Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sunday Salon #15

Current Bible reading:

1 Year King James Version (for Women): Joshua 21-24; Judges 1-10;  Luke 20-24; Psalms 89-100; Proverbs 13:15-25; 14:1-12    

NKJV Word Study: Psalms 35-71; Numbers 12-36; Deuteronomy; 1 Chronicles 1-12; Nahum; Habakkuk; Zephaniah; Haggai; Zechariah; Malachi; 

CSB Holy Land Illustrated Bible: Genesis 13-50; Exodus 1-16; Psalms 10-41; Nahum; Habakkuk; Zephaniah; Matthew 7-28; Mark 1-9; 

Ryrie Study Bible NASB 1977: Genesis 12-50; Exodus 1-21; Nehemiah; Esther; Job; Proverbs 1-8; Matthew 22-28; Mark; Luke 1-20; Psalms 6-41; 

KJV Cambridge: 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation

G4L Philippians: NASB 2020; ESV; 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, April 13, 2024

28. The Deconstruction of Christianity

The Deconstruction of Christianity: What It Is, Why It's Destructive, And How to Respond. Alisa Childers and Tim Barnett. Foreword by Carl R. Trueman. 2024. 304 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: I (Alisa) was standing in the foyer of a church where I had just spoken at a Christian worldview conference when I was approached by an elderly couple with downcast faces. Without wasting time on pleasantries, the man said, “Our son . . .” Surprised by his own tears, he stopped short. The gray-haired woman next to him laid her hand on his shoulder and continued. “Our son deconstructed. He isn’t a Christian anymore. We don’t know what to do.”

Chances are high that you've heard either the term deconstructing, deconstruction, or exvangelical. But do those words have precise meanings--uniform meanings in that everyone uses the words in the same way, assigns the same meanings to those words? That's just one of the things these two discuss in their new book. This book is essentially a deep-dive into a movement. They--general, vague, ambiguous "they"--may want you to think deconstructing is NEW. But no, you can find deconstruction right there in the first few chapters of the Bible. 

The two authors walk you through--often quoting those who have deconstructed or almost deconstructed--the new trendy [ideological] movement of deconstruction. It is almost an anything goes movement rejecting even the slightest hint of absolute truth. The only absolute truth they accept is that there is no absolute truth. Other than that, you do you. 

Here is how Barnett and Childers (alphabetical arrangement) describe their book:

In part 1, we identify deconstruction as it manifests in our homes, in our churches, and on social media. We define the word and give a thirty-thousand-foot view of how it has grown from a hashtag into a phenomenon, complete with conferences, coaches, and countless social media accounts. Then in part 2, we dig down into the details. We pull it all apart and analyze the many reasons why people are deconstructing, how they are deconstructing, and what they are deconstructing. We also consider who is going through it—the very real people undergoing deconstruction. We offer what we think is a better solution to the nagging doubts, difficult questions, and false ideas that haunt many Christians. Finally, in part 3, we focus on how we can best love and help those in our lives who might be in deconstruction.

I found the book an interesting, informative, compassionate read. The authors have a heart for those who are deconstructing. They are not rejoicing or mocking. The points they make are solid and well-organized. This is a book about a tough topic--emotionally--that is clear and concise. It is a PRACTICAL book first and foremost. Yet it isn't shy on theology.

When it comes to faith, some questions seek answers, and some questions seek exits. There are questions that seek after truth, but other questions seek to avoid truth.

Deconstruction is nothing new. People have been abandoning the standard of God’s Word and engaging in a process of rethinking—and often abandoning—their faith since the beginning. That’s why the biblical record contains so many warnings about leaving or redefining the faith.

Friday, April 12, 2024

27. Are We Living In the Last Days

Are We Living In the Last Days. Bryan Chapell. 2024. 256 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence (from the introduction): Though it happened several years ago, I could take you to the precise location where a dear woman, who loved me and wanted to protect me, whispered a warning. As I passed her pew to greet early arrivers for the worship service, she caught my arm and pulled me down close enough that no one else could hear her say, "My friends say you don't believe that Jesus is coming back." 

