Friday, April 6, 2018

Lost in the Translation

Have you ever tried reading an instruction manual for a product that was manufactured in China or Japan? You recognize the words as being English, but you have no idea what it means. Obviously, something was lost in the translation.

As a kid I would ask my dad what a certain Finnish word meant. At times he would pause to think about it. Then he would reply, "there just isn't really a good way to say that in English." I never quite understood that, until I began working with various languages at New Tribes Language Institute. It's not that my dad could not translate the word into English. It's just that it loses some of its meaning in the process of translation. That is often true when trying to convey meaning from one language to another.

An example of this problem is found in Hebrews 12:2. The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to be "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." But what does "looking unto" actually mean?

The Greek word (ἀφοράω; aphoraō) translated "looking unto" occurs just twice in the New Testament. According to Thayer, it means "to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something." English really does not have an equivalent word. The best we can do is to attempt to describe the Greek word with an English phrase. For instance, here is how some English translations have attempted to render that Greek word:

  • (ALT) looking with undivided attention to Jesus…
  • (Amplified) Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus…
  • (Darby) looking steadfastly on Jesus…
  • (HCSB) keeping our eyes on Jesus…
  • (ISV) fixing our attention on Jesus…
  • (NCV) look only to Jesus…
  • (NIV) fix our eyes on Jesus…
  • (WNT) simply fixing our gaze upon Jesus…

I'm told that German has a word which means "off-looking." In other words, look away from everything else and focus on the object of attention. A. B. Simpson wrote, "There must be a constant looking unto Jesus, or, as the German Bible gives it, an off-looking upon Jesus; that is, looking off from the evil, refusing to see it, not letting the mind dwell upon it for a second."

I think that this concept of "off-looking" is important because as human beings we get easily distracted. If we were to ask the apostle Peter about the importance of "off-looking", he would have some words of wisdom for us.

In Matthew 14:29-30 we read, "Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, 'Lord, save me.'" Had Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus and not been distracted by the storm around him, he would have fared much better.

After we are exhorted to be "looking unto Jesus" we are also told in verse 13 to "make straight paths for our feet." I believe that the concept of "off-looking" helps us to do exactly that. How do we make straight paths for our feet? By keeping our eye on the goal and not getting distracted by things that would get us off track.

Recently, I read an account of a boy learning how to drive a tractor. He wrote:

Dad had this notion that you should never look back when plowing. You should pick out a spot, such as a tree or fence post, at the end of the field (sometimes hundreds of yards away) and never take your eyes off of it. Keep focused and never look back. I thought, "How dumb! How are you going to know if you are plowing straight if you don't look back sometimes to see how you're doing?" Throwing Dad's advice out the window I decided to do it my own way, just once. Looking back I tried to make a straight furrow. Problem is, you can't steer very well looking back. You keep trying to jerk the wheel one way or another to overcompensate.

We make straight paths for our feet as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus so as not to be distracted by the myriad of other things that would get us off track.

Before the invention of the GPS or the Loran Navigation System, sailors navigated by the North Star. The reason the North Star is so important for natural navigation is that it sits directly over the North Pole. It is always constant. It never changes. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (13:8). Jesus is the one constant in an ever-changing world. We need to keep our eyes fixed on Him!

I don't know about you, but I get easily side-tracked. Has something like this ever happened to you? I leave my office and head to the kitchen to get a cup of water. As I am walking down the hallway, I realize that I need to pick up some milk and eggs when I go shopping for groceries. My mind begins to compile a shopping list of everything I need to purchase. By the time I get to the kitchen, my list is almost complete. Unfortunately, I have no idea what I need to do in the kitchen. I have totally forgotten about the cup of water that I came to get. It seems like distractions are the curse of my life lately.

Luke wrote:

Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." (Lk. 10:40-42)

Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus will help us to avoid those pesky distractions that are attempting to crowd into our lives to get us off track from the goal.

