Thursday, August 31, 2006

Lessons Learned Along the Way

I've been out of the blogosphere most of this week due to the end of the month flex schedule at work. The good news is that I get a 3 day holiday weekend...however it comes with a price. This week calls for a six day work week (Sunday-Friday) so what little spare time I have has been spent playing with Noah and sleeping. However, with my increased time at work and increasing boredom with the same old same old, I began to reflect on what I've learned over these last four months as a professional bill collector (boy it hurts just saying it out loud...but it's probably cathartic...somehow). Be forewarned: unless you have experience in collections or a call center, you may think most of these points are stupid or that they don't make sense; you may just want to skip down to the last two. However, if you've smiled and dialed 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, etc....well, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It's kind of like the parable of the sower - let those who have ears to hear...Anyway, here's the top ten list of things I've learned as a collector:

10. 50% of the population does NOT know what a "spouse" is.

9. Apparrently the other 50% that do, think it sounds remarkably similar to "cell phone."

8. It doesn't sound as cool as you think when on your answering machine you try and make it sound like it's really you an not just a recording.

7. You are the only person in the world that thinks it's cute to let your child record the message on your answering machine in gibrish.

6. A surprising number of people think that credit card collectors don't actually realize what day it is when they call on Sunday.

5. An even greater number of people who don't think you should call them on the Lord's day, have absolutely no problem taking His name in vain when the tell you as much.

4. Despite what you may think, people actually will set up a check by phone in the tub, on the john and with the police waiting outside (I speak from experience here).

3. Strangely, not everyone knows what "personal" means when it's used to modify the phrase "business matter".

2. Hanging up DOESN'T actually stop the calls (for the uninitiated - it increases them :-)

and finally, the number one lesson I've learned as a professional collector is one I had already learned during my stint in construction:

#1 The "F-word" can be employed as any part of speech if the customer's angry enough (verb, noun, adjective, preposition, etc...).

Now THAT was cathartic :-)

Updated Link

For those who aren't already aware, Euangelion has a new address with the addition of Joel Willits (I think I spelled that right). Just thought I'd mention that I've updated my link accordingly for your surfing pleasure.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Boanerges Gets an Upgrade

Boanerges 2.0??? Okay, maybe not, but I did make two new additions. First of all, Dave Griffiths long time ago asked me to syndicate my blog in order to make it more easily accessible. Though I'm not exactly sure how it all works, Boanerges has been syndicated (at least I think so, someone who uses the features, please let me know in the comments section if I succeeded). There's a link to the site feed just under the rest of my links in the left hand margin. Second, I added a site meter. From time to time I find out that somone has been reading my blog without ever commenting. That's not a problem, but each time I hear about someone I didn't know was reading it, it causes me to wonder how many more people are out there reading in the shadows :-) So, this second addition was more or less just to satisfy my curiosity. There may be more changes in the future, for example I'd like to hunt down a cooler looking template, but for now these upgrades have more than satisfied (perhaps exhausted) my technological appetite.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another One Book Meme

She took me up on the offer and said Dave laughed when he saw I mentioned his blog :-)

A Guest Post by Annalisa Wilson

1) One book that changed your life: To avoid repetition of Desiring God, I’ll go with another – my dad’s Greek NT. I couldn’t actually read it at the time, but because I wanted to so badly, it changed my life. Books that changed my theology: Ladd’s Coming of the Kingdom, and Edwards’ Religious Affections.
2) One book you’ve read more than once: I was obsessed with Victor Hugo in Jr. High and High School and subsequently read Les Miserables four times, I think.
3) One book you’d want on a desert island: Can’t decide between NASB or NLT. At first I thought I’d go with G and opt for a Morse code manual or survival guide of some kind. But then I got realistic and realized that I’m so wimpy that my chances are slim even with such assistance. So I’d rather prepare for death than pathetically delay it.
4) One book that made you laugh: I’m sure there’s been others, but most recently My Life in France, a posthumous memoir by Julia Childs about a big Texan girl who grew up on roast beef and canned vegetables moving to France as a newlywed. I laughed out loud in B&N and embarrassed myself.
5) One book that made you cry: Mary Pipher’s Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. Also embarrassed myself in B&N with this one, but by crying. Anyone with a daughter needs to read this book. I also remember crying through Sing Me to Heaven a theology PhD student’s memoir of her husband’s death from AIDS.
6) One book you wish had been written: A Theology of Femininity: Bringing 1 Tim 2, Priscilla, Junia and Prophetesses Together by Paul. I would actually give everything I own, lose a limb, maybe even my life to bring this into existence. (which would actually be pointless, because then I could just ask Paul…)
7) One book you wish had never been written: Tragedy of Compromise. Grrr…
8) One book you’re currently reading: The Price of Motherhood, a Pulitzer-prize-winning-economist’s look at my future job, Blue Like Jazz, on and off, because I want to see what all the fuss is about, and about 25 various volumes on the Sermon on the Mount as class prep (which Joel Dailey will probably take my husband for ransom for soon…)
9) One book you’ve been meaning to read: Wright’s Resurrection of the Son of God and anything by Driscoll. I’m wondering if I can fit both a baby and Resurrection on a boppy… can you ask Dawn about that for me? =)

