02 January 2015

Some Here, Some There — January 2, 2015

by Dan Phillips

Hope you had a safe and sane New Year's Eve. In Texas, it's always very explosive — literally!

Our church had a good time of fellowship and worship, with a word from Scripture on how to put into effects the changes which the Holy Spirit may have brought to our minds from our New Year's consideration of the Word.

So now, for the seven of you who are online today, this brief care package:

  • Through the one-way mirror, as a service to help you in an area I deeply believe in: Justin Taylor links to material to help you read through the Bible in 2015Challies also links to a number of Bible reading plans
  • The best one for you? The one you pick and stick with.
  • Me? I've done a number; I've done M'Cheyne several years, and it's pretty rigorous. Having read through the Bible quite a few times, what I've done for the past couple of years at least is to read portions of the Hebrew OT in its canonical order (Genesis-2 Chronicles), the NT in Greek, and the Bible in English.
  • Well, you asked. Or read, anyway.
  • Pat Robertson isn't the only one with predictions:
  • For instance, a man respected by many cool kidz, Anthony Bradley, writes a whole column ostensibly explaining why the living contents of one particular skincolor package "matter." Because: centuries ago. Because: decades ago. Because: this and that. Not-because: the Gospel, the Bible. I expect this year will feature a lot more of this, with many cool kidz outdoing each other to get on that particular wagon.
  • Meanwhile there will be a few stubborn hardheads who will insist that racism is never the answer to racism, the Gospel is; and that stoking fires of resentment, bitterness, self-pity, and career-victim-status, coupled with calls for endless increments of statist "solutions," are the way forward for nobody.
  • The former will do their best to shame, ignore and/or marginalize the latter, and...fun times for all. When the smoke clears, the Gospel will still have been both the issue and the only real solution. The only question is how many deaths and broken friendships will precede that admission.
  • Pastor/professor Ryan M. McGraw offers a fine, detailed, spunky review of John Frame's massive new systematic theology, which I'm reading. Turns out that one of the very things McGraw doesn't like about it is the very thing I do like about Frame. That said, I'd say all his points of criticism are well-taken, from what I've read so far. Still I'm finding it a stimulating and profitable read.
Farewell for now, and... stay ever vigilant.

Dan Phillips's signature


Terry Rayburn said...

1. New Zealand is indeed very beautiful. But so is Tennessee, and likely, whatever State or Country one is in.

I notice, though, that you have to actually get out of the house and drive, or at least walk, to the beauty in most cases. Well worth it.

Closer than New Zealand, however.

2. On Bible reading, I like to vary which part I'm reading in each day. So for many years I've used multiple markers in whatever Bible I'm reading.

I take different color ribbons (3 or 4) and denim bluejean patches, then iron the ribbons between patches to bind them together.

The denim then goes in the spine space opening of the Bible, and the ribbons between the pages.

Then I might put one into Old Testament History, one in Psalms/Proverbs, one in the Gospels and one in the Epistles, for example.

Here's a picture of one of mine (I like one in each Bible I'm using, so I don't have to switch them often):


3. When posting a comment here, there is a check-box for verifying that "I'm not a robot".

I'm offended on behalf of the poor robots, who don't have a check-box.

DJP said...

We shall call it... The Rayburn Method.

DJP said...

Hm... maybe "seven" was an overestimate.

Terry Rayburn said...

Okay, until those other 6 jump in, I'll reiterate about the beauty of the great State of Tennessee.


We're only 30 minutes from Land Between the Lakes, where they damned up the Cumberland River and Tennessee River to form two huge long lakes (Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake), with beautiful wilderness land between them.

Bald eagles, bison, camping, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing -- and BEAUTY -- all free or cheap.


New Zealand, New Schmealand. With no offense to my Kiwi friends. :)

St. Lee said...

Well, I'm here as usual. I read most every day and comment seldom. But since you're taking a head count today I'll add 2 cents.

I have tried various "through the Bible in a year" plans, but never seem to be able to keep up due to time constraints. I readily accept that as being a sign of a lack of "spirituality" (or whatever term might fit better)but here is what find that I can stick to: Every morning (and I mean every!) I read a chapter of the Bible out loud to my wife.

