Monday, October 29, 2012

Apocalypse Now

How's this for apocalyptic literature?
And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of the land called America, having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as ‘The One’.
He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but he hypnotized the people telling them, "I am sent to save you.  My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence.  I shall save you with Hope and Change.  Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout the land that he who preceded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he has built must be destroyed.”

And the people rejoiced, for even though they knew not what ‘The One’ would do, he had promised that it was good; and they believed.

And ‘The One’ said, "We live in the greatest country in the world.  Help me change everything about it!"

And the people said, "Hallelujah!  Change is good!"

Then he said, "We are going to tax the rich fat-cats."

And the people said, "Sock it to them!  And redistribute their wealth."

And the people said, "Show us the money!"

And then he said, "redistribution of wealth is good for everybody.”

And Joe the plumber asked, "Are you kidding me?  You're going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats??"

And ‘The One’ ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe's personal records were hacked and publicized.

One lone reporter asked, "Isn't that Marxist policy?"  And she was banished from the kingdom.

Then a citizen asked, "With no foreign relations experience and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?"

And ‘The One’ said, "Simple.  I shall sit with them and talk with them and show them how nice we really are; and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!"

And the people said, "Hallelujah!!  We are safe at last, and we can beat our weapons into free cars for the people!"

Then ‘The One’ said "I shall give 95% of you lower taxes."

And one, lone voice said, "But 40% of us don't pay ANY taxes."

So ‘The One’ said, "Then I shall give you some of the taxes the fat-cats pay!"

And the people said, "Hallelujah!  Show us the money!"

Then ‘The One’ said, "I shall tax your Capital Gains when you sell your homes!"

And the people yawned and the slumping housing market collapsed. 
And ‘The One’ said, "I shall mandate employer-funded health care for every worker and raise the minimum wage.  And I shall give every person unlimited healthcare and medicine and transportation to the clinics."

And the people said, "Give me some of that!"

Then he said, "I shall penalize employers who ship jobs overseas."

And the people said, "Where's my rebate check?"

Then ‘The One’ said, "I shall bankrupt the coal industry and electricity rates will skyrocket!"

And the people said, "Coal is dirty.  Coal is evil.  No more coal!  But we don't care for that part about higher electric rates."

So ‘The One’ said, “Not to worry.  If your rebate isn't enough to cover your expenses, we shall bail you out.  Just sign up with the ACORN and you troubles are over!"

Then he said, "Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted.  Let's grant them amnesty, Social Security, free education, free lunches, free medical care, bi-lingual signs and guaranteed housing..."

"And the people said, "Hallelujah!" and they made him king!

And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers.

Others simply gave up and went out of business and the economy sank like unto a rock dropped from a cliff.

The banking industry was destroyed.  Manufacturing slowed to a crawl.  And more of the people were without a means of support.

Then ‘The One’ said, "I am ‘The One’- The Messiah - and I'm here to save you!  We shall just print more money so everyone will have enough!"

But our foreign trading partners said unto him.  "Wait a minute.  Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung!  You will have to pay more..."

And ‘The One’ said, "Wait a minute.  That isn't fair!!"

And the world said, "Neither are these other idiotic programs you have embraced."

"Lo, you have become a Socialist state and a second-rate power.  Now you shall play by our rules!"

And the people cried out, “Alas, alas!!  What have we done?”

But yea verily, it was too late.

The people set upon ‘The One’ and spat upon him and stoned him, and his name was dung.

And the once mighty nation was no more; and the once proud people were without sustenance, shelter or hope.

And the Change ‘The One’ had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed them and like a whirlpool that consumed all that they had built.

And the people beat their chests in despair and cried out in anguish, “Give us back our nation, our pride and our hope!!”

But it was too late and their homeland was no more.

You may think this is a fable, but it’s not.  It’s happening right now.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Call for a National Day of Prayer and Fasting -- November 1, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Episcopal Church Hits Bottom, Keeps Digging.

If you are an Anglican or an Anglican Wannabe and have never been to Charleston, South Carolina, you MUST go.   And you may want to hurry.

