Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Stuff on the Web

I promised a review on Wright's book on Scripture The Last Word almost 3 months ago. I still don't have one but D. A. Carson does here (along with two others, one of which is Enns'). Props to Justin Taylor for this link (I still don't know how to do the H(at)T(ip) thing). Speaking of Wright, there is a heavy discussion regarding the resurrection going on over at Mike Bird's blog worth reading. It's a sad day for Wright fans (myself included). This brings me to another point: if you're reading this blog and you're not already reading Mike Bird's or Justin Taylor's blog you need to repent, stop reading this and start reading theirs. They're much better and high on my priority list.

No more from me until Friday night/Saturday when all my labors shall be finished!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Barker's Moving Day; My New Hood Ornament

My posts have been and will continue to be somewhat few and far between for the next week or so. As most of you know, it's finals week. Add to that the fact that I start at HSBC on Monday, and my life's a mess. Therefore, rather than post an intellectually stimulating and spiritually edifying treatise, I've opted for something else. For the uninitiated, these pictures are a brief, but representative look into what happens when seminary students' brains exceed the saturation point.

My good friend Tim Barker of Truth on Fire fame, decided that since there wasn't much going on this weekend, it might be a good time to move (they just bought a townhouse...congrat's Tim and Katie!). Seeing I had nothing better to do, I decided to help him, along with several of our buddies. In the process of moving, we ended up strapping the headboard of his bed to the roof rack of my '89 Volvo Wagon resulting in something resembling a cross between a Star Wars Tie Fighter and something out of Spaceballs. Before we left, I was encouraged to "pimp my ride" with one of Katie's (or was it Tim's?) childhood toys as a mascot/hood ornament. Surprisingly, it survived the 20 minute 60+ mph ride. What was it you ask? Check it out below...

How 'bout a close up?

Yes, it's what you think it is...

Here's the close up :-)

Happy Studying!!!

P.S. There were more pictures taken that day, several of which were a bit more "compromising." Keep your eyes open on the blogs on my blogroll and I'm sure something will surface before too long.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bikinis at Discount Prices!

Following up on my second to last post, I couldn't resist posting this link. Save yourself some money...and work.
PS - Once again, I apologize for the PG-13 content.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Eschatology Links

though I'd post this for those interested in the links mentioned by Hayton and Pitchford on some of the previous threads. The Piper link had changed, and I know sometimes it's a hassle looking stuff up. So, in order to remove all excuses, here are the links:

Piper on Post-Trib Rapture

Poythress on Amillennialism from 2 Thes 1

Academic qualifications are like bikinis

And now for something completely different...(allusion to Monty Python for the uninitiated).

A few posts back, the topic generated a hefty discussion; this one's a little more on the lite side. The title of this post comes from last weeks US News and World Report's editoral. I've been wanting to post this for a week, but have been academically strapped. Mortimer B. Zuckerman (USNWR's Editor-in-chief) wrote this Op-Ed piece and the rest of the simile goes like this:

"Academic qualifications are like bikinis: What they reveal may be less significant that what they conceal."

Alright, I apologize for the PG-13 content, but I wanted to point out the quote for a few reasons.

1) I thought it was pretty funny :-)
2) I think it's true.
3) Many of the people reading this blog are at a season in life in which they are pursuing academic degrees. Such a quote may help us "keep it real" and not take ourselves too seriously. It had that effect on me.
4) The rest of the piece fascinated me. The gist of the editorial is that Harvard's academics are going down the tube. They're becoming a diploma factory and though grads have high GPAs, they're extremely uneducated and dissatisfied.

Let me expand point 4 a little more. First of all, it's comforting to know that even ivy league schools aren't perfect. Second, it's a helpful reminder that a good education is more important than impressive credentials. Too be sure, I don't want to create a false dilemma. That's precisely why I'm setting my sights on Aberdeen. Finally, and totally detatched from the rest of these observations: I can't help but wonder if SOME of what's going on relates to our generation. I am quite dissatisfied with my undergrad education. I previously thought that that that was the fault of my alma mater (did I get it right this time?) or at least my selection of that school. While I have not abandoned that hypothesis entirely, I am somewhat comforted to discover I'm in good company; Harvard's grad's feel the same way. Sure, they still have a degree that will open more doors than mine, but that's beside the point (well, almost). I'm curious if this disatisfaction with one's education has anything to do with our generation and perhaps the impact (even if it's at the subconscious level) of Postmodernism. I don't mean that as a cheap shot at Postmodernism; I tend to view it more positively than many. I'm just wondering if there might be a connection.

