NLT Holy Bible: Mosaic released

The Holy Bible: Mosaic was released on September 22, 2009. I will be posting a review of this later. I just received my copy of Mosaic in the mail today.

But if you want a free copy of it, here’s a list of bloggers who are participating in this Mosaic blog tour. You have 50 opportunities to win your own copy by checking out the list of bloggers.

But if you want to buy a copy of it, it can be purchased on Amazon, and of course, at your local Christian bookstore.

UnChristian: Change the Perception

UnChristian: Change the Perception (DVD)
Publisher: Baker Books
ISBN: 9780801003172

Based on Barna Group’s research on 16 to 29 year-olds, here’s how people outside the established church perceive Christians:

91%  anti-homosexual
87%  judgmental
85%  hypocritical
78%  old fashioned
75%  too involved with politics
72%  out of touch with reality
70%  insensitive to others

The presentation of their data is rather stinging to traditional conservative evangelicals, including myself.  Based on my own perception of myself, I would never say these things about myself or about some of Christians I personally know or have befriended.  Self-perception of oneself can be powerfully self-deceptive.  Have we deceived ourselves into thinking that we are loving, compassionate, kind and open-minded? Perhaps.  Whether we agree with our own perception or not, this is how the world outside our Christian bubble  perceives us.  Many of the older generations might not see Christians this way, but the younger ones do, so there has been a shift of perception of Christianity.

[added] What seems to be absent in this DVD was any attempt to address the concerns of Christians who hold to a traditional view of heterosexual marriage.  We have to try to soften, and even reverse, the pejorative terms used against those of us who hold to a traditional view of marriage; terms like: homophobic, intolerant, discriminatory, or hate-filled.  We are none of these things; we are loving Christian people who love all people.  There are some Christians who are ignorant and unwise, and who will say the most stupid things that further negative stereotypes rather than change the negative perception to positive ones.

Some people on the outside feel that Christianity is no longer like Jesus intended.  They may like Jesus as a figure/person but they don’t necessarily view Christians in nearly as good of a light as they would in Jesus.  Well, that’s a little more comforting, but I wouldn’t allow that to let us get too comfortable.  There’s lot of work we Christians need to change our image.  The church might return to the pre-Constantine era soon than we think.  If we do not diagnose the problems occurring within our Christian bubble, we will soon find ourselves on the outside of society within one or two generations.  If that took place, we will hurt even more.  So let’s do something today before it’s too late.

The UnChristian curriculum includes a DVD and a small study guide.  The creators of this want to inform the church “what a new generation really thinks about Christianity…and why it matters.”  They want to change the way Christ-followers perceive themselves.  We tend to see ourselves in a positive light, but those outside of the church have a different perception.  That is the thrust of this DVD presentation.

There is also a book co-authored by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.   This DVD with study guide is part of a series of four categories of DVDs: Culture, Future, Church, and Gospel.  They each take the basic format of four group meetings:  18-minute video talk on the topic, 2) a Fermi Short which is a 5000 word essay to be read ahead of time; 3) a video expression that models the theme, and 4) suggestions for a Culture Shaping Project. Other study guides in this curriculum include:

  • Influence Culture
  • Create the Future
  • Find the Good
  • Unchristian: Change the Perception

The model it takes is based on the Society Room model, which is now simply called Q, which encourages people to participate in group meetings of learning and discussion.  The leader facilitates the group discussion and plays the DVD rather than just talks. In the small booklet provided with the DVD, there are questions for the leader to ask the small group in his/her facilitation of each of the four meetings, which might include a dinner.  This format kind of reminds me a little of the way Alpha group is done.  The leader is encouraged to create conversation, cause people to do some critical thinking, influence and to take action.

By having a group of concerned Christ-followers from your church or fellowship watch this DVD “unchristian: change the perception”, we might be able to take a few first steps to learn about ourselves and see our own problem (or put in positive spin, to see our current situation as a problem).

I would recommend Q for all concerned Christians and church groups. It will definitely make us more self-aware.  Believe me, as Christ-followers, we need to be more self-aware.  Otherwise, we may lose an entire generation of twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings. They are already entire generations missing in many of our churches. We need to turn this tide around before it’s too late.

