Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

September 24, 2008

Tent of Shem

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 11:50 am

Read the Noahic oracle –  Gen 9:20-27. Given that the flood is a re-creation event, having numerous parallels with creation itself, the oracle functions just as the proto-evangelium did in Gen 3:15. It provides further ilumination on redemptive history. Canaan (son of Ham) will be cursed and on the receiving end of judgment and Japheth will be brought in to the tent of Shem. Canaan has certainly turned out to be the whipping boy of history, and Japheth (signifying the Gentiles in general) have been brought into covenant relationship with God.

Now read Acts 10. Here is the historical event that inaugurates the fulfillment of the Japheth-Shem portion of Noah’s oracle.

Presumably, reflecting on these two historical events, you will agree that Gen 9:20-27 and Acts 10 bear the promise-fulfillment relationship that characterizes redemptive history.

Now re-read Acts 10:48. My question to you is this: Did Peter command them to be baptized because a) they were now believers (i.e. Peter was a credo-baptist) or b) they were now Japheth brought into the tent of Shem and had to be given the sacramental sign of such inclusion (i.e. Peter believed in covenant theology)?

A second question is much more problematic, but I think helps immensely to answer the first question. Why did Peter command them to be baptised? My experience as an observer in credo-baptist circles is that in every case the expectation was that believers would volunteer for baptism when they feel that they are really ready to get serious about this Jesus business and then make a request for it to be done. Never have I seen anyone commanded to get baptised  in credo-baptist circles.

This passage should be relevant to the upcoming Hoagies&Stogies debate, Oct 4, 2008.

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August 18, 2008

Poleasing the Internet

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 10:08 pm

Now for a quick diversion from the usual fare. Over the last 12 months I have been collecting snippets of comments on blogs on the Internet. Not just blogs but also from comboxes that places like ESPN have for basically all their sports articles.

I’ve had a form of this hobby that goes all the way back to my days as a CTA bus driver in Chicago. What I used to do driving around Chicago was "collect" signs that various small businesses would hang outside their establishments. I only remember one after all these years. It was a dry cleaning place somewhere in northwest Chicago that read: "5 hour service. In by 10 out by 5."

Now I collect spelling gaffes, homonym screw-ups and basically anything that serves to demonstrate the claim that America has a 30% illiteracy rate. And they’re really funny. Except (or is it "accept")  for those that just drive me crazy. One other thing – if you find yourself in here, sorry. If you know you should be here but are not, sorry again.

So, the first category consists of the ones – or is it "one’s" – that drive me crazy.

  • If you aren’t cheating, your not trying!?
  • Whose to say they are right in the first place, and where does it end?
  • He is a gutless pretty boy who’s time is passed.
  • for all intensive purposes.
  • There will be future incidences,
  • this is a move the yanks should of considered
  • here you have too classy guys that always give credit where credit is due
  • Others include Cal Ripken jr, tony gwynn and theirs probably some more

That first one –  "your" instead of "you’re" – is without a doubt the most common one I see. What really gets me on that one is to be consistent he should have said "If your not cheating, your not trying". But somehow he got it half right. Mixups with "their", "there", and "they’re" are pretty common but the one above is choice since it has a triple mistake. He was going for a "there is" and couldn’t muster up "there’s". I’m thinking "there are" was the ticket. Also, the "to", "too", and "two" mixup (which happens so often I stopped collecting them along with  its vs. it’s and the dropped apostrophes on possesives) nearly always manifests itself with a "to" where there should be a "too". Finding "too" instead of "two" is one of my prize finds.

This next category consists of goofy spelling blow-ups some of which also drive me a little crazy.