Meanwhile, Lord willing, I'll be starting at HSBC in a little over a week in order to fund my incredibly expensive bikini...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Observations on the Significance of the Resurrection

Pittsley, if you're reading this, this one goes out to you. I just finished (about an hour and a half ago) preaching a message on 4 observations concerning the significance of the resurrection. My topic was selected, in large measure, as a result of your post a little while back bemoaning the minimization of Easter in many evangelical churches. Your observations resonated with me. It is only in recent years that I have come to have a better appreciation for the significance of the resurrection and so I thought others might benefit from some of my reflections. Anyway, I thought you'd like to know that your seed thoughts have taken root and I praise the Lord that they are bearing fruit to your account here in VA Beach. Fruit not only from the challenge they were to me, but also to several who spoke to me after the message regarding how the Lord used the texts to incite their affections.

I manuscripted my first point in order to help clarify my own thinking. My first observation was that the Resurrection Vindicated Jesus; it's basically devotional reflections on Romans 1:4. I'm including that first point below and offer it for your encouragement and meditation. (Those of you who are Wright, Thielman or Schreiner fans will probably see their fingerprints all over this).

The Resurrection Vindicated Jesus

To be sure, the resurrection vindicated Jesus, in the sense that it showed He was Who He said He was. The resurrection was the fulfillment of prophecy, especially Jesus’ own prophecy concerning Himself. John 2:18-22 So the Jews answered and said to Him, "What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?" 19 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 20 Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.” However, the resurrection did more than just demonstrate that He meant what He said and that His prophecies were fulfilled. Listen to the opening words of the book of Romans - Romans 1:1-4 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Here the resurrection makes plain that Jesus is the Son of God. Does this imply that He was not the son of God previously? Certainly not. Rather, He has by the resurrection been declared, or that word could also be translated “appointed” the Son of God WITH POWER. During the incarnation, we understand that Jesus humbled Himself taking on the form of a servant. With the resurrection He has been appointed to a new status (for lack of a better term). Having been glorified He is no longer the humble servant but now the exalted King. At the beginning of this verse, Paul describes Him as Jesus Christ our Lord. Let me digress for just a moment. This is a phrase we often take for granted to the point that I think we may fail to see its significance. First of all we need to get a hold of the name Jesus Christ. Christ is not His surname, like Nate MIHELIS. Furthermore, it is not as if Jesus is His human name and Christ, His divine moniker. No, the term Christ is a transliteration of the Greek christos which means “anointed one” or messiah. Likewise, lord is not a title that should be taken lightly, sort of like “sir” or “mr.” No, lord was a term used to speak of the emperor, as in “Caesar is lord.” So what do you get when you put it all together? Paul is explicitly saying, the resurrection demonstrated that Jesus the Messiah is King.” After all, this is what Paul and his companions where accused of in Thessalonica. Right after the rulers of the city accused them of turning the world upside down, they charged them with these words: Acts 17:7 “…these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king -- Jesus." Paul’s message is clear: Jesus the Messiah is King and He brooks no rivals!” That’s quite a statement. It’s the kind of statement that changes the course of history. Are you starting to see why the resurrection is so significant?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Scribal Errors

In light of our recent discussions regarding eschatology I figured you guys would really get a kick out of this one. I hopped online to check on the latest comments on the last discussion and typed my blog's web address in...only I typed a little too fast. I had to read the url a few times before I realized I had inverted the "p" and the "s" in "blogspot." It's amazing (and incredibly ironic) what a big difference a little difference can make. If you don't believe me, check it out here: Yes, that's my name and Mihelis is even spelled correctly -that's scary!

*Update: I was more than a little suspicious, so tried a few other names and words followed by Sure enough all of them take you to the same site. Not quite as crazy as I thought, but still odd.


