December 17, 2015

Christmas Letter 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Petros @ 2:29 pm

Our newsletter for 2015. Happy Christmas to all!

Star Breeze dinner with XO

Dinner with the XO of the Star Breeze

Please click the link:

Christmas 2015 (PDF)

January 6, 2015

The Biography of Edward James Dunn, 1852-1933

Filed under: Uncategorized — Petros @ 10:44 am

The Life of Edward James Dunn

by Laraine Dunn

edited by Elaine Dunn Johnson from a 1943 manuscript.

(c) 1995 (All rights reserved)

Photo courtesy of Elain Dunn Johnson

Photo courtesy of E. D. Johnson

One day in August, 2007, I was checking the internet for hits on my name (which is not mere vanity but a useful way of seeing if the search engines are actually indexing the Barnabas Venture site), when I found a complete genealogy of my father’s side of the family (so much for security questions like, “What is your mother’s maiden name?”).  One of my Dad’s first cousins, Elaine Dunn Johnson (a.k.a., Donna Johnson), has gone to the enormous trouble of making a record of the Dunn and Johnson families.  Later, I found the page for my great grandfather, Edward James Dunn (1852-1933), and remembered that my father gave me a photocopy his biography written by my great Uncle Larry’s (Laraine Dunn, 1906-1988).  My photocopy was from an original typed by my father, Dr. Wallace Wilkinson Dunn, Jr., on an unspecified date.  I found out from the website that Donna had edited a MS in her possession, putting it in digital format.  I now publish that biography for the first time, as far as I know, to the broader world.  My thanks to cousin Donna, not only for the labor in editing this biography but also for giving me permission to publish it.

Some time after losing his young wife to typhoid fever in 1880, Edward James Dunn left his three children with family and made his way West to Oregon with the intention of continuing to Alaska in search of gold.  He stopped at the Oregon homestead of James M. Wilkinson with whom he made good friends, eventually marrying Wilkinson’s daughter Luella (1872-1955).  Ed and Luella had six children, including the second oldest, Wallace Wilkinson Dunn (1897-1991), who was my grandfather.  Ed never made it to Alaska but lived out his days in Oregon.  His grandson, Dr. Wallace Wilkinson Dunn, Jr., however, made his home in Alaska and completed the Dunn family’s trek Westward, though no one has found any significant quantities of the yellow metal.

Wally Dunn, Celebration of Life, October 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Petros @ 9:28 am

The PDF tells the story of Dr. Wallace W. Dunn, written by Kim Dunn, and mise-en-page by Amy Stevenson. Thank you so much for doing this work!


November 3, 2014

Rodolphe Kasser of Gospel of Judas fame

Filed under: biblical studies — Petros @ 4:24 pm

Note: I publish this blog post only after the passing of Prof. Rodolphe Kasser, editor of the Coptic Gospel of Judas, which caused quite a controversy a few years ago.

Rodolphe Kasser in an interview of with swissinfo.ch “damns” the church response to the Gospel of Judas.

swissinfo: When you received the manuscript it was in a dreadful state. How difficult was the task you faced?

Rodolphe Kasser: First of all we had to restore it. This was something that no one had done before. With other papyruses I had worked on you could delicately move around fragments using tweezers but as soon as you touched this one it just broke into more pieces.

No one had restored a MS before or no one had restored this MS?  If he was saying that the no one had ever restored this MS, it is like duh?  Or if he was saying no one had ever restored from pieces of papyri, that is just simply not true.  The Acts of Paul was arguably in worst shape than this.

swissinfo: Pope Benedict XVI also insisted last week that Judas was a traitor…

R.K.: It was a rather stupid response to say that this new text confirms the idea that Judas betrayed Jesus through love of power and money. That’s not the case at all.

Or is it more stupid to make a straw man argument?  The article never says that Pope Benedict claimed that the Gospel of Judas said that Judas betrayed Jesus for love of power and money.

swissinfo: Is the Church’s reaction motivated by fear?

R.K.: It is motivated by intellectual laziness. People don’t want to change what they have always believed. I noticed this reaction among people in the town of Yverdon where I live. Someone I know well told me they were against this new discovery because they didn’t like the idea of Jesus and Judas plotting together.