I wish to thank the good people at Baker Books for sending me a copy to review.

Recipe meme: my caesar salad dressing

Bitsy Griffin tagged me for a recipe meme. Here are the rules that were first provided:

1. Choose one ingredient from the previous recipe and post a recipe using this ingredient on your blog, linking back to the previous blogs that have posted a recipe.
2. Then tag four new people, and we will see how it grows.
3. To keep it exciting please post within a week of receiving the tag.

I’m not big on recipes because I never cook using recipes. I just go by whatever feels right. But here’s one that someone recently gave me. I eat salad for raw vegetables on most mornings for breakfast. I know…that’s wierd.

This is for a simple, tasty, and healthy caesar salad dressing.

Ingredients:
60 mL lemon juice
120 mL olive oil
2 tsp sour cream
1/4 cup parmasan cheese
2-3 pressed garlic cloves
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1-2 tsp brown or white sugar

Makes: 250 mL (mL is metric for milliliter). Prep Time: 5-6 min.

Directions: Simply mix everything together (order does not matter). You may put it into an old salad dressing bottle or a covered container.  If anyone decides to try this dressing and likes it, please let me know.

I tag: TC, Brian, Peter, and Gary.

Church attendance is dropping amongst Anglicans-Episcopalians

People say regarding churches (especially mainline churches in the United States and Canada) that all they see are a sea of white hair.  This sea is no longer a sea; it’s only a smattering of white hair these days…and many are closing and shutting their doors.   Church attendance is dropping and seems irreversible.

The statistics regarding the Anglican Church in Canada (ACC) does not look good these days.  Canadian membership in the ACC fell:

  • 1.3 million (in 1961) to 658,000 (in 2001)…and that’s just membership.  Actual attendance measures Anglicans who attend church at least twice a month brings this figure down to only 325,000.

Figures for American membership in the Episcopal Church (TEC) are not good either.  Membership fell from:

  • 3.5 million (in 1965) to 2.2 million (in 2007), which is a 55% drop.

Rev. Gary Nicolosi says that when the census is taken in 2011, “I think the numbers are going to be under 600,000.  I think people are going to be shocked.”  Statistics on average worship attendance show how healthy a church is and it does not look good for either church.  Full article… These figures are from Reginald Bibby’s Project Canada, The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.

  • In the Church of England, only less than 1 million attend when membership is 28 million (obviously a skewed and bloated figure).  And who knows what actual attendance really is?

Seminaries teach students how to rethink theology.  But I think this is not the right direction to be going in.  We must rethink how we do church, or mainline churches will deteriorate at an increasingly faster pace than even before.  Extinction may occur within my generation.

The only churches that are growing are pentecostal and evangelical churches. It isn’t a secret. So why aren’t mainline churches learning from pentecostals and evangelicals?  Is it theological pride, or fear losing one’s church identity, or both?

Introducing Covenant Theology

Introducing Covenant Theology
Author: Michael Horton
Publisher: Baker Books, 2009.
ISBN: 9780801071959

I wish to thank the good people at Baker Books for sending me a copy to review.

Michael Horton’s book Introducing Covenant Theology was previously published under the title God of Promise in 2006. Even though it is a republished book, covenant theology is here to stay and has been around for a long time since the days of Reformation and may also be known as federal theology. Anyway, I like this new title better than the old one because it is more recognizable and well-known term in the world of Reformed theology. Horton’s book provides a very good indepth understanding into the background and underpinnings of covenant theology. It not only provides a good introduction but it goes in depth.

Horton presents the traditional view of Covenant Theology. He explains the difference between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace; and this provides a proper basis for law and gospel. But he also shows the continuity between the two. I have learned much from Horton’s theology of law and gospel, and faith and works, and have been thoroughly impressed by his presentation. Horton presents the theology from the ground up, and when one follows his case chapter by chapter, one will see connection between the old Mosaic covenant of works and Abraham’s new covenant of grace. Horton describes the difference between Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants:

The Abrahamic covenant rather than the Mosaic covenant establishes the terms of this arrangement. It is in this context that we better understand such passages as Jeremiah 31:32: “It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt” (NIV), and Galatians 3:17-18: “My point is this: the law, which came four hundred thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise” (NRSV) (p. 106).

