Friday, February 26, 2010

What has been go'n on with us?

In short: a lot. I have been meaning to post for a while. At least once a day, usually as I have begin to get in bed, I think, "I should've blogged about ____."

Well what has been going on then?


We have once relocated services in George Town to a big in an air field. The building was nice and had good seating. The air field is owned by a family that comes almost with out fail to the out reach services. The regulars from George Town found their way to the air field and we had a good time worshiping the Lord together. March 7 we are unable to use the george Town Hall, where we normally hold our out reach service, so we hope to meet in the air field again.


I have changed my mind about an important, and very visible, theological question. I no longer believe the baptism of the Roman Catholic church is valid. This change is significant on several levels.

First, it means that I have departed with the majority of my Reformed and Presbyterian brothers. In some ways this is not such a big deal. One example is that I am a strong Supralapsarian, and that is by far a minority position. However on some levels it is a big deal. One example would be the care one should taken when disagreeing with the majority of men you believe have a proper understanding of God's Word and its teachings for past 500 years or so. However one must follow God's Word no matter what other men may say regardless of who they be or how many.

Second, it means that I believe some one that was baptized in a Roman Catholic church should be re-baptized.

Third, it brings to completion an ongoing search and prayer commitment I had with another friend. A good friend and brother from seminary and I had a discussions about baptism. I was attempting to convince him of Paedo Baptism (Infant Baptism) and he was trying to convince me of the invalidity of Rome's Baptism. He became a Paedo Baptists months ago, or longer- and most likely not because of our discussions, but had continued to think and pray about Rome's baptism. Now, after getting some help from a new friend, I have come deny the validity of Rome's baptism. It appears the Lord has blessed those initial discussions and the prayers my brother and I have made for one another. Lord willing we'll continue to pray for one another and find something new to discuss.

Fourth, I have made a new theological friend, perhaps even a theological best friend.

The man who convinced that Rome's baptism was invalid was James Henley Thornwell. James was a pastor, theologian, and professor, from South Carolina. He was born in 1812 and dies in 1862. A friend from church late me borrow Thornwell's works. I read through his The Validity of the Baptism of the Church of Rome attempting to argue with him and found all my points answered and overwhelmed by arguments I had no answers for.

I then read selectively through his works and found his style clear, concise, and convincing. He also had many interesting insights into various theological questions. I offered to buy the works of Thornwell from my friend. He would not sell them but he very generously gave them to me.

Since them I have read The Life and Letters of James Henley Thornwell by B.M. Palmer. I have found it helpful personally and spiritually, as well enlightening about the man, and the Civil War. Having gotten good sense of who Thornwell was I now intend to read through his works.

Not since reading through substantial amounts of Herman Hoeksema have I felt so compelled, challenged, and blessed.

Lord willing I'll share some things from Thornwell's life and letters in future posts.


We hope to be heading back to the US for April. Lord willing we will arrive in Grand Rapids March 29. While in Grand Rapids we hope to visit with friends and family as well as attend a friends wedding. I hope to address the Heritage Reformed Congregations on behalf of the Southern Presbyterian Churches at their Synod in New Jersey April 16. Martha and Julia will come to New Jersey on April 19. Martha's sister Joanna will be getting married April 24 and we will be flying back to Tasmania on April 29.


Julia continues to grow. Just in the past couple of days she has begun to sing a little bit.

About 3 weeks ago we transitioned her out of her crib/cot into her "big girl bed." She is now sleeping on a single mattress on the floor.

She surprised us earlier this week by counting to 10. She can continues to do it on her own from time to time but she does it more regularly if you do it with her. I'll take odds and she'll do evens or I'll do the first few and she'll go from from 4 up to 10.


We continue to go through Exodus in our morning service and Isaiah in our afternoon service. At our Tuesday night Bible study we are going through the life of Christ and our now considering the Sermon on the Mount.

We had a missionary from Tanzania with us as well. His name is John Rowse and he has a burden for "Evangelizing the Evangelists." He travels through Tanzania and parts of Zambia teaching and preaching. His focus is on making sure those preachers and ministers in East Africa truly understand the gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. It is a very important ministry. Many of the church leaders and preachers he speaks with still have great problems with syncratism and animism. He helps them understand the forgiveness of sin (past, present, and future), how the substitutionary sacrifice turns away the wrath of God, and how we are sinless before the Lord for Christ's sake but are still sinful in ourselves. He attempts to challenge their anti-grace and cultural filters (as he calls them) by asking questions and expository preaching (in English and Swahili) and teaching expository preaching. As you can imagine his ministry has a large impact by bringing the true peace of the gospel to people who have never understood the gospel and by teaching preachers and teachers so they can teach others.

