The journey continues (3): gleaning genitive gems

Imagine landing on a remote deserted island with a small group of people. To your delight, you encounter unknown exotic plants, fruits and animals. Probably before too long names will be assigned. Will your group create names by appearance, smell, function or something else?

In a similar way, grammarians enter the world of language identifying how words function and relate to each other within sentences. Labels are assigned describing these characteristics.

In my journey, I learned Greek alters the forms of its nouns, pronouns and adjectives by sticking little suffix flags on them to indicate their function and relationship within a particular sentence. Neat eh? One of these suffix forms, the genitive, lies at the heart of the controversy swirling around the “faith of Christ.” Continue reading “The journey continues (3): gleaning genitive gems”

In with the old, in with the new

I became aware about a decade ago that our young people no longer know the old songs. They generally sing “contemporary” songs with vigor, but sit silent when many older, “traditional” songs are offered.

Let’s be clear: I am not arguing that traditional songs are better. There are many older songs that lack sufficient biblical content or whose music is not well suited to the words. If a song does not live up to spiritual expectations, new or old, it should probably fade into disuse.

All old songs were new once; all new songs will be old one day. Continue reading “In with the old, in with the new”

Garden first, house second

The tomato seeds are still sitting on the kitchen counter, waiting to be planted. Here it is, way past the last expected frost date, and all the genetic material for juicy deliciousness is still in the form of tiny round, dry discs in paper packets.

This has been a busy spring for — it seems — everything BUT gardening. The delays in planting were begun in February, when a bad case of bronchitis set in. Given the choice of scrumptious heirloom tomatoes and continuing the privilege of breathing, I chose the latter. Continue reading “Garden first, house second”

What babies can know

“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in your sight'” (Luke 10:21 NKJV).

It can sometimes be discouraging to work diligently to proclaim the gospel with little apparent immediate results. Often what results there are may seem to be among the poor and uneducated, or even among the so-called outcasts of society. Paul described the majority of Christians as consisting of “Not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble” (1 Corinthians 1:26). He went on to state, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28). Continue reading “What babies can know”

Be strong and courageous

“I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:5-9 NIV).

What is it like to start a new job, to begin a new project, to begin an exciting challenge? Continue reading “Be strong and courageous”

Free-diving into eternity

Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

Off the coast of Greece, since the days of Plato, free divers have been plunging to depths of 50-100 meters with no breathing apparatus at all to harvest sea sponges. Others do this kind of diving for sport.

But it is extremely dangerous.

In 2013, Nicholas Mevoli died after performing a dive. He resurfaced, signaled “OK,” then lost consciousness, and died. In 2015, Russian free-diver, Natalia Molchanova, who held 41 world records and earned 23 gold medals, plunged into the Mediterranean darkness off the coast of Spain for a recreational dive, and failed to resurface. After a few days, rescue efforts ceased. Continue reading “Free-diving into eternity”

The journey continues (2): analyzing the authorities

Ever sought a second opinion? Why explore additional insight? Aren’t doctors highly educated? Of course they are. Nevertheless, even when professionals are very proficient, sometimes their opinions will vary for a variety of reasons.

Would you be surprised at Greek experts disagreeing? Before delving further into my journey to explore what those “faith of Christ” texts mean, consider a little story about the Greek preposition “eis.”
Continue reading “The journey continues (2): analyzing the authorities”

Jesus Christ gives certainty

In a world that considers everything relative except relativity, Christians need to feel sure of their faith and to find certainty in the truth of the gospel. God is a competent and willing revealer of his eternal plan.

The Bible presents us with proven facts, a coherent history, and verifiable written prophecies of the Lord. There need be no embarrassment about possessing truth. Continue reading “Jesus Christ gives certainty”