Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why didn't the amillennialist cross the road?

I recently had the pleasure of a chat with good brothers Carl Trueman and Todd Pruitt, and esteemed sister Aimee Byrd.

The latter favored me with a list of reasons why the dispensationalist would not cross the road. I thought it would be unkind not to offer her the same filial gesture, and so... ten reasons why the amillennialist would not cross the road:
  1. The road is Jesus. Why would I want to cross Jesus?
  2. This road is not mentioned in the Three Forms of Unity.
  3. So many have already crossed it before me. Who am I to cross it for myself?
  4. "Road" sounds so literal...which means it's carnal, which means no.
  5. 2000 years ago roadcrossing was inaugurated, so I'm already living in the Age of The Other Side of the Road.
  6. Nobody said anything about this road before 1800.
  7. Hal Lindsey crossed a road once. You'll never catch me doing it.
  8. Crossing the road might be taken to mean two ways of salvation.
  9. Pretty sure Calvin, Knox, Owen, Berkhof and Van Til never crossed this road, and they're my heroes.
  10. Most people who cross roads are not Calvinists.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Music - Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins

Nothing about this isn't fun — particularly how clearly tickled a guitarist as great as Clapton is to be playing with his elder counterparts.

(Thanks to Jeremiah Halstead for the recommendation)

Friday, June 20, 2014

On the other hand: when literal is misleading

In today's post at Pyro I make the point that sometimes less-literal translations can mislead and/or obscure the original author's point. Here I observe that the reverse can also be true.

In Tremper Longman's commentary on Proverbs, he translates Prov. 9:4b this way: "she says to those who lack heart." The bolded phrase is a rendering of  חֲסַר־לֵב (chasar-lēb). It is very literal, and literally accurate — could be "lacking heart" or "short on heart."

You'll see that all versions get a little dynamic here, ranging from "him who lacks sense" (so essentially ESV, CSB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, etc.), to "him who lacks understanding" (so essentially NAS, NET, ASV, KJV, NKJV), to "those who lack good judgment" (NLT).

So what does "heart" mean? Here's what I said in God's Wisdom in Proverbs:
Contrary to years of Christian traditional definition, the heart is not primarily the seat of the emotions, but rather of intellect, volition, and evaluation. It is used specifically of memory in various places, including Deuteronomy 4:39 and Proverbs 4:21.
Wouldn’t “brain” be the better modern term for this idea? Why is the heart used for the mind, rather than “brain”? As a matter of fact, the word “brain,” as a part of the body, is never mentioned in the OT. The word simply was not in use in the Hebrew working vocabulary as it is in modern English. The question is not, “Why didn’t the Hebrews use our word,” but rather, “What Hebrew word (if any) has a meaning equivalent to ‘brain’?”—and usage shows that the answer is, “Heart.”

[Phillips, D. (2011). God’s Wisdom in Proverbs: Hearing God’s Voice in Scripture (p. 115). Woodlands, TX: Kress Biblical Resources.]
So why not translate it literally, as Longman does? Because "lacking heart" is a familiar English expression with an established meaning. When we say someone "lacks heart," we aren't saying that he is deficient when it comes to God-fearing wisdom, as Solomon means. We mean that he lacks courage, he lacks fortitude, he lacks spirit — none of which is Solomon's sense.

So there we have to opt either for something a bit dynamic, as above, or do what I do: "short on brains," with a footnote like "Literally 'lacking of heart.'"

Because in this case, the literally literal is literally misleading.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"The glory of Yahweh"

In my reading today I came across a particularly great statement from Gerhard von Rad on the glory of man and of Yahweh. I salted it through a dozen or so verse-notes in my BibleWorks, and share it with you:
If in relation to man כָּבוֹד [glory] denotes that which makes him impressive and demands recognition, whether in terms of material possessions or striking gravitas, in relation to God it implies that which makes God impressive to man, the force of His self-manifestation. As everywhere attested in the OT, God is intrinsically invisible. Nevertheless, when He reveals Himself, or declares Himself, e.g., in meteorological phenomena, one may rightly speak of the כְּבוֹד יְהוָֹה [glory of Yahweh], of a manifestation which makes on man a highly significant impression. The more seriously religious reflexion took the idea of Yahweh’s invisibility and transcendence, the more this expression for the impressive element in God became an important technical term in OT theology. [Gerhard von Rad, art. δόξα (glory), in Kittel, G., Bromiley, G. W., & Friedrich, G. (Eds.). (1964–). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.]

