Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: February 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Rush and Greek Syntax

Today in Greek Syntax we were discussing the different uses of the genitive case (exciting, huh?). It is actually very interesting how theology can be drastically different based on how one interprets the usage of a specific case. Today, we were discussing the subjective, objective, agency, and adjectival uses of the genitive and the phrase "dia pisteuws xristou" was used as an example. A substantive translation here would say "Jesus Christ's faithfulness" whereas an objective translation would say "faith in Jesus Christ." Paul uses this phrase all the time and you can see how different those two concepts are. There is lively scholarly debate on whether the objective interpretation, "faith in Christ" is correct, as this is what most all translations render in English.

Anyway, I said all of that to say this. Dr. Pennington was discussing how we sometimes try to avoid making tough interpretive decisions like this in our translation by going with the "literal" route (a phrase he hates), but in this context if you do the literal thing and say faith of Christ" you have still made an interpretive decision even if you didn't want to.

He then said,

"So, if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

He then pumped out a few air guitar moves and threw up the heavy metal sign and yelled out "RUSH!" No one laughed but me.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

30 Hour Famine

This past Friday and Saturday I along with 20 teenagers participated in what is known as the 30 Hour Famine. This is a yearly effort through a company called World Vision to raise awareness of the number of children who are dying every day just because they are not fed. Our teenagers have been raising money for a month to send to the children in Africa and countries like Uganda. The fund raising culminates in a 30 hour fast of their own which took place from 9:00 last Friday to 3:00 pm yesterday. So, yesterday at 4:00 the teenagers and I were experiencing the severe hunger pains of not eating anything for over 30 hours.

The experience called for some reflection. First, we were of course able to raise some good money for the cause. Every one dollar raised feeds a child for an entire day. Second, we discovered how the blessing of food from God is included in virtually everything we do. The last 2 hours of our famine were spent both in a bowling alley and then a mall. I purposely took them to the mall so they could experience how even something as simple as shopping in a mall is usually tied in with food and we don't even realize it. As we were leaving the mall, the students were talking about how they noticed everyone had a drink and was munching on something and they couldn't enjoy the mall because they were so hungry and tired. Third, we discussed how love is not a "calling" one receives in a Damascus Road experience. For the believer, love is a direct, non-negotiable command.

I have been receiving emails last night and today from teenagers who have been deeply moved by the famine experience. They expressing how they want God to change them and how they want to make a change within themselves. I am nice and full now. As a matter of fact, I am munching on some m&m's and goldfish as I write this. My prayer today is that I and my teenagers would continue to have hunger pains for the lost, hungry, poor, and weary.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Study Bibles vs. Classic Bibles

I have found myself having this discussion 4 times within the last couple of months, so I thought it helpful to write my thoughts concerning the use of study bibles vs. normal, classic bibles. When I say classic bibles, I simply mean bibles without any commentary added, perhaps just cross references.

Before we begin, it might be useful to review my brief article on the different kinds of translations available out there.

As is the case for most comparative discussions, there are advantages and disadvantages to both kinds of bibles. Typically, a study bible is a method of combining biblical commentary and the text of the bible in one neat, easy to use source. At the bottom of the page the commentator will write his or her interpretation of what the particular text referenced means. In contrast, a reference bible typically just has cross references in the margins of other scripture to look at for better understanding or for parallel accounts, prophecy, etc. Briefly, here are my thoughts.

Study bibles are best used for your at home in depth study time. They are a tremendous way to intake both the text of scripture and follow up very quickly with some insightful help from right there on the same page. Study bibles are for me most helpful when trying to place a book or event in its proper year or context. They will typically give helpful background and historical context notes that can really aid the understanding of the biblical data.

