Text + Context Conference Audio and Video now up

You can now watch the video or listen to the audio of all the sessions from the “Text and Context” national conference. It is all free so there is really no good reason not to listen to it and be blessed. I would personally recommend two sessions.

1. CJ Mahaney: Pastoral Character and Loving People. I have never heard someone with such a deep love and pastoral heart for the church as Mahaney conveys in this message. And while Matt thinks his voice is a little ridiculous, he is wrong and so are you if you do not spend the hour and listen to this message.

2. John Piper: How My Pastoral Ministry Shapes my Pulpit Ministry: If you are a young guy, or any guy who has become disillusioned with the church because it seems superficial and trite than listen to this message. And even if this does not describe you, still listen to the message. This will go in my itunes folder of message I need to constantly listen to for the rest of my life in ministry. Truly an anointed man who shares some incredible stories about what it means to be a pastor.

Honestly though I think all of these are worth listening to, except the Q&A with Driscoll, this might be because I had previously heard all his answers in sermons or other talks…

UPDATE:  The Q&A I with Mark Driscoll that I said not to listen to is not available, so sorry for the confusion if you are wondering which talk I was referring to.



March Madness hit my office

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I just received the following email from Senior Management:

In support of the UNLV Rebels competing in the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament, employees may show their spirit and wear jeans and Rebel or red shirts for the rest of this week.

Now my only question is: can I call in sick Monday with Runnin’ Rebel Fever?

Things are a bit different than we we went to school huh Ryan?


Breaking down the Mountain West Tournament

Mar. 12, 2008
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal



RECORD: 25-6, 14-2 MWC


Cummard. The 6-foot-7-inch junior guard, averaging 15.8 points, 6.6
rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, was voted MWC co-Player of the Year.
He was the only player in the conference to rank in the top 10 in nine
statistical categories during league action.

FAST FACT: The Cougars are the first team to win back-to-back outright Mountain West regular-season titles.

COACHSPEAK: “As far as playing UNLV in the championship game on their home floor, that’s what we hope happens.” — Dave Rose
(And that is exactly what each fan is also hoping happens.)


(2) UNLV

RECORD: 23-7, 12-4

KEY NONCONFERENCE WINS: San Diego, UNR, Minnesota (Ouch!!! Don’t think this won’t be brought up a gagillion times to the Selection Committee. Also of note, until last night San Diego was not on that list.)

Terry. The senior point guard led the conference in assists with 5.9
per game in league play. The Rebels were 7-0 in games in which Terry
scored at least 15 points. (See, I think Joe D, Double R, and Big Matt will be the keys. Curtis and Wink are both clutch so they will show up big time. How these three step up will be what gets us over the hump.)

FAST FACT: At the Thomas
& Mack Center this season, the Rebels posted double-digit victories
over Brigham Young (70-41), New Mexico (79-60) and San Diego State
(68-58). (I still don’t get why other teams hate the tourney being on our court? Seriously though, if a team like New Mexico is able to beat us on Friday do they not think that the Selection committee will consider that a road win and extremely improve their resume. These are the things that the coaches know, but aren’t saying.)

COACHSPEAK: “I think the conference tournament will be outstanding. There are going to be some really interesting matchups.” — Lon Kruger (Listen I love Coach Kruger like I love my yet to be fertilzed child, but you are never going to see him make quotes like Dave Rose. He will just stare at you!!!)



RECORD: 24-7, 11-5

KEY NONCONFERENCE WINS: San Diego, Texas Tech, New Mexico State (Hey look! They got the recent “San Diego” boost as well.)

Giddens. A transfer from Kansas, the senior guard led the MWC in
scoring (18.3) and rebounding (8.3) in league games. He was the only
player to record two 30-point outings in conference play, including a
career-high 36 against Wyoming. (Um, yeah, Giddens scares the hell out of me right now. This guy is on another level. If we play them on Friday I’ll be watching like a chick watches a scary movie, holding on to Dustin’s arm and all.)

FAST FACT: The Lobos tied the school record for regular-season wins shared by the 1977-78 and 1995-96 teams.

think it’s very, very important for our league to really look closely
at what we’re doing with our league tournament. The league tournament
needs to be at a neutral site. Right now, it’s not fair to the other
eight teams in our league.” — Steve Alford (Shut your pie hole Steve Alford. We both know that you cannot beat BYU, even on your home court. You would lose to them even if the conference tourney were in the Pit. And we all know, as I stated above, that New Mexico benefits from the tourney being held at the Thomas and Mack Center more than any team. Doesn’t a win over UNLV on their court this time of the year essentially make you the second MWC team in the tourney and send UNLV to the NIT? Holy crap, that’s true. I just peed a little.)



RECORD: 19-11, 9-7

KEY NONCONFERENCE WINS: San Diego, Sam Houston State (Seriously, is there a MWC team that hasn’t beat San Diego?)

Wade. A Cheyenne High School product, the 6-6 junior was voted
first-team all-conference after finishing league play as one of three
players to rank in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding, assists, blocked
shots and field-goal percentage.

FAST FACT: The Aztecs
are looking for their 20th victory, and the 25 teams that won at least
20 games all advanced to the postseason in the first eight seasons of
the Mountain West.

COACHSPEAK: “We’re going to put in a
whole new offense and hopefully that will trick them a little bit.” —
Steve Fisher, whose team scored 49 and 43 points in splitting two games
this season against Air Force, the Aztecs’ quarterfinal opponent in the
MWC tournament. (Um, Steve, a little late in the year to be putting a “whole new offense” in, don’t you think? If you haven’t put it together by this point…well, at least you did succeed in tricking this guy.)



