Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts

BernsteinLeonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic are excellent. Bernstein recorded these for CBS from 1958 to 1972.

My three daughters and I just finished watching all 25 programs in this Special Collector’s Edition 9-DVD Set. Each program is a little under an hour, and we watched one together each Saturday morning. [Read more…]

The SBL Handbook of Style: 2nd Edition

sblhsThe SBL Handbook of Style has become the standard guide for biblical studies. It first released in 1999, and the second edition released in November 2014:

The SBL Handbook of Style: For Biblical Studies and Related Disciplines. 2nd ed. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2014.

More info here.

I reviewed it for the most recent issue of Themelios (which released yesterday). My conclusion: [Read more…]

Matt Harmon’s Commentary on Philippians

HarmonThis new commentary is one that preachers and other Bible interpreters will want to add to their library:

Matthew S. Harmon. Philippians: A Mentor Commentary. Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2015.

My endorsement:

Matt Harmon explains Paul’s letter clause by clause, traces Paul’s argument, reads Paul’s argument in light of the rest of the Bible, and applies the letter to people today. He reminds me of two of his professors when he was working on his PhD at Wheaton: Doug Moo and Greg Beale.

Zombie Nouns and Verbs: Why Nominalizations and Passives May Be Killing Your Writing

Cannibals eat the flesh of fellow human beings.

And words can eat fellow words.

It depends on how a person strings them together.

How do you prefer to communicate with words: to clarify or to convolute, clutter, and confuse? To reveal or conceal?

That’s why Helen Sword, author of Stylish Academic Writing (Harvard University Press, 2012), refers to one type of words as zombie nouns.

Zombie Nouns: Nominalizations

Watch this five-minute video that Helen Sword narrates (based on her article “Zombie Nouns,” New York Times, July 23, 2012):

So as a general rule, use verbs instead of the related nouns when possible.

For example, [Read more…]

2015 EFCA Theology Conference: The Doctrine of the Scriptures

Greg Strand has organized another outstanding theology conference for the Evangelical Free Church of America on the campus of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. This one is on the doctrine of the Scriptures (Jan 28–30, 2015). Speakers include Don Carson, Graham Cole, Phil Long, Doug Moo, Kevin Vanhoozer, and John Woodbridge.

More info here.

Update on 2/19/2015: Conference audio is available here.

A Theology of Sleep

Sweet sleep is a gift from God: “when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24b).

I agree with John Piper and Don Carson on sleep:

  1. John Piper: “For me, adequate sleep is not just a matter of staying healthy. It’s a matter of staying in the ministry” (p. 189).
  2. Don Carson: “Doubt may be fostered by sleep deprivation. If you keep burning the candle at both ends, sooner or later you will indulge in more and more mean cynicism—and the line between cynicism and doubt is a very thin one. Of course, different individuals require different numbers of hours of sleep: moreover, some cope with a bit of tiredness better than others. Nevertheless, if you are among those who become nasty, cynical, or even full of doubt when you are missing your sleep, you are morally obligated to try to get the sleep you need. We are whole, complicated beings; our physical existence is tied to our spiritual well-being, to our mental outlook, to our relationships with others, including our relationship with God. Sometimes the godliest thing you can do in the universe is get a good night’s sleep—not pray all night, but sleep. I’m certainly not denying that there may be a place for praying all night; I’m merely insisting that in the normal course of things, spiritual discipline obligates you get the sleep your body need” (p. 147)

sleepSo I was delighted to read this book: [Read more…]