Saturday, September 30, 2023

Virginia 10 Miler 2023 Race Report

Lynchburg, like Rome, is known as the "City of Seven Hills." That's why the hills are so difficult at the annual running of the Virginia 10 Miler. Here's an elevation map produced by one of Virginia's best cartographers (me):

One almost needs an ice pick and crampons. Remember: This course is an out and back, which means that you go from left to right on this map, turn around, and then run the course backwards. The most obvious feature of the race is the fact that it's all downhill at the start. However, what goes down must go up, and everyone dreads having to run uphill for the last mile of the race. 

When the race starts, everyone is happy and cheerful. 

I, in particular, was watching my steps. 

I didn't want to run too hard since I was coming off a chest cold. God has blessed me with a good set of bellows and I plan to keep it that way. Here we are a couple of miles into the race. 

We're still going strong. Remember: We're still going downhill. Besides, there were over 1,000 enthusiastic volunteers along the course to cheer us on. 

As far as I am concerned, these are the real heroes of the day, not the Kenyans and Ethiopians who came in first. 

I finished the race a full 7 minutes under the goal pace I had set for myself, so that was a pleasant surprise. Incidentally, sometimes Airbnb comes up with real winners, like this 1752 farmhouse I stayed in near Rustburg. Country living at its best yet only a 12 minute drive from Lynchburg. Sweet.

In short, one of the things that draws me to races is that it is chosen suffering. Even when I was plodding up Mount Everest at the end of the race, one thought kept me going: I chose this! Nobody makes you run. It is your choice. Friend, if something in your life is worth doing, do it now. Don't wait. No one knows what tomorrow will bring except the Lord. Live your life to the fullest each and every day. Try to live in such a way that you won't have to look back (too often) with regrets, thinking about all the things you were going to do but never got around to. At 71, if there is a goal I want to achieve, I want to start working towards it now. I want to nurture those relationships in my life that are important to me and let the rest go. I want to be an encouragement and support to others. Most of all, I want to love and serve my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And I want to do it NOW. 

Overall, I had a great morning and a reminder that
  • Not listening to your body is for idiots.
  • I don't have to put pressure on myself.
  • Not every race is easy. In fact, none are!
  • Always say thank you to the volunteers. 
  • I love Virginia. 
Thank you for reading,


Friday, September 29, 2023

Entering the Fall Season

I'm so excited about the rest of the year I can hardly stand it. It's always amazing to me that people are bored. There are people who are actually bored with life. What a terrible way to spend a year. Just sittin' around moping, waiting for something to happen. What a horrible way to live. Go out and make something happen. 

What an exciting thing it is that we can move into the fall season that is unfolding in front of us. Will you and I live it to the full? The choice is ours. 

By Means of the Spirit Keep on Walking (Gal. 5:16)

Here's yet another verse I committed to memory this morning. 

Here's my literal translation:

"But I say, by means of the Spirit keep on walking, and the lust of the flesh you will by no means fulfill."

Notice that the verb is "keep on walking." Walking is something that if you stop doing you are no longer walking, you're standing still. You've got to keep on walking. You put your right foot out in front of you, then you bring your left foot up, or you're not walking. Then you do it all over again. It's a continual, habitual thing. 

In a battle, the Christian is to stand.

In a race, the Christian is to run.

But in life, the Christian is to walk. 

Soldiers win medals. Runners receive laurels. But walkers wake up in the morning to a kitchen full of dirty dishes and a garden that needs weeding and an elderly parent that requires constant attention and papers that need grading and a child that needs to be taken to the doctor and temptations that need to be faced. The idea of walking in the Spirit is not a ride in the Space Shuttle. You're not going into orbit. Your stuck in the here and now. To do that, we need to learn to "walk in the Spirit." The whole Christian life is a walk of faith, and it is a faith that relies on the Holy Spirit of God. I once heard someone liken this to a train engineer standing on the track and trying to push the train from behind. "Why," someone asks, "don't you just get in the cab and release the throttles?" The Christian can't walk in his own strength, and he knows he can't walk in his own strength. Like a man dependent on crutches, we can't walk on our own. We must be utterly dependent on the Holy Spirit and no longer dependent on ourselves. If you didn't need to be reminded of that fact today, I certainly did!

Let me close with my paraphrase of Gal. 5:16:

"I, Paul, advise you to do this: Live your daily lives in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. He alone can enable you to do what pleases God. Take each step of your day depending completely on him, and then you won't always be doing the wrong things your old nature wants you to do."

