HCSB Study Bible Personal Size – Preliminary Review

April 17th, 2014

Disclaimer: I requested and received a free review copy of this Bible from the publishers. The receipt of the book was not dependent on a favorable or unfavorable review on my part. I attempt to give honest appraisals of all books I review, whether I pay for them or they are provided to me.

As I noted above, when I found out that Holman Bible Publishers (B&H Publishing Group) were coming out with a Personal Sized edition of the HCSB Study Bible, I was excited. I already owned the HCSB Study Bible in a full sized edition as well as on Kindle. However, due to weight considerations in the full sized edition and rather poor indexing in the Kindle edition, I found I did not use it as much as I thought. I had actually been pushing Holman on their Facebook page to publish a personal sized edition. So when the announcement came out on Amazon, I requested a review copy. It arrived this week.

I intend to run this Bible through the paces over the next month, using it for my morning and evening devotions, my regular reading, as well as in Bible Studies and at church. Detailed reviews on the use of this edition in those circumstances will be forthcoming.

Some preliminary judgments upon a few days “play” with the Bible, though, can be given now. The version I am reviewing is this one. It is a Black and Tan “faux” leather (which B&K calls “LeatherTouch”) version with a sewn binding and two ribbon markers. Very nice. The cover feels good to hold, and though not as soft as some other faux leather covers gives a firmness to the touch that I like.

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R.I.P. Andrew M. Greeley

May 31st, 2013

Andrew M. GreeleyI learned yesterday that Father Andrew M. Greeley died on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. Curiously a day shy of the 7th anniversary of my Father’s death.

You can see the full article here. He will be missed. I understand that after the accident, his mind was pretty much on auto-pilot, but he enjoyed the company of his sister and her children during those later years.

God bless, Father Greeley. Rest in Peace and may the Lord be as merciful to your soul as He needs to be for all of us.

New Life to the Context Group Version (and to me)!

November 29th, 2011

Palm Bible Those who have read and used my Context Group Version translation of the Bible may have noticed I have not updated it recently. Indeed, I have not updated anything much on this website for over a year. Much of it has to do with events in my life that have taken up almost all of my available time, both professional and personal. To start, My no-longer-very-new job that I started in December of 2008 still manages to take up a lot of learning time due to my no-longer-very young brain.

In addition, last year I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, stage 2C3. That stage basically means it is about to, or at a small level already has spread outside the prostate. So last year was taken up with tests, more tests, biopsies, and six months of daily radiation treatments. However, as John Piper, another fellow prostate cancer survivor always says, “Now I feel fine and the doctors are happy.” Not much more to say. As cancer survivors know, tomorrow can bring a change; but for today…

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Andrew Greeley Update

September 8th, 2010

Andrew M. GreeleyI made a tribute post to the author/priest/sociologist Andrew M. Greeley almost two years ago now after his accident. Greeley was a huge influence in my life and remains so through his books and articles.

Well, for some time after that, people wrote comments asking for updates on Fr. Greeley’s condition. I have had no personal contact with Fr. Greeley for almost 10 years, but I do keep dibs on the internet traffic. So I guessed his condition was not good, and that his Christmas novel issued last year was going to be his last. But it was a guess.

I am very mortified to find out that I was probably correct. Phil Potempa, a gentleman who writes an Entertainment column has been in contact with Fr. Greeley’s assistant. I reproduce his article on that conversation here:
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So You Think You Want a Blogsite…

July 14th, 2010

Computer porn spamI used to have a porn problem. No, not the kind of problem you are thinking of right now. Instead, I had a porn spam problem. Hundreds, indeed thousands, of comments with links to pornography sites were attaching themselves to this blogsite.

Nor was I alone in this attack. Apparently Real Live Preacher had much the same problem. His site was so infiltrated with comments generated by porn sites that he just about permanently shut down his archives. You see, the porn spammers don’t attack recent posts. They go for the older posts that you are less likely to notice and maintain.

I don’t know exactly how it works, but such sites have programmatic worms that travel through the internet. These “worms” then find websites (using a means I cannot say—perhaps a stray comment or word on your site attracts them) and then create comments on blog posts. These comments contain links back to their sites.
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Preterists and the Millennium (Part 2)

July 13th, 2010

COG posterWarning: Don’t use this series of posts on the Millennium and Preterism as ammunition against the Preterist (or “Full Preterist”) eschatology. As I noted previously, Rev. 20:1-10 presents problems in almost every theology. We even define the main eschatological theories by these chapters (Pre-Millennial, A-Millennial, and Post-Millennial). Only Preterism does not have “Millennial” in its name! No, I write this series not to demean Preterism by any means, but ultimately to strengthen it.

In fact, I regard this series of posts as taking on the best. The only major chink in the Preterist’s armor is, in my opinion, their exegesis of these few verses. As I noted previously, they “discount” the millennium of these verses into a less than 40 year span of time between AD 30 and 67. In short (pun intended), they are mistaken as to the duration of the Millennium. In this post I hope to prove they are also mistaken as to the timing the Millennium as well.

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Joshua’s People 6/23/10

June 23rd, 2010

Joshua's People cartoon for 6/4/10

Two more to go, and then I will have my surprise. A 25 year old surprise. but a surprise none-the-less!

Preterists in the Millennial Arena

June 10th, 2010

knockout punchMy last post discussed problems with the current (and historic for that matter) expositions of Revelation Chapter 20. I noted how the fact that there remains nations in need of, and receiving, healing from the New Jerusalem in Revelation Chapter 21 places that city outside the confines of eternity (which by definition is past the point of healing). So the various premillennial schemes, including the rather recent newcomer—Dispensationalism, fall by the wayside. At best they could only posit that the Millennium would be only stage one in a two stage earthly existence where mortals remain on the earth. I have heard no leader in that faction declare such a eschatological sequence.

Though in the varieties of theologies out there, perhaps someone has. If readers are aware of such a proposed premillennial process please let me know and send me the references, links, or literary sources.

However, my concentration is going to be on what is, in my opinion, the strongest contender in the prophecetic boxing ring today: Full Preterism. However, as I noted before, their interpretation of the Millennium is their soft underbelly that invites a one-two punch attack. In their schema, the Millennial rule of Christ supposedly starts at the ascension and ends just prior to the Jewish Revolt of A.D. 67 or before. As a result, their 1,000 year reign gets discounted to less than 37. That calculates to a discount of over 96%. You couldn’t get a deal like that on eBay!

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The Millennial Mess

June 6th, 2010

Naked Before God: The Return of the Lost DiscipleLast Lectures are the in thing right now. A book entitled The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch was a runaway hit on Amazon. At my old college, some brave professors participated in a program called “The Last Lecture Series.” In this series, they were to give a lecture to those attending as if it were their last. The goal was to have the teachers give information to their students that they always wanted to say, but were too afraid of the consequences to utter.

In his book, Naked Before God: The Return of the Broken Disciple, Bill Williams give his equivalent of “the last lecture.” Williams, a CF patient, died soon after the book was published in 1988. In the book, he merges past and present as his counterpart—Nathaniel the disciple, also dying of CF—interacts with Jesus and the other apostles. Since neither Nathaniel nor Williams has much to lose, they ask the hard questions and make the even harder observations.

One of them was something that has also bothered me for quiet some time: Rev. 20-21, the relationship between the Millennium and the New Jerusalem that come after. As Williams notes (pgs 57-8), if the New Jerusalem represents Heaven or Eternity, why is there healing still going on?

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Joshua’s People 6/4/10

June 4th, 2010

Joshua's People cartoon for 6/4/10