Thursday, March 31, 2005

Blogger Meet Up

We had a blogger meet up. There was several people there, about 12. I think I was surprised to meet someone who actually does Internet ministry as their ministry. That was sort of cool. Check out DJChuang. He is eclectic and interesting.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

NPR : Heirloom Produce, Saving an Heirloom Farm

Sometimes I tell people I grew up on a farm. The truth is much more complicated than that. The truth is that I grew up my younger years in the city and my pre-teen through teen years near my grandparent's farm. But that is a mouthful and people's eyes glaze over when you give too much detail. So, I'm not a farmer but I once played one ....during the summers sometimes. Actually, I enjoyed some of the farm work. The down side of farming is the long hours and low wages. Also, it takes a certain types of talents I just did not have. Even so, through the years, I have enjoyed reading books on agriculture. One that was particularly interesting relates to mercy missions and agriculture is Two Ears Of Corn. Even if you are not a missionary or a farmer there some good thoughts about people, risk, technology, and making decisions. One of the most memorable parts of the book talk about how in communities that are subsistence farmers, crop failure is not business failure, it can mean sickness or even death. So sometimes people are risk adverse and for good reason. The authors talk about ways to introduce new crops and methods without incurring undue risk. Some other books I have read on agriculture come from the local library. Usually they carry some of the books put out by the USDA. Our agriculture sector has gone through a lot of changes the past few years. Some of it is sad, like factory farms. Some of it is good, we have enough food. When I heard the linked below story I thought that this is a part of the good trends going on right now. People who are growing high quality produce and getting paid for it. Isn't this a great country.



NPR : Heirloom Produce, Saving an Heirloom Farm: "The growing trend of restaurants using specialty produce has helped some family farms turn their fortunes around. "


Art Form



I was listening to a writer talk about his craft. Writing is an art form, different than say painting or sculpture. Still yet, an art form. It made me start to think about the art of preaching. I don't mean that in a derogatory way, I mean it in the same way that the artisans in the Old Testament who made the tabernacle and its furniture were filled with the Spirit to do their work. In a way, it seems to me that preaching has become technical, more science less art. Why is that? Some people go about their lives creating and others merely do thier work. I don't think the difference is in what is done, it is how it is done.

Preaching is all about life, beauty, and love. It still has to be true, true to the text and right. But those are not exclusive of the first set of attributes.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Ten Or So Pianos

On the 13th I went with my family to see my oldest daughter play at the FSU 10 Pianos Concert. It was really cool. The best part about the event was that some of the musicians just had zest for life. I’m considering going to some events at the Baltimore Symphony.

EDUCAUSE REVIEW | March/April 2005, Volume 40, Number 2

Mitchell Kapor has published a new article on Open Source software. Something I have said is that everyone doing Open Source has a discipline to follow and is checked by the utility and functionality of the software. There are a million amateur theologians. What keeps them in check? What helps them work through problems so that in the end they have made a significant contribution instead of merely going off on a rant? As often is the case, I'm raising the issue but I don't know that I have the answers.




EDUCAUSE REVIEW | March/April 2005, Volume 40, Number 2: "The Good, the Bad, and the Community

For me, the good things about open source are summed up in the two-word mantra “Anyone can . . . ” In open source projects, anyone can participate, anyone can play a role, anyone can shape a project. If people don’t like the way the code is going, they can fork the code (create a variant), or they can start their own project. By saying that “anyone can,” I don’t mean that literally. Obviously, one needs to have appropriate technical skills, and there is a whole set of subtle barriers to participation in open source communities. But especially when compared with the way proprietary software projects work, open source is indeed an “anyone can” universe. That’s the big upside. That’s why it’s worth investing in and getting involved in open source."

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Ancient Christian Faith: Whence come our 'leaders'?

