Friday, July 28, 2006

"Unless the languages remain, the Gospel must finally perish."

Two more weeks of Greek left. . .well, of this class, that is. I'll be using my Greek for a long time after this (or at least, that's the plan--whether it actually happens or not will be revealed at a later date). And I'm actually looking forward to our Pauline Studies and Greek Readings courses, etc. because that's where the real interpretation and debate will happen!

The New Testament is full of things that could be disputed. For instance, when we translate from Greek to English the phrase "the love of God," it could mean two things: 1) God's love for us, or 2) our love for God. Well, which is it? When something is stated like, "the love of God will save us," which meaning does it take? I tend to think more of #1 than #2, but perhaps it's a combination of both? Very interesting, and this leads to much theological discussion and even debate among translators. I like Martin Luther's words regarding the importance of learning the original languages of the Bible:

"In proportion then as we value the gospel, let us zealously hold to the languages. For it was not without purpose that God caused his Scriptures to be set down in these two languages alone--the Old Testament in Hebrew, the new in Greek. Now if God did not despise them but chose them above all others for his word, then we too ought to honor them above all the others. . .And let us be sure of this: we will not long preserve the gospel without the languages. The languages are the sheath in which this sword of the Spirit is contained; they are the casket in which this jewel is enshrined; they are the vessel in which this wine is held. . ."
(from "To the Councilmen of all Cities in Germany that they Establish and Maintain Christian Schools")

Cool thoughts. I highly doubt that I would ever study Greek if I were not required to in seminary, but now I'm encouraging all of my friends to take it at some point in life. It opens up the doors to an ancient language written by ancient church fathers--I like to imagine Paul (or another author, depending on which book I'm reading) writing what I'm reading and it just feels cool. And, as many probably know, Paul was one fiery personality, so his writings have an entirely fresh feel when read in Greek. For example, in Philippians 3:8, Paul talks about how he considers everything in his life a loss because he gains Christ. He refers to all other things that do not represent Christ in his life as "rubbish." I learned today (from a friend, not the prof, so maybe I'm mistaken. . .) that the word Paul used that has been translated into English as "rubbish" was actually the Greek word that is pronounced "scuba," which literally means "shit." Strong words! He considers everything shit so that he may gain Christ! Reminds me of Luther, another strong-worded theologian, who once said that we humans are shit covered with snow. Em and I used to playfully argue about that; I love it because it's very true, and it emphasizes grace rather than our worthiness.

Anyway. Tonight should be a somewhat quiet evening, which will be nice. Then tomorrow I'm going to see Robby Rob. :) Can't wait. Hope all is well with you, my friends!

Friday, July 21, 2006

I miss my family. I wish I could go home this weekend, but alas, I am 17 hours away. Or something like that. Suck. This is a familiar feeling. . .I seem to remember feeling lonely like this right after I moved to Austin after college. At least this time I'm in school and have made some friends already, but some days it hits that I don't have anyone to call up and go to dinner with, or shop with, or watch a movie with. And I don't have my sister around anymore to spend an entire Friday evening watching Sex & the City episodes with (which is what I feel like doing tonight).

Everyone who I want to see is too far away right now.

I found a new musician of whom I am a fan. Check out Josh Ritter. Met him at Starbucks and fell in love. . .um, with his music, that is. ;)


Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Guy & The Girl: Adventures at Kure Beach, NC

Dinner at Jack Mackerel's--a happenin' little islandy/toursity spot. Rob's favorite beach drink is a pina colada (yes, he's a girl), which he had already enjoyed by the time this picture was taken.

We went to the end of Highway 421, where we saw some deer, a lighthouse, and a scuttling crab. We like the word 'scuttle.' It's fun.

You can't tell from this picture, but the waves were vicious! I was knocked down several times (not to mention dragged on my knees, which resulted in some nasty sand scrape-age). Robby, however, had fun riding the waves. He's in the pictured wave somewhere. Can you find him? :)

A fisherman on the pier caught a baby shark!

I decided that, if I ever had a pet pelican, I would call him "Pelly." Rob thought this was silly. But I don't care. This reminds me of when my brother got a parakeet and I wanted to name him "Pecker." I had no idea why my dad was laughing.

Yep, we are pretty cute. :)

And now, back to Greek, back to school. . .bleh. I wish our little "vacay" could've lasted a bit longer, but that's life, I guess. Hope life is good for all of my readers! Lots of love to you.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

ABCs and 123s

Dang, does anyone ever blog anymore? I guess I can't talk, since my posts have become less regularly scheduled. . .and since I don't have time to read blogs anyway, I should shut up. :)

So what's up in the durrrty South with Lorena, you ask? Well, Greek is a fascinating yet very difficult language to learn. I made an A on my first test, though! I've made some great friends already and looking forward to meeting more who join us in August. I'm tired and looking forward to resting a lot this weekend. I seriously spend 8+ hours each weekday either studying or in class. . .I eat, sleep, and breathe Greek. I didn't realize that my brain could work like this; at the end of 7 weeks, I should be fairly competent at reading and translating an ancient language. Every night, I'm cramming more vocab in my head, and I'm amazed that it's all still in there (for the most part). Very interesting.

I saw some Austin folks this week--a family from SOTH was in town and I spent time with them and their extended family. Tons of cousins, aunts, and uncles. . .I felt like part of the family, and it was really sweet.

I found a book at Cokesbury that intrigued me, so I ordered it online and started reading it today. It's called If Grace is True: Why God Will Save Every Person. Good timing, considering the fact that Rob and I were discussing something along these lines this past week. For the most part, he and I have very similar theological opinions and ideas. . .but the whole idea of this book causes a lot of discussion between us. I find that I agree more and more with the idea that God will save every person, which some Christians might say is 'radical.' But I don't care--I think that's what God is: radical. If grace is really true, then what does that mean? How will that change our lives? How will that change the world? I'm curious to see how this book (written by two well-known Quaker ministers) will affect/encourage my thoughts. . .

I lead chapel next week for the first time. . .and of course I'm assigned to the very first day! At least I have a partner, and at least my classmates aren't too intimidating. . . :) Of course, I wouldn't be in seminary if I weren't comfortable leading worship. But oftentimes, there hasn't been an accompanist, which means I'd have to lead the hymns a-capella. . .we'll see how it goes!

Later, friends.