Archive | February, 2008

RefTagger from Logos

RefTaggerThis week Logos launched a very nice tool for making the Bible references on your website much more useful to your readers by converting them to hyperlinks to the version of your choice at BibleGateway and giving you the option of adding a small Libronix icon linked to the version of your choice in the Libronix Digital Library System (or the user’s default version). Continue Reading →

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Hierarchy Does Not Necessitate Opposition

I’m baffled when I read egalitarians who think that functional hierarchy presupposes disunity or the prospect of it.

Take, for example, this statement by Gilbert Bilezikian:

One of the weirdest heresies that has been generated in the last century pertains to the postulation of a hierarchical order within the members of the Trinity—as if there ever could exist a threat of discord or of misconduct that would require the exercise of authority within the oneness of the Godhead.1

Kevin Giles is guilty of this fallacious reasoning as well:

What seems to have happened is that contemporary conservative evangelicals who are opposed to women’s liberation in the church and the home have read back into the Trinity their understanding of the subordination of women: God the Father has become the eternal “head” of Christ, and the differences among the divine persons have been redefined in terms of differing roles or functions. Rather than working as one, the divine persons have been set in opposition—with the Father commanding and the Son obeying.2

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Footnotes

  1. Kevin Giles, Jesus and the Father (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 1, emphasis mine.
  2. The Trinity and Subordinationism (Downers Grove: IVP, 2002), 16, emphasis mine.
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Essential Tools for Syncing Multiple Computers

If you use multiple computers (e.g., a desktop and a laptop or a home computer and a work computer), from time to time you probably find yourself in need of something from your other computer when it’s not easily accessible. The solution for most people is to use a USB flash drive or perhaps email the files to yourself using Gmail or another online email service. But neither of these are ideal solutions.

Moving to entirely web-based applications is one solution for always having all of your data available from any computer connected to the internet, but in my opinion the cons outweigh the pros—at least for now. A hybrid model is the best solution, taking advantage of the power of the desktop and the accessibility of the web. In this post, I’d like to recommend a few free tools that I rely on to help keep my computers in sync.

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Intratrinitarian Reconciliation?

The Theology of ReconciliationJenson, Robert W. “Reconciliation in God.” In The Theology of Reconciliation, edited by Colin E. Gunton, 158–66. London: T&T Clark, 2003.1

Jenson’s opening lines set the stage for his main thesis:

When I am invited to speak at a conference, I know I am supposed to indulge in the sort of trinitarian and christological speculation that skirts the edge of the sayable. So I have posed the question to myself: is there anything in God himself that might plausibly be called “reconciliation”? (158)

He goes on to argue that the traditional understanding of the Father begetting the Son and spirating the Spirit is inadequate because incomplete. He posits that the Spirit liberates the Father for the Son and reconciles the Son to the Father (158).

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Footnotes

  1. Cf. Amazon.
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Dan Phillips on John Frame

Dan Phillips of Biblical Christianity (and TeamPyro) posted about his new appreciation for John Frame. One of Frame’s former students, Tom Chantry, a Reformed Baptist pastor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, chimed in with a lengthy appeal to “be very, very careful with John Frame.” I, of course, had to make a plug for the new Collected Works of John M. Frame, which I’m really looking forward to getting. But the interesting part was where John Frame responded to Tom. The exchange is worth a read.

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Accountability

By Philip R. Gons, Matthew C. Hoskinson, and Andrew David Naselli

(cross-posted at our respective blogs: Gons, Hoskinson, Naselli)

Accountability FormChristians will give an account to God for their lives, and wise Christians live in light of that sobering reality (Rom 14:12; 2 Cor 5:10). Consequently, we have covenanted to keep each other accountable in preparation for our future accounting. Since some of our friends have asked us about our method of accountability, we decided to co-author this article in order to glorify God by provoking other Christians to seek out a greater degree of accountability.

