Terrapin’s Reunion ‘10 – Belgian Style Scotch Ale

reunion_beer_label_052010of.jpgI really enjoy the craft beers from Terrapin Beer Co. in Athens, Georgia. Of course, I’m partial to anything from Georgia, but these fellows do an outstanding job.

This ale is an interesting blend of two styles: Belgian and Scottish. The craft and moderate level of complexity in this brew is appreciated.

This ale pours up a nice rich dark amber brown with a smaller tan head that did not stick around long. The nose reveals the Belgian style yeast with a definite dusty fruity banana aroma, the sweet Scottish maltiness being hinted in the background.

It’s important to give this 22 ounce serving the time for its complexity to be revealed. Don’t over chill this ale or you’ll miss what it has to offer. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. This ale begins with a clear emphasis on the Belgian style, and that style remains on the nose throughout, becoming somewhat less pronounced on the pallet as the ale warms, giving way to a much fuller expression of the sweet Scottish maltiness. Throughout, the hops remain in the background, accented on the finish.

This is a skillfully crafted blended style ale that is a treat to enjoy.


Today in 1946

From [Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Selected_anniversaries/July_22): ‘1946 — A bomb [destroyed](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing) the headquarters of the British Mandate of Palestine at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing about 90 people and injuring 45 others.’

This was a terrorist attack against the British and Palestinian government agencies located in the building. The surprising thing to realise for us ‘history challenged’ Americans is that this terrorist bombing was carried out by an underground Jewish paramilitary organisation called the [Irgun](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irgun) which advocated [‘Revisionist Zionism’](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revisionist_Zionism) prior to the establishment of the modern Israeli state.


Why I love MY Church (It’s All About ME) (via OldLife.org)

A touch of humour from Darryl G. Hart’s OldLife.orgso good I had to share it.

A couple of comments recently suggested that it’s all negative all the time at Oldlife. So here’s a list of reasons why I love my congregation and its ministry.

We sing from a hymnal (and a good one at that).

We pray at least six times during an average service (eight or nine with a sacrament).

We have two preaching services each Sunday (different sermons).

Our pastor wears a suit and a tie.

Our congregation stands still to sing.

Our services feature the Word of God – the salutation, the call to worship, the lessons, the declaration of pardon, the exhortation to give, the sermon text, and the benediction.

Our people do not dress like they are going to Vacation Bible School – even in the summer.

Our pastor explains the sacraments before administering them.

We hear the law and the gospel.

We assemble at Mt. Zion.

Women sit on one side of the room, men on the other (kidding).


Quotable Machen

Dr R. Scott Clark shared this quotation from J. Gresham Machen and I find it both profoundly true and deeply moving.

The responsibility of the church in the new age is the same as its responsibility in every age. It is to testify that this world is lost in sin; that the span of human life — nay, all the length of human history — is an infinitesimal island in the awful depths of eternity; that there is a mysterious, holy, living God, Creator of all, Upholder of all, infinitely beyond all; that He has revealed Himself to us in His Word and offered us communion with Himself through Jesus Christ the Lord; that there is no other salvation, for individuals or for nations, save this, but that this salvation is full and free, and that whosoever possesses it has for himself and for all others to whom he may be the instrument of bringing it a treasure compared with which all the kingdoms of the earth — nay, all the wonders of the starry heavens — are as the dust of the street.


Oskar Blues Ten FIDY Imperial Stout

I don’t generally drink beer that comes in a can. Mostly that’s because I prefer craft brewed beers which ordinarily come in bottles. There is an exception.


I love a good Imperial Stout and while this one doesn’t take the place of my all time favourite, it certainly gives it a run for it’s money. I was completely surprised! This brew lives up to its reputation. (It get’s a 100 rating from Ratebeer.com and an ‘A’ from Beer Advocate Magazine.) An Imperial Stout is typically a high gravity beer and thus has a higher percentage alcohol by volume (ABV). This one gets its name from its 10.50% ABV.

