From Ethiopia With Love

Here are a few snapshots of us meeting our son Silas for the very first time! Click the image-link below to view the photos & videos:


Snapshots of Ethiopia In The Morning

We're headed to see our son for the first time in about 2 hours. Until I can post some pictures again, here are some photos from Addis Ababa during sunrise. Click the image-link below to view the photos & videos:

We Made It!

We've touched down in Ethiopia's capital city and have made it to our housing destination. Internet access is VERY spotty but hopefully, I'll be able to get in a few periodic updates and / or photos. Thanks to everyone who has been encouraging us, we appreciate it! We meet our son at 10am Ethiopia time, so, I need to get some rest, that's not too far from now! Good night!


Gone To Ethiopia...Be Back Soon

We leave in just a few hours. Hopefully, I'll be able to post some photos or footage soon. We have a couple of layovers and then an incredibly long flight (16+ hours direct/non-stop). We're excited to finally meet our son and can't wait to bring him home to meet his big sis. A year and a half after we started this process, we're on the last leg! Keep us in your thoughts.


Bloggers I Enjoyed Meeting At SBL

Here are a handful of links to bloggers I ran into at SBL, whose company (even if only for a few moments in some cases) I quite enjoyed keeping. Click the image-links to go to their websites! If we met and you're not on here, let me know (it's tough remembering EVERYONE you run into at those things).

SBL in New Orleans...Some Pix

Here are some photos from this year's SBL in 'Nawlins:

Some ATS PhD (biblical studies) Students

Me & Andy Rowell (of www.TheologicalGerman.com) after IBR

IBR Session

PhD guys on the N.O. Trolley

View of the Mississippi River from the French Quarter

Snapshot of the French Quarter

At the famous Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter

Walking downtown 'Nawlins

Snapshot of the street sign of the dark and ever infamous Bourbon Street


Hurricane Katrina & Flood Narratives at SBL

I've been to four meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature and in those 4 years, I've sat in a lot of sessions and have listened to a lot of scholarly papers. Never, though, have I been to a session like the one I attended tonight! Kudos to Boston University's Jennifer Knust for getting SBL to show one of the most incredible documentaries I have ever seen: Trouble The Water. This Sundance film winner and internationally renowned film is not only awe inspiring but it is theologically and socially challenging! After the screening, I met with the 3 main people featured in the film and had some fruitful conversations. I hope to do an interview tomorrow with the lady who filmed the documentary of her life while stuck in the 9th Ward of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Kimberly Roberts Rivers. So, my next post or two may be related to this film. Anyway, you can watch some of the clips of the movie below and at the foot of this post, click the link to go to the website and purchase the film:

Trouble The Waters Website


SBL Books

So, I really didn't plan to buy books at SBL this year, however, two things led me to break my plans: 1) The book exhibit is a trap and 2) I realized that some of my textbooks were greatly discounted. I also purchased some supplemental materials and got some free stuff, here's what I've acquired so far:

* A Theology of John's Gospel and Letters
* A 2GB USB ThumbDrive from Zondervan
* A free computer screen & keyboard cleaner from ATLA

* UBS Septuagint
* Analytical Lexicon of the Septuagint
* Zondervan Hebrew Reader
* Zondervan Greek Testament Reader
* Zondervan NT Greek Vocab (audio / book)
* Zondervan Sing & Learn NT Greek (audio / book)
* Zondervan OT Hebrew Vocabulary (audio / book)


SAG Election for SBL

I just got word that I was elected to be the new Eastern Great Lakes Regional Representative for the Society of Biblical Literature! This is such a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to serving in this capacity. The EGLR meeting is April 8-9 this year in Akron, Ohio. You can click the first image-link below to visit the EGLR homepage. Click the second image-link to find out more about the SAG and its role within SBL.


Notes From Our Second Small Group Session: Studies in Mark, Pt. 95

Here are the study notes from our second small group session. We focused mainly on Mk. 1.1. Enjoy!

