Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What kind of Pizza?

Take the faith plunge. If you have to make a decision quickly, trust that God is going to make it through you. And once you take that plunge, don't worry about the consequences. Just watch for Him. The consequences can be up and down. If you focus on them, you're drawing your life from the consequences. Draw your life from God instead.

Why is this important? Because so many Christians are hopelessly bogged down, trying to figure out the “perfect will of God” for every decision. Should I go to this college or that college? Accept this job or that job? Buy this house or that house? Go to this church or that church? Order pepperoni pizza or sausage pizza? That sounds ridiculous, but some believers are almost that immobilized trying to discern the will of God. Most believers are at least partially immobilized.

God doesn't want us to live that way. Such thinking arises from a sense of separation: “God is way up there. I'm way down here. Somehow I have to figure out His perfect will.” But there is not separation. You and God are one. He lives in you. He lives through you. He guides you.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 213

<idle musing>
Of course, we all know that God perfect will is that you make your own pizza—with only organic ingredients—and definitely not sausage or pepperoni! :) Seriously, I have seen people agonizing for days about a decision for fear they might miss the will of God; this quotation definitely is for them.

I'm also reminded of the last chapter of Tozer's Pursuit of God about the dichotomy that exists in many people's minds about the secular and sacred. I've got news for you: there isn't one! All is sacred to God.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Organic versus "deep" organic

<idle musing>
I just got a copy of The Winter Harvest Handbook from the library last week. Because of the garden, I didn't have time to read it until this weekend. In it, Eliot Coleman makes a very interesting distinction between the types of organic food available. He labels one "industrial organic" and the other "deep-organic."

So, what's the difference? Basically, a mindset. Industrial organic still sees nature as an enemy to be overcome. So, they use pesticides and augments and fertilizers—all "organic" of course. But, it is the same mindset that produces the industrial schlock we call food. The agricultural/industrial complex has no problem with it; they speak the same language, just different dialects. The industrial organic market can still be sold on the need for chemicals.

Deep-organic sees nature as an ally; all we are doing is cooperating. If there are pests, it is because the plant is missing some necessary nutrient; we need to find out what. Basically, we need to take time to listen, observe, and respond. That kind of thinking can't be marketed to, so it is a challenge to the agricultural industry.

Personally, I find the deep-organic view to be more scriptural. Oh, I know lots who hold to it are "tree-huggers" and nature worshipers, or some such (now that I think of it, I've been called a tree-hugger on more than one occasion). But, the source doesn't negate the insight. We are called to be stewards of creation; pouring pesticides—even organic ones—all over isn't being a good steward. It is just exploiting the land and upsetting the balance of nature that God put in place.

Sure, I know about the Fall and that it has an effect. But, for thousands of years, agriculture managed to survive without pesticides. Maybe we should re-examine our theology to make sure we haven't bought the industrial marketing lie that we need to pollute our life to make it livable...

Ask yourself, does a fish know it's wet? Do we know the degree to which the ultra-intensive commercialization of our life has influenced our decisions and outlook?

Just an
</idle musing>


Here are three practical points about hearing God. First, more often that not, you're going to hear His voice in the mess. When external circumstances or soul turmoil are doing a number on you, and you don't have any good feelings to draw on, you will hear his voice. His Spirit speaks directly to your spirit. When nothing in the external, including your soul, validates that, it makes it all the more clear that it's Him speaking.

Second, we can do things to cultivate our ability to hear Him. One is to spend time with Him alone, just listening. I've observed that it's very hard for most Christians to be all alone. We want someone to talk to, because when we're talking we don't have to face ourselves. And when we're talking we don't have to face God. Prayer is listening as well as talking. It's difficult to listen, though. It's challenging to believe that you actually hear. Take time in silence to listen.

The last point I want to make is this: you will do what God prompts you to do. Often when believers learn to trust Christ to live through them they begin to doubt their motives. “How do I know that this isn't just my selfish desire?” they ask. Who is the author of that? At this point we are so close to living a spontaneous, Spirit-directed life that Satan wants to challenge us as to whether we will do what God prompts us to do.

We will. Past experience alone should tell us that. Back when we were trying to live the Christian life from our own effort, we wanted to do what God wanted. We just couldn't, because we hadn't yet learned to live from the Spirit. But our heart's desire was to do His will.

Now that we have learned to live by His inner voice and we aren't striving anymore, we needn't wonder, “Will I really do what God wants me to?” Our inner man is always in agreements with God (Romans 7:22). Since He called us into His kingdom, we have always wanted to do what He wants. Previously, we just didn't know Him in such a way as to let Him do it through us. Now we do. The more we come to know Him and hear Him, the more we will manifest Him through our spontaneous living.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, pages 206-207

<idle musing>
Lots of good stuff here, especially the statement that just listening is hard. Our society blares at us all the time; we need to take the time to turn it off and just listen. Of course, we might have to be face-to-face with some unpleasant realities, so we quickly turn the noise back on...too bad. God is waiting for us to listen; Augustine called the Holy Spirit the "hound of heaven" and he keeps on knocking on our door. He won't quite, praise God!
</idle musing>

Friday, August 27, 2010

This is dangerous

Someone will object, “It's too dangerous to tell people to trust the inner voice, to learn to identify the inner voice and go with it.” Yes, it is dangerous. That's what I'm telling you, though, because that is the way God has set up His kingdom. It's an inner kingdom. He has joined Himself to our spirit, the deepest part of us. He want to manifest His life through us. He does that most fully when we learn to hear His voice and obey it. I'm not putting down the written Word. I'm trying to elevate the indwelling Word.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 203

<idle musing>
"I'm not putting down the written Word. I'm trying to elevate the indwelling Word." Very well put!
</idle musing>

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Andy Le Peau is running a nice little series on electronic reading, especially hyper-inked electronic reading, versus print. This from yesterday's post:

Studies show that those who were presented with electronic hypertext documents retained and understood less than those presented with the same documents in print form. The more the links, the less the comprehension. The medium obscured the message.

<idle musing>
This shouldn't be a surprise; the medium as the message was pointed out a long time ago by Neil Postman in Entertaining Ourselves to Death.
</idle musing>

Charles Halton has taken up blogging again. One of his recent posts tackles the hazards of interpreting—get ready for it—maps! After showing a map from the 14th century, he asks:

So, how do we assess this map? Is it worthless because it does not accurately represent the geography of the world?

When we interpret and assess mappae mundi we need to understand their genre which includes their intended purpose. The purpose of these maps was not to guide travelers, in fact, when sailors started using maps as aids for navigation maps changed dramatically (it was at this point that maps changed their orientation to the North, represented geographic features more accurately, etc.). Instead, these maps were intended to convey theological messages–the relationship between earth and paradise, the effects of the Fall and the exiles to the East, the theological importance of Jerusalem, etc. If we judged a mappa mundi on the basis of how accurately it represented the actual geography of the world we would be missing its entire point, the reason why it was made in the first place. It is like this with biblical genres. Before we interpret a text, any text for that matter, we need to understand its genre and concomitantly the reading expectations that we should bring to it.

<idle musing>
Read the whole thing. He even includes a 20th century example. Good stuff to remember when you are reading an ancient text...
</idle musing>

Over at Alan Knox's blog, he has a nice post about going to church:

So, Sunday morning, he found himself pulling his sedan into the parking lot. The attendants flagged him through the parking lot and into a space. The man at the door smiled and handed him a folded piece of paper. As he was going to say something to the man, the man turned toward the family behind him to hand them some folded pieces of paper.