Having said that, here are my two issues, and they are biggies, concerning study bibles. 1) There is a human tendency to very quickly scan the text and then jump down to the commentary to discover "what it really means." This is deadly for the believer. A few reasons why this is worrisome is because, a)we must remember that the commentary is written by a person just like us trying their best to make sense of Scripture just like us. They will bring with them their own presuppositions and theological tendencies (Calvinism, Arminianism, etc) and the commentary will always be a reflection of those interpretive presuppositions. That is not necessarily bad, but we can never read the commentary as a replacement for reading the text. b)we forget that in the long run, we don't need commentaries. In a powerful truth that I will write about in detail later, we can ask the question, "who is the ultimate author of the Bible?" God, of course, the Holy Spirit filling and moving the biblical authors to write the inerrant, infallible word of God. Now, who convicts and regenerates the lost into faith? The Holy Spirit. So, the Christian has living inside of them the very author of Scripture!! Who in the world needs a commentator when we have the very author inside of us?! 2) Study bibles can be distracting. Two elements of the bible are crucial to the believer. One is bible intake, the other is meditation. Doing something like reading through the bible in a year is awesome because you receive a ton of bible intake. But if that is all you did, you would miss on the meditation. Intake is reading or hearing many verses at once. Meditating is concentrating with the Holy Spirit on a few verses, maybe even just one. With a study bible, that can become difficult to do, because you have tons of cool stuff, charts, maps, diagrams, fold out laminated tables of monies, etc. I love all those things and they are helpful, but I think they can get in the way at times. For those of you who take a study bible to church with you, answer honestly. . .how many times have you found yourself thumbing through all the cool "stuff" and getting caught up in the commentary while the preacher was bringing the message? Its easy to do.

Concerning classic reference bibles, these are typically my preference. I definitely use them exclusively at church and just find something comforting about having the plain ol' text right there in front of me. These bibles are best for meditation and definitely best for sharing the gospel. The weaknesses are fairly obvious. . .if you need to know what year Samuel set out to find the first king of Israel in a moments notice, you are out of luck. I use study bibles every week at home and in my office preparing for lessons and to remind myself of certain elements of the story. I am so thankful for them in that regard.

So, you should get a study bible. You should definitely have a classic reference bible. You should read and use both regularly. You should never depend on anything or anyone except the Holy Spirit to give you the ultimate authority and understanding of scripture. Lastly, different people will experience the bibles in different ways. I have laid out my preferences and some potential concerns for both types. The most important thing of course is that you have a bible and are reading it. So, get to it.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Beast Reviews: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (The Remake)

I have previously reviewed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and will now move on to the 2003 remake of the 1974 instant classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

There are two main reasons that I, for the most part, am against remakes.
1) Why remake something that is already near perfect?
2) The bigger issue is this: Typically what makes a film, especially a horror film, so powerful and memorable are the unsettling elements of the picture that ultimately form the overall concept. When remakes are filmed, the filmmakers reverse the order to try and capture the "feel" of the original. Usually they become so obsessed with the concept that they completely miss the unsettling details that gives the concept its true shape.

This 2nd point is the overriding problem with TCM 2003. They have the concept down fairly well. A group of kids in a van in the middle of nowhere runs into trouble, then into more trouble, and then into lots of trouble. The issue I had with the movie is when they got to the point of "trouble", the imagery, acting, photography, etc, was uninspiring to say the least, and to make up for it, they appealed to the cool gore factor. As my experience with "The Beginning", I was quickly wanting to pop in the real movie and get that weird feeling all over again.

The ending, which seemed to me to be a Blair Witch rip off, was just absolutely pointless. I can now say I have seen all the films in the TCM franchise and I would advise any intermediate horror fan to stay away from most of the films in the series, save the original and maybe part 2.

The Beast's Paw Rating: 1 out of 4 Paws.

Dr. Al Mohler Reads "The Beast's Lair"

Not really. But read the last paragraph of this article posted after my commentary on Pastor Scott's blog concerning the India abortion crisis. Hmmmmmmmmm?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

This is hilarious

Our personal evangelism professor made this comment about the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

"I am reading from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, also known as the Hardcore Southern Baptist bible."

