Archive | February, 2007

Tip for Safer Surfing

I’m getting downright tired of the junk on the web. I’ve been frequenting hundreds of blogs and news sites each week at work to find helpful material for our new PastorBlog. I’ve been disgusted with all the stuff you see on major news sites—obscene immodesty and sometimes even complete nudity (apparently the standard of what’s acceptable is lower in the UK). Amazingly, even some Christian news sites and blogs have this kind of σκύβαλον. That really burns me up, but I digress.

Well, I’ve found another good use for the Web Developer extension for Firefox. I hit five key strokes, and all the images on the page disappear: alt-t-w-i-n. Alt takes you to the toolbar menu. T takes you to the tools category. W takes you to the web developer tools. I takes you to images. N makes all images invisible. It even conveniently spells a word so it’s easy to remember and type! (Alt-t-w-i-m and alt-t-w-i-r both work as well, and the latter might be most useful in that it replaces the image with its description, but twin is the easiest to remember and type. Take your pick.) You can undo it with the same keystrokes, and it will be applied only to the current page. The one downside is that it doesn’t disable flash. Anyone know a way to do that?

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Don Garlington’s Commentary on Galatians—Free!

Don GarlingtonI just found out that Don Garlington‘s commentary on Galatians is available as a free PDF from the Paul Page. It appears to be his contribution to the forthcoming volume 11 of the revised EBC rather than his 2002 Galatians commentary or his revised 2004 commentary, since it has citations from sources in 2006. I’m not positive on this, but it seems fairly likely. Regardless of which one it is, it’s worth downloading for future reference. For those who aren’t aware: Garlington supports the essence of the new perspective.

HT: Matthew D. Montonini

Update: The Paul Page is rather sporadic. It took me numerous attempts before being able to access the page and the PDF. It appears they are upgrading their server software or having problems. In the meantime, you can download the PDF from my site.

Update 2: See my updated post Garlington’s Galatians Commentaries.

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Westerholm on Righteousness and Covenant

Perspectives Old and New on PaulI love this selection from Westerholm’s Perspectives Old and New on Paul.

To this point I have discussed Paul’s usage of the dikaio– terminology with scarcely a reference to “the covenant.” So astonishing an omission can only be accounted for by a narrow preoccupation with the Pauline texts, which never link the vocabulary of “righteousness” with mention of “the” (or even a) covenant, and a consequent neglect of recent Pauline scholarship, which connects the two constantly. The oversight must now be redressed (286–87).

It’s no wonder that Barclay, Thielman, Gathercole, and Schreiner all comment on Westerholm’s “shafts of humor,” “winsome sense of humor,” “sparkling humor,” and “wit.”

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The Grace of Cancer

We heard a powerful testimony last night of how God has graciously given cancer to a man in our church who was in rebellion against God and estranged from his wife. With the news of his impending death, God also granted him a renewed heart of repentance. It was sweet to hear his present tenderness to the Lord set in contrast to his past hardness and impenitence. Of course hearing news like that brings mixed emotions: both joy and sorrow. But the joy far outweighs the sorrow. If God had left the man in his sin, but not given him cancer, he may have perished eternally. How gracious of God to give him cancer as a means of bringing him to repentance–even if it means his life may soon end. We pray that God would spare his physical life, but we especially rejoice that God has granted him spiritual life!

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Thoughts on Proverbs 31:6–7

“Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.”

—Proverbs 31:6–7

Someone recently asked me about this passage—specifically whether it condones the consumption of alcohol as a remedy for depression. I spent a few hours last Sunday afternoon compiling some information. The document (WordPDF) doesn’t contain my conclusions yet. I had to set it aside for the time being. (My dissertation continues to call!) But it does have a lot of helpful discussion from a number of commentaries. (All the links are to Libronix resources.) I thought I’d pass it along for anyone who might find it helpful.

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Calvin on Interchurch Separation

They exclaim that it is impossible to tolerate the vice which everywhere stalks abroad like a pestilence. What if the apostle’s sentiment applies here also? Among the Corinthians it was not a few that erred, but almost the whole body had become tainted; there was not one species of sin merely, but a multitude, and those not trivial errors, but some of them execrable crimes. There was not only corruption in manners, but also in doctrine. What course was taken by the holy apostle, in other words, by the organ of the heavenly Spirit, by whose testimony the Church stands and falls? Does he seek separation from them? Does he discard them from the kingdom of Christ? Does he strike them with the thunder of a final anathema? He not only does none of these things, but he acknowledges and heralds them as a Church of Christ, and a society of saints. If the Church remains among the Corinthians, where envyings, divisions, and contentions rage; where quarrels, lawsuits, and avarice prevail; where a crime, which even the Gentiles would execrate, is openly approved; where the name of Paul, whom they ought to have honoured as a father, is petulantly assailed; where some hold the resurrection of the dead in derision, though with it the whole gospel must fall; where the gifts of God are made subservient to ambition, not to charity; where many things are done neither decently nor in order: If there the Church still remains, simply because the ministration of word and sacrament is not rejected, who will presume to deny the title of church to those to whom a tenth part of these crimes cannot be imputed? How, I ask, would those who act so morosely against present churches have acted to the Galatians, who had done all but abandon the gospel (Gal. 1:6), and yet among them the same apostle found churches? (Institutes, IV, i, 14)

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One Night with the King

One Night with the KingMichael O. Sajbel, dir. One Night with the King. 20th Century Fox, 2006. 124 min. PG

[rate 1.5]

Shanna and I watched One Night with the King last night and were incredibly (!) disappointed. We had just finished reading Esther in our Bible reading, so the story was fresh on our minds. We were expecting the movie to tell faithfully the story of Esther. Not so. Probably only 25% of the movie corresponds to the biblical account. I’m not talking about just filling in the details. I’m talking about totally scrapping the biblical story, picking up a handful of those scraps, and then putting them back together in such a way that they are virtually unrecognizable. Well, maybe that’s a little overstatement, but you get my point. Over and over throughout the movie, we’d stop and say, “What?! That’s not how that happened! Why did they change that?” Not quite The Gospel of John! (More like The Ten Commandments.) It wasn’t until the end that we learned that the movie wasn’t supposed to be retelling the biblical story of Esther but the fictional story of the novel Hadassah: One Night with the King. (I vaguely remember reading that, but had forgotten.) Knowing that up front would probably have helped significantly.

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ESV, RSV, and Romans 5:3

While reading Romans 5 today I was struck with something that I had never seen before in verse 3. At the end of verse 2, Paul says, “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Then in verse 3 he says, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings.” We rejoice more in our sufferings than in the hope of the glory of God? Hmm. Why had I missed that all the previous times I read through Romans? I was curious. I immediately went to the Greek, which reads, “καυχώμεθα ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ. οὐ μόνον δέ, ἀλλὰ καὶ καυχώμεθα ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσιν.” The phrase οὐ μόνον δέ, ἀλλὰ καὶ would be literally translated, “And not only [this], but we also . . . .” So Paul is not saying that we rejoice in sufferings more than we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. He’s simply saying we also rejoice in sufferings.

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