As he paused inside the door, he marveled at the hive of activity that he found. The family behind him pushed past and found a pew. He sat beside them by the aisle. The husband of the family nodded, then turned toward his folded piece of paper. So, he looked at his paper, too. At the top of the paper were the words, “The Blessing of God.”

Good. He needed a blessing...

Then, everyone was leaving. He turned to the husband of the family. The husband shook his hand, and said, “It’s great to meet you.” As he was preparing to ask about being blessed by God, the family made their way past him and out the door. He stood there for a moment and a few people nodded at him. One man shook his hand.

Slowly he made his way back out the door and to his car. He drove back home. He did everything they asked. He went to church. He sang the songs. He gave his money. He listened to the speech. He said the prayer. Was he blessed?

He cried himself to sleep that night in his empty bed.

The next morning, the sign in front of the church building read, “Come here for a new life.” He wondered if that was a lie too.

<idle musing>
Sad, isn't it? I guess the reason it is so sad is because it rings too true. I'm not throwing stones; I've been guilty, too. But, God didn't call us to bring people to a building; he called us to bring people to himself. That may or may not happen in a building; the location is irrelevant. The life-changing encounter with God is what matters—and the following interaction with believers on a daily basis...
<idle musing>

Agreeing with God

You experience victory when you agree with how God sees you. Stop debating with Him: “But...but...but... I know how you see me, but... I know what the Word says, but...” Just agree with how God sees you. “You see me as holy and blameless and irreproachable. Thank you. I'm holy and blameless, and irreproachable.” You'll be surprised at what happens within you...

Most people want a confirmation of God's truth first, then they'd be willing to confess it. They want seen and temporal evidence. That's the way the world works. The world says, “You act holy, and we'll call you holy.” God says, “Say you're holy, and I will bring that forth in the seen and temporal."— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, pages 189-190

<idle musing>
I love what God tells Moses in Exodus; basically, you'll know I sent you once you get the people out of Egypt and all of you worship me here on this mountain! Quite the promise. Of course, Moses argues with God and gets a bit more confirmation, but the point is that God says it, so believe it.
</idle musing>

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In denial?

Our main objective now is not to manipulate the seen and temporal realm, to make it as we want it, but to interpret the seen and temporal by means of the unseen and eternal. The Holy But is what does it.

The temporal stuff truly is happening. Don't try to get anyone to deny what is going on. Why get them to deny a fix that God has engineered in order that God might fix them? Why not instead cause them to see the comfort that comforted you when you were in the fix that God engineered to fix you? Everyone else is giving them a technique to try to cope with their fix. But they are still in their fix. You may be the only one who sees what God sees, who knows the comfort that comforts a person when they are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, pages 188-189

<idle musing>
Now that is no "pie-in-the-sky" kind of religion. The temporal stuff is there (contra Christian Science!), but God is there, too, and even more so.

God wants to get us out of our fix, not just to tolerate it. No wonder James says to "count it all joy."
</idle musing>

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More buts

Most of us want to escape our circumstances, because we don't know how to operate the but. If we don't know inner life, we want to escape. But if we know the inner life, we understand that the Christian life is us living in the same situations that everyone else lives in, but we live differently. — The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 187

<idle musing>
Did you see him do it? He used the "but": we live "in the same situations that everyone else lives in, but we live differently." We live after the "but"; we live by Christ in us.
</idle musing>

A pet peeve of mine

I take quite a few phone calls from people looking for a particular book on a particular subject. I enjoy that; it is fun helping match people with the right books. It's a part of my job that is important; it distinguishes us from the competitors.

But, there is a breed of people that seem to be attracted to biblical studies and ancient Near Eastern studies that are a bit odd. I get my share of those calls. Invariably they try to impress me with how much they know. Usually they will claim to know Greek and Hebrew, with a smattering of other languages, be it Coptic, or Aramaic, or Latin. But, they massacre the pronunciation of the words they are throwing at me. So, do they really know it?

Anyway, I don't mind that so much. What I do object to is spending a half-hour on the phone with them, giving them free advice, ISBNs, publishers, etc. Then, they say thank you (usually) and hang up. No order; sometimes a promise of an order. But, when I check out their account in our system (we have caller id), the total spent is about $50.00 for the last 2-3 years. Yet, when they call me they claim to have all these books...

So, finally, my pet peeve: People who take advantage of my knowledge and recommendations and then go shop elsewhere to save a few bucks. I don't mind them buying it elsewhere; that's their choice. What I do object to is that I spent over 1/2 hour giving them free advice. I should send them a bill, like a lawyer does...

I'd like to see them get that kind of personalized information from their discount book seller...

Monday, August 23, 2010

More harvesting

I ended up canning the peaches on Tuesday; I got 12 quarts. Saturday I bought another 1/2 bushel, which I'll probably can tonight; it will give us another 12 quarts. That will give us 23 quarts for the year. I know, the math doesn't add up :) One quart didn't seal, so we are in the process of eating it. Even our failures are good eating... By the way, I use a light syrup in canning them; I tried no syrup one time and they were inedible :( My recipe is one part sugar to two parts water. Anybody have a different ratio? How did it taste? We also use unrefined sugar, which has a richer flavor; it looks better, too.

I made 30 pints of tomato soup last week, so now all I need is to stew some tomatoes. At the rate they are producing, I'll have about 3 times what I need. I guess we'll be eating a lot of fresh tomatoes! We had fresh tomatoes on our pizza last night, 3 Romas, but that barely made a dent in them. Last year, I froze a lot of the Roma; maybe I should do that again.

The beans are slowing down again. I'm thinking I will pull the ones in the greenhouse area in preparation for planting winter crops there. The top will probably go back on in early October. Not sure what I'm going to try to overwinter yet.

The cucumbers are about gone. My second planting got destroyed by the heat; I only got two cucumbers out the whole planting. Too late for another planting this year, although it is tempting to see if the hoop house would protect them enough...we'll see.

I finished canning the apple sauce on Sunday. I ended up with about 12 quarts, 36 pints, 24 half pints, and 39 4-ounce jars. What can I say, I ran out of pints and quarts! Also, the 4 ounce jars are perfect for my lunch and we had 3 dozen empties. I'm not sure how we ended up with that many, but there they were.

I'm hoping to plant some more stuff this week for fall harvest, but we'll see how it goes. I would also like to get my garlic planted for next year. You plant garlic in early fall/late summer for harvest the following year. I've never grown it before, so this is an experiment.

The potatoes are looking good. I managed to harvest a few this weekend, and they sure tasted good baked. They are a red potato, but very light. This is another experiment; I planted them in straw, which theoretically makes them easier to harvest. They also are a lot cleaner :)

So, how about you others? Is your garden doing ok?

But, again

Friday's post introduced the idea of the word "but" being an indicator of what we really believe. Here's some more:

To operate in the Holy But, we have to put the stuff first and God's truth last. You can't always change the stuff, but you can change whether you're going to receive it or not. What comes after the but is what you received...

Just because we know the truth and live from the truth doesn't mean the external situation is going to change. But we are changed. The Holy But moves you from the circumstance to the solution, and that solution is a Person. It moves you from without to within, the outer to the inner, the temporal to the eternal.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, pages 185, 186

<idle musing>
So, put what God promised after the circumstances and stuff. The Psalmists did it all the time; we need to learn from them...
</idle musing>

Friday, August 20, 2010

Another one bites the dust

"Another what?" you ask. Another university press. Today's Inside Higher Ed carries the story of the shuttering of Rice University's digital press because of budget constraints. How much did it cost to run it? Well, let's ask them:

Levy, the Andrew Hays Buchanan Professor of Astrophysics at Rice, said in an interview that the press was costing $150,000 to $200,000 a year.