Walk in the Spirit, and you most certainly will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Pastoral Song

Today it was finally dry enough to get out and about on the farm. First off I wanted to check on the pines I planted several years ago. 

There are 76 acres of them and I want to keep close tabs on them. 

Right now they are anywhere from 5 to 9 feet tall. This means that when they get to 12-15 feet they will reach pulpwood size and I can thin them out. 

Then I wanted to check up on the sheep and see how they were doing. Watching sheep canter is so much fun. They can't wait to say hello. 

Everyone seemed fine and dandy. 

They have to be the most gentle animals you will ever meet. 

Finally it was time to get out the lawn mower. In the process I discovered a bit of post-storm damage to some of our trees. This was mostly at Maple Ridge. 

Here at Bradford Hall, where I live, things are fine. 

Okay, this was just a really beautiful day. The lush green grass, the animals looking nothing less than majestic, the pines pushing up toward the heavens. Just the sound of the farm and your daily routine makes life so interesting and enjoyable. Thank you, Lord, for sharing this property with me. 

I respect and admire anyone who farms. 

Some Great Organ Music for Your Listening Enjoyment

With Christmas coming up, thought you'd enjoy this. The finale will amaze you. Speakers up! 

Slow Or Fast, Be Grateful

It's okay to look at your watch when you cross the finish line at a race. Some do so and then frown because they wanted to go faster. Others do so and look up at the heavens and rejoice that God allowed them to do something fantastic and soul-affirming. Be like the latter. 

Crossing the finish line at the St. George (Utah) Marathon and setting a new marathon PR in the process. 

The Goal of Biblical Interpretation

The Bible is completely divine. But it is also a human book given in human language (not the language of angels) and is intended to be understood by its readers. Every word, phrase, sentence, and paragraph was recorded in written language and followed normal, grammatical meanings. This suggests that we should never go to the Bible with our preconceived notions but instead should let the Bible speak for itself. The goal of Bible interpretation is not to understand a text from a "Western" or "African" or "Latinamente" point of view, but to determine the original meaning of the text. This is called exegesis, and it is something I have the great privilege of teaching my Greek students this semester. 

It's Time to Start!

I was terrible at high school science, but I did learn enough about Newton's first law of motion to know that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. 

Many of you haven't exercised in years. But let me assure you: once you become active again, you will want to continue working out. Activity begets activity. Inactivity begets inactivity. It's really that simple. The scientific term for this is inertia. It's human nature to resist change, but once we get started we don't want to stop. 

Where to start? With walking. All you need are shoes! 

"Paul's Letter to the Laodiceans"

Today I translated a letter of the apostle Paul that I had never translated before, if you can believe that. The letter is extant only in Latin, but the Latin is so simple a blind man could translate it. 

This letter claims to be "Paul's letter to the Laodiceans," which is mentioned in Col. 4:16. Of course, it's a forgery and seems to be mainly a series of allusions to Paul's (authentic) letter to the Philippians. Here are a couple of examples:

Est enim Deus qui operatur in nos.

For it is God who works in you.

Gaudete in Christo.

Rejoice in Christ.

Et erit vobis pax.

And peace shall be with you.

Latin is a lot of fun! 

By the way, welcome back, gym! Good to see ya again! 

Illness and exercise don't mix well. One tough thing about getting a chest cold is that you can't train. Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself when you think you're ready to get back to the Y. I still have a bit of a cough but it's nothing major. Otherwise, I feel 100 percent again, thanks be to God. Now I have to decide whether or not to run in Saturday's Virginia 10 Miler. The rule of thumb is: A chest cold requires time off, but symptoms above the neck (sneezing, runny nose) don't pose a risk to runners. I know it's a cliché, but there's always another race. If I'm still coughing, even a little bit, I'm probably not going to race. I need to save myself for other things at this stage of life. 

Just trying to making lemonade out of lemons,


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Have I Learned Contentment Yet?

This morning, during my Bible study, I committed these words from Phil. 4:11 to memory.

