After over a month of looking, applying and being turned down we secured the lease on this townhome. It has been frustrating going through this process (because we lived on our savings during our two years at seminary I look unemployed) but we move in on Friday.
(1) Jackson, MS, (2) Jackson, TN, (3) Arlington, VA, (4) Miami, FL, (5) Atlanta, GA, (6) St. Louis, MO (Dr. Lucas is also a Dabney scholar).
In addition, there is not an FV-friendly or neutral man (as far as I can tell) among them, and there are no NT scholars on the committee. I guess the PCA wants to continue to define itself as an exclusively southern institution...further alienating minorities and dreaded Yankees.
Today I painted a lion for one of our praise banners. We ordered this one in 5 x 7 but the lion looked a little weak so we ordered the banner with just the lettering. I painted this lion with water based oils (thats new) on canvas and will later cut it out and apply it to the banner. Next week I will work on the Lamb of God.
Sorry for my lack of posting lately. As you may know, we are staying with my folks in Tehachapi, CA while we look for a new home. Its is a beautiful town, with cool breezes, located high above the desert in the mountains southeast of Bakersfield. Due to its location, I often lose my cel phone signal and only have access to dial-up networking via AOL. At first, I was able to go into town (20 minutes away) to a place called Cafe Java which had free wireless. Unfortunately, this establishment closed the week I got here. There is a Panera in Palmdale (1 hour away) but with gas running about $50 per trip to Santa Clarita, I have to limit my runs.
The irony is being in Southern California, perhaps the most connected region in the history of the world, and utilizing technology that is 10 years behind. You never realize how dependent you are on technology until you have a day without access to your email account!
I just went to Fry's, Burbank to get an LCD projector for the church. This is the first time I've been to one since I got back to California. For those of you who don't have a Fry's in your area, just think of a giant Sam's Club stuffed with nothing but electronics.
There is so much rampant speculation about paedocommunion these days (its Romish, its Federal Vision, its New Perspectives, etc., etc.) so I thought I'd drop my two cents. Right off the bat I want to lay to rest any ideas that I advocate "tincturing" infants. I do not. In fact, I do not advocate paedocommunion proper. I do, however, believe young children should come to God's table as soon as possible. I think this is reasonably determined by the parents of the child. From that point forward the child falls under the jurisdiction of the elders in regards to the table. This is not a position I have been hiding for years. In fact, it is a position I have come to, rather painfully and involuntarily, over a three year period. The clincher was sitting under the teaching of a scholar like Dr. C. John "Jack" Collins whose exegetical arguments in favor of admitting young children to the Eucharist are extremely compelling.
So why is everyone so afraid of young-child communion? Well I think the reasons given are several:
1. "Its Unbiblical"
a. The singular proof-text is drawn from 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 but it is far from clear that this text is referring to some rational discernment that is beyond the comprehension of young covenant family members (the baptized). Furthermore, there is very good evidence (the trajectory of the larger pericope of chapters 10-12) that the discerning here refers to the "body "of Christ as the gathered people of God not the elements.
b. Saying there are no biblical examples of children at the Eucharist offers no fruit because there are no women partaking in any text either.
c. The idea of having elders inject themselves as interviewers into the process, though having having some precedent via tradition, has no biblical support whatsoever. I find it strange that strident anti-Catholics argue this point on the grounds of tradition via historic theology.
d. The trajectory of both testaments is one of covenant child inclusion. We baptize infants on that basis don't we? We seem to have a peculiar blind spot here.
b. Some argue that young-child communion is "Romish" but this is impossible because it was Rome that eradicated the practice.
c. Finally, there is the argument that "it is dangerous." While I can appreciate the desire to protect people from the table of judgment, I think it is a serious over-reaction. For example, Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:22 that if anyone calls his brother a "fool" he is in danger of the very fires of hell (not just getting sick or dying). Do we then keep our children from speaking until they are old enough to discern bad language and thoughts? Others have argued in a similar vein by appealing to the danger of improper motives in the offering (Acts 5) which could also have deadly results. Besides all this, adults are in an even more precarious position because they have the ability to more craftily deceive themselves. Don't we all? Strangely, the Lord himself risks huge judgment on his own friends when he serves the apostles, bickering, ignorant, and totally undiscerning, the Last Supper.
So, I will close with a quote from NT Wright. Before I do that, however, this is so sad, I must qualify that I do not agree with everything Wright says on things like justification, innerancy, etc., etc. So, without further ado:
Linking confirmation to communion was a medieval trick to boost the numbers of confirmation candidates. Baptism is the way into the family; the Eucharist is the family meal. (The Meal Jesus Gave Us, p.80)