<idle musing>
In other words, a drop in the university's budget. I'm sure the provost made a lot more than that, as does the athletic department's many coaches. But, cut the academic stuff! After all, as long as we have an administration and a sports program, we can pretend to be a school!

Maybe it's time that schools take a long look at why the exist; they should have a purpose statement somewhere. I'll bet it doesn't say anything about being financially profitable! But, schools are being run like businesses, with the resulting closure of "under-performing" departments. Scandalous! And, like businesses, the administrative wing is multiplying like rabbits...
</idle musing>

Some good stuff to chew on

Out of Ur has good post on Job. After the exchange between Job and his friends, God speaks:

God pushes back not on Job, but on the four accusers. God berates them with question after question, challenging their notions of who God is : a god that governs over transactions or a god defined by God’s relationship with Israel. As God speaks from the storm, I get the sense that the Book of Job isn’t about Job at all. It is about those who attempt to speak on God’s behalf.

Job’s response is beautiful. He says “I am unworthy. How can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.”

But to the four that spoke for God, God says, “I am angry with you... because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has...” And the story ends with Job being restored.

There is a real danger in pastoral work. The temptation to push past humility in our confession of what God is doing pulls at us all, and we need to resist this temptation. Often we are called upon to make sense of what is going on around us, and far too often we can’t. This leaves us scrambling with uncertainty at best; and at worst, it puts us in a position to substitute our own authority for God’s. But God speaks for Godself. It is not our place to judge or to condemn. It is our place to love. Because most of the time we don’t know what’s really going on. And when we attempt to place judgment on someone, or explain why God has allowed something to happen, we end up looking foolish. Who knows the mind of God? Not Job, not his friends, not his wife, and certainly not us.

<idle musing>:
Only God can speak for God. That's good.
</idle musing>:

Ben Myers muses on what it means to be a theologian:

Perhaps then we should define theologians like this: They are people for whom even the Christian worship service does not provide adequate catharsis of the hurtfulness of God.

That is why, as a general rule, you should try to show kindness to theologians. Not because they are necessarily exemplary personalities. Not because they necessarily know what they're talking about. Not because they are necessarily people of great faith. Instead, you should show them kindness because their faith is so weak and so vulnerable; because they are burdened by the difficulty of God; because they are driven to think about God the way some people are driven to drink. You should take care of your theologians the way you would care for the widow and the orphan.

<idle musing>
God is a whole lot bigger and more complicated than we would like to admit...
</idle musing>

Roger Olson weighs in on inerrancy:

I like theologian Emil Brunner’s illustration. (I don’t necessarily agree with everything he wrote about the Bible.) In his little book Our Faith Brunner wrote about the old RCA Victrola advertisement that showed a dog listening to the megaphone of a record player. Under the picture the caption read “His master’s voice.” We recognize our master’s voice in Scripture in spite of its inevitable flaws, just as the dog in the illustration recognized his master’s voice in spite of the inevitable flaws on the record.

And, after catching flak for it, adds this today:

...belief in strict, detailed, technical inerrancy and insistence on it for authority sets up an impossibly high standard for any book. And it undermines faith because one has to wait for each new edition of Biblical Archeological Review (or similar publication) to know whether one can still believe the Bible. What if the Bible contains a factual error in history or cosmology? Does that mean the end of belief in the Bible? I pity anyone who says so.

I believe in the authority of the Bible because I believe in Jesus; not vice versa. The Bible is the cradle that holds the Christ child and that in it is authoritative that promotes Christ (was Christum treibt) (Luther). Too many evangelicals, like fundamentalists, base Christian belief on (alleged) secular facticity. The two are, of course, inseparable. I don’t want a faith that is irrational or esoteric. However, the foundation of Christian faith itself is not a set of facts but Jesus Christ communicated to us by the Holy Spirit.

<idle musing>
Too many people put the cart before the horse. I think inerrancy is a flawed doctrine that has done more to destroy faith than build it. It is based on a need for sight instead of faith. It is setting up an idol that we can bow to, just a surely as a statue of Mary, or any other religious trinket that we substitute for Jesus.

OK, let the arrows commence!
</idle musing>


People always live after the but. The word, I mean: but. Go out and listen to people talk. Everyone lives after the but, whether they are Christians or not. I don't care what they say first, before the but. It's after the but that you hear what they really believe....

You're always living after the but. Unfortunately, Christians typically put the wrong things before and after the but. We put the God stuff before the but and our situation or feelings after the but. We say things like:

Well, I know God loves me, but it doesn't seem like it. Everything is falling apart.”

“I know God is my sufficiency, but I don't really have what I need.”

“I know that God promised me wisdom, but all I have is confusion.”

You do that, and where are you living? You're living in the junk. You're living in the circumstance. It's got you. The only thing you can hope for is a change in the circumstance. And if that doesn't come, you're up a creek. But even if it does, you still haven't learned to live out of the life of God within you. Satan doesn't care how much God-talk we use, as long as we put it before the but.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, pages 183-184

<idle musing>
Ain't it the truth. After reading this, I started listening for the but in people's conversation; it was quite enlightening—and depressing. Put the right stuff before the but and enjoy life that is independent of circumstances and dependent on God!
</idle musing>

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Free at last

It is important to know that we don't have any more spiritual needs. We don't need any more life. We don't need any more spirituality. We don't hunger and thirst in our spirit. He who said, “I am the life,” has come to dwell within us. He has already satisfied our hunger. He is our total sufficiency. We are free to be preoccupied with God's world and His work, because we have been released from a preoccupation with ourselves.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 181

<idle musing>
And what a blessed release it it!
</idle musing>

New sale at Eisenbrauns

This is one of my favorite sales. Why? Because it is one of my favorite languages :)

Here's the blurb from BookNews:

BookNews from Eisenbrauns

We continue our back-to-school sale with Ugaritic reference
tools. For the next 10 days, you can save 10-70% on these
great reference works.

As always, all sales on this web sale are final; no returns
will be permitted. Offer is good only on orders placed at
www.eisenbrauns.com through August 29, 2010.

To go directly to the weekly sale, click on this link:
"A Manual of Ugaritic"
by Pierre Bordreuil and Dennis Pardee
Linguistic Studies in Ancient West Semitic - LSAWS 3
Eisenbrauns, 2009. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575061535
List Price: $69.50 Your Price: $48.65

"Ugaritic Textbook: Grammar, Texts in Transliteration,
Cuneiform Selections, Glossary, Indices"
by Cyrus H. Gordon
Analecta Orientalia - AO 38
Biblical Institute Press / Editrice Pontificio
Istituto Biblico, 1998. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9788876532382
List Price: $128.00 Your Price: $115.20

"A Primer on Ugaritic: Language, Culture and Literature"
by William M. Schniedewind and Joel H. Hunt
Cambridge University Press, 2007. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9780521704939
List Price: $41.99 Your Price: $35.69

"A Basic Grammar of Ugaritic Language
with Selected Texts and Glossary"
by Stanislav Segert
University of California Press, 1984. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780520039995
List Price: $70.00 Your Price: $56.00

"Ugaritic Grammar"
by Daniel Sivan
Biblical Encyclopaedia Library - BEL 9
Bialik Institute, 1993. Paper. Hebrew.
List Price: $32.00 Your Price: $25.60

"Ugaritische Grammatik"
by Josef Tropper
Alter Orient und Altes Testament - AOAT 273
Ugarit-Verlag, 2000. Cloth. German.
ISBN: 9783927120907
List Price: $100.00 Your Price: $80.00

"Ugaritisch: Kurzgefasste Grammatik
mit Ubungstexten und Glossar"
by Josef Tropper
Elementa Linguarum Orientis - ELO 1
Ugarit-Verlag, 2002. Paper. German.
ISBN: 9783934628120
List Price: $24.00 Your Price: $19.20

"The City of Ugarit at Tell Ras Shamra"
by Marguerite Yon
Eisenbrauns, 2006. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575060293
List Price: $37.50 Your Price: $18.75

"Ugarit at Seventy-Five"
Edited by K. Lawson Younger, Jr.
Eisenbrauns, 2007. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575061436
List Price: $32.50 Your Price: $19.50

"Ugarit in Retrospect:
Fifty Years of Ugarit and Ugaritic"
Edited by Gordon Douglas Young
Eisenbrauns, 1981. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780931464072
List Price: $45.00 Your Price: $13.50

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The I AM

Jesus was encountered by Martha first [after Lazarus died], who spoke in terms of past and future. The past was, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” The future was, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” But there was no sense of the present tense with her.

