Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Just Curious

How would you critique this work of art?
Also, a follow up, would you hang postmodern art in your house? Why or why not?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sale Price on the Biblia Sacra Utriusque Testamenti

Biblia Sacra Utriusque Testamenti

Biblia Sacra Utriusque Testamenti
Editio Hebraica et Graeca
The Nestle-Aland 27th edition and BHS small edition bound together

Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft Stuttgart, 1994
93 + 810 pages (Greek) + lvii + 1574 pages (Hebrew), Greek and Hebrew
ISBN: 3438052504
List Price: $139.99
Your Price: $76.99

Thursday, April 12, 2007


The task of understanding and then appropriating a methodology for ministry begins early on in our spiritual lives. We are unwittingly yoked to certain philosophy's long before we reach ministry. These different presuppositions come from many places including our former pastor's and the schools with which we received our training.

One of these presuppositions pounded into my thinking from an early age was a disjunct between the halls of academia and the laymen in the pew on Sunday morning. While it is not within the scope of this discussion as to how this disjunct arose, I would like to look at the effect of this separation through the eye's of the local church. The issue can be boiled down to one's view of the purpose of the college (and seminary) and the purpose of the church. While I'll not debate your individual school or church's position, I will share with you several comments I've heard from both sides of the issue.

Often times (in both undergrad and grad work) professors have made comments along these lines "This material is probably not suitable for the congregation as it will. . . (e.g. cause them to loose respect for the principal of inspiration, etc.)" The same sentiment is voiced from the layman's perspective in the comment, "We don't need to know all that deep theology, we merely need to know how be holy." Within the realm of evangelicalism today there is a disjunct between theology and holy living.

This is terribly unfortunate and has led to many extremes. Our modern fundamental movement is fraught with either elite intellectualism or legalistic morality! The biblical model, as we are readily aware, does not present such a disjunct but welds theology and practice together. Romans 12:2, a text often quoted, cites "mind renewal" as the means for sanctification. Countless texts cite the need to think right. Inculcating right doctrine is crucial for right actions. To often, however, this doctrine is dry -- most likely because it had no effect on the presenter to begin with.

Bunyan had a much different approach to solving the issue of promoting spiritual growth. He states in a sermon:
“Apples and flowers are not made by the gardener, but are the effect of the planting and watering. Plant in the sinner good doctrine, and let it be watered with the word of grace, and as the effect of that, there the fruits of holiness and the end everlasting life. Good doctrine is the doctrine of the Gospel, which showeth to men that God clothed them with the righteousness of His Son freely, by which free gift the sinner is declared righteous before God. Therefore, there is infused a principle of grace into the heart, whereby it is both quickened and bringing forth fruit!”

There is no disjunct in the mind of Bunyan between theology and morality. Positional truth, the fact of our reconciliation, our justification, and our redemption should be the fountainhead for all our preaching and teaching. Far from promoting apathetic or licentious believers, this is our only hope for true holiness. When we promote the gospel and all its benefits we are in turn promoting Christ -- pleading with people to look to him.

To know Him is to love Him and to love Him is to serve Him!

Would You Agree?

It seems that confusion in the areas of ecclesiastical and personal separation share a common cause, oversimplification. What should be a nuanced decision based on biblical principles turns into a simple one based on pre-established guidelines. It seems it is easier to categorically approve or disapprove than to practice discernment. Could it be that the way forward would be to recognize that undiscerning oversimplification in separation has negative consequences and continue to try to teach discernment as the guiding principle for personal and ecclesiastical matters? Would you agree or disagree? Why or why not? The implications of this would seem to imply that one who says that he intends to "take the high road" is often ignoring the dangers of such an approach, namely that he loses the practice of his discernment and establishes a rule of life that when applied to others does not flow from the principles of the gospel. It seems that "legalism" is a matter of what is the warrant behind one's decision. One would hope such an approach would lead to a greater degree of holiness and love, not a lesser one.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He is not here, for He has risen!

Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”
And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus *said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ “And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.” And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.
But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

(Matthew 28:1-20 NAS95S)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Emerging Youth Group

Whenever big-name types come to speak in chapel at DTS, at least one of the different groups on campus will try to get them to speak after chapel at a "Brown Bag" lunch. Anyone who wants to attend brings their own lunch in a brown bag (hence the name) and gets to listen to the speaker and ply him with questions about the nature of the Nephilim in Genesis 6 (and other such questions).

Last week Dawson McAllister was on campus, recording a podcast and speaking in chapel.

He spoke on the importance of "trench warfare" in youth ministry. He gave us an overview of his ministry and played a number of clips from the radio show.

Anyway, I was of course quite jazzed about his message, since my area of ministry is youth.

So, imagine how excited I was when I discovered that Pipeline, the youth ministry group on campus, was hosting a Brown Bag with the Sr. High youth pastor (Charley Hellmuth) at Irving Bible Church, who "is leading a great example of an EC youth ministry." The author of the annoucement doesn't specify if by EC he means Emerging Church or the Emergent Conversation. Either way, it should be a good talk, especially if we "dialogue" as the ad says we're supposed to.

So, this brings me to my question: For all y'all out there who know more about the Emerging/Emergent Church (I know, they're two different things, but they're lumped together in this topic), what's the impact the EC has/should have on youth ministry? Can it be ignored, or must it be addressed in youth ministry?

Sound off!

Methodical Bible Study

I came across this quote from Robert Traina's "Methodical Bible Study" while doing some class reading today. It's in his section on allegorical interpretation, page 174:

"There is a vital difference between true conclusions and accurate or valid conclusions in relation to interpretation. The lessons one draws form a passage may be true, that is, in general keeping with Scriptural facts and with reality, simply because one is sufficiently acquainted with the Bible to be able to draw conclusions which are congruous with it. However, this does not imply that one's conclusions represent a valid exegesis of the passage. For valid conclusions are those which legitimately grow out of a particular passage, and not merely those which generally correspond with Biblical truth. Thus though the allegorical interpreter may draw lessons from a unit which are true, they are not necessarily accurate. And what the expositor should strive for are accurate deductions."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Atonement...

From Grudem's Systematic Theology
Many readers of the Gospels in the ancient world would have witnessed crucifixions and thus would have had a painfully vivid mental picture upon reading the simple words "And they crucified him" (Mark 15:24). A criminal who was crucified was essentially forced to inflict upon himself a very slow death by suffocation. When the criminal's arms were outstretched and fastened by nails to the cross, he had to support most of the weight of his body with his arms. The chest cavity would be pulled upward and outward, making it difficult to exhale in order to be able to draw fresh breath. But when the victim's longing for oxygen become unbearable, he would have to push himself up with his feet, thus giving more natural support to the weight of his body, releasing some of the weight from his arms, and enabling his chest cavity to contract more normally. By pushing himself upward in this way the criminal could fend off suffocation, but it was extremely painful because it required putting the body's weight on the nails holding the feet, and bending the elbows and pulling updward on the nails driven through the wrists. The criminal's back, which had been torn open repeatedly by a previous flogging, would scrape against the wooden cross with each breath. Thus Seneca (first century AD) spoke of a crucified man "drawing his breath of life amid long-drawn-out agony" (Epistle 101, to Lucilius, section 14).
A physician writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1986 explained the pain that would have been experienced in death by crucifixion:
Adequate exhalation required lifting the body by pushing up on the feet and by flexing the elbows...However, this maneuver would place the entire weight of the body on the tarsals and would produce searing pain. Furthermore, flexion of the elbows would cause rotation of the wrists about the iron nails and cause fiery pain along the damaged median nerves...Muscle cramps and paresthesias of the outstretched and uplifted arms would add to the discomfort. As a result, each repiratory effort would become agonizing and tiring and lead eventually to asphyxia.

In some cases, crucified men would survive for several days, nearly suffocating but not quite dying. This was why the executioners would sometimes break the legs of a criminal, so that death would come quickly, as we see in John 19:31-33