January 2005 Blog Archives
Monday, January 31
6:55 AM I return to full-time teaching this week after my sabbatical with this challenging thought in my mind and upon my heart:
(Below: "The Knitting School," by Fritz Sonderland.)
6:22 AM Evanhead asks a very good question:
In our family time we have been reading about the persecuted church in Ethiopia. We ran across one statement that both made us chuckle and gave us pause at the same time: "I thank God that [during the Marxist persecution] I was never separated from my wife, except for the two years I was in prison." Amazing! Never separated except for two years! In Hebrews we read that believers were tortured and refused to be released so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced flogging, while others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawn in half; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted, and mistreated (Heb. 11:35-38). These believers considered it an honor to suffer for the Name. If we are ever called upon to suffer that way, may we face those times as those who have gone before us did. Truly, "the world was not worthy of them."
6:17 AM As an incurable hippophile I find the art of Judy Larson simply breathtaking. Here's an example ("Fire and Flight"):
6:15 AM A favorite teacher remembered:
Can you remember a favorite teacher? If so, why not send him or her a note of appreciation TODAY?
6:12 AM I am excited to see more and more homeschoolers teaching themselves the language of the New Testament. Here's a good introduction to the subject by a homeschooling mom. Remember, there are many excellent textbooks around. If for some reason you should decide to use my beginning grammar, I would be happy to supply you with a workbook and a cassette tape on pronunciation gratis. Just email me with your mailing address.
6:10 AM From the mailbag:
Thanks so much for this thoughtful note. I am glad that you finally found our blog, and hope that it will continue to be an inspiration to you. Many thanks for writing and for your kind remarks.
6:06 AM Dr. Lyman of the award-winning Homeschooling Revolution sent me this interesting link on the New Age gospel.
Saturday, January 29
3:24 PM I highly recommend a visit to the website of the Southwest Wake Christian Assembly. Their elders write:
3:22 PM Is True Love Waits a failure? Do youth groups and peer pressure counteract the pledge?
3:20 PM Worship at all times, but meet as a church primarily to edify.
3:11 PM Ministering to our youth:
8:10 AM This is the best article on Social Security I've seen in some time.
6:55 AM Our Reformation Tour will highlight the Anabaptists of Zurich. This essay reminds me of the great price some of them paid for their obedience to King Jesus:
6:50 AM I grew up next to the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station, which just experienced the loss of 27 men in one day. All Hawaii mourns, and I mourn with her.
6:48 AM Many people who think they are constitutionalists are in reality anti-constitutional neoconservatives. For a good definition of a real constitutionalist, read Chuck Baldwin's latest essay.
6:46 AM The latest issue of the scholarly journal Novum Testamentum offers an essay on "The Irony of Romans 13," arguing that what at first blush appears to be an uncompromising endorsement of political authority is actually a deft criticism of Roman rule under Nero. If you have access to a good theological library you should read this piece. Very interesting.
6:40 AM My esteemed colleague Dr. George Braswell recently retired and is here honored in an article that appeared in the Raleigh News and Observer.
6:38 AM Doug Phillips offers some salutary advice to our nation's politicians on the Iraq War:
Practical Solutions for Ending the War on Terror
6:37 AM I am happy to introduce a website devoted to religious freedom that contains numerous thought-provoking essays on the topic of church incorporation.
6:33 AM Greg Welty, who earned his M.Div. from Westminster Seminary, has written an evaluation of paedobaptism. To those unfamiliar with the debate, this essay is well worth reading.
Friday, January 28
6:33 AM G. I. JANES: U.S. women are getting closer to combat. For a Christian response, please see the Forum on Women in the Military at Vision Forum Ministries, a collection of essays by Doug Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Phil Lancaster, Jennie Chancey, Rus Walton, Cort Kirkwood, and Jane Chastain, plus the text of resolutions passed by the Reformed Church in the United States and Messiah's Congregation in Brooklyn, New York.
6:30 AM I first met John Leone, a New Jersey cop, at last year's Constitution Party Convention in Valley Forge. He was one tough guy with a soft heart for Jesus and for people. John recently celebrated the one year anniversary of his conversion to Christ and has shared his experience with his readers at his website. When you have a few minutes, read what John has to say about his spiritual pilgrimage. You won't be disappointed. Happy Anniversary, brother John, and thank you for your testimony to God's faithfulness and saving grace. I rejoice with you.
6:25 AM Who needs Jesus when you've got Jabez? (I know, I've already linked to this subject, but it's too interesting to pass up.)
6:20 AM I had someone email me yesterday asking where they could find a Reformed-minded Baptist Church, and here's the link I sent them.
6:18 AM I was reading my Gute Nachricht yesterday and stumbled across a great little poem in the margin on p. 272 (Acts 2):
The allusion is obviously to our man-made political and ecclesiastical Towers of Babel, which, of course, always lead to our downfall.
6:15 AM I enjoy the blogging that goes on over at Get Religion, and here's a good example of the high quality punditry one finds there. The topic was the president's inaugural speech.
6:12 AM Darrell over at the Dow Blog lays down the gauntlet and wants to know why Pat Buchanan backed the Bush candidacy even though he considers the current administration to be "utopian" (code word for Messianic). I have wondered the same thing - out loud. Pat, it seems to me, is still hoping against hope for a dramatic shift in thinking in the GOP, expecting it to suddenly renounce its fervid neoconservatism in favor of a more traditional (and constitutional) approach to world politics. I have a good many friends who are hoping for the same thing. I once thought that way too, but I simply gave up after it became obvious to me that a real alternative already existed, one that supported constitutionally limited government and also took an uncompromising pro-life position (i.e., I became a one-issue voter). I still have a great deal of respect for Mr. Buchanan but I wish he'd make up his mind on this one.
6:10 AM Brazilian Reformed Baptists.
6:08 AM Read more about the homeschoolers stunning debate victory at Oxford.
6:05 AM Dr. Patrick Johnson gave this excellent speech at the Denver March for Life Rally. Among several interesting points he makes is that the original Hippocratic Oath included a vow not to kill the pre-born: "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy." Please take the time to read the entire speech and tell your friends about it.
Thursday, January 27
6:33 AM As soon as the ground dries out a bit we need to begin readying the soil for our summer garden. For our vegetables we will put in raised garden beds this year, for a variety of reasons. We'll also expand our cornfield and finish fencing in the farm. Then to start on the magnum opus: the horse barn. What fun!
6:30 AM Paul Alexander reviews The Purpose Driven Life. He makes some very telling points. Here's a teaser:
6:27 AM What is worse than disunity (J. C. Ryle):
6:25 AM Abraham Kuyper: “There is not an inch of any sphere of life over which Jesus Christ does not say, ‘Mine.’”
