The 2 Timothy 2:2 Objective

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Coming Attractions...So To Speak

I have not be regularly posting on my blog but I have been regularly writing for it. I am working on a series of posts regarding sermon preparation. I am working through a passage of Scripture and developing it into a sermon I hope to preach soon. I would like to post every stage of development so that if anyone is interested, they can see how at least one person prepares a sermon.

I am not sure how valuable it will be but that is what I am spending my time on. I hope to post the first one soon. It all depends on how long it takes me to finish it.

Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 1.24.08

Comedian Brian Regan on Pop Tarts

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Books are Better than Bible Software

Sell your shirt and buy books.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon to ministry students in his school.

I think Spurgeon had it right. However, I really do not want to see a bunch of seminary students running around without their shirts (that is going to give me nightmars just penning that last sentence). However, I think it still applies today. That is, I think books are to the minister what tools are to the mechanic. I have mentioned this before in a previous post, but I feel I should repeat it. In an age where free resources on the Internet are readily available and where Bible programs are plenty, some may wonder why books should be bothered with. Here are my top ten reasons why books are better than Bible software.
10. You do not need to download an upgrade to a classic, well-written book - ever.

9. Paper cuts build character and you cannot get a paper cut from the Internet.

8. Sneaking a laptop into one's daughter's band concert is harder to pull off and generally frowned upon.

7. CD's will not be usuable in 20 years (or more likely, 3 years - Seriously, how many 100 year old CD's do you really expect to see? I have maybe a dozen books over 100 years old.)

6. Leaving a book on the dash of your car in the summer does not ruin it.

5. Inscribing the inside of a CD makes in unusable.

4. Highlighting on the Internet ruins your screen.

3. Lending a book to your friend does not break several federal laws.

2. Reading a book in the bathtub is not risking electrocution.

1. Books smell better than CD's.

I know these are silly but there is a some truth behind each one (except maybe the paper cut one). For a more serious top ten list, look at this article entitled 10 Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library. This article does a good job with showing why schools still need libraries and people still need to pick up a book.

One last thing about books: As I think about my daughter getting older and probably marrying someone (here is where I break down and cry uncontrollably), I think maybe at some time I will need to give some of my library to her and her husband, if they happen to be involved in ministry. If that is the case, then I am not building just a library right now, I am building an inheritance or a legacy. If my resources now help a young pastor 40 years from now not only intellectually but financially (because books cost money) then it is worth having them.

Do not get me wrong. I have my share of Bible Software and I use nearly daily. And I think they are great. I just enjoy being able take a book with me wherever I go and know that if it is a book whose content is worthwhile, my grandkids will be reading the same books. is Back Up and Running

In addition to my blog, I have a website that I created to help students I teach and other Bible students to find good resources easy. The site is The 2 Timothy 2:2 Objective and is found at In fact, this blog is something of a natural outgrowth of that ministry. has been having problems since October and I could not for the life of me figure out why. I called Comcast over and over again. They were having problems trying to get their pages reconciled with Microsoft Vista (there's a shock). But they had apparently fixed it and I was still having trouble. Long story short (too late)...I was able to fix the problem, which seemed to originated with the place I registered the domain name - some setting I changed and messed things up.

So, now it should be available. If you have not seen The 2 Timothy 2:2 Objective, please stop by and look around at the links, the archive, and the store. Let me know what you think. And if you have a link that needs to be posted, send it to me at

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Book Review: Renewed by the Word

This year I am going to attempt to post more book reviews. One of my goals for each year is a certain number of books to complete by years end. I missed my goal for 2007 by a few books but setting a goal always keeps me moving toward something.

I just finished my first book for 2008. It is entitled Renewed by the Word: The Bible and Christian Revival since the Reformation by Dr. Jeremy N. Morris (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2005; 153 pp.; ISBN:1-56563-533-7). Morris is “Dean and Lord Robert Runice Fellow in Ecclesiastical at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and associate Lecturere at the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge” (Back cover).

I had a hard time following the flow of thought in this brief historical book. It traverses the globe in its scope but was too brief to do so in much depth.

