Tuesday, March 31, 2009


“There are Sunday school teachers, Christian elders, and friends whose teaching has no power! They never see the fulfillment of the hope: Sinners shall be converted unto thee. It is not from lack of teaching the truth, but from failing to speak about a living experience of this grace. They teach from a knowledge of the truths of Scripture or refer to an earlier spiritual experience. But this is not enough. If you want to see teaching and conversion of sinners, you must have a living effective experience of the grace of God.”—Andrew Murray

<idle musing>
That's right; trying to live on an experience that is 20 years old, or 2 days old, won't do it. If your experience with God is not a moment-by-moment reliance on him, you have nothing to offer.
</idle musing>

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday's thought

“To a person who has had his heart filled with grace, it is a joy and pleasure to make others acquainted with Jesus. The reason it is so difficult to speak about Jesus is that we are content with so little of the grace of God. We do not yield ourselves to be completely filled wit hit. Let the fear you feel convince you that you do not yet have as much grace as God is prepared to give. God will gladly give every soul so much blessing that his mouth will overflow because his heart is full. He will not be able to remain silent. Love for Jesus and for others will force him to speak”—Andrew Murray

Friday, March 27, 2009

Where have all the bees gone

One of the things I am interested in is honey bees. I never have had a hive, but I hope that someday I may; meantime I watch from afar. Anyway, the last few years there has been a spreading problem among beekeepers called CCD—Colony Collapse Disorder—which simply means that the bees disappear from their hives, usually through death. Many have suspected that it is the result of the use of pesticides, but only recently has proof begun to emerge. I quote from Catch the Buzz, a bee industry newsletter:

Imidacloprid, a systemic insecticide, moves through the treated plant to the nectar and pollen. The chemical remains persistent in soils for several years, can be taken up by subsequent plantings and weeds, and expressed in their pollen and nectar. No mechanism exists to protect honeybees from this exposure. Due to the vitally important nature of pollinators we recommend that imidacloprid be removed from use in the United States. Simply stated there is just no way to protect bees from this danger.

There is a good deal of evidence to back up this request at the cited URL. Please read it.

How, you ask, did we allow this to happen? Let me quote again:

The reader may ask how did we find ourselves at the point where an extremely dangerous chemical compound has come into such widespread use, threatening the very existence and viability of the pollination framework of the country. The answer is simple. Deregulation, the same concept which precipitated our financial collapse, has precipitated an environmental collapse no less serious. At the same time that financial institutions were being given a free reign to regulate themselves on the naive assumption that industry knew best, pesticide regulation was being turned over from EPA to industry on the same assumption.

US EPA used to do pesticide screening in honeybees, do pesticide toxicity study themselves, but today industry directs and funds the critical toxicity studies to determine product safety themselves. The studies are shown to EPA for registration purposes, then filed away as “proprietary information” far from the scrutiny of the public eye. Enforcement actions are not taken by EPA; instead these critically important functions are delegated to individual state departments of agriculture, under an arrangement ironically called a “primacy agreement.”

The problems faced by the beekeeping industry are not limited to one single chemical compound. They are in fact linked to a pervasive regulatory failure. When the EPA was first set up, it was in response to environmental challenges of an unprecedented nature. At that time the country was using 200,000,000 pounds of active ingredient chemical pesticides. Today that number is over 5,000,000,000 pounds of active ingredient. Simply put, the country is drowning in chemicals. These very “economic poisons” are doing their job too well, and because of the deregulation process we are faced with a perfect storm today capable of destroying our countries[sic] pollinator base which will carry with it agricultural and environmental catastrophe.

The fundamental change which is necessary is to return to a system at EPA which independently tests chemical compounds before they are released for widespread use. Precaution and prevention are words which need to return to environmental protection. Massive field experiments, such as what has occurred with the neonicotinoid class of systemic insecticides is just too high risk of a behavior.

<idle musing>
If you let industry police itself, what do you expect? We have seen what happened in the banking industry, with the resulting recession/depression. Can we afford to wait for the bees to disappear?

You say you don't eat honey? That's not the issue! Bees are pollinators; a huge percentage of our crops depend on their pollination. No bees, a lot less food. Less food, higher prices and the genuine possibility of real food shortages.

I have hesitated to post on this issue for a long time, for fear of being seen as a "wolf-crier," but this is getting too serious. But, there is hope; the White House is now keeping honey bees! See here for the details.
</idle musing>

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's in a name, anyway?