  •  it is very, very difficult for the country to make laws that require us to violate our religious tenants.
  • I’m not a legal begal.
  • I only like to watch the team I route for
  • albeit it is a testimate to . . . .
  • May his sole rot in the furnace below.
  • seek some out at the health food shop, it doe’s you good.
  • You reap what you sew
  • I have a brother named Joshua, by your rational, the Joshua mentioned in the Torah is my bro.
  • he hasn’t exactly been dominate in AA.
  • I would be much more conscience of the fact that I caught their ball in their ballpark.
  • In fact I may loose all of my potential readers after this post
  • this topic gets tossed immediately if it segways into that
  • As Tigers fans we were all worried that we wouldent be able to sign him.
  • I have been offered a trade that has peeked my interest.
  • I’m a diehard detroit fan so I am exstatic that we got the deal done.
  • shows how much faith they have in their new receiving core!
  • their roll has expanded as the season progresses.
  • put a steak in the ground.
  • Wie one shot off finaly reaching par at Evian Masters

That last one was an actual headline on an ESPN article. Reminds me of a commercial I saw quite some time ago when a national TV ad selling some car boasted about its "duel" carburetors.

This next category is a special category that consists of really bad gaffes made by those internet police who self-referentially screw up while pointing out stupid screw ups. Finding one of these is like finding gold.

  • Secondly to show more of Sheff’s ignorance he says " me and barry aint got no communication". Since I have taken a 3rd grade enlish class and a sixth grade math class in my life time I know that a double negative equals a posotive.
  • instead of trying to get in fights on the internet, stay in school and for god’s sake pick up an english book and learn how to spell and use proper grammer.
  • Uneducated bafoons Oh the irony
  • I was like that no-it-all in math class who couldn’t wait to show off

That last one is actually hard to classify. I guess he was policing himself and got it wrong while doing so.

This next category is also a special category. These are those gaffes that just look wrong but the correct word isn’t immediately obvious. In fact, these couple of errors go back to what got me started collecting internet screwups in the first place. I ran across someone who wrote the phrase "bear in mind". Somehow, that just struck me as funny, picturing some guy with a grizzly bear in his head. I just knew it was wrong and racked (or is it wracked) my brain trying to figure out the correct spelling. Well, obviously "bear in mind" is not a mistake. I just thought it was. However, these two are actual mistakes that not only look wrong but are wrong:

  • Sounds pretty wreckless to me
  • Because you give away tickets to people who only want to see guys stand and wail on each other.

This next group are right up there as my favorites. They just make me laugh.

  • As to Frank Thomas-well if he is not a shoe in then I do not know why.
  • if I snitch u might wined up dead
  • He has have had a very negative attitude
  • then you can leave with your dignity in tack
  • See exactly how (and whom) wins it all.
  • They have been warned before, and just like the players in this league that use HGH or other illegal performance drugs, should be punished unmercilessly.

These last two are my (so far) all time favorites.

  • Ooops… There are no missals in Cuba should read there are no Missles in Cuba…
  •  "I didn’t hit nobody," Cabrera said Saturday, speaking through a translator

Comments for this post are on, but be careful. I’m offering a free burrito for the reader that is the first to spot a mistake of my own here, not counting punctuation.

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June 23, 2008

Why I’m a Bi

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 8:34 pm

The tri-partite option hails from Greek philosophy. Oddly, Greek philosophers saw man quite naturally as a body and a spirit but felt compelled to introduce the soul as an intermediary element or agent to make possible a mutual or vital relationship between body and spirit. This trichotomy (another name for the tri-partite view) slipped into Christian theology like a trojan horse. Origen, Clement of Alexandria and Gregory of Nyssa all held to the tri-partite view. Though their implementations of trichotomy weren’t identical to each other or to that of the Greek philosophers, trichotomy was a fairly widespread view in the early church i.e. the third and fourth centuries A.D. Thanks to Apollinarius who employed this view and with it derived a seriously flawed Christology, the Christological debates which dominated this era resulted in the trichotomy position being abandoned. As well, Augustine among others challenged that view and gradually dichotomy held sway in the church pretty much without exception all the way well past the Reformation and even into the modern church.

The chair passage for the dichotomy position – and one that should settle the matter for any believer – is Gen 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (nephesh chayyah). This explicitly states the dichotomist position. There is no possible room for a third element. These words of Jesus himself offer more evidence, as if any was needed, for the dichotomist position. Matthew 10:28 “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“.