The author’s goal was to trace three major revivals throughout the world. He first analyzed the Great Awakening in America and the personalities pivotal in that movement. This began with several chapters of introductory material. This was somewhat beneficial for it gave the background for which revivalism thrived. The introductory material discussed things as the religious wars which paved the way to religious freedom, the founding of America, and other events that gave rise to a renewal of the Christian faith.

I thought this section was the best part of the book. Morris covers church history well and reminds American believers that events which happened over 500 years ago in Europe have a direct impact on their faith. The continual reminder of the link between Britain and America which Morris gives in this section of the book is valuable.

Morris’ reveals the impact individuals had, good or bad, on the Evangelical revival; people who are not usually addressed in church history books, at least those that I have read. These would include Fredrick the Great, Gottfried Leibnitz, the Countess of Huntingdon, and others.

Second, Morris jumps from Evangelical revivalism and examines the revival within the Catholic Church. This was somewhat less valuable for me but perhaps a student of the resurgence of the Catholic Church would be interested. I am sure it my personal bias, but I am not sure Catholics becoming more committed to their dogma qualifies as a “revival” in the same sense the Great Awakening was a revival.

It was interesting reading about the ecstatic individuals Catholics encountered during this time. For example, Morris describes Bernadette Soubirous encounter various visions, eventually revealing that it was Mary appearing to Bernadette and telling her that Mary was the Immaculate Conception. (p. 98).

These emotional and experiential events were not only part of the Catholic revival but also something Evangelicals would deal with. Morris concludes his book by considering the “third wave” of revival or what is today known as Pentecostalism. Marked by experiential and ecstatic events, the Pentecostal revival is described as beginning by William Seymour in 1906 a Methodist church on Azusa Street in Los Angeles. Again, one could debate (and many have done so vigorously) if Pentecostalism is based in the word or simply in emotion. Because of this, Pentecostalism is an important part of understanding revivalism in America. One cannot argue the impact Azusa Street has had on Evangelicalism today throughout the world.

There is a chapter about church the evolution of church buildings which seems out of place in the whole discussion of revivalism. It is understandable that revivalism has changed the way people understand “church” and where a church meets. Morris seems to credit revivalism for moving the body of Christ from Gothic cathedrals to Wal-Mart-like churches. However, the consideration of the American mindset may have had more input than Morris indicates.

Renewed by the Word would be a good book for someone in the Holiness tradition or Pentecostal movement to gain a better understanding of their heritage. With my Baptist background, I would rather recommend books like A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada by Mark A. Noll (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000, ISBN: 0-8082-0651-1) or A Summary of Christian History by Robert A. Baker (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1994, ISBN: 0-8054-3288-4 ). Both of these books are more comprehensive in their scope but both have short sections on revivalism and Pentecostalism. The Christian history student would benefit from a broader view of history than just that covered in Renewed by the Word.

2t22 Rating:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Structure of Cain and Abel Story

Continuing on the examination of Genesis, I am looking back a few chapters to the story of Cain and Abel. I do not have much to say about the story but I did want to post a visual aid. Also, my wife said she was tired to looking at the Rhino Wipe. :-)

With this visual aid, one can see the artistry with which the Word of God was written. (click image to see a larger image):

The most striking thing about this story is obvious comparison between the two sons of the first humans. Sin had entered the world through Adam and now, in just one generation, we see how deeply sin can run and what it can do in a person's life.

I have had some trouble getting things going this year for the posts. It would take two or three posts to explain all that is going on but I will try to post a bit more regularly. In the mean time, if you have some thoughts about Cain and Abel which was prompted by this visual aid, let me know.

Also, let me know if the visual aids are of any value to you if you have a minute or two. As the map in the right column shows, there are several people who hit this blog from around the world somewhat regularly. If this is helping you, I would sure like to hear how. Just post a quick comment. thanks.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 1.11.08

'nuf said.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

That Is One Big Leaf

Well, here is a picture of me. The best you will get from this blog.

When we were in Portland this last year, Rhonda and I took a walk in a park in the middle of town. There were leaves all over the ground. This was one of them. No trick photography. I am holding it up to my face. One of the best pictures I have ever taken.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 1.2.08

They had me at sausage sprinkles.

Me, to my daughter Jessica, in reference to the Original Submarino at Fazoli's, which has salami, pepperoni, sausage sprinkles, ham, Provolone cheese, marinated vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo.