Dear Apple, Inc. – you ruined my life, so I’m suing

A gateway drug?

A gateway drug?

Hey, did you hear about the guy who sued Apple computers, blaming its devices for his lifelong addiction to pornography, a failed marriage, and “emotional distress to the point of hospitalization”?

I pride myself on being able to sniff out fake stories. When I heard the PornApple one I immediately decided, that’s a little too “neat” to be true; I guessed that it’s from The Onion, which currently is running spoofy stories titled “Biden has Guy named Worm sit in for him at Cabinet Meeting” and “Alex Rodriguez Has Asked 4 In 5 Americans For Steroids.”

The good people at Snopes.com are my “go-to-guys” for rumors. They didn’t have the PornApple one. Instead, I found the story all over the net at reputable news sources, for example, HERE. I have before me the authentic 50-page complaint of Chris Sevier v. Apple, Inc., (more…)

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Studies in 1 Corinthians by Gary Shogren

Free commentary!

Free commentary!

These posts are adaptations of my commentary on 1 Corinthians, based on my own study of the critical Greek text, the early church fathers and the best of contemporary scholarship. It is available from Logos, and downloadable free from this blog: FREE Commentary on 1 Corinthians! by Gary Shogren

ENJOY!

Why you’ve never heard of the Second Corinthian Church [Studies in 1 Corinthians]

Terminal Uniqueness: a spiritual disease [Studies in 1 Corinthians]

Pastor, tell your flock the truth about itself

The theology of the chocolate sampler [Studies in 1 Corinthians]

“Dear Paul: We are sorry, but you are unqualified to be our apostle…” [Studies in 1 Corinthians]

Where is MY special someone?? [Studies in 1 Corinthians]

The Lord’s Supper: one invitation you don’t want to miss [Studies in 1 Corinthians]

The Sheep and the Goats on Sunday Morning [Studies in 1 Corinthians]

Zombies and the Bible [Studies in 1 Corinthians]

Published in: on April 19, 2013 at 10:50 am  Comments (10)  
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Gary and Karen Shogren – Who we are, what we do

Karen and Gary

As missionaries in Costa Rica for the last 16 years, Gary and Karen Shogren have been following the Great Commission in strategic ways. In San José they train energetic Latin American leaders who will lead the church and spread the Gospel into nations where Americans cannot easily go. Second, they provide ongoing theological education online for those far-flung Spanish-speaking missionaries. Third, in many places they strengthen the next generation of missionaries (missionary kids) emotionally and spiritually. As a couple they are strategically placed & uniquely qualified to equip tomorrow’s leaders.

Gary’s PhD in New Testament Exegesis plus 27 years of experience as New Testament professor on 3 continents prepare him to continue teaching at the Evangelical Seminary for Pastoral Studies (ESEPA) in San José, Costa Rica. Now there is another exciting new opportunity for him on the horizon [we cannot post the details publically]. Gary’s training, experience, skills and location allow him to meet this need in a way others cannot.

Now that Karen also teaches at ESEPA, the Shogrens are even more of a bargain: 2 professors for the price of one! Her specialty is teaching correct Bible study methods to women without much formal education. In that context 2 Timothy 2:2b provides the greatest challenge: “Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others.” Karen’s other ministry track has involved serving in member care and orientation for missionary families since 2000. Many missionary kids’ (MKs) go to the field with little cross-cultural training; they are at risk spiritually and their families might have to return to the US. We have found that an ounce of prevention in this area can prevent the waste of lives, time, and money. Karen’s background in biblical counseling uniquely qualifies her to provide Scriptural solutions to this new challenge in the missions community.

1 Corinthians commentary, available from Logos!

Announcement! The English version of my 1 Corinthians commentary is now available from Logos.com; it is fully integrated with the Logos system. Only $19.95. Or you can download a pdf version for free from this blog! (https://openoureyeslord.com/2012/05/21/free-commentary-on-1-corinthians-2/)

What does agape mean?
What are the spiritual gifts?
Should women wear veils to church? Or remain absolutely silent?
What about divorce?
Do we exist as spirits forever?
Paul was a missionary – how did he know where to go?

These issues and many more!

https://www.logos.com/product/24079/first-corinthians-an-exegetical-pastoral-commentary

Published in: on February 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm  Comments (3)  
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“Help! I can’t stop sinning!” [Studies in the New Covenant]

The Bible says that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). That’s why, when we come to Christ, we experience rapid changes in our conduct. People start telling us, “You’ve changed, you’re different.” Different, yes: but we haven’t become perfect, not yet. That is why the Bible tells us that we must keep on fighting against sin, every day, every minute. [1] (more…)

Is wine forbidden in the Bible?