Charleston is the most Anglican city in North America.  The spires of several Anglican churches are among the most prominent features of the city's skyline.  There are street corners on which you can stand and see more than one Anglican church in a single glance.  The only other city I have been where that was true was London.  But, of course, it is not in America.  Also, you would not find the churches in London nearly so well attended.

Wander into any of Charleston's downtown parishes on a Sunday morning and you will hear some of the finest Anglican choral music on either side of the Atlantic.  The Bishop of London, preaching at last year's Mere Anglicanism conference, at St. Phillip's Church in Charleston, praised the choir for one of the finest renditions of Sir Hubert Parry's "I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me" that he (or I, for that matter) had ever heard.   (If you aren't familiar with that piece, you can listen to it here, although you will have to settle for the choir of Westminster Abbey performing it at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.)

More importantly, if you visit most of the Diocese of South Carolina's parishes on a Sunday you will hear the Word of God exposited faithfully and well.   And therein lies the problem, at least as far as the Episcopal Church is concerned.  Anglicans/Episcopalians in South Carolina want the Word of God preached whole and entire, and unadulterated (no pun intended).  Consequently, they aren't on board with some of the new things the Episcopal Church has been promoting lately.  As the Episcopal Church's departure from biblical and historic Christian belief and practice has increased, the Diocese has sought to differentiate itself from the innovations of the Episcopal Church, while still remaining in it.

But it appears that some local malcontents, in concert with the Episcopal Church's leadership, decided that they were tired of the Diocese of South Carolina not getting with the program; all of which led to this week's news:  Panzer Tanks Invade Poland...  er, no...  Enemy Planes Attack Pearl Harbor ...  er, sorry, wrong war... 

Episcopal Church Takes Action Against the Bishop and Diocese of SC:
On Monday, October 15, 2012, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina was notified by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, that on September 18, 2012 the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified his abandonment of The Episcopal Church. 
As the Diocesan website was quick to note, there is a serious question of who has abandoned whom:

Episcopal Church Abandons Bishop and Diocese:
Anglicans have been worshiping in South Carolina since its establishment as a British Colony. From the beginning, they have defended and upheld the doctrine, discipline and worship of the faithful generations who came before them. That freedom is now under direct assault.

As a founding Diocese of the Episcopal Church, we have taken steps in recent years to defend our freedom of worship and order of gathering. On Monday of this week (October 15), the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence (14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina) was informed by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church that a disciplinary board had certified that he was guilty of abandonment of the communion of the church – that he had, in effect, by his words and actions, left the church. We believe that these actions of the Episcopal Church are both invalid under the Constitution of the Episcopal Church of this Diocese and violations of rights and freedoms which all Americans hold dear. We emphatically reject them, as well as the attempted restriction upon the ministry of our Bishop.

An Assault on the Bishop

This action is a deplorable assault upon the Bishop of this Diocese. The attack came in the midst of negotiations whose stated intent was to find a peaceful solution to our differences with the Episcopal Church. It involved a process in which there was no prior notice of the proceedings, no notice of the charges against him nor any opportunity to face the local accusers (who remained anonymous until today).

An Assault on the Diocese

These actions, however, are not just an attack upon Bishop Lawrence. They also represent an assault on  this Diocese and its congregations....

Read it all.
What, then, are Anglicans in South Carolina to do?  A special Convention of the Diocese has been triggered by the actions against Bishop Lawrence, which will convene on November 17.  In the meantime, the best advice I have seen comes from the Rev. Chuck Owens, rector of the Church of the Cross, in Bluffton, SC, who wrote to his parish about a phone call he received from a reporter today:
"You guys are the biggest Episcopal church in the area so I called hoping you would give me a comment for my paper."  "About what?" I asked.  "About Bishop Lawrence abandoning the Diocese of South Carolina," the reporter continued.  "No such thing has happened; you must be confused."  "No," she insisted, "I read it on the internet just a short while ago."

Well, my friends, she was confused . . . very confused; and I don't want you to be taken in by her or anyone else for that matter!  In the coming days and weeks and perhaps even longer, much is going to find its way into newspapers, onto blogs and along human grapevines that will suggest to those who relish controversy that Bishop Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina, including The Church of the Cross, have fallen into an abyss.  Don't believe it!  Here is the truth in a nutshell.

