Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Explanation

My ministry group at Mizzou (Missio Dei) had planned on having an Asado (or Argentine cookout). We got swamped with rain so we canceled and I came home to a few hours of grading the online classes I am teaching. I saw that Rattle and Hum (the film documenting U2’s “Joshua Tree” tour) was on. I wasn’t planning on watching it, but I did and I just posted my thoughts as they came to me. Here are some explanations to some of the posts.

OK Edge, play the blues! – Bono at his pretentious/political best was telling us about the conditions in South Africa under apartheid and introduced The Edge’s guitar solo.

Watch for the third verse. Not the first verse and first chorus; not the second verse...but the third verse...The boys are getting ready to do an encore with B. B. King.

"I'm not too good with chords, we'll have to get somebody else to play chords...I'm horrible with chords." So who played the chords? – The Edge played the chords because B. B. was not too good with the chords.

"He wasn't playing a car salesman, he played a car salesman who loved the guitar...I wish he hadn't been buried in the backyard." This is drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. talking about his love of Elvis movies. He poignantly reflected on the grave site of Elvis in the backyard.

"Let it go, not fade away...I'm wide awake, I'm wide awake...I'm not sleeping, oh no..." So awesome. This is one of my favorite U2 songs, “Bad.”

What's this? It's turning into color? What's that? "Where the Streets Have No Name"? It is! I want to reach out and touch the flame...This is my reaction when the film goes from black and white to color for an extended concert sequence.

"The God I believe in isn't short of cash, mister!" My favorite quote from the movie. Been saying this for years.

Wait a minute. What did he just say about the "revolution"? Is that even possible? Bono used naughty language to rebuke people for glorifying violent revolution during Sunday, Bloody Sunday (“this is not a rebel song”).

"One man come, he to man to overthrow" This line is about Jesus from “Pride (In the Name of Love)”

Are all of my posts bugging you? Don't mean to bug ya! Rephrasing a line from “Bullet the Blue Sky.” the City of Blinding Lights – a few videos by U2 to fill time.

Good theology - I'm not broke but you can see the cracks, you can make me perfect again. I like this line from All Because of You. The “I Am” of that chorus is special as well. See Exodus 3.14-15.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Biblical Leadership Thoughts

I had a wonderful time with a church in Southwest Missouri last night. They have organized a task force to discuss their leadership structure. The pastor had seen me speak at the 121 Forum last night and asked me and MK to come to the church and talk about biblical church leadership. They are pursuing an elder-form of leadership and wanted some biblical insight. I told them up front that unfortunately the NT does not give us a definitive picture of church organization and leadership. But it does show us some clues as to how the first century church was "managed" or overseen. Our job is to understand as best as we can what the biblical texts were saying to the readers in their context and then see how we can bring these concepts into our context. I mentioned a few verses that mentioned elders, walked through the pertinent passages discussing the qualifications for overseers, discussed spiritual gifts and looked at the definitions of some key terms. I have posted thoughts on this here before but I wanted to post some of the key verses and terms that we discussed last night.
Introductory texts that mention elders and/or overseers in Acts
  • Acts 13.15 (elders or synagogue rulers)
  • Acts 14.23 - mentions elders of churches
  • Acts 15.2, 22 - mentions Apostles and elders of the church in Jerusalem
  • Acts 20.28 - mentions overseers whose job it is to shepherd their flocks
Key texts discussing qualifications of overseers
  • 1 Tim. 3.1-7 - interesting thing here, only two responsibilities mentioned: being able to teach and being a good manager of one's house (important when you realize that a church was probably meeting in an overseer's home)
  • 1 Tim 5.17-21 - elders are worthy of double honor, especially those who preach and teach (implying to me, that not all elders/overseers were to have teaching ministries, just able to teach)
  • Titus 1.5-9 - very similar to the list in 1 Timothy 3
Some related (but not necessarily looked at) verses dealing with oversight
  • 1 Thes. 5.12-13 - "...those who are over you..." work hard among you, acknowledge those who are working hard and managing the affairs of the church.
  • 1 Cor. 16.15-16 - once again, someone had stepped up and served the church (probably a wealthy member, Stephanas) and this person should be acknowledge as a leader.
These previous verses point out to me that leadership roles are necessarily job descriptions that need to be filled, in the early church it was people who were doing the work of oversight and protection in the church and Paul tells the congregation to recognize their leadership.

