another year

Birthdays are always contemplative days for me. I enjoy reviewing what God has done for me over the past year and begin to think through hopes and dreams for the coming year.

This 24th full year of life has been filled with all kinds of change, growth, and suffering. I left Texas for the first time as a permanent move to begin graduate school. In the midst of preparing to move, our house in Texas was flooded, and my wife and celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. Change, growth, and suffering all wrapped up into these events.

Now, I sit excited about a snowy men’s retreat with a group of men whom I’ve only known for a few weeks. These men have given me the community I have desired. God uses these men to help me grow, and, hopefully, God will use me in their lives as well.

Next year, I begin graduate school full time. This excites me and makes me nervous. I won’t be working at the same time. This presents a multiplicity of new opportunities for temptation, being home alone more often. Mostly, I find myself tempted to remain lethargic, sleeping or watching movies when I ought to be reading, writing, and researching. I pray the Lord will fortify the weapons of my warfare and solidify the armor of God in my life.

I have already begun a massive research project, completely independent of school or any other responsibilities. I have begun to attempt to develop a biblical theology of sin. The question, “How does sin affect my relationship with God as a believer?” still weighs heavily on my heart and mind. I am in the beginning stages of collating the data from the Scriptures, reading all the passages that use the Greek terms for sin in the LXX and the NT. I have already traced the usages in the ancient world up to the time of the LXX, and I have had difficutly ascertaining when or how ἁμαρτία, for example, began to be used for offenses in a moral sense. In many Greek historical sources from the 3rd through 5th centuries B.C., it is used in military contexts in which some general or army made a strategical mistake on the battlefield. In English translations of these works, the most common translation of the term is “blunder.” At any rate, I am eager to pursue this further. So far, all that I have concluded is that preachers need to cease speaking of ἁμαρτία as “missing the mark.” Granted, this word did have that meaning, in contexts of archery and other similar contexts, in Homer, for example. But after the 8th century B.C., with Homer, I have not found a single attestation of that meaning again. It is deceptive and unhelpful to state in sermons that, “To miss the mark is the fundamental meaning of ‘sin.'”

Mostly I have great hopes for next year because I see my friends pursuing abundant life in Christ. Also, I enjoy watching romance bloom in the midst of pursuing obedience to the Lord. What great joy the Lord has granted to me!

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Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 8:35 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Someone needs to post a freakin’ post.

  2. Blog. Blog. Blog. Blog. Blog.


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