Showing posts from September, 2009

book report: The Expanded Bible

As my kids get bigger and my house feels smaller, collections get squeezed out. At least I can keep bikes in the garage. But I do have a weakness for Bibles, translations and study Bibles. For the past year, I have been reading my Greek New Testament almost every morning then I re-read the chapter in English. Until I received the Expanded Bible from Thomas Nelson publishers, I had been using a newer, more literal translation. But for the past few weeks of both letters to the Corinthians, I have been greatly enjoying the Expanded Bible.

Although it is "expanded" it's not the Amplified Bible. When I first opened this Bible, that was what I thought I had, a re-hashed concept. Honestly, I hated it at first. But when I read the introduction, and learned the apparatus and the intentions, I became intrigued then enthralled. However, this isn't for everyone. Part of reason for my enjoyment was my struggles with the Greek. Sometimes the editors of the Expanded Bible insert in …

John Cleese explains the God gene

John Cleese, in this video, explains why I believe in God.

Why put your faith in Jesus Christ?

Can I keep this short? I'll try.

The world around us should force us to ask "why?" over and over again.
Why is this beautiful? Why is that ugly? Why does most of the world agree about these observations? Why is this right? Why is that wrong? Why does most of the world agree about these judgments? Why do awful things happen? Why do good things happen? Why am I here? How did I get to exist on this privilegedplanet? Why do I have a mind? Why am I different than animals? Why do I feel such extreme highs and lows?
These questions then lead us to ask, who can answer these questions?
The problem is most of these questions are not materialistic. Answers can't be found in science, which can only attempt to explain material patterns. Science can't explain why there is order in our world instead of chaos either. Hence, we look to those who claim to have answers to these non-material questions. But there is an industry of charlatans. A sucker is born every minute and if they hav…

Time for bickering

President Obama said last night, the time for bickering is over. My wise wife asked me, "Isn't this [process] called debate?"
So can someone tell me why the national conversation is not debate but bickering?

Sermon on Mark 9: 30-50

Here is the rest of my sermon notes on Mark 9. The first half is here.

After climbing a mountain and being affirmed by God the Father, Jesus told Peter, James, and John about his resurrection again, Mk. 9:9, which they still didn't understand, and he pointed to Biblical prophecy in general, but I look at Isaiah 53 in particular. He explained to them that the prophecy they were thinking about, the arrival of Elijah, predicted in Malachi 4:5 in particular, was fulfilled in John the baptizer, Mk. 9:12-13. They didn't understand the death and resurrection talk in the previous chapter either, Mk. 8:31. He is focused on teaching his disciples but life interrupted in the case of a demonized boy. Jesus delivers the boy then resumes his important teaching.
9:30 They went out from there and passed through Galilee. But Jesus did not want anyone to know, 9:31 for he was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and …

Sermon on Mark 9: 1-29

This is the outline of my sermon I was privileged to give at our church this past Sunday on the Gospel of Mark, chapter 9. Here is part 1.

Highlights of Mark 8
Jesus feeds 4000 with 7 loaves of bread and a few fishJesus heals a blind man by putting his spit on the guy's eyesJesus and his crew head up north into Gentile territory and Peter declares Jesus is the ChristJesus foretells his suffering, rejection, betrayal, murder and resurrectionPeter rebukes JesusJesus rebukes Peter (calls him Satan)Jesus proclaims the way to life is through death and suffering.Highlights of Mark 9
Transfiguration - Jesus is affirmed by GodDemonized boy deliveredWho's the best?In-or-Out excorcistDon't hurt God's kidsCut it off or go to hellBe holy and be at peace with each otherMark 8 ends on a downer. Jesus tells them he's going to be killed and resurrected, but the disciples don't get any of that, then he calls Peter Satan, then he tells them to take up their cross, like telling us t…