This strikes me as a extremely elitist.  Prof. Kasser would never remember but I once rode the train with him.  He said that that his wife is Italian and that pizza must be thin, and one should never put too much on it.  But it must be crunchy when you eat it.  We also discussed the Pastoral Epistles.  Despite not being a noted Pauline scholar or even a New Testament scholar, Rodolphe Kasser, the world renown Coptologist said that the Pastoral Epistles are categorically not by Paul; not “probably deutero-Pauline”, or “in my opinion, deuero-Pauline”, but there was no room to budge you are a stupid idiot if you believe otherwise, deutero-Pauline.  It was funny how he was equally dogmatic whether the subject was pizza or the authorship of the Pastoral Epistles.

April 18, 2014

A long awaited 2013 Christmas letter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Petros @ 7:39 pm

2013 Christmas Letter by Cathy Dunn

April 15, 2014

So long Samwise

Filed under: Uncategorized — Petros @ 6:54 am

Petros and Samwise

Samwise left to be with the Lord and we are all sad. Who can forget his memoirs that he wrote some years ago when he was a middle-aged cat?  I sure can’t. Memoirs of a Sleep Deprivation Expert. R.I.P.


May 9, 2012

Song to a house guest on the Atkins Diet

Filed under: poetry — Petros @ 6:00 pm

(to the tune of Bread’s “Look What You’ve Done”)

You have taken the spam from me
And left just the bread for me,
And look, look, look what you’ve done.
Well, you took only meat from me,
So come get some carbs from me,
And look back, finish what you’ve begun.

It’s not right just to take our meat,
Your diet is incomplete.
Look, at what it’s become.
For it’s due to the lack of food
Your plate has become so crude.
Look back, finish what you’ve begun.

December 12, 2011


Filed under: Meow,poetry — Petros @ 10:56 am

Our fourth-born kitten is Quartus.  I wrote this diddy because of his tendency to bite (to the tune of “What a friend we have in Jesus”):

What a friend we have in Quartus
Rubs his fur against our leg
All he wants is just some Qibble
Yes for that he’ll sqratch and beg.

Are you worqing on a thesis?
Quartus comes and bites our nose.
He won’t stop until he gets some,
If you feed him then he goes.

This is a rhyme in the style of Fezzick

One day Quartus left a little present,
Made the house smell not so pleasant.
Andrew protested he was innocent,
Quartus made his little deposit,
It was smelly like a piece of violet.
It’s aroma filled the room where we sit.

Leah lies longingly lullabying,
As she sits not silently singing
She visits our house and eats girl food.
And stares at the desk where Quartus pooed.

September 23, 2011

The Function of Prophecy in the New Testament

Filed under: biblical studies — Petros @ 5:25 pm
Tags: ,

At City of God, the question of whether preaching is prophecy is brought up.  Undoubtedly, this is the case, but there are many purposes of prophecy in the New Testament.  I wrote the following outline while part of Vineyard Church.  Scripture citations are from the Revised Standard Version.

Purposes of the Prophetic According to the New Testament

©2002 Peter W. Dunn


            Why do we need a strong prophetic ministry in the church?  It is very clear that the church cannot function as it was intended to unless God is in control, and He can only be in control if his people are listening to what He is saying.  The Spirit guides, builds up and purifies the church.  Pastors, if you want to know why your church is not healthy, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

I was recently told that prophecy may only edify and encourage–that NT protocols only allow for positive prophecy.  This is clearly not biblical.  There are many other purposes of the prophetic which go well beyond to edify and encourage.  This is strongly supported in the Post-Resurrection church, of which we are a part.

