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Archive for the ‘5.5 Random Things’ Category

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all (both?) of us here at BBG.  We hope you and yours have a great time remembering the astounding miracle we celebrate each Christmas.  As Luther said, “The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding.”

4.  Since I clearly cannot maintain a blog with any regularity, I’ve recently joined twitter: @BMarchionni.  Perhaps I can manage to put out 140 characters of pith on a regular basis.  Hold your breath.

3.  The sermon I preached at The Harbor a few weeks ago is now available here.  Astute listeners will notice much overlap with the sermon I preached from Ps.107 earlier in the year, which is by design.  The sermon is actually an amalgam of the sermon on Ps.107 and another one I preached from Is.55 years ago.  It was a last minute opportunity, so I had only a few days to prepare.  In the process, I learned that it is extremely difficult to preach the same sermon (or even something similar to the same sermon) twice.  In the end, I probably spent as much time modifying, cutting and cleaning the pieces of the two sermons as I would have if I started over from scratch.

2.  Regarding Christmas, or more technically speaking, the Incarnation, I’ve always loved C.S. Lewis’ illustration:

Lying at your feet is your dog. Imagine, for the moment, that your dog and every dog is in deep distress. Some of us love dogs very much. If it would help all the dogs in the world to become like men, would you be willing to become a dog? Would you put down your human nature, leave your loved ones, your job, hobbies, your art and literature and music, and choose instead of the intimate communion with your beloved, the poor substitute of looking into the beloved’s face and wagging your tail, unable to smile or speak? Christ by becoming man limited the thing which to Him was the most precious thing in the world; his unhampered, unhindered communion with the Father.

1.  I recently caught a half-hour or so of BBC’s “Planet Earth” that focussed on the jungle, and had to manually re-attach my jaw.  The beauty and diversity of nature – however fallen – can easily fry my circuits when I consider what awaits us in the life to come, when He makes everything new.  If words cannot do justice to some of the beauty and wonder we experience now, how much more so for the New Heavens and Earth?  Statements like, “God is amazing,” in such a context seem so hopelessly impoverished.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons why our praise and worship needs to extend beyond what we can speak, write or sing.

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5.5.  This post is dedicated to the Boston Bruins.  We don’t expect you to win the Stanley Cup, just don’t embarass our city.

5. Monergism has put up 33 lectures from Kim Riddlebarger on Amillennialism for free download.  Riddlebarger is one of the more well known defenders of the Amillennial interpretation around, so I highly recommend jumping on this.  I’m not convinced of the position (though I’ll give these lectures a listen) when it comes to Revelation 20, but have great appreciation for the overall structure of Amillennialism.  While I am beginning to think that the Millennium is the single most overrated theological debate in the church today, eschatalogy is incredibly important so download these lectures and see what you think.  (You can also check these out at Riddlebarger’s church website.)

4. Ben Witherington and Peter Leithart recently had a very interesting exchange inspired by Leithart’s recent book, Defending Constantine.  Witherington was generally appreciative, but had some fairly strong critiques in certain parts.  Here is a helpful roundup of the debate and links.  If nothing else this can demonstrate just how hard a debate can be when you have two very different approaches to Scripture.

3. Some time ago I posted a link to Craig Keener’s notes on Biblical Interpretation (which ended up being one of our most popular posts, interestingly enough).  According to his website, Keener will also be posting Bible study notes that would be incredibly helpful for teachers and Bible study leaders.  He currently has 10 studies on the Gospel of Matthew.  Check it out!

2. Rule to live by: any time someone writes a post with the word “anacoluthon” in the title, you have to link to it.

1. Gotta be honest, I really enjoyed Paul Helm’s takedown of N T Wright.  Keep in mind, I like N T Wright, a lot.  But he has this annoying habit of taking potshots at Americans, especially the American church, for reasons that are a bit confusing and, quite frankly, make him look petty.  In this case, he was asked about the recent controversies regarding hell, then proceeded to find a way to poke at Americans in what is, as Helm points out, a series of non-sequitors and incredibly unfair characterizations.  See also Trevin Wax’s measured critique.