Yesterday, I posted about name calling in academia. Jim West took issue with name-calling being bad. He was clear that he is not attacking me, and I don't feel attacked. But, in the interest of clarifying what Efraín Velázquez was getting at, here is a later snippet:

The current debate and so-called crisis in historiographical studies has served to mature both disciplines. As long as the debate does not degenerate into isolation and fragmentation, one must continue listening to provocative proposals and maturing solid arguments. On the other hand, accusations such as “myth holders” or “mythographers” do not serve to advance our disciplines.—Efraín Velázquez in Critical Issues in Early Israelite History, page 75

<idle musing>
It seems clear that the name calling is not what he was concerned about as much as whether or not people are really listening...
</idle musing>

New sale

I just put up a new sale at Eisenbrauns. Have fun!

For the next 10 days, Eisenbrauns is offering you a chance to save 30-60% on some of our newer Festschriften. Whether your interests are the ancient Near East, archaeology, languages, or biblical studies, there is one on sale for you.

"Essays on Ancient Israel in Its Near Eastern Context:
A Tribute to Nadav Na'aman"
Edited by Yairah Amit, et al.
Eisenbrauns, 2006. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575061283
List Price: $59.50 Your Price: $35.70

"David and Zion: Biblical Studies in Honor of J. J. M. Roberts"
Edited by Bernard F. Batto and Kathryn Roberts
Eisenbrauns, 2004. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 1575060922
List Price: $55.00 Your Price: $27.50

"Hittite Studies in Honor of Harry A. Hoffner Jr.
on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday"
Edited by Gary M. Beckman, Richard Beal, and Gregory McMahon
Eisenbrauns, 2003. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 1575060795
List Price: $65.00 Your Price: $32.50

"Sefer Moshe: The Moshe Weinfeld Jubilee Volume:
Studies in the Bible and the Ancient Near East,
Qumran, and Post-Biblical Judaism"
Edited by Chaim Cohen, Avi Hurvitz, and Shalom M. Paul
Eisenbrauns, 2004. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 1575060744
List Price: $59.50 Your Price: $29.75

"Le-David Maskil : A Birthday Tribute for David Noel Freedman"
Edited by Richard Elliott Friedman and William H. Propp
Biblical and Judaic Studies from the
University of California, San Diego - BJSUCSD 9
Eisenbrauns, 2004. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 1575060841
List Price: $32.50 Your Price: $16.25

"Confronting the Past: Archaeological and Historical
Essays on Ancient Israel in Honor of William G. Dever"
Edited by Seymour Gitin, J. Edward Wright, and J. P. Dessel
Eisenbrauns, 2006. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 1575061171
List Price: $69.50 Your Price: $34.75

"Bringing the Hidden to Light: The Process of Interpretation:
Studies in Honor of Stephen A. Geller"
Edited by Kathryn F. Kravitz and Diane M. Sharon
Eisenbrauns, 2007. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575061245
List Price: $49.50 Your Price: $29.70

""I Will Speak the Riddles of Ancient Times": Archaeological
and Historical Studies in Honor of Amihai Mazar on the
Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday"
Edited by Aren M. Maeir and Pierre de Miroschedji
Eisenbrauns, 2006. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 1575061031
List Price: $97.50 Your Price: $68.25

"Milk and Honey: Essays on Ancient Israel and the Bible
in Appreciation of the Judaic Studies Program at the
University of California, San Diego"
Edited by Sarah Malena and David Miano
Eisenbrauns, 2007. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 1575061279
List Price: $47.50 Your Price: $19.00

"From the Banks of the Euphrates: Studies in
Honor of Alice Louise Slotsky"
Edited by Micah Ross
Eisenbrauns, 2008. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575061443
List Price: $49.50 Your Price: $34.65

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Name calling

"Thompson (1992a) and Barstad (1996) argue that scholars who support an early date for the origin of Israel (the so-called maximalists) are perpetuating a “myth of Israel” and the “mythical past” of the Hebrew Bible. On the other hand, Oded (2003: 55–56) calls the so-called minimalists “mythographers,” because they propose that the origin of Israel should be dated to late periods (that is, Persian or Hellenistic periods). I do not wish to engage in a diatribe that would not advance the study on the origins of Israel. Name-calling and rhetorical outbursts have done much harm and do not promote progress in this discussion. Much of today’s literature is reactionary and does not advance our understanding. However, the dynamics of engaging a subject from different perspectives can be fruitful and the colorful language of these discussions generates interest."—Efraín Velázquez in Critical Issues in Early Israelite History, page 62

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Just ran across this in an e-mail from Smyth & Helwys, plugging the book 17 Roadblocks on the Highway of Life:

As the old quip puts it, “We spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need based on advertising we don’t believe to please people we don’t even like.”

