Saturday, November 22, 2014

Getting Closer On The MOOC

I just finished my handout for the Mosaic and Priestly covenants. I'd appreciate your prayers as I press forward on this assignment. I'm hoping to turn the course over to our online department by December 1st. I'm not sure when the course will launch as a MOOC, but I definitely can't wait to announce it here on the blog.









Daniel Chia On Learning Greek

Hey, check out Daniel Chia's testimony on learning Greek. Fifteen minutes, well worth the time. I especially appreciate his pointers for learning Greek. Yeah, there are a couple of things that he says that I take a quibble on (e.g., when he says that no translation can capture the meaning of the Greek). But I love his heart. I love his testimony. I love that his pastor is taking people in the church through this. I love his recommendations for studying Greek. I love that he turned his guest bathroom into a whiteboard, and when people ask him about the Greek he uses it as an opportunity to talk about the gospel.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Quote From Henry Cook

Henry Cook writes this in his What Baptists Stand For
"Every Christian a living churchmember, and every churchmember a living partaker of the ministry of Christ: that seems to be the ideal, and the Church from this point of view becomes not a body made up of ministers and people, but of people who are all ministers alike; all, that is, engaged in the work of the ministry."
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Cook, Henry. What Baptists Stand For. London: Kingsgate, 1947. 

Spurgeon's Letter On Ordination

The following is a letter written by Charles Spurgeon to James Low, one of the deacons of Metropolitan Tabernacle:
"I have a decided objection to any public ordination or recognition. I have, scores of times, most warmly expressed from the pulpit my abhorrence of such things, and have been not a little notorious as the opponent of a custom which has become a kind of iron law in the country. I am willing to retrace my steps if in error, but if I have been right, it will be no honorable thing to belie my former loud outcries by submitting myself to it. 
I object to ordinances and recognitions, as such, (1) because I am a minister, and will never receive authority and commission from man; nor do I like that which has the shadow of such a thing about it. I detest the dogma of apostolic succession, and dislike the revival of the doctrine by delegating power from minister to minister. 
(2) I believe in the glorious principle of Independency. Every church has a right to choose its own minister; and if so, certainly it needs no assistance from others in appointing him to the office. You, yourselves, have chosen me; and what matters it if the whole world dislikes the choice? . . . 
(3) If there be no authority inferred, what is the meaning of ceremony? . . . Furthermore, I have seldom heard of an ordination service in which there was not something objectionable. There are dinners, and toasts, and things in that line. There is a foolish and needless advice, or, if wise advice, unfit for public mention. I am ready to be advised by anyone, on any subject, in private; but I do not know how I could sit in public to be told. 
I trust, my dear sir, that you will not imagine that I write warmly, for I am willing to submit; but it will be submission. I shall endure it as a self-mortification, in order that you may all be pleased, I had rather please you than myself; but, still, I would have it understood by all the church that I endure it as a penance for their sake. . . ." (205-206)
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Drummond, Lewis. Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1992.

A Lovely Sunset

I snapped this picture of the sunset this evening before heading to the office to pick Lesly up. Absolutely beautiful.


"Coming Into The Parlor Some Cloudy Morning"

I found this letter written by Robert E. Lee's wife to their daughter Mildred (or "Milly," as she was called) interesting tonight. In it she talks about the difference between one's self-awareness of sin prior to and after having the Holy Spirit in one's life:
"Do not be discouraged because you see so much in yourself that is vile and sinful. That is the sure work of the Holy Spirit. Before His influence was shed into your heart, you could see none of your faults. It was like coming into the parlor some cloudy morning. All the dust and litter of the room would not be visible. But let a bright ray of sunshine gleam in and how you would see every particle of dust! So the Holy Spirit has shined into your heart and you are astonished at what you see there. He shows all these defilements to you that He may cleanse them and daily you must pray for his purifying influence. . . . Do not doubt for a moment His power and His willingness to receive you. . . . He will keep you safe. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will give you peace and joy the world knows not of." (239). 
Can you relate to what Mary is talking about? I sure can. I remember especially the home I grew up in over on Kildaire Farm Rd. in Cary, NC. The front door let lots of light in. But on a gloomy day, you wouldn't even notice the dust that lay within. Even if that dust were stirred up, it would go unnoticed. But let some light into the room and it would refract indefinitely. The Holy Spirit does exactly that. And I'm thankful for Mary's comparison. I'm thankful for those real-connections that help illustrate great and profound spiritual truths. Mary was no theologian in the professional sense. But she was a theologian of theologians. Lee had a beautiful wife, one who no doubt anchored him and spurred him on in his walk with the Lord in the same way that he would spur his beloved horse "Traveller."

If you're looking for a great book to buy someone for Christmas, whether a guy or a girl, think about getting Perry's book. It's one of my favorites.

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Perry, John. Mrs. Robert E. Lee: The Lady of Arlington. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2001.

Have You Seen The Tyndale Reading Rooms?

