Are You Having Email Problems?

I’ve received a handful of emails and comments letting me know that sometimes OIJ’s daily emails aren’t going out. Evidently something broke a couple of weeks ago. It would help us track down the problem to know the kinds of email being lost and the date you stopped receiving.

And so … if you’re not getting your emails, I’d appreciate you letting me either in the comments below or by emailing me at jfguin(at)comcast(dot)net. Be sure to mention when they stopped and whether these are daily emails or a confirmation email for a new subscriber or a comment notification email (or whatever other kind of email OIJ may throw off).

Thanks for your help.

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Rick Richardson on the Renewal of Evangelism

In a recent guest post at Ed Stetzer’s blog, Rick Richardson points out barriers to evangelism faced by today’s conservative (evangelical) churches but also some signs of improvement and hope for more effective and vigorous evangelism in the near future.

You should read the entire article at Christianity Today, but here are the bullet points:

#1. Our old paradigms and methods of evangelism feel outmoded, intrusive, and inauthentic for too many people.

#2. Many people and ministries have decided we need to stop sharing the gospel and only show it.

#3. There is a downward trending life-cycle of many Evangelical denominations.

#4. We think no one wants to hear what we have to say.

However, Continue reading

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N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Romans Reconsidered, Part 64 (by sending his Son as a sin offering)

dayrevolutionbegan

N. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplish our salvation.

Romans 8:3-4

This key passage presents some translation difficulties we have to sort through first.

(Rom. 8:3-4 NET)  3 For God achieved what the law [Torah] could not do because it was weakened through the flesh [our propensity to sin]. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin [as a sin offering], he condemned sin in the flesh [of Jesus],  4 so that the righteous requirement of the law [that is, God’s righteous verdict] may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Wright corrects the translation of “and concerning sin” in v. 3 — Continue reading

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Reversing the Millennial Drop Out Problem

In one of the best articles that I’ve read in a very long time, Sam Eaton explains how churches need to change to keep and attract Millennials. And here’s the interesting thing: I’m a Baby Boomer, age 62, the father of four Millennials, and what he wants to see in his church, I want to see in mine.

The Millennial generation is essentially those people born between 1982 and 1994, and so, young people ages 23 to 35 or so.

This is the generation widely criticized for having been raised to have inflated self-esteem and to never have seriously competed. They all got participation awards. Then again, we Baby Boomers are the ones who refused to tell our third grader that he’s got no future as a high school, college, or pro basketball player despite all the trophies he racked up for participation in games where no score was kept. Continue reading

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N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Romans Reconsidered, Part 63 (There is no condemnation)

dayrevolutionbegan

N. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplish our salvation.

Romans 8:1

At last, we arrive at Romans 8, a truly revolutionary chapter.

(Rom. 8:1 NET) There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 

No verse in the Bible has changed my Christian perspective more than this one. Until I read this verse, I believed that there might be saved Christians and damned Christians — as is commonly taught in the Churches of Christ. But “no condemnation” is pretty plain language. For those in King Jesus, there is “no condemnation.” None. Zero. Continue reading

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N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Romans Reconsidered, Chapter 7 Retranslated

dayrevolutionbegan

N. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplish our salvation.

A Re-translation

In most of the previous posts, I’ve offered a revised or annotated translation of the text. I thought it would be interesting — and perhaps even helpful — to accumulate these into a single text.

Unlike the earlier translations, I’ll not show the changes in brackets except where I’m not just translating but also explaining outside the text.

And I hasten to add that this is my own translation, based on my understanding of Wright but not at all the same as his own translation The Kingdom New Testament (which can be bought at Amazon).

Romans chapter 7, modified from the NET Bible translation

1 Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I am speaking to those who know the Torah), that the Torah is the master over a person as long as he lives?  2 For a married woman is bound by Torah to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage.  3 So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she is joined to another man, she is not an adulteress.  4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the Torah through the body of Christ by joining in his death through baptism, so that you could be joined to another, that is, Jesus, the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God. Continue reading

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N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Romans Reconsidered, Part 62 (Wretched man that I am)

dayrevolutionbegan

N. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplish our salvation.

Romans 7:14-17

(Rom. 7:14-17 NET) 14 For we know that the law is spiritual – but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin.  15 For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want– instead, I do what I hate.  16 But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good.  17 But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. 

Wright explains,

When we read this passage in the light of our other investigations into the early Christian understandings of the “end of exile” and the “forgiveness of sins,” we get a clue as to what Paul is saying. Israel’s long “enslavement,” the “continuing exile” of Daniel 9 and many other texts, was not just a long, dreary process of waiting. It was the time in which the strange power called “Sin,” the dark force unleashed by human idolatry, was doing its worst precisely in the people of God. Continue reading

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