I would like to hear the reactions others like Jeremy Peirce and Jolly-himself on my friends blog, which he calls The Ancient Christian Faith. Bill and I went to chapel together in Germany. Bill sort of called himself a house church advocate for a while. I'm not sure what he would call himself now, perhaps he would want to transcend description. Before I became a part of the PCA, I thought about house churching it myself, but I did not see it as a sustainable way to lead my family in the faith. Simple questions like, how does my wife keep on with it all when I'm out of town made me say, house churching would not be practical for us. I'm not say house churches are wrong, I'm just saying that I found them wanting in regard to how I was able to lead my family.



The Ancient Christian Faith: Whence come our 'leaders'?: "Introduction to the Problem

It has become an unending source of bewilderment for me to see how many people admit to the un-edifying instruction coming from ‘other’ churches, but respond quickly with, “But ours is different.” Yet when you visit their church you are greeted with the same spiritless pabulum. So, what was the difference? The answer is ‘Them’. What we really have found in all these cases is not the good or bad preacher, but the tendency of people to acquiesce to a sullen mediocrity for fear of futility in the hunt for quality. Tragically, the result of such a decision to acquiesce often means the cessation of their Christian growth, an unconvincing witness to the community, the possible loss of their children to secularity or even to another religion, or worse, the irrecoverable fall into life among the church’s living dead never again to hear the word ‘Arise!’ That there might just be something biblically out of step, systemically wrong, or even deceptive, rarely occurs with any conviction. Or, if it does, it does so without an anchor in hope. The result is no action taken."

Friday, March 25, 2005

Building Bridges Between the NGO and Tech Worlds | Linux Journal

I had thought for some time that mission organizations could use open source software to find a more affordable option for technology. Training issues would be the biggest issue that would have to overcome. I think that the group I am linking to is doing that. The only issue I see here is that NGOs are sort of secular version of traditional mercy mission work. I don't know if the NGO focus would be freindly or hostile toward missionaries. I think at least on the surface they would say they are friendly, but I would worry about subtle issues.




Building Bridges Between the NGO and Tech Worlds | Linux Journal: "Building Bridges Between the NGO and Tech Worlds
By Frederick Noronha on Wed, 2005-03-23 00:00.
An interview with an organizer of Asia Source about what NGOs and OSS technology can do for each other.

Stephanie Hankey believes that non-profit organisations need to have a healthier relationship with technology. She has spent seven years working on developing the relationship between NGOs and technology, most recently as part of Tactical Tech. Her work has resulted in an ambitious event--Asia Source--recently held in Bangalore, India's wannabe Silicon Valley. She was one of the main organisers of this event, intended to be a starting point to help build bridges between non-profits and free software.

"

NPR : Librarian's Picks: One-Word Wonders

Very interesting story on NPR about the new trend in publishing, a history of something that you would think is too common place to have a history. I have seen these popping up in bookstores for some time now. Things I wish someone would write a history on are

1. The Tomato
2. The Joke
3. The Plow

I don't think anyone has written books on these topics from the One-Word Wonder perspective.

NPR : Librarian's Picks: One-Word Wonders: "Readers of history have become accustomed to their favorite books having a certain heft to them. But the trend of micro-histories, books that explore a specific -- sometimes absurdly so -- subject in depth, is threatening to leave weighty tomes on bookstore shelves.

From cod to pencils -- or even screwdrivers -- writers are taking an historical approach to subjects that are often overlooked in modern life. But at their best, the books that result can shed light on obscure topics, or provide a new way of looking at history itself.

Librarian Nancy Pearl is the author of a book of recommended reading, and the model for a librarian action figure."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Best Rugby Player: Allthings2all

One of the better blogs out there advocating the case of Terri Schiavo is Allthing2all. If you have not followed Allthings2all, visit her site.



Allthings2all: "Terri Schiavo: Starving to Death as Courts Quibble, New Appeal Filed

Update 23 March 3.15am EST The Schindlers second appeal to a court in Atlanta to have Terri Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted has been denied. Reported by AP here at Yahoo News. The appeal was denied by a vote of 2-1.