I know, pretty lame,...but at least we are able to stick to it and have read completely through the Bible several times already using this method. My thought is that this method serves us better than bigger good intentions with smaller follow through. We have done this with the KJV and right now we are using the 1599 Geneva Bible. We will probably use the ESV next.

DJP said...

I'm for what moves us on from where we are.

tobekiwi said...

Ah, New Zealand. If the heavens declare the glory of God (and they do), then those 2 islands on the other side of this earth do their part as well.
Thank you for posting those, it was nice to dream for a while...
My Bible reading plan is more like a 2 year plan. I like to read while I have dinner and this way I feed my soul and body at the same time.
So who is going to be #4?

semijohn said...

I did this plan a number of years back:

Jan. 1-Dec. 30- read through the Old Testament, Gospels and Acts.

Dec. 31- Read the Pauline Epistles, Hebrews, and the other apostolic epistles and Revelation (would Rev. be considered an apostolic epistle per genre?).

Works best if you don't work on Dec. 31.

David Regier said...

If you read a verse a day, it only takes about 85 years.

Tom Chantry said...

OK, I haven't talked about this before, but it seems to have the kinks worked out, so I'll talk about it.

My problem with "Through the Bible in a Year" programs is that they expect a certain amount of daily reading, which really doesn't work well with my schedule. Some days I have an hour or two free, while other days 15 minutes is more reasonable. I want to read the Bible every day, but if I have to read 4 chapters a day (that's Mc'Cheyne's pace) I'll rush on the days I have 15 minutes, and that's no good.

So I came up with an idea: what if instead of reading the Bible in a year, I read it in 52 weeks?

*pause while everyone wonders how I graduated 4th grade*

It's a mental thing. I've worked out two lists: daily readings in Psalms and Proverbs, and weekly assignments in everything else.

On my daily list, I've split the Psalms up, one a day (or part of one of the longer ones) and I read through the Psalms twice that way. I also read 1 or two verses of Proverbs, working through the whole book each year. (I actually do this with Proverbs 10 and following, chapters 1-9 are part of the weekly readings.)

Then I have a weekly list. It contains four readings: one from Law/History/Wisdom, one from the Prophets, one from the Gospels, and one from Acts/Epistles/Revelation. It comes out to 25 or 26 chapters a week, and I read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice this way.

I wind up doing most of this reading on days of the week when I have the time to block out to read several chapters slowly and closely, and on busier schedule days I read a Psalm, pray, and then read one or two verses of Proverbs to chew over as I start my day.

It works for me, largely because I don't get frustrated the first busy day after the holidays when I just had to rush through my four chapters and dash out the door.

Rob said...

As far as reading through the Bible, I find that MP3 versions of the ESV/NAS are the easiest mode, generally while washing dishes.

Frank Turk said...

I'm sorry I was traveling. The first and last cat graphics were worth the price of admission; the link to Kruger was the gravy. Anyone who has not read it should read his book the Question of Canon.

Frank Turk said...

Tom Chantry has a problem with reading the Bible?


Tom Chantry said...

To be clear, I have far greater problems than reading the Bible.

Following it, for one.

The Lone Dingo said...

Wasn't it Tom Chantry who had a problem with Frame and his tri-perspectivalism?

Mr Chantry: was this a fair analysis of Dr. Frame' Systematic Theology and mirroring your own concerns?


M. Howard Kehr

Tom Chantry said...

@ M. Howard Kehr

1. I love your screen name. Now if only you had an appropriate avatar to accompany it!

2. Yes, I agree with and stand by everything Ryan McGraw said in his review. It reflects my concerns.

3. That doesn't necessarily mean he would agree with or stand by everything I've said. Ryan is a respectable guy, and a nice one too.

The Lone Dingo said...

Mr (DR?) Chantry: thanks for the clarification, I had thought so and was surprised at the vitriolic temper of your...comments.

For those of us who are not professional theologians, it is of infinite value to see critiques of those who are.

I had purchased Dr. Frame' 'Apologetics...', and 'Doctrine of the Knowledge...then his 'Systematic". Somewhat in the same way I have all of Dr David Wells (reading most of them), most of Michael Horton' works, and many others.

All with the intent to learn from each. Your critique, and this subsequent one as well, narrows the confines a bit.

I do have an avatar but I haven't spent the time in how to get it into 'Blogger', thanks for the compliment, I was tagged with it many years ago.

M. Howard Kehr