  1. To guide the church in mission
    1. Acts 9:  Peter’s vision, angelic visitation to Corneilius.  Propelled the church to open up to the gentiles and thus began the evangelization of non-Jews.
    2. Acts 8.26:  An angel speaks to Philip to go to south road towards Gaza.  There he meets the Ethiopian Eunuch.
    3. Acts 13:  Set apart Barnabas and Saul:  This propelled the gentile mission from its Antioch base.
    4. Acts 16.6-9: 6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; 8 so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing beseeching him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
      1. This was a wise choice for the Holy Spirit, because the Macedonian churches became Paul’s most generous supporters, and they often financed his missions to other parts of the world.  Prob. Lydia became his most generous supporter.
      2. There may be other good reasons, but we can never know.  If we step out in the flesh, we may make what looks like a good choice but with disastrous consequences.
  2. To expose demonic activity
    1. Jesus did this regularly
      1. Matt 16.23 (Jesus discerned that Satan was behind Peter’s rebuke).
      2. Luke 13.16 (Jesus knew the woman was bound by Satan for 18 years)
      3. Luke 22.31 (Jesus knew that Satan wanted to sift Peter like wheat)
    2. Jesus Disciples and followers also have this gift
      1. Luke 22.3 (How did the evangelist know that Satan had entered Judas; clearly someone had prophetic discernment);
      2. Acts 5.3  (Peter knew that Ananias had been inspired by Satan to withhold secretly part of the money).
      3. 2 Cor 12.7 (Paul knew that his thorn in the flesh came from Satan)
      4. 1 Thes 2.18 (Paul knew he had been hindered by Satan from coming to the Thessalonians)
      5. Revelation, a prophetic book, unveils the activity of the demonic in the persecution of the church (see esp. chs. 12-19).
  3. To encourage and edify
    1. “exhort” in English means, “To urge by strong, often stirring argument, admonition, advice, or appeal” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 3rd Ed 1992 by Houghton Mifflin.):  Hence the word (parakalo) parakalw in Greek may be translated as encourage or exhort, depending on context.  Hence, encouragement and edification can come in the form of strong admonitions or warnings.
    2. 1 Cor 14.31:  “For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged; …”
    3. Eph 5.19 “…addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, …”
  4. To reveal sin and the thoughts of people (Nathan reveals David’s sin in 2 Sam 12)
    1. Jesus
      1. Samaritan Woman at the well in John 4
      2. Luke 5.22; 9.47 (“Jesus perceived the thoughts of their hearts.”)
    2. 1 Cor 14.24-25:  “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
  5. To help maintain the doctrinal purity of the church
    1. To help the church make correct decisions regarding doctrine and practice.
      1. Acts 15.28:  “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us”:  Decision by the church elder not to require circumcision of Gentile believers.
    2. To warn against false doctrine and false teachers.”
      1. 1 Tim 4.1:  “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, …”
      2. Jesus speaking prophetically says:  Matt 24.4-5:  “Take heed that no one leads you astray.  For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.”
  6. To reveal the future to God’s people:  To help God’s people be prepared for difficult times.
    1. Agabus in Acts 11.27f.; 21.10f.
    2. The Book of Revelation reveals future persecutions
    3. Matt 10.16f.  Jesus predicts persecution against the disipcles.

VII. To pronounce judgment

  1. Jesus pronounces a future judgment against the Jews in Matt. 21-28-22.14; and 23.37-24.51.
  2. Acts 13.10-11:  Paul pronounces judgment on Elymas (also an example of purpose II).
  3. Acts 7.51: 51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.” Stephen’s discourse is prophetic; look tells us he is a man filled with the Holy Spirit and he is giving an apology, a defense for the faith:  see purpose VIII.
  4. On Christians:  Acts 5.9-10:  Peter pronounces a judgment of death upon Sapphira.
  5. Acts 8.20f.  Peter pronounces judgment on Simon Magus
  6. Gal 1.9:  Paul calls down a curse on the false teachers.

VIII. To help a martyr defend the faith, esp. at a time of persecution

  1. Matt 10.19-20: “When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
  2. Acts 4.8:  Peter gives a defense before the elders, scribes and high priest.  Luke explicitly tells us that his speech is prophetic.

IX. To act as a sign and wonder to propel evangelism (1 Cor 14.24-25)

X. To ordain leaders (1 Tim 1.18; 4.14)

January 18, 2011

An event puts the Apostles in conflict with the religious authorities: Acts 3

Filed under: biblical studies — Petros @ 9:58 pm
Tags: , , ,

On our first evening of the 9th of December, we noticed that there were many points of comparison between the Christians in the Acts 1 and us.   They were losing their leader; they needed to wait and to depend on the Holy Spirit; they were dealing with religious authorities who were acting in disobedience to God; they were living in highly chaotic times; they would be empowered for mission.   Then last week, we saw how God used the special event of the Day of Pentecost when Jewish pilgrims from all around the world came to Jerusalem to worship—perhaps the only time in their lives to make this special trip.  That was the day when the Holy Spirit animated the believers to each speak in the different languages of the Diaspora Jews.  That day 3000 Jewish people from all over the inhabited world came to accept Jesus as the messiah and the church had its first big growth spurt—from 120 to 3120.  As an investor that’s pretty good growth (26x).  But it is just about the right size for a group of 12 leaders–each apostle would be responsible for a congregation of 260.  We focused upon Luke’s description of the Spirit-filled community as characterized by signs and wonders, unity, fellowship, breaking of bread, generosity, prayer and adherence to apostles teaching.  The Holy Spirit caused these believers to study, conserve, and obey the apostles’ teaching, unlike the claim of the false bishop Gene Robinson, who said in an article in the Washington Post, that the Holy Spirit causes us to accept the homosexual lifestyle.  No, the Holy Spirit teaches us to remember Jesus’ teaching as it was preserved by the apostles.