In commenting on Hebrews 12:1-2 Spurgeon once wrote: "It is ever the Holy Spirit's work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you'll never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold on Jesus." All these are thoughts about self, and we will never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that "Christ is all in all." Remember, therefore, it is not your hold on Christ that saves you — it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you — it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument — it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ, but to Christ; look not to your hope, but to Jesus, the source of your hope — look not to your faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by 'looking unto Jesus.' Keep your eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh on your mind; when you wake in the morning look to Him; when you lie down at night look to Him. Oh! let not your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail you."

Where are you looking? If our eyes are not fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, then we are headed for trouble.

Someone once said:

  • If you want to be distressed, look within.
  • If you want to be defeated, look back.
  • If you want to be dismayed, look ahead.
  • If you want to be discouraged, look around.
  • If you want to be delivered, look to Christ.
  • If you want to be delighted, LOOK UP!

Let's continue to keep "off-looking unto" Jesus as we press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Speaking of goals, I have finally finished writing the textbook on "Issues in Interpretation."

In Christ,

Bob

 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Objectivity and Bible interpretation

Missionaries living in a remote village in the Amazon were beginning to learn the language and culture of the indigenous people that they hoped to reach with the gospel. As they began to develop friendships, there was one particular couple who caught their attention. From their Western perspective, this couple seemed to be “very much in love.” Unlike other married couples in the village, these two “love-birds” did everything together. The missionaries were quite confused when the village elders announced that they were going to have a “marriage counseling session” with this couple who seemed to be hopelessly in love. There was a reason that this couple seemed to be so “close” with one another. In reality, the two were extremely jealous and suspicious of each other. They didn’t dare let their spouse out of sight for fear of adultery. In this Amazonian culture, spouses typically do not “hang out” together as they go about their everyday routine. The missionaries came to the wrong conclusion because they viewed the indigenous people through their Western perspective. A proper grasp of the language and culture of the people helped them to avoid future mistakes as they progressed in their understanding.

Reading the Bible through the lens of our own cultural perspective can only result in drawing wrong conclusions. As students of God’s Word, we need some principles and guidelines that will help us obtain objectivity in our interpretation of Scripture.

When it comes to Bible interpretation context is king! Someone once said, “a text without a context is a pretext for a proof text.” Understanding the context of a passage in scripture is vital for obtaining an objective interpretation.

The method of literal, grammatical-historical interpretation is also important to obtain an objective understanding of the Biblical text. The goal of literal, grammatical-historical interpretation is to discern the author’s intended meaning. We can discover the author’s intended meaning by 1) piecing together the world that he lived in (historical interpretation); 2) studying the entire discourse (literary section) to obtain the context; and 3) considering the grammatical issues within the text.

We need to consciously separate the author’s meaning (interpretation) from the significance for today (application). We need to first ask, “What did the author mean?” Only after that question has been answered should we ask, “What does this mean to me?” Unfortunately, many people skip the first question and jump immediately to the second question.

These are some of the issues I address in the textbook on Issues in Bible Interpretation. This writing project has been a tremendous learning experience for me. I only have a few more chapters left to finish. I would appreciate your prayers as this project nears its completion.

In Christ,

Bob

* * *

Christianity Stands or Falls with the Bible

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. (2 Tim. 3:16)

Christianity is based on a book. It centres in a Person. It expresses itself in a message. It authenticates itself in an experience.

That basic book is the Bible. That central Person is Jesus. That expressive message is the Gospel. That authenticating experience is the new birth.

Think here about that basic book. Christianity stands or falls with the Bible. It is no use saying, as the liberalists or modernists do, that so long as we have Jesus we do not need an infallibly inspired Bible.

Nay, all that we know authentically about the Lord Jesus we owe, and shall keep on owing, to the Bible. To say that so long as we have Jesus we do not need the Bible is about equal to saying that so long as we have the sunshine we don't need the sun.

I have said it many a time, and am surer of it than ever, that the life and death issue of Christianity is the inspiration and authority of the Bible.