Southern Seminary Quote of the Day

From Systematic Theology:

"The bottom line of our theology is what Scripture teaches, not what makes perfect sense. Scripture and our theology can be both non-contradictory and at times still difficult to grasp."

As Brother JT from Temple would say in his closing of prayer. . ."Amen and Amen!"

Monday, February 19, 2007

Feminism and India Abortion.

The Burr in the Burgh has written a helpful article over this particular news story.

The issue here is Indian women discovering the gender of their baby and then having abortions if that gender is female. The feminist movement should be outraged that women would be killing babies based solely on that baby being a female. Yet, a strong stance of the feminist movement is that abortion rights are all but demanded for release of full economic and social dependence on men. I think you can see the dilemma here.

Thank You Mr. President

The office of the Presidency of the United States is an extraordinary thing. I have taken a recent interest in the history of our former presidents and have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about these great men who served our country to the best of their ability. The History Channel has available an incredible set of biographical DVD's available simply called "The Presidents." This 3 DVD series moves from Washington to Bush and gives roughly 15-20 minutes on every president, highlighting each man's greatest victories and sometimes worst defeats.

As a general rule I don't care for politics. Not so much because of the "dirty politician" but because of the next door American. I marvel at how people, especially so called Christians, can delightfully engage in the name calling, hair pulling, back stabbing, trash talking game of my candidate over yours as if something noble was happening. Most of these people, mind you, are not able to effectively lead or make decisions in their own homes and lives, but clearly have the upper hand when it comes to the decisions of the United States. I know, I know, its human nature, its the American way, its just the way things are. But that doesn't make it right. Christians have a call to walk against the "way things are" and be a noticeably set apart people. Disagreement, healthy debate and strong support for your candidate of choice are healthy things. Backsliding into a pool of hate and vindictiveness not only crumbles the Christian witness but also breeds additional contempt, something that clearly displeases God.

So I thank you Mr. Presidents, for your willing service to a vast majority of idiots. We don't always agree with you. Sometimes we think you are going in the completely wrong direction. And hey, sometimes you are just flat out wrong. But we respect your office and at least this particular Christian will do his best to act as one, even with an election year just around the corner.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Check out "Tim's Theological Toolbox"

Tim Kuehn, a reader and regular commenter on The Beast's Lair, has opened his own "theological toolbox", which means he has started a blog. As with my other two blogmarked theology buddies, Tim and I don't always see eye to eye on every issue, but he loves the Lord and has a sharp mind. So, he should have some interesting stuff to check out. Tell him The Beast sent ya.


Science vs Religion: The Disjunction Fallacy

In D.A. Carson's terrifying book "Exegetical Fallacies" he points out several exegetical mistakes often made by preachers and scholars when forming conclusions to be offered from the pulpit or in written form. One of these fallacies given by Carson in both word study and logical form is the fallacy of false disjunction. Carson says a false disjunction is a "false either/or requirement when complementary might be acceptable and they are extraordinarily common and potentially very destructive of fair minded, evenhanded exegesis."

This is indeed a common fallacy. I sense a theme of false disjunction through much of what we debate among denominational battle lines. Its not good works, but its only faith. Its not complete sovereignty, but its human free will. Its not complementary roles for men and women, but its only men and women are completely equal. Our ears should perk up when we begin to hear the phraseology of "not this. . .but that."

A quick side step here is to say that there are disjunctions that are proper and true. Not all disjunctions are false of course. As a believer in Jesus Christ, Christians believe that there is an "only this and not that" sense to salvation and a relationship with God. The danger of finding a theme to fallacies, as Carson points out in his book, is that we begin to see them everywhere and no longer think anything is accurate or true.

I say all of that as an intro to a discussion concerning science and religion. It seems a close look at this relationship might in fact yield a verdict of a false disjunction. The very phrase of "Science vs. Religion" conveys that one is right while the other is wrong. . .or at least severely flawed. Those who hold to a science view will say things like the Bible must "catch up" with science and that the only things true are those things which can be quantified and empirically tested. While those who hold to the Bible will spout out things like "I don't care what science says, the Bible is true" and will refuse to look at the latest scientific developments and research.