Author Juliet B. Schor describes the problem in terms of today’s consumer society. She locates the problem in what she calls the process of consumption: see, want, borrow, and buy. Our inner desires are prompted by exposure to a plethora of things. Seeing leads to wanting, as our inner desires spur us to action. And often we do not wait until we have the money we need before we purchase something. We simply charge it. Then, after having bought something—often on credit—we are driven to make more money to cover what we have already purchased, all the time driven toward more possessions by the process of consumption. [Juliet B. Schor, The Overspent American (New York: Basic Books, 1998), 68-74.]

<idle musings>
And we wonder why the economy collapsed? This, my friends, is the ultimate end of the person wrapped up in him/herself. Consumption can never fill the hole in the soul.
</idle musings>

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why is it

that we are surprised when people act depraved?

As Christians, we claim to believe in original sin, but then are surprised when people act in a sinful manner...one of those things that makes you go, "hmmm."

Friday, March 20, 2009

A song is given birth in the spring

Joel posted this song to their blog yesterday. It is a reflection on how Emily's passing last June helps him understand the crucifixion a bit better. Click on the widget to hear it. The words are below.


Resurrection Morn
by Joel Pike
Now that I've held death in my arms.
Now that my own flesh and blood has grown cold.
Now that I've seen a soul move on,
leaving behind a little body and a little less of me.

Now that I've seen the heavenly slip away....
Nothings left when the heavenly slips away.
Now that I've seen...
What would've it been like to be there on a hill outside of Jerusalem?
When the earth shuddered and the sky rolled and on the cross hung the one who made it all?
He made the hands that beat him.
He made the tongues that cursed him over and over.
He made the nails that pierced his wrists.
He made the thorns that crowned His bloody head.

The Author of Life wrote His death. He wrote in His own blood.
And the Light of the world was extinguished.
And what is a world without the One by whom it is made?
No there's nothing left when the heavenly slips away.

Oh for the resurrection morn!
Oh for the first light of dawn!

All would be lost it that'd been all;
if death could keep a hold on God
Enter the tomb. Pass the stone rolled away.
He is not here. He is risen from the dead!

Oh for the resurrection morn! (Where would we be?)
Oh for the first light of dawn! (Come Lord Jesus come)


There has been a good bit of discussion about Jon's post about church, but it has all been on Facebook. As expected, it wasn't long before someone trotted out the old Hebrews 10:24-25 verse. I suspect they are using the version that Alan Knox published on June 1, 2008, because it certainly couldn't be the actual one in anybody's Bible:

The fourth installment of "Scripture... As We Live It":

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting don't forget to meet together in the church building every Sunday morning, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another let your leaders encourage you, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 remix)

<idle musing>
I would only add one thing to his modifications; I would put this at the end: "and all the more as you see Sunday drawing near."

Seriously, why do we think that Sunday sitting in a pew is "considering how to stir one another up?" Maybe because otherwise we would fall asleep? :)
</idle musing>

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What do you do with these?

Seriously, what do you do with these verses:

1 Corinthians 7:12 "To the rest I say, not the Lord..." and
1 Corinthians 7:25 "Now concerning the unmarried, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy." (RSV)

What do you do with these? Do you run through some hermeneutical hoops to make it so that Paul is inspired? Do you basically re-read it to mean that he knows of no saying of Jesus addressing this? Or, do you take it at face value? Are they binding?

I'm being serious here. I honestly don't know (and never have) how to read these two texts. If you take them as binding, then what does that say about your hermeneutic of scripture? If you take them as Paul's opinion, what does that say about your view of inspiration? And, are you comfortable with these decisions?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Church, but not as most view it

There is a thought provoking post by Jon over at The Theos Project on being outside the pale of institutional Christianity. After recalling a recent, awkward, conversation with a neighbor, he talks about why, and what it means, to be outside the pale:

But what if we embraced the void? What if we gave up our foundationalist instinct to find a center and just let be?

I think that if we could do so, then we would be forced to live faith without being able to fall back on an institution/organization/membership for security. We could then allow sacred spaces to open up naturally and organically as the spirit moves.