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5.5.  This post is dedicated to the Sermon Writer’s Block.

5.  I really liked Michael Bird’s (relatively) short post on how the Penal Substitutionary Atonement and Christus Victor models of atonement work together. 

4.  His biting sarcasm is largely what makes Carl Trueman so popular, but it also makes it easy to miss some of his better stuff.  In an article titled “The Price of Everything,” Trueman suggests that “cynicism, along with its close cousin pessimism, are among two of the greatest contributions that historians can make to the life of the church.” 

3.  Some of you have heard about Harold Camping and his predictions that the end of the world is coming in October of this year (and the rapture is only weeks away!).  W. Robert Godfrey of Westminster Seminary California has written an intriguing, if not sad, series on “Harold Camping and the End of the World”.  It’s worth reading through it, as it’s both insightful and instructive, from someone who has known Camping for a long time.  Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4.  Update: I somehow missed Part 5.  Sorry.

2.  Earlier this morning Justin Taylor posted a really helpful chart called “Differences between Jesus and the Levitical High Priests,” based on Hebrews 7 and 9.  Don’t think I won’t be stealing this for future use.

1.  The aforementioned Carl Trueman has created a bit of a stir, particularly with the “New Calvinist” crowd, recently with some posts regarding American mega-conferences and the celebrity culture of American evangelicalism.  As I said earlier, I think his sarcasm (not to mention his vast use of over-generalization, which granted is a feature of satire but can be counter-productive) can obscure his point.  Never fear, the ever reasonable Tim Challies steps in to help a bit (with links to Trueman’s posts, if you’re interested).  It’s a good read, and a great topic to consider more deeply.  I’d like to think we can learn a thing or two here.

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5.5. This post is dedicated to my old roommate, JP.  He’s an Arizona Wildcat fan, and I’m a UConn fan.  Our teams play each other in the Elite Eight on Saturday, so it’s probably just as well that we aren’t roommates anymore.  That, and we’re both married with kids now, and that would be awkward living together…

5. Nick Norelli reviews Sean McDonough’s (coughgogordonconwellcough) new book, Christ as Creator.  I took McDonough’s Life of Jesus class, so I heard some of his early thoughts on Christ as creator in the gospels.  Looks like a fascinating read.  Now if we can do something about that ridiculous price…

4. Keith & Kristyn Getty (of “In Christ Alone” fame) are offering three free hymns for download on their site, until March 31 (I think). 

3. The incomparable Marcus has given some helpful thoughts on how to build a theological library– and he’s not talking about making bookshelves.  There’s some good advice here.  Or you could do what my coblogger, Brian, does and wait until your friends move and “borrow” their books. 

2. Brian and I were discussing the other day how the Minor Prophets are perhaps the least preached on portion of Scripture.  In his last post, Brian links to a sermon where he tackles a passage in Micah.  Cousin Jeremy has also been posting sermons from his church in Syracuse, starting with sermon series from Hosea and MicahUpdate: A couple hours after I posted this, Cousin Jeremy posted some sermons from Amos.  In fact, he went ahead and made a central location for any more sermon series he will be posting, so you may want to bookmark it. 

1. Speaking of preaching, I commend to you Tom Schreiner’s sermons from his church, Clifton Baptist, in KY.  He’s been doing a series on Romans for a while now (I think he’s up to 29 sermons and he’s only through chapter 7).  You can find a number of other sermon series he’s done, such as Revelation (which I think I’ve linked to before), James, Galatians, etc.

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5.5.  This post is dedicated to my self-respect, which I released when I watched a few episodes of American Idol in a row.  Does it matter that one of the contestants (who made the top 60) used to go to my church?

5.  Louis over at Baker Book House Church Connection (longest blog title ever?) posted some of the titles to be released this year by Baker Publishing.  The highlights for me are Victor Hamilton’s commentary on Exodus, G K Beale’s NT Theology, and Craig Keener’s Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts.

