Friday, November 30, 2007

An Exegetical Study of 2 Corinthians 1:1-7

Here's the paper I wrote this semester for Greek Syntax & Exegesis on 2 Corinthians 1:1-7. The introduction:
The Apostle Paul’s relationship with the Corinthian church was a stormy and difficult one. He apparently had many hostile critics in Corinth, but in spite of this he cared deeply for the believers there and felt a fatherly responsibility for them. Out of this care and sense of responsibility he penned 2 Corinthians, knowing very well that in so doing he stood to incur yet more criticism from his opponents. Aware that the Corinthians could potentially be turned against him by his opponents, Paul opens his epistle with a blessing to God that also serves to underline the closeness of his relationship with them and his ongoing commitment to their spiritual good. With this context as a backdrop, the thesis of 2 Corinthians 1:1-7 is that God is to be praised for the way he brings consolation to his children – Paul and his companions are consoled by God in the affliction which befalls them because of their identification with Jesus Christ, and in turn their example brings consolation to the Corinthians in whatever afflictions they might endure.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I've recently heard/read several misstatements of some very common expressions:
  • "we would like to express our up most gratitude" (should be "utmost" - incidentally, this was printed on the stationery of a major university)
  • "in one swell swoop" (should be "in one fell swoop")
  • "above bar" (should be "above par")
  • "I could care less" (should be "I couldn't care less" - this one has been a pet peeve of mine for years)
  • "that's a mood point" (should be "a moot point")
Have you heard any?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Way to Go, Mom & Dad!

My hometown paper recently ran a story on my parents' growing business. Way to go, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Last Things

The closing chapters of Revelation teach us that many blessings await the church in the age to come. In the age to come, we will praise God when he avenges all the wrongs done to us by his enemies (Rev 19:1-3). It will be our privilege to dress in “fine linen, bright and pure” which represents our righteous deeds (19:8) and to be welcomed into the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where we will be presented to Christ as a bride (19:9-10). At this banquet we will rejoice and exult and give glory to the Lamb (19:7). We will also reign with Christ on the earth for a thousand years, since the second death has no power over us (20:4-6). During this time we will continue our service as priests of God and Christ (20:6).

After the thousand years heaven and earth will be made new and a new city of Jerusalem will come down from God (21:1-2). At this time the dwelling place of God will be with man: “He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (21:3). All the painful aspects of life will be done away with forever, for God will wipe away all tears and abolish death and crying and pain (21:4). We will drink from the water of life without payment (21:6) and God will be our God and we will be his sons and daughters (21:7). We will dwell in safety within the jewel-encrusted walls of the New Jerusalem in the presence of God himself, and the city will be illuminated by his glory (21:9-26). In this city, we will worship before the throne of God and of the Lamb. We will look upon his face, and his name will be written on our foreheads. We will reign with him forever (22:1-5). This future hope should bolster our faith and strengthen us to endure the hardships of this life. At the same time, the thought of the future that awaits us should cause us to long for the age to come, when God will make all things new.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sports & Sports Media

HERE'S an insightful piece by Richard Ford on how the sports media actually diminishes our enjoyment of our favorite sports. Some excerpts:
You could say that sports’ essential self possesses at least three different dimensions. There’s the aforementioned game-as-played. Then there’s the game as it’s described or talked about — what sports journalists and commentators do. And then there’s the game as pondered — which you might say is the happy result of the other two dimensions working on us, and is akin to what we sports fans do alone in our beds at night, or during the long, anticipatory off-seasons . . .

The curious and unhappy turn of fate I just mentioned is that the game as talked about has, in many instances, now corrupted, ignored and trivialized the game itself, the thing we relish — a fact that has unlikable consequences for the game we contemplate.
Ford says his rule-of-thumb for dealing with this state of affairs is "that when it comes to anything I read or hear reported about sports, value must derive from relevance to the game as played." He then offers an example of the sort of coverage worth following and two examples of the kinds of stories that should be ignored:
Therefore, an on-air conversation by the Red Sox radio guys, to the point that fatigue-prone Japanese phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka might encounter serious problems in American Major League Baseball because Japanese pitchers learn to pitch by inducing batters to swing, whereas our big-league starters learn to make batters miss — this conversation immediately qualifies as worth hearing and later being thought about, since it refines the experience of spectatorship.

On the other hand, a Sporting News Radio commentator’s remarks, during this year’s Masters, to the point that Phil Mickelson either is or isn’t the great underachiever of his generation, since his less-than-bionic conditioning regimen conceivably makes him a choker, was close to irrelevant for being patently unprovable, given Mickelson’s win percentage. Plus, it’s golf. Everyone doesn’t have to be cut ’n’ buff just because Tiger is.

And at the lowest end of my value scale, any commentary, on-air or on-page, about Milton Bradley’s anger issues, Tank Johnson’s gun jones, Wayne Gretzky’s wife, Manny being Manny, A-Rod being A-Rod, Barry Bonds’s triste over being sent packing by the Giants — all of that stuff’s permanently off my table.
You should read the whole thing now, before you watch the college football pre-game shows.