If the Bible is uniquely and inerrantly inspired, then we have certainty; we may know real truth about God, about man, about origins, about morals, about the race's future, and about human destiny on the other side of the grave. But if the Bible is not the uniquely and inerrantly inspired Word of God, then (let us be blunt) we do not have certified truth about God, about man, about origins, about morals, about the race's future, or about human destiny in the hereafter: we are only groping.

If the Bible is provenly inspired by the divine Spirit, then Christian theology is truly a science, for by it we may truly "know". But if the Bible is anything less than provably inspired, then Christian theology instead of being "the queen of the sciences", is merely religious philosophy and human speculation.

—J. Sidlow Baxter

 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Accepted in the Beloved

Last spring, I went to a garden expo and learned about hydroponic gardening. It was interesting, so I thought I would give it a try. After killing a few plants, I learned that one key to proper growth is having the right amount of nutrients. The same could probably be said for our Christian growth. We need the correct nutrients in the right quantity in order to grow. Understanding our position in Christ, is vital for our growth in the Lord.

Ephesians 1:6 says, “He made us accepted in the Beloved.”

Miles Stanford wrote, “There are two questions that every believer must settle as soon as possible. The one is, Does God fully accept me? And the second, If so, upon what basis does He do so? This is crucial. What devastation often permeates the life of one, young or old, rich or poor, saved or unsaved, who is not sure of being accepted, even on the human level.”

That is so true.

Keith Hernandez was one of baseball’s top players. He had a lifetime batting average of 300. He won 11 consecutive Golden Glove awards. He won the American League batting championship for having the highest average. He won the American League Most Valuable Player award. He won World Series Most Valuable Player award. Yet with all his accomplishments, he has missed out on something crucially important to him–his father’s acceptance.

One day Keith said to his father, “Dad, I have a lifetime 300 batting average. What more do you want?”

His father replied, “But someday you’re going to look back and say, ‘I could have done more.’”

Keith Hernandez never felt accepted by his earthly father.

For years, I felt like I was on probation with the Heavenly Father. If I got out of line, God was there waiting with a big stick to get me back on the straight and narrow. I did not understand the fact that I was accepted in the Beloved. I felt that my acceptance was based upon my performance.

Lewis Sperry Chafer once wrote, “The child of God under grace has been delivered from the burden of … works. He is not striving to be accepted, but rather is free to live as one who is accepted in Christ (Eph. 1:6). The child of God is not now called upon to live by the energy of his own flesh. He lives in the power of the indwelling Spirit. What he does under grace is not done to secure the favor of God, but it is done because he is already accepted in the Beloved. It is not undertaken in the energy of the flesh, but it is the outliving and manifestation of the power of the indwelling Spirit. It is a life which is lived on the principle that: ‘The just shall live by faith.’”

A. J. Gordon concurred: “So far as the question of the Christian’s acceptance and standing before a righteous law is concerned, God sees nothing from His throne but Christ Jesus alone and altogether. And since the believer is in Him and one with Him, he shares His place in the Father’s heart, and unworthy as he is in himself, yet he may know without a doubt that he is ‘accepted in the Beloved.’”

Living in the light of that precious truth is foundational for our growth.

On Monday, I had the privilege of speaking in chapel and the theme of my message was “Accepted in the Beloved.” Sharing in chapel and speaking at Sanford Bible Church are a couple of ministries that I really enjoy. It’s kind of a change of pace from trouble shooting computer problems and writing a book.

Speaking of writing, the text book on Bible Interpretation is coming right along. I only have a few more chapters to go. But I find that I really need to budget my time so that I can see this project through to completion. I sure appreciate your prayers for good time management on my part. And less distractions would be helpful also.

There is certainly no end of ministry opportunities here. But one of these days, I am determined to get out my fishing pole and do some fishing. Yup. I definitely need to do that someday!

