In the Mail

I forgot to note that Zondervan surprised me with a copy of the Festschrift for Doug Moo the other day. It’s called Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo. A quick perusal of the table of contents shows that the essays are divided into three sections covering the exegesis of certain Pauline texts, Paul’s use of Scripture and the Jesus tradition, and Paul’s significance in contemporary scholarship. The contributors include Greg Beale, N. T. Wright, James Dunn, and a host of others you’ve no doubt heard of. I’m looking forward to many of the contributions (but I’ll let you know now that I’ll be skipping a few too).


Update As an iPhone User

Nearly two months ago I lamented my switch to the iPhone, wishing that I had stuck with Android because the main features I switched over for just weren’t working. Well, as it turns out, they were never supposed to work before certain iOS updates. So now, nearly two months later, with an updated iOS and OS X, what do I think?

Well, I’m much happier with the integration features now than I was then. It’s a genuine pleasure to be able to send and receive text messages from the computer while I’m working. It saves me the trouble of having to pick up the phone and navigate the small keyboard. Also helpful is the ability to make and receive phone calls from the computer (and keep in mind that what is true of the computer is also true of the iPad). Admittedly, I don’t use this feature nearly as much, but that can be attributed to my aversion to talking on the phone more than anything.

In terms of iOS, I’m used to it on a phone now. It’s okay. Nothing really special to be honest. I’ve seen the review videos of Nexus devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop and it looks really cool. Definitely cooler than iOS. I still hate the fact that I have to drag down a notification panel or open an app to see the weather. I really wish the iPhone had a simple weather widget. Keep in mind that the same technology that allows the actual time to be displayed on the clock icon and the date on the calendar icon could theoretically be used to display the temperature on the weather icon. It makes no sense that they don’t do this!

I’ve also done away with SwiftKey for my keyboard of choice. Sure, it had swype, but the swype wasn’t so great and it didn’t seem to learn the way I talk as well as it did when I had it on my Android devices. So I’ve gotten accustomed to the stock iPhone keyboard and I do very well with it. I also appreciate that the predictive text seems to know what I wanna say before I say it. And with two handed texting I’m as fast as lightning. One handed texting is okay, but I still have to log some more practice time before I can call myself efficient.

I still love the camera, which honestly is the best of any phone I’ve ever used. Sure, the megapixel count isn’t anything special, but the image processing is magnificent and the speed of this camera is far beyond what I was used to with any phone I’ve owned prior to this one. I was never much of a phone photographer but now I seem to be snapping pics of pretty much any and everything since it’s so fast and easy.

As far as continuity is concerned, I don’t make use of it at all. I don’t switch working from one device to another in Pages or Keynote or anything else because it’s just not something that’s part of my workflow. Most of that kind of work is done on the computer. I have no use for word processing on a phone. Every now and again I might compose something on the iPad but I haven’t been in a situation where I needed to do a hand off.

Airdrop on the other hand is a feature that I use on a daily basis. Thank the Lord above for being able to do Airdrop between iOS and OS X! That is truly a gift from God! It’s the best way I’ve found to transfer pictures and videos (I hate using iTunes!). Speaking of my hatred for iTunes, I really do hate it. I’ve found that when I plug my phone into the computer it inevitably tells me that I’m missing music (always 100 songs). Then I look through iTunes and a lot of stuff is missing or has duplicates or triplicates!

I’d also add that creating custom ringtones, while possible, is much more work than it should be. On Android they have apps for that, or you can do it on your computer in any audio editing program you choose and simply upload the file to your phone, but with the iPhone you have to go through iTunes, select your song, specify the portion you want, create a completely different type of file, save it outside of iTunes, then load it back into iTunes, and finally sync it to your phone. for this reason I’ve only made 3 or 4 ringtones and I only use 1 of them.

In any event, I’m used to the iPhone now and I’m much happier than I was with it a couple months back. I like being able to FaceTime my daughter’no matter where I’m at. I like that I can send as long of a text message as I want to other iPhone or iPad users with iMessage (but it irks me that there’s no way to finagle sending messages longer than 160 characters without them breaking up into pieces to non-Apple devices). I like how loud the speaker is. I like size of the phone. I like a lot. Will I stick with the iPhone once my lease it up? I can’t say for sure. Depends on what’s out there and what it can do. At the end of the day I’m going to go with whatever suits my needs the best at the moment.