Again, consider this: Luke 1:46-47 “And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Agreeably, a virtual carbon of this verse, albeit with different context, is found in Isaiah 26:9 My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. The side-by-side placement of the soul and spirit in these two instances clearly point out that scripture uses soul and spirit interchangeably. The soul and the spirit thus are two aspects – amongst several other aspects – of the immaterial portion of man.

Trichotomists resort to 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.“and Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Sadly, they ignore the rest of scripture and conclude that man is a tri-partite being. My own observation about the seemingly more difficult Hebrews passage is that this verse actually supports the dichotomist position. Why would it require a living, active and sharp sword to divide what ostensibly are already two parts of man’s being? Rather, this verse suggests the difficulty man has in sorting out the various aspects of the non-material portion of man’s makeup.

Enough of this for now. My next post will detail some of the bad things that result when the trichotomist position is held.

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June 16, 2008

Are you Bi ? Or are you Tri ?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 6:03 pm

Or maybe you’re mono. What am I talking about, you ask? I am talking about a seemingly minor point of doctrine that in the case of a few of my readers (a quick check of my blog stats indicates that I do indeed have few readers) is so trivial and inconsequential that it really isn’t worth the time of day. But for me, having been fully indoctrinated into a teaching that [on further review] turns out to be very suspect, discovering the reformed teaching on this point has elevated this minor point into a cause celebre, if you will.

The doctrine of man, among other things, addresses the question: Is man a bi-partite being or a tri-partite being? Before diving in, I guess it is only fair to consider the mono option. You may be a mono in either of two ways. Atheists are mono in that they maintain that man, in fact everything in the universe, is physical. There is no immaterial thing whatever. On the other hand, the Hindoos (don’t you like the way they formerly spelled that word) maintain that man, indeed the entire universe, is entirely immaterial and the physical world is an illusion. [I could be corrected on that point, but it doesn’t matter – pun intended.]

But for the rest of us, the question comes down to this: Is man a bi-partite being or a tri-partite being? As you might guess, all the while I was in the pentecostal non-denomination world, I was told that man is a tri-partite being. Man consists of a body, a soul and a spirit. The Reformed position on this doctrine is that man consists of exactly two parts, the material and the immaterial. I will weigh in with a subsequent post. Meanwhile, comments are open for your thoughts.

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June 13, 2008

Movie Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 8:00 pm

As I reported a long while back, we hosted movie nights for seminarian friends from our church on alternate Sunday nights over the last 12 months. These are the movies we watched in no particular order:

Last of the Mohicans
3:10 to Yuma
Batman Returns
World’s Fastest Indian
Ground Hog Day
North By Northwest
Witness for the Prosecution
Quiet Man
Hot Rock
Billy Budd
The Rundown
Martin Luther
The Drunken Master
Harry Potter 1-4
Brother Wherefore Art Thou There Will Be Blood
Two Steven Spielberg Stories – The Mummy and The Train

Here’s my top five from the above list (in order)

  1. Billy Budd
  2. Witness for the Prosecution
  3. Brother Wherefore Art Thou
  4. World’s Fastest Indian
  5. Groundhog Day

Honorable mention: Tombstone, There Will Be Blood

Disappointments were the Harry Potter series, Last of the Mohicans, Gladiator

These are Deborah’s top five:

  1. Quiet Man
  2. Witness for the Prosecution
  3. Hot Rock
  4. Stardust
  5. Groundhog Day

Honorable mention: Brother Wherefore Art Thou

Disappointing was: Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood

How could I not like the great bluegrass music in “Brother” and featured song “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow” sorta resonates, ya know.

One thing to note is that of all these movies, only one appears on the so-called top 100 movies of all time. So it’s not like we are going to run out of material any time soon.

We are resuming movie nights again, but one thing that happened along the way was three pregnancies. So with all the little ones, it gets harder and harder for all to want to drag the babies out for a late night of fun and food.

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May 24, 2008

Was It a Sermon?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 4:51 pm

There is a difference between a recitation and a speech; there is an indescribable difference between that which we recite from our memory and that which God creates for us in our heart and enables us to hurl from our lip with ringing and gracious power.