Some key terms
  • Overseer - this is the term that Paul uses most often to discuss leadership roles in the church. Implies a managers, guardian, caretaker.
  • Elder - comes more from Paul's Jewish background, should probably be looked at almost synonymously as overseer.
  • Pastor - this is our default term of leadership, but it is not the default term for Paul. I believe it refers more to a function (caregiving) than to an office or position.
I then briefly mentioned some spiritual gifts that are related to leadership
  • the one who leads - Rom. 12.8
  • helpers - 1 Cor. 12.28
  • guidance - 1 Cor. 12.28
I was asked about the "husband of one wife" stipulation from 1 Timothy 3 and can a divorced person be a deacon. I pointed out that the verse was pointing more toward a person being faithful in his marriage and not really mentioning divorce. If you want to put that qualifications (never divorced) don't use this passage, you will have to walk through other passages.

I was also asked about women. I discussed Rom. 16.1-2. Phoebe is mentioned as a patron in verse two. That means to me that she exercised some type of oversight in her church (she was probably a sponsor of a church that met in her home). Does that mean she was a lead teacher (or teaching elder), I can't say, but she probably displayed some of the qualities that fit an overseer. That is basically what the word for patron (or benefactor in some translations, which is a better translation than helper) meant in that context. It comes from the same root as "the one who leads) in Rom. 12.8.

Like I said, great time. I hope I have more opportunities to do this kind of thing with churches. Great questions from them. Could have gone longer (but we spent 2.5 hours on it as we did). They said they'd have us back when we get to look at some of this. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Notes on 1 Corinthians study

Notes from 1 Corinthians 1.10-17 and 3.1-17.

Questions to think about as we start:
Who are your favorite communicators? Preachers? Bible study leaders? Any that you just don’t like? Any that rip others?
That seems to be the case at Corinth, we have many house churches following their favorite apostle.

Verse 1 – all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in my and thought.
How practical is this? Is it possible? What are the absolutes that you think we should hold to? What are some things that we can let there be some disagreement?
We are going to look at the heart of the Corinthian dissention. How much room in this church was there for disagreement: different religious backgrounds; economic backgrounds; even free or slave status. Yet, in Christ we are supposed to be equal.
Read vv. 11-12 –
The source of the quarrels: who was the one that they held up as their champion. It was very important in the both the Jewish and the non-Jewish worlds for a disciple to be identified by their master.
The choices: Paul – some people in Corinth were partial to Paul because he founded the church in Corinth. They felt a loyalty to him. They felt that they belonged to him, so that was their slogan: “I follow Paul.”
Apollos – Read Acts 18.24-28
Now why would you choose Apollos over Paul? More than likely because Acts describes him as very educated and a good speaker. To the non-Jews, this would have been very attractive because they were often drawn more to a teacher’s delivery or style than their message. Paul, admittedly, was not a good speaker.
Cephas – this is the Aramaic term for rock. The man’s given Hebrew name that Paul is describing is Simon. Jesus called him Cephas, which in Greek becomes Petros or as we know him, Peter. We are not sure if he ever journeyed to Corinth or not. Most likely he did. It would have been attractive for Jewish Christians to follow him because he was the “apostle to the Jews.” He was also Jesus’ right hand man.
Christ – we don’t know exactly what Paul was saying. Was he saying that some groups have it right and they know who they belong to or is he saying some groups or very arrogant and say that we belong to Christ, we’re better than you.

Paul gets right to the heart of the matter immediately. He uses graphic language, saying in verse 13 – Is Christ divided? It is a picture of Christ being divided up, his body being split up.
For Paul, the literal body of Jesus and the church as an organization were to be equated. Where did he get that understanding?
Acts 9.4-5
When Paul persecuted the Church he was persecuting Jesus himself. If people were splitting the church, they were also splitting Jesus as well. A dismembered Christ can do nothing. A disunited church can do nothing as well.

Next Paul gets into the subject of who baptized who: verses 15-16.
What was the point for Paul? The point for Paul as we will see in chapter three is, it is not important who gets the credit but that people perform their roles and God gets the credit because it is under his power that we do anything worthwhile.
Paul knew his role:
Verse 17 –

Move to chapter 3
To Paul, the issue of spiritual maturity was not a matter of how much you know but how you behaved. To the Corinthians, their maturity was tied hand in hand with how much knowledge they had and they deep level of religious experience they had.
Paul points out that their failure to get along was a sign that they were not spiritually mature: verse 3.
Paul puts everybody in their place (including himself) with the following:
God creates the body of Christ. He brings us into his body, the church and gives us gifts and roles to perform. When we perform our role, we get rewarded. Now, what happens if we get a boring role? If we get a role that does not attract attention? Then we are questioning the wisdom of God.
When we build according to God’s call on our life, then we are building on the foundation that God poured, with the proper material. What may be hay and stubble may be gold for someone else.
Read 3.12-15
How do you build with costly stones that will survive an inspection by fire? You build doing things by examining the eternal significance of your work. What is going to last? When you build according to your gifts and call, your work will last.