The author distinguishes between the early suzerain treaty of Sinai, which is conditional and had its origins in the ancient Near East versus the unconditional royal grant, which are indicative with Noahic and Abrahamic covenants. This is a very important concept and Horton is careful to lay this groundwork. He seems to want to flesh out and unpack this covenant concept before he moves on.

Horton also distinguishes between the two covenants: 1) the covenant of law established at Sinai with Moses and has to do with Israel as a nation and its preservation of land; whereas, 2) the promise covenant of grace established with Abraham deals with personal election (salvation). This is also an important for Horton. He presents the different views of M.G. Kline, O. Palmer Robertson and Geerhardus Vos, amongst others.

Much of today’s New Covenant Theology would like to stake that the old covenant laws of Moses’ days are somehow outdated and are no longer in effect. But at the same time, they still claim some or much of the laws are still in effect in the new covenant, which seems rather inconsistent. If the old covenant was done away with, why are they repeating the old laws in the new? It is inconsistent, illogical, and does not make much sense. Horton, a proponent of traditional Covenant Theology, does not agree that the new covenant has been done away with, or abrogated. The old covenant, in and of itself, has not changed. The old covenant now only condemns those who are outside of Christ. Therefore, the new covenant is seen as a continuation of the old, and in effect, it fulfills the old. Furthermore, it is only new in the sense that those under the new covenant are no longer condemned by the old covenant laws.

Covenant theology is not exclusive to Reformed theology, or even with Calvinist theology. All three of these terms emphasizes different views and perspectives; however, they may hold many things in common too. Covenant theology is a theology within Reformed theology that emphasizes the concept of covenants; however, covenant theology is also home to some Lutherans. It was first developed in its elementary stages by Luther and Melanchthon but further developed, and matured, under the guidance of Reformed theologians. Therefore, as a Lutheran who is lacking in this understanding, I feel privileged to learn from Horton who masterfully lays out the development of covenant theology tracing its inception of suzerain treaties in the ancient near east to its later development in ancient Israel.

Horton’s book will be a very good academic text book for seminary students to understand traditional foundations of covenant theology. He presents the covenant concept systematically. I have to note that it may be tough slogging through the difficult concepts in this book, but a careful reader and student will be able to learn the theological underpinnings of this theology by reading and digesting through it slowly. Readers may even find that some parts of it to be complex and difficult to understand. It may take a while yet for me to completely digest everything, and I am sure many readers will also. I recommend this book for any student of theology who wishes to deepen their understanding of covenant theology and establish their basis for Reformed theology. Having read this book, I am happy to say that I now understand the difficult concepts in covenant theology better than I used to, so I thank Michael Horton for writing this book.

This book may be purchased from Amazon or CBD.

Is rising trend of Calvinism in SBC seminary graduates long-term or just a passing fad?

Why is Calvinism making a comeback?   According to data presented at the opening session of a conference on Reformed theology in the Southern Baptist Convention, a survey found that nearly 30 percent of recent Southern Baptist seminary graduates identify themselves as five-point Calvinists.  This trend is rising.  Most recently, this figure was 34 percent! Full article.  As a Lutheran with Calvinistic tendencies, I find this trend exciting.

That’s an incredible change from Southern Baptists, which are historically known for being dispensationalist and Arminian.  I wonder how this is going to affect the future of the Southern Baptist Convention?  And is this comeback in Calvinism a long-term thing or is it just a passing fad like the Emerging church that is fading away in less than ten years? I think this is still hard to tell because this trend is still on the upswing and in its early stages.