God has used many different means to emphasize to us the importance of accountability. Among these are Scripture (e.g., Heb 3:12–13; James 5:16), books (e.g., Paul David Tripp’s Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands and Bryan Chapell’s Holiness by Grace), and especially John Piper’s pastoral accountability questionnaire. Chapell, for example, describes the importance of accountability:

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Augustin on Postmodernism

Chapter 14.—Error of Those Who Think that There Is No Absolute Right and Wrong.

22. But when men unacquainted with other modes of life than their own meet with the record of such actions, unless they are restrained by authority, they look upon them as sins, and do not consider that their own customs either in regard to marriage, or feasts, or dress, or the other necessities and adornments of human life, appear sinful to the people of other nations and other times. And, distracted by this endless variety of customs, some who were half asleep (as I may say)—that is, who were neither sunk in the deep sleep of folly, nor were able to awake into the light of wisdom—have thought that there was no such thing as absolute right, but that every nation took its own custom for right; and that, since every nation has a different custom, and right must remain unchangeable, it becomes manifest that there is no such thing as right at all. Such men did not perceive, to take only one example, that the precept, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them,”1 cannot be altered by any diversity of national customs. And this precept, when it is referred to the love of God, destroys all vices when to the love of one’s neighbor, puts an end to all crimes. For no one is willing to defile his own dwelling; he ought not, therefore, to defile the dwelling of God, that is, himself. And no one wishes an injury to be done him by another; he himself, therefore, ought not to do injury to another.2

Footnotes

  1. n34: Matt. 7:12. Comp. Tobit 4:15.
  2. ECF 2.2.1.2.3.14; NPNF1, II, 562.
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James Tauber’s Graded Greek Reader

At BibleTech:2008 James Tauber of MorphGNT.org gave the opening presentation in Room 1, “MorphGNT and the Building of Linguistic Databases for New Testament Greek,” during which he shared a little bit about his work on a graded Greek reader. Unfortunately, he ran out of time and had to rush through his material. The MP3 audio is available at the BibleTech Conference website. He discusses the graded reader at the tale end of his presentation (50:15–55:30).

He argues for a more inductive approach to learning Greek, and suggested that word frequency is not the best choice for the order in which students should learn new words. Students should first learn the words that occur together most frequently, allowing them to read a broader base of the Greek New Testament earlier on. He also suggests learning the inflected forms first, and then learning the lemmas and other deductive categories later.

The biblical text would be a combination of Greek and English words (following Greek word order) that would take into consideration the vocabulary that the students have learned. As they learn more, the English words would become Greek words. This approach allows students to dive in just about anywhere in the Greek New Testament without the clunkiness of multiple levels of text that you get with interlinears.

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A Blog Post Is Not a Blog

BlogA pet peeve of mine is the improper usage of the term blog. I find that many use blog to refer to a blog post (a.k.a. blog article, blog entry, or blog posting). For example, “I wrote a blog that I think you might enjoy reading.” Or, “In my previous blog, I explained how this concept is used in the Old Testament.” In both cases, the writer is referring to a specific blog post, not his entire blog. From what I can tell, this is incorrect.

Blog, of course, is a shortened form of weblog (formerly web log). A weblog is a category of website. The Concise OED defines it as “a personal website on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis.”1 The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “a website that displays in chronological order the postings by one or more individuals and usually has links to comments on specific postings.”2

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Footnotes

  1. Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, “Weblog,” Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
  2. Cf. Merriam-Webster.
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“Savior” in Titus

In my Bible reading a couple of days ago, I was struck by Paul’s use of Savior (σωτήρ) in Titus. Several things stood out to me. First, it occurs 6 times in the small letter of only 46 verses—twice per chapter. It occurs only 24 times in the whole NT. So it’s significant that 25% of the NT occurrences are in Titus.

Second, it occurs three times with reference to the Father and three times with reference to the Son. Paul alternates consistently between calling the Father then the Son our Savior. The occurrences in chapters 1 and 3 even occupy the same main thought.

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