The Bible in a Year (2012)

A couple of years ago I attempted to blog my way through the Bible. I made it a little over 3 months but never indexed the posts. This is that index.

  1. The Bible in a Year: Introduction
  2. The Bible in a Year: Day 1 (Genesis 1-3)
  3. The Bible in a Year: Day 2 (Genesis 4-7)
  4. The Bible in a Year: Day 3 (Genesis 8-11)
  5. The Bible in a Year: Day 4 (Genesis 12-15)
  6. The Bible in a Year: Day 5 (Genesis 16-19)
  7. The Bible in a Year: Day 6 (Genesis 20-23)
  8. The Bible in a Year: Day 7 (Genesis 24-25)
  9. The Bible in a Year: Day 8 (Genesis 26-28)
  10. The Bible in a Year: Day 9 (Genesis 29-31)
  11. The Bible in a Year: Day 10 (Genesis 32-34)
  12. The Bible in a Year: Day 11 (Genesis 35-37)
  13. The Bible in a Year: Day 12 (Genesis 38:1-41:36)
  14. The Bible in a Year: Day 13 (Genesis 41:37-43:34)
  15. The Bible in a Year: Day 14 (Genesis 44-46)
  16. The Bible in a Year: Day 15 (Genesis 47-50)
  17. The Bible in a Year: Day 16 (Exodus 1-4)
  18. The Bible in a Year: Day 17 (Exodus 5-8)
  19. The Bible in a Year: Day 18 (Exodus 9-11)
  20. The Bible in a Year: Day 19 (Exodus 12-14)
  21. The Bible in a Year: Day 20 (Exodus 15-18)
  22. The Bible in a Year: Day 21 (Exodus 19:1-22:15)
  23. The Bible in a Year: Day 22 (Exodus 22:16-25:40)
  24. The Bible in a Year: Day 23 (Exodus 26-28)
  25. The Bible in a Year: Day 24 (Exodus 29-31)
  26. The Bible in a Year: Day 25 (Exodus 32-34)
  27. The Bible in a Year: Day 26 (Exodus 35-37)
  28. The Bible in a Year: Day 27 (Exodus 38-40)
  29. The Bible in a Year: Day 28 (Leviticus 1:1-5:13)
  30. The Bible in a Year: Day 29 (Leviticus 5:14–8:36)
  31. The Bible in a Year: Day 30 (Levitcus 9-11)
  32. The Bible in a Year: Day 31 (Leviticus 12-14)
  33. The Bible in a Year: Day 32 (Leviticus 15-17)
  34. The Bible in a Year: Day 33 (Leviticus 18-20)
  35. The Bible in a Year: Day 34 (Leviticus 21-23)
  36. The Bible in a Year: Day 35 (Leviticus 24-25)
  37. The Bible in a Year: Day 36 (Leviticus 26-27)
  38. The Bible in a Year: Day 37 (Numbers 1-2)
  39. The Bible in a Year: Day 38 (Numbers 3-5)
  40. The Bible in a Year: Day 39 (Numbers 6-7)
  41. The Bible in a Year: Day 40 (Numbers 8-10)
  42. The Bible in a Year: Day 41 (Numbers 11-14)
  43. The Bible in a Year: Day 42 (Numbers 15-16)
  44. The Bible in a Year: Day 43 (Numbers 17-20)
  45. The Bible in a Year: Day 44 (Numbers 21-23)
  46. The Bible in a Year: Day 45 (Numbers 24-26)
