March 31, 2011
My friend ERIC has written some honest thoughts, expressing who he is on his own:
I am selfish. I am quick-tempered and impatient. I am a worrier, a controller, and an idolater. I am quick to let you down and often don’t even know it. I am lazy when I need to work and work when I should be resting. I am quick to put all the wrong foods in my mouth and let all the wrong words come out of it. I am ageing and feeling it more each day. I am entropy on the outside and chaos on the inside. I am a sinner.
No one really likes to dwell on these truths. These words aren’t glamorous; they’re brutally honest. They may never be anyone’s “quote of the day.” They are, however, Scriptural. Too often I find myself putting my best foot forward, or simply ignoring my weaknesses. But like Eric, and even more so, like the apostle Paul, I’m reminded to “boast in my weaknesses, that His power may be seen in me.”
March 31, 2011
Every now and then it is interesting to see how certain Scripture verses were translated in the Vulgate. For example, Ephesians 3:18, where Paul prays that the church might grasp the “breadth and length and depth and heights of Christ’s love,” has numerous cognates with English: “sit latitudeo et longitudo et sublimitas et profundam . . . caritatem Christi.” So, if we wanted to have some fun we could render that “the latitude and longitude and sublimity and profundity of Christ’s love.”
March 31, 2011
Well, it’s time to pack my bags for Germany. Trying to decide what to bring and what to leave behind is not an easy decision. I’ve narrowed it down to these four books:
(My Bible, a book on James, and two books I’m reviewing)
Can you blame me? How in the world am I going to be away from my girls for a whole week? I thought I would also share this picture with you: Joann, a friend in Louisburg, watched Melody on Tuesday for a few hours. When I got home from work this is what I saw:
March 28, 2011
“Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary. He told us to be not only ‘as harmless as doves’, but also ‘as wise as serpents’. He wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head. He wants us to be simple, singleminded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim. . . . The proper motto is not ‘Be good, sweet maid and let who can be clever,’ but ‘Be good, sweet maid, and don’t forget that this involves being as clever as you can.’ God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of any other slackers. If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all. But, fortunately, it works the other way round. Anyone who is honestly trying to become a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself. That is why an uneducated believer like Bunyan was able to write a book that has astonished the whole word” (Lewis, Mere Christianity, 78).
March 27, 2011
If you are doing any writing or research on the Gospel of Mark, I recommend that you check out Writing on the Gospel of Mark (2009) by William Telford. The book purposes to “provide a comprehensive guide to recent and current developments in the field,” and includes bibliographies over the various approaches to the Gospel, major works that have been published, and all dissertations –published and unpublished — in the past 25 years. The book also includes a full 300 page annotated bibliography arranged by passage and topic, and a section detailing the future of Markan research, explaining what aspects are desperately in need of research in Mark and where there are gaps needing scholarly attention. The indexes are extremely useful: index of authors, index of Markan references. Also, this book is the first in a series, meaning that such works will be produced on each book of the NT!
March 26, 2011
It looks like I will be couch surfing a couple of days in Germany next week. One of the families I’ll be staying with for two nights is in Tübingen, and they are originally from Israel. The gentleman worked for 9 years as a tour guide in Israel, spending most nights in tents and says one of his greatest interests is hiking the canyons of Israel’s deserts. He is an avid hiker, so maybe, just maybe, we will find time to hike while in Tübingen. Then in Bonn I’m hoping to stay with a gentleman who loves discussions about social life, psychology, politics, philosophy and the world in general. I’m hoping for some meaningful opportunities there.
Also, I found that the train is a very cheap way to travel in Germany — 120 Euro will get me from Leipzig to Munich to Tübingen to Bonn to Leipzig. The website for booking tickets is very useable (click HERE).
March 24, 2011
I have been wondering about this for some time now, and trying not to fret about what would happen if she’s not allowed to go overseas (if everything works out). I have asked a few Germans, and the standard reply is, “Oh yeah, Germans love dogs!” But I’m met with blank stares when I ask about the details and what’s involved with getting a pet overseas. Soooo, I just googled “Can I take my dog to Germany?” and was glad to see tons of information on the subject. One website (click HERE)offered seven steps towards getting your dog overseas. Take note of step number 6, which says, “If you cat or dog is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you . . . .” Hmmm, I’m sure we can figure out a way to fit Sophie, our 65 pound lab under the seat.
March 21, 2011
Have you ever wondered why the famous passage in Hebrews 4:12-13 about the word being living and active begins and ends with “the word”? Gene Smillie has written two excellent articles on the subject. He says,
The final usage of ho logos in Heb. 4:12-13, at the very end of the pericope, appears to be closely related to the better-known first occurrence of the term at the beginning of it. Many translations of the phrase pros hon hemin ho logos do not reflect this continuity of subject matter between the two instances of ho logos. While some translators opt for the commercial idiom, “to whom we must give
account,” study of that idiom throughout the NT shows that it is untenable. The second “word” is one of response, by the hearer, to the first word.
His articles are entitled:
“The ‘Other Logos’ at the End of Heb 4:13.” Novum Testamentum 47 (2005): 19–25.
“‘O Logos tou theou’ in Hebrews 4:12–13.” Novum Testamentum 46 (2004): 338–59.
March 21, 2011
I hope it is clear, whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Unaffiliated, that America is a militaristic state. We may talk about peace and an end to our fighting, but no matter who is in office, war(s) seem inevitable. And don’t be fooled by rhetoric that gets tossed around during campaigns. Consider this, in 2007 President Obama was asked:
“In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb [a nation] without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress?”
“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Sadly, this supposedly unconstitutional action was carried out in Libya this week. I am not trying to bash the president here, just to demonstrate that America’s current political environment is pro-war, with no end in sight.
March 19, 2011
My wife often asks me this question. She likes to know and discuss the various things I’m thinking and writing about. Oftentimes she disagrees with me and a lively discussion ensues. Other times she’ll have a fresh perspective that brings clarity to the issue. But one thing is true: she does not read what I write — that stopped a long time ago when we were in college. She does not read my blog or any school papers; she feels that if I am keeping her updated and discussing things with her she has no need to read them. In light of all of this, I got a huge chuckle out of Scripture Zealot’s recent post. He quotes Carl Truman, who said,
[W]hen asked by a student spouse the other week how she kept up with reading all that I read so that she could support me in my work, my wife’s response (worthy of Newman himself) was ‘Read what he’s reading??? Lovey, I don’t even bother to read what he’s writing!’ In fact, she famously claims never to have read anything I have ever written. Why should she? She lives with me and knows what I am really like.