Most importantly, without a center or foundation, the us-versus-them exclusivistic attitude becomes more difficult to maintain. "Having a home church" means that one is "in," right? And those who don't are out. What if we were all out? What if we were all in? What if that didn't matter so much, anymore?

NOT having a church makes one live faith each moment for the moment, it does not allow for a psychological religious stabilizer.

<idle musing>
Please read the whole thing; he doesn't paint a rosy picture of being outside, nor does he condemn those inside. He simply evaluates what church is supposed to be, where it really is, and how he is responding to that. Personally, I think his response is very well thought out and has a scriptural foundation.

He isn't the only one who thinks this way; according to Barna, this is the fastest growing segment of the church. It used to be the nominal christians who left the institutional church; now it is the ones who really want to live out their faith moment-by-moment. The church doesn't know what to do with these kinds of people. I guess that is one reason that a friend of mine has started saying that he is "unchurched," although he gets together with other Christians throughout the week. He just doesn't want to be associated with the baggage that comes with the current definition of "church;" he would rather it were defined by the New Testament.
</idle musing>


Yes, I know it isn't officially here yet, but yesterday sure was beautiful!

I love the season changes; I love winter, but am glad that things are turning green again. I looked at the lilac bushes yesterday night. They have begun to put out little leaves, about 1/2 long right now. The fruit trees have buds that are about to burst open; the maples are getting ready to flower.

I walked over to the garden, trying to see signs of raspberries coming up. Not yet. Then I went over to the herb garden and looked for signs of mint, parley, oregano, but in vain. The chives, though, have 2 inch sprouts. I plucked one off and bit it. The stalks are nice and thick and juicy this time of year and a burst of onion filled my mouth. I plucked a second one to intensify the flavor. Wow, sure did taste good. But, the flavor stuck in my mouth the rest of the night; after a while it does get old :)

I started riding my road bike again this week. Talk about fast! With the mountain bike, it takes me about 25 minutes to get to work. With the road bike, I can do it in 15. The mountain bike I have is heavy and a bit too small for me, but it serves its purpose well. I wouldn't want to be riding my road bike with its skinny tires and expensive components in the salt and snow!

Enjoy the season! I know I am, even though the garden won't get planted for a while yet :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Making the rounds again

A few good posts from relatively recenlty...

What is worship? asks Alan Knox the other day:

How do we "worship" God? We worship God in the way that we serve, submit to, love, and accept one another. When do we worship? Well, we worship when we serve, submit to, love, and accept one another. What if we're not doing these things? Then we're not worshiping.

What if we're singing and listening to preaching, but we not demonstrating love to those around us? Then we're not worshiping. What if we're demonstrating God's love to those around us, but we're not singing nor listening to preaching. Then, we're worshiping.

And, from Ted Gossard, some thoughts on relationships:

I don't care that much about what I know or what you know, not for itself. Yes, knowledge by faith is important. But the goal is relationship and communion with God and with each other. Of course only in Christ can people come to their senses and repent and thus find themselves found by God. The central need for relationship is inherent in us as humans made in God's image.

And, from Joel B. about living in a box:

What ends up happening is a lot of faking. A lot of acting. A lot of trying to keep up with others who seem to have it together, while those who seem to have it together know that they don't really have it together, but can't let anyone know! And there is a lot of living inside a box. A box of must's and should's, rather than trust and get to's. A box of performance, trying to get it right, trying to be good Christian boys and girls, but never seeming able to arrive, and therefore never being able to get out of the box. Often not even knowing there's a whole world outside of the box!

</idle musing>
All excellent thoughts. Be sure to read the whole of each of them.
<idle musing>

Friday, March 13, 2009

Slow burn

<idle musing>
I've been doing a slow burn for the last day or so. Perhaps I can put this in a coherent fashion; we'll see.

If you have read this blog for very long, you know that I am a firm believer in the need for revival in the U.S. church. I commented in the past about Lakeland. I believed, and still do, that despite some of the extremes, it was a true move of God (and from what I hear, it is still going on, albeit in a less media-centric way).

I firmly was hopeful that Bentley would reconcile with his wife. I was also hopeful that there would be repentance and confession. Well, this hit my e-mail box 2 days ago. Let me quote the relevant part:

What happened there was from God, and Todd is a true servant of God. He has made some mistakes, and he is trying to get his life back in order, and you can be confident that he will.