Next up is, I think, one of the most sobering passages in the entire NT.
Read 3.16-7
Many times this verse is used to teach people that suicide will send a person to eternal damnation. That is not the case. This verse is address to the church as a body, not necessarily individual believers.
Temple was familiar to both Jews and former pagans.
God’s temple refers to the dwelling place of God. God does dwell within our bodies when we believe in Jesus as our savior. But, the passage is referring to the importance of unity in the church. God’s temple here is the church body. If that is the case, and I think it is, how important is it for us to get along. How important is it for us to resolve our differences without bringing dishonor to God? I am not going to explain this verse any further than what it say:
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him…
Paul does not tell us how that punishment will be afflicted, but rest assured that it severe.
Now, I will ask again, how important is it for us to prevent dissention and for us to get along.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1 Corinthians Notes part 1

Here are the notes for the lesson on 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16

If you were to create the perfect champion for your community, what would be the characteristics? How would you convey the message of your champion?

Read 1 Cor. 1.18 –

Foolishness. That is how Paul characterizes the gospel message. How is it foolishness? Remember Paul was writing to a church that contained two distinct people groups: Jews and Greeks. They both had ideas of their heroes, their liberators, their champions. Prior to their conversion to Jesus, of course. Then here comes Paul preaching a message about a crucified champion. How would the people who have never heard this message before have responded?

Read 1.22-23

This message about Jesus was a stumbling block. It is something in the ground that is partially hidden that we can’t see, but it causes us to trip when we pass over it. The word for stumbling block is skandalon, from where we get the word “scandal”. The story of Jesus is scandalous. Especially to a Jewish person. Why? What charge did the religious leaders of Jesus’ day bring against him constantly? Blaspheme, Jesus equated himself with God and that was blasphemy. Anyone who spoke falsely about God was a blasphemer. Anyone who claimed equality with God spoke falsely against God and that is what they claimed Jesus did. The punishment for blasphemy was death, specifically death by stoning. (Lev. 24.16). After the stoning, the people would take the body of the blasphemer and hang it on a tree.

Deut. 21.22-3 –

We know that Paul took that verse and applied it to Jesus. Because of our sin, and the need for a perfect sacrifice, Jesus took our sins and the curse reserved for sinners and bore it upon him.

Gal. 3.13 –

Here comes Paul preaching this message of the Messiah of the Jewish people, the one who came to rescue them from their oppression. Deliver them from bondage, and they are to put their trust in a champion who was hung on a tree?

Paul tells us that the “Jews demand miraculous sings.” They were expecting their deliverer to be a king who would crush those who oppressed them. Their messiah would revive the ancient kingdom. When God delivered them in the past, he acted powerfully. Jesus scolded the Jews over and over again for asking for a sign:

See Mark 8.11-12 and John 6.30-2

Now to the Greeks – the message of a crucified king was “foolishness.” During the time that the Romans ruled the Mediterranean world, crucifixion was the ultimate penalty, reserved for rebels, murders, and slaves. The people who threatened the peace or disturbed the peace were crucified. This Jesus that Paul was talking about, he was crucified? To civilized Romans (and all other people of this environment), the cross was a barbaric form of punishment. No respectable citizen would go near a crucifixion. Because of this stigma associated with crucifixion, did you know it was over 100 years before the church used the symbol of the cross as a symbol of their faith? This Jesus must have been either a low-life or a really bad man to have been crucified, definitely not a man to be worship.

Paul tells us that the Greeks looked for wisdom when choosing their heroes. They were very zealous for learning. Things had to make sense, they had to be logical. The term logical comes from the Greek word ‘logos.’ This is the same word that the apostle John uses to describe Jesus, the Logos. To the natural mind, the story of Jesus was/and is, very far from logical.

So, for both people a messiah or king was symbolized by power, splendor, majesty and triumph. The crucifix symbolized weakness, criminal, humiliation and defeat.

This story was just nutty.

