Three Recent Translations of the New Testament


Of the making of Bible translations there is no end, and that actually is a good thing for two reasons: 1) we are constantly finding new info on the Greek New Testament in its earliest forms, and 2) English is a moving target, a living and developing language. If only for these two reasons we have a right to expect the continual attempt to communicate the original text in understandable contemporary English. In this particular post I want to focus on three recent translations--- one by an … [Read more...]

Leaning into the Sermon— Part Three


There are lots of different kinds of deliveries. There's regular mail, there's Fed Ex, there's UPS... we could go on and on. But when it comes to the delivery of the sermon it's not just about fast or slow, regular or irregular. There are more effective and less effective ways of communicating with a particular audience. Here, knowing one's audience is crucial. There is a difference between a word on target, and using the buckshot approach and hoping to hit something. Of course this means … [Read more...]

Leaning into the Sermon– Part Two


There is of course a long history of preaching, inside and outside of the church. It's called a sermon or revival message inside the church, evangelism outside the church, though it's only one form of evangelism of course. My concern in this post is to talk about the rather drab and dismal state of preaching in some quarters these days, even in Evangelical churches.While of course it is true that the Holy Spirit is involved in the process of preaching, and provides inspiration and … [Read more...]

Nothing Worth Doing– James Howell


The following is a devotional from James Howell the pastor of my home church Myers Park UMC in Charlotte N.C. --- eMoses - nothing worth doingNov 3Let us continue to reflect on Moses' last day, high up on Mt. Pisgah, surveying the Promised Land. How many heroes through history have not been there for the climax of their own mission? Martin Luther King, Jr., on the night before his assassination, spoke eerily on this very passage in his famous sermon in Memphis ("We've got some … [Read more...]

Leaning into the Sermon— Part One


Leaning is a means of concentrating. The parishoner leans forward in the pew to listen more intently to what the preacher is saying. The preaching leans forward on the pulpit when he is making a particularly crucial point and wants to have the full attention of the congregation. I like to lean on the arm of the pew and incline my ear and heart to the Word. Some of us are more visual learners (especially the computer generation) some are more auditory learners, but whatever it is that you do … [Read more...]

The Reformed View of Regeneration vs. the Wesleyan Theology of Prevenient Grace.


Recently a Christian from Indonesia who writes to me with questions about the faith from time to time asked me about the Reformed theology of regeneration. Basically it goes like this--- you can't possibly have faith or respond to the Gospel unless God has already regenerated you so that you could do so, and you are not going to be regenerated unless God has chosen you to be so in the first place. Otherwise, you are a no-hoper. It's all in God's hands.Now there are a variety of … [Read more...]

No One Actually Reads the Bible Literally

On this blog we have previously reviewed the hilarious book by Jacobs about trying to live out literally the commands of the Bible for one year, here we have an interesting sequel in this article. … [Read more...]

Hobbits in 3D


New Hobbit Production Video Blog #4 Released from The Hobbit Set! … [Read more...]

Our Besetting Sin


 I was watching the television interviews of some of the Occupy Wall Street young people. In this particular segment they seemed to only be able to find 22 year olds. That is, those just out of college who have not been able to find a job. The latter is understandable since the unemployment rate of 18-22 year olds is somewhere in the neighbor- hood of 25% or worse. They are angry. They feel they have been sold a bill of goods. They have been told, 'get a good education and you … [Read more...]