Let us, this day, submit everything we do to the Lordship of Christ.
6:24 AM This poem by James Lowell says it all.
6:22 AM They're calling for a wintry mix this weekend, so our service at Hebron Christian Church this Sunday may or may not be held. We'll keep you informed.
6:21 AM Re-opening an ancient can of worms?
Wednesday, January 26
3:40 PM Some good advice from our friends at Faith and Dominion:
3:33 PM Guess who likes SpongeBob?
3:10 PM Carmon Friedrich's computer had a hiccup and she lost her original post for the day. I'm sort of glad she did, as it led her to publish what otherwise I may have never seen - a wonderful review of The Great Escape by her eldest child. How about some follow-up reviews of Patton, Bridge on the River Kwai, Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan? BTW, no less spectacular was the escape of two British officers from Stalag Luft 3 using the now famous Wooden Horse. Incidentally, they made a "home run."
6:23 AM God has blessed me with several good friends who function as iron sharpening iron. One of these men is Doug Phillips. Yesterday the Doug Phillips family attended the March for Life in DC, and Doug filed this outstanding report that goes to the very heart of the issue and spells out in unmistakable terms what's wrong with our "pro-life" leadership in Washington. I respectfully invite all my friends who voted for George Bush to take the time to read Doug's report carefully and prayerfully, and be sure to click on The First 100 Ways link he provides. All I can say is: Thank you Doug for your uncompromising, courageous, and outspoken stand in defense of the defenseless. May God bless you richly for it.
6:18 AM It was a nice try yesterday, Senator Byrd, but the cards were stacked against you. As O’Brien of the Inner Party told the hapless Winston Smith in 1984, “Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.”
6:15 AM Family Worship: Read the book here.
6:14 AM A very good question, with some very good answers:
What steps can be, or have been, taken in traditional churches to bring them closer to the family friendly condition?
6:12 AM Pine tree crosses.
6:05 AM First off, heartiest congratulations to Dr. Lyman for winning best education/homeschool blog in the Best of Blogs Awards 2004. I'm not at all surprised, Izzy. Your site is, well, fantastico.
Tuesday, January 25
4:12 PM Is this the darkness before the dawn? Or are things just getting worser and worser?
3:45 PM If you are planning on taking our Reformation Tour this summer, you might consider learning a bit of German beforehand (though this is definitely not a requirement for the tour!). Here's a great place to get started. (Below: The famous Heidelberg Castle.)
3:43 PM Founders Ministries offers some excellent helps to teachers who use the LifeWay Explore the Bible Sunday School curriculum. They are written by Dr. Sam Tullock, Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Wylie, Texas. Check them out.
3:37 PM Rolling Stone magazine has repented. It will publish an ad for Zondervan's TNIV after all. Seems only fitting for a zine that could print the following on p. 71 of its January 21 issue (tip: Get Religion):
3:33 PM A letter signed by 12 retired U.S. generals opposes Gonzalez.
3:33 PM Just a thought. In "democratic" America today we will murder more than 4,000 innocent and helpless pre-borns without a single word about it in the news. We call this holocaust "personal choice." We rightly pity the suffering in Indonesia, but isn't the Lord speaking to us about the agony so very close to home?
3:30 PM There are about 6,800 mutually unintelligible languages in existence today. Many languages spoken in the past have ceased to exist and new languages have been constantly emerging. For an interesting list of dead and dying languages, go here. Incredibly, one of them is called Hawaiian Pidgin Sign Language!
3:25 PM Believers in Ethiopia are tough people. They've been through great persecution, and they do this twice a week. I think I'll join them this summer when I spend six weeks teaching Greek in Addis.
3:23 PM In pictures: Auschwitz, 60 years after liberation.
3:20 PM I am currently rereading one of my all-time favorite books. Moonless Night by Jimmy James describes his escape, along with 75 other allied POWS, from Stalag Luft 3 in Sagan, Poland, in March of 1944 (in the so-called "Great Escape"). Later he was imprisoned in the notorious Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Berlin, from which he also escaped! I purchased this rare book during a trip to London a few years ago in one of those ubiquitous bookstores near Piccadilly Circus. Last March they commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Great Escape on the actual site. In case you're interested, you can read about it here. The escape was also featured on NOVA. Being an avid horseman and therefore somewhat of a risk-taker myself, I have nothing but the greatest admiration for these men who risked everything to make their way back home. Their courage, determination, ingenuity, and initiative are unforgettable. My dream is to travel to the site of Stalag Luft 3 sometime. Anyone care to join me? (Below: Jimmy James at the commemoration in Sagan. Can you imagine what was going through his head?)
6:18 AM QOTD (Thomas Paine):
6:17 AM May the words of Daniel Webster encourage each of us to become an “American without Reserve.”
6:15 AM Points to ponder from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
6:13 AM Two leaders in the movement to abandon government schools are Marshall Fritz of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State and Rev. E. Ray Moore of the Exodus Mandate. Rev. Moore has written a manifesto entitled Let My Children Go, which is must reading for parents. According to Moore the phrase "public school" is a misnomer since the term implies that these schools serve and are answerable to the public. Far from it, he says. They answer to government bureaucrats, pure and simple. If you want schools that truly serve the public, try private or Christian schools that operate independently of Uncle Sam. If you are reconsidering sending your children to public school, Moore's book is well worth a look.
6:10 AM My friend Dan Wallace offers this essay on church leadership:
Who Should Run the Church? A Case for the Plurality of Elders
He concludes with a very astute "pragmatic" observation:
If you would like to read more on this vitally important subject, go here.
6:05 AM Paul DeParrie recently offered this timely challenge:
6:03 AM I want to thank Dr. Stan Monteith for having me on his radio program last night. He was an extremely gracious host who asked excellent questions and kept the discussion moving at a brisk clip.
One of the topics we discussed was the American holocaust during the last four years, a time in which "pro-life" Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the presidency, and seven of the current nine supreme court judges were appointed by Republican presidents. What makes this situation truly tragic is that while the abortion holocaust is being waged, God's own people follow blindly along, supporting the very government that has become the chief enforcement arm of the legalized child-killing industry. Please read the following essay by Scott Whiteman to see what our elected officials can do about this. Meanwhile with a broken heart I weep over our nation and plead with God for His mercy.
Republicans Offer the Unborn 32 More Years of Roe v. Wade
Monday, January 24
6:35 AM One more thing on language learning and then I'm pau (ah, a good Hawaiian word meaning "finished"). It should go without saying that there are many internet resources available to help you learn, most of them free of charge. I like the BBC site perhaps the best, but it is only a beginning. At any rate, I hope you will take advantage of these resources and truly enjoy your language studies.
6:33 AM Here's one of the speakers at the Raleigh Uniting Church and Family Conference this April 15-16. You'll really enjoy him greatly if you attend.