  47. The Bible in a Year: Day 46 (Numbers 27-29)
  48. The Bible in a Year: Day 47 (Numbers 30-32)
  49. The Bible in a Year: Day 48 (Numbers 33-36)
  50. The Bible in a Year: Day 49 (Deuteronomy 1-3)
  51. The Bible in a Year: Day 50 (Deuteronomy 4)
  52. The Bible in a Year: Day 51 (Deuteronomy 5-8)
  53. The Bible in a Year: Day 52 (Deuteronomy 9-13)
  54. The Bible in a Year: Day 53 (Deuteronomy 14-17)
  55. The Bible in a Year: Day 54 (Deuteronomy 18-21)
  56. The Bible in a Year: Day 55 (Deuteronomy 22-25)
  57. The Bible in a Year: Day 56 (Deuteronomy 26-28)
  58. The Bible in a Year: Day 57 (Deuteronomy 29-31)
  59. The Bible in a Year: Day 58 (Deuteronomy 32-34)
  60. The Bible in a Year: Day 59 (Joshua 1-6)
  61. The Bible in a Year: Day 60 (Joshua 7-9)
  62. The Bible in a Year: Day 61 (Joshua 10-12)
  63. The Bible in a Year: Day 62 (Joshua 13-15)
  64. The Bible in a Year: Day 63 (Joshua 16:1-19:9)
  65. The Bible in a Year: Day 64 (Joshua 19:10-21:45)
  66. The Bible in a Year: Day 65 (Joshua 22-24)
  67. The Bible in a Year: Day 66 (Judges 1-4)
  68. The Bible in a Year: Day 67 (Judges 5-8)
  69. The Bible in a Year: Day 68 (Judges 9-11)
  70. The Bible in a Year: Day 69 (Judges 12-17)
  71. The Bible in a Year: Day 70 (Judges 18-21)
  72. The Bible in a Year: Day 71 (Ruth 1-4)
  73. The Bible in a Year: Day 72 (1 Samuel 1-3)
  74. The Bible in a Year: Day 73 (1 Samuel 4-8)
  75. The Bible in a Year: Day 74 (1 Samuel 9-12)
  76. The Bible in a Year: Day 75 (1 Samuel 13-15)
  77. The Bible in a Year: Day 76 (1 Samuel 16-18)
  78. The Bible in a Year: Day 77 (1 Samuel 19-22)
  79. The Bible in a Year: Day 78 (1 Samuel 23-25)
  80. The Bible in a Year: Day 79 (1 Samuel 26-31)
  81. The Bible in a Year: Day 80 (2 Samuel 1-3)
  82. The Bible in a Year: Day 81 (2 Samuel 4-7)
  83. The Bible in a Year: Day 82 (2 Samuel 8-12)
  84. The Bible in a Year: Day 83 (2 Samuel 13-15)
  85. The Bible in a Year: Day 84 (2 Samuel 16-18)
  86. The Bible in a Year: Day 85 (2 Samuel 19-21)
  87. The Bible in a Year: Day 86 (2 Samuel 22-24)
  88. The Bible in a Year: Day 87 (1 Kings 1-2)
  89. The Bible in a Year: Day 88 (1 Kings 3-4)
  90. The Bible in a Year: Day 89 (1 Kings 5-7)
  91. The Bible in a Year: Day 90 (1 Kings 8-9)
  92. The Bible in a Year: Day 91 (1 Kings 10-12)
  93. The Bible in a Year: Day 92 (1 Kings 13:1-15:24)
  94. The Bible in a Year: Day 93 (1 Kings 15:25-18:46)
  95. The Bible in a Year: Sadly, It’s Done