Paul says, "I have learned to be content, wherever the circumstances." The verb he uses here is emathon, root math. Interestingly, this root is found in the noun mathētēs, the New Testament word for "disciple." A disciple is a learner, though not a "student" in the sense of someone who sits in a classroom and listens to someone lecture. The other night I was watching The Chosen and there was a scene in which Jesus calls out to his "students." Surely there are better English words for mathētēs than that. "Apprentices" would work well. So would "trainees." (At Walmart, new employees are called trainees when they are hired. They are not "students" in a classroom but "apprentices" out on the floor while learning their craft from someone who is more experienced than they are.) Contentment, says Paul, cannot be acquired without experience. You can't get it directly from God as a gift. You have to "learn" it. And a degree in contentment ranks right up there with the rarest accomplishments of life. Discontentment, not contentment, is our natural disposition. We don't need to be taught to complain. On a farm, if you want weeds, you do nothing. But if you want a crop, you have to plow and sow. Contentment has to be cultivated. 

Yesterday my son asked me, "Dad, what are you going to do when your teaching career comes to an end?" In a roundabout way, he was asking me, "Dad, have you learned the secret of contentment? Will you submit to the will and good pleasure of God when he removes your career from you?" Spurgeon once wrote: "To hear another man praised at your own expense, to find your own virtues ignored in order to describe the superior qualities of some new rival, to be able to bear this with joy and thankfulness, and to praise God is beyond human nature." Then he added this profound statement: "There must be something nobel in the heart of a man who is able to lay down all of his honors as willingly as he took them up." 

My son, in essence, was asking me, "Dad, will you as cheerfully be humbled by the Lord as to be lifted up by him?" Paul, at the end of his life and career, had learned the art of contentment. He could face any circumstance "through the one who infuses his strength into me" (Phil. 4:13). Barclay writes, "The Stoic was self-sufficient; but Paul was God-sufficient." 

So ... to come full circle. How will I react when I enter the classroom for the last time, when speaking invitations no longer come my way, when I can no longer write and publish books? Will I have learned contentment to the degree that I will be able to say with Malcolm Muggeridge, "I may, I suppose, regard myself, or pass for being, a relatively successful man. People occasionally stare at me in the streets -- that's fame. I can fairly easily earn enough to qualify for admission to the higher slopes of the Inland Revenue -- that's success. Furnished with money and a little fame, even the elderly, if they care to, may partake of trendy diversions -- that's pleasure. It might happen once in a while that something I said or wrote was sufficiently heeded for me to persuade myself that it represented a serious impact on our time -- that's fulfillment. Yet I say to you, and I beg you to believe me, multiply these tiny triumphs by a million, add them all together, and they are nothing -- less than nothing, a positive impediment -- measured against one draught of that living water Christ offers to the spiritually thirsty, irrespective of who or what they are."

When that day comes, will I pass the final exam in "Contentment 101"? I honestly don't know. But I hope so. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Get Active!

In the 1960s, if you had a heart attack you were kept sedentary for up to 6 weeks. Today, heart attack patients aren't in bed half a day before they are up and moving. It's time to get active, folks. 

Enough Greek?

There's a big difference between knowing just enough Greek to be dangerous and knowing enough Greek to be helpful to the body of Christ. 

Listening to Mere Christianity

Does anyone else see the great irony in the fact that Lewis's Mere Christianity began as audio talks, then became a book, and is now being played online as an audio book, which is how I am "reading" it? 

A High Christology Is a Non-Negotiable

In 1978 I served for 3 months at the Bibelschule Bergstrasse in Seeheim, Germany. As you entered the campus you saw a large sign over the entrance that read:

In ihm sind alle Schätze der Weisheit und Erkenntnis verborgen.

No Bible college that fails to have such a lofty view of Jesus Christ can truly be called a Bible college. The totally adequate and unique superiority of Christ is a non-negotiable to a Christian educator. Jesus alone is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15). In him all of God's fullness dwells (Col. 1:19). In him dwells the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form (Col. 2:9). By him all things were created (Col. 1:16). In him all things hold together (1:17). And "In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3). 

The fundamental necessity for Christian higher education is a high Christology. It can never be compromised. 

We Are a Band of Brothers

Greek students, as we take a brief look at Philippians this semester, please do not forget: The letter is not an appeal for joy. It is an appeal for unity. It is from that purpose that there arises the great Christological paragraph in 2:5-11 that speaks of Christ's selfless humility. Only if we keep this in mind can we understand Paul's appeal to two women who had been quarreling in the church (4:2). Philippians is an appeal to maintain the unity of the church or it is nothing. Joy is merely the by-product of selfless living. 

Brethren, we are a band of brothers, bound together in one Spirit (1:27). 

Don't let the world see us fighting each other. The fact that we are all "in Christ" should keep us in unity with one another.

(For my detailed study of this topic of unity, go here.) 

20 Fall Things

20 things I'm looking forward to in the fall:

1. The Virginia 10 Miler.

2. The pace of life slowing down.

3. One more major race.

4. NFL football. 

5. Pumpkin spice latte.

6. New Testament seminar in Charlottesville.

7. Opening the windows in the house.

8. Decorating the porch with pumpkins.

9. The best sunsets.

10. Change is in the air.

11. Take a fall foliage tour ("leaf peeping").

12. Christmas with family in Kentucky.

13. Not too hot, bot too cold.

14. Crisp air.

15. Cooking chili on a chilly day.

16. Soft blankets.

17. Reading lots of books in front of the fireplace.

18. The end of Daylight Savings Time.

19. Finish our hay harvest.

20. Thanksgiving with family in Alabama.

It Didn't Pan Out

It sounded like a good idea at the time. 5 sets of 5 pull ups daily for 30 days. 

Then I went to the mountains for several days only to come down with a chest cold afterwards. But I tried. Stay tuned to see if I jump start the challenge in October. 

Monday, September 25, 2023

"American Patrol"

No wonder why we won the war. I could win one myself with this kind of music. 

It's All about Priorities

"I don't have time for that" is really "I don't want to take time for that." Friend, if you want it to happen it will happen. It doesn't mean it will be easy. But you've gotta want it. It's all about PRIORITIES. So instead of saying "I don't have time," say "It's not a priority." 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Retirees Ask ...

"What to do with all this leftover life?" Here's my answer

"I Don't Feel Like It"

The fact that you don't feel like reading God's word today is a sure sign that you need to read God's word today. 



Romans: Salvation Issues in Service!

All In

I'm either hot or cold. Lukewarm is not in my vocabulary. I'm either all in or not in at all. This fall I will have been teaching for 47 years. I can tell you, I am more passionate about the classroom than ever. This November I will have been blogging for 20 years. I can honestly say that I love blogging more today than when I first started. I have been surfing for 62 years, running for 7, mountaineering for 6. Have I lost my passion? Not on your life. 

"All in" means you accept every aspect of your life as a gift from your loving heavenly Father. It means you go through this life being yourself, but your best self. It means what Jim Elliot meant when he said, "Wherever you are, be all there." It means what John Newton meant when he wrote:

I'm not what I ought to be. I'm not what I want to be. I'm not what I hope to be in another world. But I'm not what I used to be. By the grace of God I am what I am.

It means what Paul meant when he said, "For me, to go living is Christ." 63 years ago I began my life with Christ. It was as though life began all over again. Since my conversion, there has never been a day when I have not lived in his presence. To all of his followers, Jesus gives his all-sufficient grace that is made perfect in our own weakness. If Christ were to be removed from our lives, there would be nothing left.

For Paul, each day's journey was one step closer to Home. But until then, his desire was to be ever willing and ever able to help and serve others. If we can learn to live like that, we will set such an example that unbelievers will be revolted with their way of life and will seek to possess what we possess. 

Don't Miss This!

On this blog we talk a lot about this or that detail about the Bible. We even get into the minutiae at times. All well and good I guess. But what I don't want you to miss is the greatness of God. He's not just good. He is great. Great in every way. I mean, we don't have only one written account of the life of his Son. We have four. How great is that! Furthermore, I can literally hold in my hands the New Testament in its original language. 

How amazing! It's easy for us to miss that when we come to the Scriptures. If we're not careful, the more knowledge we acquire, the more theological degrees we attain, our God can become too small. As our head enlarges and our pride increases and our egos get out of control, rather than increasing our fear of the Lord, the Bible can become an object to pique our interest. It can become merely another analyzable datum of linguistic investigation. Ho hum.

Don't go there. Don't miss the greatness of our God! 

Saturday, September 23, 2023

"Let Me Give You My Translation"

Been listening today to J. Vernon McGee's Thru the Bible audio sermons. I absolutely love it when he says, "Let me give you my own translation of this verse." I heard him do this twice in the same message. I wish more shepherd-teachers would do this! 

One More?

Staring at the 4,000 meter peak in the Swiss Alps called the Breithorn. Later I would summit it. 

Do I still have another peak in me? That is the question. 

When God Closes a Door (Acts 18:1)

More than anything -- even my morning cup of coffee -- I love reading my Bible at the break of dawn. I never fail to see something in the text I've never seen before. Never! Here's what I saw this morning. 

