Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two Cups

I came across this passage a few months back working through The Cross Centered Life and have been meaning to post on it ever since.

Mark 14:36 "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."

Most of us are familiar with this passage and it's context as Jesus prays in Gethsemane just prior to his crucifixion. Metaphorically speaking, there's a sense in which the "cup" could refer to the whole process that Jesus knows he will be undergoing in the next 24 hours. Theologically speaking, I think it's even more likely that the cup he's referring to is the cup of God's wrath that Jeremiah speaks of:

Jeremiah 25:15 This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: "Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.

It's even more powerful if you read it in context. Either way though, most of us are familiar with Jesus' prayer regarding the cup. Did you remember that he also spoke of another cup? Mark certainly did, in fact it seems to have been on his mind as he composed his Gospel account:

Mark 14:23-24 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.

Just about 10 verses previous, Mark records Jesus' words about the cup that we get to drink (notice, the text doesn't actually say Jesus drank this one, for what it's worth). And beyond Marks literary/compositional rhetoric, temporally speaking, only a few hours elapsed between these two events, so I dare say it was on Jesus' mind too. He drinks the cup of God's wrath so that we might drink the cup of God's blessing. Interestingly enough Jeremiah also speaks of the New Covenant. Was Jesus meditating on Jeremiah on the night of his betrayal? I can't say, but WOW...what an exchange. Perhaps there's a dissertation on intertextuality in there somewhere, but more importantly it's had some serious impact on my communion meditations in recent days.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Presenting Academic Papers

For any interested in presenting academic papers in the near or distant future, I thought this might be a helpful link to catalogue.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wright Responds

Curious about what Wright thinks about Carson, Piper, and Moo? All that and more here.

(HT: Jim Hamilton)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Barth vs. Bultmann...because of Herrmann?

For you Barth fans out there, I just recently read this reveiw on Christophe Chalamet's book: "Dialectical Theologians: Wilhelm Herrmann, Karl Barth and Rudolf Bultmann." The review is by Ben Myers and even though contemporary theology isn't my strong suit, the review made me want to buy the book.


Some Thoughts on the Authority of Words

My son has finally reached the age that he is showing himself to be my son indeed, as well as one of Adam's sons; that is, his depravity has begun to bloom exponentially, if I may mix a few metaphors. Though he learned "Ma" and "Da" early on, as well as "Da" with a slightly different inflection that means "yes" (when you become a parent you do learn things like how to distinguish between "Da" and "Da" - it's kinda scary but largely intuitive). Yet, the first word he's really mastered, with regards to using it accurately in most situations, is "No". And he even sounds darn cute when he says it. Sometimes.

His accurate use of "no" likely stems from the fact that he hears us say it often when he's doing something we don't want him to do. He's put 2 and 2 together and determined that you say "no" when people either do something you don't want, or ask you to do something you don't want to do. And he says it just like we do. I was thinking about it the other day and was fascinated by the fact that he understands what it means and how to use it, yet there's still something missing. He doesn't quite get why when we say "no" it IS "no", while when he says "no" if WE say "yes" then his "no" get's overridden. I realized that it all boils down to power and authority. Without getting all metaphysical here, he just doesn't have the authority nor power to bring to pass what he demands; we do, at least in most things pertaining to him. We have God granted authority as his parents and power, because we're just plain bigger, faster and more coordinated (though he is pretty quick and strong for his age).

Of course the parallel here is blatantly obvioius. It is the same with God and that's why in so many ways our view of our God (be it right or wrong) often stems from our view of our parents. And though it's true of the "no"s that He may prohibit, it delightful to think that it is also true of His promises:

I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. NLT Psalm 138:2

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The SBC on Contextualization

No it's not a sick joke, nor an oxymoron. The IMB drafted some statements on Contextualization. While I haven't had time to digest them all, Stetzer recommended them so they must be good :-)

Follow up on the Last Post

Ok, it's pathetic to think it's almost a month later, but with OT at work (and that ain't the former testament) and Thanksgiving and all I been out for a while. Tom tried to post some comments back whent the post went up but wasn't able to so he sent me an email and said I could post them if I wanted to, the greeting being the most important part :-) Since it's been so long, rather than put them in the comment section, I figured I'd make them a separate post:

"Was I absent the day I taught on worldviews, presuppositionalism and speech act theory (and evidently grammar according to your 'Oh What a Night …' post)? I applaud your 'honest' search for just one biblically faithful reason to be a teetotaler – but is there any biblical truth upon which you have a strong conviction (sorry for the overt fundy language) that is based on a singular, biblically-faithful argument? Would I be surprised to see that, even if I had a biblically faithful argument from the text, you would not read that text in the manner in which I do? Finally, do you really think that you are asking a question; I mean, am I really the only one who doesn't think this is an honest request?