To make such a wide gap or disjunction between science and religion is to make a false disjunction. Historically, science was not against Christianity or vice versa. In fact, it was the Christian worldview that grounded the very beginnings and advancement of science. Even the most devout "science only" guys will admit that the history of science and scientific achievement is rooted in a philosophical, religious world view that saw the world as being created by a perfect God and therefore was able to be studied with mathematical precision. J.P Moreland points out in his book "Scaling the Secular City" that there is a philosophical ground that science today still operates under and that the statement of 'only what can be known by science is rational and true' is self-refuting. Moreland says that this is not a statement of science, it is a statement about science.

I believe in a sovereign, all powerful God who controls all things. I believe in a God who predestined and foresaw everything that would ever take place on this earth before the foundations of the world. But that does not mean I cannot harmonize those beliefs with a scientific study of life. When a scientific, or more to the point, philosophical worldview contradicts that of my biblical belief, of course I have to take that seriously. But to find one or two or 36 theories or understandings that stem from "science" and refute my understanding of Scripture and therefore make the jump that it is either science or religion is a false step. Of course we will find areas of tension. Just like we find areas of tension in our understanding of interpreting Scripture. The important concept to take with us is not to overexagerate and disallow the truth of one because of a particular claim from the other.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Blockbuster Total Access: The Real Deal

Andi and I have been debating on which online movie service to go with, Blockbuster or Netflix. We decided to go with Blockbuster because the selling point for their service is that you can return the movies you received in the mail back to your local Blockbuster store and get three free movies right there, then, Blockbuster Online goes ahead and mails your next three out of your queue online.

So, after talking extensively with the Blockbuster people in the store, we decided to try it. Let me tell you, it ROCKS. In reality, instead of having 3 movies out at a time, you really have 6 out at a time. It works out amazing. For example, Andi and I just returned three movies that we had received in the mail from Blockbuster.com. Now, with Netflix, you watch them and drop them back in the mail, wait the one or two days for them to receive them and then one or two days to receive your next titles. But with Blockbuster, after we had watched the three movies, we took them to our Blockbuster store here in Louisville, turned the movies in there instead of mailing them, rented three free movies and Blockbuster online mailed our next three movies from our online queue the next day! It is an incredible deal for the money! Netflix is in serious trouble if people catch on to how you can work this system.

Now, here is the only catch, if you can call it that. With the online movies that are mailed to you, there is no return date. You keep them as long as you want just like Netflix. If you then take those online movies to Blockbuster and return them for free ones, like I just described above, then you have to return those movies back to the Blockbuster store within normal return dates. But, Blockbuster stores have implemented a system where there are no late fees until after 31 days, so you really do basically have as long as you want. I can't believe how awesome this works.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Beast Reviews: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

For all my true horror movie fans out there, this should make you jealous. . .I had the opportunity to meet, talk with, and get a picture signed by the original Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen! He was so nice and signed his picture, "Hey Philip, You're Next!!" Awesome.

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released in 1974 and sent the nation into shock with its brutal depiction of a family torturing and killing young teenagers for no apparent reason. Director Tobe Hooper created one the most disturbing films in horror movie history. Not so much because of the gore or cheap scares, but because the movie kept you feeling "weird." It is a classic.

Fast forward to 2006 where director Jonathan Liebesman brings us The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. The attempt here is to pre-date the first movie in terms of chronology and see just how Leatherface turns into the monster we all know and love. A few TCM sequels have been made, with part 2 staring Dennis Hopper and being halfway descent. But this one decided to do the Star Wars Trilogy thing and take us before the 1974 TCM to show us how it all started.

