Archive | January, 2013

Does God Have Dreams for His People?

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His NameTalk of God’s having dreams seems to be growing in popularity—not the fall-asleep-and-see-strange-things kind, but the wishful, hopeful, I-really-want-this-to-happen kind. You won’t find this kind of language in (any?) English translations of the Bible. And you won’t find it in the writings of previous centuries’ theologians (e.g., Luther, Calvin, Owen, Edwards, Hodge, Spurgeon, and Warfield). But it’s all throughout the popular Christian literature of the last several decades.

I was reminded of this while rereading Sally Lloyd-Jones’s The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name with my wife and daughter during our family Bible time. There’s much to like about the book, but I’m not sold on the talk about God’s having dreams for His people—even in a book for children.

Here are three examples:

But God saved the best for last. From the beginning, God had a shining dream in his heart. He would make people to share his Forever Happiness. They would be his children, and the world would be their perfect home. (25)

God loves his children too much to let the story end there. Even though he knew he would suffer, God had a plan—a magnificent dream. One day, he would get his children back. One day, he would make the world their perfect home again. And one day, he would wipe away every tear from their eyes. (36)

That’s the end of that dreamer! they thought. But they were wrong. God had a magnificent dream for Joseph’s life and even when it looked like everything had gone wrong, God would use it all to help make the dream come true. God would use everything that was happening to Joseph to do something good. (78)

It’s obvious that she’s using dream synonymously with plan, but I’m uncomfortable with some of the connotations and implications dream carries with it.

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8 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 8

Windows 8 Pro UpgradeWindows 8 has been out for a few months, and it’s had mixed reviews. Some people like it; others hate it. I’m convinced that it’s a worthwhile upgrade for Windows 7 users (and a must for Windows Vista and earlier users)—especially at the current introductory price.

My experience with Windows 8 went something like this:

  1. Intrigued. When I saw what Windows 8 was going to try to do, I was impressed. Could Microsoft really unify desktop/laptop and tablet/phone OSes and apps?
  2. Frustrated. When I started trying to use it during the beta stage, my excitement turned to frustration. Where’s the Start button? Isn’t the new Start screen a step backwards? What use is there to having two different versions of the same apps? Why is sleeping, restarting, etc. buried? Wasn’t this really just two very different OSes poorly stitched together?
  3. Happy. Once I started noticing all of the nice little improvements throughout the OS and realized that I could ignore the new Start screen and launch apps and find stuff just as easily as I could in Windows 7 (hit the Windows key and start typing), I was sold on Windows 8.

Many others have had the same experience. So expect a learning curve and an adjustment period before you give up.

Here are 8 reasons you should consider upgrading to Windows 8:

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6 Tips to Help You Read More This Year

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading BooksI finished reading my first book this year, Tony Reinke’s Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (Kindle | Vyrso). I read it on my Nexus 7 using the Vyrso app. If you want to read more books in 2013, you’ll find a lot of help and motivation from this fine book.

Tony gives six tips to help you read more books this year:

  1. Expect resistance from your heart.
  2. Make time to read, not excuses for why you don’t read. We all have good excuses.
  3. Cultivate a hunger for books by reading (and rereading) great books.
  4. Set your reading priorities, and let them drive your book selections.
  5. Stop doing something else in order to make time to read.
  6. Try reading three (or more) books at a time and take advantage of your environments.

On #5, I’ll be replacing some of my RSS reading with book reading.

Up next: Todd Billings’s Union with Christ: Reframing Theology and Ministry for the Church, which I’ll be reading in Vyrso.

What are you reading?