The Times

Time to be thinking about a Christmas tree. You know, they’re already on sale here. It’s been three years since we’ve had one because in Colombia people are banned from having real ones. If they allow it, they’ll cut down all the pines in the areas surrounding Bogota. Here they are part of the free enterprise system: people are making money on it and so the perpetuity of that stream of income is looked after and so it works.

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Have you ever read Wealth & Poverty by George Guilder? Robust, interesting, a bit detaily on numbers (is wonkish the adjective nowadays?), but not what you expect in a book about the dismal science. It is luminous with the explanation of the metaphysicality of wealth.

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Last night the associate pastor (to continue by associations, and yes, they have associate pastors in the OPC, and youth group sadly–can’t wait to as them to square that with the sufficiency of Scripture and the regulative principle; it is my notion that adding youth group is an affirmation of the insufficiency of Scripture if you believe in the regulative principle of worship [I’m not really interested in a church that doesn’t affirm the regulative principle]) the youth paster, I say, wanted to explan to us how saints were saved under the old covenant dispensation of the covenant of grace–and his subsequent explanation of why it matters was the best preaching I’ve heard out of him so far. But before that he used this triangle he claims comes from Vos. Top of the triangle is the heavenly reality, bottom left is the OT shadow, and bottom right is the NT manifestation. Maybe I was wrong, but between the top on the one hand and the bottom corners on the other I imagined a line distinguishing eternity above and time below.

My question, under that scheme, is what is the heavenly reality being manifested in the crucifixion? I talked to the pastor (not associate) and he was more inclined to talk about shadows being cast in time: the signs, types and prophecies of the OT are shadows cast by the NT events of the Gospel. Where does that leave your heavenly realities? All this in the context of Hebrews which leaves no doubt as to the existence of such.

I even asked, what are the metaphysics of this, but no dice. Ah well. Next time that gets touched on the question will have to be, so what exactly is a heavenly reality? Because what I am after is that I think covenant theologians who are not nominalists find there the theological covenants: the covenant of grace or of redemption in this case. These are the heavenly realities, the forms taking shape partially in OT shadows and fully manifested in the Gospel. And for a metaphysical realist, that’s strong, strong stuff.

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I do have to understand better why covenant theology does not completely identify the covenant of grace with the new covenant, but wading through tomes of badly written theology is not something I will willingly undertake as long as there are well written books to read instead. I have always had a problem concentrating on some books, and I think it is a big like Folgers. It’s just not Starbucks–and nowadays not even Starbucks is. I realize how effete that sounds to students of theology, but so does Starbucks to drinkers of Folgers.

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You know, I have that problem with the younger Scruton and the works of his more recent effort. The older stuff is a bit hard to concentrate on, whereas the recent is luminous and compelling.


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