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Is it... can it be...? (Hebrew accent)

So here's a word from Proverbs 6:10.

It could be transliterated as ma`at, and it means "a little," or "a bit." Let me show you a couple of things about it. First, the large characters are the consonants:

Next, the little figures under the consonants are the vowel-points:

That leaves the little odd squiggle above the word, which is the accent:

The accents all mean something, and every word has an accent. My question is:

Does that accent mean that this is the word that will defeat Voldemort?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Music — Misirlou / Miserlou

I know. Strangest Title Ever. But I like to start the week with something light and fun if possible, and This is That.

Strange title, yes. But you know it, probably by the spelling "Miserlou."

"I don't know it at all," you say? Give THIS a listen. It's a recording titled "Mousourlou," by Greek bandleader Michaelis Patrinos, from around 1930.

Didn't do it for you? How about this sultry version from around 1947, sung in Greek by a crooner named Danai? Here are the lyrics, according to Wikipedia
Μισιρλού μου, η γλυκιά σου η ματιά
Φλόγα μου 'χει ανάψει μες στην καρδιά.
Αχ, για χαμπίμπι, αχ, για λε-λέλι, αχ,
Τα δυο σου χείλη στάζουνε μέλι, αχ.

Αχ, Μισιρλού, μαγική, ξωτική ομορφιά.
Τρέλα θα μου 'ρθει, δεν υποφέρω πια.
Αχ, θα σε κλέψω μέσα από την Αραπιά.

Μαυρομάτα Μισιρλού μου τρελή,
Η ζωή μου αλλάζει μ' ένα φιλί.
Αχ, για χαμπίμπι ενα φιλάκι,άχ
Απ' το γλυκό σου το στοματάκι, αχ.

My Misirlou (Egyptian girl), your sweet glance
Has lit a flame in my heart.
Ah, ya habibi, Ah, ya leh-leli, ah (Arabic:
Oh, my love, Oh, my night‎)
Your two lips are dripping honey, ah.

Ah, Misirlou, magical, exotic beauty.
Madness will overcome me, I can't endure [this] any more.
Ah, I'll steal you away from the Arab land.

My black-eyed, my wild Misirlou,
My life changes with one kiss
Ah, ya habibi, one little kiss, ah
From your sweet little mouth, ah.
I bet you're getting it now.

Here's the version you're likelier to know.

Pretty funny, in some ways. My, rock videos have changed. Dale himself looks like he's having fun, but the band... yikes. Double-yikes on the drummer. He seems troubled. I thought drumming was fun. And - no idea what the saxophonist is doing.

Back to the song. What you may not have known — as I did not know — is that the song is very old, not Amreican, and probably was written in the 1800s. It is (as you see) about an enchanting little Egyptian girl.

But then in the 1960s, a ten-year-old kid challenged Dick Dale (King of the Surf Guitar) to play a song on just one string. Dale told him to come back the next day. Dale was actually Lebanese-American, born Richard Mansour; he thought of music he'd heard at weddings, picked Misirlou/Miserlou, and decided to ramp up the speed. Hence, Miserlou.

Here's a more recent version, by Dale. Music begins at 1:25.

Dinosaur Gardens (which says the Wikipedia article contains many errors)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Music - Fal$e Teacher$, by Shai Linne

Given the recent discussions of false teaching in connection to the Strange Fire conference, this seems like a timely performance to feature. (Could not find a live performance).

Here's Shai Linne himself giving some back-story.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Homeschoolers: Alpha Omega Publications sale tomorrow

Homeschooling material sale tomorrow 
Friday, January 31, 2014

I'm just going to present you with their ad material, for convenience's sake. I know a lot of my readers homeschool, and every penny saved is a good thing!

