All posts by Nick Norelli

The Logos Mobile App Strikes Again

I’ve been a fan of Logos’ mobile app for as long as I’ve been using it (roughly two years now). It’s incredibly helpful to have my entire Logos library in hand for any number of reasons. Today, for example, a coworker had a question about biblical geography, or more specifically, why the Bible focuses so much on the Middle East and doesn’t say anything about people from other parts of the world. I assured him that it did mention folks from other parts of the world and I used Acts 2 as an example since it mentions Jews gathered for Pentecost from all over the world.

Then I pulled up the Holman Book of Biblical Charts, Maps, and Reconstructions. We thumbed through some of the maps and looked at where all the nations mentioned in Acts 2 were. It was really helpful to have the visual aid ready and waiting at the press of a button. Here’s one of the maps we looked at:

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So just to reiterate: the Logos mobile app is AWESOME!!! If you don’t have it then get it. The app honestly makes buying one of their base library packages worth the money. And they’re not even paying me to say this!

B”H

What Did I Ever Do To Amazon?

I’ve just checked my Amazon affiliates account and discovered that this month 25 items have been ordered through links I’ve created or sessions started from clicking on links I’ve created. As it stands, I’m only getting paid for 3 of these items. Now it’s entirely possible that the other 22 haven’t shipped, and once they do I’ll receive credit, but I doubt it.

This has been going on for well over a year. Possibly two. I once inquired why it was that I wasn’t getting paid for items ordered through my account and I was told that they were “personal” orders. I assured Amazon that this wasn’t possible; that I hadn’t placed any of the orders that were being considered “personal.” For those who don’t know, Amazon doesn’t allow its affiliates to receive a commission on items that they purchase for themselves, which is completely understandable.

In any event, I was told that they “knew” that these were “personal” orders and that they couldn’t tell me how they knew because it was proprietary information. I was also told not to inquire about it anymore since they had spoken and their answer was final. But for the life of me I can’t figure out how orders that are placed from accounts that are not my own; paid for by means that are not my own; and received by people who are not me; can be in any way considered “personal.”

I’ve learned to grin and bear it but it’s really annoying to go to the trouble of creating these links and directing people to Amazon only to end up being shafted. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful for the program and that I’ve been allowed to be a part of it for all these years. I’m grateful for all the payouts, which I wouldn’t have had otherwise, but right is right and it ain’t right to not pay an affiliate for generating sales that they should receive payment for. 

At times I get upset enough to want to quit the program altogether on principle. But then I think that I’d rather not cut my nose off to spite my face. Still though, it’s incredibly frustrating to not receive something that’s been fairly earned, and then be given no real explanation as to why it’s happening. In any event, I appreciate those of you who continue to order products through my links, and I’d suggest you continue to do so on the off chance that I might receive credit for them.

I’m done ranting. Thanks for listening.

B”H 

A Conversation about KJV Onlyism

James White sat down with Steven Anderson for a couple of hours to discuss KJV Onlyism. I’m 40 minutes into the video and it’s astounding. To hear someone say that anyone who can’t understand the language of the KJV is probably not saved, or that the NIV is the word of God is probably not saved, is, to say the least, astonishing. I don’t know that I’ve ever described KJV Onlyism as a cult but I’m hard pressed to think of it as anything else based on what I’m seeing from Steven Anderson in this video. Give it a look and decide for yourself.

B”H

Why So Many Bibles?

A coworker asked me a few weeks ago why Christians have so many Bibles. I tried to explain to him that (in my case at least) they all serve a different purpose. Plenty of things come into play like the language (primary vs. translation); the base text (e.g., Byzantine vs. eclectic in the case of the NT); the translation philosophy (formal vs. functional vs. dynamic); the physical dimensions (e.g., hardcover vs. paper vs. leather; sewn binding vs. glued; wide-margin vs. regular; single vs. two column; etc.); the extraneous material (e.g., study notes; cross-references; articles); and a host of other things that could be mentioned.

Truth be told—we’d probably be able to get along just fine with one Bible—but why would we want to? If variety is the spice of life then why should folks who have the means live a bland existence? Plus, if we only had one Bible apiece then how would we ever be able to give any away to people who need them?!!

B”H

Taming Jesus

It occurs to me (as it has to countless others before me) that over the course of the past two millennia the church at large has done a pretty thorough job of taming Jesus. It’s easy to read the Gospels and see how he loved others and showed compassion to those who were hurting and in need and come up with a sanitized Jesus. That’s what makes reading the table turning incident (Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:15) startling to many. After already taming Jesus it becomes shocking to see him act in an untamed way.

But I think a close reading of the Gospels shows precisely the opposite. Jesus was a revolutionary. He came to usher in the rule of God, which meant overthrowing the rule of the worldly powers. That’s why the crowds shouted “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday (Matt. 21:5; Mark 11:9; John 12:13). It was a cry for salvation; a cry that anticipated a tangible deliverance from Roman rule. One of the many messianic expectations of the day was for a great military; a conquering king.

That’s also one of the chief reasons that so many people throughout the ages have missed Jesus. He didn’t come with military force the first time around although NT eschatology gives us confidence that he will when he returns. The point is that Jesus is a conquering king; a great military leader; and political figure. What he is not is the pushover that many of us have made him out to be.

Case in point; the other day I was discussing Matthew 5:38-42 with my pastor. I had said that Jesus was being subversive in saying:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Initially I had simply noted that going the “extra mile” with a Roman soldier could actually get them in trouble and my pastor asked if I thought that was really the spirit of Jesus. In other words, did I think that Jesus would want his followers to get a solider in trouble, or would it make more sense to think that Jesus wanted his followers to help out those who would compel them by going above and beyond what was required. Well, in the words of Public Enemy, “You gotta fight the powers that be!” I gave him a few examples to support my position, and in a subsequent post I’ll share them with you as well. Stay tuned…

B”H

A Rant on Review Disclaimers

Can I take a moment to express my deep-seated hatred for stock review disclaimers?

Thanks.

In one sense I blame the reviewers; in another the Federal Trade Commission; but whoever’s to blame, these disclaimers are dreadful!

Let me backtrack for a moment.

There used to be a time when you could get a product for review and just talk about it  but in 2009 the FTC came along and said they were worried that folks would endorse products just because they got them for free.

Okay, and?

But this was an issue for whatever reason and they demanded that people announce that they had received the products for free.

Alright, fine.

Somewhere along the line someone thought to suggest that the reviewers announce that they received the product in exchange for an “unbiased review.”

I loathe that term.

To start, every—and I literally mean every—review is biased. That’s one of the points of a review, i.e., for the reviewer to share his/her impressions of a product.

That’s bias.

Now I personally have a page where I keep with the FTC’s guidelines.

One page.

I do not feel the need to repeat myself at the beginning or end of every review.

Every review?

If I felt such an obligation I might give up reviewing products that have been provided for free.

Real talk.

And on my page I note that “Providing free review copies in no way guarantees the publishers/authors favorable reviews in return.”

True statement.

I think that’s what the “unbiased review” disclaimer is supposed to communicate.

It doesn’t.

Also, thanking the publisher (which should always be done) for the product is the disclaimer that it has been provided for free.

Common courtesy.

The following review will then reveal the biases of the reviewer.

And that’s okay.

I’m not telling anyone what to do with their reviews; I’m just saying I hate stock disclaimers.

I’m done.

B’H