Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to my Mac on an Airport Extreme external drive

Have been wanting a way to keep my files accessible to all my computers at home. A router with an external drive seemed the trick.

But by using an airport extreme I had hoped I could also access those files anytime I was on my laptop and connected to the Internet thanks to Back to My Mac.

However it wasn't working. Turns out you have to have the airport express connecting to the internet directly which involves putting most modems (particularly those prepackaged from Optus or Telstra) into bridge mode. It's relatively simple it turns out but took me ages to discover.

So figured I put up a blog to help the next person.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Podcasting sermons for free

OK, have just gone through setting up a podcast for our church without having to set up a new upload section and without having to pay for anything. So, for those who are trying to do the same, and with huge kudos to this article from Bukisa, here's what I did.

Setting up:

  1. Open an account with Fileden where you will upload your mp3 (and other formats) files to.
  2. Open an account with Blogger and create a blog which will provide your podcast entries.
  3. Go to the "Settings" tab for the blog and set "Show Link fields" to "Yes".
  4. Create a 300x300 pixel image for your blog's entry on iTunes. (And you can create a separate image for Feedburner's feed if you like.)
  5. Upload the images to the web somewhere. (eg. Fileden if you like.)
  6. Open an account with Feedburner and create a feed for your Blogger blog (it will even let you submit the podcast to iTunes). This will be your podcast feed.
  7. Go back to your blog on Blogger, click "Settings" and choose "Site Feed" then paste your Feedburner feed URL into "Post Feed Redirect URL".

Posting podcasts:

  1. Create a fully tagged mp3 or m4a (or both in our case).
  2. Upload it/them to Fileden and record the direct link.
  3. Create a post in Blogger. The title should be the name of that particular podcast.
  4. Enter the description of the post as the body of the blog post, bearing in mind that all carriage returns will be trimmed out.
  5. Leave the "Link" field empty.
  6. Click "Show enclosure links" and enter the URL for the uploaded file.
  7. Post the blog entry.

Perfects in Hebrews 12

Well, I noted how naturally an aspectual approach accounts for the perfects in Hebrews 11. But the ones I'm particularly interested in are those in Hebrews 12:18 and 22.

Why the interest? Because in my experience these verses are used to emphasise the present reality of having already entered into the heavenly assembly of God through his gathering us together. It particularly plays a crucial role in the theology of church-as-gathering in the theological circles that have been formative for me.

However, if the perfect only encodes heightened proximity aspectually, then it seems to me the more natural reading is to see this as emphatic, rather than as portraying the coming as a past event with present implications. Thus I would almost render 12:22 as "But we are immanent to Mount Zion...". Such a reading makes more sense of the letter's recurrent call to "draw near". Particularly in chapters like 3–4 and 11 the picture is of a certain promise that must still be laid hold of by the individual. An emphatic verb form is used because the once-for-all sacrifice has already been made by the great high priest, Jesus. But the book is a warning not to abandon the covenantal relationship that he has established. It is our only genuine means of approaching God's presence.

But having made these observations, I think there is little other support scripturally for the gathering of God's people in heaven being an eschatological event that is already realised in us. Rather, Christ stands in God's presence and, though our union with him (our being "in Christ"), we have total confidence to draw near ourselves knowing our future is assured. (In Paul's language, we are so identified with Christ that we have already died and our future life is that of Christ's—Colossians 3:3–4). Christ is the eschatologically realised gathering. We remain to participate.

Can someone tell me where I'm getting this wrong? Thanks.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Taking contemporary worship to its logical conclusion?

Explaining a recent CD released by Vineyard Music Group, its director of public relations explained,

People aren't content with yesterday's level of closeness. They want something more. We feel this album gives them that.

The result? A CD with titles including "My Lover, My God," "Touch Me All Over," "Naked Before You," "I'll Do Anything You Want," "Deeper" and "You Make Me Hot with Desire." It's not that surprising Walmart felt the need to refuse to stock the CDs.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Reason to lose your job??

Apologies for my long silence. I have comments to reply to and emails to send and I'm not in that position yet. But I needed to share this.

In Scotland's Presbyterian church (which is probably more like our Anglican church in that historically it had strong social and political ownership) there is currently debate over whether it should receive as a minister a man who is living in a homosexual relationship. Some disagree and have signed a petition. What surprised me is that William Philip, who formed the petition, has noted,

Several who have signed up have been intimidated into removing their signatures because employers have threatened discipline just for someone daring to express their support for the orthodox Christian position on human sexuality. Some chaplains from the hospital or prison service have been threatened with discipline and perhaps even dismissal. So we are called narrow and intolerant, simply for asking that church leaders observe what the church has always believed and stood for

I'm not clear if the only people threatened with losing their job have been chaplains. I dearly hope people in other fields haven't been threatened. But even for these chaplains the implication is worrying. Can you only act with loving concern for someone if you think what they're doing isn't a sin? Are the two mutually exclusive?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Are Christians or non-Christians more moral?

One of the interesting conversations I had in the last week while we were visiting Rockhampton was with a few guys that were suggesting that the good things I do is less genuinely good than when they do good things because I do them because I'm a Christian. If I understood them correctly, they're saying that they do things simply because they're the right things to do, whereas I do them only because God says to do them. While I had heard similar comments before, I hadn't thought about it recently and only now have I had a chance to reflect on their comments.

My first reflection is that I do things because they're the right thing to do, as well as because God says to do them. That is, it's not like I object to doing the good things that these guys were talking about. I'm no different in that respect. I love helping friends. I'm moved with compassion when I see people having a rough time. And I think it's great that they want to do good things. It seems only natural. I live in this world where I have a natural desire to seek to do the good. It works. It makes the world a better place. It expresses love that I genuinely feel. Speaking as a Christian, God's made the world to work that way. Loving God's world doesn't mean blindly obeying his commands. It means obeying his commands with my eyes wide open—responding to the world in a way that "fits".

Second, do non-Christians really have no other motivation than that it's the right thing to do? I do the right thing because it benefits others, it pleases me and it pleases God. Don't non-Christians do the right thing because it benefits others and it pleases them? How long would people do the right thing if it always didn't benefit them? How long would it seem the right thing? Altruism is satisfying. I enjoy it, as I say. There's nothing wrong with that. But doesn't it taint our altruism? And shouldn't we stop and consider how long we'd be altruistic if it wasn't pleasing to us?

But third, the question of whether a Christian or non-Christian is more moral depends on whether you believe there's a God. If there isn't a God, it does seem more moral to act without the need of extrinsic motivation. But if the God of the Bible is there, then the good we do is a gift from him. And to do that good without acknowledging the gift is, well, a form of pride. So I appreciate these guys arguments. I can see that in their worldview, they seem more moral than I do. But I hope they're also willing to see how it looks to God if he actually is 'the giver of every good thing'.