Mihelis: "Here's my question, but play on my home field, by my rules, for my entertainment though I think you're pathetic for not holding my view – and by the way, if you do make it through all my hurdles, I get to change the rules."

(Logan-It's Dailey. I've been praying for you (and Baylor with his 15 minutes [and Mihelis]), but the latter keeps ticking me off!)

Ok, Nate again here. the question, summing it up at the end is legit - but that's the nature of blogs. I didn't feel like responding to said arguments, but was curious if there were anymore. Besides, my dictatorial rule of this blog is at least benevolent, hence the posting of these comments :-) Onto a whole nuther issue - the fact that both Mike and Tom got out of my original post some sort of looking to entice teetotlares into an argument was telling. Both of them are great friends whom I respect a ton and have learned immensly from. They are also two guys who know me well. Lessons learned: 1) I probably do have a bit more maturing to do when discussing fundy issues regardless of my motives on this isue. 2) No matter how hard you try, communication in cyberspace or the metaverse if you will (yes an intentional misuse baylor) is difficult at best.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Coming Out of the Closet Without Falling off the Wagon

Ok, so I've been out of the blogosphere for more than a week, so come back with a bang right? Maybe not, but I've been toying with posting on this for sometime now and the time just seemed right. The majority of people who read this blog know I'm not a teetotaler (did I spell that right Logan?); never have been in fact, not even in my hyperfundy days. Of course, by saying I'm not a teetotaler, I'm not implying that I just think it's ok for people to drink alcohol, but rather that I am an active participant in one of God's good gifts.

I thought it would be fun to give 24 hours notice to other bloggers who read this blog and share my convictions to come clean before I posted a list of their names....but decided I'd be kind. Instead, I'd like to pose a question: Is anyone aware of a biblically faithful, logically coherent argument for a teetotalistic position? By biblically faithful, I have in mind both the passages that commend alcohol and passages that indirectly condone it (stuff like John saying that the first display of Jesus' glory was accomplished by turning water into wine...and the good stuff at that). There's a lot of data that just seems hard to get around to me. By logically coherent, I mean it does need to be consistent, but more importantly that arguments like "grape juice" and anything based on word studies alone are dismissed ipso fact as being logically fallacious. I'm not trying to open up a rant in the comments section, I'm just curious if there are any good arguments out there that I've overlooked. Sure, there are circumstances that might arise when abstinence might be appropriate (history of drunkenness, ministering to someone with a history of drunkenness), but I'm referring to a valid teetotaler position. Anybody?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Yet Another Quotable Quote

"I want to affirm the fundamentals of the faith and stand in the tradition of historic orthodoxy and the Rule of Faith. But I'd rather be stripped naked, tarred, feathered, and paraded around Tenessee Temple University while wearing a sign saying "I am Bill Clinton's love child, so make me governor of Tenessee" before I became a Fundamentalist."

-Mike Bird, speaking on Fundamentalism - and based on the context, the kind I grew up in :-)

p.s. The CT article he was referencing links to Baylor's blog. Schmoozing...the real reason he went to TEDS :-)

For all you Covey Haters

The Franklin Covey planners have some quotable quotes. Granted there a mix and more or less hit or miss. Nevertheless, this is the best one I've come across:

"Imagination continually frustrates traditions; that is its function."

- John Pfeiffer

I don't know who Pfeiffer is, but if that's not a missional quote, I'm not sure what is :-)

Keller on Contextualization

This is hands down the best thing I've heard on contextualization so far. Tim Keller audio from Covenant Seminary: Part 1 and Part 2. These two are must listen to's.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh What a Night...