While reading Acts 18 (the account of Paul's trip to Corinth), I was struck by Luke's use of an unusual verb. 

It's chōrizō. Most English translations say that Paul "left" Athens and then went on to the city of Corinth. However, Greek has a perfectly good word for "leave." Luke does not use it here. Instead, he uses a term that often has the meaning "separate." Not only that, the verb Luke employs here is in the passive -- not the active -- voice. What could this mean?

Word study time! I looked up the occurrences of chōrizō in the New Testament and found a very interesting parallel in the book of Philemon. 

In verse 15, Paul refers to the time when the slave Onesimus had left his master Philemon's home and had run away. But notice: Paul doesn't say that he "ran away from" or "left" Philemon. No, he says that Onesimus "was separated from you" (NIV) or "was parted from you" (ESV). (Please note the passive voice.) I think the idea is that the flight of Onesimus from his master was, however unconsciously, overruled by the hand of God. I might render the verse as, "For perhaps because of this he was separated from you (providentially) for a time so that you might have him back forever." I like how MacLaren puts it:

He "was parted" -- not that he was not responsible for his flight, but that, through his act, which in the eyes of all concerned was wrong, Paul discerns as dimly visible a great Divine purpose.

Isn't that great? In short, Paul is stressing the fact that the escape of Onesimus happened providentially. Oh how I wish I could see the events in my life through the same eyes!

Anyways, back to Acts 18:1. In my opinion, Paul didn't just "leave" Athens. Apparently events had forced Paul to alter his intended plan. Thus he was, in a sense, compelled to leave the seat of Greek culture for the seat of Greek commerce. Paul didn't know it at the time, though God did, that much greater fruit was awaiting him in Corinth than in Athens. The idea is that Paul was providentially separated from Athens. Interestingly to me, the NIV and ESV get this right in Philemon 15 but seem to to miss the very same point in Acts 18:1. 

Sorry to bore you with all these details about Greek verbs and Greek voices and translation issues. But to be honest, I have a love affair with the Scriptures. As early as the age of 16 in Hawaii, I was drawn to the truths of God's word and captivated by its wisdom. My current dedication to the Scriptures can be traced in large part to my teachers in seminary who modelled for me careful attention to detail. And talk about the personal enrichment that comes from such study! Not long ago God seemed to close a door on a 10-year ministry I had to a nation that is now closed to me after over a dozen trips there. At first it was very difficult for me to "leave" this ministry that I believe God had called me to. But then I gradually realized that I had not "left" anything at all. God had been providentially separating me from that work for reasons known only to him. I venture to insist that we missionaries of the gospel (yes, I am a missionary, and so are you) have only one proper activity, and it is to be sensitive to the ministration of the Holy Spirit in our midst. We must not admit for one moment that our plans are indispensable to the work of Christ. Since the Day of Pentecost, followers of Jesus no longer insist on their own way; they obey a spiritual impulse. This is due to the fact that they did not begin their work under the direction of their own intellect but under the direction of the Holy Spirit. This explains why Luke, in the book of Acts, is always keen to show how the apostles went forth as men moved by the Spirit to communicate the Spirit to others. This guidance of the Holy Spirit is the key to all apostolic or missionary work. It alone explains how Paul could make his plans so flexibly, as I too must make my plans flexibly. At Pentecost, the apostles had received more than intellectual illumination. They had received the Spirit of Christ. 

Obviously, the appropriate attitude is to embrace this fact: We are not the masters of our own fate. We depend on the living Christ for guidance in all we do. Never complain about a closed door. You weren't responsible for it opening in the first place. Remember: God has prepared ahead of time the good works he has for you. Don't miss them! 

Friday, September 22, 2023

Harpers Ferry Resplendence

The climb to the Harpers Ferry overlook is brutal but well worth the effort if you enjoy photography as much as I do. Sunset is the best time to go. 

Weight Training After 70? YES!

Many people think you shouldn't weight train after 70. 

I wish they would read this

Church Elders = Older Men

"Younger elders" is an oxymoron. 

But Do They Mention "Jesus"?

"Politicians frequently gush the politically correct, 'God bless America,' but none dare use the politically incorrect J word." -- Chuck Swindoll. 

Your "Boring" Greek Class

The more "boring" a beginning Greek class is (basic exercises, paradigm memorization, vocabulary acquisition, in-class recitation) the more likely it'll produce long term results. 

Storm Coming

The kids have been working super hard. Every barn is now full. 

