Spouses Just Don’t Understand

My wife was complaining about my study the other day.  I showed her the following picture of another writer’s office and informed her that she is officially no longer allowed to complain about my office.

Yes, if you grew up in the 80’s then you will probably recongnize the title of this post as a not-so-veiled reference to a popular rap song by a presently popular box-office star.

Ok, and because now I know you’re wondering what my wife was complaining about, here is my office for comparison.

If you come over to visit, this shot is taken from the chair that you can sit in while we chat:

Here is the view as you walk in the door (except I’m normally sitting in that chair):

and here is my view:

admittedly, I just re-shuffled my shelves and moved books I’m not using as much recently onto other shelves around the house, but you have to admit…this really isn’t too bad, eh?  It’s the books sitting on top of other books that really gets Elisa going, and I’ve cut that down to just a few.

So you tell me, entirely acceptable right?

Nothing New Under the Sun

I have no idea if this is true or not, but according to a book by E. Stanley Jones (The Christ of Every Road) written in 1930:

“The oldest known bit of writing in the world is a piece of papyrus in a Constantinople Museum. On it is written: ‘Alas, times are not what they used to be. Children no longer obey their parents and everyone wants to write a book.'” (pg 23)

I don’t know about you, but that cracked me up!  How true today!! Truly did Solomon write:

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (ESV)

Good Memories

They go by too fast, and I’m awful glad for photos. And yes, I was the donkey…

Dads always get the bad roles; didn’t you know?

Christianity or Biblical Judaism: Must We Choose?

There is a trend that I have noted for some time, but which has been taking on new steam lately in Christian scholarship in an effort to emphasize the difference between Jesus and the Jewish Sages who were roughly His contemporaries.

I understand both the motivation to try and preserve these “differences,” and the scholarly data which supposedly supports this line of thinking, but there really is no need.

“Many modern theologians increasingly attempt to define the message of Jesus over against Judaism. Jesus is said to have taught something quite different, something original, unacceptable to the other Jews. The strong Jewish opposition to Jesus’ proclamation is emphasized….Even though he gave his own personal bent to jewish ideas, selected from among them, purged and reinterpreted them, I cannot honestly find a single word of Jesus that could seriously exasperate a well-intentioned Jew.”

David Flusser, of blessed memory, Professor at Hebrew University-Jerusalem, as quoted in Jesus: The Jewish Theologian by Brad H. Young, PhD (p. 127)

Many find it quite scary to think that some of Yeshua’s sayings and some of Hillel’s were almost verbatim; I understand that. However, the reality is that Yeshua did not vigorously alter the Judaism of the time. Certainly, He contested hotly those areas that needed correction, but that is no different than what He would do to Christianity if He arrived on earth today.

Can you imagine the issues Yeshua would have with the state of the Church today? I expect there would be quite a few “Woe, to you’s” spoken.

Which Ones?

All the mitzvot [commandments] I am giving you today you are to take care to obey (Deuteronomy 8:1).
This Scripture actually describes God’s commandments in the singular (kol hamitzvah). The emphasis is not on following each one of God’s instructions as separate or distinct parts. Instead, they need to be viewed as a whole, as the Artscroll Tanach reads, “the entire commandment.” In other words, each part of the Torah is interconnected. Ya’akov (James) makes the same point as he reflects on this passage in James 2:8-12. This means we cannot treat Scripture as a dinner menu, selecting just those items which are most appetizing.

‘The Voice of the Lord’ on StudyLight.org

Have you ever reflected on this reality?  How do you decide which commandments in Scripture to obey and which to ignore?  Are there any that can be ignored?  Some people suggest that only those mentioned in the Apostolic Scriptures must be followed. However, this is misleading for several reasons, not the least of which is what we mentioned in the last post. The common assumption being that Jesus boiled the commands we have to worry about down to just the big two, but au contraire…there are actually considerably more in the so-called “New Testament” than in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Are God’s commands, whether they are in the first 2/3 or the last 1/3 of the Scriptures, intended to be burdensome?  As Paul would say, “Certainly not!”, they form His Owner’s Manual to Life. How many of us men have ignored the Instruction Manual too long when attempting to put together the latest furniture purchase that our wife has proudly deposited on the living room floor–in a box of course?  Guilty as charged! However, on a side note, I must say that I have learned my lesson and I religiously (pun intended) follow the instructions now.  It’s amazing how I only have to put the darn thing together once or perhaps twice before I have it right.  Whereas in the past…well, we won’t talk about the past, my blood pressure is doing just fine where it is, thank you.

Does this mean that if we can’t keep the whole of Torah we might as well give up and not keep any of it? That’s like the story of the bear who goes into the cornfield and fills his arms with ears of corn. As he leaves, he drops one ear. Dissatisfied with losing part of his haul, he throws down the rest and goes back to gather more. Again he drops an ear as he leaves the field. Again, dissatisfied, he throws away the remainder and returns to get more. He does this repeatedly. Eventually, he goes away hungry.

‘The Voice of the Lord’ on StudyLight.org

That’s right, though I too often hear this argument, “Why should I worry about everything the Torah says, I can’t even do what’s in the New Testament right?!”, it’s actually a completely ridiculous idea.  First of all, not to beat a dead horse, but there’s more commandments in the New Testament than in the Old.

Ok, if I don’t get to a new idea soon PETA is going to be picketing my blog.  Stay tuned, for a totally new idea…