• Cal Thomas: Who are “evangelicals” following?

    Today, “evangelicals” are perceived by many as one more interest group attached to the Republican Party and especially President Trump. Its members need to make a choice as to which one is their true “master.” They can’t serve both.

    Cal Thomas: Are today’s Evangelicals following Jesus or following Trump?

  • I hate it that a perfectly good descriptor of my branch of the Christian faith has been kidnapped and misused to represent a noxious political movement. Evangelical. It used to be a good word.

  • New Jerusalem Bible - Old Testament

    Back in my seminary days I remember one of my profs saying that the Jerusalem Bible was an excellent translation of the Old Testament. I would love to hear from one of my OT scholar friends whether that pertains to the New Jerusalem Bible as well.

    I like to read the NJB because it doesn’t change “YHWH” to “the LORD”. It simply fills in the vowels and renders it as “Yahweh”.

  • Any Red Sox fans around here? ⚾

  • Youth Pastor Forgets What His Hebrew Tattoo Means

  • Apollos OT Commentaries

    I became aware of an OT commentary series from IVP. The description sounds perfectly like the way I think about the Bible. I’m anxious to use on the volumes in my studies before long. So far there are volumes on Exodus, Levitucus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Samuel, Kings, Haggai/Zechariah/Malachi, Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs, Ruth, and Daniel. Film at eleven.

    The Bible is both a divine and a human book. It is the inspired word of God for his people, whether in biblical times or for the church today. It is also a fully human book, written by different people in a variety of cultural settings. Knowledge of biblical language and society is essential if the meaning of the human writer is to be grasped fully.

    The Apollos Old Testament Commentary aims to take with equal seriousness the divine and human aspects of Scripture. It expounds the books of the Old Testament in a scholarly manner accessible to non-experts and shows the relevance of the Old Testament to modern readers.

    This commentary begins with an introduction, which gives an overview of the issues of date, authorship, sources and so on, but which also outlines more fully than usual the theology of 1 and 2 Samuel and provides pointers toward its interpretation and contemporary application.

    The annotated translation of the Hebrew text by the author forms the basis for the subsequent commentary. The form and structure section examines the context of a passage, its use of rhetorical devices, and source and form-critical issues. The comment section is a thorough, detailed exegesis of the historical and theological meaning of the passage. The explanation—the goal of the commentary—offers a full exposition of the theological message within the framework of biblical theology, and a commitment to the inspiration and authority of the Old Testament.

  • Don’t people who break the law know that they might be caught? And don’t they know that if they are caught, the consequences might be unpleasant?

  • Workspace

  • Roots

    P3020016 Edit

  • Exile

    For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart … (Jeremiah 29:11–13, NRSV)

    Often invoked as encouragement for the church. Always—always!—ripped out of context.

    Just the prior verse will give an excellent hint to the ignored context: For thus says the LORD: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. (Jeremiah 29:10, NRSV)

    Jerusalem and Judah are beginning a period of exile in Babylon. Their “prophets” are telling them that Yahweh will end it quickly because they are his chosen people. Jeremiah, the true prophet, is telling them that they are exiled for a reason: they have turned away from God. And for a purpose: that they might turn back to God.

    So Jeremiah tells them to settle into their exile and let God’s reason and purpose work. It needs to play out. There is hope, but it comes later, not now.

    If the church today is in exile, we are listening to voices that say, “If the culture doesn’t care about us anymore, let’s be more like the culture so we can be relevant.” But perhaps we should take the words of Jeremiah to say to us, “Use this time to figure out who you are as a church. Don’t give in to the culture. Let the exile work on you.”

    As I’ve been reading Jeremiah I have enjoyed John Goldingay’s commentary on the book. He has something to say about this passage.

    A parallel in the life of the Western church might be that if God has taken it into exile so that the church no longer counts in our culture, we need to settle down in that position until God wants to restore us, rather than trying to turn the church into something the culture wants. Maybe we have prophets who tell us we can return from this exile sooner rather than later, and maybe we have dreams of this kind, and the prophets might be right, and the dreams might be God given. In Jeremiah’s day, however, such dreams came out of people’s own heads.

    (John Goldingay, Jeremiah for Everyone, Old Testament for Everyone (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press; Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2015), 145.)

    Bottom line: let’s take our time and get this right. We don’t need culture wars to try to make the church more prominent in the culture. We don’t need politics. We need to figure out how to be a church in exile.

    Read the Bible yourself and don’t be tempted to pull out proof texts and promise texts without their contexts. You’ll grow as a Christian.

  • Podcast rmcrob

    Episode 1

  • Heart of Darkness

  • Anyone interested in starting a Slack group for Bible and theology discussion?

  • My wife is eating at Punch Burger this evening. I love that place. This photo is from the last time I was there.

  • Core Intuition

    Writing on @Manton Reece’s microblogging platform via Daniel Jalkut’s MarsEdit makes me fondly remember the days when I listened to those two guys in the early days of podcasting. I’m not a developer, nor did I really plan to be one, but I greatly enjoyed listening to those two guys discuss the work they were doing. Good stuff and good guys.

  • New micro blog

    I deleted my blog the other day because I have cancer and I can’t write as much as I used to. I’ve been blogging since 2001 or so, and it hurts to give it up, even though the medium isn’t what it used to be.

    I have lots of thoughts on the Bible, theology, the church, and culture in general. I wonder if micro.blog might just be perfect for me.

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