It's World Water Day today. I'm reminded of how ironic the value systems of our world can be. We notice a reminder of the need for provision of adequate water throughout the world, while 41 year old Terri Schiavo is being forced to starve and dehydrate to death."

Wired News: Mendel's Law May Be Flawed

I heard this story on NPR yesterday and in Wired today. If genetics are not what we think they are, what does that say about our use of gentics to make medical decisions? Til we nail this down, how can we ethically make life and death decisions based on genetics?


Wired News: Mendel's Law May Be Flawed: "Challenging a scientific law of inheritance that has stood for 150 years, scientists say plants sometimes select better bits of DNA in order to develop normally even when their predecessors carried genetic flaws.

The conclusion by Purdue University molecular biologists contradicts at least some basic rules of plant evolution that were believed to be absolute since the mid-1800s, when Austrian monk Gregor Mendel experimented with peas and saw that traits are passed on from one generation to the next. Mendelian genetics has been the foundation of both crop hybridization and the understanding of basic cell mutations and trait inheritance."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Living Wills And Terri Schiavo

One of the issues I beleive needs to be addressed from our pulpits is medial ethics. It is one of the most important in our day and culture. This applies to but is not limited to

How is one to die?
How do we avoid breaking the command to not murder?
In what way is health a public issue and not a private issue?
In what way is health a private issue and not a public issue?
Since we don't unlimited resources to spend on health care, how do we act in a Christian way when we come to the realities of limited resources in regard to those who are suffering from illness and/or are dying?
How does one think as a Christian and as a health care professional?
How do we think as Christians when it comes to filling out a living will?
How do we think as a Christian health care professional in carrying out a living will?


I have a living will. In the document that I filled out there were several choices. One was to use a feeding tube or not. I decided to keep the feeding tube. I decided this before I had heard of Terri. A feeding tube in my humble opinion is not keeping someone alive artificially, it is nutrition. The way a living will may be worded, it might imply removing feeding tube is a good decision. However, a good living will does not mean you pick the shortest route to the undertaker when life threatening situations fall upon you. I do not see King Saul's decision to do himself in as a noble one. (1 Samuel 31) Some people may use a living will as a means of suicide but that is putting the living will in the worst possilbe usage. A living will can also say that you want to fight to a point that would seem to most people pointless holding on to the appearance of life. I think we need to be careful how we talk about living wills. This whole area of ethical thinking is still maturing. We do not have a one size fits all solution. A living will should not be a death mechanism. Ideally a living will should be a person's informed understanding of what they believe is right and how they want to carry out what they believe to be right. We need to see this topic preached on so that the members of God's church do have an informed understanding of what is right.

Note: I believe our sexuality also falls into the area of medical ethics but that would deserve a much longer posting to address it and so I will stick to the issue of respect for human life.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Michael Schiavo Slip-up on Larry King



I'm always the doubter when I see things that are too good to be true. I thought I was going to end up checking the statement out on Snoopes.com or something. However, this interview is posted on CNN.com

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0503/18/lkl.01.html

I'm going to add a little more of the interview than was sent to me just so that it is not said it was taken out of context. Also, I can see that Mr. Schiavo has made other statements where he says his wife and him had talked about her desire to not be kept alive artificially. He says that she made such statements in response to a TV program they were watching. I think in a sense he is saying here that being kept alive artificially and the feeding tube are not exactly the same thing so he is deducing what she may or may not have meant.




KING: Have you had any contact with the family today? This is a sad day all the way around, Michael. We know of your dispute.

M. SCHIAVO: I've had no contact with them.

KING: No contact at all?

M. SCHIAVO: No.

KING: Do you understand how they feel?

M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want...

KING: You're not -- it didn't cost you anything. This is not something where you're looking to save money?

M. SCHIAVO: No. There's no money involved. We need to move on from that question. That question has been asked me 50 million times. There is no money!


