Saturday, November 25, 2017

Shakespeare Quotes

Here are my favorite quotes from Shakespeare:
Richard III
"Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun of York."

Richard II
"This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England."

Romeo and Juliet
"Parting is such sweet sorrow."

"What's in a name. That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

"But soft, what light from yonder window breaks! It is the east, and Juliet is the sun."

"Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"

The Merchant of Venice
"All that glitters is not gold."

"Love is blind."

Julius Caesar
"There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune."

"Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once."

"Men freely believe that which they desire."

"The die is cast."

"Yond Cassius hath a lean and hungry look; he thinks too much; such men are dangerous."

"He is a man fit for running errands."

"It was Greek to me."

"Why, man, he doth bestride the world like a colossus... the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves."

"Et tu Brute?"

"Veni, vidi, vici."

"Beware the Ides of March."

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears... the evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones--so let it be with Caesar."

As You Like It
"All the world's a stage and all its men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts."

"This above all: to thine own self be true and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."

"To be or not to be: that is the question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles. And by opposing end them. To die. To sleep. No more... to die. to sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub.

"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio."

"Brevity is the soul of wit."

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't."

"Sweets to the sweets."

"The lady doth protest too much methinks."

"This goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours."

"What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?"

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

"I must be cruel only to be kind."

"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy"

"Get thee to a nunnery."

Twelfth Night
"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them."

"O beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey'd monster."

All's Well That End's Well
"All's well that ends well."

King Lear
"Many a true word hath been spoken in jest."

"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing."

"Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!"

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair, hover through fog and filthy air."

"Out, damned spot! out, I say!"

The Tempest
"We are such stuff as dreams are made of."

Friday, November 17, 2017

Position in New Testament

The School of Theology and Ministry, where I am currently Dean (not the seminary) has an open position in New Testament. Here is the advertisement:
The School of Theology and Ministry on the residential campus of Indiana Wesleyan University invites applications for a full-time faculty position in New Testament to begin in August 2018. The preferred candidate will have a PhD in New Testament, and those who actively pursue New Testament scholarship from diverse ethnic, racial, and class perspectives are especially encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will have a positive view of the local church and embrace the Wesleyan tradition of which the university is a part. In addition to the normal expectations of a professor listed below, responsibilities especially include teaching introductory and upper level Bible courses, with the possibility of some teaching on the graduate level.

Here are some of our goals and flavor:

1. IWU is a Wesleyan institution. That means professors not only need to be people of faith, but one's faith needs to be personal and a matter of life (not just intellectual). We agree to certain lifestyle commitments and respect the theology of our host denomination.

2. We are on a journey toward kingdom diversity. Diversity is the number one goal of STM right now. We would be excited if individuals of color might feel called to come and help us. We want to become the church of Revelation 7:9 around the throne. Our students need role models of color. We need leaders of color. Our spirits are willing to learn.

3. We believe in both truth and biblical justice. Some say you have to choose today. We bind ourselves both to the pursuit of objective truth and the values of social justice. In keeping with the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, truth is both revealed and discovered.

4. Mentoring and teaching are job #1. Scholarship is of course part of being on faculty at a university, but the first order of business is the students. We have coffee with them. We come alongside them. We keep at least 10 office hours a week. Only then do we hide in our offices to write. :-)

5. Influencing the church and culture. We want to influence the direction of the church and the world. We want to play a prophetic role. We do this first of all through our students as they go out into the world. We also do it through our scholarship and service. Some of our key initiatives at the moment include:
  • The KERN program - I believe it is the leading ministerial training program in the Wesleyan Church for 18-22 year olds, directed by Eddy Shigley. Students get a master's degree in five years, cover all the content of an MDIV degree, get the best of a residential cohort experience, and get some of the best internships in cutting edge churches like 12Stone or Cypress Wesleyan.
  • Examen - This high school program brings a diverse group of students to campus in the summer or summers before they go to college. Amanda Drury heads the program. These students have a spectacular time together while getting college credit and creating community, a taste of college life.
  • Youth Ministry Events - Headed by Charlie Alcock, we not only bring thousands of middle school and high school students to campus but Charlie takes his equipment on the road every year to youth events and even supports events like the Gathering of the Wesleyan Church.
  • High School Dual Credit - We will increasingly be offering online courses to students who are not enrolled in the university. These courses are philosophy, NT, OT, and theology.
This is just a small taste of who we are, who we are becoming, and who we want to be. If this world sounds like you, I will be at SBL if you want to have coffee.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sermon Starters: No Fear in Love

I gave a very brief wedding charge yesterday. The couple was already married legally so the service was really a community commitment and celebration of what was already the case in the eyes of the law.

