasso stuff. Why do I appreciate art work more when I'm familiar with it?

One thing about being in NYC is spotting famous people. Everyone is either famous, or trying to look famous. Yesterday I'm sure I spotted, among others, James Joyce (I know, he's dead, but really this one guy was the spit of James Joyce), Ewan Mcgregor, Kathy Burke.

Early evening I attended Redeemer Presbyterian Church again. I picked up more insights about this phenomenal church. The most impressive thing was recognising David Bixler. Who is David Bixler? Well, I don't know the guy. Last night at 5pm he was saxophonist in the Jazz worship band. A few weeks ago I watched him as part of Chico O'Farrill's Jazz Orchestra.

Cool! But what's cooler - playing at a New York Jazz club, or playing in a church worship band at the coolest church in the city? Part of Redeemer's vision includes building New York into a great city for all people through 'a gospel movement that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice and cultural renewal'. This link shows another aspect of this big project.

It's interesting how un-Presbyterian all this feels - the opening reflection on the order of service last night was a quote from Bono about Karma and Grace. At the mic Tim Keller looked more like a stand up comedian than a Presbyterian minister. Lots to learn... but what are the Scottish equivalents to New York jazz clubs and multinational CEO business conferences?

Friday, May 11, 2007


Today is Friday, May 11. Bar the (graduation) shouting the academic year at Princeton Theological Seminary is over. Last final exams were yesterday for almost everyone. At least three of my friends have already gone home for the summer. People are leaving the dorms today too, and I guess that by Monday the only people left will be those waiting for commencement. This morning I returned the remaining library books in my room, including J. Stuart Russell's fascinating The Parousia.

My first blogpost from Princeton was fairly lengthy. Reading it again, I'm surprised how accurate some of my first impressions were. I have indeed had a great year. I've received much in almost every way, so that Luke 12:48 is on my mind these days. It's too early to reflect on what I have gained, or to assess how I have changed. At the moment I'd say that many of my thoughts and ideas about church, theology, and modern life in the West have been confirmed by my time here.

Over the last months I've learned that the world is a lot bigger and a lot more complicated, and I remain rather naive in the middle of it all. But I've decided that the Christian gospel is big enough and simple enough to embrace the world in all its complexity. The difficult thing about the gospel is not understanding it, but accepting it. It can appear too good to be true. It can seem too fantastic to be real. It can be attractive and it can be shocking.

Based on Psalm 2, and some verses in Paul's letters to the Corinthians, the truth of Jesus Christ is crisis and consummation. Christ's final appearing will be the most welcome and the most obnoxious of all events. A few people long for it. Others scorn the thought. Many are hopelessly ignorant of the prospect. If Christianity is true, all people will experience this dreadful and glorious day, it will be for all either the most welcome or the most obnoxious of events.

One day Christ's new creation will be manifest for all to see.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Things I didn't know: No 13

The LA Dodgers baseball team used to be the Brooklyn Dodgers, not to be confused with the Brooklyn Dodgers football team. The Dodgers major league baseball franchise moved to LA in the 1950s.

I learned this yesterday evening while watching the New York Yankees destroy the Texas Rangers at Yankee stadium in Bronx, NY.

Jenny Smith also taught me the difference between home and away baseball jerseys. I think the idea is that the home team jersey is always white with stripes. That's something you need to know in the US.

Last night I might just have graduated as a potential resident alien in the US. I sang God Bless America with gusto, ate hot dogs, and almost bought a baseball cap and jersey.

Sunday School art

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Poptastic Lyrics of Pop: No 2

Say if it could be that we once passed like strangers,
Long before the love we ever new

Children of Men

Watched this film for the first time today. Why all the fuss? All the reviews I read, and many of my friends, told me it was a great movie. I fail to understand the enthusiasm, can someone explain it to me?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Managed to watch both 2nd leg Champions League semi-final matches live over the last two days. Just back from an afternoon in Winberies watching AC Milan destroy Man Utd. Utd were very disappointing. Milan looked immense. As for Liverpool and Chelsea, watched that game in NYC. Can't wait to see if Liverpool can do it again against AC. But Chelsea! I don't know what, but something's not right at Stamford Bridge at the moment. One thing I noticed - Lampard looked lost. That must be a worry for England and Chelsea fans.

In my spare time I'm reading some more about eschatology, including G.E. Ladd's The Blessed Hope, and John McDowell's Hope in Barth's Eschatology.