6:31 AM Two recently announced openings in Scotland if you have a Ph.D. in biblical studies.
6:30 AM This is a really cool move to try with your horse sometime. My Arabian does it pretty well, though it takes a lot out of a horse.
6:27 AM Here's perhaps the only good reason to watch TV (see point 2). In California I would try to attune my ear to Spanish by watching the Hispanic TV station, called the Spanish International Network. I thought their acronym was interesting: SIN.
6:25 AM Quote of the day (from J. L. Dagg, founding member of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and professor of theology at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia):
6:22 AM Here are the top ten languages in the world. Guess which is the most widely spoken?
6:20 AM The oldest Baptist church in the South was begun in Maine - and other interesting but little known facts about Baptist beginnings in America.
6:17 AM Speaking of Germany, this factlet caught my eye. If you travel to Japan and do not get along with English, you can try your Deutsch since 68 percent of all Japanese students learn German. And I thought English was the universal language. I've never been to Japan, but I look forward to using my German should I ever visit there. I did try out my German once in a suburb near Paris (mon Français parlé est horrible), but it didn't go over too well. I didn't realize that the château I was staying in had been occupied during WWII. Live and learn.
6:14 AM Here's a pretty interesting article about homeschooling in Germany and some of the obstacles Americans face there. One statement really got my attention:
Rough translation: Homeschooling was common in Germany until the Nazis abolished it. One of the best alternatives to government schooling is what is called the Philadelphia School. See their website if for any reason you are planning on relocating to Germany. Here's their purpose statement, which is right on:
Below: German homeschoolers in concert at a homeschooling conference in Siegen.
6:12 AM The debate continues over a new modern language translation of the Bible that uses "gender neutral" language. Things could be worse, of course. As one pundit I read put it, "At least they didn't translate the Trinity as Big Daddy, Little Daddy, and Spook."
6:10 AM U.S. homeschoolers beat Oxford team in debate. Not just any homeschoolers, mind you, but students at Patrick Henry College, whose motto is "For Christ and Liberty."
Sunday, January 23
12:29 PM If you're snowed in and looking for some good reading material, here are two great essays from Hope Chapel:
11:45 AM Here's a good overview of how the verb system works in biblical Greek, including many examples from the New Testament itself. For more on Corey Keating's contributions to the study of Koine Greek, go here. Αγαπώ τα ελληνικά. Δεν μπορώ να περιμένω να δω τους σπουδαστές μου αύριο!
11:31 AM This site made a good point:
In this connection, I'm reminded of what John Piper once said about the need for small group gatherings of believers:
11:30 AM Take a look at Hope Family Fellowship's church motto and logo. Says it all....
11:24 AM The world's first internet evangelism conference will take place at Liberty University April 1-2. Here's the conference schedule, in case you're interested. No, this is not an April Fool's joke.
9:33 AM Chuck Baldwin has a tremendous salute to Lee and Jackson here. Whenever I watch the movie Gods and Generals, I am impressed by what Confederate General Stonewall Jackson taught us about the importance of courage in the face of tremendous odds. “Duty is ours; consequences are God’s,” he said. That’s why I am committed to doing what I can to promote the restoration of a constitutional republic—a republic founded on the ideals of the United States Constitution and rooted in biblical law. Millions of Americans have died to protect and preserve these ideals—which include the right of every citizen to demand that our government respect and defend the Constitution. We need to hold our leaders strictly accountable to the Constitution they swore to uphold. If they forsake faithfulness to this oath, then we must decide not to vote for them again—be they “compassionate conservatives,” “Republicans,” “Christians,” or whatever they may call themselves. We need to get personally involved in the fight for freedom. We must let our voice be heard on taxation, abortion, cloning, federal gun laws—and why it is important that America returns to a limited constitutional government. We must remind our elected officials that when government steals from one citizen to pay for the “needs” of another, such theft is not only unconstitutional but immoral. And we must let them know that we will not tolerate the denial of our freedoms in the name of “security.” General Jackson was right—it’s all about personal responsibility. I fervently pray that all Christians, especially our pastors and other church leaders, will have the courage to “do their duty,” as Stonewall said. If we do so, we can leave the consequences with God. If we don’t, then the demise of our nation will fall squarely on our own shoulders.
9:40 AM From the "Core Values" of Grace Community Church:
1. We value teaching through the preaching of God’s Word, group instruction times and specialty seminars. Additionally we encourage each member to pursue through private study those books, tapes and compact disks that will assist in the equipping of the saints. We are not tied to any one paradigm or methodology corporately, but will offer a variety of instructional venues to assist in your spiritual growth. Each member of Grace Community will have the opportunity to be involved in a systematic Christian education program, involving Personal Discipleship Plans (PLP), a customize plan of discipleship for each believer, based upon individual needs.
2. We value fellowship. We share a fellowship meal together each week after Sunday morning worship, and have organized Family Fellowship Groups that meet near your home.
3. We value communion, and view it as an important part of weekly worship.
4. We value prayer, and set aside time for corporate prayer and confession during worship.
9:30 AM The benefits of long-term sermon planning:
Here's a sample of Mark Dever's preaching schedule (.pdf).
8:55 AM Church services are cancelled, but life goes on. The sun is shining brightly and the snow and ice are beginning to melt. Our storm was nothing compared to the one they got in Boston, which received 35 inches (see photo). Today will be filled with reading and music - that is, after I feed the chickens and barnyard animals. Have a great Lord's Day wherever you are.
8:40 AM The Vatican takes a clear and unambiguous stand against condoms. Then there's this a bit less-than-lucid statement:
7:23 AM I assume that many of my readers are interested in the health of Christ's Body and desire to know what makes a church a truly biblical one. Clearly, we must start with the Scriptures themselves and not with our own ecclesiastical traditions if we are to find an answer to this rather daunting question. According to the New Testament, what are the minimum, irreducible requirements for a church to be considered biblical? It seems to me that there are seven essential characteristics of a New Testament church. They are as follows:
It will be obvious that these seven practices are scarcely followed by Christians today.
On April 14 and 15 I will be discussing one of these issues in great detail at the Raleigh Uniting Church and Family Conference at the North Raleigh Hilton: the topic of age-integrated (versus age-segregated) churches. I shall deal above all with apostolic doctrine – those precepts and practices that set the New Testament church apart from any other organization known to man. For some of us, this is comparatively unfamiliar territory. Thus we need to ask ourselves a very fundamental question – a question, indeed, that we must always ask ourselves whenever we discuss the church: Are we willing to listen to the Word of God and obey it unconditionally? For the fact that we have to face is this: if we pursue church renewal in our own wisdom, it is bound to go very bad on us. We need to guard ourselves from reading into the New Testament texts our own pre-conceived opinions of what those texts are teaching, for there can be no biblical church without a biblical foundation, based not on human tradition but on the Word of God itself.