OK. There are a few things wrong with the theology of those sentences. I agree with the first sentence; it was of God, and Bentley was a true servant of God. It is the second sentence that has me upset, so here we go:

1. He did not make mistakes—he sinned. People, there is a huge difference between a mistake and sin. A mistake is an error in judgment because we are finite. Sin is willful. Sin demands confession and repentance; a mistake doesn't require repentance, although it might require an apology. Sin is an affront to the living God. Sin kills. Sin demands atonement. Sin will destroy. Sin will eat a person from the inside out. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

2. Notice the subject of the sentence: "He." "He is trying." "he will" Sorry; not going to happen. Never. Not in a thousand years. Not him; not you; not me. Period. We will never, ever, ever be able to get our lives in order. If we could, then Christ died for no reason. It doesn't matter whether you are a Calvinist, an Arminian, or undecided, it is a foundational statement of Christian theology that we cannot be good on our own. It must always be God, and God alone, who can get our lives "back in order." And even after that, we are still reliant on the ever present, ever empowering, grace of God, in the form of the presence of the Holy Spirit, to keep us.

Just in case you missed that, let me repeat it: None of us can get our lives in order, nor can we keep them in order, except by the work of the Holy Spirit! And the sooner we admit it, the sooner we can allow it to happen.

I know somebody will say something to the effect of "Well, that is implied. We all know that God has to help him." Sorry, still not going to happen. God does not help us! He does it. Do you understand? We can do nothing apart from God. As soon as we expect God to help us, we have taken back control of our life; we are again calling the shots. People, we are dead!. When was the last time (in real life) that you saw a dead person take control of their life? Exactly! It doesn't happen; they are dead. In the same way, we are dead so that God can live a holy life through us (see Romans 5-6, for starters). He calls the shots, he does the empowering, not us.

Bentley might get the shell back in place. God might even use him mightily again—I hope God does use him again. But, unless there has been true repentance, the shell will crack under pressure. When it does, not if, we will see the same problems. Don't think I am picking on him; the same thing is true of all of us. We need the immediate, current, moment-by-moment breath of God living in us or we will all be in the same spot.

OK. I'm done—for now.
</idle musing>

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Greek musings

Caution, this post might be hazardous to your language skills :)

I was reading through Romans 7 last night in the Greek with a friend. We noticed an interesting thing in verse 15:
ὃ γὰρ κατεργάζομαι οὐ γινώσκω: οὐ γὰρ ὃ θέλω τοῦτο πράσσω, ἀλλ' ὃ μισῶ τοῦτο ποιῶ.

See the three different words for "do?" The English versions have a hard time with this, usually just glossing them all was "do." But, I think Paul is trying to make a distinction here. Not totally sure what it is, but I suspect this translation might bring it to English a bit better:

For the thing I accomplish, I don't understand. For what I do not desire, this is the thing I practice, and the thing I hate, I end up doing.

OK, what do you think? Tear it to shreds :)

By the way, the interplay between γινώσκω (GINWSKW) and οἶδα (OIDA) in this section is also interesting...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Today's snippet

"Many people concerned about salvation do not understand David's request [Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice (Ps. 51:8)] They think that it is too large a blessing to desire from God, that they are too unworthy to expect to receive such deep joy from God. They are content to be miserable and depressed all their lives, as long as they can hang onto the hope of one day getting to heaven. They feel too unworthy to ask for joy and gladness on earth as well. They think they are not fit to expect such a blessing, and they call this attitude humility. No, in truth, they are always wanting to measure grace according to their own merits, and that is not real grace!"—Andrew Murray emphasis mine

<idle musing>
An easy trap to fall into, I might add. Grace is measured by God's standards, not ours (praise God for that!). We can enjoy his presence continually by resting/remaining/abiding in him.
</idle musing>

Monday, March 09, 2009


"[M]any people experience a superficial conversion and allow themselves to be deceived. For example, there is some anxiety about sin and questions about grace whenever someone is sick, but the person is soon comforted. These feelings of convictions can be easily awakened and also very lightly laid to rest again. Many desire the help of God without being prepared to abandon everything in actual life. 'The heart is deceitful above all things' (Jer. 17:9). Through the pious appearance of religion, people many times deceive themselves. If they would only realize that God searches the deepest recesses of the soul, then this word of David [Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts (Ps. 51:6)] would be a word of heartbreaking power and at the same time a word of healing and quickening."—Andrew Murray

<idle musing>
Ouch! I would say this is only too true, in my experience. Break our hearts, Lord! Bring us to true repentance that we might see sin as you do and salvation as you do!
</idle musing>

Friday, March 06, 2009

Workaholics for the Kingdom

A friend of mine forwarded this to me. It is an excerpt from Making Sense of Spiritual Warfare from Bethany House.