It pours up licorice black with a deliciously dark chocolate coloured head. The nose is wonderfully unique, offering a rich mixture of sweet caramel and malty dark roasted barley. On the palate it gives up full and smooth chocolate and coffee flavours. I think the uniqueness of the nose and the palate may also have something to do with the addition of flaked oats (giving it some of the qualities of an oatmeal stout) as well as the way it’s been hopped. It’s definitely everything the brewery advertises.

Ten FIDY Imperial Stout – This titanic, immensely viscous stout is loaded with inimitable flavors of chocolate-covered caramel and coffee and hide a hefty 98 IBUs underneath the smooth blanket of malt. Ten FIDY (10.5% ABV) is made with enormous amounts of two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops. Ten FIDY is the ultimate celebration of dark malts and boundary-stretching beer.


Statistics and the PCA Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan relies heavily for its justification upon certain numerical trends presumably exposed through statistical analysis. Consequently, there is some discussion in the blogosphere of whether the analysis is accurate. That’s a worthwhile point to consider: is the underlying statistical analysis used to justify this Strategic Plan actually inaccurate and flawed?

But I have a more fundamental concern with all this. While statistical analysis may be interesting, I am deeply troubled by this kind of application of it in the spiritual realm. I think there is a problem with how we are using statistical analysis if the result is that we think we must be doing something right or wrong based on that analysis. The Church does not fit a business or manufacturing model of any sort, and she has no mechanical processes that can be relied upon to provide a specific ‘positive growth’ result when properly deployed. Relying upon this kind of statistical analysis as an indicator of health is, at best, a category error — at worst it implies a crass Finneyism.

I am not suggesting that we ought to ignore the statistics altogether. It is certainly good to have access to such information. But this information is no reliable indicator of the health of a denomination. The call of Christ upon the Church and her ministry is not to watch the numbers, but to be faithful in the means of grace. God does not promise us any kind of a mechanical correspondence between such faithfulness and numerical growth. It is a dangerous error to rely upon outward results, especially numerical results, as an indicator of faithfulness. When we see a change in the numbers we do not need ‘some new plan.’ Whether the numbers go up, down, or stay the same, our duty and calling as a Church does not change. We are always and ever to remain steadfast and immovable in the faith, pouring out the Gospel in all its fulness. Yes, God is pleased to bless His means, and we ought not to expect His blessing apart from His appointed means. But God does not bless His appointed means mechanically. The numbers are no indication one way or the other with regard to obedience.


2010 PCA Strategic Plan

I wish I had time to do a full and running critique of this sad and misguided proposal. The 2010 PCA Strategic Plan has been two years in the making and it shows. There is an abundance of detailed and wrong-headed thinking on display here. The distillation of what the GA will be asked to adopt is found here. I’m tempted to call it unprincipled and pragmatic, but it’s not really unprincipled. It’s simply not guided by principles that can be called Reformed and Biblical in any recognisable way.

Thankfully, several men have been interacting with this radical programme for further reshaping of the PCA. These men have offered some poignant comments and suggestions. Among those are some remarkable things coming from Northwest Georgia Presbytery!

Dr R. Scott Clark has a run-down of these in an entry on his Heidelblog, but the most remarkable, I think, is the ‘17 Points for PCA Renewal’ proposed by the Rev. Dr Jon D. Payne of Grace Presbyterian Church in Douglasville, GA (about 20 miles west of downtown Atlanta). (By the way, check out that Church’s web site! I did not know that there were other PCA church’s like Brainerd Hills PCA, especially not in the Southeast. I would differ earnestly with them on their uninspired worship song and the musical accompaniment, but it clearly and otherwise holds forth a model of Reformed worship.)

You should check out Dr Payne’s prefatory thoughts, too, on the page where they were originally published, but here for your edification I feel compelled to include Dr Payne’s 17 Points.
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