On the chaos in Eygpt

Jim West is all fired up because he feels those supposed biblical scholars, theologians and pastors who have not said something about the situation in Eygpt either on their blogs or some other medium have effectively abdicated their position as pastors, scholars and theolgians – he wants to know why no one is saying anything.  He has offered his input and has several posts on it.  Now, he wants to see others speak up too.

Well, I suppose every Christian is a theologian in some sense of the word as to “do theology” is to think or talk about God – so that is what most Christians do (or should be doing at some point in their day and lives), therefore every Christian is a theologian.

I have some minimum theology training (MDiv) so I suppose I am in some sense I am a pastor/scholar/theologian – what do I have to say about the situation in Egypt?

My encouragement is something every Christian can and should do – it doesn’t have to be extensive but it can and should be done:

Pray for the people and nation of Egypt – Pray for them earnestly – intercede before the throne of God on their behalf, that he would be Lord over that nation and people; that he would move among them and be the Prince of Peace.  Pray the Spirit of God would work among the leaders and people to bring conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment.  Pray that their hearts will be turned to him in repentance (he is really the one whom they are seeking though they know it or not).

How else can you intercede for them? Read the stories coming through the news and pray specifically for various needs and situations as they come up – that Mubarak would indeed resign and that their would be peace in the setting up of a new government; pray the chaos will die down and the curfews lifted; pray for the protection of lives and relationships; pray for the protection of the culture and that any and all destruction due to the violence would be minimum and come to an end.  I could go on and on and on – read the sources and allow the Spirit to lead you and your prayers and intercessions for the people and nation of Egypt.  We are a people of the Spirit, he can lead us in our prayers, we should follow.

I know there are other things we can do, but without a doubt, prayer is something everyone can do, and should.

No, this is not cheesy, it is biblical.

If you are really serious about this, you could also fast for the people and nation of Egypt.

Prayer and fasting work people – If God is putting it upon you to do such, do it without hesitation and with all abandon.


A New Kind of Graded Reader

some might be interested in seeing James Tauber’s talk at the 2010 Bible Tech Conference on his ideas about improving language learning acquisition and the New Testament Greek. It’s an hour long.

A New Kind of Graded Reader from James Tauber on Vimeo.

Seems to me like this could be good approach – making it text based and gradually bringing people into reading the text in the original.  Being able to read the text in context always helps in comprehension and language acquisition.  Isn’t it how we do it in English with our kids?  We don’t give them a bunch of vocab cards and make them learn a bunch of words and verb paradigms before they can read do we?  No, we just read to them and they begin to pick it up, one word or phrase at a time – so why do we do this with foreign language learning?! 🙂

I could totally be in support of a graded reader that lets people learn language the natural way and not completely by rote memorization.

What say you?

HT: Michael Palmer, via Jeff.

New Book USPS edition

Thanks to Steve Runge for his generosity in allowing me a review copy of his new book Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2010)!  He also wrote a kind note on the inside.  🙂

I took a number of Greek and Hebrew exegesis courses in Seminary (as if that makes me an expert…) so – to be honest – I dig this kind of stuff!  I am looking forward to reading through it and learning more of this important approach to learning and studying NT Greek beyond the introductory or even intermediate level.  Thanks Steve!

Here is more info (cut and pasted from Amazon since I just got it yesterday and haven’t had time to really look it over) (additionally Steve has graciously allowed folks to see a 60 page sample of his fine work):

In Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament, Steve Runge introduces a function-based approach to language, exploring New Testament Greek grammatical conventions based upon the discourse functions they accomplish. Runge’s approach has less to do with the specifics of language and more to do with how humans are wired to process it.The approach is cross-linguistic. Runge looks at how all languages operate before he focuses on Greek. He examines linguistics in general to simplify the analytical process and explain how and why we communicate as we do, leading to a more accurate description of the Greek text. The approach is also function-based–meaning that Runge gives primary attention to describing the tasks accomplished by each discourse feature. 

This volume does not reinvent previous grammars or supplant previous work on the New Testament. Instead, Runge reviews, clarifies, and provides a unified description of each of the discourse features. That makes it useful for beginning Greek students, pastors, and teachers, as well as for advanced New Testament scholars looking for a volume which synthesizes the varied sub-disciplines of New Testament discourse analysis.

With examples taken straight from the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, this volume helps readers discover a great deal about what the text of the New Testament communicates, filling a large gap in New Testament scholarship.

Each of the 18 chapters contains:

* An introduction and overview for each discourse function
* A conventional explanation of that function in easy-to-understand language
* A complete discourse explanation
* Numerous examples of how that particular discourse function is used in the Greek New Testament
* A section of application
* Dozens of examples, taken straight from the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament
* Careful research, with citation to both Greek grammars and linguistic literature
* Suggested reading list for continued learning and additional research

About the Author:

Steven E. Runge is the General Editor of the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. He has a Master of Theological Studies degree in Biblical Languages from Trinity Western Seminary in Langley, B.C., Canada; a BA in Speech Communication from Western Washington University; and a Doctor of Literature degree in Biblical Languages from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Northwest Baptist Theological College, Trinity Western University, and Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS) while completing his education.

Review forthcoming!  (You can see Este singing Dr. Runge’s song here).