4.  Also in the world of publshing, Fortress Press is offering a 40% off sale of all their titles through the month of March (HT).  Fortress publishes a lot of stuff I couldn’t care less about, but they also publish a number of N T Wright’s best volumes.  If you’re a commentary collector, this could be a good time to purchase something from the Hermeneia series (although even at 40% off they’re still expensive).

3. The active and passive sides of God’s love.  Or, what makes Gordon Fee cry.

2. I need some music recommendations.  I have Christmas gift cards (iTunes, maybe even my Amazon gift card) to use, and would like to update some of my music.  By “update” I don’t mean it has to be new.  In fact, I generally am not a fan of the latest music.  I’ve already purchased some: finally got Mutemath‘s debut album (which has extra live tracks on iTunes) and Lettuce‘s Rage, per the recommendation of my co-blogger, Brian.  I’m leaning towards The Rocketboys, but also have enough money left over to get something else.  Some Stevie Wonder?  Any great blues guitarists (big fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan and old Clapton stuff)?  Great classic rock?  So many options…

1.  Our friends over at Sojourn Community Church have released another album, The Mercy Seat/The War, half Jamie Barnes songs and half Brooks Ritter.  Have a listen!

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5.5.  This post is dedicated to the word “manya,” my daughter’s favorite word.  What started as the word for “milk” (spoken in the manner of an Asian tonal language) has now branched out to “Michael” (her uncle), “banana,” “balloon,” and even “clean up” (as in The Clean Up Song).  Seinfeld fans may even recall Manya from The Pony Remark (fair question, Jerry, fair question).  It’s amazing what this one little word can do.  Manya is the David Grohl of my daughter’s vocabulary. 

5. Not sure how many of our readers have heard of Meredith Kline, but he was an Old Testament professor at Gordon-Conwell a number of years ago; I went to Gordon-Conwell at the same time as his grandson Jonathan.  There is a website up dedicated to him, which includes the audio from classes he taught at a church, including his Kingdom Prologue.  I think I’ve tried 3 times to read that book, but could hardly get 5 pages without losing him.  Maybe his audio is a little… less dry.

4. Zondervan is giving away a copy of Klyne Snodgrass’ commentary on Ephesians, if you’re lucky.

3.A Caution for Expository Preaching” by Iain Murray (HT).  I’m a fan of expository preaching, though I think there are good and bad ways to do it.  Murrary does a good job here. 

2. Another interesting scholar/preacher you should listen to is Rikk Watts.  Watts is an NT professor at Regent College in Vancouver, and used to preach at a church called The Rock Garden.  You can check out his sermons here, especially if you’re into quirky Pentecostal New Testament scholars.  Included are sermon series on Mark, 1 Corinthians, Revelation, Isaiah… you get the picture.

1. It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my love for biblicaltraining.org.  They now have Darrell Bock’s Life of Christ class online, free as usual.

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5.5.  This post is dedicated to not throwing up.  Why do I take you for granted?

5. Great quote posted by Marcus from Blomberg and Kamell’s commentary on James, one that all students of the Bible would do well to read.

4. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I didn’t read his post, but Trevin Wax’s title says it all: Why “Dawn Treader” Will Sink the Narnia Franchise.  I’m not a Lewis junkie, but many of the reviews I’ve seen (again, not reading them thoroughly to avoid spoilers) have been quite positive, so I’m interested in what you Lewis experts think of Wax’s review.

3. Is it wrong that I thought this was funny?  (HT)

2. I never knew the man, never studied under him and have read very few things by him, but at Gordon-Conwell many of the “old guard” had so much respect for him that I couldn’t help but note the passing of theologian Roger Nicole.

1. You haven’t seen much action around here lately because my wife and I (finally) have welcomed our second child and first son to the family (and, unrelated, the previously alluded to sickness).  And here is where I selfishly plug our family blog.  Posting will begin picking up tomorrow, as I’m taking part in the ZECNT blog tour (here for details).  I’ll probably post 3 times (12/15, 17 & 20- give or take a day or two) regarding Grant Osborne’s Matthew commentary.

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