Many of us think that our assignment from the Lord is to identify problems and then apply prayer to them. We see ourselves as “God’s problem-solvers,” and we’re works-oriented. To the contrary, that’s not why we’re here. We are here to do what we see the Father doing.

Oh, we know we’re saved by grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:8-9). However, many of us feel we’re saved to work! We think God saved us to serve Him. This isn’t true any more than I married Alice so that she could serve me. We’re saved to live in vital union, fellowship, communion with Christ.

Failure to understand this will cause us to live lives of spiritual drivenness. We’ll feel obligated to take any and every ministry or assignment that’s offered. Why? Because we’ll be mistakenly trying to establish our identity by what we do rather than by who we are. Some of God’s most hard-charging servants have never had the sweet experience of falling asleep in the Father’s lap. Some dread even appearing “spiritually unemployed.”

<idle musing>
Too true. μένω/rest/abide is the key to the Christian life. Anything else is empty works and shameless self-advancement.
</idle musing>

Thursday, March 05, 2009

An interesting thought

Over the weekend, I was reviewing some of the posts that I have flagged, and ran across this little snippet from last April. It is a quote from John Newton on A Place for the God-Hungry:

. . and he is never more a devil than when he looks most like an angel.  Let us beware of him; for many wise have been deceived, and many strong have been cast down by him.

<idle musing>
Sometimes I think we expect the enemy to come in and announce, “Hi, I'm the devil. I hate you and I'm here to destroy you.”

Wouldn't it be a lot easier to resist temptations if that were true? :) But, it doesn't work that way; God expects us to rely on Him for our moment-by-moment walk in the Spirit. It is only then that we are able to discern the difference between the enemy, the flesh, and the Spirit of God. And, it is only by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God that we are able to resist.
</idle musing>

Eisenbrauns sales

OK, we've got a monthly sale going on: Deo titles at 20% off. We've also just started a new 10 day sale 25 CBOTS/CBNTS titles at 40%:

"Die Furbitter Israels: Eine Studie zum Mosebild im Alten Testament"
by Erik Aurelius
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 27
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1988. Paper. German.
ISBN: 912200940X
List Price: $35.00 Your Price: $21.00

"Aram as the Enemy Friend: The Ideological Role of
Aram in the Composition of Genesis--2 Kings"
by C.-J. Axskjold
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 45
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1998. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122018158
List Price: $33.00 Your Price: $19.80

"The God of the Sages: The Portrayal of God in the Book of Proverbs"
by Lennart Bostrom
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 29
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1990. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122013407
List Price: $33.00 Your Price: $19.80

"Dust, Wind, and Agony: Character, Speech, and Genre in Job"
by M. Cheney
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 36
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1994. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122016031
List Price: $55.00 Your Price: $33.00

"Grapes in the Desert: Metaphors, Models, and Themes in Hosea 4-14"
by Goeran Eidevall
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 43
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1996. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122017097
List Price: $41.00 Your Price: $24.60

"A Passing Power: An Examination of the Sources for the History
of Aram-Damascus in the Second Half of the Ninth Century B. C."
by Sigurdur Hafthorsson
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 54
Almqvist and Wiksell, 2006. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122021434
List Price: $58.00 Your Price: $34.80

"The Text of 2 Chronicles 1-16: A Critical
Edition with Textual Commentary"
by Kjell Hognesius
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 51
Almqvist and Wiksell, 2003. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122020012
List Price: $50.00 Your Price: $30.00

"King and Messiah: The Civil and Sacral
Legitimation of the Israelite Kings"
by Tryggve N. D. Mettinger
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 8
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1976. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122009302
List Price: $40.00 Your Price: $24.00

"No Graven Image? Israelite Aniconism in Its
Ancient Near Eastern Context"
by Tryggve N. D. Mettinger
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 42
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1995. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122016643
List Price: $43.00 Your Price: $25.80

"Sacrifice and Symbol: Biblical Selamim in a
Ritual Perspective"
by Martin Modeus
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 52
Almqvist and Wiksell, 2005. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122021205
List Price: $76.00 Your Price: $45.60