Post Script: Sorry, but Dawn said, "Don't count on it, at least during the first 3 weeks! See if you can get it on audio." :-)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Poythress on Hermeneutics

If you haven't seen this yet it looks like a great resource: Poythress' notes on Hermeneutics from WTS. He's also got a syllabus on Revelation, but I've already got too many amill friends...I'll let the rest of you hunt that one down on your own (HT: Justin Taylor). I'm inclined to print them off now in case the link disappears.

*Post Script: Before you get too excited, it looks like most of them are power point slides. I thought only dispensational fundamentalists pulled that :-)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

100th Post!!!

I was updating the pic for my profile (I've finally tired of Baylor's remarks about the sweater vest enough to change the picture, though I'm sure the legacy will live on) and I noticed on the dashboard that the last post (The One Book Meme) was the 100th post composed on Boanerges. Though, I'm not sure it quite calls for a celebration, I still thought it was kinda cool seeing I had no idea as to whether or not I'd stick with this blogging thing 6 months ago (a half year anniversary as well). Well, the excitement is getting the best of me, I think I'll call it a night and head to bed.

I've Been Tagged

Though I've read a few, I was convinced I'd be able to steer clear of the One Book Meme; however I was reading Dave Griffith's blog this morning and realized it wasn't meant to be. So here's my go round:
1. One book that changed your life: Easy...and predictable for anyone reading this blog. Desiring God by John Piper (and maybe the first few chapters of Future Grace) have influenced me far beyond anything I've ever read, the book of Romans, excluded. I read it my Jr. year in college and it became a second conversion (to Christian Hedonism, of course) or a 2nd work of grace, if you will.
2. One book that you've read more than once: Shadow of the Almighty - Elizabeth Elliot's biography of her former husband Jim Elliot. I used to read it every fall when I went back to school. Also a life changing experience.
3. One book you'd want on a desert island: The Bible (NIV or nau 27 NT). Maybe something by Tom Clancy too, if it's going to be a long stay.
4. One book that made you laugh: I don't really read much that would fall into this category; however, there was a footnote in Five Views of the Law that cracked me up. Bahnsen, in his typically brash, sarcastic style, was responding to "Strickland's misrepresentation of theonomy" in footnote 4 pg 297. He says "Space restrictions prevent me from elaborating on Strickland's misrepresentation of theonomic ethics as denying that Israel was uniquely a nation with God as its supreme ruler and that she was set apart by God or guided by him in a special way. Years ago Meredith Kline courageously tackled the same straw man." I LOVE IT! "courageously tackling a straw man" -- Ok, so maybe you think I have a strange sense of humor, but I've employed that line in several papers since!
5. One book that made you cry: Be Ye Holy: The Call to Christian Separation, by Fred Moritz. You could also include here other books of the like that attempt to defend from the scriptures the practice of separation as implemented by most fundamentalists today. I'm not sure if I actually finished Moritz' book, but just the thought of advancing this sort of schism in the body is something I find more and more disturbing and upsetting.
6. One book you wish had been written: Engaging Culture: A how to manual by the Apostle Paul.
7. One book you wish had never been written: Balancing the Christian Life by Charles Ryrie. The title is an entire misnomer, for the book presents a two step approach to sanctification. There is little more destructive to genuine christian growth (unless the second step is the one alluded to under question 1 above :-)
8. One book you're currently reading: The New Testament and the People of God - N.T. Wright.
9. One book you've been meaning to read: The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society by Leslie Newbigin (sp? I'm actually plinking through it a few pages a month).
10. Tag 5 others: Osborne, Baylor, Barker, Thomas, and G. I'll also add a sixth with an invitation: Annalisa - if you'll do one and email it to me, I'll post it as a guest blog on mine, unless you guys are using Dave's.
AND.... I'm going to add another category:
11. Name one book you've read that really sucked: The Da Vinci Code. Above and beyond the blasphemy, Brown's writing style was extremely painful to read. Apart, from the controvesy surrounding it, I'm not sure how it became a best seller. To categorize it in the genre of dime store novels would be EXTREMELY generous (though perhaps dishonest). I never even made it half way through it was so cheesy.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I forgot to include the picture on the previous post, so here it is. I thought I'd also include one of the cutest one's we've obtained so far.

