Monthly Archives: September 2008
Christ conquers demons, freeing people from oppression.
Christ heals people, freeing us from sickness.
Christ forgives people, freeing us from guilt and sin.
Christ calls people, freeing us from being focused on ourselves.
Christ loves people, freeing us from the futility of trying to earn favor with God.
Christ teaches people, freeing us from misunderstandings about God and his Law.
Christ resists temptation, freeing us from our inclination to always choose our own way over God’s.
Christ comes back from the dead, freeing us from the sting of death.
Christ gives us his Spirit, freeing us from being motivated only by our selfishness.
Christ promises to return, freeing us from despair that history is pointless and not moving anywhere.
(Feel free to add to these in the comments section.)
When Jesus was presented at the temple as a baby, the righteous man, Simeon took Him in his arms and said to Jesus’ mother, Mary, “The thoughts from many hearts will be revealed.”
I’ve always enjoyed good literary ”foreshadowing.” Simeon’s speech foreshadows the rest of Luke’s narrative of Jesus’ teaching ministry. Jesus spoke words that cut to the heart of those listening, words that revealed the selfishness and evil in the hearts of his listeners.
Jesus’ words are imperishable, standing the test of time. I feel the Holy Spirit’s conviction every time I read the Gospels. Jesus’ teaching is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago, and that is precisely why Jesus, during the last week of His earthly ministry, could say frankly, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Jesus’ words find you where you are. His sayings often shock, puzzle, and even anger you, all the while challenging you to greater submission to the will of the Father. Jesus’ words have not passed away because there is no substitute for what He taught through His actions and His life.
Blogging is a unique opportunity to share thoughts and insights with others. But popular blog posts fade so quickly. They are soon buried in the blogosphere. Thoughts and insights come and go.
Perhaps we can learn something from the fast-paced, temporary nature of blogging. All our spiritual pontifications, useful as they may (hopefully) be for a time, are no substitute …
The first presidential debate between Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama. Click here to see the transcript.
Funniest Campaign Moments of Election 2008
Yes We Can? What Our Campaign Slogans Tell Us About America
Clinton Lashes Out at Pro-Lifers
Why We Are Pro-Life
Social Security Crisis’ Dark Side: Abortion
Letter to Bill O’Reilly Regarding the Desecration of the Sacrament
Amazing Hannity & Colmes interview with Gianna Jessen, an abortion survivor with cerebral palsy.
I have had limited access to the internet this week, as I have been leading a mission team in Moldova. But it looks like there has been quite a bit of discussion on two subjects: the gospel and the dis-use of Emergent and Emerging as a label. Here’s a short round-up.
I linked to Greg Gilbert’s post from last week about the two different questions being asked when someone says, “What is the Gospel?” He follows up with two additional posts (part 2, part 3). Michael Spencer responds to Gilbert’s posts here.
Meanwhile, in another part of the blogosphere, Scot McKnight has begun a series looking at how the word “gospel” is used throughout the Bible. See how the word is used in the psalms, in Isaiah, Luke 1, and Luke 2.
On the Emerging Church front, I wrote several months ago that the “Emerging Church” had begun to recede. One of the reasons I predicted this direction was because of the tendency of many to begin distancing themselves from the Emerging label. Now, some within the movement are wondering if the term is dead.
Dan Kimball talks about how the term “Emerging Church” has changed.
Emerging blogger Andrew Jones will no longer use the term.
Out of Ur goes so far as to say R.I.P. to the term.
Scot McKnight is forging a new alliance with Dan Kimball – one that is committed to some of …
Yesterday, I posted part one of my interview with Justin Taylor – editor at Crossway Books and managing editor of the ESV Study Bible. Today, I have a few questions about the maps and illustrations in this Bible – particularly about how they came about.
Trevin Wax: The full-color maps, charts and drawings in this Bible are very helpful. Who is responsible for the maps? How did these come about?
Justin Taylor: Not to get all technical on you, but some background on our maps might be of interest to some readers.
In the year 2000 NASA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency spearheaded a project called the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Its radar system was aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, and it was able to generate “the most complete high-resolution digital topographic database of Earth.”
