Book review of “Beyond Greed” by Brian Rosner

Greed is a (the?) great Australian religion, though most people would not admit it. This is a great book to challenge us to think hard about whether we are worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ or whether greed is our true god. This is the second best book I have read on this topic.

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She Who Has A Name

We have named our new daughter Lydia Rachel Schuller. She is named after the Lydia in the early Christian church. Read the story in Acts 16:11-15. Rachel is named after the wife of Jacob in the Old Testament. In a nutshell: God’s people began with Abraham (2000BC). Abe’s son was Isaac, Isaac’s son was Jacob. From Jacob came the 12 tribes of Israel. Read the story in Genesis 29 and onwards.

(We weren’t originally going to go with another Bible name. In fact at one point we worked our way through the names of the women in the first round of the US Tennis Open. So she nearly ended up with a Russian name!)

5 minutes old:

After 48 hours:

Jemima and Lydia:

Josiah will make a good father one day:

Jemima is enjoying lots of cuddles:

A New Baby Girl

We are thankful to God to announce that Helen gave birth to a baby girl at 6:40am this morning (10th September 2004).

What a long night! Helen worked extremely hard and is recovering well. Praise God for his gift of new life, and for another image bearer to bring glory to him. We’re extremely grateful for the quality of hospitals and public maternal care in Australia.

The baby was 3.94 kilograms, 52 cm long and she is fairly sleepy (as expected).

We haven’t given her a name yet. Submissions are welcome, but the parents decision is final! 🙂

This is almost a smile:

What a relief for Helen after such a long wait:

I was very tired also:

She needs a name (we are not sure who Dave is):

A New Camera

After many years of waiting we finally went out and bought a digital camera. It is a Sony DSC-W1. I nearly bought the DSC-P100, but the W1 has a larger screen and uses non-proprietary batteries.

It worked in linux out of the box: under Fedora Core 2, I just plugged it in and ran “gphoto2 –get-all-files” (thank you gphoto!) from the command line. The graphical tool (gtkam) crashes quite alot though. I’m getting better at using The Gimp to rescale/rotate/crop images. I’m going to need a bigger computer to store all the photos.

It’s a nice camera, there is still some delay when taking the shot. I was hoping the image processor on the new Sony range would remove this, but it seems like only the SLR digitals can do this. We just have to become accustomed to it. It is heaps of fun being able to see the pictures immediately, rather than waiting weeks. You can plug the camera into the TV, which is a really good way to review photos, but also a good way to experiment with different settings.

I bought it from one of the Elizabeth St stores in the city. The amount of conflicting and naive advice I received was amazing. The cheapest place to buy new a camera in Australia seem to be web sites like:, (or ebay for the brave). These web sites run at very low margins (I doubt they even have stock – they just order whatever you order), so you get a good feel for what the cost price is. Mentioning these web sites (and their prices!) in an Elizabeth St store is a good way to get the price dropped. In the end I actually asked the guy in the store where could I find an internet cafe so I could go and do some research – I went away and came back later and was able to be more informed and had some prices to bargain against. This is a great way the internet has changed shopping habits – we no longer trust the advice of people in stores (did we ever?), and we don’t need to, because we can go on the internet to check facts. Typing the model name of a camera into google is a good place to start – although there are many camera “review” sites that simply rehash the contents of the manual. In the end I was happy to buy from the store which I received good advice, and I was keen to walk away with the camera. Besides the luxury of holding the physical camera, I see no reason why in the future I would not do all my research and purchases on the net.

Helen is very pregnant and we are prayerfully and eagerly awaiting the new baby (really the main reason for getting the camera):

Josiah is ever cute:

A bridge in North Melbourne:

Book Review of NT Wright’s “Jesus and the Victory of God”

I finished it! It was long, difficult, but very stimulating. There is so much one can say in a book review of “Jesus and the Victory of God” (JVG). There are some real gems, insights, and positive material that ought to radically change the way many evangelicals read and preach the gospels. NT Wright (NTW) asks the RIGHT questions, even if some answers are found wanting. Possibly he goes overboard at a few points. This book is not the last word, but the opening up of a very important conversation concerning the question of the identity/life/mission/message of Jesus of Nazareth. Read on for more…

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A Sermon on Acts 2 – The Pentecostal Experience

Acts 2 is one of my favourite passages, where many of the most exciting themes of the Bible’s storyline converge. I was privileged to be able to preach on Acts 2 this week. Here are some collected notes and thoughts on what it is about, as well as an mp3 of the sermon. Feedback wanted!

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Review of Peter Adam’s “Hearing God’s Words”

There is something special about reading books by great bible teachers whom you personally know and have been shaped by. I eagerly awaited getting my hands on Peter Adam’s book “Hearing God’s words – Exploring Biblical Spirituality“. I was not disappointed.

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Wasgij Warriors

Helen and I recently completed Destiny Wasgij 1 + Destiny Wasgij 3. We had already completed Destiny Wasgij 2 on holiday in Sandy Point last year.

The first time it took us about 30 person hours (we were on holiday!), but we have improved that time by many hours on the next two. We are getting good at jigsaws together! Josiah has memorised his 20 piece Thomas puzzle, so we upgraded him to a 25 piece Tonka jigsaw. He struggled with it for a few hours, but now he can do it very easily.

The only question left now is whether we attempt the 8 original Wasgij’s or find a different way to spend free time together!

Web site review:

I am a big fan of the writings of John Piper and is one of my favourite Christian websites. John Piper is a Baptist minister in the USA. His theology is heavily influenced by 18th century American preacher Jonathan Edwards. At first glance Piper feels very right-wing American, but if you read him carefully, there is much more depth, discernment and self-critique to what he writes.

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Review of NT Wright’s “What St Paul Really Said”

I have just finished reading NT Wright’s “What St Paul Really Said”. I really enjoyed it. The strengths of the books are Wright’s understanding of what Paul’s gospel is, and his use of biblical theology to place Paul against the Old Testament themes that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The controversy in this book concerns the “new perspective on Paul + justification”. He is not entirely convincing, but he usefully challenges us to consider whether we are reading Paul closely or projecting our historical theology onto him.

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First Post

Now that I am enjoying having a permanent web domain, I thought it would be good to have a web page to post occasional book reviews and thoughts on various topics. I don’t intend to put many hours into updating this page, but it might be a good discipline to write reviews of books as I read them. That way my friends from bible college and beyond can see what I have been reading to stimulate my faith and love for the Lord Jesus Christ. You can even leave comments!

Old Schuller’s Web Site

December 2003:

We are enjoying a nice holiday after a busy and hard year. Wayne has finished his four years of full time theological training at Ridley College.
For the last two years we have been involved in the local church of St Mark’s Family Church Reservoir West.

Photo in Cranbourne Shopping Centre carpark
Josiah and Jemima on their favourite step

Our house from behind
Wayne's beloved shed

August 1st 2002

Jemima Ruth Schuller is born!

February 20th 2001

Josiah Lucas Schuller is born!

April 1999

Marriage! Helen Pratt becomes Helen Schuller.