But, someone says, is it not a fact that very few churches follow these patterns you are speaking of? Yes, it is true that many apostolic precepts and patterns are unknown today. It is also true that not everyone would agree that the seven characteristics I mentioned above are essential elements of a New Testament church. But agree or disagree, our aim in studying the New Testament must always be to enlarge our acquaintance with, and especially our obedience to, the revelation of the Scriptures whose precepts and principles they are. God help us, then, to put our own thoughts and biases aside and to enter more and more deeply into the New Testament’s vision of a truly apostolic church.
I would like to extend a personal invitation to all of you to attend this conference, organized and directed by elder Scott Brown of Trinity Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist church in Wake Forest, NC. Scott has put together a most interesting program that will encourage, challenge, and inspire. Please prayerfully consider attending along with your pastor, youth pastor, and children's church director. I will believe all will be blessed and edified.
7:12 AM Sid Cundiff notes how Augustine's view of civil government and my own are very similar.
Thanks, Sid. I copied the article and added it to my files under "civil magistrate."
7:10 AM Warren Appleton sent me his thoughts on the Inauguration. This is a lengthy read but well worth your time.
7:08 AM From Easley, South Carolina, came this curious request:
In my reply to Roger I linked to this essay on the origin of "redneck" and other terms often linked to Southern culture ("Hillbilly" and "Gringo").
7:05 AM Sunday services at the Raleigh Chinese Christian Church have been cancelled due to the inclement weather. I'll see all of you in March, Lord willing.
Saturday, January 22
1:05 PM For your weekend reading enjoyment:
Is the One-Pastor System Scriptural?
11:42 AM A reader living in Canada sends these thoughts on "snow":
Thanks, Kevin. We received only 2 inches of snow and some freezing rain - just enough to shut things down here in North Carolina. The winter storm took our much embarrassed (and now repentant) meteorologists totally by surprise.
10:46 AM The following email came yesterday in response to our thoughts on the inauguration. Thank you, John, for your encouragement and prayers.
May the Lord God of Heaven continue to give you the courage to speak the truth in these troublesome times.
Blessings to you and yours,
In His grip,
Friday, January 21
7:50 PM Students, I am very sorry but the weather has forced us to cancel our luncheon here at Bradford Hall tomorrow. Have a good and safe weekend, and I'll see you on Monday, God willing.
7:45 PM Tonight, after a venison supper, my son and I enjoyed popcorn while listening to the great strains of J. S. Bach played by the one and only Carlo Curley (see photo below), whom we heard live in concert last year. Afterwards Nathan gave me a concert on the reed organ he restored, playing eighteenth and nineteenth century hymns from the Episcopal Song Book (which, by the way, was one of General Lee's favorite books). I could listen to him play the king of instruments all night long. These hymns reminded me of the great spiritual songs my wife and I used to sing in our church in Basel.
Ain't it good to be back home again....
3:55 PM Here's the latest press release on our Grand Reformation Tour. If you've been praying about coming, please keep in mind that the deadline to reserve a spot on the tour is February 15.
3:25 PM Weekly communion? Why not?
3:23 PM Ron Paul shows how the congressionally-mandated use of your Social Security number as an identifier facilitates identify theft. A must read for anyone, young or old, concerned about their privacy rights.
3:14 PM Who says it can't happen to our Navy? Read Lessons from a Submarine Mishap about the danger of seeing things as we want to see them rather than as they really are.
3:10 PM Here's a link to a browsable, web-based Greek New Testament. The quality of the text is superb, and the program includes a search facility. Highly recommended. Below: 7Q5, possibly the earliest New Testament papyrus.
3:10 PM Matthew Yglesias says we should get it right in Iraq or get out.
3:10 PM In the latest issue of Novum Testamentum, Larry Hurtado reviewed our Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism and concluded by saying:
Thanks, Larry, for the kind remarks.
3:10 PM Greetings, friends. I've finally arrived back at the farm after being stranded in Wake Forest for three days due to the weather. I'm sitting here gazing at the beauty of our frozen pond and the snow-covered pines. The Lord Jesus has blessed us with a marvelous snowfall that takes one's breath away. It's up to Him as to whether the service in Cary will be held this Sunday, but I have plenty of writing to do in the meantime, as well as our animals to tend to. My Sheltie is sitting down right next to me, glad that daddy got back home safely. Oh, the farm life....
Wednesday, January 19
6:30 AM My morning prayers included intercession for this dear couple. Here's a link that will instruct and encourage.
6:28 AM Scott Whiteman has a brilliant post about his experience in third party politics and answers one of the most common questions posed to conservatives who used to vote Republican: "How can you beat something with nothing?" If you haven't been paying much attention to the Constitution Party, it's time to tune in. Here's a snippet from Scott's outstanding essay:
6:25 AM I will be interviewed on the Stan Monteith "Radio Liberty" program next Monday, January 24, from 6:00 - 7:00 pm Eastern Time.
6:22 AM Berit Kjos discusses belief in a God who permits natural disasters. She has a nice summary of the character of God and concludes with a quote from one of my favorite authors.
6:20 AM Pay attention, Da Vinci Coders: Bart Ehrman would like a word with you. I just hope Dan Brown is listening....
6:19 AM I want to extend a warm thank you to Buddy Hanson for sending me a copy of his What's Scripture Got To Do With It? And, of course, thanks, Buddy, for your excellent website, which I read regularly and recommend to all my readers.
6:16 AM Once again, Carmon Friedrich is well worth reading:
6:14 AM The Bikehiker thinks about President George W. Bush and offers him the grace of dissent.
Tuesday, January 18
6:14 AM The March For Life takes place in Washington, DC, typically on the anniversary of the decision of Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973. This year, however, the March For Life will take place on Monday, January 24, 2005. For information:
6:12 AM Just the excuse slobs are looking for.
6:10 AM North Carolina Baptists doing what they do best.
6:05 AM Only 4 days to go until our Greek class luncheon this Saturday at Bradford Hall on our farm. We plan on taking walks, eating, sharing good music, and giving horseback rides to all the kids. All this is pending good weather. The current forecast calls for light snow in southern Virginia lasting through the weekend. Stay tuned....
6:03 AM Three on Lee:
Monday, January 17
6:25 AM My morning devotional included this challenge:
O Lord, so touch my tongue and pen that everything I say or write this day and all my life will be only that which is an expression of your loving and holy nature. Help me to get out of the way so that Jesus Christ, and Him alone, might be seen in me and so that He, and He alone, might receive all the glory and all the praise, in Jesus' name, Amen.
