Thursday, October 31, 2002

Got my Theology I mid-term back and I got a B. I've heard from 4 people who all got a B and all right around my percentage. I got 85% and the other folks were within 4 points of that. Shew.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

While doing some reasearch for my exegetical paper on Colossians 2:11, I came across this material in Benjamin Keach's Preaching from the Types and Metaphors of the Bible. Keach was one of the authors of the 1689 (and I believe the 1677) London Baptist Confession of Faith (a daughter of the Westminster Confession) and has a catechism attributed to him (though there is some question about who authored it). I liked the guy right off the bat because he argued for congregational singing amongst the Particular Baptists in England. Anyway, here's the quote:
I. Circumcision was the cutting off the foreskin of the flesh; signifying the cutting off of the lusts of the heart and life, or parting with the corruption of nature, which rebels against the Spirit, Col. ii. 11
II. Circumcision puts the body to pain. So those who come under the Circumcision of the heart, are sensible of much spiritual pain upon the account of sin, Gen. xxxiv. 25.
III. As that part cut off was never set to the body again, but was taken away, so in this spiritual Circumcision, sin must not be parted with for a time only, but must be cast off for ever.
IV. The Circumcised person was admitted in the Church and family of God. So he that is spiritually Circumcised becomes a fit person for baptism, and so to be admitted into the Church of God.
V. Such who were not Circumcised, were not to be admitted to the privileges of the Church, and outward worship of God. So the Uncircumcised in heart and life ought not to be admitted unto the spiritual privileges of the Gospel, and communion of the saints.
VI. The Uncircumcised person was looked upon by God's people as a hateful person; see with what contempt David beheld Goliath upon this account, "This Uncircumcised Philistine," &c., 1 Sam. xvii. 36. So those who are not Circumcised in heart, are hate to God.
VII. Circumcision was a sign of the righteousness of faith: so the spiritual Circumcision of the heart, i.e. putting away the body of sin, &c., is a sign of the truth of grace, and of an interest in the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
I think I'm going to put this in the conclusion of my exegetical paper. :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Had a mid-term in ST601 Theology I yesterday. I'm sure I passed but being behind in the reading hurt. My past experience in studying theology helped. One question was on the perspicuity of scritpure and another was on plenary inspiration. I don't remember him using those words in his lectures (though he did cover those topics quite well). I was aware of them from other contexts.

For those who don't know and would like to, the perspicuity of scripture is that the meaning is essentially clear. Plenary inspiration touches on verbal inspiration (that God chose each word in the Bible) so that it excludes any defect in the inspired message. Just in case anyone asks. :)
Last night at work I noticed a sticker on the front glass of our deli display case. It says "Warning: Clean only with Windex or Glass Plus or damage to food product could occur." Is that some kind of threat or something? If they find out I'm using water on a clean rag and drying it with a paper towel are they going to come in and break up all my tofu or something?

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Odd Thought of the Day: What if greenhouse gasses are neither the only nor even the primary cause of global warming? Within the past 100 or so years, we humans have started generating a lot of heat. Burning coal, natural gas, petroleum, etc. to generate motion and electricity. All those moving parts turn motion energy into heat energy by friction as well as their combustion. What do we do with the excess heat? Dump it in the air. Car brakes are air cooled and we have radiators to shed the heat our engines create.

Also, think about refrigeration. It works by moving heat out of where you want it. Your refrigerator transports heat from the inside of the box and dumps it in the room. Air conditioners move heat from inside your house and dump it outside. Same with air conditioners in cars. Since you can't create nor destroy energy, all that heat energy has to pile up somewhere. Normally, the earth sheds it off into space and stuff. If you compound the problem by also creating a lot of greenhouse gases at the same time, we're hurting. Think about that next time you have a Coke with ice!

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Wallace and Gromit have a new short out. It is hosted by the BBC. Check it out. Since I'm using the broadband connexion here at school, I downloaded the best res version to the laptop.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

I just finished working on Colossians 1:28 and what a neat passage that is! Paul says some very interesting things. First of all, the verse begins with "whom" referring back to Christ from the previous verse. Next, Paul says it is Him whom he preaches, admonishing and teaching all men. Some commentators take the term "admonishing" to refer to evangelism; admonishing non-believers to trust Christ, the content of Paul's preaching. Then, he teaches the church and the content of that teaching, I suppose, is undefined in this letter. But as Peter T. O'Brien points out in his excellent commentary*, the word "admonishing" is used by Paul mostly to explain his work with new Christians. So, the content of Paul's admonishing and teaching is Christ, whom he preaches.

Next, Paul uses the term "all men" three times in this verse. It is an interesting construction. The term "all" is singular, denoting each and every one and the term "men" is a plural version of the generic term for mankind. What that indicates is that Paul is interested in each and every individual believer without respect of their class, race, social-standing, education, etc. He ends the verse pointing out that he wants to present all men "complete in Christ." O'Brien sums it up well, "as a true pastor Paul will not be satisfied with anything less that the full Christian maturity of every believer" (O'Brien, p. 90).

Two things come to my mind here. First, how many pastors and teachers would say that they don't want to present every believer complete in Christ? Not many I'd wager. Yet, when I hear preaching and teaching on the radio, so often the content is "do's and don't's" or "principles" or examples. Let's take Paul's lead here and preach Christ and Him crucified because that will lead believers to full maturity (1Co 2:2, 2Pt 1:3). The more you know about Jesus, the more mature you become.

