Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His Servant?

Poems

Make Up Quiz

Here is the make up quiz.  If you take this, it will replace your lowest score!

Quiz 13

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The Root of All Sin: Why Atheists Can’t Be Happy

Just re-read this. Worth reading again!

EVEDYAHU

[Note: The  full title should be (it would have been too long): The Root of All Sin: Why Atheists Can’t Be Happy and Many Christians Aren’t]

Most Christians are familiar with Jesus’ answer to the Pharisee’s question about the greatest commandment. The question and answer are found in Matthew 22: 36b-40.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Based on this text John Piper has a penetrating analysis on the root of all sin. It is worth reproducing below:

“The root of our sinfulness is the desire for our own…

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Do You Have Eyes to See the Beauty of God?

Being part of the family of God must mean having eyes to see the supreme worth and beauty of God.

A person blind in the physical sense may see a thousand times more glory in the Gospel of Jesus than a person with eyes.

That was certainly true of Fanny Crosby, the Christian songwriter who was bling from childhood and wrote more than five thousand songs to celebrate the glory she saw in Jesus.  Without physical eyes, she saw the “great things” of God.

To God be the glory, great things He has done;

So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

 

[from John Piper – Reading the Bible Supernaturally]


To Play or Not to Play?

Did you know that there is a Theology of Play?  Just ask Jürgen Moltmann.

Now – closer to our times, there is a very important volume on this topic published recently by evangelical Christians.  It is called The Image of God in the Human Body: Essays on Christianity and Sports and you can have it for a mere $149.95 [though it seems to be out of stock on Amazon].

If you play with that kind of money, buy yourself one and then grab an extra copy and send it to me!  🙂

If you don’t play with that kind of money, you can start with this article by Erik Thoennes from Biola University.  Or you may want to listen to the Theology Refresh podcast from Desiring God.

As a ‘player’ [I play soccer almost weekly and I used to play many sports in my youth :)] I am very much interested in this subject and I plan to read some more.  I hope these readings will help me have a healthy/biblical view about this important topic.

I do know that God made Leviathan “to play [some translations ‘sport’] with,” but other than that I have my doubts about play in a Christian context.  What bothers me the most is that Jesus seems to have never played, at least in his last three years of life.  I can see, however, how this is a very special case.

But, did the disciples play?  Did my ‘heroes,’ the Puritans, play?  Hmm…I don’t see much play there either!?

I will have to ponder more on this.  Meanwhile, these resources should help to get us started.  If play is a big part of your life [well, it should not be a BIG part of anyone’s life; I am pretty sure about that] you will benefit if you have a clearer biblical/theological understanding of this.

Now I have to get back to work, lest my friends and family think that all I do is play!  🙂

P.S. I haven’t written much on this blog for quite some time.  Can you guess why?  Yes, you are right, no time for play! 😦

P.S. 2.  If you are one of our students taking Intensive Greek right now, please get back to your studies! I am pretty sure there is no time for you to play! Unless, of course, Greek is child’s play for you!?  🙂


Posting a Sermon

I am trying to see if I can post an audio sermon.

Here it is: Psalm 15 – The Genius of the Reformation

I hope it works!


Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi (1075-1141) – Bekhol-libbi

Judah Halevi (also Yehuda HaleviHebrewיהודה הלויArabicيهوذا هاليفي; c. 1075–1141) was a Spanish Jewish physician, poet and philosopher. He was born in Spain, either in Toledo or Tudela,[1]in 1075[2] or 1086, and died shortly after arriving in Palestine in 1141. Halevi is considered one of the greatest Hebrew poets, celebrated both for his religious and secular poems, many of which appear in present-day liturgy. His greatest philosophical work was The Kuzari. [from Wikipedia]

Here is a great Jewish song (translation only in Romanian) from Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi: With All My Heart.  You can listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsGxLKBXAZE and also read the English translation.

It sounds to me like many English worship songs in our churches, so I do not see why it could not be adapted!?

Bekhol-libbi emet, uvkhol meodi

Din toată inima, o, Adevăr, și cu întreaga mea vârtute

ahavtikha, uvigluiy vesodi.

Te-am iubit, pe față și în taină.

Șemakh negdi, veekh elekh levadi?

Numele Tău e înaintea mea, și unde mă voi duce singur?

Vehu dodi, veekh eșev yehidi?

El e-al meu iubit: cum să rămân stingher?

Vehu neri, veekh yidakh meori?

El e lumina mea: cum mi se va usca făclia?

veekh ețan, vehu mișan beyadi?

Sau cum voi șovăi, când El îmi întărește mâna?

Heqilluni metim: lo yadeu ki

Defăimătorii mei zac morți: n-au știut

qeloni al-kevod șimkha kevodi! 

c-a mea ocară-i perlă pentru mine în cununa Ta?

Maqom chayyay, avarekhekha vechayyay

Temeiul vieții mele, bine te voi cuvânta în viața mea

vezimrati azamerkha beodi.

și Ție-Ți voi cânta cât eu voi fi.


This Coming Year… Eat Your Salad (A Brief Hebrew Lesson)

My kids actually like some vegetables…so I do not have to force feed them greens! 🙂

Due to my increasing pants size (ok – I still wear 34, but it seems that the pants are no longer a normal fit :() I am planning to eat mostly salads in the evening. Perhaps a brief Hebrew lesson and song (see below) should help me (and maybe you) with this resolution…and maybe my lovely wife will either stop cooking her delicious (but quiet rich) desserts, or I will have the wisdom and self-control to eat dessert only for lunch!?

Well – here is the brief Hebrew lesson on salads (from our friends at Learn Hebrew Online):

The one dish you find in almost every Israeli meal is the Israeli Salad (sometimes named “Arabic Salad”). This is a basic salad made of tomatoes and cucumbers thinly sliced and freshly seasoned. We may put it in pita bread, next to an omelet or simply as a meal by itself joined by a piece of bread and some cottage cheese.

Hungry? Well, today you’ll learn how to prepare an Israeli salad as well as the names of the ingredients in the Hebrew language, Don’t forget to cut it קָטָן קָטָן (to small pieces) and invite your family and friends!

Hebrew Words

סָלָט

Transcription: salat

Part of Speech: Noun, masculine

Literal Meaning: salad

Transcription: yerakot

Part of Speech: Noun, masculine, plural

Literal Meaning: vegetables

קָצוּץ

Transcription: katsuts

Part of Speech: adjective, masculine

Literal Meaning: chopped, thinly sliced

Israeli Salad Recipe
Ingredients:

Tomato (f) Agvanya עַגְבָנִיָּה
Cucumber(m) melafefon מְלָפְפוֹן
Onion (m) batsal בָּצָל
Parsley (f) petrozilya פֶּטְרוֹזִילְיָה
Olive Oil (m) shemen zayit שֶׁמֶן זַיִת
Lemon (m) limon לִימוֹן
Salt & pepper (m&m) melax vepilpel מֶלַח וּפִלְפֵּל
Preparation:
1. Slice and dice 2 tomatoes, 1 cucumber and 1 small onion.
2. Combine the veggies in a salad bowl.
3. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, some salt and pepper and 2 tbsp of chopped parsley.
4. Mix, serve and enjoy!

Note:
You may add any other kind of vegetables, fresh leaves (like mint, oregano, or basil), garlic, or olives.

Salad Song
Lyric: Ayin Hillel
Music: Dafna Eilat מילים: ע. הלל
לחן: דפנה אילת

All of our family
Eat salad properly
But I love the most
To eat salad a lot. Etsleinu kol hamishpaxa
Oxlim salat kahalaxa
Aval ani yoter mikol
Salat ohev lizlol. אֶצְלֵנוּ כָּל הַמִּשְׁפָּחָה
אוֹכְלִים סָלָט כַּהֲלָכָה
אֲבָל אֲנִי יוֹתֵר מִכָּל
סָלָט אוֹהֵב לִזְלֹל.
You can listen to Dalia Friedland sing this song here .

Maybe my wife will read this post and I will eat an Israeli salad tonight! 🙂


Saint John Chrysostom (Golden Mouth) on Family and Love

I know this will be controversial (old fashioned etc.), but I am posting it for two reasons.  First, it is relevant to my class on OT Backgrounds because it provides us with an early understanding of the roles of the husband and wife in a Christian family (and I assume they were fairly similar in an OT family).  And second, it describes very well the importance of dependence for love.

Here is the text from Chrysostom (On Living Simply):

In a family the husband needs the wife to prepare his food; to make, mend, and wash his clothes; to fetch water; and to keep the rooms and furniture in the house clean.  The wife needs the husband to till the soil, to build and repair the house, and to earn money to buy the goods they need.

God has put into a man’s heart the capacity to love his wife, and into a woman’s heart the capacity to love her husband.  But their mutual dependence makes them love each other out of necessity also.

At times love within the heart may not be sufficient to maintain the bond of marriage.  But love which comes from material necessity will give that bond the strength it needs to endure times of difficulty.

The same is true for society as a whole.  God has put into every person’s heart the capacity to love his neighbors.  But that love is immeasurably strengthened by their dependence on one another’s skills.


Preaching Psalm 3

I just posted some notes and the message of Psalm 3.

It can be found here.

As always – I am frustrated that I did not have time to prepare better. However, I did learn a lot.
Hopefully – so did my congregation! 🙂


On Dating Biblical Books

I am very much interested in the dating of Biblical books, especially as it pertains to Ecclesiastes and Job.

Usually  – they are both dated late (especially Ecclesiastes).   Of course – there are some scholars that date Ecclesiastes early – in the monarchic period.  Two of these are Dan Fredericks (more recently in his commentary on Ecclesiastes) and Ian Young.

The debate on dating biblical texts is fairly intense. For some relevant links to this debate and also links to some useful articles on dating, see the latest post from Robert Holmstedt.

As you can see, the debate is fairly intense between Ron Hendel and Young, Rezetko etc. .

JoAnn Hacket, Phil David, Lemche, Tania Notarius, Lenzi, George Athas and even Bill Schniedewind pitched in (see the comments on Hendel’s response).  This is certainly getting interesting.

I still think that we need to be humbler in the dating of some (most?) books…because in my opinion “we are working with no data” – to steal a quote from Thomas Lambddin (admittedly – I have no idea in what context he used it :().