Why didn’t God do something that appealed to both groups? Could he have attracted more followers by doing things differently?

Why didn’t he do things differently?

1.25 – He did things this way to show us how utterly powerful he is. This doesn’t make sense…to us. Go back to 1.19

Now let’s read 1.27-28

No one but God can get the credit for what is done. It doesn’t make sense. If it did, you wouldn’t need faith…

Here’s another question…when you think of good preachers, who comes to mind? Are they defined by their weakness, fear and trembling? Would they be characterized by being un wise and not persuasive?

Here’s something else that doesn’t make sense…God sending out as his most fervent evangelist, the one who would take his word the farthest in those early days was not much of a preacher!

Read 2.1-5

We come to discover that rhetoric, speaking voice, and style were not (and are not) important to God. What attracted people to Jesus? His teaching ability, his presentation, his looks…

Read Isa. 53.2-3 – it was the power of God that attracted people to Jesus, specifically the power of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Paul sounds like a horrible preacher from a technical standpoint. And that is what the people of the day were looking for. But what did they get from Paul?

Weakness, fear, trembling, no wise words or persuasive words…what did they get?

A demonstration of the Spirit’s power “so that your faith might rest not on human words or preaching styles, but on God’s power."

Read 2.11-2

We receive the message because God’s Spirit allows us to receive it. If is were left up to humans to craft the story of the salvation of mankind, it would be an epic battle between good and evil with a hero on a white horse or a man driving a tank or something like that would be the hero. God doesn’t need all of that, he desired a servant to come and humble himself, become like the people he was saving, spent time with the lowlifes, died a criminal’s death and then spread the word using a crummy teacher.

That just doesn’t make sense…to me.

It does to God.

Is that a hot air balloon?

That is a hot air balloon across the street. Don't see that every day?

Monday, September 14, 2009

More thoughts on translations?

Scot McKnight has been running a series on Translation Tribalism as it seems as if as we divide into our tribes we opt for the translation of that tribe (i.e. young reformed types and their use of the ESV). He stated something today that reminded me of my seminary days.

And another point: preachers and teachers, whether they like the formal or not, always explain the text in dynamic ways. All of this is connected to purpose of both translator and reader -- which I'll address in another post. (See here)
I remember in seminary where a lot of students and profs would read out of the New American Standard Bible (as did a lot of local preachers). Often, however, when they read a passage that seemed particularly wooden, they would explain it in more common, understood language that would almost always echo what the NIV had down. I valued the NASB at the time (especially when comparing my own translation), but I read and taught from the NIV because, to me, it was the most readable translation available.
I still feel that way and I really enjoyed the TNIV as well. Bill Mounce posted some thoughts on the the ESV and the TNIV and he did so in a way that defended his translation of choice (the one he worked on: ESV) but did not denigrate the TNIV.

Let me go on the record as saying I was disappointed to see the death of the TNIV. It was a magnificent and artfully crafted work that consistently held to its translation guidelines. And part of its beauty was that it was not colloquial. It has a beautiful style that transcends many subcultures and one that doesn’t mind ending a few sentences with prepositions. (See here)
I like and respect both of these men I they both write really good blogs (and commentaries as well!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Notes on 1 Corinthians

Introduction to our study of 1 Corinthians
Imagine writing a letter to someone in modern day Greece. How long do you think it would take to get there? There was no ancient post office. Letter carriers had to hand deliver much of their mail. Imagine a world were not all of the streets had names, and the houses had no numbers. There were no Yellow pages to look up the address of First Baptist Church of Corinth. The deliverers probably just had to rely on a network of fellow tradesmen and such.

Corinth was once a flourishing city-state of Greece (independent). It came into conflict with Rome as Rome was beginning its climb to world dominance. In 146 BC it was destroyed. It lay in ruins for 100 years until it was rebuilt by Julius Caesar in 44 BC. Why was it rebuilt: its location. It had a prime location for commerce. It lay near the isthmus that connected mainland Greece and the Peloponnesus. What does that mean? An isthmus is a land bridge. Travel around the Peloponnesus involved a 250 mile voyage which was dangerous and time consuming. Most sea captains carried their ships on skids or rollers across the isthmus directly past Corinth.
Another factor that helped Corinth do well was the Isthmian games which took place every other year. This was the second most famous athletic contest in Greece (next to the Olympic Games).