Bryan Chapell takes readers on a journey through four views of the 'end days' in his newest book. The views are Dispensational Premillennial (with a side dose of Progressive Dispensational Premillennial), Historic Premillennial, Amillennial, and Postmillennial. He shares what makes each unique and different. He references the history of these positions in the church throughout the centuries. Some views are relatively 'new' and others are more ancient. He gives an overview of each and mentions "famous" theologians/pastors who've held those views and are associated with those views. After walking readers through what makes each view different from one another--in an organized and logical way--he then shares what all views have in common. He focuses on things that unite believers instead of dividing them. Much of the book is spent on two issues: how do believers interpret Old Testament prophecy in regards to Israel and in regards to the church? where does Israel fit into God's future plans? Each of the four views (five views really) has answers on these points. 

It's not fair, of course, to say it is spent on two's just that that is the root of all the other issues, topics, and subjects. Much time is spent on the rapture, the second coming, the millennial reign, judgment, new heavens and new earth, etc. But why the views differ comes back to the root issues--the Israel question, if you will. 

It is meant to be an introduction to a subject. He is not trying to bring all the depth and substance. He wants to cover the basics of each in a reader-friendly way. To be honest, if he went into more depth I'm not sure I could have gone with him without drowning. 

The book does offer discussion questions for each chapter and summaries. I definitely appreciated the "Digging Deeper" appendix. 

One thing that I want to mention is that this was my first time hearing that there were three premillennial views to choose from. I'd never heard of progressive dispensationalism OR historic premillennialism. 

This one has given me much to think about. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

7. King James Version with Apocrypha (Cambridge Cameo)

KJV Cameo Reference Bible with Apocrypha. Black Calfskin Leather, Red-Letter Text. God. Cambridge Bibles. 2011 this edition. 1868 pages. [Source: Gift]

ISBN 13: 978-1107608078
ISBN 10: 1107608074

First sentence: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Start date: March 1, 2024. End date: April 7, 2024. 

I love, love, love, love and adore this Bible. I do. The paper quality is excellent--absolutely fabulous. Is it as good as India paper???? I haven't read this Cameo side by side with a Cameo with India paper. I do have a few Bibles printed on India paper--I love them all. The paper of this Cameo Reference Bible is supplied by Papeteries du Leman, Thonon-les-Bains France. It is printed in the Netherlands by Royal Jongbloed. Cambridge is the oldest Bible publisher; they have been printing Bibles in English since 1591. 

Petit Medieval Clarendon 1159 is the font type and the size is 8 point. It is SMALL, of course, but it is also LIGHT. It is compact in size.  It is SO easy to hold and position that the small size is not difficult. Yes, I have tricky vision. Very tricksy. I would never claim that I could easily read a Bible if I struggled with it. 

Double-column. Red-letter. It was a pleasant enough red letter. I've seen better. I've seen worse. I've seen a lot worse. I love the layout of this one. 

There is separate pagination (page count) for the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, and the New Testament. 

The apocrypha includes: 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Rest of Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Song of Three Holy Children, History of Susanna, History of Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasses, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees. 

This was my first time reading the apocrypha in the King James Version. I have read Apocryphal books in the Revised Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version. I'm not sure if they are the exact same books. I am by no means an "expert" when it comes to the Apocrypha. I've read it two to three times. I know one of those was a Catholic edition so that the books may have been different. 

My system that I used for most of this project was an adapted Bible in 90 days. I used the Bible Reading Plan Generator, selected my books, and checked that I wanted readings from the Old Testament and the New Testament each "day." I usually read two "days" per day. One in the morning devotions. One in the afternoon/evening devotions. Some days I went ahead and read an extra day. Towards the end, I was doubling and tripling up on readings. I could see the finish line in sight. Now, that being said--speed was not a motivator. My goal was not to rush through and say I did it. I absolutely LOVE love love reading the Bible. I do tend to pick up speed when I only have a few books left. But I think this is natural--for me--and not necessarily a warning sign that my reasons are all wrong. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Sunday Salon #14

Current Bible reading

1 Year King James Bible: Joshua 5-20; Luke 15-19:28-48; Psalms 81-88; Proverbs 13:1-14

NASB 95 (Thompson Chain Reference): Romans 12-16; Matthew; Mark; Luke; John; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; 1 Thessalonians; 2 Thessalonians; 1 Timothy; 2 Timothy; Titus; Philemon; 1 John; 2 John; 3 John; Jude; Revelation