Since 2003 the Diocese of South Carolina has been trying to stay in The Episcopal Church as an island of orthodoxy in an ever-widening, ever-deepening sea of liberalism and to do so without compromising its identity.  Actions taken to this end prompted The Episcopal Church this week to move against Bishop Lawrence and by extension the Diocese of South Carolina.  As a result a divide now exists between The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of South Carolina that will likely take the parties into court at some point in the future.  That's the gist of it.

The question now becomes, "How should we respond as members of The Church of the Cross?"  First, pray for the leadership of this diocese and this parish.  Second, trust in the leadership of this diocese and this parish.  Third, support the leadership of this diocese and this parish.  Fourth, in the power of the Spirit do the work of the Gospel: proclaim Christ crucified, dead, buried and risen; witness to His grace and forgiveness; use your time, talents and treasure for His Kingdom purposes; and seek ways to rally the flagging, inspire the doubting, and buoy the drifting.  Fifth, humble yourselves before the Lord God Almighty and strengthen your faith in Him - He is sovereign over this and all things and His glory will ultimately be revealed.

We are in this together, you and I; and it's my firm conviction that God has brought us to this place not to wilt but to blossom . . . and blossom we will - praise God!  Read More

In His power and for His glory,

 That's all for now.  But I am sure there is more to come.  Stay tuned.  And keep praying!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Call to Prayer for Spiritual Awakening in Our Churches and Our Nation

Earlier this month, the Rev. Canon Thad Butcher, of St. Michael’s Church, in Nashotah, Wisconsin, wrote an article calling God’s people to prayer for our nation.  His call was based on conversations he had had with religious leaders who share the concern that our nation is at a crossroads.

As we look around us today, we see a growing hostility toward the Christian faith and its standard of morality.  We see the promotion of a new and militant form of atheism.  We see continued opposition to the idea of God as the Creator.  We see the attempt to redefine marriage and to normalize behaviors that have always, in every civilization, been considered wrong and sinful.  It seems as if there is a growing movement that is intent on ruling God and the Bible out of human affairs.  We are indeed at a crossroads—and the choice is between God sending judgment and God sending spiritual revival.

Most Christians today believe that until modern times, America was a solidly Christian nation with high moral standards, originally established by godly Founding Fathers, and has only recently been weakened by the infiltration of secular, humanistic thinking.  However the reality is actually quite different.  There have been times in the past that were in many ways similar to the times we are living in today.

The late historian, Dr. J. Edwin Orr, writes that the period immediately following the Revolutionary War was one of those times.  In the late 1700’s, many Americans were greatly influenced by the writings of humanists like Voltaire and Rousseau in France, and Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen in America.
“Drunkenness had become epidemic.  Out of a US population of five million, 300,000 were confirmed drunkards; they were burying fifteen thousand of them each year.  Profanity was of the most shocking kind.  For the first time in the history of the American settlement, women were afraid to go out at night for fear of assault. Bank robberies were a daily occurrence."

“The Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall, wrote to the Episcopal Bishop of Virginia, James Madison (a cousin of the statesman James Madison), that the Church ‘was too far gone ever to be redeemed.’ Voltaire averred, and Tom Paine echoed, ‘Christianity will be forgotten in thirty years.’”1
Orr reported that colleges were bastions of unbelief.  Students rioted.  They held a mock communion at Williams College and put on anti-Christian plays at Dartmouth.  In New Jersey, students took a Bible from a Presbyterian church and burned it in a public bonfire.  Church historian Kenneth Scott Latourette wrote, “It seemed as if Christianity were about to be ushered out of the affairs of men.”2

What happened to change things?   It was during the 1790’s that the Second Great Awakening began.   (The First Great Awakening is associated with the ministries of George Whitfield, John Wesley, and Jonathan Edwards and spanned the decades from the 1730’s to the 1770’s.)

The Second Great Awakening (which lasted from around 1790 to 1840) broke out first in Connecticut, and then in Massachusetts and all the seaboard states before spreading to the frontier.

