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Archive for October, 2011

A revised and updated version of the New International Version was published this year by Biblia. The previous revision, called Today’s New International Version, was released earlier in the decade and was a resounding failure. As Michael Medved says about bad movies, “the had to subpoena people to see it.” A big part of the reason the TNIV failed was that it was, and is, to a large extent gender-neutral. This is a serious problem because the original text was not written in a gender-neutral way, and to translate it as if it were is a matter of academic integrity.

I can’t recommend the NIV 2011, as it’s called, at all. It’s a bad translation that has been compromised by current political and social theory supported by a worldview that is anything but Biblical. If you have an NIV with a copyright of 1984 or earlier, keep it. If the copyright is after 1984, you may not want to keep it. You could put it back on your shelf  if you want to, but that’s up to you.

Here are three pieces of evidence (of the many) that have convinced me that the NIV 2011 is not a faithful translation of God’s Word.

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I had the privilege of preaching on Ephesians 6:14-17 this morning. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: God has given us the weapons of truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the word of God to combat the schemes of our enemy Satan.

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I had the privilege of preaching on Ephesians 6:10-13 this morning. Here’s a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Although we are in a spiritual battle and have a powerful enemy, God has given us everything we need to withstand the enemy if we rely on God’s strength in us and not our own.

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In the incarnation, “the world became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14a). When Jesus took on humanity, He was, and now is, undiminished deity united with perfect humanity in one person forever. He is 100% God and 100% man.

The truth of the incarnation (or “en-fleshment” of God the Son) is a model for both ministry and our sanctification.

When we minister, in whatever form it may take, it involves all of our ability and effort. It also involves all of God’s activity. In other words, it’s 100% God and 100% man. We give our all and do all we can as we preach a sermon, witness to a friend, pray for someone, lead the congregation in music, teach a class, counsel someone, or take your elderly neighbor’s garbage to the curb. At the same time, we’re fully aware that God must be at work if any real and lasting fruit is to come from our efforts. We do all we can and trust God for the results because He alone can bring them.

Our sanctification – growth in holiness and Christlikeness – follows the same model. God works and we work – simultaneously. It’s our responsibility to work and grow and press on to maturity. We must work as hard as we can, using God’s appointed means (Bible intake, prayer, fellowship, worship, service, evangelism, giving, participation in the ordinances among them) to grow spiritually. But God is also at work in our sanctification. He gives us the strength, ability, motivation and desire to make the effort. In other words, our sanctification is 100% God and 100% man.

The incarnational model is summed up well in Philippians 2:12b-13 — “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

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The Deception of Hypocrisy

This quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne highlights one of the many problems with hypocrisy.

No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true. (The Scarlet Letter)

Hypocrisy leads us to confused as to who we really are.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on Ephesians 6:5-9. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Employees are to obey their employers and employers are to treat their employees as they want to be treated, with both parties recognizing they’re serving the same Lord to whom they will give account.

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