It is ironic that she made those remarks about the past and the future to the One who is the I AM, who know no past or future, and only lives in the present. “I who stand before you am the resurrection and the life. That which you await in the future tense, in Me is reality now...”

I was teaching once at a church, giving my testimony and saying that I had a forgiven past and a certain future. I was asking the group questions, and they were giving the “right” answers-the typical evangelical answers. Past and future. Past and future. That really is the Christian scene, isn't it? I don't intend any condemnation, but our sense of certainty is in the past and future, and we have a sense of nothingness in between, in the present. So we fill it up with activity. What else can you do? But Jesus is the present; He gathers all up in the now.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, pages 179, 180

<idle musing>
Interesting observation—about Martha, I mean—I AM, but we relegate him to the past or the future. How sad, but how true. So, we fill up the present like a hamster on a wheel; we spin and spin and get...nowhere.
</idle musing>

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's harvest time

This weekend was full of harvesting goodness.

On Saturday, I picked about 3.5-4 bushels of apples. They are smallish, but perfect for applesauce, three different kinds. I'm not sure what the varieties are, but they have a good flavor; two of them are sweet and the third is tart. They should make a good sauce.

I also picked about 20 pounds of tomatoes, and there are at least that many right on the verge of needing to be picked. Yesterday I made 25 jars of tomato sauce; that should give us enough for the year (60 10 ounce jelly jars—perfect for a pizza). I'll start making tomato soup next; I hope to get at least 30 pints, which shouldn't be a problem. I'll make stewed tomatoes last, about 30 quarts.

We picked another watermelon on Friday; it was a large round Sweet Crimson. Delicious! And, the beans keep coming, but the cucumbers aren't liking the heat; I only got 4 yesterday. I might not get enough pickles this year; I've only got about 25 quarts right now; I like to have closer to 40.

I also got some peaches, but they need to ripen a bit before I can process them. Probably be ready about Wednesday. I bought a 1/2 bushel, which should translate to about 10 quarts, so I'll need to get another 1/2 bushel next weekend.

How's your garden doing this year?

Everything necessary

There's nothing spiritual about saying you're seeking more of Jesus. Because He can't give you any more. He can give you more awareness about Whom you already have, but He can't give you any more of Himself. You've got Him, and He's got you. The needs that preoccupy us so much of the time, that keep us focused on ourselves, have already been met in Christ.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 178

<idle musing>
Maybe that is why scripture says that he has given everything necessary for life and godliness...ya think?
</idle musing>

Friday, August 13, 2010

You will never hunger or thirst

He [Jesus] is saying that if we know whom we are in union with—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—if we know and live from that, there's no such thing as hunger or thirst. You're never hungry. You're never thirsty.

Do you get the implications? Jesus is your total spirit sufficiency. We need to know that if we are going to be light to others. We need to know that our light bulb isn't going to run out of juice, or else we will constantly be worried about satisfying our own hunger. For the person who knows he is in Christ and Christ is in him, there's no occasion for a sense of lack. Jesus says, “I am your total sufficiency.” You and I come to know that by revelation.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 176

<idle musing>
Too many people "in ministry" don't get that. They are always trying to fill their own cup so they can fill others. But, it already is filled in Christ. Of course, it isn't just limited to those in ministry; think about those who are continually running around looking for the latest blessing to be poured out on them...
</idle musing>

E-readers, again

How about this little tidbit from the Christian Science Monitor:

So, are paper books an endangered species? Quite likely in the long run, but perhaps not as quickly as techno-enthusiasts imagine. After all, we’re still waiting for the paperless office to arrive, decades after it was forecast. (The typical office worker still consumes about 10,000 sheets of paper per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.)

It’s true that sales of e-books have grown dramatically, to 8.5 percent of the market this year from 2.9 percent last year, according to the Association of American Publishers. But that’s still only a fraction of what’s being sold on paper.

<idle musing>
I went to the insurance agent yesterday to sign a couple of forms for insurance renewal changes. She had me sign it on regular paper and gave me a copy. She said they will now scan the original into their computer and destroy the hard copy. So, they are paperless, right?!!

She told me that the companies won't accept digital signatures, but want a hard copy signature. Of course, they don't want to store the paper, so they scan it. How backwards is that?
</idle musing>

Thursday, August 12, 2010


When God works on the soul, He doesn't give you a list of choices to pick from. God has already ordained the way He is going to work on you, and it's called life. Yet though that's the very thing I say He's doing, I often don't like it. “Just give me a book to read about it. Give me a cerebral way to understand what You want to do, and maybe I can ease into this lesson without all this trauma.”

But it doesn't work that way. God uses the storms in the soul to force us back into the truth. We go back into spirit. And we thank Him for it.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 168

<idle musing>
I agree; I'd rather read a book :) But, God prefers to use life, not just cerebral stuff only. But, we do thank him for it once he's done it his way, so why not just thank him for it from the outset. We know the outcome will be good, so why put ourselves through all that misery of fighting him?
</idle musing>


I have to admit that I'm of two minds about e-book readers. I like being able to copy, paste, and post. But, I love the feel of a hard book. I also tend to read more quickly, with better comprehension and retention with a "real" book. That's not just anecdotal, either; the studies agree with me.

I saw this post today, by a bookseller in North Carolina, giving five good reasons not to get a Kindle™. Enjoy!

1) You read slower on a Kindle...

2) You almost certainly read stupider on a Kindle...

3) The Kindle flunked out of Princeton...

4) Amazon can play Big Brother with your books...

5) Governments can play Big Brother with your books...

They back up each statement with evidence; go there to see it. Great stuff—or scary stuff depending on your viewpoint.

Good commentary on the Greek chorus

Compliments of the Classics-L e-mail list:

Pearls Before Swine

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The work of faith

If God does it all, do we have any role to play? Absolutely. As I said earlier, our part is to be willing. Paul wrote, “...work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13). God is at work in us to choose and to perform His good pleasure. Our part is not to do it. Our part is to be willing. Our willingness is expressed as faith, or trust. “I am willing for You to be living Your life through me this day, and I am trusting You to do it.”

Life for the believer operated by faith, not by self-effort. Sometimes people hear the full message of God's grace and respond, “But doesn't God call us to be obedient?” There is an obedience God calls us to. Paul called it the obedience of faith (Romans 1:5). You obey by believing. You became a believer through the obedience of faith. You believed that Christ died for your sins. You having died with Christ works the same way as Christ having died for you. In both cases, you have to put your faith in an unseen and eternal truth before you begin to see it operate in your life.