"Sein Name Allein ist Hoch: Das Jhw-haltige Suffix
althebraischer Personennamen untersucht mit besonderer
Berucksichtigung der alttestamentlichen Redaktionsgeschichte"
by S. Norin
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 24
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1986. Paper. German.
ISBN: 9122009361
List Price: $35.00 Your Price: $21.00

"The LXX Version: A Guide to the Translation
Technique of the Septuagint"
by Staffan Olofsson
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 30
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1990. Paper. English.
ISBN: 912201392X
List Price: $29.00 Your Price: $17.40

"Towns and Toponyms in the Old Testament:
With Special Emphasis on Joshua 14-21"
by J. Svensson
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 38
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1994. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122015817
List Price: $30.00 Your Price: $18.00

"Die Hexteucherzahlung: Eine literaturgeschichtliche Studie"
by Sven Tengstrom
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 7
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1976. Paper. German.
ISBN: 912200906X
List Price: $27.50 Your Price: $16.50

"Prophets in Action : An Analysis of Prophetic
Symbolic Acts in the Old Testament"
by Ake Viberg
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 55
Almqvist and Wiksell, 2007. . English.
ISBN: 9789163314544
List Price: $74.00 Your Price: $44.40

"Prophecy as Literature: A Text-linguistic
and Rhetorical Approach to Isaiah 2-4"
by B. Wiklander
Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series - CBOTS 22
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1984. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122009345
List Price: $37.00 Your Price: $22.20

"The Ephesian Mysterion: Meaning and Content"
by Chrys C. Caragounis
Coniectanea Biblica New Testament Series - CBNTS 8
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1977. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122009132
List Price: $32.00 Your Price: $19.20

"The Sign of Jonah Reconsidered: A Study of Its
Meaning in the Gospel Traditions"
by Simon Chow
Coniectanea Biblica New Testament Series - CBNTS 27
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1995. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122016953
List Price: $40.00 Your Price: $24.00

"To All the Brethren: A Text-Linguistic and Rhetorical
Approach to 1 Thessalonians"
by Bruce C. Johanson
Coniectanea Biblica New Testament Series - CBNTS 16
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1987. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122008659
List Price: $29.00 Your Price: $17.40

"Jesus and "This Generation": A New Testament Study"
by E. Lovestam
Coniectanea Biblica New Testament Series - CBNTS 25
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1995. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122016686
List Price: $27.00 Your Price: $16.20

"Forum fur Sprachlose: Eine kommunikationspsychologische und
epistolar-rhetorische Untersuchung des Galaterbriefs"
by D. Mitternacht
Coniectanea Biblica New Testament Series - CBNTS 30
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1999. Paper. German.
ISBN: 9122018336
List Price: $52.00 Your Price: $31.20

"The Origins of the Synagogue: A Socio-Historical Study"
by Anders Runesson
Coniectanea Biblica New Testament Series - CBNTS 37
Almqvist and Wiksell, 2001. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122019464
List Price: $77.00 Your Price: $46.20

"Principles of Chinese Bible Translation as Expressed in
Five Selected Versions of the New Testament and
Exemplified by Matthew 5:1-12 and Colossians 1"
by Thor Strandenaes
Coniectanea Biblica New Testament Series - CBNTS 19
Almqvist and Wiksell, 1987. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9122009930
List Price: $20.00 Your Price: $12.00

And, we are featuring a CBOTS/CBNTS title as the DOTD each day for the next 10 days!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

And yet more links...

I was quite behind in reading, so the last few posts have been attempts to catch up and share the wealth with others who might not follow the same blogs I do.

In keeping with the theme of yesterday's closing link on community, Scot McKnight has a post quoting from a book that asks what the basis is for our decisions:

Individualistic values center on the rights and needs of each person. Examples of individualistic values would be freedom, independence, self-sufficiency, self-esteem, individual achievement, personal enjoyment, and self-expression. Collectivistic values prize most highly the person's obligations and duties to others. Examples of collectivistic values would be duty, loyalty, kindness, generosity, obedience, and self-sacrifice.

<idle musing>
Good question. Like Scot, I think it is a bit to black and white, but it is worth thinking about.
</idle musing>

Alan Knox is looking at the book of Jude, and made the following observations:

I think it is very interesting that Jude tells his readers to "contend for the faith" (and thereby thwart the work of divisive, deceptive, and ungodly people) by encouraging one another to remain in God's love and by having mercy on those who are doubting or sinning.