6:22 AM Monday morning shout-out to the congregation at the Raleigh Chinese Christian Church meeting in its new facilities in Cary, NC. We spent an hour yesterday teaching from Matthew 28 and Ephesians 4 and still they seemed eager for more. I especially enjoyed the Q & A time after the teaching, which is something I believe all churches could do with great benefit. New Testament preaching and teaching was much more dialogical than we sometimes suppose. Paul, for example, discussed with the believers in Troas the Word of God until late at night (the verb describing his teaching is dialegomai, which implies some interaction with his audience). I am not suggesting that Paul never "taught" in a formal manner, but I do think that he would have gladly challenged believers to think for themselves; see Luke's reference to the Berean Christians in Acts 17:11:
I look forward to returning to RCCC next week to continue our two-part series on "Growing the Church."
Sunday, January 16
5:22 PM New Hampshire has introduced a much-needed bill to get the U.S. out of the UN. The bill is now in committee. I will be praying for its passage.
5:20 PM My friend Mark Dankof recently lost a close friend of his. Read Mark's moving tribute - and testimony to the sufficiency of Christ - here.
Saturday, January 15
3:22 PM A new generation of "professional" terrorists hits the scene.
3:03 PM I was greatly challenged by reading this thoughtful blog entry by R. C. Sproul Jr:
9:59 AM Blog readership is still on the rise.
9:50 AM In view of the great loss of life in Asia, this essay titled The Salvation of the 'Little Ones': Do Infants who Die Go to Heaven? is a worthy read.
9:47 AM I would like to thank Dr. Craig Evans for his very kind review of my Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism. His review appeared in the Bulletin for Biblical Research 14.2. Evans concludes: "Beginning students will be relieved to know that this engaging little book takes the tedium out of textual-criticism theory."
9:45 AM Mrs. Julie Austin has written a very fine article on modesty.
9:23 AM Evolution a fact, not a theory, says judge.
Friday, January 14
6:10 PM Izzy is still in the lead but needs your help this weekend.
6:05 PM Just gave our calf Bert his shot and some oats. I am very relieved to see him on the mend and his wound healing.
5:39 PM Friday evening shout-out to my Greek students who survived their first week of class - they thrived, really. Kudos to all of you who aced each and every quiz. I can't wait to see how many of you earn the prestigious "110 Award" on Monday's exam. I am blessed to be part of such a great class. I sure don't deserve it (it's all of God's grace), but I sure do appreciate it.
Today I got a sneak preview of the DVD of our Greek class that is being taped during J-Term. You guys in the H3Online Department are doing a superb job.
6:24 AM Another supporter of God, Family, Republic starts a blog. Congratulations, and all best wishes.
6:20 AM A new church plant in the Mooresville, NC area explains its philosophy:
Read more about Foundation Fellowship here.
6:14 AM This Sunday is National Sanctity of Life Day. I will be speaking at the Raleigh Chinese Christian Church.
6:12 AM We had the vet out to the farm yesterday to check on our goats. It seems that one of them introduced a bacterial form of foot rot to the flock, which we will be treating with antibiotics and foot cream. Bert, one of our calves, still has some puss from the back wound he received when he was attacked by a hunting dog a month ago, but he continues to mend well. The horses are all fine.
6:10 AM From the mailbag:
Thursday, January 13
6:25 AM Our post-9/11 intelligence failure was a colossal and extraordinary blunder. It was yet another dramatic failure of a remarkably well-informed government to make the right call. And it was not just our intelligence that was wrong, but our strategic analysis. And so we attacked Iraq on false pretenses, and no one takes the fall, least of all the Commander-in-Chief. The buck stops nowhere.
6:22 AM Greek students might find this essay on "Doing Greek on a...hand held computer" interesting.
6:20 AM Union Seminary in Virginia is hosting Dr. Mark Noll of Wheaton College, who will be giving the Sprunt Lectures on the topic, "The Civil War as a Theological Crisis." For more information go here.
6:18 AM Yesterday I had a very nice conversation with the president of Washington Baptist College and Seminary in Annandale, Virginia, which serves Korean Baptists throughout the East Coast. Their courses are mostly in the Korean language. If you are interested in learning more about their degree programs, please check out their website: www.wbcs.edu.
6:15 AM Join us tonight as I will be speaking at the annual Lee-Jackson dinner at the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in Chase City, Virginia. My topic is the life and influence of Stonewall's chief-of-staff, R. L. Dabney. Dinner is at 6:30.
6:12 AM A point to ponder from the mailbag:
Wednesday, January 12
6:32 AM Mrs. Carmon Friedrich of Buried Treasure sent me these links about a 96-year-old Southern Baptist. Very interesting!
6:30 AM From the mailbag:
6:23 AM Today we introduce the Greek noun system, beginning with the second declension. For more, go here and here.
6:20 AM The BBC has posted some incredible pictures of the California flooding.
6:17 AM If you are debating whether to stay in your church or leave it, here's some good advice from a seasoned pastor.
6:15 AM Here's wishing Dr. Bob well with his new church plant.
Tuesday, January 11
7:35 PM Just wanted to say "thank you" again to my beautiful wife for providing the breakfast treats we enjoyed this morning in class. They were a huge hit. Ich liebe Dich!
6:40 PM Greek students: Remember that I am always available to help you, either at my office or by phone (919-761-2455) and email.
6:35 PM I will be preaching at the Raleigh Chinese Christian Church the next two Sundays. I look forward to renewing fellowship with these great folk and seeing their new facility in Cary.
6:30 PM The weekend saw some huge surf in Hawaii, calling for the closing of Waimea Bay. Still, this guy decided to body surf the Waimea shorebreak (note the sand in the foreground). Not a good idea.
6:25 PM My colleague Andreas Köstenberger will be featured on the radio program Janet Parshall’s America tomorrow, January 12. He will be discussing his new book God, Marriage, and Family. Parshall will be taking calls from listeners from 2:15-3:00 p.m. The show airs live on many radio stations, but you are urged to check your local listings for broadcast times.
6:22 PM Once again, I want to remind everyone who is thinking about seminary that SEBTS now offers one year of study through our H3Online program.
6:20 PM I spoke with a student recently who is looking for a Reformed Baptist church. A good directory to consult may be found here.
6:55 AM η ελληνική γλώσσα δεν είναι δύσκολη εάν μελετάτε σκληρά!
6:46 AM Tuesday morning shout-out to my son who is helping some friends in western Virginia with their barn. Be careful up there on the roof, and come home soon!
6:22 AM From the mailbag:
Mike concludes his essay with these words:
6:05 AM Here's an excellent essay on the value of learning Greek for ministry.
6:03 AM My Greek students are in for a special treat this morning. My wife baked several delicious pound cakes for them.
Monday, January 10
5:37 PM A good essay from The State.
