Posts for Apr, 2007.

4/27/2007 11:29:00 AM

You Heretic!

Ancient Heresies and How You Commit Them

Posted Friday, April 27, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: TheologyChurch History   Comments: None
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The ancient church contained a fair number of heresies, and when I first learned about many of these heresies it seemed to me like they didn't matter very much. Why should we care about ancient heresies? Well, the more that I have studied them the more I have come to realize that some of these heresies are alive and well today, even within our evangelical churches. I had to learn that some of these heresies had affected my theology and that I needed to expel them. Are you a heretic? Read on to find out if you are and why it matters. Read more of You Heretic!

4/25/2007 9:31:00 PM

My First Time Voting

One theoblogian’s response to Idol Gives Back

Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2007 by Sam Yeiter
Categories: Popular Culture   Comments: None
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My wife and I have watched three seasons of American Idol…this one, and the ones where Fantasia and Carrie Underwood won (Carrie shouldn’t have won…Bo was waaaaay better).  Anyway, until this week, we had never voted.  I actually poked fun at people who cared enough to vote, caricaturing them all as 12 year old girls with nothing better to do.  But this week, all of that changed.  We put down the popcorn and voted.  Why?  Read on.

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4/25/2007 10:13:00 AM

Gamla: Masada of the North

Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
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Gamla is not a biblical site in the sense that it is mentioned in the Bible, but it does play a role in the Jewish revolt around 70 AD. Gamla was one of the last Zealot strongholds which the Romans conquered. Similar to Masada in the south, the defenders ended up committing suicide rather than surrendering. Gamla is in the Golan Heights and is essentially a rocky outcrop that is almost impossible to attack. There is only a wall on one side of it because the other three sides are so steep that a wall is not needed. Today it is also a popular place to view vultures. Read more of Gamla: Masada of the North

4/24/2007 8:25:00 AM

Rethinking Missions with Steve Saint

Posted Tuesday, April 24, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Missions   Comments: None
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The latest book I read is by Steve Saint, the son of Nate Saint, who was one of the missionaries killed by Aucu people many years ago. The book is entitled “The Great Omission,” a play on words about the great commission. The book is based upon his work among the Aucu people and various other groups worldwide. His main point is to challenge the way we do missions and to suggest that some of our missionary tactics are unhelpful and downright contradictory to our goal of evangelizing the world.

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4/20/2007 8:08:00 AM

Jesus Camp

Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Popular CultureCulture and Theology   Comments: None
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I watched an interesting film last night entitled Jesus Camp (Thanks to my friend Ben for first telling me about it). The film is a documentary about a children’s camp that trains kids to be fundamentalist and charismatic cultural warriors. The film was not interesting not only because they are inhabiting a fairly different evangelical world than mine, but also because in some ways they are very similar to us and it felt strange to watch “us” from the outside.

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4/19/2007 10:21:00 AM

How much is enough?

Considering the meaning of God's command to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.

Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007 by Sam Yeiter
Categories: Bible   Comments: 11
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Genesis 1:28 says: God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Have you ever wondered whether or not we have filled the earth?  I don't lay awake at night, worrying about this, but I have been preaching through Genesis again, and so I began to wonder, what constitutes filling the earth? 
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4/18/2007 10:00:00 AM


Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
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Capernaum occurs only in the NT, although it was perhaps the home of the prophet Nahum (the name means "village of Nahum" in Hebrew). The town is on the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee and in the time of Jesus was on the international road connecting Egypt with the Persian areas. I think that this is the reason that Jesus relocated from Nazareth to Capernaum: he wanted to be in a place where everyone came. Some of the earliest churches appear north of Israel in Syria, and I think that traders and others brought the gospel north, partly because of the work of Jesus in Galilee.

Capernaum today  is not a national park, but is run by the Catholics (we saw the amusing sight of a robed monk doing a dance while his cell phone rang!). There are two main structures there that attract attention. One is a synagogue that has been partially restored. While this is not the synagogue to which Jesus would have gone, it does give a good feeling for what it would have looked like, with benches along the side and the various columns and so on. But underneath the synagogue is the foundation for the previous synagogue, which probably is the one to which Jesus went. The other structure is Peter's house. This is a house that dates back to the time of Jesus and which was expanded many times to hold large crowds. Later graffiti describes it as Peter's house. Is this really the place? Quite possible, although we do not really know. The Catholics have built a space ship church over the house. The center of the church is a glass floor through which you can look down and see the house. 