The Psychology of Sexual Abuse

The allegations against Bill Cosby are shocking. He has long been a cultural icon whose name has been nearly synonymous with morality (a bald morality devoid of Jesus, mind you, but morality by the world’s standards nonetheless). But 15 women accusing him of rape is no joke, and regardless of whether or not he did it, his reputation will be tarnished forever. I don’t care to discuss that though.

What I want to address is a subject that I’ve heard raised on the radio as well as in the barbershop that I manage. The issue I’d like to address is the one pertaining to why come out now and not when these alleged attacks first took place. A coworker of mine gets incensed every time the subject is brought up and blames the alleged victims for waiting so long to come forward. In his mind this is a clear sign of Cosby’s innocence.

But he also adds that even if Cosby is guilty, these women are making themselves look stupid by keeping quit for so long. Surely had they really been assaulted they would have gone to the authorities immediately; I mean everybody knows that, right? WRONG! I’ve not read any studies on the subject (I really wish I had statistics to bolster my claims here) but I can speak anecdotally because I know dozens (that’s right; dozen in the plural) of people who have been sexually assaulted.

I know both women and men who have been abused sexually, whether molested or raped (some violently and some who have been victim to date rape), and there’s a common denominator in all of their testimonies: SHAME. I don’t know a single person who has been abused sexually who hasn’t felt some kind of shame about it. Some of those I know who were strong enough to tell on their abuser were met with scorn and doubt from those they told. Most were too traumatized or too deceived into thinking they were to blame to say anything at all initially.

The thing I tried to explain to my coworker (repeatedly), was that many women (and men as well) who are victims of sexual assault don’t say anything because speaking about it causes them to relive the experience. In addition, many believe themselves to have been at fault for a variety of reasons (e.g., not fighting against the attack as hard as they could have; coming on too strong and inviting the attack; putting themselves in a situation to be attacked; etc.). The point is that there’s a lot of moving parts to why someone wouldn’t just up and tell on their abuser.

And I know a bunch of nobodies (and by that I mean people who are not well known by the general public) who were abused by a bunch of nobodies. Bill Cosby is a somebody. Again, he’s been a cultural icon for half a century! Standup comedy (clean standup comedy at that); movies; wildly popular television programs; endorsements; philanthropy; etc. Now think of how that impacts the dynamic. You have a number of women who have allegedly been sexually assaulted by one of the most loved figures in recent American memory. How easy is it to just up and tell on him given the broad range of emotions they’re feeling and the magnitude of his public persona?

It’s not easy at all. It’s not easy for nobodies to tell on nobodies let alone nobodies tell on famous people. So why now? Why stay quiet for all this time? Well, I don’t have all of the facts, so I don’t know exactly when these women started to come out of the woodwork, but lets say that they all came out within a month or two of each other. It’s not so difficult to account for that (and we see it with these types of cases all the time). There is strength in numbers. One victim stepping forward empowers another to do the same. So on and so forth. It’s the reason that support groups exist.

Now I don’t know if Bill Cosby is a serial rapist or not. I don’t find it implausible. In fact, I tend to find 15 women accusing him of rape well after they can seek legal recourse (and from what I’ve read, none are seeking damages either) more implausible, which is to say that given the scope of the accusation and the similarity in the stories of the alleged victims (at least from what I’ve read), I tend to think that there’s a good chance he did it. But Bill Cosby isn’t the issue here. The issue is thinking that it’s just as easy to report a sexual crime as it is to report a hit and run or burglary. It’s not. Not even close.

Just something to ponder for those who are quick to blame the alleged victims of sexual crimes. Much more could be said but I’ll leave it to the experts to say it.


Mini-Interview with Chris Tilling

For those who haven’t heard, Eerdmans is publishing Chris Tilling‘s Paul’s Divine Christology as an affordable volume! Rachel Bomberger (of EerdWord fame) caught up with Chris at SBL and interviewed him about his work. The question I submitted on Twitter was one of the three answered (along with Matthew Montonini and Simon Watkinson’s). Here’s the mini-interview:


Psalm 36

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.

Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

(Psalms 36:1–12 KJV)


Just Ordered

I had nearly forgotten that I received a gift certificate from the Westminster Bookstore a little while ago and once I remembered I went to the website and got to shopping. Initially I thought to get Thomas Schreiner’s commentary on Romans in the BECNT series, because well, I don’t have it and I hear it’s brilliant, but ultimately I decided on something else.

I ended up ordering the second volume of Douglas Kelly’s Systematic Theology entitled The Beauty of Christ: A Trinitarian Vision. I have thoroughly enjoyed the portions of the first volume that I’ve read and I’m on board with any systematic theology set that his a trinitarian focus, so this was a must have.

In addition to this I ordered Brian Edgar’s The Message of the Trinity, which is a book that has eluded me for years. I’ve almost purchased it dozens of times but always brushed it to the side for something else. Well, the price was right this time and the two books combined to be almost exactly what I had on the gift certificate. I simply paid for shipping.

I know I’ve been talking about tech quite a bit in recent months, but I’ll never turn away from my first love: BOOKS!!!