The image “http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2005/LAW/03/20/schiavo/story.schiavo.file.ap.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Bible Time - Bible Software

The SWORD Project

I have been trying to get Bible Time Software installed on my SUSE Linux box for quite some time. Bible Time is a part of The Sword Project. Last night I finally got it to work. The software itself is free and with their open source model, all the versions of the Bible, commentaries and dictionaries are public domain works. Even so, being without my NIV is not a problem. I grew up using the KJV and so it is not all that big a problem. I memorized a lot of scripture in KJV so I'm comfortable there.

Jollyblogger was talking about the fact that blogging can not really make a reformation, a reformation is one of ideology. The movable type printing press revolutionized the nature of the Bible, the rich and the church could own manuscripts, the middle class could own printed materials. The Bible was not common asset, like our space program is own by the nation not individuals. The printing press eventually made the Bible a personal asset, even one that could be given away.

Someone in my seminary classes mentioned that he was not sure the study of Greek was really an asset for the layman. At one time, in depth Bible study was limited to those with a seminary education. The linguistics study was the part that the common layman could not overcome normally. There were and are notable exceptions. Now with Bible software, the software lets someone study languages day in and day out without a high degree of linguistic training.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Guest Blog by Super[C]orrie

When these people are going to get a bite to eat, where do you think they stop?

These hungry musicians are Superchic[k], a contemporary Christian music group. To learn more [c]lick here. Yeah, that's right they sort of spell their name funny.



This is a guest blog entry by Terry's daughter, Corrie. I was working in the Airport Subway Saturday morning, when a group of people came in for their lunch. As I'm waiting to put the vegetables on the first persons sub I look at the first guy in line. He seems slightly familiar, yet I can't place where I know him from. I then look at the girl in line behind him and think she looks familiar too. Looking at the next person in line I realize who they look like the band Superchic[k]. Knowing that I am probably wrong and this is all a coincidence, I say is a calm voice, "I know this might sound weird, but are you guy's from Superchic[k]?."

"Yeah? How did you know?" They say surprised.

"YES!!!" I shriek.

"Have you been to one of our concerts?" the Guitarist asks.

"Yes. The one at the Baltimore Arena." I reply.

My co-worker, Sabi, and I finished making their subs and got caught up helping other customers. When there was a lull in the crowds of people who want subs, the Bass player came over and gave me their yet unreleased CD. Inside I was like totally awesome!!! I thanked him and he said, "Just don't put it on the Internet."


"Not a problem." I say.

' Like my dad would ever let me do something so illegal.' I think.

They left and I continued on with my work. I was so happy and blessed to meet Superchic[k]. It is really amazing the gifts that God can give you.

Also, Superchic[k] likes Subways cookies and apple pies. So do I.


9 days, 2 hours and 18 minutes from now at this time I posted this Superchic[k] is going to release their newest album, Beauty from Pain.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Prayer For Terri

Lord,

Our sister Terri is suffering. We ask that you would stand on her behalf. We appeal to your that your power would show itself to save her. We ask your mercy upon her and bless her family.

Amen

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Chaos Is My Friend!

Someone commented on Messy Christian's blog that they did not have to take the test to know the answer, nor did I. I'm comfortable with disorder. I like to take risks but I also take precautions. So some people look at my precautions and find me entirely conventional but I don't think that is who I am entirely.




Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (64%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (58%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
personality tests by similarminds.com

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I'm Jack and Kate

So I'm going to copy the Jollyblogger and do two Lost quizes. The first one is I turn out to be Jack.

Take the quiz: "Which LOST character are you?"

Jack
You are Jack You are fighting your inner demons, but deep down inside you know your doing what you think is right.

I always hate it when the test correlates me with a female.

Kate
You are Kate. Breathtakingly beautiful, seemingly
pure of heart, and you can even sew your own
curtains! You listen to Patsy Cline anywhere
and know how to work a farm. Your past haunts
you. An accused criminal, are you innocent or
guilty? The only thing thing we know you're
guilty of is not giving Charlie the attention
he needs.