The work of faith is not to try to do the dying. The work of faith is to recall that fact that the old you did die, and to live out of that fact. We remember and count on the revelation fact.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 159

<idle musing>
That little word, faith, keeps showing up, doesn't it? Last night Debbie and I were on our walk and we were talking about how easy it is to desire to walk by sight, rather than by faith. "Sight" can be more than vision, too; it can be knowledge, emotions, etc. Too many people are addicted to the emotional high they get from "worship" times, but when the high is over, they are spiritually adrift. We used to see a lot of this back in the early 1970s, in the Jesus Movement. We used to say they came to Jesus for the high; about 3 months later they would drift off and never be seen again. The high wore off, and they went looking for the next high. I fear that too much of today's "worship" experience emphasis is just trying to extend the high... What do you think? How far off base am I?
</idle musing>

E-books and studying

Interesting article on USA Today yesterday about e-textbooks. Here's a snippet, but read the whole thing:

...some evidence suggests students see a downside to 24/7 interactivity when it comes to preparing for exams or doing homework. During visits last fall to libraries, coffee shops and other campus hangouts to analyze how students study, a test-prep company noted that, when it was time to study, cellphones, laptops and Kindles were put away.

"In today's ADD society, textbooks are pleasantly single-dimensional and finite," says Jeff Olson, vice president of research for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, whose team conducted observational studies. "When I asked study participants why they didn't use their laptops to look something up, I heard some version of 'because that's my distraction.'"

<idle musing>
I was reading a book recently (hard to believe, isn't it!) where they were commenting about the difficulty in writing a book on the computer. The distractions of e-mail, RSS feeds, etc., were keeping them from their task. A week or two earlier, I had read someone comment that a coffee shop didn't have wi-fi; he felt they should charge extra for the privilege of being unconnected!

I call it the cult of connectivity. I ride my bike to work everyday, as you probably know. Almost everyday, I see people walking with their head down, reading their e-mail or text messages. And this is through a beautiful woods along a creek! Call me old fashioned, but I'd rather watch the woods and creek than read a text message the has about 2 fleeting seconds of relevance...
</idle musing>

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another new sale

Yep, another great sale. This one is Aramaic and Syriac stuff:

BookNews from Eisenbrauns

We continue our back-to-school sale with Aramaic and Syriac
reference tools. For the next 10 days, you can save 15-50%
on these great reference works.

As always, all sales on this web sale are final; no returns
will be permitted. Offer is good only on orders placed at
www.eisenbrauns.com through August 18, 2010.

To go directly to the weekly sale, click on this link:
"An Introduction to Aramaic, Second Edition"
by Frederick E. Greenspahn
Society of Biblical Literature Resources for Biblical Study 46
Society of Biblical Literature -SBL, 2003. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9781589830592
List Price: $47.95 Your Price: $35.96

"A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic"
by Franz Rosenthal
Porta Linguarum Orientalium - PLO 5
Harrassowitz Verlag, 2006. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9783447052511
List Price: $38.00 Your Price: $30.40

"A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi,
and the Midrashic Literature"
by Marcus Jastrow
Hendrickson Publishers, 2006. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781565638600
List Price: $49.95 Your Price: $29.97

"Altaramaische Grammatik der Inschriften des 10.-8. Jh. v. Chr."
by Rainer Degen
Harrassowitz Verlag, 1969. Paper. German.
ISBN: 9783447049528
List Price: $25.00 Your Price: $20.00

"Biblical Aramaic"
by Elisha Qimron
Biblical Encyclopaedia Library - BEL 10
Bialik Institute, 1993. Paper. Hebrew.
ISBN: 9789653426146
List Price: $30.00 Your Price: $24.00

"Studies in Hebrew and Aramaic Orthography"
by David Noel Freedman, A. Dean Forbes, and Francis I. Andersen
Biblical and Judaic Studies from the
University of California, San Diego - BJSUCSD 2
Eisenbrauns, 1992. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780931464638
List Price: $47.50 Your Price: $23.75

"Aramaic Documents from Egypt: A Key-Word-in-Context Concordance"
by Bezalel Porten and Jerome A. Lund
Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project: Texts and Studies
Eisenbrauns, 2002. Cloth. English and Aramaic.
ISBN: 9781575060682
List Price: $79.50 Your Price: $63.60

"Aramaic in Postbiblical Judaism and Early Christianity:
Papers from the 2004 National Endowment for the Humanities
Summer Seminar at Duke University"
Edited by Eric M. Meyers and Paul V. M. Flesher
Duke Judaic Studies - DJS 3
Eisenbrauns, 2010. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575061788
List Price: $49.50 Your Price: $34.65

"Classical Syriac: A Basic Grammar with a Chrestomathy"
by Takamitsu Muraoka
Porta Linguarum Orientalium - PLO 19
Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9783447050210
List Price: $55.00 Your Price: $44.00

"Classical Syriac for Hebraists"
by Takamitsu Muraoka
Harrassowitz Verlag, 1987. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9783447025850
List Price: $49.00 Your Price: $39.20

"A Compendious Syriac Dictionary: Founded upon the
Thesaurus Syriacus of R. Payne Smith"
by Robert Payne Smith
Edited by Jessie Payne Smith
Eisenbrauns, 1998. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575060323
List Price: $85.00 Your Price: $59.50

"A Syriac Lexicon: A Translation from the Latin, Correction,
Expansion, and Update of C. Brockelmann's Lexicon Syriacum"
by Michael Sokoloff
Eisenbrauns, 2009. Cloth. English and Syriac.
ISBN: 9781575061801
List Price: $149.50 Your Price: $104.65

"Lexicon to the Syriac New Testament: With copious references,
dictions, names of persons and places, and some various
readings found in the curetonian, sinaitic palimpsest philoxenian
& other mss."
by William Jennings
Wipf and Stock, 2001. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9781579106287
List Price: $23.00 Your Price: $18.40

"A Syriac-English Glossary with Etymological Notes:
Based on Brockelmann's Syriac Chrestomathy"
by Moshe Goshen-Gottstein
Harrassowitz Verlag, 1970. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9783447003452
List Price: $45.00 Your Price: $36.00

"Lexical Tools to the Syriac New Testament"
by George Kiraz
Gorgias Press, 2002. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9781931956109
List Price: $51.00 Your Price: $43.35

Our part

Knowing Christ in us—knowing that the gospel is one hundred percent grace, that God does it all—frees us from the various labors that bogged us down for so many years. We thought these labors were “our part,” but out efforts were misguided.

We can quit trying to be “good.” our attempt just brings us despair, anyway, because we find out we can't do it. We are free from the facade of pretending that we can pull it off.

We can stop being religious. Jesus wasn't religious. He experienced life from the Father. The religionists wanted to kill Him, and did. We have as much religion today as they did back then.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 158

<idle musing>
100% grace! How freeing!
</idle musing>

Monday, August 09, 2010


Last Thursday, I opened up a watermelon from the garden. It was a 9-inch round Sweet Crimson; the same kind we grew last year. Delicious! Then, yesterday, Jim and Shannon came over and we took a 19-inch monster from the patch. I don't know how much it weighed, but it was heavy. I can't recall the name of the variety, but we cracked it open and ate half of it on the spot. Delicious! Jim and Shannon took the other half home with them.

Not content with that, we finished off the other half of the round one. It wasn't as good as Thursday night, but it was still good. We have several other melons, but they are "only' 15-17 inches long.

In other gardening news, the tomatoes have officially begun. I picked a dozen on Tuesday, another dozen on Thursday. Yesterday we picked more; I lost count. So, I canned 23-12 oz. jelly jars of tomato sauce; 12 oz. is the perfect size for one pizza. I have enough tomatoes for another dozen tonight. Also, I canned 6.5 quarts of bread and butter pickles and froze some more beans. The first planting of cucumbers is about done and the second is about ready to bear. The acorn squash are looking good, but aren't ripe yet. The potatoes are still quite small, but there is noticeable growth now. The peppers are finally starting to form and grow. They seem late this year.