RECORD: 16-13, 8-8


Anderson. The senior guard was named MWC Defensive Player of the Year.
The Falcons led the league in scoring defense (57.3 points per game)
for the sixth straight season.

FAST FACT: The Falcons, 0-8 all time in the MWC tournament, have lost 15 straight opening-round conference tournament games.

this season, I don’t think anybody thought we would have three teams
deserving of an NCAA bid and this conference would be as strong as it
is top to bottom. Next year, I think it will be unbelievable.” — Jeff
Reynolds (It’s never a good thing when the coaches comments before the conference tourney includes the phrase “next year”. It’s also not a good sign that the team playing them thinks the only chance of victory is to change their entire offense 30 games into the season. The Mountain West Conference: where self-defeating quotes hapen.)


(6) UTAH

RECORD: 16-13, 7-9

KEY NONCONFERENCE WINS: California, Utah State

Nevill. The 7-1 junior center from Australia averages 15.0 points and
6.5 rebounds per game and is shooting 54.6 percent from the field.

Utes’ sixth man, senior guard Johnnie Bryant, is their No. 2 scorer at
14.2 points per game. Bryant started all 30 games as a junior and made
27 starts as a sophomore.

COACHSPEAK: “We feel we can play with anybody. We’ve put ourselves in position to win a lot of games that we haven’t won.” — Jim Boylen (Alright, second place for the most self-defeating comment goes to Jim Boylen. On a side note, no one at UNLV wants to see Luke Neville for a third time.)



RECORD: 14-15, 6-10


Langford. The junior forward, who graduated in December with a degree
in sociology, averages 13.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

different players have started at least one game for the Horned Frogs.
Only Langford and senior guard Brent Hackett have started all 29 games.

have interchangeable parts and they are able to put up great defensive
pressure.” — Neil Dougherty, on UNLV, which beat TCU twice by an
average of 15.5 points per game. (Joe D. playing center and C. Terry running point aren’t examples of interchangeable parts. Rather and example of fitting square pegs in circle holes, and a coach hitting a hammer as hard as he can to make them fit anyway.)



RECORD: 12-17, 5-11


Ewing. The junior guard was the MWC scoring leader as a sophomore. He
ranks second in scoring in all games this season, averaging 16.8
points. He ranks fourth in conference play at 16.2 ppg.

Cowboys were the No. 7 seed when they reached the 2006 tournament title
game, losing to top-seeded San Diego State in overtime.

you’re playing your rival for the third time, it’s really difficult.”
— Heath Schroyer, whose team beat Colorado State by 15 and 10 points
this season.



RECORD: 6-24, 0-16


Walker. The junior guard led the MWC in scoring in all games, averaging
17.2 points. In conference games, he finished No. 2 at 18.1 ppg, three
total points behind New Mexico’s Giddens (293-290).

FAST FACT: The Rams’ 17-game losing streak, which includes a home loss to Oklahoma Panhandle State, is the longest in school history.

COACHSPEAK: “I want to put this season behind me, but I fight that urge. I want to give the kids the best shot to win.” — Tim Miles

The play in game between CSU and Wyoming is tonight. UNLV takes on TCU tomorrow night. And yes, all my life consists of school and college basketball right now.


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Sure Guy/Grey Guy Quotes

The following were quotes I found today in my reading of Klein and Blomberg’s, Introduction to Biblical Interpretation.

First, a quote on different interpretations of a text in light of a grey meaning.

But there is a middle ground between claiming absolute objectivity and denying that in many cases we can attain adequate understanding of the meaning of a text. N.T. Wright and B. Meyer have both argued persuasively that interpreters should embrace “critical realism,” an approach that involves the dialogical process between interpreter and texts in which one successfully approximates true meaning, even if never comprehensively capturing it (or knowing that one has). The image of a hermeneutical spiral – like a cone-shaped tornado zeroing in one one small spot on the ground – or that of an asymptote or a hyperbola, coming very close to the vertical or horizontal lines of its axes without ever actually touching them, helps us to visualize this model (Matt’s interjection: for a great diagram of this model, see Scot McKnight’s great book, The Jesus Creed, and simply flip the pages until you see the diagram). The flip side of this approach is that while we may not always be able to determine one and only one correct or even simply the most correct interpretation of a given text, we can usually rule out many as improbable.

The last sentence well summarizes the thought, but I insert the whole quote for context (well and the street cred that N.T. Wright brings).

The second quote supports my previous thesis’ in the comments of previous posts about the confusion of “interpretation” and “application.”

In some cases, what pass for competing interpretations should probably be viewed as alternative applications… original meaning remains fixed, even as contemporary significance varies… But we must subject our cherished preconceptions of the meanings of texts to the challenges of new data and new perspectives that acknowledge the potential of objectivity.

Okay, I will paraphrase that quote. Meaning doesn’t change, it is constant (fixed) and transcends culture. Application, however, can and does change, is far from fixes and is culturally contingent. Be careful though, you yourself bring many preconceptions/preunderstandings which you view the text with. While this alteration (your preunderstandings) will affect the interpretation, we must hold the tension that this makes our understanding subjective while opening up new possibilities for objectivity that might not have existed due to the preconceptions of previous generations.

Sound good. I thought so. Sorry for being so geeked out lately, been doing a lot of studying.