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4/17/2007 11:01:00 AM

Random Thoughts on Virginia Tech Shootings

Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
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I've been reading and listening today to the horrific events that happened yesterday at Virginia Tech. It gives us a feeling for what life is like in Iraq everyday. Here are a few random thoughts bouncing around my brain.

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4/17/2007 10:19:00 AM

Exilic and Post-Exilic Books

Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
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We have come to the end of our journey! For the last set of books I abandon any kind of canonical order and just go with chronological order. I try to show how all the books fit into their time period with extrabiblical history as well as with each other. For example, the fact that Esther occurs after Ezra-Nehemiah is interesting. Why didn't Esther go back to Jerusalem? My take on Esther is that she did not start out the book in a godly fashion, but "got saved" half way through or so. So her activities at the beginning (not eating kosher, sleeping with the king, etc.) were not the activities of a godly Israelite. The book of Esther is not designed to give us a role model in every detail of what she did, but it is designed to show us the providence of God, a theme that fits in with the lack of mention of God in the book. He is working, but it is always behind the scenes. Lots of good themes from these books! Read more of Exilic and Post-Exilic Books

4/11/2007 9:13:00 AM

2 Kings 14-25, Pre-Exilic Prophets

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
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This is the second to the last edition of the OT survey course that I taught. Since there is such a huge amount of material I no longer use a text as my basis but go chronologically through the history to help people fit in the prophets with what was going on in the nation. I spend a lot of time on Ahaz and Hezekiah and the various Assyrian attacks. I think the contrast between Ahaz and Hezekiah is a fascinating one in how they dealt with a foreign threat. Ahaz refuses to trust God even when God tells him to ask for whatever he wants, but goes to Assyria for help against the Syro-Ephramite threat. Hezekiah works to  build up Jerusalem and tries to enlist the Babylonians when the Assyrians come, but he ultimately trust God. I also read out of Sennacherib's account of the attack and we look at how it compares with the OT. This is a fascinating time period in the life of Israel and Judah. I also spend a good chunk of time on Jonah and how he fits into the history of the time period and what it would have been like for Jonah to preach to the Assyrians: perhaps something like a Jew preaching to the Nazis.

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4/11/2007 9:03:00 AM

Banias (Caesarea Philippi)

Jesus or Pan?

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
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Banias was one of the prettist places which I went, mostly because there was lots of water and trees and it made me feel like i was back in the northwest. Banias is located in the northeastern end of the Hula Valley, which is part of the Jordan Rift just to the north of the Sea of Galilee. After Banias the road begins to climb up the Golan Heights towards Damascus many miles down the road. Banias is one of the major sources of the Jordan River because several springs put out large amounts of water which eventually join the Jordan. Nothing happened here in the OT that is recorded, but in the NT it became a Roman city which was dedicated to the worship of the Greek god Pan. It was called Panias, but it changed to Banias because of the lack of a p in Arabic. During NT times it was also called Caesarea Philippi and is famous for being the place where Peter made his confession of faith. The location is a fascinating choice: it is well away from any Jewish centers and is actually in a fairly pagan city dedicated to a pagan god. I think that this fits in with the desire of Jesus to not let people know that he was the Messiah because people had the wrong idea of the Messiah. He wanted to redefine the word Messiah before he proclaimed himself the Messiah, and so when he communicated it clearly to the disciples he was away from any places that would care about the Jewish Messiah. The location probably was significant for the disciples as well: here they are comprehending the Messiahship of Jesus while sitting under the shadow of a pagan temple. The pictures include the spring, a Herodian palace and the temple of Pan.  Read more of Banias (Caesarea Philippi)

