The New NIV– A Perfect Christmas Gift

NIV

I don't often take the time to endorse a particular translation of the Bible. There are many useful ones, and several really excellent ones in English, but in this case both the season and recent publication of the new NIV have led me to say something on behalf of this translation. This 2011 translation, based on the best of both the previous NIV and TNIV with updates gets so many things right that it really eclipses its competitors. It goes for both clarity and accuracy of expression in good … [Read more...]

The Nonsense of Christmas– Part Three

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I was standing in the Three Arches shop in Bethlehem looking at one nativity set after another, after another. They were all basically the same. Carved out of the native olive wood, they involved: 1) a barn; 2) animals (including camels); 3) a manger; 4) Mary and Joseph and the baby in the manger; 5) wise men; and 6) shepherds. It may surprise you to know that St. Francis of Assisi, a great lover of animals ('All Creatures Great and Small'), was the first person, apparently, to cook up this … [Read more...]

The Nonsense of Christmas– Part Two

There are all sorts of myths floating around about Christmas, and some of the worst come from the myth-makers supreme (e.g. the Zeitgeist sort of people). I am referring to those who: 1) deny that Jesus existed; 2) insist that all Christian celebrations are really adaptations of earlier pagan practices such as some Egyptian rites, or Roman rituals like Saturnalia and the like. It is surprising to me that this sort of nonsense has gained such a hearing in a skeptical age. If you doubt that it … [Read more...]

The Nonsense of Christmas— Part One

angels

Risking the possibility that I might be called Scrooge, I am going to muster up my courage and hope that it might be useful to do some demythologizing of Christmas. Christmas today is of course a time off from work where one tends to spend time with one’s birth family or extended birth family, having done far too much shopping, and then far too much eating, while spending time with those who are supposed to be our loved ones, and sometimes are.That is what normally happens for many f … [Read more...]

A Diet of Worms

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Subject: Four worms in churchA minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.Four worms were placed into four separate jarsThe first worm was put into a container of alcohol.The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.The … [Read more...]

Five Factors which Changed Church History

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Scholars have often debated why it is that the church of Constantine’s period looks so very different in various respects from the earliest church. What were the factors which led to the change or transformation of the early Christian movement, so that by the time we get to Constantine and thereafter the roles of men and women in the church have changed, and indeed the church becomes much more like an OT institution than one like what we find in the letters in the NT itself? While it would be … [Read more...]

Richard Watson on Biblical Prophecies

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‘We are not to suppose that our view of the future, even after the most attentive study of the prophetical books will be perfectly distinct and satisfactory. There is a moral necessity that prophecy should be surrounded with a certain haze and indistinctness. Man is to be the instrument of executing the decrees of Heaven; and it is the principle of Divine government to offer no violence to his moral agency, and a peculiar glory of infinite wisdom to accomplish its purpose by his free volitions. I … [Read more...]

More on Lightfoot and his Legacy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVSYVKrsdiE&index=3&list=PLLS0Lg51WigfB2YiOgfyrhwpo48zMEpLpHere are all six little videos Todd Still and I have done on the first volume of the Lightfoot Legacy, in this case, on Acts. … [Read more...]

Schoenbrunn Palace— a Nice Little Hunting Lodge

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Ah, the lifestyles of the rich and famous, or even worse, the rich and royal. Schoenbrunn Palace was the summer residence or hunting lodge for the royal family that ran the Habsburg Empire. It's just a little 1441 room Rocco abode, humble in every way, which first opened for business in 1699. The story is 'tres recherche' and yes it has to do with Palace envy, in this case Versailles, where the Austrian princess Marie Antoinette, married off to the Louis XIV sort of family, dwelt and incited … [Read more...]


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