Month: March 2012

Jeremy Lin’s InterVarsity Roots – News –

Jeremy Lin was involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship when he was at Harvard.  To read more about his IV connection, check out this link: Jeremy Lin’s InterVarsity Roots – News –

Besides my publisher being IVP, my wife Shannon has worked with IV for 27 years which means I’m connected to that world, and I speak in IV contexts frequently.  My brother Rich worked with IV at Harvard back in the 1990’s and helped bring Tom Lin (no relation) on staff, who’s mentioned in the IV article.

Lin made a huge splash in Feb when, coming from no where, he helped resurrect the Knicks.  For awhile they were the hottest team in the NBA.  But a bit like Tebow with the Broncos last fall, Lin has been taking flak recently, and the Knicks have struggled.

God, be with Jeremy Lin.  Help him continue to navigate success and failure under the spotlight graciously and faithfully. 

What’s your favorite “Linsanity” term? 

Precept persection protection (Psalm 119:22)

Take away from me their scorn and contempt
for I have kept your precepts
(Psalm 119:22 NRSV).

The anticedent for “their” here comes from Psalm 119:21, the insolent, accursed ones who wander from God’s commandments.  Not only were they insolent and wandering, they were also insulting and abusing the people like the psalmist who didn’t stray from God’s laws.  (This is the 6th verse in the Gimel section.  The verse begins with the verb galal, literally “roll away” their scorn.)

Their persecution has put the psalmist in a place of dependence.  And once again the prayer is leveraged on obedience.  The psalmist believes that keeping divine precepts should contribute to God’s willingness to offer protection from the attacks of the insolent, accursed ones.  Precept persecution protection.

We need to be careful not to say God only helps the faithful.  There are certainly biblical examples of unfaithful people who pray and God listens (Jonah in Jonah 2; Jehoahaz in 2 Kings 13:4), but there are also many examples of people who pray and God listens because of their faithfulness (Hezekiah: 2 Kings 20:3-6; the prayer of a righteous person who “availeth much”: James 5:16).

The most consistent pattern we see throughout Scripture is that God listens and helps those who pray, whether or not they were faithful or unfaithful previously.  If the unfaithful are praying, they are moving in the right direction, and if the previously faithful aren’t, then there’s a problem.

Do you think keeping God’s precepts makes God more willing to protect us from scorn? 

Face Painting, Unicorns and Dragons

My wife Shannon was doing face painting at a church event recently.  The Face Painting Supervisor (FPS) informed her that there would be no demons, witches, unicorns or dragons (or touching of the historical artifacts?).  I can understand the first two.  It would be not be good for the church to be filled with little demon-witch children, but unicorns and dragons?  What’s wrong with that?

Since I had been discussing my upcoming unicorn blog, Shannon replied to the FPS, “Oh, but there are unicorns in the Bible, at least in the King James Version.”  This initially stumped the FPS, but she finally responded, “If unicorns are in the Bible, I guess that’s OK.”

Actually, Shannon could have said, “Unicorns, dragons, witches and demons are all in the Bible”.  Despite that, I’d probably still not want my young child to be decorated with demonic images.  (Although C.S. Lewis wrote stories about dragons and witches…)

As a sequel to my posts on unicorns, I was going to write one on dragons in the Bible, mainly in the King James Version.  But Joel Hoffman has already done just that, as he informed me in his comment to my unicorn blog:

Unicorns, Dragons, and Other Animals You Meet in the Bible « God Didn’t Say That.

He covers the subject in more detail than me, so I will defer to his expertise on this important biblical issue.

So, what do you think, is it OK to paint unicorns and dragons on little boys and girls’ faces? 

Unicorns, in the biblical sense – Sansblogue

Tim keeps the unicorn discussion going on his blog (see yesterday’s blog:

Check it out, but be warned.  He’s going to use his solitary horn (Hebrew, that is) to pop the bubble of all those unicorn enthusiasts and suggest that the word should be translated as “rhinoceros”.

Unicorns, in the biblical sense – Sansblogue.