Thursday, May 26, 2011

Interview with Textual Critic William Warren

Dr. William Warren
Brother Liam has an interview with William Warren at his Into This Grace blog about his work in Textual Criticism on the Scriptures. This is an important topic that I just recently realized has been greatly ignored in the Church to our own detriment.

Here's a snippet of one of the questions Warren answers that should show anyone who is concerned with the accuracy of their understanding why this field is worthy of our attention.

Question: How does textual criticism affect the translation process?

Dr. Bill Warren: Whenever someone picks up an English translation (or one in any other language for that matter), they become the recipients of a huge amount of "hidden" work that has been done to make that translation feasible. First, the manuscripts had to be studied to compile their data. Then that data had to be evaluated based on what seems to have happened in the transmission history of the text. And then the best Greek text is determined from these sources, a text that we would say as conservative Christians is virtually identical to the original form of the text, although of course there are some in the larger field of textual criticism that would highlight where the "virtually" part applies so as to say that it is not equal to the original text (like Bart Ehrman), but I'll say more on that below. After the resulting Greek text is published, that is what translators use as the foundation for their work. So all translations are built on the shoulders of textual critics who did the work that undergirds the Greek text on which the translations are based. One more facet of making a translation is that sometimes the translators don't agree with the textual decisions reflected in the published Greek text, in which cases they build the translation on their own conclusions about the right Greek text at a given point in the text. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Preaching Ministry for the Weak

This is the message I preached this Sunday morning entitled Ministry for the Weak. It is about the restoration of Peter after he had denied the Lord. After establishing that salvation is absolutely free, I go on to explain how discipleship bridged the gap between where Peter was weak and unfruitful to his later great ministry - and how we can have that for ourselves as well.

Here are the passages I reference, in order.

John 21:15
John 21:16
John 21:17 
John 21:15 
I pronounce Agapao as "Agapeo" sorry... it should be pronounced Ah Gap Ah Oh. I knew this but was nervous. 
John 3:16 
John 21:16
John 21:17 
Eph 2:8-9
Eph 2:10 
John 21:18-19
John 21:20-21
John 21:22 
Rom 4:3-8
Psalm 32:1-11
Mat 11:28-30 
2Pet 1:5-11 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Street Witnessing and Open Air Preaching Tonight

It's been a while since I've been out on the streets but tonight I managed to get down town and get to it!! What a wonderful thing! The Gospel is still God's power unto salvation for all who believe!!!

It was my plan to just observe, but it was like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes - I had to walk in them!!! The open air preaching wasn't great - but it did lead to a GREAT conversation with a heckler!! What a beautiful warmup for my preaching on Sunday!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Preaching this Sunday

I'm preaching at the main congregation gathering this Sunday. I'll be teaching about Peter's restoration in John 21, and what it means to us as believers. In particular I'll be preaching about how we can each have fruitful ministries despite our weakness and inability.  God has prepared works for us to walk in. How do we get over the fact of our weakness to do the work that He has prepared for us to do? That's the topic for this Sunday!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Woe to you who make entrance hard

Matt 23:13 13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in." 
These are harsh words of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you say one must "forsake" their sin in order to be saved? Woe to the hypocrite who has not forsaken his own sins. 

Do you say one must obey laws and commands in order to be saved? Woe to the hypocrite who has does not obey in all things himself. 

Some take great joy in preaching what they call a "strong" gospel or a "hard" gospel saying that it is "hard to believe!" They take joy in shutting the kingdom of heaven up against man so as to keep those who would enter by faith out.