Dissertation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

I spent about two hours Saturday looking at the dissertations at Bob Jones University’s J. S. Mack Library. From 1947 to 2007—there were quite a number.

My overwhelming feeling was that my own dissertation should not aim at significance! More than likely, it’s going to end up on a dusty shelf in the back, read only by small rodents—furtively, late at night.

I now agree even more with my favorite Greek teacher, Randy Leedy, and with my dean, Steve Hankins, who have warned Ph.D. students not to consider their dissertation their magnum opus.

The dissertations that seemed to get checked out the most were those by BJU faculty. Perhaps students over the years have taken a look at their teachers’ work out of curiosity. That’s not to say that those dissertations lacked quality; they were good dissertations. But I’m sure my dear pastor would agree that it’s otherwise hard to explain why his work on the Matthean Genealogy would have been checked out so many times! =) It doesn’t have a very catchy title!

One of those faculty dissertations, typed out in Courier in the early days of desktop publishing, may provide a jumping-off point for my own. I’m eager to see where the Lord will lead me. He so clearly guided me in removing one potential topic from my consideration—even though I’d spent five years planning on it! I’m sure He will lead me rightly. He always has.


9Marks of a Healthy Church

Here are links to Mark Dever’s nine sermons on the 9 Marks of a Healthy Church. I recently saw Mark Minnick, my pastor, recommend this material in Frontline. And I myself have been listening to Dever’s interviews and deeply profiting from them for several years now.

Mark 1: Expositional Preaching

Mark 2: Biblical Theology

Mark 3: Biblical Understanding of the Good News

Mark 4: Biblical Understanding of Conversion

Mark 5: Biblical Understanding of Evangelism

Mark 6: Biblical Understanding of Church Membership

Mark 7: Biblical Church Discipline

Mark 8: Promotion of Christian Discipleship and Growth

Mark 9: Biblical Understanding of Leadership

I collected these links for my friend, Dave Crook (864.254.8654). If you need a cheap, full-color, T-shirt, contact him! You won’t be sorry. Mt. Calvary just bought 200 shirts from him through me, and full-color cost less than the black-and-white I was planning on!

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RefTagger from Logos


Logos has a new tool called RefTagger that Phil Gons persuaded me to try.

Here goes: Ephesians 5:25-32 is a passage I was looking at today as I revise the old Anglican vows for my wedding (see next post!).

Eph. 5:25 is a precious verse.

Those references should now be links!


Answer a Fool According to His Folly

Ok, readers—all four of you (according to Google Analytics), whoever you are.

I want some feedback.

I wrote the following for the Bible Reading Program being put out for high school students by BJU Press. This is part of my introduction to Proverbs, and I need help coming up with a good example for the bolded section below. If you are so inclined, please leave a comment with a suggestion!

“So what are proverbs? More importantly, what were proverbs as the ancient Israelite king Solomon understood them almost a thousand years before Christ? Proverbs are not ironclad promises of what is universally true but wise statements about what is generally true. “Generally true” means that there are exceptions—but this does not mean that the Bible contains errors! This is obvious if you will simply take a look at Proverbs XX:XX.”

I was going to suggest Proverbs 26:4-5 (“Answer not a fool…”; “Answer a fool…”), but I was persuaded enough by the LXX’s different renderings of “according to” and by Waltke’s NICOT comments that I decided I couldn’t rely on those verses as a good example of what I’m trying to say. But I still think it’s true.
Can you think of an example?
N.B. I here express my debt to Randy Jaeggli for his definition of “proverb,” which I largely cribbed because it has stuck in my mind all these years.

Bible Typography

Finally, ESV!

Crossway has finally come out with a single-column, paragraphed ESV.

Here’s the best price I’m aware of.

I’ve just gotten so enamored with my much more spartan TNIV edition that I’m sort of holding out hope that the ESV will have a similar edition (no verse or chapter numbers) soon.

I really admire Crossway’s push for innovation in Bible publishing. And as an occasional graphic designer I am very pleased with their typography, too.