Friday, August 26, 2011

Would It Be Ok To Burn the Koran?

If you said no to the title of this post and you're honest to yourself, the following link should just rankle you silly, Iranians Seize 6500 Bibles, Burn 300.

Remember Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who made all the fuss in burning ONE Koran? Will those non-Muslims (at least for the sake of argument) who were offended at such insensitivity now condemn the action of the Iranian government here? Is there any reason they shouldn't if they claim to be fair to all people?

(By the way, I don't think it's ok to burn a Koran. I'd rather have someone actually read it [I know, I know, translations aren't inspired..., but you can get a "gist,"at least] and get back to me. :) )

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

N.T. Wright Clip of the Day - Character

This is why Christians don't live "good" or moral in order to "get to heaven" or "avoid hell."

Here's N.T. Wright succinctly giving the biblical rationale for developing character and virtue, keeping in mind the proper eschatology.

After You Believe

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What Do Most Americans Think Jesus Did?

I find this fascinating. On one of the blog sites I follow via RSS, the Friendly Atheist, the author shared a video of a secular Jew telling what she knows about Jesus' life by piecing together bits from Christmas stories specials (which I admit, I haven't seen many of, if at all...) and the trailer for the Passion of the Christ. Here's a link to the page: A Secular Jew Explains the New Testament

Now, before perhaps a Christian shrugs it off before looking at: Yes, I know it's a semi-impromptu synopsis of the Gospels and NOT the New Testament, but just remember, the blogger Hemant's expertise isn't in the biblical texts. And that's fair enough since he doesn't claim to be (and I take his comment "Sounds perfect to me" to just be him being facetious, hence the :)). And just think, how well do most Christians know the Gospels beyond several snippets?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Machine Gun Preacher

Thanks goes to my brother Stephen for sharing this:

Now, I know nothing at all beyond the trailer. But I have a few questions to throw out there:

Does this show what a genuine faith could look like which takes the good news to heart that God created and redeemed this world through the work of Israel's Messiah Jesus, and through his Spirit he sets people apart (sanctifies) to be part of his restoring purposes?

Craigs Evans on the "Third Quest" of Jesus Studies

If you're interested in what's been called the "Third Quest" of Jesus studies, or have never heard of the various "Quests," you'll find this short interview with Craig Evans interesting:
The Future of Historical Jesus Studies.

This is something N.T. Wright covers as well in detail in volume 2 of his Magnum Opus, "Jesus and the Victory of God" (isn't that an awesome title?). It's a book I'd highly recommend to anyone who wants to check out the Gospels in a fresh perspective, while looking at the big narrative picture in the Bible and incorporating much of what we know from modern Jesus research and Second Temple sources we've now discovered in the past century.

I've attached an Amazon link below if you want to give it a look:

What Did Jesus Look Like?

I say an article about a week back about Rembrandt's painting(s) of Jesus on Veith's blog (The Face of Jesus). 

What's interesting to me is two things, and they both are related. One, how different people in different ages and countries have depicted Jesus in art. I think it's healthy and good to have Jesus looking different, aka, not ALWAYS a 1st century Galiliean (though those are probably my favorite ones...). This personalizes him and can move people to engage the good news with their senses. Of course, the good news itself that Jesus is Lord and God raised him from the dead is God's power (Romans 1), but that power works psychologically and through our senses. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The KJV, Tyndale, and Translating the Good News

The infamous N.T. Wright recently presented a paper in London at the International SBL conference on Bible Translation. I've given the link here: N.T. Wright SBL Monarch's Message.

This is a must read for anyone involved in the current dialog and debates about which Bible translation(s) to use, and whoever has interest into the story and development of the 1611 King James Bible.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

That's not in the Bible...

Have any one of you "liturgical" guys out there found yourselves in a similar discussion?

Talking With Biblicists

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quite the Useful Term, Christianism

I just may be slow, but I came across the term "Christianism" in a recent blog post and it caught my eye. The link is here: CHRISTIANISM REDUX

The concise definition he gives is: "the fusion of politics and religion for the advancement of political goals." Nifty, eh?

Has the New Atheist Movement Fizzled Out?

As a sort of follow-up to my previous post on New Atheism, The Naive Epistemology of the New Atheist Movement, a recent book was published by Anglican priest Alister McGrath on the sort of "fizzling" of the New Atheist movement. I've only read excerpts, but it looks promising! 

I mean, I have noticed personally that on several (by several, I mean 20+) of the prominent "atheist" blogs (which for the time will remain nameless) I regularly follow that the bloggers tend to keep repeating the same basic ideas, and thereby not really advance much discussion or ideas...

Here is a link to a concise review:
Book Review: "Why Won't God Go Away" by Alister McGrath

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quote of the Day

'When Luther's puppy [n. 116, Luther's dog Tölpel is mentioned again and again in his "Table Talk".] happened to be at the table, looked for a morsel from his master, and watched with open mouth and motionless eyes, he [Martin Luther] said, "Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise he has no thought, wish, or hope.
Luther's Works, Volume 54, Table Talk (Philadelphia: 1967), pp. 37, 38. May 18, 1532

NNIV, Good or Bad? Why?

I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not, but here we go!

I've been following many blogs and comments on the NNIV (or the NIV 2011), and there's a little love, but a lot of hate. And personally, as I've stated in a previous post (, I haven't been in the habit of reading any Bible translation in general (I read the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek). So it's hard for me to get behind many who strongly favor this or that translation, because all of them fall so short in so many ways.

Actually, the more I look at the NET (, the more I like that one. But that's a post for another day. This is what gets me. A lot of people saying in general why they don't like the NNIV without giving compelling specific verses. Many just cite "gender neutral language" or "obscures messianic prophecies," etc.

This post is my invitation to all the list ONE specific verse (or a few passages, I suppose, if necessary. But be CONCISE!!!) that the NNIV treats exceptionally well or exceptionally bad. Then we can look at it and get some discussion going. Let's see how this goes...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You, Only You, Have I Wronged - Psalm 51

You can't read through the Psalter without reflecting on this gem here.

Psalm 51 is used heavily in the liturgy, and given King David's awful spiral of lust, adultery, and murder, this Psalm gives us a vivid setting (2 Samuel 11-12) to contemplate how a man so great and after God's own heart went so wrong.

First off, notice how David quickly admits his multi-faceted wrong. He doesn't say, "Change my circumstances." He says, "Change me." He says this because his evil self, the natural self which doesn't have God's renewing Spirit, is conceived in sin and is rotten to the core.

Reformation True

Reformation True
Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura