Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Wonderful Convocation In Lancaster

My dad and I were up in Lancaster today for my school's convocation ceremony. It was excellent. President Teague delivered a message on the nature of the Word of God. That's a reminder we all need. Beginning a new school year, students, faculty, and staff alike all need a reminder that the Word of God should be the study of all studies. Having my dad with me was special. This was his first visit to the Lancaster campus. We got to walk around and see what is really, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.

After convocation we walked over for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for our new dorms on the Lancaster campus. The building is exceptional. Lesly and I got the tour last week. Whichever students are in that building are basically living in the Trump towers. It's top of the line. Can you believe it's already at full capacity! Pretty cool. This is another record-setting year for incoming students.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Have You Seen The Logos Pro Training Videos?

Logos has got some really sharp videos for doing some important steps in exegesis using Logos Bible Software. It's called Logos Pro Training. You should definitely check out the page. Click here to teleport right over.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Learn About Logos' Manuscript Explorer

Logos Bible Software has some pretty cool features. It's no wonder that I am thankful for our school's use of technology for the 21st-century seminary student. One of the cool features is the New Testament Manuscript Explorer. What is it? Just click here to see a tutorial introduction.

Bart Ehrman's Textual Criticism Syllabus

Interested in seeing what a class on textual criticism with Bart Ehrman is like? Well, he's made his syllabus available online. You can see it here. That's a class I would like to audit.

Tim Jenney's Webinar On Using Accordance For Textual Criticism

Accordance has a fifty-minute webinar on using their software for textual criticism. If you're interested, click here.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Around My Office

A Couple More Fair Pics

And This Was Today

Today was action-packed. Lesly, my dad, and I went to the Maryland State Fair. We had a great time. I will say this, though, perhaps because of my Carolina bias . . . The Maryland State Fair is nothing–and I mean nothing–compared to the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, NC. There simply is no comparison, well, with one slight caveat. A few years back the NCSF stopped allowing people to walk around and look at the animals. That was one of my favorite parts of the fair, but now you are sort of restricted to the shows, and the temporary stables are off-limits to passers-by. In Maryland you can still walk through the different rows and check out all of the livestock. But that's the only exception. Everything else is topped by North Carolina–food, energy, exhibits, etc.

I think the highlight of today's visit to the fair was the youth sheep show. We watched the whole thing. I couldn't help but think about Christians. I mean think about it. What would happen if we were asked to stand before the judge and present the sheep we have been pouring our lives into? You might say, "Isn't this more an analogy for pastors than say everyday Christians?" And I'd say nope, because all of us are tasked with training others; just see Matt. 28:19-20; and you all know I don't like that lingo when it is used to separate people in the body of Christ, especially from the responsibilities of the Great Commission that we all share. But can you imagine doing that? One thing that stood out to me during this show was how the event is as much about the one presenting their lamb as it is about the sheep. I was also intrigued by how this particular judge walked by and spent about three to five minutes with each participant, helping them to understand where they can improve and how they do better next time. I started asking myself whether I have these moments with the Lord, moments where he gets to tell me where I need to improve and how I can be more faithful. I do, but I want to be more attentive and I want the takeaway to last longer and go further. What do those moments look like? Well, it happens when we pray. It happens when I go to the Lord and I'm telling him what's going on in my life and in the work that he's given me to do. It happens when I'm talking to him about those he's entrusted to my care and I am presented with an opportunity to give an account to him. And remember. "One is your teacher," Jesus said in Matthew 23. He teaches us during those times. He uses his Word and applies it to our lives, helping us to see and hear where we can grow and improve in the work he has given us to do.

If you ask what the second highlight of the fair was, I'd say it was the funnel cake. We got one with extra sugar!!! And it was delicious. Of course, I won't be able to eat anything sweet for six months, but it was all worth it.

And when we got home, I had some mail from Spain! Very cool! (Hey, looking at the price on the envelope I noticed that it's cheaper for them to mail something here than it is for me to mail something there!)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Rolling Discussion: What Are Some Things You Saw Modeled By Others That Significantly Influenced The Way You Live For Christ?

Given what we were talking about in the previous post, I have a question for us. I think it will be a good fit for the "Rolling Discussion" part of this blog. What are some things that you saw modeled for you that totally changed or influenced the way you now live for Christ? How important was that example in your life, and why?

Sometimes We Hear What We See

Sometimes we hear what we see. I've been watching a program on National Geographic that analyzes communication. Really interesting stuff. I found a video on YouTube similar to the one that they played on National Geographic. Amazingly our brains bend the audio based upon the input of our sense of sight. You can see the video below.

I think there is something we can learn from ministry from this little exercise. Besides the obvious, that we need to be articulate and clear in our communication, there's a little more. Communication is more than words and sounds in isolation. Communication is much more dynamic and multidimensional. In fact, people learn as much from what they see, if not more, than what they hear. That's why the apostle Paul emphasized his lifestyle and pointed to his example. He understood that people needed to see in order to really get what he wanted them to hear.

When we are living for the Great Commission, we can point to our own examples. It's that example that really impacts those into whom we are pouring our lives. How often do we just give people the words and the sounds. When we do that, those who hear us can hear different things. They might get it right, they might get it wrong. But when we put that image up of what it looks like to be living for the sake of the gospel, they hear what we want them to hear. And it's at that point that they can move forward and live out the life Christ wants them to live.

Aren't you thankful for a New Testament with examples? Aren't you thankful for the example we have of Christ Jesus? Would any of you want a New Testament without Paul's example, or those passages where he points to Timothy and Epaphroditus, for example? I don't. I know you wouldn't either. Those passages are powerful. I'll even go a step further. The people in your life need–whether they know it or not–they need the picture of you living for Jesus. It's all the more reason for us to be resolved to live for the only thing that matters. If we don't, people will hear something totally opposite what Jesus wants them to hear when we are talking about living for him. I've got a long way to go; I'm sure you think you do too. But we can strive, can't we? We can press forward, dependent on Christ's strength, to live Great-Commission lives. I'm game. Let's do it, folks.

A Textual Criticism Class In Mexico

I read this morning about a course on textual criticism that is being offered at Seminario Teológico Presbiteriano de México, located just outside Mexico City. Well if I was in Mexico City, I would definitely try to sit in. See the flyer here.

Oh yeah, it got me thinking . . . seminary plus Greek plus Spanish . . . yep, that means we need to get the school some info about Aprenda a leer el griego del Nuevo Testamento. I just sent the school's president an email.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Interview With Larry Pettegrew On Leadership

When I was up in Lancaster this week, I got to spend a bit of time with Hal Pettegrew. Hal's an exceptional guy, loves the Lord, and has a real knack for encouraging people. Having lunch with Hal this week put it in my head that I should point you to an interview I did with Hal's brother back in 2012. You can read it here. Larry Pettegrew was one of my professors at The Master's Seminary. I loved studying in Larry's classes. While I learned a lot from his historical theology classes, I learned more from watching Larry live and serve. He's one of the most gentle guys I've ever met in my life. Those students at Shepherds Theological Seminary are extremely blessed for his leadership.

And Check Out Mike Heiser's "Serious Bible Study Isn't For Sissies" Post

There's a post over at the Logos Academic Blog that I've been meaning to link to for some time now. It's called "Serious Bible Study Isn't for Sissies," and you can read it here. It was posted back on June 12, 2015, and I've found it immensely refreshing. I'm thankful that Mike has called our attention to what "serious Bible study" is and isn't. There are three points. The third was, just to wet your appetite, is "The Spirit's guidance wasn't intended to serve as a cheat sheet." Oh how I wish more Christians realized this point. The study of the Scriptures is hard work. It requires labor and thinking and dependence on the Spirit of God, but labor and thinking nonetheless. Check out the post. You'll enjoy it, for sure.

Con Campbell On Greek Scholarship

Con Campbell was featured on Logos' Academic Blog back in July. Interested in what's going on Greek scholarship? Check out this interview. Interested in what he has to say to Greek students? Yep, check out the interview. Want to hear his encouragement about what it means to be passionate about Bible study? You guessed it–check out the interview. Please, please, please listen to the last ten minutes especially. Trust me. Seminary students, especially, trust me.

If you've never visited the Logos Academic Blog, you should start doing so. Lots of great posts and resources.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thankful For All Of Our LBC Supporters

Nathan Riedy, director of our scholarship fund sent me a link to this video. We have some really amazing friends of the college and seminary. My thanks to each and every one.

Two More Pictures From Our Trip Up To Pennsylvania

Lesly and I visited the Cracker Barrel over in Lancaster. It's always nice to stop into Cracker Barrel, especially since the part of Maryland we are in is basically Barrel-less. You can always count on Sunday's buttermilk fried chicken. And at the faculty meeting yesterday, I got to see my friend Jerry Lincoln. Man, I love talking to this guy. Hey, he even brings his Greek New Testament to faculty meetings.