I don't mind the concept of the film, although I think sometimes the mystery of how evil comes into existence is best left a mystery, but this picture didn't do it for me. The cast was led by veteran actor R. Lee Ermey who has been in more motion pictures than Mike Lally has been seen in Columbo episodes. Interesting enough, R. Lee also played in the 2003 TCM remake (which I will be reviewing next week) as the same/similar character of Sheriff Hoyt. So, I give the movie makers credit for trying. The movie just comes up a little short in all areas. It comes up short in creative kills, comes up short on the disturbance factor, which is what drives the TCM series, and ultimately leaves you searching through your dvd collection for the original movie.

What I enjoyed about the film was twofold: 1) It was kind of neat to see Leatherface piecing together the beginnings of his "masks" that are made famous by TCM 1974. 2) The end of the film had Leatherface busting out the front door of the family's house chasing after the one girl who has managed to jump out a window and start running for her life, exactly how it happened in the 1974 film. I kind of was like "YEAH!" but then I realized that the only reason I was pumped up was because this scene reminded me of how good the 1974 film is.

If you are a fan the TCM series, or even the first movie, this is worth a look just for the sake of seeing Leatherface come to be. But you will quickly forget about it and move on to the next movie. Which is what I am doing.

The Beast Paw Rating: 1 1/2 out of 4 Paws

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

In Vitro Fertilization and Idolatry?

I imagine this quote will elicit some interesting responses. This quote by Dr. Moore, dean of the school of theology, is in reference to what he sees as a similarity between the gospel and adoption (literal adoption by a couple) and the need for infertile couples to adopt rather than have an in vitro procedure.

"We have had to sit down with infertile couples who are about to begin in vitro fertilization and tell them we don't think this is right and here is why. I have said to them, 'you are struggling not with infertility, but with idolatry because you are not really wanting children; you are wanting yourself."

I am still wrapping my mind around what Dr. Moore is saying here, but I think for the most part I disagree with him. I agree to the extent that an emphasis on self is dangerous in any area of a believer who holds to a Christian worldview, including a greater emphasis on one's own time, desires, and expectations than that of the family/child. This is an area that by the grace of God I will improve.

But I find one of the great themes of God's faithfulness and blessing, especially in the OT, to somewhat contradict Moore's assertion. Almost all of the heroic women in the OT were barren. Sarah, of course, is the best example. God repeatedly told Sarah that because of her and Abraham's faith, and sometimes in the lack thereof, He would ultimately bless them with a child of their own. Abraham and Sarah even attempted the surrogate mother thing, but that was not part of the ultimate blessing God had in mind. Abraham and Sarah's story is about obedience, faith and the blessings of God. Moore's point is about love of self and idolatry. Is there a connection here or do the two contradict one another?

Of course, Moore also has in mind the moral issues that in vitro raises, such as the fertilization of multiple eggs that are discarded after the procedure. But those issues aside (not because of a lack of importance), his comment raises some interesting questions.

Birthday Report

Andi and I had such an amazing time over my birthday weekend. We traveled to Cincinnati for a relaxing night in a super nice downtown hotel. Notice the cool picture below. But one experience of our weekend getaway is worth describing in detail.

As part of our time away, we decided it would be nice to dress up and go out for a nice meal while in Cincinnati. After arriving at the motel and the terror of trying to get around downtown, we decided it best if we stayed inside and ate at one of the hotel's restaurants. So, I put on my best suit and Andi put on an incredible black dress and we set off for the restaurant.

When we arrived, a greeter asked us which restaurant we preferred, the causal dining experience or the formal dining experience. We of course said the formal dining experience. It was our entrance into a new and exotic world.

After being seated, we looked around and noticed that our surroundings were, well, extremely nice. A pianist was playing some familiar melodies in the background (including a great version of Terms of Endearment, see my post on Dick Enberg, the legend). We were greeted by a nice young man who spoke with a ridiculously proper accent. We declined the need for the wine steward. lol. This was starting to get interesting. After another look around the room as our server was getting us menus, we noticed several different people in the restaurant doing what appeared to be their own job. Our menus had arrived, so Andi and I opened them up and started busting out laughing. Not only were the prices for one item more than we pay for 3 normal meals combined, but we literally could not understand one word on the menu. Seriously. The only thing that was somewhat discernible was "beef cheeks" and we didn't really want to know what that was. So, after a few moments, the server comes back and asks us if we have any questions. "Several" I replied. He took the hint and made some suggestions. As he explained the items on the menu, he held his hands firmly behind his back and paced the circumference of the table. He would stop and then point to the next menu item, and then again begin to pace as he described. It was amazing. We took his suggestion by pointing to the item on the menu (no way to pronounce it) and laughed again when he left.

