Archaeology & backgrounds. Man alive, talk about a double punch! Just this past Sunday morning while preaching from Matthew 5:27-30, I made reference to the Valley of Gehenna as Jerusalem’s “trash dump.” Then this week I come across this post by Tedd Bolen entitled The Myth of the Burning Garbage Dump of Gehenna. I’ve read and heard of the “Jerusalem trash dump” business from careful scholarship for many years now, so, needless to say, this came as a great surprise to me. That was the first punch. What was the second? My scheduled sermon topic tomorrow morning is … wait for it … lying. Doh! No kidding.
If you’re even half as interested as I am in what life was like in the places where Christianity first got a foothold in the ancient world, you will likely be very interested in a new blog that is about all thing related to the ancient city of Corinth. It’s called simply Corinthians Matters. The site’s self-description reads: “This site is devoted to the archaeological and historical research and study of Corinth and its territory. The site is also designed to educate the public on the ongoing archaeological work of the sites and microregions of the eastern territory.” This site is the work of David Pettegrew, an “Assistant Professor of History at Messiah College near Harrisburg, PA where he teaches classes in Greek and Roman History, Late Antiquity, Historical Mediterranean Archaeology, and Latin.”
Bible. Did you know that Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby, is a long-time Bible collector? Read more in this CNN article entitled Eyeing a national museum, a collector’s bibles hits the road.
Bible interpretation: The “most loved verse” of most, Philippians 4:13, is the subject and Timothy Archer comes right out and says what needs to be said. This may be the most important post you’ll read of those listed here simply because it reminds us that unless Scripture is understood in its context, it will be misunderstood and misused. Spot-on, brother. I Can Do All Things. Incidentally, this verse is a good illustration of why I’m a fan of the Common English Bible. The CEB renders Philippians 4:13 quite well, capturing its meaning in its original context: “I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength.”
Church. It seems as though this must be “National Write Some Exceedingly Good Stuff About Church Week.” Quite a number of fine pieces came through my Google Reader this week about church. Following are three of the best. Dan Bouchelle’s post entitled Too Busy to Bother Driving is required reading. Here’s an excerpt:
“Most churches are busy doing all manner of things. … if not truly important things. But, rare is the church that has a true biblically informed operational vision that guides all they do and gives them the framework to decide what not to do. Everyone with a good idea and the willingness to put some time in can develop a program that consumes church time and resources. … The core problem, I think, is that there is no real consensus about why the church exists. The congregation came into being sometime in the past but no ones seems to remember why because vision leaks. It has been years, if ever, since the entire leadership gathered around the Word and prayerfully asked and studied critical questions like the following …”
Dave Jacobs makes an equally important point in Not All Healthy Things Grow and Reproduce. Who will believe his report, though? I, for one.
Wade Hodges hit the nail on the head as well with his post Before You Go: Leave Your Ideal Church Behind.
And without a doubt, if the post Church in China to Risk Worshipping in Park doesn’t humble us, I shudder to think what it would take to do so. See ya’ Sunday, right?
Computing. Do you subscribe to any e-mailings from businesses who use Epsilon? I do. And if you don’t know if you do, then you’ll definitely want to read Mike Lennon’s post Massive Breach at Epsilon Compromises Customer Lists of Major Brands as well as Kim Komando’s advice on the matter. Jason Stellman’s Googling Ourselves to Death reiterates a point I’ve made earlier here. We all need reminding. And speaking of “all” and “reiterating,” this infographic regarding Web Use Through the Generations just doesn’t ever get old to me. Why? It speaks volumes of how people communicate and how they learn things, things we do well to be aware of if we want to communicate Christ to people and ways that can be effectively heard.
Death & dying. Rob Moll’s piece entitled The Art of Dying addresses a crucial question: “How should the Christian community respond when a member is told he or she has a terminal illness?”
Hate. This ol’ world is not in short supply if it. Unfortunately, it’s not in short supply among many who claim faith in Christ, either. Two posts I saw this week give additional application points to a subject I dealt with the Sunday before last (anger). They are Julie Clawson’s piece entitled Embracing Creation Theology and Rubel Shelly’s FAX of Life entitled People Who Burn the Quran.
Humor. Wish I had wrote this piece. Top Ten Signs Your Pastor Has Caught You Napping During His Sermon. You think this is funny being one who sits in the pew, you ought to read this as a preacher. Pretty funny!
Kindle. “Free” is one of my favorite words and books are one of my joys in life, so when PC World clues me in on how to Find Free and Discounted Kindle E-Books I couldn’t help but take notice. If you have a Kindle, eReaderIQ is a good thing to know about.
Pornography. My sermon last Sunday morning (Toward a Life Without Lust) dealt, in part, with the subject of porn. Jonathan Stormented’s post Cruciform Sex is good stuff along this same line.
Sabbath. Michael Hyatt’s ten minute video interview of Craig Groeschel has some good thoughts on God’s expectations for us in terms of the use of our time and the application of the Sabbath today. If you’re just too busy for ten minutes (well then, you really need this lesson on the Sabbath!), skip to the 6:30 minute mark of the video and go from there. We study the fourth of the Ten Commandments (“keep the Sabbath holy“) in most of our adult Bible classes tomorrow at MoSt Church. And there’s a superb, brief excerpt entitled Busyness from one of Eugene Peterson’s first books, Working the Angles, a classic on ministry.