Update on Noah

It's been a few days since I've said much about the little guy, so I figured it was time for an update. Just so you know, we've been going to great lengths to make sure he's being raised appropriately: He's been receiving a fairly steady dose of breast milk, Jazz (he likes Norah Jones) and Reformed Theology (thanks to the Baylor's S.G. cd's and a little Derek Webb). Is there any better combination for raising a little one? We took him to church last Sunday night and he slept through the first 15 minutes of Jim's sermon, then faked me out. He started to let out a squeal/wimper (you have to hear it, it's pretty funny) that normally gives us a 45 second heads up that he's about to let go with some loud screaming. I balked and scooted him out of the auditorium only to find out that he was just playin me. He slept for the rest of the message...typical baptist.He's also already enjoyed two highly significant field trips: the day before he turned 1 week old, we took him to Starbucks (you can't start them too young). Then today, before he turns three weeks old, we took him to the beach. Since these two places are his Daddy's favorite places to hang out, I thought it only appropriate to get him there before he reaches the ripe old age of 1 month. I accidently deleted the Starbucks' pic, but thought I'd include a pic of us from the beach below. Though it may look like I'm going to immerse him, I thought it only fair that I mention that he christened me. A couple nights ago, he decided he wanted to give Dawn a rough night and keep her up. She had some milk in a bottle for me to feed him and relieve her for a couple hours. By the time I got him he'd fallen asleep and I had to wake him up. He hates having his diaper changed, so I thought that would be a good way to get his attention, only he got the last laugh. His diaper was dry and clean, so I cinched it back up, only not as tight as I should have. Apperently the "seal" around the right leg wasn't snug enough, for when I snuggled him in to offer the bottle, he proceeded to empty his bladder into his diaper which in turn poured freely out onto my chest and belly, completely soaking my shirt. I'm thoroughly convinced he did it on purpose. I guess this puts me even closer to the presbys than A.T. :-0

Friday, August 11, 2006

Whose Inheritance is it Anyway?

Since I haven't posted anything original in a few months, I thought it was high time. This summer I've been meeting on Wednesday mornings with a teenage guy I taught Greek to last school year. I thought the best way to introduce him to syntax was by reading the text with him and commenting as we go (go figure, what a novel approach...I know you're thinking I'm a radical). We chose the book of Ephesians (since I was familiar with it from my exegesis course last spring) and have been meeting at Starbucks Wed. mornings for about and hour to an hour and a half working through the Greek text (my kind of Bible Study and discipleship - studying the text in the agora!).

We were discussing Paul's prayer at the end of Chapter 1 recently, and I brought his attention to the inheritance in verse 18. The text reads:

pefwtisme,nouj tou.j ovfqalmou.j th/j kardi,aj Îu`mw/nÐ eivj to. eivde,nai u`ma/j ti,j evstin h` evlpi.j th/j klh,sewj auvtou/( ti,j o` plou/toj th/j do,xhj th/j klhronomi,aj auvtou/ evn toi/j a`gi,oij
- Ephesians 1:18

A few interpreters have emphasized the fact that the inheritance spoken of here is His inheritance, not ours. Personally, I think the syntax is flexible and could go either way (even in English). Without going into a detailed argument let me briefly give you my thought on the matter. First of all, every other time Paul speaks of an inheritance in Ephesians and Colossians (Eph 1:11, 1:14, 5:5, Col 1:12 and 3:24), he is speaking of the inheritance we receive. Second, the other three aspects of the prayer are directed towards us (true it is His calling, but we are the ones who receive his calling; likewise, His power is toward us). Finally, I have a hard time understanding Paul as praying that the believers would understand the wealth of God’s inheritance. I assume this would imply that the believers are God’s inheritance; does this mean that Paul wants them to know how valuable they are (as God’s inheritance)? This sounds more to me like a self-esteem psychology rather than Pauline theology. I think it is probably better to understand the phrase, “His inheritance” as the inheritance that has its source in Him. So the inheritance is ours (we will receive it) but its value or wealth lies in the fact that it comes from God. If this helps you –great! If you think I’m nit-picking or being overly technical, that's fine too. That's the beauty of syntax (with a healthy dash of postmodernism)!