Which Lost Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Does this somehow show me as in love with myself? I certainly hope not!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Fixing Our Camera and Webshots My Photos

As you probably can see I have added a little JavaScript to my side panel to include my latest three photo albums from Webshots. The three lastest photo albums are Elaine's birthday, Annalee turns 20 and some scenic shots I took on a bicycle ride on Kent Island, Maryland.

We have had a digital camera over three years. A while back we were changing a memory card and pin bent. I tried to find someone to repair the camera. I took it to the store, no luck. They wanted the same amount to fix the camera as a new one costs. I tried to find a way that Canon would repair it. They don't really do that. So I was about to throw the camera away, trash heap it. I decided I will simply try to repair it myself. I got some screw drivers and took the thing apart. I could not get to the pin that was bent even though I had taken it apart quite a bit. I had tried to snag the bent pin with a fishing hook. That did not work. I ended up making a little tool with florist wire and snagged it and bent it back. I sort of wondered what it felt like in days gone by when craftsmen made their own tools. Painters made their own paint. Sort of a cool experience.

Disc Golf

My wife and I went Disc Golfing (a.k.a. Frisbee Golfing) at Burke Lake, VA. We have played in Delawre, Maryland, and Virginia, so we are DELMARVA qualified. I think our next game needs to be in West Virginia. There is a course at Paw-Paw, WV that looks interesting.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I'm Hip Kip

Kip
You are Kip Dynamite and you love technology.




Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

How Armenia "Invented" Christendom - Christian History

Below is a link to a story in Christian History magazine about the beginings of the church in Armenia. While I studied Arabic years ago in California one of my teachers was a Syrian born Armenian, Mr. Attollah. He had a zesty love of learning. His faith was one which had adopted a lot of American Evangelicalism but I think he maintained that his faith was that of a Catholic Armenian.

I found the story below interesting for several reasons. Another is some of the commentary on state-church relations. I do not desire a church supported by our government but we need to be careful about thinking the American system is transcendant, it only one way of many of church and state to relate. If we are to engage culture we must be aware of which principles are transcendant and which are particular to our circumstance.



How Armenia "Invented" Christendom - Christian History: "Tortured for Christ
No man has more stature in the Armenian church today than Gregory the Illuminator. While not the first to bring Christianity to Armenia, Gregory is, at least in the minds of Armenians, the nation's spiritual father and the people's patron saint.

"

I'm Augustine!

I saw Joe Missionary was Martin Luther, I had to see what I was.



"God will not suffer man to have the knowledge of things to come; for if he had prescience
of his prosperity he would be careless; and understanding of his adversity he would be senseless."

You are Augustine!

You love to study tough issues and don't mind it if you lose sleep over them.
Everyone loves you and wants to talk to you and hear your views, you even get things like "nice debating
with you." Yep, you are super smart, even if you are still trying to figure it all out. You're also
very honest, something people admire, even when you do stupid things.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records

I came across this site while surfing on Dave Barry's Blog. While Dave was looking at a humorous name to a cemetary, I found the site interesting for other reasons. In the line of some of my blog entries on Wikipedia and other open development of content, this site is a web application on graves that is maintained by anyone who would like to contribute. I am amazed at how many records are in this site. I have a great-great-grandmother buried in the Whitson cemetery in Laclede County Missouri. It is an off the beaten path, small, family cemetery. I was amazed to find this cemetery in the database. I intend to add her grave to their site. Looking at how many entries some people have made I see that their compulsion to add to the database is like that of blogging, I gotta do it everyday or I'm thinking about my next entry. I get the feel that people who contribute to the site seem to be interested in geneology. However, the person who set up the site likes to visit graves of famous people, like Lucille Ball or Carl Marx. He created the site he thought he needed to carry out his avocation. So there is more than one way to look at how to use the site; finding funny names, geneological research or star search.



Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records: "Find A Grave
"

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Free Books Give Away

Challies.com is giving away some good books. I have included the link here. If you use my referral to enter the drawing it will help my chances of winning.

