As I write today, the province of Ontario is in lockdown mode once again, and we are leaving our homes less frequently, having our groceries and other items delivered to us. Nevertheless, the grass is green and leaves are coming out on the trees. The magnolia in our back garden is beginning to blossom. These signs of spring are lifting our spirits, even as we continue to miss a normality we hope will soon return. My wife and I are now scheduled to receive the first doses of our COVID vaccinations before the end of the month. But best of all, this month we have celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ in whom we find our salvation, and for that we are grateful to God.
Here is a roundup of my activities over the past month.
I am nearing the end of my blog series, which began with this post: Dampening the culture wars, 1: how to get along while agreeing to disagree. If you begin with that post, you will be able to follow the link at the bottom to read the rest of the series up to now. I will complete the series next week. In the meantime, the most recent post is number 10 and treats the United States, an increasingly divided polity that badly needs to find ways to enable political opponents to live together and co-operate for shared purposes.
Kuyperian Commentary published my piece, Our Need for a Creed, in which I argue that regularly reciting one of the ecumenical creeds of the church is a way of acknowledging the need for a community of faith to support us in our walk with God in Christ. I also suggest a revision of one line of a popular hymn in recognition of the communal nature of our faith.
Cateclesia Forum recently published my article, The Virtual Illusion: Social Media’s Uneasy Relationship with Real Community. Our online social media platforms, as useful as they are in connecting us with people around the globe, tempt us to assume that the most important communities are the virtual ones we create centred on ourselves. This "virtual illusion" may weaken our commitment to the genuine communities of which we are part, such as the body politic and the gathered church institution.In May I will be addressing an event sponsored by the British branch of l'Abri on the subject: "Discerning Visions and Illusions in Political Life." In June I will be talking about my work with Global Scholars, with a special emphasis on Brazil, at the Oak Centre for Studies in Faith and Culture, located here in Hamilton. I will report on these events after the fact.
Two more items from my blog: City planning: Paris in Chicago, and England and the 'peculiar institution'. In the latter I express curiosity why, despite the 18th-century legal scholar Sir William Blackstone's judgement that slavery was impossible in England, it nevertheless took hold in the colonies.
I will here reference my other blog, The Genevan Psalter, where I recently posted a review of New Psalter: Psalms for the Church, as well as a brief exploration into the reluctance of the translators of the Greek Septuagint Old Testament to speak of God as "rock" when translating from the Hebrew. My work with the Psalms is, of course, a sideline to my Global Scholars work, but if you are interested in the church's worship, including the use of the biblical Psalms, you are most welcome to follow my blog.
I was privileged to discuss my work at the Global Scholars pre-Easter Zoom gathering on Maundy Thursday, 1 April. It was good to connect with so many colleagues and supporters in that venue.
Once again, a heartfelt thank you to those of you who have generously contributed to my work with Global Scholars. I am gradually making my way through my list of supporters, talking with you by phone or online platform. I hope to connect with more of you soon, possibly in person, now that vaccines are being given. GSC has set up a new page for giving. Once you are in the page, scroll down to the heading marked DONATION DETAILS, and then choose one of the options under FUND. Americans may donate through our sister organization in the US. May God bless and keep all of you.
David Koyzis, Global Scholar