D. A. Carson’s Theological Method

This essay appears in the latest issue of SBET:

Andrew David Naselli. “D. A. Carson’s Theological Method.” Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 29 (2011): 245–74.

It revises a paper I submitted to Kevin Vanhoozer at TEDS in December 2006 for his PhD seminar “Advanced Theological Prolegomena.” I told some friends in the class at the time that I’d like to publish my essay in about five years, which would give me more time to better understand Don Carson’s theological method.

Here’s the outline:

1. Carson’s Background: Some Factors That Influence His Theological Method

1.1. Carson’s Family
1.2. Carson’s Education
1.3. Carson’s Professional Experience
1.4. Some Other Background Factors

2. Carson’s Corrigible Presuppositions

2.1. Carson’s Metaphysics: God
2.2. Carson’s Epistemology: Chastened Foundationalism [Read more…]

HCSB vs. ESV vs. NIV

Two months ago Liberty University hosted a discussion on Bible translation between three Bible translators:

  1. Ray Clendenen (HCSB)
  2. Wayne Grudem (ESV)
  3. Doug Moo (NIV)

I watched the three presentations and Q&A this week, and they helpfully introduce the issue:

HCSB

ESV

NIV

Panel Q&A

I’m looking forward to B&H’s book next year that will present four perspectives on Bible translation authored by the three men above plus Philip Comfort (NLT), edited by Dave Croteau and Andreas Köstenberger.

Related:

  1. The Best All-Around Book on Bible Translation
  2. How to Disagree about Bible Translation Philosophy

Fifteen Favorite Christmas Songs

Here are fifteen of my favorite Christmas songs:

  1. “The 12 Days of Christmas” (live; studio) | Straight No Chaser | Holiday Spirits | video
  2. “Angels’ Carol” | John Rutter, the Cambridge Singers | Christmas with the Cambridge Singers | video
  3. The Christmas Can-Can” | Straight No Chaser | Christmas Cheers | video
  4. Christmas Fantasy for Orchestra” | Dan and Heidi Goeller | The Word Became Flesh
  5. Everlasting Life” | The Rushingbrook Children’s Choir | The Most Wonderful Birthday of All
  6. “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” | Dan Forrest | Prepare Him Room
  7. Joy to the World” | Empire Brass | Joy to the World
  8. Linus & Lucy” | Vince Guaraldi Trio | A Charlie Brown Christmas
  9. A Little Christmas Music: Medley a la Mozart” | The King’s Singers, Kiri Te Kanawa | A Little Christmas Music
  10. “Lo! How a Rose” | SMS Men’s Chorus | King of Glory
  11. Magnificat” | Keith and Kristyn Getty | An Irish Christmas
  12. Mary, Did You Know?” | Kathleen Battle, accompanied by Christopher Parkening | Angel’s Glory | lyrics
  13. Sleep, Jesus, Sleep” | Shannon Harris (Josh Harris’s wife), Sovereign Grace Music | Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man
  14. “Somewhere in My Memory” | John Williams, the Boston Pops Orchestra | Joy to the World
  15. Suo Gan,” the instrumental part from 1:11 to 2:19 | Irish Tenors | Home for Christmas

What are some of your favorite songs?

Are Profits Moral?

Four men—two businessmen and two theologians—coauthor an answer to that question and reach this conclusion:

Clearly, in the biblical system of ethics, profit is godly if it is gained in God’s way. And surprisingly, this means that not making a profit may also be a sin against God, one’s neighbor and oneself!

Adam Smith established by rational evaluation that profit making was an inherent part of human conduct as it worked itself out in the social environment of human culture. What Adam Smith described was actually a traditional perspective of the Reformed tradition as evidenced by Max Weber. This is not only evident in Weber’s analysis, however. It is in fact established by a careful reading of the Reformed tradition’s classic ethical treatise, the Westminster Larger Catechism. And this serves to underscore how an inherent hostility to profits gained in a just manner is actually an expression of the socialistic spirit that emanates  from Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

While there clearly can be “obscene profits” under the Calvinistic system, that is, a violation of one’s duty to God and man in acquiring profits, it must also be maintained that profit making itself is not inherently obscene. If such were not the case, the parable of the talents given by our Lord could not righteously include the words to the faithful steward in Matthew 25:26–27, “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest” (NIV).

—Philip J. Clements, Peter Lillback, Wayne Grudem, and John Weiser, “Are Profits Moral? Answers from a Comparison of Adam Smith, Max Weber, Karl Marx, and the Westminster Larger Catechism,” in Business Ethics Today: Foundations (ed. Philip J. Clements; Philadelphia: Westminster Seminary Press, 2011), 160–61.

Related:

1. Phil Clements interviews Peter Lillback about the Reformed faith and capitalism:

2. Wayne Grudem begins to answer the question, “What is at risk for business if we lose a Christian worldview?”

3. “If I Become Rich, Won’t Someone Else Become Poor?

Two New Bible Translations

Recently I’ve been reading two new Bible translations:

  1. The Expanded Bible: Explore the Depths of the Scriptures While You Read. Translated by Tremper Longman III, Mark L. Strauss, and Daniel Taylor. Nashville: Nelson, 2011. 1910 pp. [Preview the front matter and the Gospel of John.]
  2. The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation of the New Testament. Translated by N. T. Wright. New York: HarperOne, 2011. 526 pp. [Preview it using Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.]

Neither translation is one that churches will adopt as their primary one for preaching, teaching, and memorizing. But [Read more…]

A Security Camera for Parents

I work at home. My wife and I are usually downstairs, and our two little girls sleep upstairs. And we often want to see how they’re doing when they’re upstairs:

  1. Are they asleep or awake? We wonder this (1) shortly after we put them down for naps or for bed, (2) periodically while they are supposed to be sleeping, and (3) when we anticipate them waking up.
  2. Are they OK? We may wonder this if we hear a strange noise or hear them crying or simply want to check on them for peace of mind—whether they’re playing or supposed to be sleeping.

We used to creep upstairs as silently as we could and crack open a bedroom door to check on them, but often this would wake them up.

So I researched baby monitors and security cameras to see if I could find one that meets five criteria:

  1. Wireless. We wanted to mount it in our children’s rooms, where there are no computers, modems, or routers.
  2. Streaming. We wanted to easily stream the video on a computer (Mac or PC), iPhone (or other web-enabled smartphone), iPod Touch, and iPad—whether connected to the Internet via our home WiFi or another way when away from home.
  3. Day/Night. We wanted a clear picture regardless of the lighting in the room.
  4. Audio. We wanted the option to hear as well as see what’s happening.
  5. Secure. We wanted the video to be password-protected.

Last year we decided to get a Sharx Security Camera, which meets all five criteria, and we love it. [Read more…]