5:30 PM New book on Bush. Let's see, where did I leave my pom-poms?
5:20 PM I see Izzy is still in the lead. I think she deserves to win, not least because she regularly updates her site. That I like!
5:13 PM Severe storms are now affecting the north of England. I recall a trip to Great Britain several years when I was scheduled to lecture at the Universities of Oxford, Leeds, and Edinburgh. I made it to the first two locations but then a huge storm hit the midlands and all flights and trains were cancelled. The flooding made a tremendous impression on me at the time and was a reminder of just how quickly the weather can change.
4:59 PM I worked too late to get a ride in today. Maybe tomorrow. The horses are eager....
4:55 PM Needless to say, it was great to be back in the classroom today. This morning I talked about the importance of studying Greek for the right reasons. Great preachers are like icebergs, I said: You only see 10 percent, but underneath you sense the other 90 percent. That's why Greek is so valuable - it gives you the depth you need to be able to teach and preach from the New Testament with integrity, credibility, and authority. The key to effective preaching is the ability to be simple without being simplistic. Sadly, far too much of our Baptist preaching is both simple and simplistic. I am asking my students to keep that thought in mind throughout the course and to set personal goals for their study of Greek, knowing that if people aim at nothing they will hit it every time!
4:49 PM Jim Rudd of Covenant News had this thoughtful response to my essay on Romans 13:
Along these lines, I would recommend Buddy Hanson's book Chose This Day.
4:40 PM Today my colleague Andreas Köstenberger was kind enough to give me a signed copy of his latest book, God, Marriage, & Family, published by Crossway. Vielen, herzlichen Dank!
4:34 PM So far 45 students - both seminary and college - have shown up for my Greek class, which began this morning. We learned the Greek alphabet and I even sang my rendition of the alphabet song much to the amusement of the more musically inclined in the class. A tip of the kepi to Jerry Lassiter of our H3Online department for starting things off on a good note and to Mike Hawley and his AV video crew for getting me organized. Tomorrow I need to get my students over the first of two major "speed bumps" in the learning of Greek - the verb system.
4:30 PM A warm Aloha to Mark and Sandy Walton and their sons Isaac and Caleb for their hospitality over the weekend at their home in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. And what can I say about the folk at Glenwood Baptist? What a wonderful group of believers you are, eager for Bible study and genuine body life! Thank you for your warm reception and your commitment to the Word of God. Special thanks to Isaac and Caleb for manning the book table for me. You did a great job!
Parenthetically, in the congregation I met a man who flew B-25s over Germany and a Japanese-American who, at the age of 11, witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor from his front yard in Hawaii. He was even shot at!
Friday, January 7
7:35 AM A sister Baptist institution in North Carolina is putting its old beds and mattresses to good use in Kiev.
7:32 AM The other day I had an opportunity to counsel a student on his plans to pursue a Ph.D. and encouraged him to consider this school in Scotland, which has an accredited external studies, research-based program. For those of you who can't relocate to Europe, these types of opportunities are becoming more and more common.
7:30 AM Last Sunday our little congregation gave more than $400 for Tsunami Disaster Relief. SBC disaster aid is now at 1.4 million and counting.
7:27 AM Let's see, the First Dog gets its own website? Only in America.
7:25 AM Izzy is still in the lead. Have you voted at her site, for her site, yet?
7:24 AM The bane of war profiteering has raised its ugly head in Iraq just as it has in every war man has ever known.
7:20 AM Here's a link that details an incredible story of a 10-year old girl caught up in red tape run amok.
7:18 AM I will have to miss the first communion service at our local nursing home, as I will still be in Tennessee. A tip of the kepi to Thomas Hayes for fleshing out all the details to make this a reality. It marks a major step forward in our nursing home ministry. Most of the residents have not observed the Lord's Supper in years. It should be a good service. Have a great time, yall.
7:15 AM My flight leaves RDU at 10:30 this morning with a stop-over in Atlanta before flying on to Knoxville. Current weather shows some rain but nothing too serious. Pastor Mark invited me to stay at his home tonight and I look forward to renewing fellowship with him and his family. I can't wait to hear how the church's Wednesday evening "Introduction to New Testament Greek" class is going.
7:12 AM Kudos to my son for getting the gravel in our new "carriage house" (car shed) in record time. It looks great, and both "carriages" fit just fine. I hope to post some pics soon.
Friday, January 7
8:43 AM A DBO shout-out to Izzy with hopes she will win, hands down.
Best of the Blogs Awards 2004. Cast a vote, once a day, until Jan. 14, for The Homeschooling Revolution. Go here.
8:30 AM This morning I received several emails responding to my essay on R. L. Dabney's view of the proper role of civil government, and two of them asked specifically what my views on Romans 13 were. Look for an essay on this topic in the near future.
AM Our elementary Greek
course begins taping next Monday for the seminary's H3Online offerings.
This will eventually be added to the courses already online, which
You can learn more about these offerings by contacting the seminary's H3Online webpage and speaking with Mr. Jerry Lassiter.
8:25 AM Brian Foley exposes Gonzales' real failing. Not to mention his support of aborticide.
8:21 AM Only one more day to our Bible Conference. Pastor Mark has asked me to bring copies of my Using New Testament Greek in Ministry for folks in his congregation. It's great to see local churches studying the language of the New Testament.
Thursday, January 6
4:50 PM Thanks, Evan, for placing me in your new blogroll.
4:40 PM With today's rain, I'm glad I got in a good long ride yesterday. It's still too damp, however, to let my race horse Traveler engage his afterburners. BTW, General Lee once noted that an hour on horseback is never wasted. I concur completely.
4:18 PM I listened to part of the Gonzales hearing on the drive home from the seminary today. I'm glad the Democrats hit hard on the issue of prisoner abuse. Let's not forget that the roots of Abu Ghraib lie, not in a few Army bad apples, but in the Bush administration's decision to expand their al Qaeda operations to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq, as Seymour Hersh shows in The Gray Zone.
4:17 PM Only 2 more days to our Bible Conference in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The forecast calls for some rain but no snow:
4:15 PM Had a great time at the office today fellowshipping with Dave H., John, Michael, Dave B. and numerous other colleagues. I was also taught how to operate the electronic write board for my Greek class that starts on Monday. My efficient secretary has already copied all the quizzes and exams for the entire course. 35 students have signed up so far, and that doesn't include the audits. Should be a great class.
7:30 AM Θα είμαι στην πανεπιστημιούπολη όλη την ημέρα σήμερα που συναντιέται με τους ελληνικούς σπουδαστές μου.