March Giveaway


link text

Freedom and Structure: A Balancing Act



I've been listening to a book on tape called "Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages" by Richard E. Rubenstein. This book is NOT Christian but it is an extremely interesting book of history which involves the Christian faith. One of the chapters contrasts the organization of the Muslims in medieval Spain with the Christians in Europe. The Muslims basically had religious teachers but not central headquarters. In essence, they had no denomination, Islam was a way of life. The Muslim scholars who studied Aristotle did not entirely connect with Muslim orthodoxy, nor was there mechanism for checking academic freedom they were working within against an official position.




The reconciliation of Aristotle with Muslim thought was attempted by individuals and eventually fizzled. But they did pass on their attempts to Christian scholars in Spain, who took the study of Aristotle to a whole new level. However, they accomplished this by within the medieval Catholic church, not along side her. Rubenstein says that the Christian scholars had "the advantage of backwardness". If I understand it correctly, this means that the lack of sophistication means that they could afford inconstancy for a while and as the scholars continued to study. But a separate advantage that the medieval Christian scholars had over the Muslim scholars is that they had a structure to work within the church. In contrast the Muslim scholars were Muslims of secular professions, like court lawyer, who came in conflict with the clerics. By working within the confines of the church organizational structure, the Christian scholars had less freedom and more oversight from the church. As I understand it, I'm not claim to be an expert here, is that the oversight gave them a rigor in their study which forced them to work harder at reconciling the Aristotelian philosophy with their Christian faith. The Muslim scholars in contrast were allowed a lot of freedom and after they had accomplished the bulk of their work, it was marginalized by the community which it attempted to serve.



Disclaimer

(Mind you, I'm not attempting to criticize Islam, I'm addressing the social phenomena. In other ages, Islam spread quickly and powerfully because they were masters of reconciling their faith to the diverse cultures to which they were spreading. As a Christian, I see reconciling worldveiws with faith as a essential component of spreading the faith.)

Some Reflections Inspired By This Book

The Open Source programming community has rigor imposed by the computer itself. Programming requires a program to work. In contrast, Open Source Theology can actually be done without such rigor; sloppy theological coding so to speak.

In our modern over idealization of academic freedom, we could actually be hurting ourselves by not requiring a rigor in our study that checks our worst tendencies in study. Engineering has a hazing process called calculus to bring rigor to its study. In the past, mastery of Latin and Greek were components which brought rigor to the humanities. In our modern climate we actually have to freedom to be silly. (I don't mean funny either.)

We often seek to influence change by creating new organizations, change may be more effective by coming within and already existing organizations. When reconcile two opposing views, its harder actually reconcile them as an outsider, the tendency is to create a competing idea, an antithesis.




A Bible Text About Reconciling Old Ideas With New

14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, [3] but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. 17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9:14-17 (ESV)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Countries I Have Visited Or Lived In

The red countries are those which I have visited. The grey are those I have not. There is the issue of Austria. I once was on a mountain which formed the border between Germany and Austria but I am not sure if I actually did cross into Austria. Then of course there is the other issue of Egypt and Bahrain where I did not get off the plane. Ireland simularly I did not get out of the airport.



create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Since TulipGirl had a map of the States where she had been, I figured there must be a map with the countries too. So, sort of a hat-tip to TulipGirl

OT Background to Matthew 4:12-17: Jesus Begins to Preach

Text

He (Jesus) withdrew to Galilee after he heard that John had been handed over. And departing from Nazareth he came to dwell in Capernaum by the seaside in the regions of Zabulun and Naphtali. Therefore the prophecy of Isaiah the prophet was fulfilled which said:

The land of Zabulun and
The land of Naphtali,
The way of the sea,
The other side of the Jordan,
Galilee of the nations,

The people who are dwelling in darkness,
A large light they see,
Those who are dwelling in the region of the shadow of death
A light has dawned on them.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is coming.”

