Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jots and Tittles February 2013

While the casting of Jesus remains unsatisfactory, The Gospel of John is one of the best Jesus films to date and features skillful direction and interpretation. It also has a phenomenal soundtrack which the film does not take full advantage of.


Famous Bible Translation Mistakes Throughout History - C Michael Patton

Sola Scriptura Redux: What Does it Really Mean - Ben Witherington

Craig Keener on the Book of Acts as History - John Byron

The Top Ten Bible Verses of 2012 - BibleGateway Blog

3 Ways I Would Like Evangelical Leaders to Stop Defending the Bible - Peter Enns

Top 20 Archaeology Events and Discoveries of 2012 - John Byron

The Bible Brought to you by the History Channel - John Byron

Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: What Jesus Started by Steve Addison

book coverSometimes we get so caught up in the power of Jesus shouting from the cross, "It is finished!" that we forget that Jesus started something. What Jesus started was a movement that began small, with intimate conversations designed to build disciples into apostles who would go out in the world and seed it with God's kingdom vision. That movement grew rapidly and spread wide as people recognized the truth in it and gave their lives to the power of it. That movement is still happening today, and we are called to play our part in it.

What Jesus Started by Steve Addison holds the example of Jesus, Paul, and the New Testament Church up to the light in order to discover the methods behind the greatest missionary movement of all time. Addison defines Jesus's earthly ministry and the foundation of the New Testament Church as one disciple-making movement and goes through scripture and church history to answer the question, "What did Jesus do?" The result is a book about missionary methods, disciple making and church planting movements with the Gospels and the book of Acts as its main case study.

In many ways the book retells the gospels and the book of Acts through the eyes of missiology. Addison mixes in church history and is able to trace a coherent journey as well as a cohesive vision for this original disciple making movement. The study is interlaced with modern case studies and examples and finalized with a brief look at Addison's own ministry journey through the principles and methods described. The book includes by a fifty page implementation guide that draws readers into the process of making disciples and gives the reader a practical starting point to the methods of the missionary movement that Jesus started.

Addison does a excellent job of meticulously going through Scripture to reveal what Jesus and Paul did and to distill principles from their divinely inspired example. The scriptural focus creates a powerful conviction that the ministry methods and principles described are not merely new ideas, but powerful imperatives drawn from the Word of God. While the book reads as a fairly holistic look at scriptural example, it remains accessible and relevant.With its holistic scope, some readers may feel that certain subjects weren't given enough emphasis, or that important issues weren't raised, but Addison touches on many areas and he's clear about focusing on six principles and methods for ministry.

What Jesus Started may not be the best book on disciple making movements I've read, but it is by far the most Scriptural and intellectually convincing. The focus on the big picture as well as the principles and examples  make it useful for both inspiring vision and activating obedience. I will be revisiting this book frequently for guidance, inspiration, and reference as I follow the ministry model of Jesus.

My thanks to InterVarsity Press for providing this complementary review copy. I have given an honest review.

836598: What Jesus Started: Joining the Movement, Changing the World What Jesus Started: Joining the Movement, Changing the World
By Steve Addison / IVP Books

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Bible Reading Disciplines

Once again, I am starting off the new year with some disciplined plans to read and study the Word. I often make these plans and then deviate to some extent from them later in the year; however, my deviations never stop me from reading the Bible. I just tend to prefer to do things in the spur of the moment. I often wake up thinking, "I feel like reading Zechariah, today," or something similar. I know that sounds holy, but it's true. I often supplement a basic reading discipline, such as a goal to read ten or more chapters per day (one that I've loosely held to since I first got saved) with Seinfeld calendar plans, audio Bibles, different translations, highlighting and note-taking projects, etc.

This year I'm starting off with deviations in mind. I won't be following a strict reading plan. Instead I'll have a set of loose goals and a set of firm goals.

I have a loose goal of reading ten or more chapters per day. This is a loose goal because I know some days will be extremely busy, and I'll rush through an epistle, while other days I'll have time to really sit down and study. This is a good goal as well because I can incorporate different projects, plans, and Bibles into it without missing a beat.

I have a firm goal of reading the whole Bible at least once and the New Testament multiple times. For this goal I'll be using the Bible checklist. I will highlight chapters as I read them and then use a different notation to mark them off every subsequent reading. I know my reading habits well enough to anticipate that I'll probably read the Old Testament once this year, and the Epistles all several times.
I have a loose goal of reading the New Testament aloud. I love reading the Bible aloud, and I will attempt to read the Psalms and the New Testament aloud this year, but this isn't easy for every environment, and I'll be flexible for travel and schedule interruptions.

I plan to revisit Scripture by Heart by Joshua Choonmin Kang for inspiration and tips for memorization.

I plan to read the Bible in discovery Bible Studies with others. DBS has become an important part of my Bible reading and evangelism as well as my discipleship as a whole.

I hope to be studying the Bible in Bangla by the end of the year. This is an ambitious goal, but I'm attempting to study Bangla twelve hours per week, and in the end I'd like one hour or less of that to be reading and reciting the Bible in the language of Bangladesh.

What are your reading disciplines for the New Year? Comment and let me know.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jots and Tittles January 2013

I am so excited by what God is going to do in the New Year. I have been incredibly blessed and joyful to be busy about my Father's business, but I do have a newsletter, a book review, and a project on deck for this month. Hopefully I will be able to write consistently here along with the many other exciting things the Lord is doing in my life and ministry. I expect to travel a lot (hopefully both nationally and internationally) in the coming year as well as tackling some new projects. This blog usually takes the lowest priority, but I still trust the Lord to use it to bless people hungry for more of His Word. To check out more of what I'm up to, head over to  

A Bible that can mean anything is a Bible without meaning. - Gary DeMar

Five Ways to Motivate Yourself to Read the Bible in 2013 from Biblegateway

Bible Buying Guide's Overview of 2012 Bibles

Randy Brown published an E-Book: How to Choose and Use a Wide Margin Bible

The Queen James Bible and Homophobic Translations by Michael Brown at Charisma News

The Bible is Surprise Bestseller in Norway

Thanks to Chuck Huckaby for posting this chart.