As what happens in many large wealthy cities, vice and immorality do well also. Old Corinth gained a reputation for sexual vice that one ancient Greek philosopher coined the verb “korinthiazo” = to act like a Corinthian, i.e., to engage in acts of sexual immorality. 6:9-11a –Neither the sexually immoral nor idolater…nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders…And that is what some of you were…

Corinth was also a religiously diverse city. There were 26 sacred places devoted to the Roman-Greek pantheon of Gods. There is also evidence of a synagogue.

The church was founded by Paul on his second missionary journey.
Acts 18.1-4 - After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila…who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered the Jews to leave Rome… Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade the Jews and Greeks.

He came to Corinth late spring or early summer of AD 50. He found work and lodging with Prisca and Aquila, Christian Jews who were kicked out of Rome when Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome in AD 41. He wrote 1 and 2 Thessalonians while with them.
Worked with Aquila and Priscilla, fellow tentmakers. Probably outreach to Gentiles…when support arrived, moved to synagogue to outreach Jews and believing Gentiles
Acts 18:8 – Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

Acts 18:11-12 – So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God. While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court.

Picture of membership
Corinthian church was a predominantly Gentile (non-Jewish) community, the majority of who were at the lower end of the socio-economic ladder, although there were two or three wealthy families. As former pagans they brought to the Christian faith a Hellenistic worldview and attitude toward ethical behavior.
1 Cor. 6:11a - offenders…And that is what some of you were…
This was a diverse congregation –
1.26 – Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

Not wise or influential, tradesmen looked down upon.
Roman Jews – Priscilla and Aquila (successful business people); Crispus, the synagogue ruler
Romans – Fortunas, Quartus, Gaius, Titius Justus
Greek Names – Stephanas, Achaicus, Erastus
Stephanas was probably wealthy (refer to chapter 16 and his work…)
Erastus might have been director of public works
Rom. 16.23 – Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.

The congregation, for the most part, was not accepted by the upper-class people, even though some of them were wealthy or successful.
Lord’s Supper – 11.17-33, esp. 22 - 11:22 – Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?

Priscilla and Aquila were successful business people, but they were Jews and considered outsiders.
Erastus, it is believed had achieved the second most important position in the administration of Corinth, but was looked down on because he was a freedman (former slave) and the son of a slave.
These people may have been attracted to the gospel because it represented the paradox that was their lives.

Why did Paul write 1 Corinthians?
The occasion of the letter was the response to a letter from the church brought to Paul by Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus (Read 16.15-17).
Also, a wealthy woman of Ephesus, Chloe, sent some of her employees to Corinth on business. While they spent time at the church they were shocked by the “unchristian” behavior (1 Cor. 1.11)
Paul was responding to situations that had developed in the Corinthian church between the time Paul left the city and the writing of this letter three years later.
Paul addresses, in response to reports (1.11; 5.1; 11.18) or to their letter (cf. 7.1), at least 11 different, somewhat diverse concerns, ten of which are behavioral; and one that is theological.

Feel Paul’s pain. Paul planted this church and it grieved him to see it struggle like this. Their previous religious beliefs, their inherited social attitudes, their relations with others in the community, all led to greatly differing perceptions of what God required of them. With all of this confusion, Paul felt he had to step up and share his heart. He wanted them to be mature. Thus, he takes time and settles their disputes and corrects their beliefs.

A lot of groups will want to tell you that doctrine is not important…and
although the major thrust of this letter is corrective of behavior rather than doctrine, Paul explains many doctrines that relate directly to the matters of sin and righteousness. In one way or another, wrong living always stems from wrong belief.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More from N. T. Wright on the Spirit

Toward Christian Spirituality
God has promised that, through his Spirit, he will remake the creation so that it becomes what it is straining and yearning to be. God offers us, by the Spirit, a fresh kind of relationship with himself – and, at the same time, a fresh kind of relationship with our neighbors and with the whole of creation. God offers us, through the Spirit, the gift of being at last what we know in our bones we were meant to be: creatures that live in both dimensions of his created order. Finally, God wants to anticipate now, by the Spirit, a world set right, a world in which the good and joyful gift of justice has flooded creation. The work of the Spirit in the lives of individuals in the present time is designed to be another advance sing, a down payment and guarantee, as it were, of that eventual setting-right of all things.

Two things stand out about Christian spirituality: First, Christian spirituality combines a sense of the awe and majesty of god with a sense of his intimate presence. Second, Christian spirituality normally involves a measure of suffering. Point to Gethsemane. Did he really need to go through this? The answer is yes, he did. But if Jesus prayed like that, we can be sure that we will often have to as well. Those who follow Jesus are called to live by the rules of the new world rather than the old one, and the old one won’t like it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Final Tribes Post

The Elements of Leadership

Leaders challenge the status quo.