7:22 AM QOTD (Teddy Roosevelt):
7:18 AM Only 5 days until my Greek class starts. For some crazy reason it makes me think of that silly opening to Paradise Island I used to watch during my TV days. Wow. Has it really been that long? It will be good to see my fantastic students again. My usual routine is to teach all morning then meet with students and write during the afternoon. But there's always time for the chit chat that goes on every day on campus between friends. The only question is what kind of tomfoolery my colleagues have up their sleeves. We'll see on Monday....
7:15 AM I know, I know, you've probably already read AntiWar.com today, and you've probably already seen this essay by Justin Raimondo, but in case you haven't, this is great stuff. The key fact to keep in mind is that all this talk about making America safer by bankrupting the country with an attack on Iraq is just plain nonsense. Anyway, good stuff, like I said.
7:12 AM If you are a regular here at DBO you know I am a fanatic about surfing. So you can guess my surprise when I read that a surfer actually rode a tsunami in Sri Lanka. Not that he was intending to do so, mind you. But you can read his unbelievable story for yourself.
Wednesday, January 5
8:47 AM I'm glad somebody thought of this, because it's such a parody of real life. Ushers with stun guns!
8:44 AM I voted. Have you?
8:33 AM I couldn't help but think of the common thread between these stories:
7:45 AM This is a great piece on the upcoming inauguration and the many so-called "pro-life," "conservative," "evangelicals" who will be specially invited guests. As far as I can tell, once you're invited to the White House you are in G.W.'s hip pocket, having earned the right to wag your finger at all those on the left and the right who question the Bush imperium. So, as I've said before:
If I Ever Accept an Invitation to the White House, You Can Throw My Columns in the Trash!
7:43 AM Tim Berroth reviews American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon. Here's the conclusion:
7:38 AM If you opted for Bush and think you can hold him to constitutional actions, think again. At least that's the message this blogger has for Joe Farah of World Net Daily.
7:23 AM The Bush-Constantine parallels are the subject of this essay by Giles Fraser. As most of you already know, I have been attracted to this topic for many months now, so if you see me posting more on this over the next few weeks you'll know why. Anyway, here's a blurb from the article that'll get you thinking:
7:20 AM What makes a good writer, or a writer good? I really don't know the answer to this question. That's why I found this essay by Andy Crouch fascinating, especially with its emphasis on reading. I cannot go to bed at night without having read at least part of a good book (my current tome is At Dawn We Slept), though I'm not sure that this has improved my writing at all. One thing I have learned from 28 years of writing, however, is this principle: less is more, and my books are getter shorter and shorter. They are also getting less expensive for students, which I think is a plus.
Tuesday, January 4
4:33 PM A college is now offering a course for pastors' wives. This is long overdue. Here's my favorite part of the course description:
4:10 PM Not to be confused with the phony State of the Union Address to be given this month, Al Cronkite has written The Real State of the Nation, which, I imagine, will be much more truthful than the president's feel-good remarks. This part of the essay I found especially gripping:
As always, Al shares plenty of provocative and thoughtful things.
4:07 PM Time for a quick pat on the back before starting my next job. Yep, the carriage house roof is finally done, replete with decorative lightening rod (from an old barn in Granville County, NC). Can't say it was easy, but it shore was fun. I think my urbanite friends will like it when they visit Bradford Hall. Meanwhile I nominate my carpenter son Nathan as craftsman/builder of the year (both 2004 and 2005!). There ain't nothing he can't do!
12:45 PM One of my favorite bloggers is taking what I hope will be only a short-lived hiatus. Pieter, thanks for your contributions to DBO these past two years. Don't stay away too long. Your pen is a significant contribution to the cause!
12:43 PM Doug Groothuis has a brilliant essay about partial-birth abortion and the Law above the law (i.e., God's moral law trumps our society's "laws" any day). You'll be glad you read it. Here's a key excerpt:
12:26 PM This just in:
Thanks for the reminder. I forgot to mention this earlier today. I had a great time with both Scott and Doug Phillips at the Uniting Church and Family Conference in Saint Louis last August. These guys are doing a great work. Let's pray for them regularly.
8:16 AM Finally, biblical scholarship gets it right about Jesus. As any reputable New Testament expert (cough, cough) will tell you: Jesus was Caesar, Mary Magdalene was Cleopatra, they had a son called Caisarion but he was killed by Octavianus. But them careless scribes messed us up when they transmitted this story!
Don't believe me? Go here and see for yourselves!
8:14 AM Are they talking about my country? Tell me it's not true!
8:10 AM You've got to read what this man has to say about Lincoln and slavery.
7:47 AM This writer believes that blind loyalty and patriotism are two different things. Here's a link to an article I wrote saying basically the same thing. I assure you, the differences between nationalism and true patriotism are enormous:
7:21 AM Scott Brown of Trinity Baptist Church in Wake Forest is coming on strong as a leading advocate of age-integrated ministry, offering cogent advice to parents and church leaders at his website. His articles include:
I like how he puts it so succinctly yet biblically. It's yet another way the church of today can recover its New Testament identity. At least that's the way it should be. Thanks, brother Scott, for all you are doing to advance biblical (vs. traditional) Christianity.
7:20 AM GREEK STUDENTS: If you are taking elementary Greek with me this spring, Amazon.com is offering a great deal on our beginning grammar here.
7:18 AM Here's a fun site on language blunders. Goodness knows, I've made my share in German, Spanish, and French. Take German. When I tried to rent an apartment in Basel, Switzerland, I called a number listed in an advertisement and asked (in German) for Mrs. so-and-so. The person replied, "Sie ist am Apparat." This obviously meant "she's on the apparatus (of some sort)," so I asked to speak with the woman, at which point howls of laughter began piercing my ears. I quickly learned that "Sie ist am Apparat" is the equivalent of our "Speaking," and the lady had been on the phone with me the entire time. That was a humorous incident, but sometimes translational faux pas can be tragic.
7:14 AM Even the Internet needs a patron saint, I reckon.
7:12 AM "Blogitelling." Salutary read.
7:10 AM The Guilty Seminarian notes that Oxford University Press is having a sale on RSV Bibles to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the translation. You'll recall that prior to the publication of the RSV people didn't ask, "Which translation do you use?" There was really only one. The RSV opened the floodgates to modern versions such as the NASB, the NIV, and the ESV. The same is not true in many countries, however. In Korea, where I've taught six times, believers still use one basic translation, although nobody seems to know who translated it and whether the translators used the original Greek and Hebrew texts or an English version as their base. Likewise, in Ethiopia there is a "standard" Amharic Bible that most churches use. I was surprised to see that many of the Ethiopian Bible schools where I taught this past year use the NIV as their basic English version, undoubtedly because of its reading level. All the more reason to teach these students Greek - which is exactly what we'll be doing this summer in Addis Ababa, Deo volente.
7:05 AM What Darfur really is. This article hits close to home - at least my second home, Ethiopia.