The modern missionary movement was born out of this Second Great Awakening.  Along with it came the abolition of slavery and the establishment of hospitals, colleges, public education, Sunday school, Bible societies, mission and relief agencies, and countless other social benefits.3  Subsequent revivals that some scholars have identified as being part of a Third Great Awakening swept the United States and the British Isles in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  The Awakening was worldwide and had a great impact on China, Korea, and the nations of East Africa.

Much of what we take for granted about the influence of Christianity on our national life is not due primarily to our Founding Fathers, but rather to these mighty outpourings of the Spirit of God at several points in our nation’s history.

Although the world’s circumstances look bleak today and it perhaps seems that, once again, Christianity could be ushered out of the affairs of men, God’s promise to his ancient people remains true for the Church today:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
How can we experience a spiritual awakening in our day?  The great early American theologian, Jonathan Edwards, wrote a treatise about spiritual revival in his day.   The lengthy but descriptive title of that treatise was as follows: A Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of All God’s People in Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.

There is the answer: We must have the explicit agreement and visible union of God’s people in extraordinary prayer.

(1) God’s people need to agree that they are coming together for the explicit purpose of seeking God’s face in order that He would forgive our sins, give us the fullness of His Holy Spirit, and heal our nation.

(2) There needs to be a visible union of God’s people coming together for this explicit purpose.

(3) It needs to include all God’s people, of every denomination and background.  We need to invite our friends and those who may not have thought about this issue to join us in concerted prayer.

(4) It needs to be extraordinary prayer, not simply the times of prayer for which we may already gather, though these may be used to pray for revival as well.

Not only do I believe that there is the possibility that in these days God might want to work in a special way, pouring out His Spirit, bringing revival to the Church and an awakening to the nations, I know, based on the promise of His Word, that He will do it, if we seek Him above all things.

Will you join me?

Toward this end, The Church of the Savior, Milwaukee, WI, will be meeting for a time of extraordinary prayer for revival each Tuesday at 7 p.m., beginning on October 23.  Directions are here.  You are warmly invited to join us.



1. J. Edwin Orr. “The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakenings.” Oxford Association for Research in Revival, Los Angeles, California, 1976, p. 1.  You can see Dr. Orr's video of this address on YouTube.

2. Ibid, p. 2.

3. Ibid.

See also:

Michael Catt, The Power of Surrender: Breaking Through to Revival. B and H Publishing Group, 2010.

Richard J. Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home. Harper Collins, 1992. 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

How Ideology Colors Morality

This article from 2008 helps explain why a liberal, union, public school, geometry teacher in Philadelphia berated a 16-year-old high school sophomore for wearing a Romney t-shirt to class (mentioned in my last post). 

How Ideology Colors Morality

Conservatives and liberals reside in different moral worlds.

Liberals tend to think that conservatives are either stupid or evil.  They see George W. Bush as a buffoon and Dick Cheney as a nefarious architect of doom.  These two options strike liberals as the only possible explanations for why someone would adopt a conservative agenda.   Conservatives must be either be confused about what morality demands of us in the political sphere, or they must recognize the demands of morality and simply ignore those demands, in pursuit of power or lucre.  Conservatives have no more a flattering conception of liberals.  For their vantage point, liberals either look hopelessly naïve (read "stupid") or dangerously corrupted (read "evil").   Liberals are either tree-hugging fools or calculating agents of moral degeneracy. Why is this?

One answer is that liberals and conservatives each make the same false assumption about the other side: they assume that their opponents share the same basic moral values.   Suppose you and I share the same basic values, but you advocate some policy that I oppose.  That means one of us is either making a mistake about what our shared values entail or willfully pursuing something we know to be immoral.  One of us is stupid or evil.  But there is another possibility: perhaps we have some different basic values.  Perhaps we are both pursuing exactly what our values demand of us, but, since those values differ, we are pursuing different political agendas.
Read the full article.

This Is What We Face

Teen Returns to School After Romney T-Shirt Flap

From here:
A 16-year-old high school sophomore who says she was ridiculed by her geometry teacher for wearing a Mitt Romney T-shirt returned to school Tuesday following a rally by cheering supporters.  The teacher has also written a letter of apology that was read aloud to students.