I think the above quote sort of gets at the basic problem I had with my "sermon". There is a great big caution that must be slapped on the quote, however. What is not in view here is the idea of just getting in the pulpit and letting fly with what is on one’s heart. That won’t do. That won’t work because our hearts are in fact black with sin. Nothing good can come from winging it with what is on our hearts.

What is in view for me at least is the challenge of getting over the bridge that brings the preacher from merely regurgitating the prepared understanding of the text to actually delivering the truth to the people of God that takes the people out of the classroom into God presence. Means of grace, not means of information, in other words.

The seminary has a policy of disallowing students to read their sermons in the class "dry runs". Their rationale for this policy is quite good. They need the experience of delivering a sermon in order to develop skill in rhetoric so as to eliminate glaring problems that invariably surface when preaching with out a written script.

This does not preclude the practice of reading a written sermon when the candidate actually becomes ordained. So, the question becomes is it possible to read a written sermon and bridge the gap from information to grace? The answer is that, of course, it is possible.

There is no question that one can come across as a teacher even though not reading a script. It equally certain that one can preach (provide the means of grace) even though the preacher is reading from a script. I certainly came across as a lecturer in my sermon. Were I given a second chance on my sermon, I believe I could take some good steps in the right direction, since I can so easily see where I went wrong.

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May 4, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 3:32 pm

Many of you will know that basically all of my background with respect to sermons is listening to them. And 99% of those sermons were topcial sermons. The overwhelming majority of sermons preached in reformed churches are expository sermons. It goes without saying then, that it was an expository sermon that was mandated for this class. So, this was my first attempt at an expository sermon.

For a quick picture of T vs. E, a topical sermon is one where the preacher has a topic in mind. He preaches what he wants to say about the topic and in order to defend or verify that his statements are biblical, he then refers to texts, or individual passages. In this way he proves that what he is saying is correct. An expository sermon, on the other hand, is completely different. Here, the preacher is already in the text, he is preaching from within a passage. In T, he speaks his mind and derives the validity from scripture. In E, being already in a text, he is saying "THUS SAYETH THE LORD".

One mistake I made, then, in my sermon is that, even though I was in principle expositorally preaching my assigned passage, I carried the topical preacher’s mindset into the pulpit. I improperly made use of other scriptures. I in effect came across as apologetic (not in the good sense, but in the sense that I showed a complete lack of having the authority of the office). There was no "thus sayeth the Lord". It was "thus sayeth Bruce". And in all cases my references to other passages were employed in the identical way that the T preacher would. I was in effect saying, "look over here. See? Is not what I am saying correct?"

This may seem like hair-splitting. But it is actually more than that.  I do believe that topical sermons are fundamentally flawed. When the T preacher refers to other texts as proof, there is a great danger. By eliciting truth from them as proof texts they are lifted out of their proper context.  The referenced scriptures are themselves subject to an expository sermon. When they are preached, they also require an expository sermon. Used as proof texts, an overly facile approach to scripture results. You can see what is happening. With the T preacher, you never get to "thus sayeth the Lord". Put another way, the T preacher, by referring to other texts as proof, is tacitly admitting that the authority of the expository "thus sayeth the Lord" is really the only way to preach.

Admittedly, there is a problem here for the student preacher. By virtue of his being a student, he necessarily has not yet been granted the office of preacher, and thus lacks the authority to say the "thus sayeth the Lord" that comes with it. In reformed churches there is an incredibly rigorous external call process through which the candidate preacher must go. So how does the student preach as if he already has the office? I was clearly neither ready for that, nor was I really even cognizant of this dynamic.

That was by no means my only shortcoming. More later.

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May 2, 2008

Coming Soon

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 7:30 am

Here’s a heads up. I will be posting a short series of comments about the sermon I gave for my recently completed Sermon Prep and Delivery class. You won’t want to miss this. The quick summary of the class itself. GREAT. The quick summary of the sermon I preached as part of the requirements for the class can be summed up in one word. BAD.  The first installment will be up over the week end.

April 17, 2008

Calling All Scholars

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 7:27 pm

"Paul was a man of the schools with the best theological training of his day at Tarsus and Jerusalem. The chosen vessel of Christ for the conquest of the Roman Empire was the ablest mind of the age with Hebrew, Greek and Roman culture and not the fishermen of Galilee, who had courage but lacked the special scholastic equipment that Paul possessed. Paul was a linguist at home in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and probably Latin and did not need an interpreter like Mark was for Peter. Paul wrote and spoke the vernacular Koine, but did so as an educated man in touch with the intellectual life of his time. Paul knew the power in a word and in a phrase and was able to write 1 Cor 13, the noblest prose poem in all literature. Man of genius that he was, he was also a man of the schools as Peter and John were not. He became the great preacher, missionary and theologian of the ages. Linguistic learning is not all that the preacher requires, but the supreme preacher like Paul does need it.

"The physician has to study chemistry and physiology. Other men may or may not. The lawyer has to study his Blackstone. The preacher has to know his Bible or the people suffer the consequences of his ignorance, as in the case of the physician or lawyer. [Editor’s note: A defining moment in my developing call was when I realized that that book in the zippered leather case stuffed with bulletins and other junk is not the Bible. It is an uninspired attempt by fallible men with agendas – committees of scholars in most cases – to render what they think is contained in the extant copies of the original.]

"The preacher can not get away from the fact that the New Testament was written in the Greek language of the first century A.D. The only way for him to become an expert in this literature of which he is an exponent by profession is to know it in the original. That this may be a difficult task is not to be considered a valid excuse. One will not tolerate such an excuse in a physician or a lawyer. The preacher lets himself off too easily when he asserts that he is too busy to learn his Greek New Testament. He is saying he is too busy with other things than to do the main thing, to learn his message and tell it. When asked what he thought about the neglect of  ministers to learn Hebrew and Greek Carlyle declared, ‘What! Your priests don’t even know their own sacred texts?’

"One is familiar with the retort that the preacher must not be a doctor ‘dry as dust’. It is assumed that technicalities sap the life out of one’s spirit. The famous German professor who lamented on his death-bed that he had not devoted his life to the study of the dative case is flaunted in our face. This the preacher proudly reminds us while he preaches live sermons to moved audiences. ‘Grammar to the wolves.’ He will be a preacher not a scholar. He will leave scholarship to the men who cannot preach. Such a preacher seems to rejoice in the fact that he cannot look into his Greek grammar or Testament and make any sense of it.

"It is not argued here that the preacher should bring the dust and debris of the workshop into the pulpit, only that the workman shall have a workshop and that he spends time in it. There is music in the ring of the hammer on the anvil when the sparks fly under the blows. Certainly the iron has to be struck while it is hot. No parade or display of learning is called for. Results and not processes suit the pulpit. The non-theological audience can usually tell when the sermon is the result of real work. The glow is still in the product. There are men who study grammar and never learn how to read a language, men who cannot see the wood for the trees, who see in language only skeletons and paradigms, who find no life in words, who use language to conceal thought, who have only the lumber of learning. These men create the impression that scholarship is dry. It is ignorance itself that is the driest thing on earth. One does not become juicy by remaining ignorant. The mind that is awake and alert leaps with joy with every scholarly discovery that throws light on the thought of a passage."

Excerpted from A.T. Robertson The Minister and His Greek New Testament

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February 18, 2008

Again I Quote: #7

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 11:07 pm

” But how can a man be in the right before God? If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times. He is wise in heart and mighty in strength- who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded? he who removes mountains, and they know it not, when he overturns them in his anger, who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble; who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars; who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea; who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south; who does great things beyond searching out, and marvelous things beyond number. Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him. Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back? Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’ “God will not turn back his anger; beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab. How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him? Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser. If I summoned him and he answered me, I would not believe that he was listening to my voice. For he crushes me with a tempest and multiplies my wounds without cause; he will not let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness. If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty! If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him? Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse. I am blameless; I regard not myself; I loathe my life. It is all one; therefore I say, He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.”

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”

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