A Fresh Look at the Psalms

September 29, 2007

Alter ShakespeareEvery time I preach and teach, I remind folks that the Bible was not written in English; we are reading a translation.  Nowhere is this more evident than in portions of the Bible that are poetry, where much of the meter and musicality is lost in the translation.  Perhaps Robert Alter is on to something with his new translation of the Psalms, that strives to give us the flavor of the poetry within its Hebrew context. Read the rest of this entry »


Sam’s One Year Anniversary in Heaven

September 24, 2007

Sam OstMy brother Sam died one year ago today.  It was a stormy, rainy Sunday morning when I was called out of church to rush to his bedside at the hospice where we sang quietly as he was ushered into Heaven. 

I often wonder what he’s up to in heaven.  Stephanie realized today that he has two children he has never met in heaven that were never born.  Is he teaching them Risk with “Ost modifications”?  Are they exploring heaven with a compass?  Is he showing them his baseline left-handed jumper?  We know for sure that he “has no less days to sing God’s praise than when he first began.” Read the rest of this entry »

Would You Ever Bow Down to Buddha?

September 21, 2007

buddhaWe were watching the popular reality show “Survivor” Thursday night, when we saw something that made us think.  This 15th season of Survivor is set in China, and on the first episode, all the contestants were led to a Buddhist temple and told to participate in a Buddhist ritual that, the host explained, was “not religious”.  When all the other contestants, instructed by monks, began to bow down prostrate before the statue of the Buddha, Leslie, a Christian talk show host, refused, and left the temple in tears. Read the rest of this entry »