Sky Links, 7-28-18

Why The CSB is a Great Bible Translation

I truly believe they have struck a great balance between readability and accuracy to the original languages. I know, all versions basically claim the same thing. Still, there is a spectrum between extremely formal (interlinear) and extremely free or dynamic (paraphrases), and I truly believe the CSB falls toward the center of that spectrum. It may even be a little more toward the formal side, which I appreciate. As I have dug in, I have found many times where the CSB may veer from a traditional rendering, only to realize that it seems to be better capturing what the original intended, whether in wording, meaning, or even in conveying verb tense from the Greek to the English. In many cases, I almost feel that the CSB is an easier-to-read NASB, as it often parallels it quite closely. While I did feel, for a while, that a strictly formal translation was the best to use all the time, I have come to question that a little, as I have thought about how translation works between other modern languages. I think I have come to a point where (at least for now) I feel that a middle-of-the-road approach may be ideal; that way, one can always move to a more formal version for deeper study and a more dynamic one for clarification/commentary and easier reading, if necessary. The CSB really seems to hit that middle-of-the-road ideal.

Bible Translations Bestsellers, July 2018
Compiled and distributed by the
Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA)

1 New International Version
2 King James Version
3 English Standard Version
4 New Living Translation
5 Christian Standard Bible
6 New King James Version
7 Reina Valera
8 New International Reader's Version
9 The Message
10 New American Standard Bible

Why Visitors Never Return to Your Church (It's the People)

Thom Rainer did a podcast on a post he did in 2014, about why visitors do not return.  He did a informal survey on twitter, and the #1 and #2 reasons were, "Having a stand up and greet one another time in the worship service", and "Unfriendly church members."  These two seem to contradict each other, so what's going on here?  

Thom Rainer:  

Pastors, Please Take Long Vacations!  Congregations, Please Let Them.

Without a doubt, taking vacation as a pastor can be a challenge. But time away is not merely important—it is essential for both the pastor and the congregation. Those of us who bear the mantle of pastor need to be reminded that we are not the head of the church. Christ is.

Pastors are not, as Eugene Peterson puts it, “the linchpin holding a congregation together.” We are co-laborers with our flocks, cooperating with the Holy Spirit who is doing the work of calling, comforting, and convicting. Our congregations need a reminder that pastoral vacations can deliver blessings as well. They are not to be passive consumers of what the “professional” pastor has to offer, but rather to be engaged, contributing members of the body of Christ.

Pastor, Take a Vacation—for the Good of Your Church: You are not the linchpin holding your congregation together.
-Stephanie Dyrness Lobdell

For Pastors: Should I Stay or 
 Should I Go?  Lists from Chuck Lawless

10 Factors That Help Long-Term Pastors Stay:
  1. They cannot deny their calling to that church. 
  2. They learn not to get focused on the loud, but few, voices. 
  3. They build a strong team around them. 
  4. They leave work at the church as much as possible. 
  5. They make sure they’re serving through their giftedness. 
  6. They love to preach the Word. 
  7. They realize that many conflicts are temporary. 
  8. They live in the Word and pray a lot. 
  9. They put wise boundaries around their life. 
  10. They learn to laugh in ministry.

  1. The church is in continual decline, and the pastor always blames the congregation. 
  2. The pastor no longer has vision for the church; he lives in survival mode. 
  3. If anyone would offer the pastor a new job, he’d likely take it. 
  4. The church has lost any sense of passion for what they do. 
  5. The only people left in the church are long-termers who will die as members of the church. 
  6. Paying the bills takes priority over everything else. 
  7. The pastor is willing to let the church die on his watch. 

9 Reasons Some Pastors Stay Too Long:
  1. They don’t want to end a ministry on a negative note.
  2. They don’t sense a strong calling to leave. 
  3. They genuinely believe that God still wants to use them to turn the church around. 
  4. They’ve grown comfortable with the position. 
  5. Their family is fully settled in the area. 
  6. They have no one to speak truth to them. 
  7. Their church has no system in place to evaluate their ministry regularly. 
  8. Their church is large enough to decline slowly. 
  9. They’re simply waiting for another church to call them. 

  1. They assumed that the conflict in their church would never end. 
  2. They never intended to stay long at the church in the first place. 
  3. They let their ego lead them to the bigger church. It was just too attractive and alluring to lead the bigger church that everybody else knew was bigger. 
  4. They believed a move to a denominational position would give them more influence and fewer conflicts. 
  5. They left without praying much about the move. 
  6. They listened to others and ignored their “gut.”  
  7. They didn’t shepherd their family well in a difficult church. 
  8. They burned out because they weren’t taking care of themselves. 
  9. They were lonely, and they blamed the church. 
  10. They didn’t know what to do next—and were unwilling to ask for help. 
  11. They responded to a sense of “push” without a strong sense of “pull.” 
Chuck Lawless

They Don't Understand Hyperbole Nor The Art of The Deal

Andrew Klavan:

Donald Trump is a negotiator, as he has told us from the start. Not everything he says means what it means. Not every final decision he makes is final. And just because he says he loves you, that doesn't mean he does. He's in motion toward a goal, and the truth is in the motion. By now, most of us get this.

Except the press. They just hate him too much to take him as he is — to take him as he has always said he is. They don't accept he's in a moving negotiation. If he says it's over and it's not over, they call him a liar. If he says he loves Putin, they declare he loves Putin. By now, most of us understand that Trump doesn't operate that way. Not the press.

Roger Simon:

They must be burning whatever gallons of midnight oil they have left at MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc. -- all the propaganda organs of the Democratic Party -- trying to figure out how to downplay the agreement Donald Trump just made with European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker, but it's not going to be easy. This is the beginning of a massive free trade deal between Europe and the U.S. with zero tariffs outside the auto industry. If even half of it comes true, there will be a (okay, why not?) YUUUGE growth in trade benefitting both sides of the Atlantic.

Forget porn stars. Forget tapes. Forget evil Vlad and Rocket Man. Forget insulting our NATO partners (whatever that means). Forget that pseudo-socialist with the hyphenated name. Forget Mueller, sleazy Strzok , Adam "Leaker" Schiff, Fingers Clapper, Knuckles Brennan, Rocko Rosenstein, or any of the sordid crew. Forget even Twitter! (well, maybe). By comparison, those are all sideshows. As everyone knows, in politics, "It's the economy, stupid!"