Monday, August 07, 2006

More From Around the Web

Since I have little time between diaper changes to do my own significant/sustained critical thinking these days (okay, I'm already using my son as an excuse, I've never accomplished such a feat :-) I've been pulling some "cheat posts" that reflect some of the great stuff I've found on the web lately. Here's the latest. If you're not already regularly reading Mark Driscoll's blog, it's worth looking into. He only posts a few times a week, so it's not too hard to keep up with, and when he posts, they're usually good. Here's an exceptional example that looks like a jackpot. He's posted a number of interviews with the speakers for the upcoming DG conference on PoMo. Though I haven't listened to them all yet, some of the titles look intriguing. Check it out here.

Forthcoming Commentary on Acts - Not Mine

Speaking of books I can't wait to get my hands on (see the post below), here's the official word from the man, himself: Bock has completed the manuscript on his commentary on Acts (BECNT) and is hoping it will be out late '07 early '08. It's only one volume and a mere 1000 pages, but you don't have to take my word for it (sound like reading rainbow?) you can read all about it at

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Report from Piper

I took a quick gander around the blogosphere and hadn't seen this on anyone elses blog (At least not locally, [HT: Between Two Worlds]). Since all of us love and appreciate Pastor John's ministry I thought it might be worthwhile posting this link to this report on how he's been using his time on sabbatical. Particularly intriguing is his engaging N.T. Wright's view on Justification. I can hardly wait to read it and will pay top dollar to anyone who can provide a bootleg edition:-)
Two of my favorite authors going at it over one of my favorite topics to study!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Christians and Politics

This is an area I've been quasi interested in for the last few years, but never interested enough to think it through to clarity. I still haven't and I know some people may think I'm an unfaithful steward of the Gospel for admitting such a verity. However, if pressed I would probably espouse something similar to what Scot McKnight has posted here.

*Interestingly enough this means I like Greg Boyd's statements (Never thought I'd be typing those words); at least as quoted by McKnight (I didn't read Boyd's article -- once again my political lethargy surfaces).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

An Updated Picture of Noah - And the Most Important Lesson I've Learned About Parenting So Far...

I thought I'd post a more recent pictue of Noah, since it was difficult to see him in some of the other pictures. So far we think blue's his color :-) I also thought I'd impart some of the latest parenting wisdom I've gained for the benefit and entertainment (trust me...keep reading) of any current or prospective parents of newborns. My arsenal of parenting wisdom is growing exponentially each day (seeing I started at zero a just a few days ago any gain is significant). However, without question, I learned the most important lesson about parenting so far yesterday (Monday) morning. What is it you ask? Let me get right to the point: Husbands don't let your wives eat EGGS and breastfeed your babies. Now let me elaborate...

Yesterday morning I rolled into the hospital around 9 am in order to help Dawn get her stuff together and bring our new born bundle of joy home. I arrived just as she finished feeding the little man and was preparing to shower. Of course this provided the perfect opportunity for father son bonding and I scooped the little guy into my lap. Shortly thereafter, I noticed a ripe aroma wafting under my nostrils. I thought it might be something in the trash can and it soon dissipated only to return a few minutes later. As I looked around the room, I lovingly and tactfully queried my bride: "Honey, was that you?" She assured me it wasn't. Shortly thereafter, I heard a squeaking noise and assumed it was Noah's foot rubbing against his diaper. That is, until my senses were barraged a third time with an odiferous assault. I looked down at the little guy sitting in my lap with his head by my knees and the business end by my waist and began to consider the precarious position I had placed myself in. I asked the mother of my child what she had eaten recently, only to discover that her breakfast had consisted of a cinnamon roll, cheerios may have guessed it already...EGGS.

Now I'm well versed in firearms safety owning several guns myself (SKS, 12 ga. pump, Glock 23 and a Colt .22). I know that you never look down the barrel of a gun and you always assume it's loaded. Yet here I was with the little one locked and loaded and the buisness end just under a foot from my face and he had been poppin' off SBD's all morning (Silent But Deadly for the uninitiated). I hadn't previously considered this possibility; call me weird, but it never occured to me that a little person only 36 hours old could fart, let alone do so repeatedly with a sent that hits you like a brick wall. But I had to come to grips with the facts: My wife had born me an 8lb 20 inch farting machine. I laid down the law for my darling wife, who was quick to agree: No more eggs until he's weaned! It took him the better part of the day to fully empty himself out and it was not a pleasant process, to say the least. Lesson learned and please learn from our mistakes.

I thought I'd bring this piece of hortatory narrative to a close by forming an inclusio of sorts. I point you back to the picture that I opened with. Were you oooohing and aaaahing about his increasing cuteness? While I did want to offer a more current picture, I think it is now appropriate to introduce the fuller meaning/significance of the picture. Let's just say the shutter wasn't all that was going off when I snapped this picture : -) Now that's what I call sensus plenior.