Theoblogian unemployed theologians spend their time30Bookins.Com to tasks such as bringing this website into a more carefree state August has been somewhat of a dry month for reading material here at Theoblogian. To compensate for this, I would like to introduce you all to This site is for trading books. You offer some of your books for trade, and when someone decides they want it, you slap a shipping label on it, and send it off to the lucky new owner. For each book you put up for trade, you get a certain number of points based on the value of the book. You can trade these points in for that book you have always wanted that someone over in Tennessee put up for trade. Those points plus $3.99 gets the new book.]]>Brian BeersThu, 24 Aug 2006 05:05:00 Reopens to the new and improved

Many of you may have noticed that the site was unavailable some of the weekend. This was due to a change in our name servers. Since you are here reading this, you may be confident that the change was successful!

On the surface looks much as it always has. The biggest change is in how you make comments. You must log in before you can make comments, and in order to log in, you must first become a theoblogian.

In my eagerness to eliminate spam in the comments (web-graffiti) on Theoblogian, the site is up minus some features. The archives will be added back in soon, and various others odd and ends will be corrected too.

This means that over the next several weeks, you may find the site temporarily unavailable as new things get moved out. Updates will take about 15 minutes, so if you find the site unavailable, please try back a little later.

Brian BeersSun, 20 Aug 2006 14:45:00 PST
Lack of Activity of Activity

You may have been noticing a lack of activity here at Theoblogian this month.

My excuse is that I have been reprogramming the website. We have been getting about 8 spam comments a day for the past three weeks. So I decided to upgrade my knowledge of ASP.Net to version 2.0 and eliminate the possibility of the spam at the same time. Consequently I haven’t had a lot of time for writing interesting stuff.

If any of you are burning with curiosity you may go and see the upgraded site, but the visible differences are very minor. The biggest difference is that you will need to log in to make comments. I am interested in any suggestions or comments that you may have. Please leave any comments here, but if they start with “Nice Site,” “Cool site,” or anything Italian, I may think it is just more spam.

Brian BeersMon, 14 Aug 2006 11:16:00 PST
Interprecation does application differ from interpretation? Or does it differ? I was certain that they did differ. I even came up with a term merging interpretation and application into “interprecation.” This clever term not only represent the blurring of the distinction between the two activities, it also reminds me of “imprecation,” something appropriately directed at one who doesn’t distinguish between application and interpretation. I enjoyed my own cleverness until I read the very helpful “Making Sense of the Old Testament, Three Crucial Questions” by Tremper Longman III. In it he states, “It may be possible to distinguish between meaning and application on a strictly theoretical level, but it is never possible to do so in practice.”

Well clever isn’t very satisfying if I’m just plain wrong so I decided to take a closer look at the differences that I thought I perceived.

Brian BeersMon, 31 Jul 2006 21:28:00 PST
An Israelite indeed speaks his mind

Context. Context. Context.

What good is context anyway?

According to Merriam-Webster, it is: “1 : the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning”

What is does for most of us is to limit meaning.

Almost any isolated statement may have a fabulous range of meaning. For example a politician taken out of context can sound even wackier. But when we have context even a politician may sound reasonable. With context meaning is constrained, and we have confidence that we understand what a person really meant to say.

In Scripture we usually have context. Occasionally, though, the context is missed and statements are misinterpreted. Jesus’ statement about Nathaniel is one example of this. I had always considered Jesus’ statement concerning Nathaniel’s character to be an example of Jesus’ deity showing. Jesus genuinely knew Nathaniel’s character because he was God. But reading the statement in context, I think that it is a bit more ordinary, more human, and a more humorous conversation.

Brian BeersMon, 24 Jul 2006 18:13:00 PST
My Lump Is Done Taken Away you all for your prayers. My partial thyroidectomy (surgery) went well. The Dr. removed half my thyroid, but I didn’t get to bring it home in a jar to show my boys. My folks came over from Idaho for the surgery, and they got to spend lots of quality time with four adorable, well-behaved children. Before dinner tonight the Dr. called and told me that the pathology report had come back already, and my lump was benign. This means that I only need to go in to get my stitches out and then live happily ever after.

Everything else is going well as well. Recovery is progressing at a break-neck pace (that is not the same as a cut-throat rate), and in only four weeks I will be able to pick up my children again. That is going to be the toughest part of convalescence. My three-year-old loves to be “walked to sleep” a ritual in which I walk around our yard with his head resting on my shoulder. This is ritual we both enjoy, and often it results in him falling asleep.

Brian BeersThu, 20 Jul 2006 21:36:00 PST
The Shy Savior the gospel of Mark Jesus repeatedly instructed people to keep quiet about Jesus’ miracles. At first glance this may seem a bit contradictory. Jesus went through the countryside, preaching, but whenever he did something amazing, he tried to hush it up. He didn’t want celebrity or even servants. He desired to be loved. He sought friends. This and a bit of reflection on human nature makes Jesus shyness understandable.]]>Brian BeersThu, 13 Jul 2006 17:32:00 PSTC.S. Lewis on Patriotism Independence Day, Lewis’s thoughts on the love of country is a breath of fresh air. In these days of strident discourse on America’s role in the world we need a right understanding of our love for our country. We cannot throw out patriotism as some would do. Neither can we equate love for our nation with love for justice. The rest of this post is an excerpt from The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis.Patriotism has, then, many faces. Those who would reject it entirely do not seem to have considered what will certainly step—has already begin to step—into its place. For a long time yet, or perhaps forever, nations will live in danger. Rulers must somehow nerve their subjects to defend them or at least prepare for their defence. ]]>Brian BeersTue, 04 Jul 2006 23:46:00 PSTAuthorial Intent scripture appears to be open to different interpretations depending upon interpreters’ presuppositions than the task at hand is no longer interpreting scripture, but arguing opinions.

The interpretation of scripture transcends what we bring to the text. Authorial intent does not change. Some discard authorial intent as an impossible standard. It may appear subjective. One may claim to find authorial intent with only a cursory examination of the text. Another believes that his speculations about the circumstances of the author establishes a better authorial intent. Neither trusts the text of the scripture they wish to interpret. Mistakes in interpretation are much easier to perpetuate in isolation. The community of faith is a guard against such misinterpretation.

Brian BeersFri, 30 Jun 2006 08:03:00 PST
It’s Cancer’s-Cancer.aspxBack in March, the doctor noticed that the left side of my thyroid was enlarged. Last Wednesday, I had a second biopsy because the first came back “non-diagnostic,” a technical term for “didn't get the bad stuff with all that pokin’ around.”

This biopsy came back diagnostic, and the diagnosis was cancer. If you were told that you were gonna get cancer, but you got to pick which kind...this would be a good choice. It doesn't metastasize (spread and kill all of you), but it is cancer, and it will be cut out.

The exorcism is July 19th. So I have three weeks. And I have committed these three weeks to a reflection on life vs. sin & death and my role in this conflict. Sidelines are non-existent in this conflict so I really have no idea where I have been sitting.

Brian BeersMon, 26 Jun 2006 22:31:00 PST