[I'll be returning both to "The Story" and "Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes." But this has been on mind lately.]
It’s long been taught in Churches of Christ that –
1. A church is not a true church unless it’s “scripturally organized.”
2. Scripturally organized churches have deacons, but only if they also have elders. If there are no elders, then the deacons become de facto elders and thus the deacons (“diaconate” is the word for the deacons as a group) should be disbanded. Continue reading
What does the Passover mean for us today? Well, we start with what it meant for the Israelites. And for them, it was a remembrance of God’s protection and redemption — when God freed them from the shame of slavery and made them into a free nation.
Several major events in Israelite history are marked by the celebration of the Passover. Here’s a story we don’t tell in fourth grade Bible class. You see, it begins with the fact that the Israelites born in the desert, during the 40 years of wandering, had not been circumcised.
Therefore Joshua had them all circumcised (surely an unpleasant process in an age without antibiotics or anesthesia — and very difficult to explain to fourth graders!) — and then they celebrated the Passover.
You would think that the Song of Moses, famously led by Miriam — legendary leader among Christian feminists — that someone — someone — would have set the words to music. I mean, it’s a very famous song. And this is the only one I could find –
Really. There are lots of songs based on the sequel, found in the Revelation, “The Song of Moses and Lamb,” which has countless Christian variations (some really quite good).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTD8nfgMiKg Continue reading
The Passover is a theme that pervades both the Old and New Testaments. God’s final plague was the Passover, when the Death Angel passed over the oldest Hebrew sons, because Moses had told the Hebrews to take a special meal and to paint their door posts with the blood of the lamb they had eaten. Afterwards, God instructed the Israelites to celebrate the Passover every year. Continue reading
The hard questions
And it we are honest enough with ourselves to recognize that some of the most powerful and most important miracles ever performed by God are of the quiet, subtle kind, then we begin to understand prayer in a very different way. You see, every single prayer is a petition that God do something, and everything that God does is miraculous. That’s the only way that God works.
And if that’s so, then we should be able to see the miracle in every healthy baby, every happy marriage, and every safe journey — that is, in every single answered prayer.
Ah, but this line of thought quickly leads to some very hard questions, and Christians should never be afraid of the hard questions. Here’s one: Why does my hip hurt so much? Why do I need back surgery? Why have two of my best friends lost children in childbirth? Why have I had friends lose children who were teenagers? Why do bad things happen to good people? Continue reading
The YouTube clip is from the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. The lyrics are by Tim Rice. The singer is Donny Osmond, who played Joseph.
The scene is Joseph in prison in Egypt. He’d been imprisoned based on false charges by the wife of Potiphar, an Egyptian official. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers, his father thought that he was dead, he was in prison in Egypt with no friends and no money, and so he was in an utterly hopeless situation.
And yet he sings, “Children of Israel are never alone. … For I have been promised
a land of my own.” He finds comfort in God’s promises to Abraham — his great-grandfather, even though he knows he may never see the promises fulfilled in his own lifetime. Continue reading
Long-time readers will recall that I’m not a fan of Logos Bible Software. I much prefer BibleWorks — which is kind of a Jeep to the Logos’ Jaguar — well, the old versions of each.
Jeeps used to be famous for never breaking. No frills but they run and run and run. Jaguars were famous for being gorgeous vehicles — that were constantly in the shop for repairs. (Things have changed.)
My Logos 4.0 runs incredibly slowly. I have a quad-core computer, 2.50 Ghz, with 4 GB of RAM. And it can take 3 minutes to load. Seriously.
But I keep seeing ads to upgrade to 5.0 — and some of the features are really tempting. The question is whether the new version runs faster — as in nearly instantaneously, since I’m an impatient researcher and writer.
Has anyone had any experience with Logos 5.0? Any speed issues? Is it worth the cost of the upgrade?