27 November, 2009

Black Friday Tribute - Do Something Different

The following video is intended for mature audiences. I recognize this will be provocative. Let me preface this by saying I am not an advocate of the social gospel. I am an advocate of the true gospel.

23 November, 2009

Unreached People Groups Everywhere Rejoice over New NIV Translation

From the deepest recesses of South American Jungles to the coldest corners of Siberia, native people groups everywhere are rejoicing over the latest announcement that the English-speaking world will be spending millions of dollars for yet another English translation of the Bible. The excitement erupted after Zondervan Publishers announced that it would be making a major revision and update to its New International Version, first released in 1978

"Our goal is to put the NIV into modern English so that people born after 1988 can understand the Scriptures," said Ronald Overbeck, head of research at Zondervan. "We're going to spare no expense to make sure we update the archaic terms and references so that people can read the Bible clearly and easily."

Celebrations erupted throughout the world at the announcement. In some parts people took to the streets for celebrations that went on for days.

"This brings much joy to our hearts," commented Elena Namaeeva, a native Sakha from the Far Eastern Siberian region of Yakutia. "We just got the New Testament in our Sakha language about 3 years ago. We are waiting anxiously for the Old Testament to be released, though they tell us it could still be a while because of a lack of funding. But I'm so happy for our American friends that they will have yet another Bible in their language."

"We are happy for our brothers and sisters in the English-speaking world and rejoice with them," said Amin Modu of the Kanuri people of Nigeria. "While 4 million of my people are still waiting on the complete Bible in our language, it always brings joy to our hearts to know that the Americans will be spending millions of dollars to have yet another Bible in the English language."

With over 100 known complete translations, English Bibles by far dominate the world of Bible publications.

"If you just think of the number of people out there born after 1988, it's staggering" noted Overbeck. "This is virtually an unreached people group in and of itself, a whole generation of x-box playing college dropouts still living with their parents who can't understand the Bible because it's so archaic and hard to read. I think it's high time someone reached out to them."

The revision is expected to take 3 years. Incidentally, there remains some 200 million people worldwide who do not yet have a Bible in their own language.

18 November, 2009

Musical Interlude

Folks, it just doesn't get much better than this. I'd like to kick off the holiday season by spreading this little nugget of cheer around. Hopefully this will get you in the right frame of mind to celebrate the miracle of the incarnation.

Thanks to Fletch at theMangoTimes for this jewel.

13 November, 2009

Dispute over Mark Driscoll Ignites Second Civil War

Seattle, WA

War erupted late Thursday evening amongst various groups of conservative reformed churches around the country citing like or dislike of Mark Driscoll as the primary cause. Churches from California to New York found themselves taking up arms over the issue with groups identifying themselves as either in favor of Driscoll or in favor of abolishing Driscoll.

Driscoll, whose name has become associated with a moment called "The New Calvinism," has been a controversial figure since starting Mars Hill Church in Seattle in 1996. He is criticized by many for his style of preaching and unwillingness to shy away from difficult subjects, often using strong and sometimes blunt language.

So for the war has divided families, denominations and even small towns throughout the United States. Already the little town of Lakeview, Arkansas has seen its share of struggles.

"We are not going to support any man who calls himself a preacher and wears blue jeans and t-shirts in the pulpit," said pastor Larry Porter of First Presbyterian Church in Lakeview. "A preacher wears a tie and a coat when he preaches and that's that. This guy has been infecting our congregation. People are listening to him and watching his hip little podcasts. There are some things worth fighting for and we are not going to put up with this."

But others take a different view.

"So what that he uses strong language every now and then" said pastor Peter Lee of Ninth Presbyterian Church in Lakeview. "So what that he's blunt. Sometimes we need that, and I think we should just overlook some things for the sake of the cause. We love Mark here at our church, and we're willing to fight to keep him preaching."

So far the "war" has been confined to merely threats and nasty emails, but both sides are currently preparing for an all out war with some churches threatening to withdraw from their respective denominations. But in the midst of the chaos some church leaders are frantically trying to step in and resolve the situation peacefully.

"I think we need to be careful here" said pastor Elvin Smith of Grace Reformed Baptist church in Tacoma, Washington. "I really like a lot of what Mark says and some things I don't like. I think we have to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water and be balanced. This is not worth fighting a war over."