Regardless of where this new Calvinism is going, for me personally, I would say that Calvin and Luther have been my two biggest influences in my Christian life in the last five years. Previous to my seminary education, I felt like I was floating somewhere in evangelical space but after I got a taste of Luther and Calvin, there was no turning back. So what is it that attracts people like others and me to Calvin specifically? I’m not sure and can’t put a finger on it. Maybe it’s all this hype that has been building as we crept up to Calvin’s 500 anniversary? Maybe. But it’s unlikely. It’s probably due to our increased understanding of the depth of Calvinist theology.

Amongst the Calvinists most of us know of are preachers and teachers, R.C. Sproul and John Piper, and academics, J.I. Packer and Alvin Platinga. These people are probably today’s movers and shakers in the world of Calvinism.  They are well-respected  and are making an impact on many evangelical Christians today.

Wesley Study Bible by Abingdon

The Wesley Study Bible: NRSV
Publisher: Abingdon Press, 2009
ISBN-10: 0687645034
ISBN-13: 978-0687645039

I wish to thank the good people at Abingdon Press for sending me this review copy.

The first thing I noticed about the Wesley Study Bible was the abundance of study notes.  The study notes seem to be geared toward the average reader of the bible, which makes it very accessible to the average person.  One is not required to have a theological education to make sense of the study notes.  I would also like to point out that occasionally some of the study notes also contain what John Wesley believed and practiced. So it is not just the Wesleyan core terms (which I will say more on) that make the study bible Wesleyan.  However, personally I would like to see even more of Wesley’s commentary.  Why not?  It’s a Wesley Study Bible.

The other thing I noticed were the boxes containing explanations of Wesleyan core terms, and there are more than 200 of these terms. A small handful of these terms include: Christian Conferencing, Circuit Rider, Conviction of Sin, Convincing Grace, Evil Tempers, Free Will, Grace and Works, Holiness of Heart, Itineracy, Means of Grace, Offices of Christ, Sanctifying Grace, Social Holiness, etc.  I think this is one of the most useful features of this bible because they open up some of the terminology related to the Wesleyan tradition.   I would consider this an educational feature of the study bible and it is most fitting.  One such Wesleyan Core Term, “Prevenient Grace”, states:

Wesley followed the idea of prevenient grace (pre-venire, to come before)—that God’s action, not ours, is the beginning of the process of salvation, followed by the necessity of our response.  Wesley believed that God’s universal offer of salvation was analogous to natural conscience whereby everybody knows the difference between good and evil.  However, Wesley said that such a discerning ability was not natural but the result of God’s enlightenment in every person’s mind.  Thus, we are enabled by God to respond freely in one of two ways—respond positively and accept this distinction between good and evil, realizing that we must repent of our sinful ways, or respond negatively, reject such knowledge, and continue in our sinful ways.

I am glad to see this because many people who may call themselves Wesleyans or Methodists may not even understand the meaning of such terminologies.  I sure didn’t but I’m not Wesleyan or Methodist either; however, it gave me a good reason to learn.  Some study bibles based on specific theological traditions do not have much content about what the founding personalities believed and practiced.  As a Wesleyan-Methodist study bible, I am glad to see notes on what John Wesley believed.

There are also nearly 200 Life Application Topics.  These are useful for the practical side of living out of one’s Christian faith.  It runs along similar lines as the Life Application Bible.  Here’s an example from one such topic on pride:

Pride is arrogance and conceit and manifests itself when we delude ourselves into thinking we operate under our own power.  We assume and live as if the world revolves around us instead of our will and way revolving around God.  Pride was the downfall of the first man or woman in the Gen account.  Pride always comes before a fall!  On the other hand, humility looks to God admitting we don’t have all the answers or solutions, but we submit to God’s will and way knowing God knows best.  This is wisdom, and the wise always find joy and lasting fulfillment with God and others.

This Life Application Topic feature further reinforces this bible as a practical study bible. The average persons or readers of the bible who desires to live out one’s faith in society will find this feature helpful in applying scriptural principles to daily living.  There are also nineteen colorful maps in the back of the bible.

The Wesley Study Bible is based on the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation of the bible.  It is one of the best, if not the best, formal equivalent translations available today.  I rely on this translation because it is very accurate and reliable.  It will certainly not be outdated for a long time.   It is also the first translation of choice in many United Methodist churches.