The lawn tractor got fixed on Friday; it was only a bad solenoid. So, Friday I mowed our yard, alias hay field. It was so long that I had to use a high setting. I mowed again yesterday at the regular height, so now you can walk in the yard without wading through grass :)

The main event

Paul's focus for the churches was Christ in them. The other things were side issues. They were important issues, but they were momentary diversions from the main course. If we could have heard one of Paul's typical teaching session, I am confident he would have been teaching Christ in you.

Once someone begins living from the reality of Christ in them, which is the solid food of the gospel, they are weaned from the milk. They need the do's and don'ts less and less. They have learned to allow Christ to live His life through them. And the truth is this: Christ in us doesn't steal and isn't lazy and doesn't do all the other things that Paul says not to do. But Christ in us doesn't need the do's and don'ts. He authored them. He lives them naturally through us as we learn to allow Him to.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 158

<idle musing>
</idle musing>

More goodies

Roger Olson has a good post on Calvinism/Arminianism:

But let me say here and now that, in spite of my serious qualms about Calvinism, I do consider Calvinists my fellow evangelicals. I would never say or suggest that someone is defectively evangelical because he or she is a Calvinist. What I think is that Calvinists are confused insofar as they believe God is love (as Scripture clearly says) and yet hold onto their belief in unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace.

What really bothers me at a personal as well as professional level is the present, on-going attitude of superiority and even exclusiveness being fostered among many of the young, restless, Reformed Christians...

I do NOT claim that Arminianism is the be-all and end-all of biblical, evangelical faith. It is one way of interpreting Scripture and, for now at least, I believe it is the most accurate way among all the known options. (One reason I believe that is that it is the closest Protestant theology to the soteriology–doctrine of salvation–among the Christians of the first four to five centuries. I don’t find anything like Calvinism appearing until Augustine in the early 5th century.)

<idle musing>
I can identify. What is with this exclusivity among the "young, restless, Reformed Christians"? The original evangelical movement, in the 18th century, was largely Wesleyan/Arminian! Sure, there was Whitfield and Edwards, but their followers were a small part, numerically. The movement was overwhelmingly Arminian, thanks largely to the Wesleys' willingness to use lay preachers.

As for the historical pre-Augustinian evidence, there is a very accessible book, recently reprinted by Wipf & Stock God's Strategy in Human History which has a nice appendix citing numerous Patristic fathers, all agreeing against an Augustinian predestination. By the way, early Augustine is not as Augustinian as he became after encountering Pelagius; it seems he jumped off the other side of the boat to try and right it...
</idle musing>

And, on a totally different note, Michael Gorman tells us about a paper he is going to be offering on the atonement. He calls it the "new covenant" model; sounds fascinating:

The fundamental problem with existing models of the atonement is not that they are inaccurate—though some may have problems—but that they are inadequate. Each one is constructed as if part of an atomistic theological non-system in which various key elements are not inherently connected to one another. Most existing models (whether traditional or more recent ones) of the atonement are not integrative; they are narrow and do not naturally pull other aspects of theology into their orbit.

The result is the separation of atonement theology from ethics, ecclesiology, pneumatology, and missiology.

We may summarize a model of the atonement in terms of its understanding of the fundamental effect of the cross on humanity. Whereas in the satisfaction-substitution-penal model the effect is propitiation, expiation, and/or forgiveness, in the Christus Victor model the effect is victory and liberation, and in the “moral influence” model the effect is inspiration, in the new covenant model the effect is best expressed in terms like transformation, participation, and re-creation.

And, finally, a good post on church music.

I believe the cessation of singing hymns and gospel songs has greatly contributed to the general ignorance of doctrine and biblical images and symbols among evangelicals who grew up in the 1980s and since. I’ve been teaching theology, including basic doctrine, in three Christian universities for almost 30 years now and I’ve seen this general ignorance growing. I think it is at least partly attributable to the fact that my students know very few hymns and gospel songs. (I should say for the benefit of my students reading this: You’re wonderfully bright and intelligent and quick to catch on. That you didn’t grow up singing hymns isn’t your fault. My comments here are not a reflection on your intelligence!)

...I urge music ministers and worship leaders to re-introduce hymn singing in churches. But don’t just have the congregation sing these great songs of the past and present (Brian Wren has written some wonderful contemporary hymns) in a perfunctory manner. Use them as teaching tools. Lead them with passion and enthusiasm and comment on the words so that people will awaken to their meaning. Too often congregations sing songs without even thinking about the words or the messages.

<idle musing>
Amen and amen!
</idle musing>

Friday, August 06, 2010

But, will it blend?

OK, not everybody will get the title of this post, but there is a blender company that does marvelous You Tube™ ads; every ad ends the introduction with, "But, will it blend?" So far, only once have I seen it fail...unfortunately, that isn't the case here:

We will get hold of a new passage of Scripture, a new book, or a new concept, and say, “That's what I want to look like.” And we will try to make it happen. I bought just about every “how-to” book ever written. I never did bother to ask if the authors ever could actually do it. I discovered I couldn't. God is the one who does it.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 154

<idle musing>
I like that, "I never did bother to ask if the authors ever could actually do it." That question should be asked; I suspect the answer is a resounding, "NO!" But, that won't sell books, will it?

By the way, the ad also usually says, "Don't try this at home." Maybe that should be the disclaimer on all the "how-to" books on living the Christian life...
</idle musing>

Thursday, August 05, 2010

By force you are saved?

I'm really liking Roger Olson's blog. Today he has a nice post about Arminianism:

Contrary to what some critics say, an Arminian is someone who believes that salvation is all of grace and through faith alone without any merit (except, of course, the merits of Christ). An Arminian is also someone who believes, contrary to Calvinism, that the person being saved is enabled by grace to cooperate in his or her salvation without “contributing” anything meritorious to it. In other words, God does all the saving but he won’t save without our consent. All this is spelled out so clearly in Arminius and Wesley and other classical Arminians that one has to wonder about those who say otherwise. (For example, Calvinist and some Lutheran critics who argue that Arminianism makes “man” his own savior. One leader of the “young, restless, Reformed” movement says that according to Arminianism the cross of Jesus Christ doesn’t actually save anyone but only gives people the opportunity to save themselves. That is, of course, pure hogwash.)

...As one Arminian theologian has said about Calvinism, if it is true, Scripture should say “By force you were saved through faith….”

<idle musing>
I love it! I would add, what part of all and whosoever don't you understand?

When people ask me, I tell them the biggest difference is that Calvinists believe in apportioned grace, whereas classical Wesleyan/Arminians believe in free grace. Neither of them believe in free will—a point to remember. Free will has no place in either system; the will is bound to do evil—until the Holy Spirit moves. That's where the difference is; Calvinists limit that movement to the elect; Wesleyan/Arminians claim it moves on all.
</idle musing>

Point of origin

Nothing of God has its point of origin with you. But everything of God will be manifested as you in your world. On the outside, it's going to look like you. But nothing is going to have its point of origin with you. The point of origin is God's I will in you.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 153

<idle musing>
Always remember that! When people ask how you can do such-and-such, don't take the credit. Give the credit to God; he's the one who is doing it through you, as you (I do love that phrase of his).
</idle musing>

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

More lawn tractor woes

About two months ago, I wrote that we were looking at lawn tractors. Well, that night we bought one, a Troy-Bilt Bronco—20 HP, 42-inch cut. Forty-two inches is perfect for us; we have too many obstacles for a 48-inch cut, and 32-inch takes forever to mow the almost 2 acres we have.

It runs wonderfully well and cuts evenly. But, last week it developed a problem: it won't start. You can hear the solenoid clicking, but the starter won't engage. I tried all the usual tricks. I disengaged and re-engaged all the safety switches, checked the fuse, the connections, turned the engine over by hand. I had my neighbor, who does this for a living, do the same thing. Same verdict: it won't start.

So, this morning I took it in for warranty repair. I got there, and they did the same routine that I had done, and that my neighbor had done. Same result. They tell me it should be repaired by the end of the week. We all agree it has to be something simple...

Meanwhile, anybody got a goat they want to loan me? I'm getting lost in the grass! If I don't post for a day or two, send out a rescue squad! I'm probably lost somewhere between the house and the barn or garden and forgot my compass :)

Climb that rope!

Many people think the grace of God is like Him dropping a big, strong rope from heaven and giving you the privilege of trying to climb it. God does a little, then leaves the rest up to you. So you read The Art of Rope Climbing and Seven Steps to Successful Rope Climbing. You master those books and you get on the rope. But you climb about a tenth of the way up and you say, “This isn't going to work. I'm already exhausted.”

So you start down. I know, because I am passing you on the same rope. I start up the rope and see you coming down. “What was your problem?” I ask. “Didn't you read that book on fifteen ways to climb the rope?”

Then I come down and here you come up again. “I'm going to make it this time!” you proclaim. Up and down, up and down, up and down.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 151

<idle musing>
Isn't that a wonderful word picture? I can just imagine it in my mind, but the problem is that it is too often true :(
</idle musing>

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

New sale

Charles beat me to it this month, but Eisenbrauns is running a back-to-school sale. You can check out Charles' recommendations, or go to the sale for yourself. Here's the details:

It's time for our annual back-to-school sale. We're starting with
Akkadian and Sumerian references this year. Watch for other languages
and reference works throughout the next two months.

As always, all sales on this web sale are final; no returns will be
permitted. Offer good only on orders placed at www.eisenbrauns.com
through August 31, 2010.

To easily access all the sale items, please visit:
"A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian"
Edited by Jeremy A. Black, Andrew George, and Nicholas Postgate
Harrassowitz Verlag, 2000. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9783447042642
List Price: $46.00 Your Price: $36.80

"Akkadisches Handworterbuch, volume 1: A-L"
by W. von Soden
Akkadisches Handworterbuch - AHw 1
Harrassowitz Verlag, 1985. Cloth. German.
ISBN: 9783447026130
List Price: $240.00 Your Price: $192.00

"Akkadisches Handworterbuch, volume 2: M-S"
by W. von Soden
Akkadisches Handworterbuch - AHw 2
Harrassowitz Verlag, 1972. Cloth. German.
ISBN: 9783447014717
List Price: $240.00 Your Price: $192.00

"Akkadisches Handworterbuch, volume 3: S.-Z"
by W. von Soden
Akkadisches Handworterbuch - AHw 3
Harrassowitz Verlag, 1981. Cloth. German.
ISBN: 9783447021876
List Price: $345.00 Your Price: $276.00

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary A/1"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim, et al.
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 1/1
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1964. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986061
List Price: $60.00 Your Price: $51.00

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary A/2"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim, et al.
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 1/2
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1968. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986078
List Price: $80.00 Your Price: $68.00

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary B"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim, et al.
by Aaron Shaffer
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 2
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1965. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986085
List Price: $60.00 Your Price: $51.00

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary D"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 3
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1959. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986092
List Price: $50.00 Your Price: $42.50

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary E"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 4
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1958. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986108
List Price: $70.00 Your Price: $59.50

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary G"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 5
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1956. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986115
List Price: $45.00 Your Price: $38.25

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary H"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 6
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1956. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986122
List Price: $50.00 Your Price: $42.50

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary I/J"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 7
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1960. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986139
List Price: $60.00 Your Price: $51.00

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary K"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 8
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1971. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986146
List Price: $80.00 Your Price: $68.00

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary L"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 9
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1973. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986153
List Price: $55.00 Your Price: $46.75

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary M"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim and Erica Reiner
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 10
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1977. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986160
List Price: $130.00 Your Price: $110.50

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary N"
Edited by Erica Reiner
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 11
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1980. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986177
List Price: $130.00 Your Price: $110.50

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary P"
Edited by Martha T. Roth
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 12
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 2005. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781885923356
List Price: $130.00 Your Price: $110.50

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Q"
Edited by Erica Reiner
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 13
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1982. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986245
List Price: $70.00 Your Price: $59.50

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary R"
Edited by Erica Reiner and Martha T. Roth
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 14
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1999. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781885923141
List Price: $95.00 Your Price: $80.75

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary S"
Edited by Erica Reiner
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 15
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1984. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986320
List Price: $80.00 Your Price: $68.00

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Sh/1"
Edited by Erica Reiner
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 17/1
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1989. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986559
List Price: $75.00 Your Price: $63.75

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Sh/2"
Edited by Erica Reiner
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 17/2
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1994. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986788
List Price: $70.00 Your Price: $59.50

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Sh/3"
Edited by Erica Reiner and Martha T. Roth
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 17/3
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1992. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986795
List Price: $95.00 Your Price: $80.75

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary S. (tsade)"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 16
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1962. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986184
List Price: $65.00 Your Price: $55.25

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary T"
Edited by Martha T. Roth
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 18
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 2006. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781885923424
List Price: $145.00 Your Price: $123.25

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary T. [Tet)"
Edited by Martha T. Roth
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 19
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 2006. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781885923431
List Price: $105.00 Your Price: $89.25

"Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Z"
Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary - CAD 21
Oriental Institute-Chicago, 1961. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780918986191
List Price: $45.00 Your Price: $38.25

"Assyrian-English-Assyrian Dictionary"
Edited by Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting
Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project - NATCP, 2007.
Paper. English and Akkadian.
ISBN: 9789521013324
List Price: $75.00 Your Price: $60.00

"Mesopotamisches Zeichenlexikon"
by Riekele Borger
Alter Orient und Altes Testament - AOAT 305
Ugarit-Verlag, 2003. Cloth. German.
ISBN: 9783927120822
List Price: $95.00 Your Price: $76.00

"Manuel d'epigraphie akkadienne:
Signes, Syllabaire, ideogrammes"
by Rene Labat and Florence Malbran-Labat
Geuthner (Librarie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner S.A.), 1988.
Paper. French.
ISBN: 9782705335830
List Price: $114.00 Your Price: $102.60

"An Akkadian Handbook:
Paradigms, Helps, Logograms, and Sign List"
by Douglas B. Miller and R. Mark Shipp
Eisenbrauns, 1996. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9780931464867
List Price: $19.95 Your Price: $13.97

"A Workbook of Cuneiform Signs"
by Daniel C. Snell
Aids and Research Tools in Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Undena Publications, 1999. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9780890030585
List Price: $24.00 Your Price: $21.60

"A Grammar of Akkadian"
by John Huehnergard
Harvard Semitic Studies - HSS 45
Harvard Semitic Museum / Eisenbrauns, 2005. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575069227
List Price: $49.95 Your Price: $34.97

"Key to A Grammar of Akkadian"
by John Huehnergard
Harvard Semitic Studies - HSS 46
Harvard Semitic Museum / Eisenbrauns, 2005. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575069241
List Price: $27.95 Your Price: $19.57

