Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty Chapel Talk – Nov 28, 2012

Here is a link to Willie Robertson, of Duck Dynasty, Chapel Talk at Harding from today.

It would be tempting to say this is really good just because he is famous. But really, this is really good because there is spiritual substance to it and several life lessons worth hearing. After watching this, it will be hard to see this guy as the seemingly immature caricature of himself on TV. This guy is simple-deep. He gets up at 13:45.

Bruce McLarty Talks About His Recent Appointment as the Next President of Harding University

Thanks to Bobby Ross and the Christian Chronicle for this interview with Bruce McLarty. It is important that we let Dr. McLarty lay out his vision without assuming we know his conclusions before they are made and/or communicated. From the contact I have had with Dr. McLarty in the past I was always struck by how grace-filled he seemed to be and yet still had convictions about his core beliefs. You hear that balance in this interview and I think that is one of the necessary tensions (if you want to call it that) that has to be maintained in order to move ahead in healthy and Christ-like ways.

Q&A: Harding University’s next president on faith, Christian higher education and Churches of Christ

Bruce McLarty is Harding’s New President

I just saw mention of Bruce McLarty being Harding’s new president. Thanks to Dr. Burks for the two decades of dedicated service. He will be a tough act to follow. Dr. McLarty will do an excellent job.

Harding Digitizes Jim Bill McInteer Sermons

Thanks to Harding University for digitizing this huge collection of Jim Bill McInteer sermons! Here are the links

Digital Audio from the 1970s-2000s

Sermon Outlines

Thanks to Mark Adams for pointing this out

Campus Ministry United Audio

Wes just posted audio from CMU last week. This includes lessons from Patrick Mead, Kerry and Robert Cox, Orlando Henlon, Monte Cox (not related to the other two Cox’i), Benson Himes, and Lynn Stringfellow. Should be some really good and practical stuff.

Listen here

Prescription for Sexual Sanity

This has to be one of the best sermons done on having a healthy view of sex and sexuality. I believe this is from the 2001 Harding Lectures and it is by Don McLaughlin from the North Atlanta Church of Christ. I can’t remember if it was Philip or Daniel who brought this tape to my attention. Thanks to Don for permission to upload this.

Prescription for Sexual Sanity

Slain Tampa Police Officer Attended Both Harding and Faulkner

Tampa police officer David Curtis was killed in the line of duty last Tuesday at 2am. His killer is still at large. David leaves behind a wife and four young children. He also attended both Harding University and Faulkner and played football for a year while at Harding (see this article). Prayers go out to his family at such a difficult time. Another officer, Jeffrey Kocab, was also murdered in the same incident and he leaves behind a wife 9 months pregnant. What an awful tragedy.

The Passing of Jim Bill McInteer

I was sad to see this in my email today, sent by Liz Howell:

Jim Bill McInteer, described as a “giant of the faith” by many church members, died Monday, March 8, 2010.

A minister for 70-plus years, the former president and publisher of 21st Century Christian and Power for Today served on the board at Harding University for decades. Harding named its center for Bible and world missions after him: http://www.christianchronicle.org/article2159037~Jim_Bill_McInteer_dies_at_age_88

For a complete obituary, go to: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tennessean/obituary.aspx?n=jim-bill-mcinteer&pid=140509049

Visitation will be Tuesday, March 9, 2010 from 2-9 p.m. and Wednesday, March 10, 2010 from 12-2 p.m., at Brentwood Hills Church of Christ. Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 2 p.m., at Brentwood Hills Church of Christ. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jim Bill and Betty McInteer Scholarship Fund, Box 12238, at Harding University, Searcy, AR 72149.

Please e-mail your condolences and memories to lhowell@harding.edu for a booklet to be given to the family.

