Friday, January 27, 2006

Parting with Tradition

Fundamentalism has greatly--and I mean severely--affected Reformed thinking in America. The Bible--thanks to the fundamentalists--has been reduced to propositional statements about God and most American Christians read their Bibles in an ahistorical fashion. Scholars in this camp have no problem with the study of history per se, but to read the Bible as an historical document is seen as a "liberal" endeavor. But much of the reformed world in America would have no problem allying itself with the great founder of Twentieth-Century reformed thinking, J. Gresham Machen. But what does Machen himself believe?

The student of the New Testament should be primarily an historian. The centre and core of the Bible is history. Everything else that the Bible contains is fitted into an historical framework and leads to an historical climax.


Give up history, and you can retain some things. You can retain a belief in God. But philosophical theism has never been a powerful force in the world. You can retain a lofty ethical ideal. But be perfectly clear about one point--you can never retain a gospel. For gospel means 'good news', tidings, information about something that has happened. A gospel independent of history is simply a contradiction in terms.

Could it be any clearer?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Ordination and Installation of Reverend Matthew Paul Buccheri as Assistant Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC: January 22, 2006

After looking at this photo, some of you may be filled with disbelief, even with horror. Others, on the other hand--especially those who have supported my ministry efforts over the years--may be celebrating with me. Whatever the case (and whoever you may be), the picture is real and this really happened (regardless of what your opinion may be). By God's grace and after 6 long years of preparation, not to mention "a little help from my friends," I was ordained and installed yesterday morning as an assistant pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC.

I want to take the time to thank some of you who participated in the ordination service: The Rev. John Lin for his winsome opening and preparation that set the tone for the entire service; the Rev. Scott Strickman for his challenging, yet personal charge (Heb 12:2-3); the Rev. Dr. Timothy Keller for his appropriate "ordination prayer;" the Rev. David Bisgrove for our budding friendship; the Rev. Terry Gyger for always believing that I had a place at Redeemer; Webster Younce (elder) for his continued friendship and support (and for agreeing to be the commission secratary); Charlie Oswal (elder) for wearing his Ranger's home jersey at my request. And lastly to Yi Ya my wife and Hannah my daughter--no other two people have supported me more!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Nick Perrin on Guy Waters in the New WTJ

For those of you who haven't heard, Nick Perrin (Asst. Prof. at Wheaton; formerly at Biblical; and formerly N.T. Wright's research assistant at Westminter Abbey) has just published a book review/critique of Guy Waters' "Justification and the New Perspective."

Perrin is more than fair as he points out Waters' unfairness. He points out that Waters' tone is less than Christian and inflammatory. Here's an excerpt:

First, it goes without saying that the book must be assessed not only for what it says, but for how it says what it says. On this score, even those who are sympathetic to Waters's conclusions would have to concede the book provides an unhelpful model as to how one engages in theological discussion. Inflammatory assertions like, '[I]ronically, it is the ignorance of historical theology on the part of Wright and other scholars that prompts them to make such affirmations...' is simply disrespectful and as such, sub-Christian (1 Peter 3:15-16).

This has always been a major critique of the Reformed critics of the NPP.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Ordination and Installation as Assistant Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church

By God's grace--and it's nothing less--I passed my ordination exams this past Saturday and will be ordained and installed as assiatant pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC on January 22, 2005. As for my ordination exam, all I can say is that it was very fair! And as for my ordination and installation service, Rev. John Lin will be introducing me and reading me my vows; Rev. Scott Strickman will be giving me my charge; and the Rev. Dr. Tim Keller will be praying the ordination prayer itself.