Samantha Pawlucy hadn't been back to Charles Carroll High School in the city's Port Richmond section since last week.  That's when she and her family say she was mocked by her teacher for wearing the shirt supporting the Republican presidential candidate.  She said the teacher questioned why she was wearing the shirt and called others in to the room to laugh at her.

Pawlucy, whose family had expressed concern for her safety, returned Tuesday after a rally that featured supporters singing the national anthem and reading the First Amendment — as well as shouts of supporters calling "Go, Sam!" and "You're great, Sam!"


Pawlucy wore the pink "Romney/Ryan" shirt to "dress-down" day on Sept. 28. She said that during class, [geometry teacher Lynette Gaymon] pointed out the shirt, questioned why she was wearing it and told her to leave the classroom.  Gaymon, Pawlucy said, said it was a "Democratic" school and compared it to wearing a "KKK" shirt.
Read the whole story.

I think I have changed my mind: We do need more education in schools about tolerance, diversity, and respect for the opinions of others.   Only the education needs to be for the teachers.

Taliban gunmen shoot 14-year-old girl activist

From here:  
Fourteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai was admired across a battle-scarred region of Pakistan for exposing the Taliban's atrocities and advocating for girls' education in the face of religious extremists. On Tuesday, the Taliban nearly killed her to quiet her message.

A gunman walked up to a bus taking children home from school in the volatile northern Swat Valley and shot Malala in the head and neck. Another girl on the bus was also wounded.

The young activist was airlifted by helicopter to a military hospital in the frontier city of Peshawar. A doctor in the city of Mingora, Tariq Mohammad, said her wounds weren't life-threatening, but a provincial information minister said after a medical board examined the girl that the next few days would be crucial.

[Please pray for Malala.]

Malala began writing a blog when she was just 11 under the pseudonym Gul Makai for the BBC about life under the Taliban, and began speaking out publicly in 2009 about the need for girls' education — which the Taliban strongly opposes. The extremist movement was quick to claim responsibility for shooting her.

"This was a new chapter of obscenity, and we have to finish this chapter," Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan by telephone.  [Emphasis added.]

[So, according to the "religion of peace," young girls getting an education and speaking out against injustice is obscene, but murder isn't.]

The shooting provoked outrage across the country, angering Pakistanis who have seen a succession of stories about violence against women by the Taliban.

"This attack cannot scare us nor the courageous Malala. This cowardly act cannot deter Malala to give up her efforts," said Azizul Hasan, one of the girl's cousins.

Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf condemned the attack and called her a daughter of Pakistan. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called the shooting "barbaric" and "cowardly."
Read the whole story.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

What Should We Think of the New International Version 2011? (Part 2)

A frequent problem with some new translations of the Bible is that, in their effort to use language that is more "gender neutral," the translation becomes less accurate; and, in the translation of some passages, loses theological integrity.  This is particularly true in the translation of the theologically significant phrase "Son of Man."

Consider Psalm 8:4-6 from the 1984 NIV:
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet
In the 2011 NIV Psalm 8:4-6 becomes:
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet
What can be seen in verse 4 is a rich parallelism between man (or mankind) in the first half of the verse with the Son of Man, the Messiah, in the second half of the verse.  This passage, which is widely considered a Messianic reference, now has that reference obscured by being translated as only referring to human beings (plural) throughout.

Students of the Bible will recognize that Jesus may have had such passages in mind when he referred to himself as the Son of Man.  Not only that, but the (inspired) writer of the Letter to the Hebrews obviously considered this passage from Psalm 8 to be a Messianic reference when he quotes it in Hebrews 2:5-9,
5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified:

“What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
7 You made him a little lower than the angels;
you crowned him with glory and honor
8 and put everything under his feet.”

In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him.  Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.  9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
In the 2011 NIV this passage from Hebrews becomes:
5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified:

“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
a son of man that you care for him?
7 You made them a little lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
8 and put everything under their feet.”

In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them.  Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.  9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
The distinction is that, in other translations and for most biblical scholars, everything from the latter half of verse 6 and following is arguably a Messianic reference.  In the 2011 NIV, only in verse 9 does the passage begin clearly to refer to the Messiah.  The whole thrust of verses 7 and 8 has been switched from the Son of Man (the Messiah) to human beings; and "the son of man" (a reference to the Messiah) in verse 6 becomes "a son of man" (a reference to a human individual) in the 2011 NIV.