Communication and the Bible

Communication is not just what is said, it is also what is heard. What is heard is dependent on all kinds of factors. In face-to-face interactions that might include non-verbals like posture, eye contact, expression, and gesticulations. It can also include tone, volume, and very last…words. You know how Americans go overseas and talk really loud to everyone like it will help them understand what is being said better? Well, when language breaks down volume is just one part of the rest of our communications arsenal that we have at our disposal (although I would wouldn’t recommend that approach!). We tend to think that we say what we mean but often everything around our words can cloud the very meaning we are trying to convey with the words we choose to use.

Now add in to that mix talking to someone who has a different culture than you. They use different expressions, different non-verbals to communicate meaning, and even a different pace of speaking. Now lets say that person speaks a language you don’t know…things get tricky. Let’s add one more…let’s say they are from a different culture than you are and that culture is from 2000 years ago half way around the world. You realize there is a lot of explaining to do. They don’t know ipods and Segways (So lucky. don’t we all wish we didn’t know Segways too?). We would have a hard time understanding life from their more distant and somewhat primitive perspective.

You will probably need an interpreter to help you converse with the other person at which point many of the nonverbals and other cues we typically use to communicate with another person are diminished and we have to rely on the translator to bridge the conversation and, what is more, the meaning from one person to the other. I heard Mikhail Gorbachev speak when I was at Harding University. His speech was passionate and vibrant. It was full of energy and zeal. His tone was fused with energy and enthusiasm. He was moving even though I couldn’t understand him. Then his translator would speak in a slow, monotone and draggy voice. Even though he was translating his words so we could understand what Gorbachev was saying, 90% of the passion, feeling and even meaning was lost.

Now think about how this applies to scripture. The nonverbals that you benefit from when someone is standing right in front of you talking to you have been removed. You can’t read anything into the tone, because it is text on a page rather than hearing the spoken word. We don’t have the advantage of watching the gesticulations of the person who is trying to communicate to us the truth about himself and the universe and about us as human beings and our need for Him. Then you realize that we are even using a different language than the original text of the scriptures. Add into that them being from a different time and a different culture than we are familiar with. Things get tricky.

We are fortunate to be surrounded by a number of interpreter scholars. When you open a decent English translation of the Bible, that is what you are getting. That is what a modern Bible translation is. It is like having a group of interpreters who have studied the language, the culture, and the text that we are trying to understand in order to better converse with the one who ultimately communicated those words (God). Just like when using an interpreter in another country today, no interpreter gets all the words right all the time. No interpreter can perfectly communicate from one culture and language to the next first of all because even translations as old as the KJV are still 1600 years removed from the language and the culture that is being translated and, as mentioned above, 90% of the communication process has been stripped away (nonverbals, tone, gesticulations, volume, etc) due to the fact that we are dealing with words on a page rather than speaking with Moses or Paul or Jesus or Peter face to face.

So what we are left with is our best attempt to try to reconstruct the original meaning of the text into something roughly comparable in the English language. That is not an easy thing to do and that is why it is important, especially if you are not familiar with Greek (which at least removes a part of the awkward process of using an interpreter and instead makes us rely on lexicons and books on grammar that even still keep us a step removed from actually walking in the shoes of the biblical writers) to refer to at least two translations when studying a passage of scripture.

Credibility and Confidence

When I was a student at Harding University I took a class in social psychology. Myself, Sherri Scharff, and Rachel Crum did a research project on the effects of confidence on how credible a speaker was perceived to be by an audience. We wrote two speeches about the history of psychology. One speech had 100% accurate facts. The other speech was full of errors (wrong names, wrong dates, mixed up theories, etc). I presented these two speeches to two different college speech classes. The speech with 100% accurate facts was presented with lots of vocalized pauses, zero eye contact, monotone, and just all together very poorly presented…but correct! The speech with the errors was presented as flawlessly and confidently as I knew how…yet it was totally incorrect!

Guess which speech was thought to be more credible and even more factual? The speech that was 100% incorrect. Amazing. When ran statistics on it and found highly significant results that favored the confidently presented speech as being perceived as more factual than the bumbled up speech. Do you find that surprising?