This is even more pointed when you realize that Paul has shifted back to the plural "we" in this verse from the singular "I" he had been using. It is Paul and his companions who are doing this. Let's follow Paul and his companions. Let's be concerned for each individual believer under our care, not just that they come to church on Sunday, but that they come to know Christ better and grow in maturity by such knowledge. Let's pray for believer's maturity like Epaphras did (Col 1:7-10, 4:12). That is real pastoral care. Not entertaining the sheep but feeding them.

* O'Brien, Peter T. Word Biblical Commentary: Colossians, Philemon (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1982). I wouldn't recommend it for someone who does not know Greek since it relies on Greek pretty heavily. Still, if you're willing to wade through unfamiliar words, the English packed in between them has some fantastic things to say!

Friday, October 11, 2002

Last week three of the guys I work with got hassled by the police. They'd gotten to work early and were sitting in their car listening to music and hanging out. The cops came by and check ID, car registration, etc. This bugged me becasue it was clealry racial profiling; all three of them are young and black. We talked and joked about it at work but we were all obviously bothered. I mentioned that white folks are the ones who do the big crimes; Jeffery Dalmer had human heads in his fridge. Okine said that black folks are usually only guilty of minor crimes. Made me wonder why no one ever called the police on a white, middle-aged, upper class CEO seen loitering around the company balance sheets in a suspicious manner.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Though I am behind in my Bible reading schedule, I am trying to keep up. Yesterday I finished Joshua. What I found fascinating was what Joshua told the congregation of Israel:
Then Joshua said to the people, "You will not be able to serve the LORD, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgression or your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you." - Josh 24:19-20
I hope we cover this in Pastoral Counceling. :) What he is saying here is that the people should fear and worship God, but if that isn't "cool" enough for them, then they should pick someone else to worship because God is jealous and will be hard on them if they choose Him and worship someone else. No religious pluralism here! Pick your god and go with it, but don't play games with the Living God, "for our God is a consuming fire" (Heb 12:29 ESV).

Man, do we need this message today. There are so many things vying for our attention and devotion. Today's idols aren't silly little wood or bronze statues, they're TVs (I call them "The One-eyed god") or jobs or families or theological positions and they all screem for our attention and devotion. Choose for yourself whom you will serve, but don't forget that being a Christian is not a passive state. LORD, grant that I might follow you more sincerely today, and even more so tomorrow. Amen.
The Challenge of Whole Foods Last night a woman yelled across the deli case to me "Could you come over here and help me please?" It wasn't a patient request, it was rather demanding. Since I was in the process of cutting a roasted chicken in half for another customer, I yelled back, "I'll be with you in one moment, I'm helping another customer right now." Impatiently again, she replied, "You are?" Patiently again, I replied, "Yes, ma'am and I'm almost done, I'll be there in a second."

The challenge comes in how you respond to someone like that when you get to her. At first I was frustrated and wanted to drag my feet getting there. But I remembered something they told us in training. Some people come to Whole Foods Markets because they like to shop there. They're into organic products, they like the atmosphere, whatever. But some people come there because they have to change their eating habits for medical reasons. Perhaps that grouchy customer just came from the doctor's office where they were told that they had something wrong with them and that required them modify their diet. That kind of person, one who has just brushed up against their own mortality, might not be the most pleasant person to be around. They don't need guff from the supermarket, they just need some time and patience.

I think the woman I dealt with last night was just impatient and grouchy. But you never know. It's best to be nice in case they are carrying bad news. I was kind and courteous to that woman, as much as I am with anyone. I don't know if it made a difference or not, I just keep in mind the advice a friend once gave me: Don't let little people live inside your head for free.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Since Raffy brought it up, yes, I did sign up for .Mac and got the nice discount. Was it worth it? I think so. I didn't have the time to contact everyone and update my e-mail address. I didn't think I'd use the 'free' stuff that comes with .Mac but I am. Alchemy is a cool game to play when you have a few minutes. I'm staying clean and clear with Virex (nope, I haven't found one single virus yet!) I started using iCal and iSync even though they are beta. No problems noted with iSync except that it doesn't interface with the Mail app (yet?) However, iCal is slow as anything. I'm assuming that it will improve as time goes.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

School? School you ask? I am sooo far behind. I did get an A+ on the first review of my Greek Exegesis notebook (we're doing Colossians). However, I got a C on my first major quiz and flunked both of my vocab test. What is that supposed to tell me? I take it to mean that while I don't know the technical details, I can still get the work done. Don't tell me otherwise, the sun is shining brightly here in Timland.

BTW, I have to do a exegetical paper on Colossians. I picked Colossians 2:11, specifically the phrase "the circumcision of Christ". I'm going to try to prove that it is a subjective genitive phrase (the circumcision Christ performs) rather than an objective genitive (the circumcision performed on Christ, that is, His crucifixion). I did a bunch of historical research and it looks pretty good but the hard part will be the linguistic stuff.
Speaking of Steve Ballmer, I saw a commerical the other night for the NASDQ and it starred big Steve (they kept cutting off the top of his head in the shots 'cause he's bald) and the CEO of Starbucks. The volume was down so I couldn't hear but they kept flashing up words like "innovate" and stuff. That made me laugh; I mean what has Steve Ballmer ever innovated? The next commercial was a youngish black woman standing in front of an all white background. I smiled as I went to the TV and turned it up. I recognized the music immediately. Yup, an Apple switch commercial. I just loved the timing of it all.
After whining about fonts acting up on IE 5.2.1, I just downloaded the IE 5.2.2 upgrade (it only mentions security) and guess what? No, Steve Ballmer didn't call me to say 'thanks', when I turned the Quartz font smoothing back on, everything seems to be working. Thank you Mircosoft!