The general editors are Joel B. Green, Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and Will H. Willimon, Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church who is also an outstanding preacher.  As I turned the pages near the front of the bible to see the editorial board and contributors, I noticed that the people on the editorial board and contributors were from a mix of mainline United Methodists and evangelicals of the Wesleyan and Nazarene traditions.  I believe this makes the Wesley Study Bible one of the most diverse within the Wesleyan-Methodist tradition.  I do not think other study bibles based on specific theological traditions have been able to pull together contributors from a broad spectrum of theological worldviews, but this one manages to do so, which is admirable indeed.

I recommend the Wesley Study Bible to all interested bible readers who want to study the written word of God and receive input from a Wesleyan-Methodist viewpoint.  The very helpful features will deepen one’s theological understanding, and help one apply biblical principles into their lives.  I’m sure you will enjoy the Wesley Study Bible and find it a valuable resource.

It can be purchase online from Cokesbury, Amazon or ChristianBook.com.

Fearless by Max Lucado

Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear
Author: Max Lucado
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 8, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0849946581
ISBN-13: 978-0849946585

Max Lucado’s latest book, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear, is a book that will help you put your fears into perspective.  After having mine revealed through his book like an open heart surgeon, he pointed me back to Christ as the cure for my fears.  Lucado has pointed out so many of my fears, even the ones I was not fully conscious of, and he paints a picture of my fears that is so vivid and real. I wasn’t expecting that before I started reading the book.

Furthermore, he doesn’t just go skin deep but he really delves deep into our heart and after finishing the chapter, I end up feeling: “Wow, he’s right.  I do have fears and he knows how I might feel.” After realizing my own fears and their reality in my life, I am forced to place my faith in the one who is able to alleviate those fears.  Here’s a quote from my favorite chapter, My Child is in Danger: Fear of Not Protecting My Kids:

“So do the parents of the teenage daughter who collapsed in a volleyball workout.  No one knew about her heart condition or knows how she’ll fare.  When we prayed at her bedside, her mom’s tears left circles on the sheets.  At least they know where their child is.  The mother who called our church for prayers doesn’t.  Her daughter, a high school senior, ran away with a boyfriend.  He’s into drugs.  She’s into him.  Both are into trouble.  The mother begs for help.  Fear distilleries concoct a high-octane brew for parents—a primal, gut-wrenching, pulse-stilling dose.  Whether Mom and Dad keep vigil outside a neonatal unit, make weekly visits to a juvenile prison, or hear the crunch of a bike and the cry of a child in the driveway, their reaction is the same: “I have to do something.” No parent can sit still while his or her child suffers.   Jairus couldn’t.” (p.57).

I found the discussion guide at the end of the book very helpful.  The questions are great for personal and even group reflection.  With this format of this book, I can see a group reading this book together.  These questions will cause readers to dive into their own fears. It’s obvious that the author, Lucado, had already reflected upon these questions and scriptural references himself as he was writing this book.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in inspirational books. Whether one may be be fearful or fearless, you will find Fearless an excellent read that will awaken your desire to fear less, or even, to be fearless.

This book is available from Amazon and CBD.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear
Author: Max Lucado
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 8, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0849921392
ISBN-13: 978-0849921391

Max Lucado’s latest book, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear, is a book that will help us relate our fears to our everyday lives.  After revealing them like an open heart surgeon, he points us back to Christ as our cure for our fears.  Lucado has pointed out so many of my fears, even the ones I was not fully conscious of.  He paints a picture of my fears that is so vivid and real.

I really like his writing style because he doesn’t just go skin deep but he really delves deep into our heart and after finishing the chapter, I end up feeling: “Wow, that’s right.  I do have fears and he knows how we might feel.” After realizing my own fears and their reality in my life, I am forced to place my faith in the one who is able to alleviate those fears.