I'm not sure that this is the way the church is attempting to "contend for the faith" today. It seems that we tend to tear down those who disagree with us and ridicule or label or dismiss those who are doubting or sinning. Could it be that its not "the faith" we are contending for?

What if showing love and mercy contends for the faith more than apologetic arguments? What if helping and strengthening one another (other believers) preserves the faith more than creeds and confessions? What if "the faith" is more about living in God's love and trusting him than it is about a set of systematic doctrines?

What if the church focused on love and mercy and allowed God to continue to deal with the divisive, the deceptive, and the ungodly as Jude shows that he always has in the past?

<idle musing>
Worth thinking about, isn't it? The early church (at least through the time of Julian the Apostate) was known for its love. They were very much aware that their citizenship was in heaven, not on earth, but that is another thought for another day...
</idle musing>

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

More links

In the spirit of sharing the love, here are a few more links that have caught my fancy lately...

Joel at Grace Roots has a series of posts on the practical outworking of grace. Here is a nice little snippet:

I’ve said plenty of times that I’m very opposed to the idea that the Christian life is a matter of living by rules, principles, methods, etc. Life in Christ is a matter of His life in us, working in us and through us and out of us. It’s not about us studying principles to keep us and guide us. It’s not about becoming better people, but rather it’s about living from the new creations that we already are, trusting in Christ’s life in us to animate us...

And so in saying all of this, I want to be absolutely clear that I’m not saying that our life in Christ is a matter of striving to apply godly principles to our lives. It’s not a matter of preaching a new set of principles every week and then going out and trying to make them work.

What I am saying is that as we get more and more rooted and grounded and established in grace and in our identity in Christ, God can and does speak to us in all kinds of ways, through internal and external means, and part of that includes encouraging, exhorting and admonishing us through each other.

The Apostle Paul did a whole lot of this in his epistles. It can be a very grace-full thing to speak these things to one another. Again, it doesn’t make us “better people” and it doesn’t make us any closer to God. It simply helps to bring out the life of Christ.

And, in the second post:

I don’t believe it’s a matter of us going around trying to find principles to follow and I also don’t believe it’s a matter of a preacher coming up with a new set of generic principles to preach each week. I think it’s more a matter of, in the normal course of life, God’s children communicating with one another, and in the proper times and seasons speaking words to one another that come from our own life experiences and from biblical truth that fit the given circumstances, and that will help us to grow in grace and in the living out of who we truly already are in Christ.

<idle musing>
When we were visiting some friends in Minnesota last fall, one of them summed it up very nicely by saying, “So, what the Bible is doing is showing us what the grace-filled life looks like, not telling to do this in order to get grace.” Very insightful, I think.
</idle musing>

Somehow I missed this post until this weekend; it is from way back on February 14. Alan Knox, quoting from The Christian Century, says:

Every congregation has its supply of believers who would love nothing more than to cultivate their own private spirituality by taking home that beloved hymn refrain or sermon quip to benefit their personal life. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this private eagerness for spiritual nurture. But as soon as personal edification becomes the primary focus for "attending" church, individualism begins to infect the health of the congregation and the possibility of a grander sense of true community.

<idle musing>
I am realizing more and more each day that we are called to be a community—a community of faith, reflecting the kingdom of God, bearing witness to the power of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
</idle musing>

Monday, March 02, 2009

Another meme

I have been tagged in a Google meme. Alan Knox has tagged me. The meme consists of the following rules:

Google your full first name (not your nickname) and the word "needs" like this: "James needs" and then post the first 10 things that Google finds. You may have to go to the website and do a little reading. Then tag 5 friends (not including the person who tagged you) and pass it on.

So, here are the top 10 things that I am supposed to be needing, according to Google:
1. James needs a hat. I don't think so, although it was cold riding to work today.
2. rotten tomatoes. What? No, thanks! I wouldn't mind a fresh one, though.
3. Vista, but prefers OS X. Absolutely not! I am glad I don't have to run Vista!
4. Australia. Sure, why not?
5. a cat-sitter. Not right now; our cats are all outside cats
6. an agent. For what?
7. a vacation. Not right now, but when the new grandkids arrive in May and June, I will gladly take one!
8. to come home. That sounds good.
9 . a bigger share of the vote. Didn't know I was in the running for anything.
10. a job. I hope not! Do you know something I don't?

Well, that was interesting. I guess 10% isn't too bad, unless you are a prophet.

OK, I tag the following:
Jim West, just because I know he hates memes!
Nick Norelli
Andy Kerr
Jon Erdman
Joel B.