At this point, another guy comes rolling a fairly large table next to our table. Andi and I are completely lost, we have no idea what is going on. Then, out of nowhere, these two huge plates are brought and placed on this table next to us. This guy then takes the plates and says "compliments of my chef, this is a (and then he said something I couldn't repeat)." He places the plates in front of us, and there is little chip thing with all this stuff on top of it. It was about the size of a dime. Hilarious man. So, we ate our little "compliment of the chef" item, and it was pretty good. We did have a discussion as to if we were supposed to use our silverware or not, but we decided to just pick it up with our hands.

What happened next is one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. It requires a little set up. Apparently, during my enjoyment of the "compliments of the chef", I had moved my forks on the table. They were still there and looked fine, but I must have shifted them in some way. The server who placed our plates in front of us was walking by rather briskly and he looked over at our table. With no exaggeration and in all truthfulness, this guy "jogs" over to our table and without saying a word to me or Andi, reaches down in front of me and moves my forks back to their appropriate position. He then goes on his way. It was simply amazing. I made darn sure to not touch my forks the rest of the meal.

To our delighted surprise, we received another "compliments of the chef", this time we made out something about bleeding oranges. It was pretty good as well, and we used our forks this time. After this "course", my fork guy came back and took my forks and replaced them with a different kind of fork. I just couldn't believe it.

Finally, our meal arrived and it was very good. Two people brought these "domes" to our table and would not place them on the table until they could do it in exact unison. Then, they lifted the domes off the plated to reveal the food underneath. It was a dramatic moment and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to clap or something. I said something like "yes, very nice." Of course, this food is not something I would want to eat everyday, but it was pretty good. The experience made it all worthwhile. Before our dessert, I ordered two "cokes" which was pretty darn funny in itself. But, they took even our cokes very seriously, bringing out two classy glasses and a small bottle, then poured the coke into the glasses for us, leaving about an inch in the bottle.

The dessert was delicious and we finished our meal up. Over all, the experience must have taken an hour and a half, but I hope one day to be able to relive our encounter with a 5 star restaurant.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Birthday Fun

Andi and I are heading out of town for a couple of days to celebrate my birthday. This is really the first time we have been able to get away for a couple of days alone since our honeymoon, so we are very excited.

The Beast's Lair will be in hibernation until Monday. Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Southern Seminary Quote of the Day

In reference to an acceptable exegetical method:

"Meaning is not found at the level of a single word or even a sentence. Meaning is found at the level of paragraph and discourse."

The Beast's Lair has tried to make this point in various ways throughout the last couple of years. I will comment more when I have the proper time, but I have read a book called "Exegetical Fallacies" by D.A. Carson and it has changed much of the way I think and do exegesis.

We have to do these nasty little things called "thought flow diagrams" where we trace the argument through an extended passage of Scripture. It is hard as nails to do correctly. But the point is an important one, to properly understand what the text is saying as the whole, not just the part.

Our professor made an interesting analogy to YouTube, the popular online video website where you can watch virtually anything for free from other user's uploads. He said there was two "spoofs" of the "Back to the Future" trailer. One was called "Breakback to the Future" and the other was called "Back to the Butcher." Interestingly enough, both spoof trailers, which were trying to make their spoof in very different ways, used some identical clips from the movie.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Note About Japanese Steakhouses

I love these places. You know what I am talking about, those hibachi grill places where they cook the food right in front of you? Andi and I try to eat at one of these places a few times a year. Rex and I enjoy dining at them at Epcot.

