December 24, 2011
What to make of Tebow? That is a loaded question. Tebow has been the focus of a lot of attention recently, both for his outspoken faith and for his uncanny football style. Let me share some thoughts about Tebow from the perspective of a fellow believer:
- Tebow is modeling how faith in Jesus affects every aspect of one’s life. He is refusing to compartmentalize or fragment his life into neat categories such as “football” and “personal life” and “faith in Jesus.” Instead, Tebow is showing that faith in Christ spills over into the nitty-gritty aspects of life — including the football field. In the process, I’m challenged to see if Christ is affecting every aspect of my own life in such an obvious way.
- Tebow is demonstrating that faith in Christ is vocal. Christ is not to be kept in some secret closet, but rather, like the disciples in Acts, Tebow is finding it impossible to keep silent about what he’s seen and heard. Am I speaking about Christ with every opportunity I get?
- Tebow is demonstrating that faith in Christ is seen in action. Just take a look here or here. Am I demonstrating my faith in word and in deed?
- Tebow is willing to be faithful in his witness despite the fact that this makes him a controversial figure. He is shrugging off the status quo that would have him be just another nice guy, or simply “religious.” Instead he is making it plain that Jesus is what he’s all about, and people do not like that. Am I willing to be faithful to Christ, despite the fact that it’ll arouse controversy?
With all the Tebow hype, I can’t help but wonder if his desire to stand for Christ is perhaps a source of conviction or motivation for other believing sports figures. Perhaps Tebow is causing some soul-searching as people ask themselves, “I believe . . . why am I not so outspoken for Jesus?”
December 23, 2011
As I’ve mentioned recently, my family is preparing for a move to Germany. As you’ve probably also noticed, I’m pretty excited and will have a lot to say about the process. Let me share with you what I am doing to help prepare myself for the academic studies in Munich:
- Between now and May/June when we hope, Lord willing, to move, I am focusing on honing my language skills. I am trying to read at least 10 verses a day from the Hebrew Old Testament. I refer primarily to Keil and Delitzsch for issues encountered in the Hebrew. I’m also practicing my Latin. Daily reading in the Vulgate is the bare minimum, but I’m also trying to work through a classical grammar.
- My major focus when it comes to language preparation is Greek and German. I’m balancing my time between these since the bulk of my work in Munich will relate to these languages. For Greek I am just about to complete my first reading of the Greek NT. I am also working through a classical grammar that includes translations from English to Greek. When it comes to German, I recently felt that I had hit a wall and was making little progress. Motivation had bottomed out. All of this changed when I was given a few new German magazines and the newest edition of Deutsch Perfekt. I’m finding the Zeitschrift entitled Deutsch Perfekt to be greatly helpful, since it offers contemporary readings on a host of topics and themes, with different levels of difficulty, and with reading helps on hard words. Now I’m finding it hard to put the German down and pick up the Greek.
- There are a couple of things I would like to read between now and Germany. Mostly I would like to read in the area of NT backgrounds: things such as Josephus, Philo, Apostolic Fathers, maybe some Apocrypha, a rhetorical handbook, Homer, and probably Dictionary of NT Background.
- In order to make time for these languages and readings, I am not aiming to try to get much published in the next few months. As of now I am only working on one book review (Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles by K. Jobes for Criswell Theological Review). I’m also planning on turning down an opportunity to write another article for the Lexham Bible Dictionary since this will take away time from my other pursuits.
In some upcoming posts, I hope to share with you how I’m preparing spiritually for Germany, and also how we as a family are preparing.
December 20, 2011
Today my thoughts are with my sister Rebecca, who just began having complications with her pregnancy and is on mandatory bed rest. Rebecca, I listened to this song today and thought immediately of you; I first heard it with you as the family was dropping me off for college in Toccoa. I pray this song reminds you that “the pressures of the world on your shoulder” are no match for HIM:
December 19, 2011
Well, let me officially say I’m back and ready to blog again. As you may have noticed, I decided earlier this fall to take a break from blogging. Now I’m going to give you an update on what I was working on and accomplished during my blogging sabbatical:
- I finished my th.m. thesis (masters of theology). My thesis, which clocked in at 172 pages, was entitled “Interpreting Microstructures through Discourse Analysis, with Specific Application to the Text of James 5:13-18.” And, with my th.m. thesis completed, I graduated this past Friday and am officially done at SEBTS (which means I have no books checked out from the library, but soon can check out a maximum of 5 with an alumni account). Family was here for the weekend to celebrate.
- I was officially accepted by the faculty of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität-München for doctoral studies. Now I am awaiting the final word from the school’s international office. The application process was quite thorough: I had to get several references, academic transcripts (including elementary and high school), even SAT scores from high school.
- I completed my application to the DAAD, which offers scholarships for students to study in Germany. In order to apply for this, I had to again gather transcripts, references, etc. I also had to take a German proficiency exam, which included speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension. On my test I received a 3 out of 5 on each area, meaning I can communicate in German in general topics and in scientific topics of medium difficulty. Before I can begin at Munich I will need to be completely fluent. Needless to say, I have spent and will continue to spend considerable time working on my German.
- Any spare time I had was spent with my wife and daughter, who is now a year old, beginning to talk, and walking up a storm.
So, there you have it. That’s what I’ve been up to. In my next couple of posts I’ll let you know what I plan on doing now. Also, tomorrow evening (Tues) we’ll be having my German conversation partner over for dinner. I’ll be sure to post pictures so you can “meet” her.