If you're looking for a helpful resource as you study God's Word, be sure you take a look at Tyndale Seminary's reading rooms. Since I've been gearing up for my Greek exegesis class in Peru (just a couple months away), the reading rooms have been one of the stops in my preparation. Here's the one for Philippians. The reading rooms make serious use out of Google Books. If you're looking for a tutorial on how you can use Google Books in your studies, take a look at this


Got My Logos 6 Update

I got my update for Logos 6 yesterday evening. I really like the new format. Here's the home screen. Did you know that at Capital Seminary and Graduate School every student has a copy of Logos Bible software and every professor incorporates it into the curriculum for every class? Yep!


I Love The New Moodle Format

I'm loving the new Moodle format for our courses. Here's what my BIB516 class looks like. Thanks to Debra and the online department for working so hard!


Maybe We Can Turn That Amplification Down A Bit (Or, A Lot)

There's a YouTube video making the rounds on the Internet this week. It's right before the start of Toronto Maple Leafs game, the singing of the national anthem of the United States. Something happens. The mic drops out right after "the bombs bursting in air gave proof . . . ." The news is talking about how the fans in the stadium finished the song sans amplification. Check the video out. Before you do, let me just throw out an idea. Maybe we can turn the amplification in our churches down a bit and let our congregations fill the room with the collective voices of everyone, not just the energized voices of a few.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sharing The Message Of The Cross

We talked about sharing the gospel with people last week in a home Bible study. One of the young ladies asked the question, "Sharing the gospel isn't easy for me. I'm sorta introverted. What would you recommend for someone like me?" Then today Dave Black posted these words:
"I often hear people complain that witnessing does not come 'naturally' for them. With this I agree. Evangelism is not a natural task at all; it is a completely supernatural enterprise. In fact, personal evangelism is utterly impossible unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus is given free rein in our lives. Thus, while it is our duty to share our faith with others through word and deed, even more it is a divinely-enabled privilege. And unless we learn to view evangelism in those terms – as a great privilege and not merely as a duty to be performed legalistically – we will never be successful in motivating either ourselves or others to share Jesus, no matter how much training we may have had in this or that evangelistic technique or method."
Everyone, please think about these words. Give them a real chew. Spend some time thinking about what Dave is saying here. Sharing the message of the cross is a real privilege. We have the message of life. We have the life-giving water that Jesus offered the Samaritan woman in John 4. I know sharing the gospel can be difficult. It can look really easy for certain people, while others of us sit back and wonder why it's so difficult for them. Don't rob yourself of the greatest privilege you'll ever have.

Want to read a little more about the book from where those words above are taken, then check out this post, "Will You Join the Cause of Global Missions?" and this post "David Alan Black's Latest Book On Missions (And You)." Or if you want to just go straight to Amazon and get a copy of the book, just click here. The book won't break the bank, I promise. It's less than $5 (print edition) and less than $1 on Kindle. You can't beat that. And you will–I repeat–you will be blessed.

Great Time Of Fellowship

We had an exceptional morning together as the faculty and staff came together. One of the hallmarks was the devotional led by one of our students, Javaid Haroon. He taught us the meaning of John 4, concentrating on verses 4, 7, and 10. Isn't it interesting that Jesus "had to pass" through Samaria? That's pretty remarkable if you ask me. So thankful for students who are willing to follow the Lord anywhere and represent him everywhere!




Sitting Beside Victor Jacobs

Right now we are in a faculty and staff meeting. I'm sitting beside Victor Jacobs, my NT colleague here at Capital. I love spending time with this guy. He loves the Lord, prays for all of us, and seriously wants students to grow in their walks with God. I've found in Victor a trusted friend and co-laborer. After our meeting I'm looking forward to catching up with him. 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Soledad

Awesome Voice

Third Row Seats!

Awaiting El Cigala



Waiting For Doors To Open

What A Difference!



Checking Out The Tix

Grabbin' Some Dinner

Lesly And I Are Going Out

Oh yeah! Lesly and I are heading out on the town tonight! Here we go. Right now we are on the metro. The DC metro has nothing on Madrid's, just so you know.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Concert Tomorrow

Lesly and I are going to a concert tomorrow night. One of Spain's most renowned musicians is here in the nation's capital. We couldn't miss an opportunity to check it out. Getting out on the town with Lesly tomorrow is going to be really special. I can't wait to just spend some time with my girl. Of course, we're supposed to have record lows tonight and tomorrow! Can you say "Burrrrrr?"


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Just One Reason Why I Love Henry

Want to get a glimpse of why I love Henry and Energion Publications? Then you have to read "Why I Hope Energion Authors Never Become Celebrities." Henry, it's a pleasure to serve our Lord alongside you and people like you. Keep up the hard work. Great is your reward!

Finishing Up The MOOC

So, the last couple of days I have been working really hard to finish up the MOOC on the Biblical Covenants. One of the things I've been trying to wrap up is the study guide for the course. I really want this to be a valuable tool for Christians as they study God's Word. The biblical covenants are so important for a proper understanding of Scripture. Without a knowledge of them, it's like you're driving with a blindfold on. The question isn't will you crash, but when will you crash! I've worked really hard to make the guide devotional, informative, and useful for small-group and self study. Here's just a snippet to give you a feel for what they look like.