But since my brief talk could be made into a fuller sermon, here is the basic flow:

Text: 1 John 4:7-8, 16, 18
Key Verse: "There is no fear in love because perfect love casts out fear.
Key Idea: There is no need for fear in truly loving relationships

Our relationships with each other:
  • Not just new or old marriages but all truly loving relationships
  • The fear here is not fear of sickness, financial trouble, or nuclear war.
  • It is about security in relationship and safety in commitment.
  • We all mess up in relationships (give personal example or example you have heard of).
  • Love means there's no need to fear when you forget to take out the trash or pick up toilet paper.
  • People are quirky. We're strange. Some people are strange because they're just a little too normal.
  • Of course there are times when we intentionally do wrong to those we love. This is intrinsically contrary to love and implies a lack of "perfection" in our love.
  • True love can withstand even these storms. 1 Corinthians 13:7: "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." Love is a commitment in addition to being a glue.
  • Some of our habits can reflect a lack of attention to actions we could stop if we tried. We may forget certain things and thus not intentionally wrong on a specific occasion, but why haven't we been working to address our forgetfulness prior to that moment?
  • Love covers a multitude of sins.
Our relationship with God
  • These aspects of loving relationships also apply to our relationship with God.
  • The context of 1 John 4 is actually about God rather than marriage.
  • Before Christ, sin may be a matter of legality. After Christ, sin is a matter of relationship.
  • We can wrong God unintentionally. But we have no reason to fear.
  • Un-intention, however, can speak to something we should have been working on, if we fully loved God.
  • Intentional sin against God is of course highly inappropriate. If we truly run back, however, like the Prodigal Son, we need have no fear that God will take us back.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Sermon Starters: Dual Citizenship

Preached in chapel at IWU Monday. My assigned text was Philippians 3:17-21.

I. Recap of Philippians
  • Because this is in a series of Monday sermons this semester over Philippians, I decided to start with a recap of the book up to this point.
  • Philippians is a thank you letter. They have sent Paul a care package while he's in jail waiting an appearance before some Roman official. 
  • This is perhaps Paul's dearest church. Galatians gave him problems. Corinthians really gave him problems. Philippians repeatedly sent him help (Paul didn't take aid from a church while he was there).
  • Two chief themes of Philippians: rejoicing in suffering and unity amid squabbling.
  • Rejoice while in jail??? "I have learned to be content whatever my circumstances" (4:12). "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say..." (4:4).
  • Chapter 1: "For me to live is Christ, to die is gain" (1:22). Victor Frankl: "A person can live with any how if they have a why."
  • Chapter 2: heavy on the unity. Have the mind of Christ. Be "one-souled."
  • Chapter 3. Paul digresses into those who might try the congregation to get circumcised and convert to Judaism. He has a good Jewish resume--it's nothing, dung, next to the surpassing greatness of Christ. 
II. The verses of the morning
  • Follow his example.
  • There are enemies of Christ out there: Romans like those who have him in jail, Jews who do not believe Jesus is the Messiah, Christians who believe you have to convert fully to Judaism.
  • Their god is their belly--focus on pleasure? Judaizers and food laws?
  • "But our citizenship is in heaven."
III. Our citizenship is in heaven.
What was in the "bubble" above Paul's head?
A. Jerusalem?
  • fits the theme of Philippians 3
  • Today, we might relate it to visible Christian groups like denominations, local churches, Christian colleges, etc.
  • No visible group equates to the invisible church.
  • Not all Wesleyans are citizens of heaven. Not all IWU students are likely to be citizens of heaven. Not all who attend or are members of College Wesleyan Church are likely to be citizens of heaven.
  • Matthew 13--the wheat and the weeds
B. Roman citizenship?
  • Particularly relevant is the fact that Philippi was a Roman colony. If you were a citizen of the city of Philippi, you were a citizen of Rome, a great honor and privilege.
  • But that's nothin. That's dung next to the surpassing greatness of Christ. Like a drop of water next to the ocean of the greatness of God's kingdom.
  • No earthly group is holy enough to compare to the kingdom of God. No human citizenship is anything but dung next to the surpassing greatness of Christ and his kingdom.
  • On the one hand, there's nothing wrong with being excited about your heritage. I'm a mixture of English, Scottish, Dutch, and German.  I'm an American. My Dad was in WW2. I'm proud to be an American.
  • But we must never come anywhere close to equating such things, such groups--my family, my ethnicity, my country--with the kingdom of God. That's blasphemy.
  • All groups have shame in their story too. "All [groups] have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
  • I'm proud that so far in American history, "The arch of justice is long but it bends toward justice" (MLK). But it took eighty years and a horrible, horrible war to end race slavery. That's shame in the American story. It took a hundred more to allow African-Americans to use the same bathroom and drink from the same water fountain as others There is plenty of shame in the American story, in addition to the things we might boast about. 
  • There is no country, ethnicity, or family that is holy enough to be equated with the kingdom of heaven... not even close.
IV. Dual citizenship
  • How do we live as both citizens of heaven and earth?
  • Never confuse any visible, earthly group with the kingdom based in the heavens.
  • Remember that the kingdom of God is always contextualized. There is no earthly embodiment of the kingdom that is not enculturated (this includes the people of God in Scripture). Love God, love neighbor are principles, but how that looks in a specific context is enculturated.
  • Some guidelines. The kingdom of God is more redemptive than punitive.
  • The kingdom of God is more unifying than dividing.
  • The kingdom of God is more about mutual submission and yielding to others than forcing others.
  • We have to work out these things with prayer and fasting, in community, working out our salvation with fear and trembling.