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Pick up some free cultural and religious enrichment at Amazon׃ a traditional Hanukah song which is more than reminiscent of the biblical Psalms.
While listening, try to follow along in the Hebrew. (Please try, if only to justify the time I spent typing it out!)
מָעוֹז צוּרִ יְשׁוּעָתִי לְךָ נָאֶה לְשַׁבֵּחַ
תִּכּוֹן בִֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי וְשָׁם תּוֹדָה נְזַבֵּהַ
לְעֵת תָּכִִין מַטְבֵּהַ מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּהַ
אָז אֶגְמוֹר בְּשִׁיר מִזְמוֹר הֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּהַ
O mighty stronghold of my salvation,
To praise You is a delight.
Restore my House of Prayer
And there we will bring a thanksgiving offering.
When You will have prepared the slaughter
For the blaspheming foe,
Then I shall complete with a song of hymn
The dedication of the Altar.
Ma-oz Tzur Y’shu-a-ti Le-cha Na-eh L’sha-bei-ach
Ti-kon Beit T’fi-la-ti V’sham To-da N’za-bei-ach
L’eit Ta-chin Mat-bei-ach Mi-tzar Ha-mi-ga-bei-ach
Az Eg-mor B’shir Miz-mor Cha-nu-kat Ha-miz-bei-ach
Literacy in the U.S. is embarrassingly low.
Nearly 50% of the adult US population reads at a 7th grade level or lower. Nearly 25% has reading proficiency so low they cannot read instructions on medication bottles, the manual that comes with a piece of machinery, or a newspaper. This means roughly 40 million Americans cannot do something as simple and critical as read the handout a pharmacist gives them that warns them of lethal drug interactions.
What does this say about the continued use of the King James Version in American churches?
The kids I have tried to evangelize over the past 10 years can’t even read the New American Standard. I’ve explained the theme verse at my one long-time weekly ministry—”Keep sound wisdom and discretion, so they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck”—to countless low-income junior highers, and I’m not sure any of them ever understood it.
God used the common language of the day in the New Testament, Koine Greek. Koine (Κοινη), in fact, simply means “common.” We should not fear to do the same. The Bible contains some passages and truths that are difficult to understand (2 Pet. 3:16). Some are impossible to grasp without divine enablement (1 Cor. 2:14). But why make understanding impossible by using a language no one in this world speaks?
I’ve already posted a list of a few verses in the KJV that are unintelligible. I just found a new one, Joshua 17:18. “It is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine.”
One of my favorite teachers here at BJU recently read the book above to get insight into some of his more theologically inclined students. I want insight, too, and I had noticed this book riding some blogosphere buzz, so I picked it up. It was engaging, informative, and a nice quick read perfect for walks between home and work.
It also managed to warm my heart toward the Lord; He brought it to me at a time when I needed some help and some rebuke.
This book was three things for me:
- A rebuke: Never be arrogant or cliquish about theology but always humble. That reminder came by way of a) stories about prideful theologues and b) the simple point that grace is not something you can work up for yourself.
- A fascinating narrative: a backstage pass into conservative, gospel-centered American evangelicalism.
- A reminder: Above all this book reminded me that my theology changes my life. My view of God affects me. Your view affects you. Rather than allow myself to be annoyed and frustrated by those who disagree with me, I want by God’s grace to focus on the positive. I want to give the Bible’s view of a powerful, ruling God free reign to change me into His image from glory to glory.
I publish these comments from the latest Themelios with some trepidation: I don’t want to be guilty of these sins. But I publish these comments with some hope: I don’t want to be guilty of these sins!
D. A. Carson:
Because the Internet is spectacularly accessible, almost anyone can voice an opinion or make a claim. In this sense, it is the most “democratic” of the media. Occasionally this means that voices otherwise silenced, voices that should be heard, are indeed heard. Much more commonly, voices multiply that are ill-informed, opinionated, often pretentious and arrogant. A higher percentage of these voices were weeded out when the distribution was via print, radio, or television; by democratizing the delivery system, every voice can be published, and it becomes culturally unacceptable even to suggest that some voices are not worth publishing. This does nothing to enhance either discernment or self-discipline. As Michael Kinsley likes to ask, “How many blogs does the world need?”
The title ‘scholar’ is not one that you should ever apply to yourself, and its current profusion among the chatterati on the blogs is a sign of precisely the kind of arrogance and hubris against which we all need to guard ourselves. Call me old-fashioned, but to me the word ‘scholar’ has an honorific ring. It is something that others give to you when, and only when, you have made a consistent and outstanding contribution to a particular scholarly field (and, no, completion of a Ph.D. does not count). To be blunt, the ability to set up your own blog site and having nothing better to do with your time than warble on incessantly about how clever you are and how idiotic are all those with whom you disagree—well, that does not actually make you eligible to be called a scholar. On the contrary, it rather qualifies you to be a self-important nincompoop, and the self-referential use of the title by so many of that ilk is at best absurd, at worst obnoxious.
Anglicanism is at times beautiful and rich, wicked and nonsensical, funny and sad:
Some years ago, in conversation with a prominent Anglican bishop in Britain, I asked how he would define the mission of the Church of England. After a pause for thought, he said, “I suppose I would say that the mission, so to speak, is to maintain the religious option for those who might be interested.” Needless to say, those who control the commanding heights of British culture do not feel threatened by that understanding of the Christian mission.
—Richard John Neuhaus, FIRST THINGS: On the Square
I cannot recommend this set of CDs highly enough, and I cannot fathom that it’s being sold for $19!
These dramatized recordings of the Narnia stories are so well done—and so gloriously Christian! They catch the spirit of the books in a way the two Disney films haven’t. I am convinced that the reason the films falter (especially the latest) is that the stories were fed through a different worldview, an unregenerated one. How else can you explain the marginalization of Aslan?
I am moved deeply every time I hear Aslan lovingly explain his providence to Shasta in The Horse and His Boy. I ask with sorrow, how can a lost man understand the true meaning of that scene?
You simply must buy this set if you don’t have it!
Note: Rejoice Christian Software’s owner tells me he does not yet have a permanent page set up for this item, so the link above will take you to your shopping cart. But I have ordered many things from this site in the past; it’s totally legit.
See the sad final line from this actual screenshot.
The irony is this: neither does “1,721 friends” really mean 1,721 friends.
A follow-up on my last post:
For a calm, loving, and incisive response to Lisa Miller’s pro-gay opinion piece in Newsweek, see Carl Trueman’s excellent article at Reformation 21. Carl Trueman is always, always worth reading, even if he thinks the blogosphere is a “narcissistic echo-chamber.” He’s right, of course.