Matthew 4:12-17 (My own translation)


Discussion:
The NT contains many quotes from the OT, which give us great exegetical insight to those passages. Observing their method of interpretation may be challenging at times, but worthy of study and meditation. The two versions of the Bible used by the Apostles and early church were the Hebrew Scriptures and the Septuagint (LXX). The LXX was a Greek translation of the OT that had its origin in the community of Hellenistic Jews in Alexandria Egypt. In this particular passage, Matthew chooses not to use the LXX perhaps in order to better connect with Hebraic audience. He also does not feel compelled to make a word for word quote or word for word translation; instead he feels free to emphasize his point of Jesus Galilean ministry as fulfillment of prophecy. He is connecting this new inclusion of the ministry in and around the Gentile nations as being a fulfillment of the Christianity’s Hebraic roots. This is foreshadowing of the spread of the gospel to the nations and foreshadowing of the Great Commission. (The term Gentile can be misleading because of modern usage, this word in the Greek is “nations”; the word in the Hebrew is “foreign nations”. I will simply use the term “nations” in order to emphasis the “every tribe, language, people and nation” nature of the gospel. I also want to de-emphasis the notion of Gentile’s as merely non-Jewish, especially seeing that believers from other nations are grafted into the covenant community which started with Abraham.)

Matthew does not quote the entire passage from Isaiah chapter nine; instead his use of the first few sentences is suggestive of the whole. Often times, the gospel writers bring the reader along slowly in order to bring the reader to a conclusion that at first glance is unpalatable; Jesus is the “Wonderful Counselor, Might God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is 9:6) To the Hebraic Jew, he would know the passage in Isaiah 9, much as culturally we easily recognize this passage. The Hebraic Jew of course would not associate it with the Halleluiah Chorus but with prophecy regarding the Messiah. The Messiah was idea that one would come to save the nation of Israel from their suffering. This was the hope of the Jew for deliverance from the oppression from foreign nations. Instead of the Mighty God being a military leader, the servant-leader Messiah fulfills this prophesy as a preacher. While the Hebraic Jew may have been expecting a military genius like the Maccabees or King David, preaching is the fulfillment of the prophecy. The Messiah subjugates the nations through a message, not a military march.

The region that Matthew is discussing is away from the Jerusalem centric land of Judea. Galilee is north, not across the Jordan as expressed from the text. The original Isaiah passage refers to the Hebrew word rB[, or across. Matthew’s Greek translation is peran, on the other side. The point of reference is that there is an army coming from east to west to attack Galilee. The perspective is the Assyrian invader. Perhaps this is reminding the reader the perspective of Moses and Joshua coming into the land and the idea that Messiah will have a ministry like that of Moses and Joshua. Instead of conquest with the sword, Jesus will conquer the nations through the preaching of the Word. As Joshua arose at the close of Moses ministry; so Jesus arose at the end of John the Baptizer’s ministry. As Moses was on the east side of the Jordan followed by Joshua on the west side; so John the Baptizer was on the Jordan followed by Jesus north in Galilee.

Context of Matthew 4: 12-17

  • Parallel passages: Mark 1:14,15; Luke 4:14-15. These are much shorter and do not have the quote from Isaiah.
  • The context in general
  • Follows the Temptation in the Wilderness
  • Precedes the Call of The Disciple
  • Other places in scripture that mentions Galilee
    • Josh 20:7
    • 1 Kings 9:11
    • 2 Kings 15:29 - “Cabul” good-for-nothing
    • 1 Maccabees 5:23 shows the entire Jewish population as small enough to evacuate in circ. 164 B.C.
    • Luke 1:79 makes an allusion to Isaiah 9.
    • Fifth of the ten fulfillments of OT prophecies in the book of Matthew.

Application:

As Jesus began his ministry, he began it with preaching, the authoritative declaration of the Word of God. In our modern day, we can get side tracked from the main focus of ministry to other nice things:
Counseling
Community Action

Matthew was wise in communicating difficult ideas, inclusion of the “nations”, to Hebraic audience by using OT scriptures.