In Christ,

Bob

* * *

The Just Shall Live by Faith

 

There are earnest Christians who are jealous for a free Gospel, with acceptance of Christ, and justification by faith alone. But after this they think everything depends on their diligence and faithfulness. While they firmly grasp the truth, ‘justified by faith,’ they have hardly noticed the larger truth, ‘the just shall live by faith.’ They have not yet understood what a perfect Saviour the Lord Jesus is, and how He will each day do for the sinner just as much as He did the first day when they came to Him. They know not that the life of grace is always and only a life of faith, and that in the relationship to the Lord Jesus the one daily and unceasing duty of the disciple is to believe, because believing is the one channel through which Divine grace and strength can flow into the heart of man. The old nature of the believer remains evil and sinful to the last; it is only as he daily comes, all empty and helpless, to his Saviour to receive of His life and strength, that he can bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the glory of God.

-Andrew Murray

 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Where did the ibis go?

On Friday September 8th I was looking out my window watching a flock of ibis pecking away at the ground outside my front door as they were feasting on worms and bugs. Hardly a day goes by without seeing ibis banqueting outside my house. I thought to myself, “You poor dumb creatures have no idea what is in store for you in a few short hours!” Earlier that morning, Allegiant Airlines sent me a text message which said that my flight to Missouri had been canceled. Hurricane Irma was barreling toward Florida and I had to quickly shift into disaster preparation mode. But those poor dumb birds were contentedly dining on fine-fowl cuisine and were totally oblivious to the impending disaster. The following day the ibis were gone. Not a single hide, hair nor ibis feather was to be seen. Legend has it that the ibis are the last creatures to leave before a hurricane hits and the first to return following the devastation. I’ve asked the old timers around here, “where do the ibis go when a storm is approaching?” No one seems to know. But somehow, God gave them enough sense to get out of harm’s way.

Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt. 6:26)”

God took care of the ibis when Irma hit, and He also protected us here at NTM Homes from the wrath of the storm. There was hardly any property damage here. We were without power for 3 days, but that was more of an inconvenience than anything else. And I was able to get a flight to Missouri the following Friday so that I could help out with the Culture-Language Acquisition course there. I was gone 5 weeks and had a great time with my friends in the area and with my co-workers there at the Missionary Training Center.

At this Thanksgiving season, I have much to be thankful for!

A year ago, I announced that I would be retiring and moving to Florida. I really was not sure what to expect. I know that many missionaries lost a significant amount of their support when they retired. My plans were to delay taking Social Security until January 2018. Knowing that the cost of living in Florida is higher than Missouri was a concern. Yet for me personally, my support level has stayed roughly the same as it has been the last few years. The continued financial support from my ministry partners for 2017 has been a huge blessing.

The old hymn tells us to “count our blessings.” As we reflect upon God’s mercies and bounties toward us at this season of Thanksgiving, I am praising Him for all who have touched my life with their prayers as well as through their financial support.

In Christ,

Bob

* * *

Where Are the Nine?

 

Wand’ring afar from the dwellings of men,

Hear the sad cry of the lepers, the ten;

“Jesus have mercy!” brings healing divine,

One came to worship, but where are the nine?

 

Loudly the stranger sang praise to the Lord,

Knowing the cure had been wrought by His word,

Gratefully owning the Healer divine;

Jesus says tenderly, “Where are the nine?”

 

Where are the nine? Where are the nine?

Were there not ten cleansed?

Where are the nine?

 

 

 

The Remorse of Nine Ungrateful Lepers

 

I meant to go back, but you may guess

I was filled with amazement, I cannot express

To think that after those horrible years,

That passion of loathing and passion of fears,

Of sores unendurable—eaten, defiled—

My flesh was as smooth as the flesh of a child.

I was drunken with joy; I was crazy with glee;

I scarcely could walk and I scarcely could see,

For the dazzle of sunshine where all had been black;

But I meant to go back, Oh, I meant to go back!

I had thought to return, when people came out;

There were tears of rejoicing and laughter and shout;

My cup was so full I seemed nothing to lack!

But I meant to go back, Oh, I meant to go back!

 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Is inerrancy compatible with inspired fiction?

I am making good progress on the hermeneutics textbook which I am writing—Issues in Interpretation. I have four more chapters to finish. They are:

  • How to Obtain Objectivity in Interpretation
  • Covenant Theology vs. Dispensational Theology
  • Progressive Dispensationalism
  • The New Apostolic Reformation

A friend of mine recently wrote an excellent paper on Replacement Theology. That was one of the chapters that I wanted to include in this textbook. His paper also covered two other topics that I wanted in the book. So, he agreed to write three chapters for me.

I really believe that the subject of Bible interpretation is an extremely important topic facing the church today. Even our conservative seminaries and Bible colleges are teaching some pretty strange things about Bible interpretation.

Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary wrote a book titled Can We Still Believe the Bible? His conclusion is that we can still believe the Bible, if we learn to distinguish between inspired fiction and inspired history. What is inspired fiction? According to a number of seminary professors the authors of the Bible simply made up stories such as Jonah and the Great Fish in order to illustrate certain theological points they were trying to make.

In his commentary on Matthew, seminary professor Robert Gundry wrote, “Don’t assume that narratives in the Bible are actual history!” In other words, Bible narratives include inspired fiction.

Michael Licona, Professor of Theology at Houston Baptist University, suggests that the account of Old Testament saints being raised from the dead at Jesus’ crucifixion should not be understood as historical fact—it was simply inspired fiction.

Now you would fully expect to find such teaching at liberal seminaries. But these are conservative schools. And these men all claim to believe in the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. Let’s not forget that what is being taught in our seminaries today is what will be preached in our churches tomorrow. We really need more people addressing these issues. And on a personal note, I really do appreciate your prayers for this writing project.

In Christ,

Bob

* * *

God Uses the Weak

For when I am weak, then am I strong.
(2 Cor 12:10b)

“God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him.”
-Hudson Taylor, missionary to China

 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fulfill Does Not Always Mean Fulfill

Last month I mentioned a textbook I am writing titled Hermeneutics 2—Issues in Interpretation. I am about halfway finished with that project. I have a couple of fellows here who have been reading each chapter and offering their insights. That has been a huge blessing and has helped to expedite the process.

Each chapter ends with a homework assignment. Trying to develop meaningful assignments has been one of the bigger challenges for me. Writing the actual content is a piece of cake compared to developing good assignments for each chapter. That is where I often find myself facing "writer's block."

The chapters that I am currently working on have been both a challenge and a learning opportunity for me. They have to do with a sticky issue regarding how New Testament authors interpreted passages of scripture from the Old Testament.

Dr. Roy Zuck, in his book Basic Bible Interpretation, stated: "The use of the Old Testament in the New Testament is one of the most difficult aspects of Bible interpretation."

I could not agree more!

Here's is the problem that we face. Throughout the New Testament we often see the use of a phrase which seems to indicate a "fulfillment" of prophecy. For example, Matthew wrote, "This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, 'Out of Egypt I called My Son'" (Mt. 2:15). By reading the English text you would assume that this is a fulfillment of prophecy. But if you look at the context in the book of Hosea, you will discover that the original statement in the Old Testament has nothing to do with a prophetic utterance. Hosea was simply stating a historical fact. The eleventh chapter of Hosea records how God delivered the nation of Israel from bondage by taking them out of Egypt. Hosea was actually alluding to the book of Exodus when God commissioned Moses to confront Pharaoh.

And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn."'" (Ex. 4:21-23)

As we examine the Old Testament passages, we see that Hosea was not predicting that Joseph and Mary would take baby Jesus to Egypt. Yet as we read our English Bibles, it appears that Matthew was saying that Hosea prophesied that Jesus' parents would take Him to Egypt.

Some Bible teachers claim that New Testament authors, such as Matthew, changed the meaning of Old Testament texts. If this is true, then it brings into question the hermeneutical principle of literal, historical-grammatical interpretation.

Personally, I think that there is a better way of resolving this dilemma.