The Economy of Mark's Vocabulary: Studies in Mark, Pt. 94

Below is a .pdf that I created which you can download. It looks at the word economy of Mark's Gospel. In particular, it lists all of the words that appear in Mark's Greek text from most frequent to least frequent.


Access To Non-Distributable SBL Papers

Jesus The Village Psychiatrist, A Critique and Appreciation
Saturday, November 21, 2009 | 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM | Edgewood AB

+ Donald Capps, Princeton Theological Seminary, Panelist
Jesus, the Village Psychiatrist: A Summary

+ + + + +

The Secret Gospel of Mark, Sex, Death, and Madness: The Psychodynamics of Morton Smith's Proposal
Saturday, November 21, 2009 | 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM | Bacchus Suite

+ The Secred Gospel of Mark Unveiled: Reviews in RBL.

+ Donald Capps: Review

+ + + + +

Otherness and Motherness: Psychological Forays into the Hebrew Scriptures
Monday, November 23, 2009 | 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM | La Galerie 6

+ Barbara Mei Leung Lai: Total Otherness, Self-Condemnation, and "Mission Impossible":
A Psycho-Dramatic Reading of Isaiah 6

+ Ginny Brewer-Boydston: Overbearing Mothers and Childhood Regression:
A Feminist Psychoanalytic Reading of Judges 4-5

+ Adrien J. Bledstein: David's Mother


FREE SBL Papers: Nearly 700 Pages Of Research

This year, a great number of the SBL forums have posted their papers online for access. To save everyone the time and hassle of hunting all of these down, I've included all of the ones not banned from distribution in one downloadable file. This file contains nearly 700 pages of scholarly research!!! Having looked at these papers, I can honestly say that I'm excited about the conference next week. To download the zipped file, click this year's logo below:

The World's Youngest Teacher (12 Years Old)

Her name is Adora Svitak, she is 12 years old, has already published 3 books, has been on every major television network, keeps a blog and lives in WA. To read more about this, click the following image-link:

Book Giveaway: "The Meaning of the Pentateuch"

From the IVP site:

Starting today, November 12, through Saturday, November 14, we're giving away 15 copies of The Meaning of the Pentateuch via Twitter. Here's how to win:

To enter the contest, just send out a tweet about this contest with the hashtag #ivpbookgiveaway included. We will randomly choose five (5) winners per day who will get their very own copy of this excellent book!


Sexual Detox: 2 Free E-Books

Just got word of these two free books (1 for the un-married and 1 for the married guy); check them out by clicking on the image-links below:

(For the single guy)

(For the married guys)

What Is Prooftexting?

One of the most cogent answers to this question is given by Francis Young in her book Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture. Young speaks here of prooftexting (or proof-texting) and compound texting:

1) proof-texting is where a text is quoted and abstracted from its context and exposition of symbolic material follows with fulfillment indicated, the foundational point is to indicate the true and proper reference of the text, primarily done to properly interpret OT in light of the Messiah’s advent;

2) compound texting is more or less an exact quotation or allusion that may appear, the Bible is treated as self-referential and used as a cross reference between books, regard for original historical meaning varies, interpreter believes that the mind / aim of the author was to point to a truth found elsewhere in biblical corpus

(See: Pp. 124,133,289,298)


Creating A "Statement Of Teaching Philosophy"

Chances are, if you ever hope to teach in a formal educational system, whether it be kindergarten or at the university level, you will be asked to provide a "Statement of Teaching Philosophy." To aid you in this process, I've compiled some ideas from a couple of very helpful sources and put them into a .pdf with live links. Feel free to download, modify, distribute and update this file to your liking. Enjoy!