Jesus began his ministry in an area that others would not have chosen. He worked in an area despised as “Galilee of the Gentiles”. His work started with God’s heart for the nations, his work started with the humble and less noble. When we minister, we must be careful to discern God’s heart.

Funny pic

I saw this and thought it funny. I'm not sure we are really killing Linux by using Windows but its funny propaganda. By the way, I love my Linux box.

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Wired News: Wiki Becomes a Way of Life

While my blog recieves much less traffic than many others, I really enjoy blogging and feel a compulsion to post daily. I don't always find something good to blog about but a day away from the blog is one thinking about the blog anyway. Linked below is a story about some people who are likewise compulsive about their participation in something akin to blogging and that is writing for Wikipedia.





Wired News: Wiki Becomes a Way of Life: "Wiki Becomes a Way of Life

By Daniel Terdiman |

02:00 AM Mar. 08, 2005 PT

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, has 490,000 articles -- in English alone. All together, including its French, German, Italian, Chinese, Spanish and many other versions, it has well over 1.3 million entries.

But without its 16,000 contributors, Wikipedia would be about as useful as a moldy 1978 edition of Encyclopedia Americana. With them, Wikipedia has become the world's largest effort of its kind, and one that is compared to Encyclopedia Britannica in terms of quality and breadth.

Among those 16,000 contributors, there are some whose involvement goes far beyond the call of duty. These are the hard-core Wikipedians who spend long hours writing articles, or tweaking existing ones.

Here are some of these power Wikipedians, and a look at what drives them to give so much to a community of strangers. They are ranked according to Wikipedia's list of the 1,000 Wikipedians who have made the most edits.

Click on the above link to read the stories of several interesting people ...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Messy Christian: How I am now; how I was before

Messy Christian has a testimony of her spiritual journey you should go read. It is encouraging to me. In some ways I have gone through a dark night of the soul that I am starting to come out of. God has been trimming me and pruning me. While I'm not one to run toward pain but I do see that pain that trains and transforms is not something to avoid, it is God's blessing for me. But you will be much more blessed to read MC's testimony. Click the link below.
(Oh, by the way, I really like the art she has as an illustration for her post.)



Messy Christian: How I am now; how I was before: "How I am now; how I was before

I realised, as I walked out of church smiling today, that I am much more peaceful than I was a year ago. Happier even, dare I say.

As they say, what a difference a year makes!"

Friday, March 04, 2005

'Hobbit' fossil likely represents new branch on human family tree | Science Blog

While I was in Hawaii last December I picked up a book on the history of Hawaii, Little Known Tales in Hawaii History by Alton Pryer. Chapter 1 is called The Menehunes: Hawaii's Little People. (Many people have used the word Menehune as a Polynesian sort of leprechan, so that is NOT what I am referring to here.) There may have been a ethnic group of small stature in Hawaii's early history, in fact in the first Hawaiian offical census 65 people claimed to be Menehune descendants. I am wondering if this Hawaian ethnic group related to this story found at Science Blog.



'Hobbit' fossil likely represents new branch on human family tree | Science Blog: "'Hobbit' fossil likely represents new branch on human family tree"

A fossil of a diminutive human nicknamed 'the Hobbit' likely represents a previously unrecognized species of early humans, according to the results of a detailed comparison of the fossil's brain case with those of humans, apes and other human ancestors. Skeptics had argued that the Hobbit, discovered in Indonesia and first announced last fall, could have been an individual who suffered from a disorder that limited brain growth known as microcephaly. The fossils' discoverers had suggested that the Hobbit was either a pygmy form of a known species or a previously undiscovered species of early humans."

Thursday, March 03, 2005

My Geographic Wonderings

Key
  • bold The states I have visited
  • underline The states I have lived in
  • italicize The state I live in now

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Hat Tip: Bigred5 telling me Rebecca Writes had it.