“So do the parents of the teenage daughter who collapsed in a volleyball workout.  No one knew about her heart condition or knows how she’ll fare.  When we prayed at her bedside, her mom’s tears left circles on the sheets.  At least they know where their child is.  The mother who called our church for prayers doesn’t.  Her daughter, a high school senior, ran away with a boyfriend.  He’s into drugs.  She’s into him.  Both are into trouble.  The mother begs for help.  Fear distilleries concoct a high-octane brew for parents—a primal, gut-wrenching, pulse-stilling dose.  Whether Mom and Dad keep vigil outside a neonatal unit, make weekly visits to a juvenile prison, or hear the crunch of a bike and the cry of a child in the driveway, their reaction is the same: “I have to do something.” No parent can sit still while his or her child suffers.   Jairus couldn’t.” (p.57).

I also found the discussion guide at the end of the book very helpful.  The questions are great for personal and even group reflection.  With this format of this book, I can see a group reading this book together.  These questions will cause readers to dive into their own fears. It’s obvious that the author, Lucado, had already reflected upon these questions and scriptural references himself as he was writing this book.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in inspirational books. Whether one may be be fearful or fearless, you will find Fearless an excellent read that will awaken your desire to fear less, or even, to be fearless.

Max Lucado, a New York Times Best-Selling author, is one of the most prolific writers of inspirational Christian books today. He has written 25 inspirational books, 29 childrens’ books, 3 fictions, plus 24 gift books and contributed to 3 devotional bibles.8, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0849921392
ISBN-13: 978-0849921391

Max Lucado’s latest book, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear, is a book that will help us relate our fears to our everyday lives.  After revealing them like an open heart surgeon, he points us back to Christ as our cure for our fears.  Lucado has pointed out so many of my fears, even the ones I was not fully conscious of.  He paints a picture of my fears that is so vivid and real.

I really like his writing style because he doesn’t just go skin deep but he really delves deep into our heart and after finishing the chapter, I end up feeling: “Wow, that’s right.  I do have fears and he knows how we might feel.” After realizing my own fears and their reality in my life, I am forced to place my faith in the one who is able to alleviate those fears.

“So do the parents of the teenage daughter who collapsed in a volleyball workout.  No one knew about her heart condition or knows how she’ll fare.  When we prayed at her bedside, her mom’s tears left circles on the sheets.  At least they know where their child is.  The mother who called our church for prayers doesn’t.  Her daughter, a high school senior, ran away with a boyfriend.  He’s into drugs.  She’s into him.  Both are into trouble.  The mother begs for help.  Fear distilleries concoct a high-octane brew for parents—a primal, gut-wrenching, pulse-stilling dose.  Whether Mom and Dad keep vigil outside a neonatal unit, make weekly visits to a juvenile prison, or hear the crunch of a bike and the cry of a child in the driveway, their reaction is the same: “I have to do something.” No parent can sit still while his or her child suffers.   Jairus couldn’t.” (p.57).

I also found the discussion guide at the end of the book very helpful.  The questions are great for personal and even group reflection.  With this format of this book, I can see a group reading this book together.  These questions will cause readers to dive into their own fears. It’s obvious that the author, Lucado, had already reflected upon these questions and scriptural references himself as he was writing this book.

Max Lucado is one of the most prolific writers of inspirational Christian books today. He has written 25 inspirational books, 29 childrens’ books, 3 fictions, plus 24 gift books and contributed to 3 devotional bibles.

Adventure for Autism Journeyman cycling through 19 countries

I just had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Adam Biel yesterday, who is now making his way across Canada and the U.S.A. to raise funds and awareness for autism called Adventure for Autism.  He will have biked through 19 countries throughout the North and South American continents by the end of his journey.

My family had Adam stay with us last night.  We had 9-10 o us around for supper and coffee at the church.  After supper, we had got to know Adam better as we learned more about autism and how it has and is increasing in our society.  Adam also discussed what is happening in autism research.

Adam says he is doing this “because he wants to give back” and contribute to something that is outside of himself.  This makes a lot of sense.  He believes that he should give more than what he receives.  I really admire this man who I believe is a man of integrity and a committed follower of Christ.

