Archive | January, 2008

Free Upgrade from Logos Bible Software OC to ND

Logos just released a new round of base packages labeled ND. No, that’s not an abbreviation for anything. They serve merely to distinguish the various versions of the base packages. The previous base packages were OC, the ones before that were QB, and the ones before that were RA. You can upgrade from your current OC package to the corresponding ND package for free (you pay only for the media and shipping). They’ve added the TNIV and NIrV to all of the base packages that include the NIV (i.e., all but Christian Home and Original Languages).

“Christian” Piracy and the Blinding Effects of Sin

FBI Anti-piracy WarningA friend notified me today about a “Christian” website where “Christians” illegally share a variety of forms of digital Christian content—from Christian music to Christian movies to Christian software. Scores of people, many of whom are in seminary training for pastoral ministry, post pirated Bible software on the web and invite others to download it, giving detailed instructions on how to unlock the software and bypass the security features. I’m blown away by how easily “Christians” can steal in order to enable them to have access to biblical resources.1 Something about that just doesn’t make sense. But that’s what sin does to us. It causes us to act in utterly irrational ways.

Take, for example, how one seminary student responds to another who shared stolen software with him: “God Bless You!” Another individual has this in his signature: “Live Hard, Play hard and let your life show WHO u live for.” Hmm. Another has a link to his website, “What Would Jesus Download,” in his signature. Good question indeed. Perhaps those downloading pirated software should ponder it a bit.

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  1. I’d image that most of these individuals wouldn’t walk into a Christian bookstore and steal content off of the shelves. The fact that downloadable media and software is intangible makes it much easier to justify.

Essential Equality and Functional Subordination: A Complementarian Novelty?

Did complementarians invent the notion that beings can be equal in essence and yet one be subordinate to the other in terms of function or role? That’s what many egalitarians claim.

Here’s an interesting selection from Ambrosiaster:

The subjection of Christ to the Father means that every creature will learn that he is subject to Christ, who in turn is subject to the Father, and will thus confess that there is only one God. But Christ’s subjection to the Father is not the same thing as our subjection to the Son, because our subjection is one of dependence and not the union of equals.1

“Christ’s subjection to the Father is . . . one of . . . the union of equals.” The notion that a being can be equal in one sense yet subject in another sense is quite apparently not novel.


  1. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles, 81.3:173–74. Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum. Vienna, 1866–. Quote in Gerald Lewis Bray, “1 Corinthians 15:28,” 1–2 Corinthians, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: NT 7 (Downers Grove: IVP, 1999), 163.

Tom Cruise on Scientology

I don’t normally share things like this, but I found this video very intriguing.

One of my favorite lines was, “Am I going to do it, or am I not going to do it—period?” Hmm.

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“He Disarms the Wrath of God”

Shanna purchased 25 new songs from a couple weeks ago, several of which came from a new album entitled Depths of Mercy. I was able to squeeze all but one on a CD, which we have had playing in the car on the way to and from work.

One line in “Depth of Mercy” bothers me every time I hear it: “He disarms the wrath of God.”

The original text was written by Charles Wesley in 1740. Here is the slightly revised text from the audio version we have.

Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God his wrath forbear?
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?

Whence to me this waste of love?
Ask my Advocate above!
See the cause in Jesus’ face,
Now before the throne of grace.

I my master have denied,
I afresh have crucified,
And profaned his hallowed name;
Put him to an open shame.

Jesus speaks and pleads his blood!
He disarms the wrath of God;
Now my Father’s mercy move,
He receives me with his love.

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Are You a Practical Modalist?

I’ve been reading Robert Letham’s excellent book The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship. It’s a must for any serious study of Trinitarianism. In many ways Letham represents a mediating position when it comes to the debates regarding subordination in the Trinity. He differs from someone like Wayne Grudem and maintains that talk of subordination and hierarchy in the ontological Trinity is inappropriate—even functional.1 However, he also differs from someone like Kevin Giles (cf. this post) who flattens out all the distinctions among Father, Son, and Spirit. Letham rightly sees τάξις (in the sense of order, not rank) in the Trinity. The various functions and roles of Father, Son, and Spirit are not arbitrary or reversible. The Father’s acting through the Son by the Spirit expresses ontological reality; the economic Trinity reveals the immanent Trinity.

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  1. In an appendix where he responds to Gilbert Bilezikian’s article “Hermeneutical Bungee-Jumping: Subordination in the Trinity,” JETS 40:1 (March 1997): 57–68, he refers to subordination as “a term [he] never use[s] and steadfastly den[ies].” He continues, “[In my article] I never use subordination or hierarchy or their functional equivalents—indeed, I sedulously avoid them” (480). I’m open, but not yet convinced that he is correct, largely because Scripture speaks of the Son’s eternal ὑποταγή (τότε [καὶ] αὐτὸς ὁ υἱὸς ὑποταγήσεται τῷ ὑποτάξαντι αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα) to the Father at the end of all things (1 Cor 15:28).

WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin

If you’re a user and you’re responsible for upgrading your WordPress install when a new version comes out, you’ll definitely want to check out the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin. If your web host includes cPanel with Fantastico De Luxe, which allows for simple upgrades, you should still consider using the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin. Fantastico is great, but one of my biggest frustrations is that it usually takes a couple of weeks or more to release the newest version of WordPress—not good when the new version fixes serious security problems. I’m not sure if this is an issue with cPanel, Fantastico, or my web host, Host Monster.

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Books for Christmas

I put a few books on my Christmas list this year, and my parents and brother graciously purchased some of them for me. I’m enjoying digging into them a little already. Here’s what I got:

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