While I had every intention of continuing my thoughts on childhood tonight, I'm too wiped. I just got home from work and spent from 6-10pm teaching, non-stop on credit cards, how they work and how to collect on them. That's not even including the rest of the teaching I did this afternoon before dinner. While four hours of non-stop teaching may not seem like alot to those of you who do it for a living, remember: credit cards aren't nearly as exciting as world history, bible or even literature. It ranks right up there with teaching 4 hours of math or grammar. I never cease to marvel at how much credit card junk and gibberish I've amassed into my head over the last 2 years. I used the phrase, "Fee non-assesment to prevent negative amortization as per FDCPA guidelines" on more than one occaision tonight. The scary part is that I actually know what that means and how to use it in a sentence. Even scarier is the fact that several of you reading this do to. Goodnight!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Some Thoughts on Being a Dad

Don't let the title fool you; I'm no pro, but rather a newbie myself. However, since several people I know who read this blog are recent Dad's, will be someday, or will be soon (and there are several of you in this category so don't worry, I'm not destroying anyone's anonymity or secret), I was thinking through what it felt like to be a new Dad and an "expecting Dad" and thought I'd throw some thoughts out there for whatever they're worth.

1) From when my wife was roughly 6 months pregnant till Noah was about 4 months old, I was freaking out about how having a kid would affect our lives and particularly our financial "stability" if you could call it that. Up until she was six months pregnant, it was all fun and exciting. When that belly started to grow, reality set in and I started thinking about budget, discipline, dating, college, etc... Have no fear on this one. In many ways, it's not a big deal. And in the ways it is a big deal...many of them are wonderful changes. Of course, it took me almost 4 months to figure out that diapers are affordable and baby food can be squeezed into a tight budget (especially with some help from the fam and the state :-). And the bottom line - God provides. Sure it affected our lives in other ways, but those are ENTIRELY for the better. I love being a Dad and I love my son more than I could ever have imagined I would. My only regret is definately that we did not start sooner.

2) The first 3 months aren't necessarily a microcosm of what the rest of parenting will be like. Noah's first night home I only slept about 2 hours and Dawn only slept about 1. I remember being scared to death that I wouldn't be able to survive the next six months at this pace. While sleeping patterns do differ for every child and even the same child will change at different stages, my experience has been that routine and predicability are a bit more frequent after 3 months. Plus, you're pretty used to the idea of being parents by then (the learning curve is steep here - you go from 0-60 in the first few weeks alone) and above all, your kid starts responding and developing personality around this time (in other words, ALL of those smiles can't be gas, some of them must really be smiles).

3) Your life WILL change and every child is different. I group these two together because, they're common fallacies for expecting/new parents. You hear people say dumb stuff like the child will adapt to their schedule/lifestyle, because theirs won't be a child-centered home or frowning on a type of discipline method that doesn't include spanking. Maybe these two are overly specific, but I bring them up because that's how I thought. Mea culpa. Whether your home is child centered or not, your lifestyle and schedule will and should adapt to a new family member. Likewise, not all children are alike; thus, different forms of discipline may be effective on different children at different stages. Example - when Noah fussed between 6 or 7 months to 1yr (that is between when he learned no, but still couldn't walk) we knew we couldn't spank him for attitudinal issues because he wouldn't understand why he was being punished. Time outs, on the other hand, were extremely effective, because he loved to be with us so much and he couldn't get around on his own. Though I swore I would never use them, they turned out to be the most efficient and effective way to break his will without breaking his spirit. Live and learn.

There's more I could and may say, but this is long enough as it is. I may do a part two later this week.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Marveling at the Lord's Working

I had a great phone call on the way home from work tonight that made my day. I was talking to a couple that housed Dawn and I for several months when we first moved down here to VA Beach for seminary. There was no apartment availability in our price range for the first few months, so they graciously opened there home to us. Sure, it's always a little weird living with total strangers, but they were very hospitable.

I found out later that we were sort of a test case. They had volunteered to house seminary students on a trial basis and we were the guinea pigs. They were new to the church and not very involved or plugged in. Our stay with them went very well and they went on to have many more seminarians in to their home over the next 4 years. It was fascinating to see their involvement in the local assembly grow during that time as well. Last year the Lord took them to another state via a job transfer. During our discussion tonight, I discovered that they are doing very well, plugged into and active in their local church. They shared with me of how the Lord is deepening their trust in Him and strengthening their prayer lifes. They are attending a small church with an older pastor with a BA from a christian college. They have been actively encouraging him to seek out a seminarian for a summer intern to help with his workload and to work with the teens. They even took the initiative to contact the seminary and put in a request for such a seminarian and assured their pastor that they would house him for the summer.

As we wrapped up the call, I was just so how amazed at how God works. He caused them to step out in faith initially to open their home and through their willing ministry He deepened their involvement with His body.

For just as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body – though many – are one body, so too is Christ.