"Introduction to Akkadian"
by Richard Caplice
Studia Pohl: Series Maior - SPSM 9
Biblical Institute Press / Editrice Pontificio
Istituto Biblico, 2002. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9788876535666
List Price: $25.00 Your Price: $22.50

"Grundriss der akkadischen Grammatik"
by W. von Soden
Analecta Orientalia - AO 33
Biblical Institute Press / Editrice Pontificio
Istituto Biblico, 1995. Paper. German.
ISBN: 9788876532580
List Price: $99.00 Your Price: $89.10

"The Modal System of Old Babylonian"
by Eran Cohen
Harvard Semitic Studies - HSS 56
Harvard Semitic Museum / Eisenbrauns, 2005. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9781575069210
List Price: $32.95 Your Price: $23.07

"The Akkadian Language in its Semitic Context:
Studies in the Akkadian of the Third and Second Millennium BC"
Edited by Guy Deutscher and N. J. C. Kouwenberg
Publications de l'Institut historique-archeologique
neerlandais de Stamboul - PIHANS 106
Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten/
Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO), 2006.
Paper. English and German.
ISBN: 9789062583171
List Price: $39.00 Your Price: $31.20

"Sargonic Akkadian: A Historical and
Comparative Study of the Syllabic Texts"
by Rebecca Hasselbach
Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9783447051729
List Price: $117.00 Your Price: $93.60

"Sumerian Grammar"
by D. O. Edzard
Society of Biblical Literature -SBL, 2003. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9781589832527
List Price: $25.95 Your Price: $22.06

"A Manual of Sumerian Grammar and Texts"
by John L. Hayes
Aids and Research Tools in Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Undena Publications, 2000. Paper. English.
ISBN: 0890035081
List Price: $46.00 Your Price: $41.40

"Sumerian Lexicon: A Dictionary Guide to
the Ancient Sumerian Language"
by John A. Halloran
Logogram Publishing, 2006. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9780978642907
List Price: $79.00 Your Price: $71.10

<idle musing>
By the way, I think there are more than 3 budding Assyriologists in the world :)
</idle musing>

Lonely road

Isn't it amazing how the Bible gets interpreted these days, marrying law and grace? I used to do it. So did the Judaizers 2000 years ago. But Paul withstood their teaching with his life. He knew that marrying law and grace would always be the death knell for the complete gospel: Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Few in Paul's day understood that you can't marry law and grace. Few today understand it. As a result, it can be a lonely life out there without the law. It isn't the easiest path, to walk in oneness with God, because no one ever sees Him. Yet you are believing that He lives in you, and that your body is a temple of the living God, and you, like Jesus say, “I just do what I hear from the Father.” And you are going to live like that? There won't be many Christians around you affirming that kind of walk. But the Spirit will affirm it.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, pages 146-147

<idle musing>
Wasn't there an old Spiritual like that? Something like, "Jesus walked this lonesome valley..." I can't remember the words, but the tune is rumbling around in my head...
</idle musing>

A new blog worth following

Roger Olson, the author of several books, including Arminian Theology, has started a blog. Here's a snippet from today's:

These days more and more churches are hiding their denominational affiliations. It’s very common now to see “Calvary Church” or “Church on the Rock” or “Faith Tabernacle” or “Prairie Wind Church,” etc., with no identification of its denominational affiliation. A little digging often reveals there is such a denominational affiliation; the church just doesn’t want to advertise it. Why? Are they ashamed of it? If so, then they should drop their affiliation. I think it borders on false advertising when churches take on generic names and also hide their denominational affiliation so that even their web site doesn’t clearly state what it is.

I often get e-mails from friends and acquaintances asking me to help them identify a particular “community church” (or whatever). I’m pretty good at sniffing out those churches’ denominational connections using their web sites. There’s almost always some hint there. But the average lay person would not find it. It irritates me when such churches have a strong affiliation with a denomination but do not reveal it clearly. I think that’s unethical.

<idle musing>
We were a part of a church in Minnesota that was Baptist, but didn't advertise it. I always wondered about that. I'm not sure it's a matter of integrity, but it does raise questions. He has some other good stuff on that post, and the three from the days before, about evangelicalism.
</idle musing>

Some students and readers have asked me why I expend energy and waste time trying to define evangelicalism; why not just give up the term “evangelical” and let the conservatives, fundamentalists and Religious Right people own it? After all, so I’m told, it’s too late to rescue it. “Evangelical” and “evangelicalism” are now so identified in the popular mind with right-wing conservativism in both theology and politics that they can’t be salvaged. I’m urged to just let them go.

<idle musing>
He goes on to say why he thinks it is worth salvaging. Personally, I'm more of the category that says it can't be salvaged. But, his posts have made me reconsider, especially when I put that together with these figures:
</idle musing>

Evangelical cannot be equated with "Rich American." The Church is growing in unprecedented ways in other parts of the globe, and it is time for the alarmists to tell the truth. And the global growth of the Church is largely shaped by nothing other than evangelicals, many of them quite conservative on many issues.
In 1900, 80% of Christians were Euros and North Americans; now 60% are in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Two thirds of the world's evangelicals live in the Two Thirds World.

Wilkens and Thorsen: if Christianity disappeared from the Euros and N Americans, the Church would be thriving still. The movement, they say, does not rest in our hands.

<idle musing>
And praise God for that!
</idle musing>

Monday, August 02, 2010

By faith, not by sight

As believers, we no longer live under the law, looking to it to tell us what to do and not do, then trying our best to do it. Instead, we live on the faith principle, the inner life principle, of who really is our life—Christ. We trust that He directs us, opens or closes doors for us, and speaks directly to us, giving us a message or whatever is needed for the occasion. We trust that He is living through us. We may not feel it at any given moment, but we live by faith that He is our life.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 145

<idle musing>
By faith, not by sight; that is the secret. Believe what God says, not what you feel.
</idle musing>

Weekend doings

I had planned to ride a century on Saturday morning, but it rained. Not one to waste time on a weekend, I made 4.5 quarts of bread & butter pickles, 5 pints of yogurt, and some mayonnaise (I sure missed it on my sandwich last week).

It stopped raining around 1:00 PM, so I rode over to pick up a bushel of sweet corn. We normally freeze about a bushel for the coming year. I took my trailer to carry it back. The people running the stand weren't quite so sure I could fit the bushel into the trailer. It fit easily, once I turned it on its side, as you can see from the pictures below.

I spent the rest of Saturday afternoon shucking, boiling, and freezing corn. Done for another year :)

Sunday AM dawned nice and cool, with a bit of fog. Perfect day for a century. So, off I went with 4 water bottles, 2 with water, 2 with diluted Gatorade™. I always dilute it 50%, otherwise it tastes too sweet—and I only use the powder to avoid the corn syrup. I also put a few Power Bars™ in my bag as well.

The ride was nice, although around the 80 mile mark I started feeling it; the sun was higher in the sky and the heat was getting to me. This century was harder than the last one I rode, but that one was on Rails-to-trails old railroad bed. Can you say 2% grade, nice pavement. The smooth pavement was probably the biggest thing. After 80 miles of rough roads, your butt starts complaining, but I ignored it and finished in about 5.5 hours (actually 5:33, if you want to know the exact time). It was rather interesting that I averaged the same speed on this one, with the rough roads and hillier course, as I did on the last one with smooth pavement.

I was planning on planting some fall crops when I got home, but it was too hot. Later, I picked beans, tomatoes, broccoli, bunching onions, and cucumbers. I didn't have time to plant, so that will have to be tonight. I'm hoping to plant Brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, and peas for the fall harvest. Some of those will end up under the green house once it gets cold.