Leading Christian Homeschool Curriculum Provider Launches
One-Day Sale on Educational Materials

Rock Rapids, Iowa (January 28, 2014– Alpha Omega Publications (AOP), the leading provider of academically rigorous, Christian educational resources for homeschool families, is holding its firstHomeschool Snow Day sale extravaganza on Friday, January 31. Families visiting aophomeschooling.comfrom 12 a.m. (MT) to 11:59 p.m. (MT) on January 31 will receive 20 percent off of all curriculum and other educational resource purchases.
The Homeschool Snow Day sale will feature savings on five innovative and time-tested homeschool curriculum programs for grades PreK-12, including: Monarch, Switched-On Schoolhouse, LIFEPAC, Horizons and The Weaver Curriculum.

“The Homeschool Snow Day sale is one of our largest sales of the year and with the homeschool market continuing to grow, we expect to see an increase in families who take advantage of these savings,” said Beth TeGrotenhius, COO at Alpha Omega Publications. “With 35 years of experience in homeschool curriculum development, we are fortunate to have established a proven track record of success and a solid reputation as a trusted provider. We look forward to offering families the opportunity to save money on the education resources they need to support their homeschooling efforts.” 

In addition to receiving 20 percent off during AOP’s one day sale, those who visit the company’s Facebook page between now and January 31 who “like” and comment on the Homeschool Snow Day sale post – pinned to the top of the company’s page – will be entered into a random drawing to receive an extra 10 percent off their final purchase.
The one-day sale includes free standard ground shipping in the continental United States for all orders of $50 or more.  Connect with Alpha Omega Publications on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest to learn more about the Homeschool Snow Day sale and for tips on other fun snow day activities.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday music - re-do!

Last week I posted a collection of clips, the third and climactic of which featured the amazing Terry Kath's guitar track for "What's This World Comin' To?" But there were technical issues, the track disappeared for days, only reappearing later in the week.

It's so good that today, I'm just adding a bit and telling you to go listen to it.

This is one of those songs that is vintage Chicago at its best, yet it's a song that was never a hit. It is a tight, complex, multi-phase number, featuring everyone in the band. Each of the three main lead vocalists (Robert Lamm, Peter Cetera, and Terry Kath) takes a turn. The horns are tight and emphatic. Danny Seraphine's all over on the drums. Pete Cetera lays down a crazy-hot bass line.

But behind and through it all is the inimitable Terry Kath. You probably can't appreciate the cat fully unless you've tried to play guitar, as I have. He was head and shoulders over most players. His bandmates say he could play rhythm guitar, lead guitar, and sing all at the same time. While that may not be strictly possible, there's no doubt that the man could shift gears from rhythm to a complex little riff for seasoning faster than a gunslinger could slap leather. Just absolutely a marvel.

This third track gives something of a feel for that. Another guitarist would have just hammered basic chords. Kath laid down a whole complex landscape, and still threw off some dizzying riffs.

I can't say enough about it. In fact, I'm done. Just go listen.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday music — highlighting mastery of Terry Kath in "What's This World Comin' To?"

On of my favorite never-was-a-hit Chicago tunes comes from the sixth album and is titled "What's This World Comin' To?" I just found a real treat of a version of that song.

Warming up to the treat, first you can listen to the very tight, rockin' studio version. Lead vocals from the three main singers (Kath, Lamm, Cetera), all sorts of funk.

Then watch this, from their (I think) 1973 TV special "Chicago in the Rockies":

Ah, the best band at their best. But wait, there's more! Listen to this track that isolates Terry Kath's frenetic guitar work on the song, just the horns and him:

Awesome, underappreciated talent.

UPDATE 1: ack. It was up yesterday, it's down today. I'll keep this post up, and see if I can either find out what happened or find another source. Sorry!

UPDATE 2: All day, no explanation. If it becomes available again, I'll probably create a new post. It's that fun.

UPDATE 3: Yay, it's live again (as of 1/24/2014, anyway)!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Any good Christian magazine recommendations?

Hi gang.

A correspondent asks if I can recommend any good Christian magazines. Nothing too heavy, just good sound Biblical content.

WORLD is out, Christianity Today's long gone.

So what would you recommend, and why? What do you read?