Here are 5 random things from my week.
1. Loved this quote by Chuck Swindoll in his book The Church Awakening:
Some churches have adopted a professional ministry mindset entirely. Like the consumer culture they live in, the people pay the pastors to do the work of the ministry, while they sit and watch and offer critiques. Where is that in the Bible? A pastor who allows this approach to occur has fallen for what I call the "Superman Syndrome."
Now remember, this isn't Jon Zens talking, It isn't Neil Cole. It isn't Frank Viola. This is Chuck Swindoll for crying out loud. Maybe there's hope for our churches yet.
2. On YouTube I've been watching the ACCA meeting this week in Illinois. The ACCA is a group of airline content creators on YouTube. One of them, Dan Gryder, posted a video interview entitled No Arms? No Problem! In it I was introduced to a pilot you absolutely need to meet. Jessica Cox was born without arms and yet she flies an airplane (as well as scuba dives, surfs, has a black belt in Tae Kwan Do, etc.) and travels all over the world speaking to children who were born limbless. Jessica, you are an inspiration and a walking example for all of us who are full of excuses. The simple decision to change our mindset from "I can't do it" to "I need to figure out how to do it" is super empowering. By the way, Jessica flies an ERCO Ercoupe that uses a two-control system that links the rudder and aileron systems. In other words, this plane does not have rudder pedals and therefore Jessica can use her feet for the throttle and yoke. Jessica, you are one amazing lady!
3. I made a significant change to the syllabus for my Advanced Greek Grammar course this fall. I've cut out the busy work and put all their eggs in one basket: a term paper on any topic in the teeny little book of 3 John. Here are some possible topics:
- Eldership in the New Testament
- The New Testament emphasis on hospitality
- Learning as imitation
- The idiom "mouth to mouth"
- Hapax legomena in 3 John
- Does verse 2 teach the prosperity gospel?
- The discourse structure of 3 John (hotly debated!)
- Marked word order in 3 John
- The use of the passive voice in 3 John
Here I am reverting to the philosophy of education I experienced when I got my doctorate from Basel: No quizzes, no exams, not even any required courses. You just researched and wrote. There will, of course, be lots of reading (A. T. Robertson, Runge, Porter, etc.).
4. We are one step closer to getting Harry Sturz's The Byzantine Text-Type and New Testament Textual Criticism back into print. The publisher likes the idea and all that's left is to write an acceptable proposal. This book is a definite must read.
5. Did I tell you I'm planning on biking 44 miles to commemorate my retirement this month after 44 years of teaching? I also hope to run 44 kilometers this week (not miles!). I am so incredibly inspired to do this. Wish me well!