In our passage today we see Peter and John entering the temple, passing a beggar.  Thus, for the moment, the apostles remained in a quiet mode.  They continue to worship in the Temple; indeed, they are observing a standard hour of prayer, the ninth hour (3:00 pm) which was also the moment of the evening sacrifice; and thus it appears that they continued tacitly to obey the leadership which had just condemned Jesus to the Romans to be crucified.  Perhaps we too can live in tacit obedience to the authorities, for a time.

Now the man whom God healed was visible to all who entered the Temple.  But now they do something that will put them again into conflict with authorities by powerfully healing a lame man.  This healing put the disciples in a confrontation with the officials of the Judaism, the Sanhedrin.  My question for Emmanuel Church is this:  When should we make our move?  When do we confront the Diocese and what form should our protest take?  When is it clear that the leadership has gone too far and their corruption is intolerable to God?

I was inspired by a story that I read in the American Thinker about a Pastor Walter Hoy; this man has gone to jail violating a bubble zone around an abortion facilty.  Chuck Colson writes (Breakpoint, Jan 14, 2011):

When Dr. King wrote his letter, From a Birmingham Jail, he addressed those who thought his civil rights activities unwise and untimely. In his speeches, Hoy also addresses those who say that his cause is worthy and just but that he should just wait. “I can’t wait.” Hoy says. “You see, my people are dying.”

Since 1973, he notes, over 14.5 million black babies have been killed by abortion. Every, single day, 1,200 black babies are put to death in abortion facilities, making abortion the leading cause of death among African Americans! Nearly half of all black babies concieved [sic] die in abortion chambers today. Hoy says this means that a black child is safer on the streets of the worst neighborhoods in American than in his mother’s womb.

Hoy notes that between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan. Today, abortion kills more black Americans in less than three days than the Klan killed in 86 years! Think of it.

American blacks make up twelve percent of the U.S. population, yet thirty-seven percent of all abortions are performed on black women. This is because eugenic-minded pro-abortion forces target American blacks by putting abortion clinics in black neighborhoods, according to Hoy.

The Rev. Hoy argues that there is a time to stand up to injustice; when is that?  When my people are dying.  But is it the time to stand up to the Diocese of Toronto?  Perhaps so.  When the church no longer upholds the teaching of the Apostles, then the result will be that people will no longer be able to hear the truth of the Gospel—the Gospel says simply this:  We are sinners estranged from the God who created us, and we need forgiveness from God.  God calls us to accept Jesus sacrifice for our sins and to turn back to him and away from our sins.  If people do not realize that they have sinned, then they are living in death.  And they will die; not a death of their body but the death of their spirit.  Our situation is every bit as grave as the genocide of black babies in the US.  Our passage says that God sent Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy, to bless us.  But how?  By turning us from our wicked ways (Acts 3.26).  Not by accepting us as we are, and calling our sins not sin.  The Anglican church wants to bless homosexual couples.  Why not bless adulterous couples?  Why not bless murders and idolaters?  These are all things that the Bible forbids?  How can a Bishop begin to bless what the Bible calls a sin?   That is absurd.  God blesses us by turning us away from our wickedness, not by blessing what the Bible calls wicked.  Say I am thief or greedy.  Does God bless my thievery or my greed?  No!  He calls me out of my sin, so that I can be restored to God.  But do you think that the Anglican church even has a concept of sin anymore.  Or don’t you think rather that the Anglican church expects us to bless people in their sins?  My people are dying, lost without God and they don’t even know it because the church is unwilling to teach repentance.

So perhaps we need to follow the example of the Walter Hoy and say enough is enough.  Thus, maybe we should stand in disobedience to the wicked leadership of the Diocese.  Or perhaps we should take the quiet approach of the disciples and continue to worship in the Temple.  But I think that in either case, we need to prayer that God’s Spirit will act: to do signs and wonders and to draw attention to who is standing on the side of the right.

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