4/8/2007 5:27:00 PM

The Anti-Formula

Posted Sunday, April 08, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Comments: 4
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I've been pondering recently the use of formulas. Mostly this has been from my reading of material from the emerging church. They were talking about how they strongly dislike formulas, such as in church planting. I've heard stories of church planters who plant a church and the first Sunday there is already a constitution and a fully functioning church. The emerging church on the other hand spends time in the community trying to figure out what the people are like before they start the church. Now I am not happy with where the emerging church ends up taking their ideas, but the basic foundation is good: formulas can be bad. This anti-formulic thought has implications for every aspect of our Christianity. How do we do church? How do we counsel people? How do we have fellowship? How do we teach? The list could go on for a long time. Now to balance this, there are some formulaic ideas that we have to follow. For example, if a friend of mine tells me that he is sleeping with somone else's wife, I will formulaicly tell him he is sinning. Even here, though, how I tell him will differ depending on a variety of circumstances in the context. My thought overall is that we need to be careful how we use formulas. Modernism, as it was closely associated with science and rules, made formulas for everything. Postmodernism, with its disregard for consistency, has rejected formulas all together. We need to find the middle ground. Read more of The Anti-Formula

4/5/2007 3:43:00 PM

Multivalent Vocabulary in the Johannine Epistolary Corpus

Or, what did you say you meant when you said it the other time...

Posted Thursday, April 05, 2007 by Josh Michael
Categories: New TestamentGreek   Comments: 2
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The apostle John...merely a simple fisherman right?  Not a lot of formal education or sophisticated literary training presumably.  Known for writing the "baby Greek" beloved of all first-year Greek students.  Yet beneath the apparent simplicity of his vocabularly, a complex, interwoven construction of deep ideas.

The question at hand, can you use the same word to mean two different things in the same verse...?

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4/5/2007 10:25:00 AM

What happens if God dies?

Posted Thursday, April 05, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
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I've been reading a rather thick but good book recently, entitled Is there a  meaning in this Text? by Kevin Vanhoozer. I am only a 1/4 of the way through it (It's 500 pages and dense reading) but he presents some fascinating points. One of his claims (at least, I think he makes the claim and is not just quoting another idea) is that once God is taken out of the picture (as in secularism), then it is only a matter of time before the author gets removed as well (as in postmodernism). In postmodernism, the author no longer determines the meaning of the text, but texts are essentially removed from the author. Vanhoozer notes that when life is separated from God, then the logical conclusion is that there is no center of existence in the big picture. And if there is no big center, then why should each text also be restricted to one meaning? I just thought it interesting. Read more of What happens if God dies?

4/5/2007 10:19:00 AM


Posted Thursday, April 05, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
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This stop on our tour will not have much Scripture attached to it because it did not exist during Bible times. It does seem rather strange that it did not exist because it seems like it would have been a great port then as it is now, but such is the way things worked out. The location of Haifa on the coast, just to the north of Mt. Carmel, could have been part of a very busy road if people decided to go around Mt. Carmel instead of going over it through Megiddo, but it seems that only a few went this way. A little elevation was better than a longer road I guess. Today Haifa is known for being the place where lots of work gets done, through the port and various industries. It is also the home to a Bahai shrine, the cleanest place in Isarel, as you will be able to tell in the pictures. Read more of Haifa

4/4/2007 10:18:00 AM

Who’s Your Church Father

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2007 by Brian Beers
Categories: HumorChurch History   Comments: 4
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Calling all Theoblogians.

Go and find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

Then add your identity in the comments.

This was seen at Mere Comments, a blog by the editors of Touchstone magazine.

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4/4/2007 10:03:00 AM

1 Kings – 2 Kings 13, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old Testament   Comments: None
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This stage of the journey begins the journey into the divided monarchy. I spend most of the time on Solomon and his writings, although I do go briefly to the rest of the Kings selection. I think that all three of Solomon's writings are important for our day and age, especially Proverbs. Therefore, I spend a fair amount of time with the concept of wisdom and  how we are to live the Christian life. Speaking of Solomon, I also point out how the narrator in 1 Kings 10:23-29 shows that Solomon directly disobeys almost every law given to kings in Deuteronomy 17:14-20. Read more of 1 Kings – 2 Kings 13, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

4/3/2007 12:43:00 PM

The Christian Environmentalist's Creed

First Thoughts

Posted Tuesday, April 03, 2007 by eric.mattison
Categories: Popular CultureCulture and Theology   Comments: 5
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The world at large is asking difficult questions regarding the environment and our relationship to it.  The challenge is finding ministers and teachers that are willing to even discuss it in Biblical terms.  To often our teaching on it is reduced to platitudes heard on talk radio and some occassional proof texting via "Scientific" studies.  Perhaps a significant source of frustration is the lack of real doctrine related to this issue.   The lofty goal before us is to rectify some the inequities here.  Read more of The Christian Environmentalist's Creed