Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Take a listen!
A-ga-thos means good or useful
Ka-kos means bad or evil
Dou-las means slave or servant
Pon-AY-ros is also evil
Eye-o-ni-os means eternal
En-ta-lay means commandment
What's Emos? It means My or Mine
What's Emay? It means My or Mine
What's Emon? It means My or Mine
What's Mau? Just MY
Ka-thos means as or even as
Pra-thos is first and not last
Or else it can mean earlier
Al-lay-loan is used for one another
A-ga-pay-tos means beloved
A-pe-cri-thay means he (she/it) answered
What's Emos? It means My or Mine
What's Emay? It means My or Mine
What's Emon? It means My or Mine
What's Mau? Just MY
Ne-Cross as an adjective means dead
as a noun it means corpse instead
It's a dual functioning word
Pi-stos is used to extol
it means believing of faithful
And Tri-tos means third
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
What happens when a person “defects” and joins another sect? What was the significant of a heretic’s baptism? If a heretic baptizes another person would that person need to be re-baptized upon conversion back to the Universal Church? These were questions to which there was no good answer. Enter Augustine.
Monday, September 21, 2009
My friend Charlie always talks about a tension he feels when he approaches the subject of God. He says there are two ways to go about it, and he never knows which one to take. On the one hand you can approach God from an intellectual approach. God can read about, and metaphysically evaluated. A person can interact with the philosophy of God, the history of Religion, analyze Sacred literature, or any number of countless intellectual pursuits surrounding this person or energy or force we call God. On the other hand however there is the path of the mystic who peruses communion with God; who instead of trying to understand what and who God is simply desires to be a part of it.
This is a tension I feel every day at seminary. From the intellectual point of view I am in an academic institution. My methodology operates within the parameters logic and reason. The leap of faith is something that is discouraged in my studies and personal experience is something that is seen as an unfortunate factor that should be minimized as much as possible to achieve the most objective results. The mystic within me is repulsed by these sentiments. It finds much more value in contemplation then in comprehension. Knowing about God is often more fueled with our Love for him then our knowledge. As Gregory the Great once said, “Every time we come closer to God, our desire for him is amplified; in the very fulfillment of the desire, there is planted a deeper yearning to experience more of the beloved.” An affective theologian can never separate their work from their relationship with God. The mantra of my mystical side can be summed up in the words of Evagrius of Pontus: "A theologian is one who prays, and one who prays is a theologian." It seems that no matter how I approach God a part of me scoffs at the attempt.
One of the main reasons I chose to attend a seminary that is part of the Evangelical Covenant Church is because it is Evangelical in all the right ways. At North Park there is a focus on training people to know God not just know about Him. There is room for Intellectual Honesty without Spiritual Dishonesty and vice-versa.
The risk is always to put our life among God on hold while we learn about God. God is not an idea but an identity. A pursuit that is simply cerebral alienates us from the relationship that can advise us in overcoming the obstructions that follow pursuing a being that moves within our world but is beyond it. For as Ephesians chapter one tells us, it is God himself who reveals his mysteries. All the rest is a straining to cross the infinite.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I was recently asked "How are Christians dealing with the resurrection not appearing in the Bible recently published online as the worlds oldest bible?"
I thought you might be interested in my answer:
I take it you are talking about the "codex sinaiticus" The resurrection does appear in all four gospels... However there is a part of mark that is "missing" this really isn't news. Most modern bibles note that some manuscripts don't include the end. The codex itself is something scholars have had access to for some time, although it was split up. It's not actually that old compared to many of the other manuscripts (4th century vs 1st Century). The media has reported poorly on this. I am excited to have it online though. It is a VERY important manuscript.
However it is not oldest manuscript
Also it does not leave out the resurrection anywhere but does "omit" appearances of Jesus to many people FOLLOWING the resurrection at the end of MARK (one of four gospels)
The way Christians deal with that is pretty simple.
1) We either believe that particular section is not "inspired"
2) We believe it was an Oral tradition similar to the "women caught in adultery" passage that was added by a scribe, but validated in the process of Canonization (my personal take)
3) We don't care... or some other perspective
The main thing to remember is that none of the variations in the Scripture change the message and story of Jesus in such a way that the Christian faith would be very different.
