Posts for Jan, 2007.

1/28/2007 12:27:00 PM

Time's Sermon

Posted Sunday, January 28, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Culture and Theology   Comments: None
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The latest issue of Time (January 29, 2007) was devoted to the topic of the mind and body. There were many fascinating articles, but one of them caught my attention: The Mystery of Consciousness, by Steven Pinker, a professor at Harvard. This articles surveys the "Easy" problem and the "Hard" problem. The easy problem is "to distinguish conscious from unconscious mental computations, identify its correlates in the brain and why it evolved." The hard problem is "why it feels like something to have a conscious process going on in ones head - why there is first-person, subjective experience." There were two parts of the article that jumped out at me. Read more of Time's Sermon

1/26/2007 6:05:00 PM

Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Or, what kind of children does an elder have?

Posted Friday, January 26, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: New Testament   Comments: 1
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I've been looking recently at the qualifications for an elder in Titus 1:6 and the qualification about children of elders. The debate on this clause flows around whether the word pistos should be translated "faithful" or "believing." Are the kids of elders required to be belivers? I was wondering if anyone had an opinion about this and why they lean the way they do. Here is the evidence.

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1/25/2007 9:38:00 AM

Old Testament Theology Devotionals

Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old Testament   Comments: None
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I try to avoid reading really big books because they take too long to read, but I do make exceptions. Old Testament Theology: Israel's Gospel by John Goldingay has been a very good exception, in spite of the fact that it is only volume one of the a projected three volumes(the third is not yet published) and this volume all by itself is 900 pages. The author goes over the history of Israel in the OT in this first volume and analyzes various theological trends and points in the texts. Therefore, he skips over most of the laws, poetry and prophecy in this book and covers them in the next two volumes. Goldingay is also not exactly the most conservative author around, as he treads closely to open theism and does not sound like he would sign an inerrancy statement. But he has great things to say! I'm only on page 300 right now, and I'm thinking that I will be reading this book for a long time, but this has been one of the funnest theology books I have read for quite some time. I have been essentially reading it like a devotional book, since Goldingay has so many applicational and relevant points for belivers today. He does a masterful job drawing implications from the text and putting together various ideas, as well as having fun in his writing. For example, he kept on referring to wisdom in Proverbs 8 as "Ms. Insight." One of the points he was making in the section on Abraham was that most of Genesis after Genesis 12 is full of challenges to God's promise to Abraham. While I had seen this before, I had seen it so clearly presented, including the idea that Abraham was supposed to be a blessing to all people, but instead he started out bringing grief to Pharaoh and others. But God is faithful to fulfill his promises, even when he seems to take his time. I highly recommend this book to help you systematize your thinking on the OT as well as to be challenged and encouraged in your personal walk with God. Read more of Old Testament Theology Devotionals

1/21/2007 12:32:00 PM

Of Umpires and Postmodernism

Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Culture and Theology   Comments: 23
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My mom is taking a few seminary classes and recently I was helping her study for a test for a theology class. In one of her textbooks (Survival Guide to Theology ), I came across a very helpful way to illustrate the difference between modernism and postmodernism. This topic is an important one today for all areas of life, including theology, and being able to illustrate the difference helps us understand the difference. Read more of Of Umpires and Postmodernism

1/17/2007 10:52:00 AM

Friends with a nose

Fun with Ugaritic

Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old Testament   Comments: 1
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All langauges have a vareity of idioms that sound really funny to speakers of other languages. Semetic languages have their share. One example is the use of "nose" to refer to anger. When Exodus 34:6 says that God is "slow to anger," the Hebrew phrase is that he "has a long nose." When people get angry, their nose gets hot. But then last night I was reading the Ugartic tale "Baal and Yam" and discovered another unusual idiom. Baal gets angry with Yam, but the literal Ugartic is that he "became friends with his nose." So be careful about getting cozy with a nose! Read more of Friends with a nose

1/9/2007 2:15:00 PM

Why Only Two Christmas Stories?

Redaction Critiscm and Bethlehem

Posted Tuesday, January 09, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Gospels   Comments: 1
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Have you ever wondered why Mark and John do not tell the Christmas story? Or why the story has so many differences between Matthew and Luke? The reason does not have to do with the writers not knowing the story, or Matthew chaning the shepherds into magi (as Gundry claims). Instead, the reason has to do with the grand scheme of each gospel. Read more of Why Only Two Christmas Stories?

1/8/2007 7:16:00 AM

Just War and Pacifism: The Problems

If we're not going anywhere, we don't have to worry about getting there...

Posted Monday, January 08, 2007 by Josh Michael
Categories: Theology   Comments: 26
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Having looked at some of the issues which affect the question of warfare/theology, I will offer some observations on the weaknesses of the two central options. Read more of Just War and Pacifism: The Problems

1/5/2007 4:56:00 PM

Doing versus Being

Posted Friday, January 05, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Culture and Theology   Comments: 1
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I was reading 1 Corinthians 6 the other day and I came across the command to not associate with a so-called brother who was covetous, along with a list of other bad things. But when was the last time you saw church discipline being conducted because of coveting? I never have, and I come from a church where church discipline is practiced. As I was pondering why this was, it occured to me that perhaps this is another effect of the Enlightenment and the rise of science. Attention was given to things we could prove and show by argument. If you could not show prove it objectively, then it was subjective and worthless as far as proving anything. Hence, church discipline was done only on things that could be "proven" objectively. The focus is no longer on being godly, but on acting godly. While I do not want to undervalue acting godly, it seems that we focus so much on doing that we forget about being. As another example, look at many evangelical. books about developing a heart for God. What do they tell us: they give us a list of things to do. We need to focus on being godly and loving God as well as living godly. Read more of Doing versus Being

1/3/2007 4:54:00 PM

Just War and Pacifism: Issues

Or, as Jan Brady might have said, "culture! culture! culture!"...

Posted Wednesday, January 03, 2007 by Josh Michael
Categories: Theology   Comments: 1
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Having examined the major alternatives, we need to consider a few of the issues that are important to the discussion.  Though we won’t answer any questions, we should at least know what the questions are.  And, we may discover some of the key fulcrum points of the debate. Read more of Just War and Pacifism: Issues

1/2/2007 9:48:00 AM

Reality vs. Expected Answers

Posted Tuesday, January 02, 2007 by Brian Beers
Categories: TheologyHumor   Comments: None
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This morning my son Nicholas (age 6) described to me how to use food coloring to make a flower turn two different colors. He then told me that he wanted to do this with grass. I wanted to help him understand that the dark color of grass would make it harder to see the color change, so I asked him, “What color is grass?”

Without a moment’s hesitation he answered, “Brown.”

My wife burst out in laughter, and I hung my head in defeat. The reality of our lawn the past two summers trumped the answer I hoped for. I only wish that the reality of the text of the Bible was allowed to trump our doctrines, our expected answers. But reality is just crazy talk.

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1/1/2007 1:28:00 PM

The Stewards of Reality Are Crazy

Posted Monday, January 01, 2007 by Brian Beers
Categories: Popular Culture   Comments: None
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L.M. Montgomery is the creator of Anne of Green Gables, the bosom friend of millions of young women. Her two volume journal, somewhat more rare than her fiction, has been some of my wife’s reading material the past few months. Montgomery eventually married a minister, a decent man, after her own Gilbert was gone from her life. But the hollowness of their religion is revealed in their disregard for eternal truths. Montgomery’s 1919 theology held the belief that believing the guilty were condemned before God –and that this might apply to you—was a sign, the sign, of insanity.

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