I plan to follow Adam’s trip on Twitter and Facebook.  He started in Anchorage, Alaska, has been through Vancouver, and made a stopover in his hometown of Sherwood Park (Edmonton, AB).  He most recently came through Saskatoon, my town of Davidson, and is now on his way to Regina, Winnipeg.

He might be on route through your part of the country and I hope people across Canada and the U.S.A. can support him in this endeavour.  He will be cycling through the Great Lakes states, then head through the Maritime provinces, the New England states, hen down along the East Coast.  He plans to make a stop in North Carolina, home of his alma mater, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, then down to Florida, the southern Texas coastline, and down through eastern Mexico, Central America, and then onto the South America Hemisphere. (see map here).  Adam figures that the entire trip may take him to 2011.  The public may donate to Adventure for Autism here.

Adam, may God bless him in your awesome adventure in raising awareness and money for autism.  May God guide you as you give back to this greater cause.

NRSV and NLT are now my two gender-inclusive translations of choice

Hopefully, this will be my last post on the TNIV for a little while. There are better things to blog about.

As for a gender-accurate (gender-inclusive) translation, I will be going with the NRSV as my main translation of choice; second will be the NLT.  I may be in the minority camp here but I am not alone.  I believe this camp will grow in the future.  There are also a few others who will be leaving the TNIV as their mediating translation of choice.  Sue at Suzanne’s Bookshelf mentioned there are a few who will be going with the NRSV as their main translation, “now that the NIV/TNIV is in limbo”.  [added: Rick at This Lamp will also no longer be recommending the TNIV as a primary bible.]  I’ve been reading a lot of other blogs lately about this issue of the death of the TNIV in the past few days.  I know most of my biblioblogger friends out there are going to stick with reading the TNIV, but I will not, based on Zondervan’s business ethics (i.e., $$$$).

If the new NIV in 2011 tones down its gender-inclusive language (either by 5%, 10% or 15%), then it’ll not be much different from the inconsistent ESV.  Even if 95% of the TNIV will be preserved, you can bet that some of the gender-inclusive language will be reversed to a masculine language.  So why would TNIV supporters (who support gender-inclusive language) want to be a fan of an inconsistent translation in the future?  I predict that some current TNIV-supporters may come to see it this way a few years down the road when they see the light.  They will realize that Zondervan has betrayed the pro-TNIV supporters.

If the new NIV of 2011 tones down the gender language, the likes of Grudem and the anti-TNIV and ESV-only crowds have won.  Personally, I still refer to the ESV in my study.  I’m one of those funny ones who support the TNIV and the ESV even though I have nothing to do with the ESV-only crowd.  Though I think the ESV is inconsistent in its use of gender-inclusive language, I still have more respect for the ESV and Crossway than for Zondervan.  Crossway has backed up its translation and has done an amazing marketing job on the ESV.  Zondervan has not.  It has treated it disgracefully.  Dan Philips calls the TNIV a misbegotten version (but he takes an anti-TNIV position).  I call it a product of ‘Hagar’ but I take a pro-TNIV position).

Furthermore, I will not be stocking up on more TNIVs (like Rick advised TNIV-over at This Lamp) because, as I’ve said before, if it’s not good enough for CBT, Biblica and Zondervan, then it’s not good enough for me.  Why should I read from a translation they do not intend to support?  A dying translation is as good as a dead translation.  I will not invest my time and effort to read, teach or preach from a dead translation, which is why I don’t read the NEB, REB (or maybe even the NASB…sorry ElShaddai and Gary Z.).

Even though I have lost some respect for the three parties who are involved with TNIV’s death, my love for the TNIV translation is still alive.  Ironically, I still encourage TNIV-supporters to read the TNIV.   Until I see what happens in 2011, I don’t think I’ll even touch the TNIV for a while, at least for a while until my head cools down a little and my ill-feelings toward Zondervan, Biblica and CBT subsides.  If there truly is a resurrection of the TNIV and its gender-inclusive language is preserved, I may return to the new NIV, but for the time being, I will hold off from it because I have my doubts about CBT, and Zondervan’s intentions (which I believe are not good, of which I may express more in a future post).