Leaders create a culture around their goal and involve others in that culture.

Leaders have an extraordinary amount of curiosity about the world they’re trying to change.

Leaders use charisma (in a variety of forms) to attract and motivate followers.

Leaders communicate their vision of the future.

Leaders commit to a vision and make decision based on that commitment.

Leaders connect their followers to one another.

You don’t have to be in charge or powerful or pretty or connected to be a leader. You do have to be committed.

Where credit is due – real leaders don’t care. Credit isn’t the point. Change is.

Imagination – Leaders create things that didn’t exist before. They do this by giving the tribe a vision of something that could happen, but hasn’t (yet).

Ronald Reagan’s secret was to listen, to value what you hear, and then to make a decision even if it contradicts the very people you are listening to.

Without people pushing against your quest to do something worth talking about, it’s unlikely to be worth the journey. Persist.

How to sell a book or any new idea

Find one person who trust you and sell him a copy. Does he love it? Is he excited about it? Excited enough to tell ten friends because it helps them, not because it helps you? Tribes grow when people recruit other people. The tribe does it for each other. Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.

Monday, September 7, 2009

TNIV shelved?

Many of you have probably heard of the upcoming revision of the NIV translation of the Bible. It will be released in 2011 and I believe it will be called the NIV 2011. The most recent revision of that translation has been the TNIV (or Today's New International Version). For some reason, it has been an extremely divisive translation of the Bible. For starters, it has tried to be as gender inclusive as possible. Another reason is that there may have been some people involved in the translation that were seen as having a liberal agenda. (I believe the ESV was inspired by the first reason, but I may be mistaken on this).
I have enjoyed the TNIV. I've been a big fan of the NIV and thought that the new revision was very good. The number one thing I liked about the TNIV was that it was the most readable of the major translations. I think that should be something that all translations strive for, being highly readable. I don't mind the gender inclusiveness, as some of the male titles/pronouns probably had a fuller meaning than just for men (see this post by Scot McKnight about the term alephos.)
I am not concerned with those on the committee for translation, because I know that there are some serious, conservative scholars on the team for the translation (including Gordon Fee, Douglas Moo and Craig Blomberg).
My main issue with both the TNIV and the NIV was the translation of "sarx" into "sinful nature" when talking about Christians. I do not believe regenerate Christians have a "sinful nature" but are still composed of "flesh" that has inherited sin patterns. (Doug Moo has written on this and I need to plow through that article).
I am excited to see what the committee comes up with in two years. It has the potential to be the best translation out there.
(McKnight's blog post is good just to be reminded on the importance of understanding the original languages before criticizing the work of translators).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why Chelsea?

I had been toying with following European soccer for a couple of years. I loved soccer when I was younger, played when I was a kid and played indoor in college and a few years after. I used to follow the American team when it was filled with St. Louisans. I've always enjoyed the World Cup, especially in '86 when Maradona ruled the soccer world. But I didn't keep up, never followed European soccer, never really got into MLS.
Within the last, I caught the European Champions League and watched Liverpool's amazing come from behind victory over AC Milan. Sort of kept an ear on it, but not really. Had some younger friends that followed ManU and Arsenal. One of my favorite radio hosts follows Liverpool. Always intrigued by them because they had great jerseys and were the hometown of the Beatles. But never took that step.
This summer I had a chance to go to the UK and saw English Premier League jerseys everywhere. While we were there, the ManU kits came out and featured prominently in sporting goods stores. For some reason, a royal blue jersey caught my eye. I really liked the jersey for Chelsea. I had kind of heard of them, but did not know anybody in the states who followed them. Started looking into it, had heard of a couple of players (Terry, Lampard and Ballack) and saw them in the tournament in the states this summer as they beat Milan and Club America. I decided that I would pick Chelsea to follow and early on it seems like a good pick. The HD on espn 2 has really helped as Chelsea has been on twice. So, I've started to follow Chelsea. I've really enjoyed watching the EPL and getting to know more about it.
Since I visited Cardiff in Wales, I kind of keep an eye on them as well, hoping they will get promoted to the EPL.
One thing that I think hurts Euro football over here is the diving. And it seems like it is becoming a concern over there as well. It is a physical game, but when these guys go down with little or no contact, really damages the credibility in the states. But it has been fun to watch so far.