One of the problems in translating words from one language into another language is that usually there are no exact equivalents of terms between two languages. A word in any particular language has a range of meaning. When you look up a word in a Greek-English lexicon, you will typically find a number of possibilities. This is true for the Greek word that is translated fulfill in our English Bibles. The Greek word πληρόω means to fill, complete or fulfill. It is used 90 times in the New Testament. In 62 occurrences, it has nothing to do with prophecy. For example, it can mean to fill a net with fish or to fill a house with a fragrant odor. In 28 occurrences, it seems to be related to prophecy. But in a number of those occurrences the Old Testament passage is not a prophetic prediction.

So rather than thinking of πληρόω as being an actual fulfillment of a prophecy, in some cases it is better to think of it as being the completion of an analogy. For instance, Matthew drew parallels or comparisons between events that he was writing about and historical events in the Old Testament. As he described New Testament events, he used the Old Testament to "fill in" or "complete" (πληρόω) the scene that he was depicting. I think that this is a much better explanation of a New Testament author quoting an Old Testament passage which was actually as statement of fact rather than a prediction of a future event. Of course, there are a number of actual Old Testament prophecies predicting future events. In those cases, the Greek word πληρόω really does mean the fulfillment of a prophecy.

Dr. Andy Woods has a great article on this topic:

http://www.spiritandtruth.org/teaching/documents/articles/11/11.pdf?x=x

This has been a fun project for me and a good learning opportunity. I sure need wisdom and creativity for this textbook—especially when I face writer's block.

In Christ,

Bob

* * *

Where Are You Looking?

If you want to be distressed,
look within.

If you want to be defeated,
look back.

If you want to be dismayed,
look ahead.

If you want to be discouraged,
look around.

If you want to be delivered,
look to Christ.

If you want to be delighted,
LOOK UP!

 

 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Keeping Busy!

When the queen of Sheba visited Israel, she said to Solomon, “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me.”

I kind of feel that way about retirement. People warned me that their life became more hectic AFTER they retired. But indeed the half was not told me! Wow, have I been busy!

Here’s some things I have been doing in my “spare” time:

  • Helping folks with their computers, tablets, cell phones, MP3 players, printers, email, internet connections, web browsers, etc.
  • Learning just enough about the Linux operating system to be dangerous! Well, actually my purpose is to help people with their Linux problems.
  • Helping people digitize music from cassette / LP records.
  • Helping with a videography project for someone in Australia.
  • Running the NTM Homes sound board for chapel.
  • Speaking at chapel and church.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. The main project I am working on is writing a textbook for Bold Grace Ministries. The book is titled Hermeneutics 2—Issues in Interpretation. Here are some of the proposed chapters:

  • How to Obtain Objectivity in Interpretation
  • The Hermeneutics of Augustine—Mr. Allegory
  • The Dangers of Allegorical Interpretation
  • Paul’s Use of Allegory in Galatians
  • Covenant Theology vs. Dispensational Theology
  • The Importance of Old Testament Priority in Interpretation
  • Matthew’s Use of Hosea 11:1
  • Complementary Hermeneutics & Progressive Dispensationalism
  • When Did the Church Begin?
  • The Church as a Mystery
  • Replacement Theology
  • A New Perspective on Paul
  • The Hyper-Grace Controversy
  • The Hermeneutics of the Word of Faith Movement

I am familiar with most of these topics. However, some have required a fair bit of research on my part to get up to speed. I feel like I have spent most of my time doing research and very little time actually writing. I must admit that I am somewhat obsessive-compulsive when it comes to writing. I almost feel like I need to know everything there is to know about a topic, before I feel confident enough to write intelligibly on the subject matter. The deadline for the book is July of next year. But with all these other “odd jobs” taking time, I am somewhat nervous that I might not be budgeting my time appropriately. So I keep telling myself, “Less research and more writing!!!”

And if that is not enough, I will be flying back to the Missionary Training Center for 2 months to help with the course there.

I do appreciate your prayers on my behalf. I especially need to be wise in the area of time management, and need wisdom as I put my thoughts into writing.

Bob

* * *

Let Freedom Ring

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

—The US Constitution

“The framers of our Constitution meant we were to have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.”

—Billy Graham

“Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged”

—Ronald Reagan

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

—James Madison