FYI the "codex sinaiticus" also includes the Epistle of Barnabas, and portions of The Shepherd of Hermas. If these books were included the faith would be quite different... but they're not and that's the subject for another day.
I think the reader's question highlights one of the main ways the media looks for ratings. Instead of informing the population about this incredible text that is now available to everyone, the media makes up some nonsense about the resurrection not being included. It makes me angry.
Just in case you were wondering
Here is a English translation on the end of Mark from the Codex Sinaiticus.... As you can see the resurrection is there
16:1 And when the sabbath had passed, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first of the week they came to the sepulcher, the sun having risen. 3 And they said among themselves: Who shall roll away for us the stone from the door of the sepulcher? 4 And looking up they see that the stone had been rolled away; for it was very great. 5 And they entered the sepulcher and saw a young man, sitting at the right side, clothed in a white robe; and they were amazed.6 But he says to them: Be not amazed. You seek Jesus the Nazarene who was crucified; he has risen, he is not here: see the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples, especially Peter, that he goes before you into Galilee: there you shall see him, as he said to you. 8 And going out they fled from the sepulcher; for trembling and astonishment had seized them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Another form of preaching is called "Transformative Preaching." In this kind of preaching the focus is on Changing the hearts of the listeners. Ed Carey sets out "Seven Principles" to achieve the transformation in the heart of a hearer.
I have paraphrased them below for you... What do you think?
Transformative Preaching must...
1) Transform the the pulpit before it can transform the pew
2) Begin with soaking in prayer so the Word of God leads the communicator not vise versa
3) Communicate effectively to the listeners world - have a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.
4) Express transparency in the sermon and in the preachers life
5) Focus on concern for the people over communication of information
6) Communicate specific actions that correspond to the message a hearer can appropriate into their own lives
7) Illustrate the word in ways to help the hearer SEE the message not just hear it (ie parables, expressive language, stories etc)
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Brian McLaren Weighs in: http://www.brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/on-the-health-care-speech-last-n.html
Scot McKnight has some things to say:
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The fourth rule is one you should write on your finger
Rule six says the Masculine and Neuter will be
Rule Seven deals with the stops in a square
Rule eight comes up when a word ends in Tau
Philo Tain Hellanikain (8x)
In the popular imagination we often look at this process as a minister sharing about sin and atonement and calling people to come forward to pray a prayer. This week I read “ Preaching for Conversion” by Charles Finney and “Invitational Preaching in the Twenty-First Century” by Roberto Escamilla and it raised some issues about this old form.
Finney and Escamilla are both proponents of sermons that speak to the listener, and in many ways hold the same values. They both believe a sermon should by “colloquial is style,” Parabolic or incorporate narrative in some way, relevant to the hearer, and charismatic in delivery. They both look to secular sources for rhetorical inspiration. Overall they are both interested much more in reaching the hearer then following a proper decorum. They do, however, part ways over some issues.
Finney might be characterized as a “fiery preacher.” His desire is for the hearer to repent from sin. He instructs the preacher to inspire this repentance by shocking the listener out of their stupor. Finney even goes as far as to suggest changing ones doctrinal stance to shake the complacency of a hearer. For him one of the most frustrating things he sees in other preachers is, what he sees as, an over emphasis on the work of God, and a lack of discussion of a person’s own part in doing the repentance.
Escamilla on the other hand shy’s away from words like ‘conversion’ and ‘sinners.’ Instead he focuses on specific forms of social action that can better integrate a hearer into the life of the spirit. For him the “Life of the Spirit” is paramount. It is the power that enables a preacher to reach a hearer and the power that enables the listener to respond. This is very much unlike Finney. Escamilla also departs from Finney in his demeanor in the pulpit. Escamilla feels that a preacher must move away from the “fiery” preaching of old and instead make the listener feel “accepted as they are.”