John's website has not been updated latley but gives you an insight tot he type of work he does:


Monday, February 01, 2010

Summer Holidays !

We had the privilege of once again spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Pastor Iaian Smith, his wife Mary, and some other friends in Hobart.

The Klaver Klan headed down to visit the Smith family in Hobart on Christmas Eve. Most of the day we had good fellowship.

On Christmas Day we had a large lunch at Ian and Mary's with friends from the Hobart congregation. In the above photo you can see us all (minus Terry). From bottom right, moving left: Julia Klaver, Martha Klaver, Bev Connors, Terry Connors, Iain Smith, Patricia Ashworth, and Mary Smith.

We had an abundance of food.

Patricia and Julia reading together after lunch while "pudding" (the general word in Oz encompassing all deserts) was being made ready.

Pastor Iain Smith is ready for pudding.

Terry Connors engaged in pre-pudding conversation about his latest readings in Francis Turretin. Terry is a retired Elder. He still preaches, is quite well schooled in Theology, and is marvelous to speak to about all aspects of the Christian life.

Mary Smith and Bev Connors finishing off the last of the lunch dishes. Too Iain's credit he often does them but his wife is giving him a break so he can chat with the boys and entertain the guests.

Conservative Presbyterians do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday and do not have worship services. Many do not celebrate it in anyway, but Pastor Iain allows his wife a "wee" Christmas tree.

Mary and Julia beginning gift distribution.
We had to clarify that Julia was not allowed to "be Santa" as Mary hoped.

Gifts were distributed and enjoyed with many laughs.

The gift that seemed to fascinate the Hobartians was a calender with pictures of Native Americans in traditional dress with a brief explanation of their dress and tribe.

Once the get together was over Julia sat down in her own little chair to draw (with Mom's help of course).

New Years Eve we had the Kingston family (from left to right: Steve, Julie, and their daughter Emma- Robert could not make it) over to our home. Getting together with the Kingstons has become an almost annual tradition since I moved to Tasmania (and Martha had come along for a few days).

The above picture is of a "craker" or "cracka." A cracker is a traditional Australian (and British apparently- at least they were on Dr. Who) New Year's tradition. The cracker is opened by pulling on both ends of the package. When pulled properly it pops open with a "Crack." Inside the cracker is a little gift or candy, and a joke and paper crown/hat. The more expensive the cracker the better the gifts, jokes, and hats.

Here Julie is modeling one of the crowns found in a cracker.
She is also pouring some punch.
As you can also see Julia is studying the punch.

Emma also modeling a crown.

After a good game of Balderdash, punch, and some cheese and crackers, we brought in the New Year with sparklers and a glow in the dark game of catch. The Kingstons brought a package of glow sticks which could be joined to form a ball. The pic above and below depict the ball hurtling through darkened space to its next receiver.

New year's Day we had a get together at our home. We ended up having to waves of visitors. The first group came over for a BBQ around lunch time.

Our friend Elva Salmon was even able to leave the hospital (she was under going some treatment) to join us.

After the BBQ we headed inside as the temperature was rising. In the left hand corner is Steve Kingston, then moving right, Pat Connors, Joan Cameron-Smith (having a little fun with Pat), and Pat's wife Mavis Connors.

Continuing to move from left to right: Emma Kingston, Pastor Raeburn Cameron-Smith, and Elva Salmon.

The lunch BBQ crew left by around 3pm or so. Martha and Julia both went down for naps while I cleaned up and sorted the left overs.

We were not sure if more folk would becoming but at 4pm Dennis Miller came by and the second stage of the BBQ began.

Dennis Julie and I doing a little reading over some tea.

Dennis helping Julia with her sandals so she can go outside.

Sometime after 5pm the Dinsmore family came over and we all had "Tea" (known as dinner to some in North AM). Pictured above from right to left: Alan Dinsmore, Martha Klaver, Deborah Dinsmore, Rowena Dinsmore, and Huon Dinsmore. Clancy and Lorraine Dinsmore were there as well but not in this photo.

The second half of the New Year's BBQ was a great success. We had a good time of food and fellowship until about 9pm.

It was a tiring couple of days but a real blessing to have some of the church family over to the Montifiore Manse!

Summer holidays (which still feel strange to me because I still expect cold) can be difficult being away from family but it is a great blessing to spend the holidays with new friends and church family!