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Thursday, May 29, 2008

IVP Software and LTJ

I finally broke down and took a software plunge. The first wonderful purchase is The Essential IVP Reference Collection Version 2. Truth be told, I purchased it for the IVP background dictionary set, but holy smoke Batman, this came with so much more. Check out the contents.


          • Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels
          • Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
          • Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments
          • Dictionary of New Testament Background
          • IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament
          • IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament
          • New Bible Dictionary
          • New Bible Commentary
          • Hard Sayings of the Bible
  • The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
  • New Bible Atlas
  • New Dictionary of Biblical Theology
  • New Dictionary of Theology
  • Pocket Dictionary for the Study of New Testament Greek
  • Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics and Philosophy of Religion
  • Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies
  • Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms

My other fabulous purchase is Luke Timothy Johnson's The Writings of the New Testament, Revised Edition with CD-ROM. Frankly, I already had the first edition, but I purchased this version for the CD-ROM.

What works out well is that both of these work through the Libronix system. I am quite the happy camper.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Could You Become A Citizen?

Since it is Memorial Day weekend, let's be patriotic. Click here, and take this sample test of the test given to those applying for United States citizenship.

Be honest, and share your results.

Go Spurs Go!

This video should get your faith up a little. Go Spurs Go!

Great Moments

Do you remember this beautiful moment in sports? Wow!

Friday, May 23, 2008

For Your Viewing Entertainment

Yes! I am excited they are making Mama Mia into a movie.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Confession and Repentance

This is my friend, Dr. Kerry L. Skinner. Kerry and I were in the same program at Gordon-Conwell, and he is a great guy. In our time at GCTS he became like a big brother to the class. Kerry shared his wisdom, spoke gently, he is witty, and he is very humble for such an accomplished gentleman. If I grow up, I hope I can be like Kerry.

Enjoy the following videos, and check out Kerry's web site.

Is Confession the Same as Repentance?

Are We Born Sinners?

Thus and Such

What does "thus and such" mean? Whenever I hear someone use this phrase I get annoyed. Usually I hear it from people trying to list what they have done, and when there is nothing else to say, they add "thus and such." It sounds like someone who has a limited vocabulary, is unsuccessfully searching for words, and comes up with "thus and such." It seems to be a way to inflate their thoughts or actions.

Call me critical. Call me egotistical. Just don't use the phrase "thus and such" around me.

Blogging and Christian Ethics #2

This is the second in a short series on blogging and Christian ethics. A number of issues seem apparent when it comes to this issue, and it warrants addressing. Today's focus is on commentary between readers.

Let's be honest. Bloggers want to see a lot of comments to their posts because it means more readership. Generally, innocuous posts receive little response and controversial topics receive more comments. My concern is not with this aspect; my concern is with the tone of the comments.

I concede the fact that there is no guaranteeing that all comments come from Christians, but there should be a certain amount of Christian ethics involved in the response given by those who adhere to the Christian faith. It is not unusual to read responses from Christians that one would be surprised to hear in face to face discourse. Often there is childish, playground level, name-calling involved. Christian? Hardly.

Another unfortunate, yet common, form of response is distortion. One commenter states his or her case, and another blows it out of proportion simply with the intent to win an argument. "So what you're saying is...blah, blah, blah" when clearly that was never the intent of the first writer. Misrepresentation hardly seems to be an ethical way for Christians to respond.

Then there's avoidance. One commentator makes a valid point, and the person from the opposing view ignores it and brings up a different issue. Again, it reads like a kid's playground. "Oh yeah, well Billy did..." This does not appear to be the dialog of intelligent Christian discourse.

Another aspect, profanity. Words that would never be spoken with other believers is not uncommon on blogs. Sometimes abbreviations are used, but the intent is still there. Is it acceptable for Christians to abbreviate profanity if it is not acceptable to speak it? WTF is that about?

Ultimately, it seems to me that Paul's exhortation to speak the truth in love should also guide the discourse in written form. If we write in in a letter, post it on a blog, or speak it in a conversation, our goal should remain the same: truth and love.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blogging and Christian Ethics#1

I often read Christian blogs. Some of these are from trained theologians, some are from ministers, some are from budding theologians, and some are from the laity. I'm not a theological snob.

Here is the trend that is bothering me: the discourse in Christian blogs seems sub-Christian. By discourse, I include the content of the post and the comments from the readers. I do acknowledge that there no way to monitor who comes to or creates blogs.

Let me unpack this.

Presumptions are made about others views with little effort or research to verify the veracity of such statements. Several months ago I was on a blog where a popular TV evangelist was being attacked for what was supposedly not in his book. I took it upon myself to go to a nearby Barnes and Noble and scan this book. Within five minutes of reading, I was able to refute the accusations. That is just one example of many I can think of.

Is it within acceptable Christian conduct to misstate another Christians views, attacking their faith, while having made little or no effort to ascertain the truth?

In the interest of your time, more on ethics and blogging will come in another post.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Am I Crazy?

I'm quite fond of unusual music, which includes Daniel Amos and Terry Scott Taylor. On Dr. Edward Daniel Taylor's "Miracle of Faith Telethon" there was quite an unusual song called "Little Dumbo." This song included a testimony that involved seeing the face of Art Carney in a tortilla and how it changed their lives.

That being said, the other day I got into the shower and saw this image in my wash cloth:

My cell phone was nearby, so I took a photo. Do you see the face of Jesus in my wash cloth?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Must See Video

May God bless your socks off!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Deep Thoughts on Elton John

I like Elton John's music. Here is the great William Shatner's rendition of "Rocket Man" is my deep thought in the form of a question: Do you think Elton understands that the phrase "cold as hell" doesn't really make sense?

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