Finney wrote and preached in a very different place and time then we live in today. Escamilla raises a good question in his exposition on preaching. New cultures require new methodology. We must decide what we carry with us and what we leave behind as we carry the message of the cross to future generations. “Invitational preaching” has changed with every generation, but the call to be transformed by Christ has not. No matter how the vessel changes our fidelity to the living water contained within must not.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
The Columbine shooting was in a very real sense my baptism into the question of violence. As a high-school student at the time it was the first time I ever really entered into the story and the struggle of those who believe the only voice they have left is through the shedding of blood. I was horrified as I’m sure all of you were with the incident, but it nagged at me like no story had before. I needed to understand why. I had a number of friends at school which by outward appearances looked just like Harris and Klebold (trench coats, metal bands, video games), these were people I felt I understood and could relate to. My proximity to their context brought me to a place where for the first time I was able to look through the eyes of the marginalized aggressor. I began to see how the shooters felt they needed to kill. How there was no other power left to them to persuade or communicate. They truly believed they had no other choice. In their mind the system had failed them and the last option was war on the system. It caused me to question where I stood, with the shooters or with the system. It opened up history to me in a whole new way, and I slowly began to recognize that the narratives that guided my perspective were not always right.
·What should a slave’s response to slavery be?
·How should a poor man respond when every option to feed his family is taken away?
·What happens when the most sacred things to you are appropriated to justify something abhorrent?
·How does a scapegoat find redemption?
Two years after Columbine the old story repeated itself again, this time on a massive scale. On September 11, 2001 a series of coordinated attacks gave voice to another group of marginalized people. It was nothing new, in their original plan Harris and Klebold had plotted to hijack a plane and crash it into a building in New York City too. However for me it was different. Columbine had helped me find how God’s vision for peace. As the world began to respond in violence I knew of another story with a lot mere power. I knew a third way.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
μονογενηες - (Monogenes)
The Greek word μονογενηες has long been part of what is often called the “Golden Text” of scripture among evangelicals – John 3:16. If your familiarity with the verse is limited to its frequency in crowd shots at sports games allow me to inform you of its content. The verse in the King James Version reads “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” μονογενηες comes into play with the words “only begotten.” According to A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature the word means “"(1) pertaining to being the only one of its kind within a specific relationship, one and only, only; … (2) pertaining to being the only one of its kind or class, unique (in kind)" Some might argue that this beloved verse should not be translated “only begotten” but rather simply “only.” This translation is seen in the English Standard Version, The Revised Standard Version, and even the Tyndale Bible.
μονογενηες is used 8 other times in the New Testament which can be seen in the chart below:
Meaning in verse
It refers here to the “only son” of a mother has died.
The word refers to the “only daughter” of a ruler of the synagogue
A man from the crowd uses it to describe his “only: son
This passage is describing the “word made flesh” as the one and only, who came from the Father (some translations add begotten)
The verse says that no one has seen God, but “God the One and Only” (Some manuscripts add Son to make it Only Son)
Not believing in the “the Only Son of God” is an indicator of condemnation
This is a reference to Isaac the “only son” of Abraham
1 John 4:9
God sending his “Only Son” into the world is a manifestation of God’s love.
μονογενηες is also seen in the Septuagint ten times. Four times on Hebrew Bible and Six times in the deuterocanonicals.
Hebrew Bible Occurrences
A reference to the “only child” of Jephthah
Psalm 22:20 (21:21 in LXX)
In this passage the Psalmist uses it to express how precious his Soul is to him.
Psalm 25:16 (24:16 in LXX)
In this passage the Psalmist uses the word to reflect the vulnerability of an “only child”
In this passage the Psalmist uses the word to underscore that his life is the only one he has.
Psalms of Solomon 18:4
This passage has a messianic tone
A self referential term for a young lady describing herself as “only daughter
Speaks in reference to a relative
Speaks of the only children of fathers
Speaks of an only son
A characteristic of Wisdom
As you can see the uses of the word in sacred literature can communicate a great number of things and tend to focus on both when something is unique and precious. Most translators follow what Thayer says in his Lexicon and translate the word “only” in most cases.
However their pronunciation is a little off.