This database became the basis for the maps found in the ESV Study Bible, which means that the maps found in the ESVSB are using the very best and latest elevation data available anywhere—with precision that wasn’t available even a few years ago. For those interested, here is a brief overview regarding this new level of accuracy we were aiming at:
the terrain shading is at 90-meter elevation
all of the points and lines you see are vector-based (i.e., mathematically defined by latitude-longitude coordinates)
most of the ancient sites have been confirmed by pinpointing actual ruins or modern towns with Google Earth (e.g., you can often see the actual amphitheater, city walls, …
Today and tomorrow, I am interviewing my friend, Justin Taylor - editorial director and associate publisher at Crossway Books. Justin has co-authored several books and maintains a popular blog called “Between Two Worlds.” He lives with his wife and three children in Chicagoland. Knowing that Justin has recently served as managing editor for the ESV Study Bible, I thought that someone should interview him about the Study Bible and his role in helping get this massive project off the ground.
Trevin Wax: Tell me a little about the origin of the ESV Study Bible. How long has this Bible been in the works?
Justin Taylor: After the ESV was published in 2001, people began asking when an ESV Study Bible would be published. Crossway wanted to create a new Study Bible, but also wanted to make sure it was done well and in the right way.
In the spring of 2005 the ball began to role, and by fall of 2005 the main editorial team was in place. The main editorial team consisted of Lane Dennis (executive editor), J. I. Packer (theological editor), Wayne Grudem (general editor), Jack Collins (OT editor), Tom Schreiner (NT editor), and me (project director, managing editor).
Trevin Wax: The ESV Study Bible features contributions from world-renowned evangelical scholars. How did you go about gathering these scholars together for work on this Bible? How were assignments given? Based on field of specialty? The scholars’ interest?
Justin Taylor: The editorial team met together and worked through each book of the Bible, …
Are you interested in some indepth study in the Gospels? Let me point you to four books that will help you in your study.
1. Jesus and the Gospels
Craig Blomberg (Broadman and Holman, 1997)
One of the best evangelical resources on the Gospels. Blomberg does a terrific job of acquainting his readers with information on the scholarly/historical debates surrounding the Gospels, while also offering a survey of the life of Jesus. The final chapter attempts to summarize the “theology of Jesus” and is by itself worth the price of the book.
2. Jesus the Messiah: A Survey of the Life of Christ
Robert H. Stein (IVP Academic, 1996)
Bob Stein’s survey of the life of Christ stands out among other works on the Gospels in the way he summarizes both the teaching and the life of Jesus. It is remarkable how much helpful material Stein is able to include in a relatively brief book.
3. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels
Edited by I. Howard Marshall, Joel B. Green, and Scot McKnight (IVP, 1992)
I am excited to hear that this Dictionary is currently being revised and will eventually be re-released. That said, as it stands, the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels is an important contribution to evangelical scholarship that provides a wealth of important information for Gospels scholars. If you are looking to study the Gospels in detail, you need to have this book on your shelf.
As the sun went down upon His earthly ministry, Jesus publicly predicted His death and resurrection. Sometimes, he spoke subtly, claiming that “the light was among men for just a little while longer.” His time on earth was coming to a close, when His physical presence on earth as Light would no longer be visible.
Christ’s light continues to shine today through his people. We are the Light of the world, as Jesus told us, but the light that is in us does not come from ourselves or our deeds, no matter how holy and righteous we may think ourselves to be.
The luster of our lives is Christ shining His way, His truth, and His life through us. Like the moon reflects the light of the sun back to a dark world, we too reflect the light of Christ to a world of people in darkness.
Jesus’ statement about the brevity of the remaining light of His earthly work applies to each of our lives as well. The light that Jesus shines through our earthly ministry is for just a little while. Time is short, and life is shorter. We must make the most of every opportunity, living each moment to let our light shine before others… while we can.
That’s the way Christ lived while on earth. Even as He approached His suffering and death on the cross, during His final week, He continued to speak …
“The gospel is the proclamation of Jesus, in [two] senses. It is the proclamation announced by Jesus – the arrival of God’s realm of possibility (his “kingdom”) in the midst of human structures of possibility. But it is also the proclamation about Jesus – the good news that in dying and rising, Jesus has made the kingdom he proclaimed available to us.”
- Andy Crouch, Culture Making, page 146