The CatholicGeek has some thoughts on silence today.
I'm working at LTS today until about three in the afternoon, if any of you BSK critters want to say hello.
My dad doesn't like to wear his glasses. As a result, he can't tell the difference between chapstick, a sharpie pen, and a highlighter. Think on that for a moment.
My family Thanksgiving was fun.
You might have seen the recent article in the Louisville Courier-Journal about the city's evangelical megachurches. Something I wish they'd discussed more was the emerging practice of creating megachurch franchises out of existing smaller churches. A friend told me a few months ago of how his parents' former church (they now attended the megachurch) had been given an "offer they couldn't refuse" - they didn't have enough money to keep full time pastors, so the megachurch was willing to buy out their property and give them a full-time minister, so long as they dissolved their governing board, let their deacons go, didn't baptize anyone. All baptisms would take place at the megachurch's main campus.
It's franchising. Seriously.
And don't get me started on Witherington's "cult of personality" comment. He's dead on.
Update 1. Oh, and check out this glowing review of Tom Wright's Simply Christian and The Last Word in the Christian Century.
Update 2. It gets better. You want to read this interview with Barbara R. Rossing, author of The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation.
What should Christians be saying about eschatology and what should ministers be teaching?What do my Greek-reading readers think?
There is a sense of an end in the New Testament. I don't think the New Testament affirms a world without end. To the extent that that notion has crept into our hymnody it's a mistake. Nonetheless, our job is to care for the world and to believe that this physical earth is not about to be destroyed.
What is it that is coming to an end? That's the question. In Revelation what is described as coming to an end is primarily the oikoumene, which I translate as "imperial world," the world under Roman rule. Rome laid claim to the whole oikoumene—the lands and the seas, world without end. It's the word that's used in the Gospel of Luke's Christmas story, for example, in which Caesar Augustus decrees that the whole world should be enrolled in a census. Revelation proclaims that this imperial world must come to an end.
If we translate oikoumene as "imperial world" in a verse such as Revelation 3:10, then the "hour of trial that is coming upon the whole oikoumene" is not at all what rapture proponents claim—a general end-times tribulation that God will inflict during the earth's final seven years—but rather a courtroom scene in which God puts the empire on trial.
Two other Greek words, for earth (ge) and world (kosmos), are used more positively in the New Testament. A key verse is Revelation 11:18 in which God says, "I'm going to destroy the destroyers of the earth," not "I'm going to destroy the earth." The word for earth there is ge, which is used some 80 times in Revelation, sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. God created the earth and still loves it, even though it also falls under judgment. The passages that refer to oikoumene in the New Testament are all negative. That is not case with ge or kosmos.