Saturday, June 30, 2007

Quote of the Week

The sorest afflictions never appear intolerable, but when we see them in the wrong light: when we see them in the hand of God, Who dispenses them; when we know that it is our loving Father who abases and distresses us; our sufferings will lose their bitterness and become even a matter of consolation.

Brother Lawrence

Friday, June 29, 2007

Good As New

Apparently there is a new bible version out there. It is called, "Good As New: A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures." (Amazon link) It was written by John Henson. I am not against paraphrases of the Bible, per se, but I think that this one goes too far. I don't mind so much that he changes the names of some of characters, "Rocky" instead of "Peter," "John the Dipper" instead of "John the Baptist, " etc. Most notable are the things he leaves out. Take the following excerpt as an example:

Matthew 16:13-23

Jesus and his friends went on to the villages near Philiptown-Caesar. On the way he asked his friends, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “John the Dipper, Elijah, or one of God’s speakers from the old days.” Then Jesus asked, “But who do you say I am”? Rocky answered, “You’re God’s Chosen.” Jesus gave them strict instructions to keep it quiet. At this point Jesus started to teach that the Complete Person would have to go through great suffering, be rejected by the various religious groups, and be killed, then come back to life after three days. Jesus was quite clear. Rocky took Jesus to one side and contradicted him crossly. Jesus turned round to face his other friends, saying to Rocky. “Get away from me! You’re a bad influence. Your get your ideas from people, not from God!”

Now compare that with the NASB version:

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You." But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

He has removed all references to Jesus being the Son of God, instead it refers to Jesus as being the "Complete Person." What ever that is. He has also removed the references to Satan and to heaven. I have read in other places that he has removed 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. In their stead he added the Gospel of Thomas. He also desired to make his version less homophobic than other versions. For example, he translates Romans 1:26-27 as follows:

God let them go on to pursue their selfish desires. Women use their charms to further their own ends. Men, instead of being friends, ruthlessly exploit one another.
instead of
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Sounds like a bunch of politically correct hogwash to me.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Quote of the Week

Until our Master summons us, not a hair on our head can perish, not a moment of our life be snatched from us. When He sends for us, it should seem but the message that the child is wanted at home.

Anthony Thorold

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Quote of the Week

Until we know and live out of our union with Christ, we will never fully manifest the life of God within us. Some of it will inevitably shine through now and then, despite us. But for the most part we will manifest our own merely human life.

Dan Stone


Spoiled Rotten


Having a ball

In case you were wondering why the grass is so brown, we are in the middle of an "exceptional drought."

US drought map

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Quote of the Week

God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.

Andrew Murray

Friday, June 08, 2007

Southern Baptists aim to fill more seats

Is it just me, or does this read like a business sector analysis examining the reasons for declining sales.

I think Micah Fries hit the nail on the head at the end of the piece:

"We've slapped a Jesus sticker on everybody who will raise their hand and say 'I do' in a church without questioning whether their faith is legitimate, whether they're making a real conscious decision, whether they're just emotionally responding," said Micah Fries, a 28-year-old pastor of a St. Joseph, Mo., church.

"I can whip a crowd into a frenzy and I can get response. ... I don't want response. I want changed lives."

I think that for too long preachers have talked people into coming down the aisle and making a "decision for Christ." I have heard of a preacher that claimed he could make such an emotional appeal to people that he would have them jumping the pews. Unless the Spirit of God convicts a person of their sin and their need for salvation, then what have you gained. You have a bunch of people who believe that they are saved, but live like they are lost. There has been no real transformation of their lives and no impetus to lead others to possess what they don't have to start with.

Salvation, from start to finish, is the work of the Holy Spirit. I think it is high time for preachers to take "themselves," and their powers of persuasion out of the way, and allow the Spirit to do His work.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Quote of the Week

None are more unjust in their judgments of others than those who have a high opinion of themselves.

Charles Spurgeon