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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Who Hosts The World’s Largest Bible Printing Facility?

Which country hosts the world’s largest Bible printing facility? United States? No. Germany? Nada. The UK? Nix. South Korea? Nope. Communist China? Yes! Who would have guessed?

In two weeks, the world’s largest Bible printing facility will open in Nanjing, China, prompting some to dub the historic eastern Chinese city the Bible printing capital of the world.

You can read the complete story at The Christian Post.

An Online Bible and Opportunity for Global Collaboration


YouVersion bills itself as a revolutionary online community! And it just may be! Its revolutionary potential finds a catalyst in the fact that it is a community built totally around the Bible and conversations about the Bible. YouVersion is a community built around the idea that online collaboration and interactive sharing can actually change the way we interact with the texts and one another in important ways. YouVersion is the epitome of “Open Source” theology and Biblical study. If there was ever a sign of the global decentralization of Biblical interpretation, this is it. Said differently, the work of Biblical interpretation has been freed from the ivory - and stale - towers of academia. The reformers would be amazed! This ‘aint the 16th century no more!

This is not your run-of-the-mill pew Bible. It’s not just another online Bible either. This is a fully interactive Bible that features 16 translations and community collaboration! The community collaboration is the most important feature of this virtual Bible. Users can add notes, commentary, stories and help decide if what others have added is relevant to the text to which it was added. Basically, this is an open source commentary that evolves, grows, and corrects itself in community. It is truly remarkable. Read More »

The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith 3


The following commentary addresses the third point advanced by Myron S. Augsburger in “The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith” (Brethren in Christ History and Life, August 2000), which is: “Celebrating Grace as a Dynamic Relationship with the Resultant Transformation of Life.”

Augsburger writes, “For the Anabaptists a central theme was Paul’s words, “If anyone is in Christ he/she is a new creation; old things have passed away and all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). The old was the life of self-centeredness transformed into a new life of Christ-centeredness. Anabaptist theology was not focused so much on freedom from guilt as on freedom in the new life in Christ (emphasis mine). Read More »

The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith 2


The following commentary addresses the second point advanced by Myron S. Augsburger in “The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith” (Brethren in Christ History and Life, August 2000), which is: “Understanding of the Interpretive Significance of Progressive Revelation in God’s Word Written.”

I recently began a conversation within the core group of our young church plant about the Bible and the way we approach it. It was/is a fruitful and lively conversation, to say the least! I also think it is an invaluable conversation to have, especially as a church plant in the identity forming stages. The Bible is beyond important, obviously. Our approaches to the Bible, however, vary widely in the North American context of ours. Some of these approaches are more edifying than others. The approach advanced by Augsburger is the classic Anabaptist approach; it’s the one into which I invest much of my personal time, energy, and devotion. Read More »

The Socio-liberal and Conservative Religious Onion

A question concerning the way the Bible is used in this left vs. right USA socio-cultural context of ours has been nagging at me for more than a few days. I can’t quite put my finger on the problem that I feel is revealed in the way the Bible is used to buttress conservative and/or liberal arguments inherent to contemporary socio-cultural debate(s). I do know this much: I think such use of the Bible only produces that which the Bible was never intended to produce. The product? A nationalistic and extremely limited expression of the Gospel. This does great damage to God’s story.

The following is my best attempt to articulate the convolution conceived during the socio-cultural left and right’s wrestling match for the Bible. It’s abstract, at best.

The socio-religious liberal is quick to brand the literal interpretation of the Bible advanced by the socio-religious conservative as detriment. For example, when an important subject such as homosexuality is raised, the liberal interpreter quickly flips to Deuteronomy and points at archaic, forgotten, and/or discarded aspects of the Code. We don’t care if our fabric is made with mixed-materials anymore; we don’t adhere to the Sabbath; we don’t execute adulterers. “This material can not, therefore, be taken literally,” says the liberal interpreter. Fair enough; no ‘major’ problems, yet. The problem, however, arises when the socio-religious liberal, in an attempt to defend his or her respective argument(s) in contemporary socio-cultural debate(s), leaps to another hermeneutic and proclaims aspects of the Code - aspects that are rooted in identity rather than historical and/or cultural relativity, and are consequently not as easy to dismiss - irrelevant. This problem is not located in the declaration of Code irrelevancy itself, but in the literal gymnastics required to make it. Read More »

A Pastoral Letter to Parish Ioner Concerning Paul

Parish Ioner – Greetings, Parish! I’m writing you in response to the brief conversation we had regarding my upcoming summer series on the Apostle Paul. I know you would rather “take the summer off,” as you said, to satisfy your personal distaste for the material. I really wish you wouldn’t. I think this sort of reaction would be most unfortunate. The Apostle Paul still has a lot to teach us today, apart from our modern understanding of “liberal” and “conservative” social approaches. I think you may be surprised at what one finds when the material is approached with an open and critical mind. A detailed look at Paul, power, and authority will reveal a lot that might surprise you. I will gladly volunteer a brief introduction to these matters in this letter, so as to stir your curiosity and prompt your summer attendance, hopefully. Read More »

Luke’s Pragmatic Attribution of the Term Savior

The Lukan reference to Jesus of Nazareth as ‘Savior’ has more to do with the later Christian community’s need for eschatological reconsideration than the author’s Christological perception. Read More »

Jesus and Conflict in a Proclamation of God’s Reign

Jesus of Nazareth’s public life and ministry were burdened with an absurd amount of conflict because of his incredible commitment to an ideological view of God and God’s place in a life wherein social, political, and religious aspects were inseparably fused. The final climax of this conflict - Jesus’ crucifixion - can be seen in all four canonical Gospels (Matt. 27.35; Mk. 15.24; Lk. 23.33; Jn. 19.18). The multiple layers and deep dynamics characteristic of the conflict leading up to this quadruple Gospel attestation are, however, most vividly displayed in the Gospel of Mark. Read More »

A Simple Christianity in a Postmodern World

Jesus is popular. Everyone has an opinion about Jesus, it seems. This is not a new phenomenon; it has in fact always been the case. In the first century people formed more than a few groups around their opinions of Jesus of Nazareth. Many believed he was God in the flesh; others believed he was a mere wise man; still others believed him to be some sort of Gnostic incarnation of some sort of secret knowledge. Jesus is a historical figure who naturally brings out the strongest opinions in people. This reaction is especially complicated in this postmodern setting we are all living in presently. Jesus merely offers one of many potential ways to be saved in an age wherein meta-narrative has been deemed less than reliable, as far as expansive Truth building is concerned, and personal opinion, in some sort of strange philosophical twist, has been promoted to Truth. Today, perhaps more than ever before, followers of Jesus need to be able to properly differentiate between opinion and the basic truths of the Biblical story. Read More »

Trinity as Model for Church Community

Jesus’ prayer in the 17th chapter of John’s Gospel is that we would be as one. Unity! Let’s put this prayer in perspective. Jesus and his disciples gather in a small upper room. They gather there for one purpose: to share the Passover meal. They sing a few songs together, praise God, pray a lot, eat, and drink their wine. During this meal, Jesus institutes our sacrament of the Last Supper. He also washes the feet of the disciples. Jesus, after they finish with all of this, prays the John 17 prayer.

Jesus either prays this prayer right there in the room, upon completion of the other events shared, or he prays it as they walk towards the Garden of Gethsamene, where he prays some more while the disciples pass out under a tree from too much Passover wine. Jesus knows what is coming. He knows he’s going to be arrested, tried, and killed. How important is this prayer for unity in light of this foreknowledge? Seriously! Jesus, knowing full well death is imminent, prays first that these disciples find unity; the same unity that he shares with the Father. Read More »