6:59 AM Female soldiers are now being eyed for combat in Iraq:
Monday, January 3
8:59 AM FARM UPDATE: Well, puppy dog has arrived from my son's farm, which means that my son can't be far behind, which means that our work day is about to begin, which means that we had better wolf down some breakfast. Today's project: Put the tin on the roof of the new car shed (oops, "carriage house," as my wife calls it). BTW, my son turned me on to this website about home kits by Sears that were popular in the early 1900s. Amazing that these are no longer being used!
8:57 AM Eric Sowell, a fellow Greek nut, has a great introduction to blogs and blogging. Check it out here.
8:41 AM In only one week my sabbatical will come to an end. I could have taken a whole year off, but I knew I couldn't go longer than a semester without being in the classroom! Parenthetically, this spring I will be teaching all Greek courses: beginning, intermediate, advanced, and a Ph.D. seminar. Fantastic! None of us ever outgrows our need for more knowledge. Let's remember that this year. So if you are a one-storey Christian, build a second storey. If you are a four-storey Christian, build a fifth. I don't care if you are a skyscraper - you will never outgrow your need to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ! I like what this author says about discipleship:
8:20 AM Here's an excellent discussion of altar calls. Come to think of it, we've already linked to several articles on the topic at our Unleashing the Church page.
8:03 AM An Open Letter to My Baptist Brethren:
7:28 AM The president thinks he has a solution to the Social Security quandary. I like Evan Black's idea better:
As Doug Newman reminds us, the Socialist States of America is hardly a free country, not as long as Big Daddy has the right to rob us at will.
7:23 AM It's official. Peroutka 2004 is now God, Family, Republic. Congratulations, Michael, and all best wishes. By the way, I wasn't the only blogger to vote for Peroutka and Baldwin.
7:15 AM The answer, of course, is yes.
7:12 AM Yesterday my wife looked at my 2004 web stats and said to me, "Honey, you've got a congregation of 100,000." I hadn't thought of it that way before.
7:10 AM I read Le Monde almost daily. It is now offering blogs to their readers under the "Le Monde" brand, thus equating their journalists blogs and their readers blogs. Je pense qui est une grande idée! D'autres journaux devraient faire la même chose.
7:04 AM Guess where Google News is being blocked?
Interesting, isn't it? It's pretty obvious to this writer that Google has already censored itself by refraining from any criticism of China.
Sunday, January 2
8:43 AM That's all we need - another guy named Black clogging up cyberspace! Seriously, welcome to the blogosphere, Evan. Remember, blogging is like voting. Do it early and do it often!
7:55 AM Last year's website totals:
Once again, thanks to everyone who moseyed by DBO and the many of you who "chatted" with me. May God richly bless you all!
7:33 AM TEXTUAL IRONY: Most of my scholar friends prefer the Alexandrian text type and its two leading witnesses, Aleph and B, over the Majority Text. I think it's interesting that Aleph omits Matt. 24:35: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." Just thought I'd mention it....
7:30 AM The Soulman thinks it's OK to weep for the aged to whom we minister in the nursing homes. Soulman, you are exactly right!
By the way, we have finally gotten permission from the staff to celebrate the Lord's Supper at the local nursing home. Many of these good folk have gone without it for years. Next Sunday will be our first time. Amen!
7:24 AM My family and I attended this once. You'd be crazy to do it again. If fact, you are probably crazy if you did it the first time.
7:20 AM What have we gained? What have we really gained? By the shallow, crowd-manipulating style of praise music we call "worship," I mean. It's got to sound just "right" and look just "right." I recall during my student days at Biola that a good friend of mine, Japanese by ancestry, was chosen by the Day of Discovery program to be part of their taping in Florida simply because they wanted to present the appearance of a racially diverse singing group. (At least my friend could actually sing; several in the group couldn't. But that was OK - all they had to do was lip-sync.). In the early church, you will not find the auditorium style meeting we have today. You did not have "special music." You did not, as Mark Jurries has noted recently, have "choirs." The primary method of meeting was in small groups, meeting in homes, thus encouraging the gifts given by the Spirit to each saint. Believers shared together, sang together, prayed together, exhorted one another. Now we meet to be entertained. Church music has become professionalized. Shame on us for having allowed it to happen.
7:14 AM Tom Reindl wants to learn New Testament Greek on his own. He's scared to death of the prospect, as was I when I first studied Greek. I'll just say this: Tom, if you want to learn the language, I'll be glad to help you via email. Corey Keating has a great list of books that can help. Should you decide to use my beginning grammar I have a student's workbook that accompanies it that I'll send you gratis. Finally, my seminary is working on an online Greek course with DVD instruction that should be available this year.
But please, Tom, don't let the intimidation factor keep you from learning this wonderful language. I am living proof that it can be done!
Saturday, January 1
6:20 PM Only 7 days to go to our Winter Bible Study at Glenwood Baptist Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Our theme will be "Forgotten Lessons from the Life of Christ." If you live in eastern Tennessee I hope you can join us for one or more of our services on Saturday and Sunday.
6:14 PM Lee Shelton emailed me with two suggestions for our sermon archives:
Excellent choices! Glad to add them. And thanks, Lee.
9:50 AM The latest from the mailbag:
7:23 AM I've decided on the topic for my speech at the annual Lee-Jackson dinner at our local SCV camp this month. It's about a man who was a Southern gentleman, a theologian, a professor, a farmer, a Gospel preacher, and a political economist. He wrote one of the best treatises ever penned by mortal man: A Defense of Virginia and the South. He served his Lord - and the Army of Northern Virginia - with honor and great sacrifice. My little talk is entitled:
Of Dabney it was said:
Now that's my kind of preacher! I'll have more posts about Dabney in the months to come.
7:18 AM In his annual newsletter, Little Geneva's Harry Seabrook discusses family, friends, and causes. I'm sorry I had to miss his speech at the League of the South meeting in Lexington in September. I think you'll enjoy his newsy, humorous, and in places even nostalgic letter. I certainly did.
7:15 AM Will Jeb join the race in '08?
7:12 AM O, Canada!
7:10 AM Don't think that Iran will just roll over. Hardly.
7:08 AM QOTD:
7:05 AM I've said it before on this blog, but I will never understand why parents want to send their kids to Ivy League universities for an education. For a degree, maybe, but for an education? Allan Bloom was right: the most close-minded places on Planet Earth are our so-called "liberal" halls of miseducation. I just hope Christian parents in North Carolina are paying attention to essays like this one!
7:03 AM God most certainly answers "knee-mail" and here's more proof of that. Our missionary friends have already returned to the states from Uganda, but I'm still relieved to see there's a cease-fire in place. I hope and pray it lasts.
7:00 AM Here's a fantastic way to usher in the New Year: