There's a Trick of the Light I'm Learning to Do

This is a collection of songs I wrote and recorded in January - March, 2020 while on sabbatical from ministry. They each deal with a different aspect or expression of the Gospel. Click on the image above to listen.

Three Hands Clapping

This is my latest recording project (released May 27, 2019). It is a double album of 22 songs, which very roughly track the story of my life... a sort of musical autobiography, so to speak. Click the album image to listen.

Ghost Notes

Ghost Notes
A collections of original songs I wrote in 2015, and recorded with the FreeWay Musical Collective. Click the album image to listen.

inversions

Recorded in 2014, these songs are sort of a chronicle of my journey through a pastoral burn-out last winter. They deal with themes of mental-health, spiritual burn-out and depression, but also with the inexorable presence of God in the midst of darkness. Click the album art to download.

soundings

soundings
click image to download
"soundings" is a collection of songs I recorded in September/October of 2013. Dealing with themes of hope, ache, trust and spiritual loss, the songs on this album express various facets of my journey with God.

bridges

bridges
Click to download.
"Bridges" is a collection of original songs I wrote in the summer of 2011, during a soul-searching trip I took out to Alberta; a sort of long twilight in the dark night of the soul. I share it here in hopes these musical reflections on my own spiritual journey might be an encouragement to others: the sun does rise, blood-red but beautiful.

echoes

echoes
Prayers, poems and songs (2005-2009). Click to download
"echoes" is a collection of songs I wrote during my time studying at Briercrest Seminary (2004-2009). It's called "echoes" partly because these songs are "echoes" of times spent with God from my songwriting past, but also because there are musical "echoes" of hymns, songs or poems sprinkled throughout the album. Listen closely and you'll hear them.

Accidentals

This collection of mostly blues/rock/folk inspired songs was recorded in the spring and summer of 2015. I call it "accidentals" because all of the songs on this project were tunes I have had kicking around in my notebooks for many years but had never found a "home" for on previous albums. You can click the image to download the whole album.

blogs I follow

Readings, 2020

Readings, 2020
Paradise Lost, John Milton

Adorning the Dark, Andrew Peterson

The Soul of Shame, Curt Thompson

Cure for the Common Life, Max Lucado

Halos and Avatars, Craig Detweiller, ed.

Fool's Talk, Os Guinness

Brendan, Frederick Buechner

The Screwtape Letters

Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis

The Pilgrim's Regress, C. S. Lewis

Becoming Whole, Brian Finkert and Kelly Kapic

Real Sex, Lauren Winner

Out of the Silent Planet, C. S. Lewis

Voyage to Venus, C. S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength, C. S. Lewis

random reads

Three Minute Theology 2.8: Make No Mistake


In geometry, the circumference of any circle is always equal to its diameter multiplied by the mathematical constant pi, that is 3.14.

There’s a place in the Bible, however, where it describes a solid brass “sea”—a circular water basin—that King Solomon built sometime around 950 BC.  In 1 Kings 7, it says that it measured 30 cubits around and 10 cubits across.  A cubit is roughly 18 inches long, so this brass sea was 540 inches in circumference and 180 inches in diameter.

The problem here is that, according to the rules of geometry, if the diameter of the sea was 180 inches, its circumference should have been 565 inches, not 540.

Was the author of 1 Kings unable to do basic math?

Theologians sometimes use the word “inerrancy” to talk about the unique character of the Bible as the Word of God.  “Inerrancy” comes from the word “error” and it conveys the idea that, since the Bible is God’s Divinely Inspired Word, it is not, and cannot be, in error.

The concept of “inerrancy” is helpful for establishing the Bible as reliable guide for Christian life and belief, but if it’s used to imply that the Bible must always be scientifically accurate for it to be true, it can become like a house of cards, where all it takes is one card to slip and the whole thing comes tumbling down.

Of course, there are always ways of explaining away apparent errors in any given Bible passage.  In the account of Solomon’s sea, for instance, it also says that the sea was a handbreadth in thickness , that is, about 3 inches.

If the author of 1 Kings measured the diameter from the outside edges, but measured the circumference from the inside edge, then we’d have to subtract 6 inches from the diameter—three inches on either side to account for the thickness of the sea.

When we make this adjustment, we get an inside diameter of 174 inches and a circumference of 546 inches, bringing us within inches of the actual measurement.

Some may find this helpful, but the problem now is that, instead of hearing what this passage has to say about God and life with him, we’re caught up in convoluted speculations that depend more on our own cleverness than anything else.

It may be that the author rounded the numbers.  It may be that these measurements were estimations.  In none of those cases would the “inerrancy” of the Bible come into question, provided we have a clear and full understanding of what inerrancy actually means.

Rather than thinking about it like a math problem, where the goal is mathematical accuracy, perhaps a better way is to think about it like a compass, where the goal is finding our direction.

If I’m lost and I pull out my compass, I can trust it to tell me what direction north is with unerring precision.  Now, obviously, I don’t need to be standing precisely on the magnetic North Pole in order to use the compass.  And depending on the actual terrain and what obstacles are in my way, I may not actually head north in order go north.

But still, I can trust that the compass is pointing me in the direction I need to go.

If God is Magnetic North—who he is, what he has done and is doing in the world, and especially how he’s revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ—if that’s True North, then, on this analogy, the Bible is an unerring compass.

Even though the details of any given passage may be more or less scientifically accurate, depending on the literary “terrain” of the specific text—that is to say, what it’s trying to accomplish and how it’s trying to communicate—still, we can trust that this book will lead us to true knowledge of God, and especially, a true relationship with him.

Some theologians chose not to use the term inerrancy for this reason, and use terms like “infallible” or simply “authoritative” instead.  Or, we could simply say what the Bible itself says: that it’s a God-breathed book, useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness.

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