Creating A Statement Of Teaching Philosophy


Notes From Our First Small Group Session: Studies in Mark, Pt. 93

Here's some notes I made from the first small group session I led at my house tonight. We began ruminating over Mk. 1.1-13 and will return to these same verses for our next session. Needless to say, an hour and a half wasn't nearly enough time to work through these verses doing group exegesis, so, we'll work on them some more soon. Anyway, if you're interested in what sorts of discussions took place and some of the thoughts offered, check this out:

Don't have a Scribd account? Click here to download: Study Notes: Session 1

Seminary Connect

Are you a seminary student? Do you want to connect with other seminary students? Need help finding a resource? Have theological questions? Well, why not leverage social networking and media to your advantage? Join the new "List" on Twitter created especially for seminary students: "Seminary Connect". You can join the list by clicking the image-link below. While you're there, add your friends, heck, why not Tweet about it? Here's the link:

Do You Have The Blogger Backup Utility? If Not, Why?

If you host your site on blogger, you should really consider using the fast, free and incredibly useful backup utility called "Blogger Backup". With this tool, you can save any and all posts you have on various Blogger accounts. In the case that Blogger deleted your site or someone hacked it or if you deleted it years ago and then wanted to restore it, if you had this tool, you'd be able to do it in minutes. I have over 900 posts on Pisteuomen and this tool backed them up in under 1 minute. If you're using Blogger but not this utility, all I have to say is: Why not!? You can get "Blogger Backup" by clicking the image-link below:

GREAT NEWS on Orphan Sunday!!!

As I mentioned yesterday and as many of my frequent readers know, for about the last year and a half, my wife and I have been working through the international adoption process (in other words, we're adopting a child from overseas). We have been working with a great organization called Christian World Adoption and would recommend them to anyone looking into international adoption (we chose to adopt from Ethiopia and they are one of the few organizations that the Ethiopian government works with). Several months ago we were approved as parents for our son and ever since then, it has been a challenging waiting game. We've only been able to see 3-4 months of the first year of our son's life through a few random pictures and cell phone videos. Well, finally, we're going to get him. We are set to leave right around the last day of November and should be gone for a week. We have appointments at the Ethiopian embassy to make and we plan to stay close to our "Guest House" (hotel) with our child for most of the trip; there will not be much visiting or site seeing (it's not really all that safe right now anyway!) Still, I'll try to post some pictures or videos of the trip whenever I can. With both SBL in New Orleans, LA and the trip to Ethiopia coming at the end of this month, it's going to be quite hectic, though! Here's a video:

FREE 8,000+ Latin-English Dictionary


Feisty Women Athletes (Unreal!!!)

Check this out and let me know your thoughts:

Orphan Sunday

As many of you know, my family has been enduring the process of international adoption for over a year and a half now. Finally, it is coming to a close (more on that later). One fact I've been awakened to throughout this process is that Americans are quite out of touch with the world reality of orphans; there are billions of orphaned children across the world. In the United States, while some foster situations aren't the greatest, even these, compared to true orphanages, look like great situations. The truth is, the U.S. has no such thing as a "true" orphanage! This is a good thing, indeed but I wonder if it has also blinded us to the fact that there are so many orphans across the world.

Sadly, tomorrow is Orphan Sunday all around the world and I've only been able to find one church in the Lexington, KY area that even recognizes this!!! While that is good, even that church has given the event 2nd place recognition by holding it at 6pm on a Sunday night. I just wonder if we are taking the command to care for the "orphans" seriously or not and if this is representative of our answer? Regardless, if anyone knows of a congregation in the Lexington area that will be recognizing this on Sunday morning, please, let me know because I'd love to attend. For more on this event, go to: http://www.christian-alliance-for-orphans.org/

Professional Athletes Versus Hardworking Citizens

Even Isocrates in the 5th century BCE noticed the backwardness of professional athletes making more money and receiving more fame than persons like firefighters, teachers, etc. Check out the opening lines of his work Panegyricus (which is a piece of oratory focused in large part, on praise & blame):

"[1] I have often marveled that those who established panegyric festivals and set up athletic contests considered athletic success worthy of such great prizes but established no such prize for those who work hard as private citizens for the public good and prepare their own lives so that they can benefit others. [2] They should have given more thought to the latter, for even if the athletes acquired twice their current strength, there would be no greater benefit for the people, while if one person has good ideas, all who wish to share in those ideas would benefit."


