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Archive for February, 2007

Job or Jonah for Lent?

For Lent I’ve decided to take something on rather than give something up. It’s not much, but given my already full plate, it will take discipline nonetheless. I have decided to read and meditate on the daily readings found in the Book of Common Prayer. At Ekballo, the blog I use to record things not associated with my professional life, I am posting a verse from each of the four readings (Psalms, OT, NT, Gospels).

I was puzzled today when I stumbled across the Mars Hill Church list of readings for Lent. It appears that they too have used the Book of Common Prayer to suggest daily readings for Lent. But, I was confused to see that the OT reading on the Mars Hill site (and in a Lent Book pdf file available for download) was Job 3. The OT reading in the Book of Common Prayer is Jonah 3:1-4, 11. All other readings, as far as I can tell, are the same as those found in the Book of Common Prayer. I wonder if the Mars Hill person responsible for the suggested readings on their site purposefully substituted Job for Jonah, if there was some trick of the eye between Jon. 3 and Job 3, or if there is a list of daily readings very much like the Book of Common Prayer but differing from in it a few places. It is perplexing. It also makes the following comment on the Mars Hill site possibly less accurate:

And remember many other people are following the same reading schedule-not just the several thousand at Mars Hill, but literally hundreds of thousands of followers around the world.

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To what end exegesis?

I am coming to the end of my second quarter of teaching an exegetical methods and practice course and I am constantly wondering what is the purpose of exegesis. Why do we struggle with structure, grammar, syntax, lexicons, concordances, textual variants, cultural background, a synopsis, and the like? What is it that I hope students can do at the end of ten weeks with me? I’m tossing the questions out there for your consideration. I will think more about it and try to post some ideas later.

Some day…

…I will have more time to post some things. In the meantime I am still 1) writing two book reviews, 2) managing an office that has become increasingly hectic this quarter, 3) looking for an academic position in an educational or publishing community, 4) teaching a two-month long Sunday School series, 5) supporting a wife who has passed her first licensing exam and is studying for the second, 6) teaching Exegetical Methods and Orientation to Theological Studies, 7) preparing for my first go-round with Ephesians next quarter, 8) watching 24, Lost, The Office and Scrubs, 9) spending time with family and friends, and 10) finally, every once in a while fretting about not posting more here. Priorities!

How things are going:

1) I’m pecking away at the reviews. They have only recently become a priority since the due date is approaching. I’m half-way through one and taking notes for the other.

2 & 3) Things are beginning to come to a head in the office. I’ve been managing the visits of several faculty candidates. The field has been narrowed on a few of the searches, so there are less people to coordinate but more serious matters to attend to. I’ll be glad when the searches are done. It is a bit discouraging to be handling these matters, when I have been unable to get anywhere with my own search for a teaching position. Things look more promising in publishing. I’m interviewing with a couple of companies. Working in publishing would be a slight tweak in my vocational aspirations. Not to say I would not love it, just not what I had in mind over eight years ago when this journey began.

4) Going through the second half of Acts with a wonderful class of 70+-year-olds. I’m having fun, but does take up a good bit of time.

5) Gail passed the first exam for an MFT license. I am very proud, and I am confident she will do just as well on the second, more difficult exam.

6&7) Teaching is going well this quarter. Better than last in fact. I still find myself just a step ahead of the students and never quite sure if I am following this best methods. My syllabus is completed for next quarter’s class and I have even set up an online environment that I may experiment with a bit.

8) Awesome! These are my weekly times to recline on the couch, hold Gail, and let the rest of the stuff on my mind take a back seat.

9) Scheduled trips to see family on two occasions in the next month. Should be fun!

10) Well, I have been limited mostly to short notes and longer updates on other parts of my life. Like I said at the beginning, maybe some day I will have time, energy and creativity to post some things of substance in the near future.

“Every church…

…is an emerging church, because it is not yet the kingdom.”

Edmund Gibbs, “Preaching Arts in Emerging Churches.” Theology, News & Notes (Winter 2007), 28.