In case you didn't read my last comment on the last post (which may make more sense out of this one), the question was (roughly) "In view of all of the discussion and agreed disagreement that has taken place (whether here over eschatology or over on Luther's Stein about hermeneutics), can we still cooperate to advance the Gospel together? Obviously this is a "yes" but let me get more specific: CAN WE PLANT A CHURCH TOGETHER? Though I'm not sure all will agree here (I'm anxious to find out) I still say "YES!" Maybe I'm a naive idealist here (rather than a critical realist as elsewhere), but I think we can, if we bear in mind a centered set (versus bounded set) mentality. We are in HUGE, SIGNIFICANT agreement over the Gospel; is that enough to go forward in a church plant? I sure hopes so. Thomas, Bruno, Grif, Hayton and Baylor, I'm especially interested to see if you what you think, though all others are free to chime in.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

What are you doing May 19th?

A few of you have either raised or addressed the issue on your blogs of how to resond to the Da Vinci code movie coming out next month. Though I haven't spoken to the issue on this blog, I have posted elsewhere that I will probably go see it. However, a recent post on Justin Taylor's blog has caused me to consider postponing my viewing for a few days. Like it or leave it, he offers an alternative for responding that I commend for your consideration here. (I still haven't perfected the trackback thing, so you'll probably have to scroll down to the post entitled "How to Respond to the Da Vinci Code Movie.").

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Da' Belly!

Don't worry; I secured Dawn's permission before posting this. Since not all of you get to see her regularly, and since it's been a while since we've posted a pic of Noah (the ultrasounds) I thought I'd give you an update. I apologize if you're offended, but I'm convinced that conventional modesty standards go out the window when you're pregnant :-)

Transformed by Truth

Introducing yet another blog to the blogosphere - Transformed by Truth. Since I've got nothing better to do with my time, I thought - "Hey, why not start ANOTHER blog." Ok, seriously, it's actually an online discussion forum for my 9-10th grade Sunday School class. They seemed excited about the idea, but it remains to be seen whether or not they'll actually use it. I got the idea from James Lane who's doing the same thing for their Adult Sunday School class. A bunch of our kids already blog or are online at least once a day anyway; I figured we might as well make their time profitable and perhaps get some to speak up in a different forum where they might be inclined to say more. Anyway, it will be appearing in my links shortly, so I thought it might be good to explain what it is. Feel free to visit if you like, I only ask that if you comment, remember these are 9th and 10th graders -- so keep it PG or less Logan and Baylor :-0

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Danny Akin on TULIP

Danny Akin has an interesting article on TULIP at Baptist Press. Though I haven't read it in its entirety, I found at least two things fascinating: 1) He is pre-trib, premill 2) His six suggestions for working alongside those with whom we disagree, especially #4 regarding personal integrity.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

MA Thesis on Wright and Barth - Full Text

I'm becoming increasingly impressed with Wikipedia as a resource. I was reading some stuff on Critical Realism in the Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible yesterday and was curious if Wikipedia would actually have anything on the topic. Not only did they have a decent entry, it listed their link to NT Wright (another excellent Wikipedia entry) on account of his articulation of critical realism. Wikipedia is impressively current and more regulated than I first thought (at one point, I went off on it as an absurd, extreme product of postmodernism: i.e. truth is not objective but rather a construct formed in community). While browsing the Wright entry I came across this link to an electronic text of an MA thesis comparing Wright's theological method to Barth's. Amazing. The world truly is flat.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Hazardous Waste Removal

A recent moral dilemma has caused me to consider providing a new service to the body of Christ. What do you do when you have theology books that you used to think were sweet, but have since come to realize they're junk? If you sell them to others you become a partaker in their eisegesis and poor theology and all for the sake of gaining unrighteous mammon. Keeping them takes up bookshelf space which is a precious commodity for those of us with expanding families. Giving them away is almost as bad as selling them. So what do you do? I've recently encountered such a dilemma in dealing with my sets of Vincent and Wuest word studies. Stockpiled with exegetical fallacies and textbook examples of the "gold nugget" approach to interpretation, these volumes must be kept out of the hands of those who may mishandle them. I am so committed to a minimalistic approach to linguistics (if my "The Value of Wordstudies: Some Thoughts on When You Might WANT to Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater" didn't convince you, this might) that I've come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is throw them away. Yes, it's appalling to bibliophiles to think of throwing away a book, but it is far better to commit such sacralige than to allow them to fall into the wrong hands and become a tool for the dark side (pardon the Star Wars analogy). So if you can't bring yourself to follow through with such an action, as a ministry to the Body, I will offer my service to those of you in the blogosphere - send me your junk and I'll "take out the trash." :-)