There is a long train of people who are keen to prove that wine in the New Testament era did not contain alcohol, that it was only grape juice. Therefore, Jesus must not have turned water into wine at Cana, nor serve wine at the Last Supper.

Nevertheless: how is it possible that wine (oinos/οἶνος) contain no alcohol if it is a product of fermentation (Mark 2:22) and, if used in excess, causes drunkenness (Eph 5:18; also Prov 20:1, which in the Septuagint uses the word oinos), while at the same time oinos contains no alcohol? In fact, the Greeks had another word for unfermented grape juice, or “must” – it was trux/τρύξ.

Deacons and widows should not be addicted to wine (1 Tim 3:8, Titus 2:3), and that’s wine with alcohol, not grape juice. Paul does not forbid drinking wine, only its abuse.

In fact, Paul’s practical advice that Timothy “use a little wine (again, oinos)” (1 Tim 5:23) makes sense only if that wine contains alcohol: Timothy’s stomach ailments were due to drinking contaminated water, which the alcohol in wine would kill. Likewise, the Good Samaritan treated open wounds with wine and oil, since alcohol is a natural disinfectant.

If Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Passover according to the Bible’s commands, they drank wine, period (Matt 26:27).

Those who love God’s Word need to show extraordinary care, not to make it say anything more or anything less than what it says.

The Night that the Rivers Rose and the Sky Fell

“There are two kingdoms, the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God. One works one way and the other another way. And you can really see the difference between them.” That was how Pastor Flor summed up her ministry. I’m visiting her home and her work in a shantytown (or precario), along with my own pastor, Marvin of Nazareth Bible Church. Maybe the best symbol for the two kingdoms is the holes that pepper the outside of Flor’s church. Marvin sticks his little finger in one and draws my attention: “Do you know what these are? Bullet holes. The drug lords shot it out here one day and this is a reminder.” They make sure that I saw the man seated a few feet from the church, smoking crack cocaine.

We are walking through one of the most notorious precarios of the region. When I mentioned to a friend that I was going there, she exclaimed ¿Por qué? and made me promise to be careful. The name of the place is synonymous with narcotics, violence, prostitution, and murder. In short, the drug lords run the town. To get here, we drove a mere 5 minutes from ESEPA Bible College and Seminary where I teach, a cheerful place with well-lighted classrooms and happy students. Then we entered another planet. It is a village that takes up only 10 acres or so. Yet some 6 to 8 thousand people are crammed in. You have to cross a narrow foot bridge over a river in order to enter. While we waited for the pastor to meet us there, a couple of ladies spoke to us and pointed to the spot where I was standing. “This is where they murdered that taxi driver on Saturday night,” they said. “He drove too close, and they broke in to the car, dragged him out, took his clothes and car and everything and left him for dead.” “Right here?” I said. They nodded. (more…)

My book on Addiction and God

In 1995 I published “Running in Circles: how to find freedom from addictive behavior” with Baker Book House. It is written with the addict in mind, using straightforward language for the person who isn’t necessarily a Christian. Now you can buy a copy from Amazon.com as a Kindle book.

The 80’s are over, how come you’re still codependent?

A friend writes in to ask about codependency. He works with addicts and wants to make sure that he approaches the theme from a viewpoint of biblical counseling. Since I worked in the same sort of ministry years ago, and wrote a little about the subject of the Christian and addiction, I’ve had some time to think through the theme.

My friend had read a blog from a ministry that implies that codependency is precisely what God wants from us, to depend on others, to regard others as better than ourselves, to serve others. (more…)

Rediscovering God in the Age of Therapy, Part II

II. COUNSELORS AND THE LANGUAGE OF HEALING

We will now turn our attention to the second question: how do our contemporary counselors use healing nomenclature? The answer is not a simple one, but a survey of two influential “disease” models may help us to find the roots of the therapeutic culture. We begin with the classic formulation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the 1930’s, Dr. William D. Silkworth (regarded as one of the ideological co-founders of A. A.) contributed the medical model of alcoholism to the emerging movement: certain individuals are physically/psychologically unable to handle even moderate alcohol use. The alcoholic has a disease of the mind and body – a mind obsessed with alcohol and with taking the first drink, and a body that cannot handle any alcohol without a severe reaction that triggers further compulsive drinking. Alcoholics manifest their disease on three levels: spiritually they are estranged from their Creator through self-centeredness, emotionally they are cut off from human society, and physically they suffer brain damage and ill health. In traditional A. A. teaching, the alcoholic may be out of control, but he is accountable before God and responsible to pursue recovery. While never healed of his alcoholism, he is restored to wellness, one day at a time, through surrender to a Higher Power. [8]

Who, then, is sick? A. A. preaches that a substantial minority of the population has the disease of alcoholism, and that it entails defiance against God. The disease is not universal, nor is it coterminous with what theologians call “depravity.” (more…)