NKJV Word Study: Psalms 1-34; Leviticus 15-27; Matthew 20-28; Numbers 1-11; Micah;

KJV Cambridge: Ezekiel 3-48; Daniel; Hosea; Joel; Amos;  Obadiah; Jonah; Micah; Nahum; Habakkuk; Zephaniah; Haggai; Zechariah; Malachi; 2 Corinthians; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; 1 Esdras; 2 Esdras; Tobit; Judith; Rest of Esther; Wisdom of Solomon; Ecclesiasticus; Baruch; Song of Three Holy Children; History of Susanna; History of Bel and the Dragon; Prayer of Manasses; 1 Maccabees 1-2; 

NIV 2011: Ruth, Lamentations; Ecclesiastes; 1 Corinthians; Esther; Daniel; Ezra; Nehemiah; 1 Chronicles; 2 Chronicles; 2 Corinthians; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; 1 Thessalonians; 2 Thessalonians; 1 Timothy; 2 Timothy; Titus; Philemon; Hebrews; James; 1 Peter; 2 Peter; 1 John; 2 John; 3 John; Jude; Revelation

NASB 77 (Ryrie): Genesis 1-11; Ezra; Matthew 1-21; Psalms 1-5;

CSB Holy Land Illustrated Bible Genesis 1-12; Psalms 1-9; Matthew 1-6; Micah; Jonah; 

G4L Philippians 1-4: RSV, ESV

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Friday, April 5, 2024

6. NASB, Thompson Chain-Reference

NASB 1995, Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, Red Letter, Comfort Print, 2023. Zondervan. 2144 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Start date: February 14, 2024
End date: April 5, 2024

Was this my first time reading the New American Standard (1995)? NO. It is one of my all time favorite, favorite, favorite, favorite translations. I love and adore this translation. 

Was this my first time reading the Thompson Chain Reference Bible? No. I've read it in the NASB 1977 and the King James Version. I do LOVE the Thompson Chain Reference. 

This is a double column, red letter reference bible. It utilizes the chain references [and the chain reference system] of Frank Charles Thompson. This is one of the older "legacy" "study" Bibles available. It is available in many different translations--KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB 1977, NASB 1995, NIV 1984, probably NIV 2011. This is an UPDATED edition of the Thompson Chain Reference. The changes are mostly superficial yet beneficial. 

One of the upgrades of the update is a larger font size in the "regular" edition. The font size is 9.5 instead of 8.3. It is also comfort print which can definitely be easier on the eyes. There are also options to buy this in large print--the large print is 10.5 font size. 

This is a LARGE Bible. It is heavy. IT is over three pounds. (The large print edition is over four pounds.)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Thursday, April 4, 2024

5. NIV (2011) Value Thinline

NIV Value Thinline Large Print (2011 edition). 2017. Zondervan. 1110 pages. [Source: Bought]

ISBN: 0310448557
ISBN-13: 9780310448556

First sentence: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

This review is for the NIV Value Thinline Bible, Large Print Blue, Imitation Leather. 

This one has 11.5 font size, double columns, and is black letter. 

I have read the 2011 edition of the New International Version several times. I still--by far--prefer the 1984 edition of the New International Version. But spilled milk is spilled milk is spilled milk. It is not coming back in print and that's that. Perhaps I will one day become familiar enough with the "new" update that I will stop missing the old. Perhaps. I do find both editions of the New International Version readable and easily so. Nothing archaic or clunky about it. 

This time around I read using the Mini/Many Horner Bookmark system which is one of my adaptations of the Professor Horner Bible reading system. Essentially I read from five bookmarks each day. 

My first four bookmarks were:

The Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
Nevi'im Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings)
Nevi'im Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)
Ketuvim "The Writings" (Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles)

My fifth bookmark was the New Testament.

I do love the Bible. I may not love, love, love, love this exact translation of the Bible. But I do recognize that it is still very much the Word of God and to be treasured and appreciated. The best Bible is the one that you will actually read and take to heart. The best Bible is the one you will feast on and grow in. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible