The faith delivered to the saints

‘The same divine glory that convinced his first disciples that he was the truth (John 1:14) will shine through his new Scriptures and convince the church that these are the very words of God.

‘Jesus did not intend, through the history of the church, to keep sending more and more spokesmen with this kind of authority. That is why the apostolic teaching is called the “foundation” of the church, not the ongoing structure (Eph. 2:20). It is also why one of the later books of the New Testament refers to “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints”’

~ John Piper, ‘A Peculiar Glory’


Sleep remedies with Telemann

One of 2017’s best discoveries. After working in late night adult piano classes, I discovered that I would dream feverishly about teaching the same classes. As a cure for this ‘nightmarish’ affliction, I developed ways of ‘musically detoxing’, listening to music so different to that which I had been teaching, that it drove it out of my mind before sleep. This piece worked a treat.

Christianity: An objective, factual reality

Concerning whether Christianity is just an inner, personal, subjective religion:

“The acts of God and the person of Jesus Christ, did those acts take place and what significance do they have for us? It really does matter for a Christian whether they took place. It’s not just about an experience. It’s about objective, factual reality that’s been changed by the work of Christ.”

~ Michael Kruger

The Triune God in worship

“As Christ’s ministry starts with the Father acknowledging the Son and anointing him with the Holy Spirit, so the Great Commission specifically requires baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Christian’s identity is nothing if it is not Trinitarian.

Given this, the Trinity should be a doctrine that both shapes our worship and pervades our worship.” ~ Carl Trueman

Elgar & cycling

When I was at University, I watched a documentary about Elgar’s life and music, which sparked an Elgar craze in my mind. The interesting thing was this seemed as much because of what I didn’t like, as it was about what I liked.

In some ways, Elgar could be the anti-musical me. I didn’t like waffle (in music), and avoided repetition, whereas Elgar seemed to have too much to say, too often! (worst offender: the violin concerto!) I liked elegant, shapely melody, but Elgar’s tunes often seemed more like short musical patterns, stitched together in a musical collage.

But why am I not only writing about, but promoting Elgar’s music? Because I was often wrong about it! — not only do I now enjoy much more of his works, but I can also learn from them.

A real key to enjoying Elgar was relating the music to long bike rides! In riding the Herefordshire countryside — possibly parts of which he himself might have cycled — what before seemed like waffle, now made sense.

What seemed like too much repetition was now music for travelling. What seemed like redundancy was now exploration. And looking back I realise that I needed to learn to explore my own music more like Elgar did.

This sense of music to travel to — music to energise your peddling, or walking, or speeding through the countryside, music with a sense of exploration, vastness, and exhilaration — is exemplified by his 2nd symphony. Do take a listen to it. But maybe listen when you’re doing something big enough to match it. And listen again, until you can enjoy all the by-ways, bridleways, and sheep tracks Elgar cycles through.