Friday, May 29, 2009

Be imitators of me...

That's how Paul began the 11th chapter of 1 Corinthians. I'm currently in Dr. Clint Arnold's class that's going to work through all 89 verses of 1 Thessalonians, and in 1:6a, Paul echoes a similar statement:

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord (ESV)
Καὶ ὑμεῖς μιμηταὶ ἡμῶν ἐγενήθητε καὶ τοῦ κυρίου (Greek)

The word I'm focusing on here is "imitators" or mimētai. Sometimes I think that Paul was either very arrogant or just ridiculously blessed to be able to say, 'imitate me,' as if his life was some perfect model to follow. However, here's a few quotes that I think really helped me understand this idea.


"Unlike many modern students, the ancients deeply appreciated the value of imitating model lives as a means of moral education, whether those models were parents, heroes, or teachers. Xenophon, for example, described the role of the teacher, saying, 'Now the professors of other subjects try to make their pupils copy their teachers."1

"The individualism so characteristic of modernity might well lead us to accuse anyone urging us to imitate them of being extremely arrogant... We must first recognize that the notion of imitating some sort of moral exemplar was quite common in the ancient world. Further, new converts cannot expected to have mastered the demands of their new faith and the practices needed to live in accord with these demands in their day-to-day lives. Such converts will need both instruction in their new faith and concrete examples of how to embody their faith in the various contexts in which they find themselves... For example, in the initial stages of an apprenticeship in silversmithing the apprentice sits directly opposite the master silversmith in order to imitate the master's movements... No amount of abstract verbal instruction can bring about mastery of a craft without the concrete example of a master to imitate. It would have been futile for Paul simply to repeat... the abstract command, 'Live a cruciform life.' Without giving this phrase some concrete content by pointing to his own life and practice [they] would have been unclear about how to embody such a command."2



1Gene L. Green, The Letters to the Thessalonians, Pillar Series (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 97.

2Gerald F. Hawthrone, Martin, and Reid, eds. Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1993), 430.

Who do you want to imitate?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Can you map sin(s)?

Apparently, some geographers at Kansas State University did. Here were the criteria of each of the seven deadly sins mapped:

• Greed: Average incomes versus total inhabitants below the poverty line
• Envy: Total number of thefts (robbery, burglary, larceny, and stolen cars)
• Wrath: Total number of violent crimes (murder, assault and rape) per
capita
• Lust: Sexually transmitted diseases per capita
• Gluttony: Number of fast-foot restaurants per capita
• Sloth: Expenditures on arts, entertainment and recreation versus rate of employment
• Pride: An average of the six other sins

One example, greed:



I don't know if I really agree with this study, and really, it just makes me think of Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

What do you think? According to the map, a good majority of Americans are not greedy, only us Calfornians and some patches here and there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nickname?

Have you ever heard of Oscar Peterson? He was an amazing jazz pianist, and he was part of the "jazz royalty," dubbing him "The Maharaja," which means great king in Sanskrit. Kinda random, no?

Anyway, here's a song I was listening to last night, he is awesome!



If you could pick a nickname for yourself, what would it be? I don't think I would've picked Maharaja...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Creed

I just recently came across this satirical piece from a British writer, Steve Turner, and thought it was pretty insightful:


We believe in Marx, Freud, and Darwin
We believe everything is OK, as long as you don't hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt, and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin. We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy’s OK. We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better, despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated, and you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes, UFO's, and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-at least the one that we read was. They all believe in love and goodness. They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing, because when you ask the dead what happens, they say nothing. If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then it's compulsory heaven for all excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan.

We believe in Masters and Johnson, What's selected is average.
What's average is normal. What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament. We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed. Americans should beat their guns into tractors, and the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good. It's only his behavior that lets him down. This is the fault of society. Society is the fault of conditions. Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly. The universe will readjust. History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth, excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds, and the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be the Father of all flesh, disaster is his rainbow in the sky, and when you hear:

State of Emergency! Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage! Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man worshipping his maker.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I need _____.

Some people enjoy music, some people need their fix of a TV show, some need to play basketball, and for some, it's books! I wish I could just have a month to read all the books that I've wanting to read. Anyway, I just finished two books, hoping to give me some good background on something I may want to research later:


Dr. VanderKam, is one of the most respected scholars of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and as the general editor of Journal of Biblical Literature, he definitely knows his stuff. This book was a great intro to the period of the Second Temple. I especially enjoyed his overview of Jewish literature, particularly Josephus and Philo and considering that it is only 246 pages, it was very helpful.


Dr. Hurtado, at Univ. of Edinburgh in Scotland wrote this thick book (768 pages!) that delves into how such an intensely monotheistic religion such as Judaism accepted Christ as God transforming it into Judean Jewish Christianity in the early stages. One word: amazing. While thinking about doing research in NT Christology, this book certainly blew this topic wide open, giving me a Mt. Everest-type perspective on what I should know if I want to pursue this further.

What's your fix for the week?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

WWF-NBA?

Do you guys remember WWF? With Jake the Snake, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Ultimate Warrior?... I remember watching them and even with all their fanfare and physicality, I don't think I've ever seen them run roughshod like some NBA players did last night:

Case 1: Rafer "Skip to My Lou" Alston lays the smack down on Eddie House:



Case 2: Derek "Built Like a Linebacker" Fisher trucks Luis Scola:



What do you think? Are these actions suspension worthy?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What's in a name?

Sometimes I think about how names fit the person so well... for instance, I've thought before, "Oh, John fits him so well." or "Jenny fits her perfectly! She is such a Jenny." It's also very interesting to me that names have particular significance in the Bible. (e.g. Jacob, Jesus, Joshua, to name a few.)

I wonder sometimes, do kids grow into the names they received or do they give meaning to that name by their individual conduct?

That being said, I have changed the "name" of this blog to:
http://m-s-kit.blogspot.com.
Tell everyone!