Claude Lévi-Strauss Dies At Age 100

I'm a little late in getting this news out but that's because I just found out about it. Claude Lévi-Strauss, one of the world's most influential anthropologists, passed away this week at the ripe age of 100. In addition to his anthropological research, he was also well known among biblical scholars for his work relating mythology to religion (esp. Christianity) and some of his controversial takes on historical and theological matters. To read more about Lévi-Strauss, see the snapshot below or click it to see it in its original context:


SBL 2009 Countdown Clock

As we all know, SBL 2009 is less than a month away from starting. The first open event is on Friday, Nov. 21 at 8:30am (you can get a copy of the program by clicking the following link: SBL 2009 Program). So, in the spirit of SBL, I created a countdown clock (with stock colors from this year's theme, which I don't really like!) that you can put on your website. To put this on your website, just copy the code below the counter:

SBL 2009 Program (PDF)

If you're looking for a digital copy of the 2009 SBL Program for the conference in New Orleans, check out the .pdf I created below. You can download and print this or embed it into your own site. Spread the word!


The Evils Of Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen & Others: The Prosperity Gospel in Africa

Asbury Theological Seminary Bloggers & Social Networking

If you're an Asbury Theological Seminary student, alumni, faculty or staff member or someone who may be interested in ATS, here are some great blogs you can frequent and follow, as well as a few social networking sites you can join, to see what's taking place on campus:

For a comprehensive list of blogs / bloggers, click the Asbury Bloggers Society image-link below:

For a brief list of blogs detailing important events, click the image-link below:

For a list of the Top 50 blogs on BLOGNETWORKS, click the image-link below:

For another ATS blog link, Web Parish, click the image-link below:

To follow ATS on Facebook, click the image-link below:

To follow ATS on Twitter, click the image-link below:

Here's ATS's president's blog (Tim Tennet) called "Global Talk", click the image-link below to visit:

Here's Dr. Ben Witherington's blog, click the image-link below to visit it:

Here's Dr. Lawson Stone's blog called "Stone's Fence", click the image-link below to visit:

A New Blog: Evolutionary Theology

A new blog started by my former pastor called "Evolutionary Theology" has been up and running for a few weeks now. I'm not an evolutionist and I haven't had a chance to read a lot of this blog but Tim's a smart guy (he majored in religion & physics & is now a pastor), so, I'm sure he has some insightful things to say. Check out the site by clicking the image-link below:


A Couple Free Books

I just picked up a couple books from the ATS library for free. Both, after a brief thumb through them appear to be pretty good resources; I especially like the Classical & Byzantine reference work!!!

William F. Lynch, Christ and Apollo

D. R. Dudley & D. M. Lang, Classical & Byzantine, Oriental & African Literature

Pisteuomen Mentioned On Biblical Studies Carnival XLVII

Keven Scull, who maintains the site Paul of Tarsus, has put together this month's Biblioblogs Carnival. He has done a good job (especially since it is not just devoted to West and his cronies like usual). You can reach the Carnival by click the paragraph-link below; here's the opening lines:


GettingGerman.com PODCAST (Mk. 1.29-45)

To get to the podcast, click the following image-link:

German Comps PASSED!!!

Just got the GREAT news from the PhD offices!!!

Bibliobloggers Halloween Costumes (Scotteriology)

In one of his best posts yet, Scott Bailey over at Scotteriology has come up with a hilarious group of pictures of bibliobloggers in their Halloween costumes. Even though he caps on me (see the snapshot below), I'm not sure anyone can beat the pic he's got of Rodney Thomas (I'll let you go see that one for yourself!!!). Click the image-link below to see the entire post:

Pisteuomen Ranked #30 on the Top 50 Biblioblogs

Not that it's a huge deal to me or anything but I was considered a "mover and shaker" in the biblio-blogosphere this past month. This is because in terms of traffic, I moved up 68 places from #98 to #30. Click the image-link below to view all the rankings:

Planned Parenthood Director Resigns!!! "A Spiritual Conversion"

How great it is to see things like this happen! Watch the short news clip below: