Thought for the Day

From Ronald Osborn’s Death Before the Fall, p. 45:

Many literalists, though, live with a visceral terror, thinly veiled behind their statements of dogmatic certainty and superior faith, that the entire religious edifice they have dedicated their lives to constructing could at any moment come crashing down upon their heads. Theirs is a theology conceived as a high-stakes game of Jenga. Whatever you do, don’t touch the bricks at the base of the tower.

Osborn later clarifies the kind of literalist he has in mind, namely those who rigidly adhere to a literal interpretation even when compelling evidence suggests a non-literal approach is better.

Αυτω η δοξα

Music Monday

My commute to work averages about 35 minutes, which means I have ample opportunity to listen to plenty of music to make the drive a little more pleasant.

Today’s Music Monday selection is one my favorite albums from the last decade–Further Seems Forever’s Hide Nothingfsf - hnFSF has been around a while now and has quite the following. There have been a number of lineup changes, and as with any band like this, there are various camps who prefer one vocalist over another. I count myself in the minority with those who favored John Bunch over Chris Carrabba and Jason Gleason. The other guys were solid to be sure, but I already knew John Bunch from his stint in Sense Field, and since I loved his vocals with them, I was predisposed to like him in FSF. I also love that this band is partially comprised of members of one of my favorite bands from the 90s–Strongarm.

This is one of those albums on which I like every song, though naturally some more than others. It’s always good when you can turn on an album and not have to skip tracks. Standout tracks for me include  Light Up Ahead (acoustic version here), Hide Nothing, and Make It a Part.

Αυτω η δοξα

Bad Book Covers

I posted not too long ago how much I appreciate good book covers, album cover art, etc. As I’m sure you know, for every good piece of cover art there are ten bad ones.

This gem came through an email I received this morning.

book coverWhile the overall design isn’t bad, I think it’s quite strange to see the silhouette of a tennis player, apparently having just hit the ball, in front of a large body of water. I will assume that this somehow is relevant to the story, but wow–this is a stinker of a cover. How many people play tennis on the shore at dusk??

But that one pales in comparison to this one.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 8.14.20 AM

Seriously–this is really bad! Where to begin? The author’s name gets half lost against the graphics, which were clearly done by someone who doesn’t know how to Photoshop very well, and it’s just blah. Apparently the book is better than the cover. Let’s hope so–this is a bad one!

Αυτω η δοξα

One Year Ago

It was exactly one year ago that we faced the most trying time of our lives.

Our daughter, Leah, had a massive tumor removed from her abdomen.

I’ll forego the details here, but suffice it to say that week of waiting, tests, scans, surgery, recovery, and simply not knowing were beyond nerve wracking. We prayed, we cried, prayed some more, and leaned heavily on our friends and family who gathered with us. Needless to say, when we received the call that the tumor was benign, we were overjoyed! I remember we were all overcome with emotion and were beyond grateful!

Even one year later we still get emotional talking or even thinking about it, but we look back with more gratitude than can be expressed that Leah did not have to endure what we feared. We thank the Lord for getting us all through it and that our Leah is healthy and happy!

Αυτω η δοξα

Classical Literature in the Movies

Over the last couple of years, I’ve developed an interest in classical literature. Many of the stories I’ve known about for much of my life (Homer’s epics Iliad and Odyssey, Plato’s Republic, et al), but I never really cared about nor appreciated them until more recently. I’m fascinated by the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome and I happen to love epic movies, so I wonder–what are the best ancient stories/classics that have been made into film?

I remember seeing some movies of this sort when I was a kid, but film production has come a long way since then. Surely some of those stories have been made more recently?! I saw that The Odyssey was made back in the 90s, so that might be ok, but who wouldn’t love to see both of Homer’s epics done by Peter Jackson Lord-of-the-Rings style?!? Now that would be, to put it in the well-worn youngster vernacular, epic! (see what I did there?)

Let me know what I’m missing!

Αυτω η δοξα

Bible Versions

When I became a Christian in 1994, my primary Bible for reading and study was the NIV. It was popular at the time so naturally that’s what I received from those who bought me bibles (both of which I still have). I knew of the KJV as a kid and later as a teenager, but I could never read it for long because its stilted old-world English was simply too much effort to enjoy. I preferred  something more modern.

As I got older, I branched out and read other translations–the NRSV, NASB95, NKJV, ESV, etc. In the 2000s, I was introduced to the HCSB and soon thereafter found myself referring to/reading it more than others. During my tenure as pastor I preached from the HCSB most of the time and to this day it’s one of my preferred Bibles for reading.

While my preference was for the NIV and/or HCSB, I also enjoy/ed a number of other translations: NLT, NET, NJB, CEB, and others. In more recent years I have come to really enjoy and read the REB, a translation I was unaware of until reading something about it on Jim West’s blog. I picked up a copy not long thereafter and have enjoyed it ever since. It has become one of my favorite translations.

So, what about you–what are you favorite translations?

Αυτω η δοξα

The Spirit was willing…

…but the flesh was weak.

I had good intentions when I began blogging through Walton and Sandy’s The Lost World of Scripture. However, as I suspected, it proved to be more of a chore than I wanted to deal with, especially with the intervening holidays and with the spring semester right around the corner.

So, I’ve decided to forego the remainder of the series and just post one last time on it, essentially a review of the book as a whole. Though my “series” was brief, it was helpful to go through the chapters more methodically. However, the engine lost steam and will soon pull into the station.

Read my previous entries here: Propositions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Αυτω η δοξα