Good thing too. Huge storm about to dump some serious rain! 

It Ain't That Easy

"I have been studying the warning passages in the book of Hebrews for two years now and can finally understand exactly what they mean" said no one ever. 

Embarrassing Much?

Who else can vividly remember the embarrassment of ordering a pepperoni pizza in Germany and getting a pizza topped with red peppers? 

My Grammar in Spanish: On Sale at Amazon

If you or someone you know would like to study Greek with me in Spanish, Amazon is offering the Spanish translation of my beginning grammar for only $0.99. Please prayerfully consider joining me in this wonderful journey! 

Interdependence Does Not Negate Independence

There is in Christianity a delightful duty to help and support financially those who cannot support themselves and equally a proud independence that scorns to take money from others as long as we can supply our own needs. 

Our Plumb Line As Christians

No tradition or teaching can be Christian tradition and teaching which is at variance with the written word of God. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

What Is Wisdom?

It's a very precious thing to glean the wisdom of a mentor. Years ago one of mine gave me his definition of wisdom. "Wisdom," he said, "is looking at life from God's point of view." He added, "We're not born with it. We don't inherit it. We can't take a seminary course in it. We don't get it by osmosis. Wisdom is housed in the mind of our God, and he delights to share it with us when we need it the most."

Right now I'm facing a situation that calls for wisdom. It's a situation part of which I caused and part of which I didn't. I need God to enable me to see through his perspective what I can learn through this. I need his wisdom, and I don't have it in myself.

Wisdom is the ability to deal triumphantly with anything life can throw at us. It's something no circumstance of life can ever defeat, no trial can ever vanquish. Through wisdom we receive one of God's greatest gifts to us -- knowledge plus power. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

My Porch

I love spending time on my front porch in the evening praying for my kids and grandkids. 

Because Jesus is man, he understands them. Because he is God, he can help them. He is uniquely qualified to see them through. 


We learned this word on Monday in Greek class. 

Charis is my favorite word in the entire New Testament. Paul always ended his letters by commending others to that grace he himself had found sufficient for all things. "Grace is all you need," Dave. Remember that.

My View about the Rapture

A question that often came up in private conversation during last weekend's conference was, "Dr. Black, what do you believe about the rapture?" I am pre-trib. But that is irrelevant. I told my new Romanian friends that, in effect, the best way Jesus Christ could come to us is that he would find us quietly, efficiently, and diligently fulfilling our daily responsibilities. The doctrine of the Second Coming is not a reason to stop working. It is a reason for working all the harder for the sake of the kingdom. 

Obey Christ!

A reminder to my students: In matters of personal decision making, always follow your Scriptural convictions. Your parents are not God. Furthermore, your pastor is not the head of the church. Christ is the head of the church. A teacher's greatest glory lies in those whom he has set or helped on the path to obeying Christ and not man. 

Better Than a Rebuke

People react better to encouragement than to rebuke. 

Three Simple Words (Phil. 1:10)

Phil. 3:10 begins with three simple words in both Greek and English. 

  • tou gnōnai auton
  • to know him 

Paul uses a word for "know" that very often refers to personal rather than intellectual knowledge. The Hebrew equivalent is yada

The aim is not to know about Christ. The goal is to know him. This can't be taught in seminary. Theological knowledge is hardly the same as personal knowledge. "To know him" is to experience him with such intimacy that we are as united with him as we might be with our spouse. 

We cannot know everything about Christ. But we can all know him.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

You're Invited: Upcoming New Testament Seminar

Please join us at FBC Charlottesville on Saturday, October 14, 2023, for a one-day seminar on the synoptic problem and New Testament textual criticism. Admission (lunch included) is FREE. More information here

Monday, September 18, 2023

Don't Be a Quitter

Today my Greek students took their first exam of the semester. I am so proud of them. They did great. I appreciate their endurance. If there's one thing they're not, it's quitters. In 1 Thess. 5:14, Paul uses a word for "lazy" (ataktoi) that originally meant "quitters." In every walk of life, there are the quitters. Don't be lazy, says Paul. Don't be a quitter. There is always another step you can take. 

Don't give up. 

The Beckoning Alps

I'm now in touch with my mountain guide in Switzerland. 

He led me on 4 climbs safely in the past. 

Folks, this is getting real. If I do decide to return to the Alps, I will be all in. I am both scared and excited. As soon as we decide on my trip dates, I'll let you know.