Anyway, I have found myself after several visits to the Japanese Steakhouse dining experience completely uninterested in the humor and banter that takes place. The spinning of eggs and dry humor that is supposed to make the experience fun is really just getting in the way now days of enjoying the good food. I would like to find a chef who takes his job seriously and never says a word to the patrons. He just shows up and starts going to town on his food and then leaves. That would be perfect.

Southern Seminary Quote of the Day

From chapel, Dr. William Cook preaching on Daniel 10.

"People are looking for better methods. God is looking for better people. People are God's method."

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Some Of The Most Important Words You Will Hear At Southern Seminary

will be spoken by a Roman Catholic.

I will give all of my readers who know anything about Southern Baptist and Seminary life 3 guesses to name the person who said that. It was none other than Dr. Al Mohler.

At the end of chapel on Thursday, after a thought provoking message by Dr. Moore, Dr. Mohler moved to the pulpit and asked everyone to sit down. We knew something was going on. For the next 3 minutes, Dr. Mohler addressed concerns he had about an email conversation that had been forwarded to him over the last week. The emails were a dialogue between disgrunteld seminarians about the use of preachers in the two weekly on-campus chapels who did not "believe all that Southern Baptists believe." In a very compassioante method, Dr. Mohler laid the smack down.

After raising the question to those in chapel attendance as to why we have these kind of chapel speakers, he said "because we desperately need to hear from them." Mohler then went on to bring up Dr. Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program of American Ideas and Institutions at Princeton University, who would be delivering the Norton Lecture Series on embryo ethics, marriage and family, and democracy. Mohler then said, "Dr. George is a Roman Catholic, and what he says will be some of the most important words you will hear at Southern Seminary this semester."


Friday, February 02, 2007

The Beast Reviews: The Descent

This 2005 film from director Neil Marshall was a welcome surprise. I was a big fan of Marshall's "Dog Soldiers" so I knew the guy had talent. But, I had yet to see a horror movie placed in a cave that really lived up to the hype of the tagline.

The film is about 5 or 6 girls who take an annual outdoor adventure for the thrill and fun of it. The shocking opening to the picture is very well filmed and is in the tradition of Cliffhanger. This sets up the rest of the plot and characters. The following year, the girls set off to a hole in the ground in the Appalachian Mountains. Once down in the hole, they get cut off from the outside by a rock slide and must find a different exit. Things heat up between the girls as the leader admits she took them to the wrong cave, one that no one had ever been in before so they could discover it and name it. (This left me asking myself, how did she know it was there if no one had ever discovered it?) The girls slowly begin to turn on each and then they run into the. . . .things. The girls are now desperately fighting for their lives not only from these creatures, but also to find a way out of the cave.

The strengths of the picture are numerous. First of all, it is simply well filmed. Marshall knows what he is doing. You never get that all too familiar feeling with horror films that some guy just took some cameras and starting shooting a movie. Secondly, there is some depth to the characters, development and storyline. Some genuine scares and moments of tension also abound.

The biggest weakness is the ending, as seems to always be the case. The main character, Sarah, decides she must flip out and become like the creatures in order to survive, which is cool. But, some of the things she does, especially at the end, just doesn't make much sense. I suppose the gore factor will also subtract from the normal movie viewer's enjoyment. But hey, this is horror, not that silly prototypical "I Know What You Did For The Last 4 Summers" garbage.

Overall, I recommend the film and the director Neil Marshall.

The Beast Paw Rating: 3 out of 4 Paws

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Southern Seminary Quote of the Day

This quote is in context of my Greek Syntax professor warning students of the danger of using Greek from the pulpit.

"You are more likely to say something stupid using Greek than you are saying something wise."

His point is that some are called to teach and preach, and are therefore called to have a knowledge of some things that others in the faith will not, or do not need to have. He also warned that a partial knowledge of Greek is more dangerous than no knowledge, because we use it in dumb ways. I thought it was a good word.