I have to confess that the first time I read verses 7 and 8 in the 2011 NIV I was impressed at what a nice, clever, and insightful translation it was.  (Actually the word that came to mind was that it was a very "slick" way to handle the translation of this passage.)  But then, recognizing the enormous shift in the focus of the verses, I quickly regained my senses and realized that the test of any Bible translation is not whether it is a nice, clever, or insightful (or slick) translation, but is it a truthful and accurate translation?

While I am somewhat sympathetic to the aims of a dynamic equivalence translation, I believe readers can only be assured of the truthfulness and accuracy of theology-laden passages like the one from Psalm 8, quoted in Hebrews 2, if we translate what the writer actually said rather than what we think he might have meant, or what we would prefer to have him say to our contemporary ears.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

What should We Think of the New International Version 2011? (Part 1)

Those who know me well have heard me express my concerns about the 2011 edition of the New International Version of the Bible.  Today I ran across this passage, which has changed significantly from the 1984 to the 2011 edition:

Romans 1:4
New International Version 1984 (NIV 1984): "4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord."

Romans 1:4
New International Version 2011 (NIV 2011):"4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord."

Do you see the difference?  We are talking about the translation of ὁρισθέντος (horisthentos).  The phrase is "τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ θεοῦ," which the NIV 2011 translates as "appointed the Son of God," and which every other English translation I can find translates as "declared" (or a word with an equivalent meaning such as shown, proved, marked out, or demonstrated) to be the Son of God"

GREEK: τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ θεοῦ
NASB: who was declared the Son of God
KJV: And declared [to be] the Son of God
INT: having been declared Son of God

Romans 1:4 is the only occurrence of ὁρισθέντος in the New Testament, while ὡρισμένος (hōrismenos) in Acts 10:42 and ὥρισεν (horisen) in Acts 17:31, which are translated as appointed, are related but not the same word.
While ὁρισθέντος may be translated as appointed, a better translation is marked out, determined to be, or declared.  It is significant that virtually every English translation translates it this way: 
(KJ21) 4 and was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead,
(ASV)who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord,
(CEB)He was publicly identified as God’s Son with power through his resurrection from the dead, which was based on the Spirit of holiness. This Son is Jesus Christ our Lord.
(CJB)he was powerfully demonstrated to be Son of God spiritually, set apart by his having been resurrected from the dead; he is Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.
(CEV) 3-4 This good news is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! As a human, he was from the family of David. But the Holy Spirit proved that Jesus is the powerful Son of God, because he was raised from death.
(DARBY)marked out Son of God in power, according to [the] Spirit of holiness, by resurrection of [the] dead) Jesus Christ our Lord;
(ERV) 3-4 The Good News is about God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a human, he was born from the family of David, but through the Holy Spirit he was shown to be God’s powerful Son when he was raised from death.
(ESV)and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
(ESVUK)and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
(GW)In his spiritual, holy nature he was declared the Son of God. This was shown in a powerful way when he came back to life.
(GNT)as to his divine holiness, he was shown with great power to be the Son of God by being raised from death.
(HCSB)and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.
(PHILLIPS) 3-6 The Gospel is centred in God’s Son, a descendant of David by human genealogy and patently marked out as the Son of God by the power of that Spirit of holiness which raised him to life again from the dead. He is our Lord, Jesus Christ, from whom we received grace and our commission in his name to forward obedience to the faith in all nations. And of this great number you at Rome are also called to belong to him.
(KJV)And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
(LEB)who was declared Son of God in power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ our Lord,
(MSG) 2-7 The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets on God’s Son. His descent from David roots him in history; his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master. Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ! And I greet you now with all the generosity of God our Father and our Master Jesus, the Messiah.
(NASB) who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
(NCV) 3-4 The Good News is about God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a man, he was born from the family of David. But through the Spirit of holiness he was declared to be God's Son with great power by rising from the dead.
(NKJV)and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
(NLV)The Holy Spirit proved by a powerful act that Jesus our Lord is the Son of God because He was raised from the dead. 
(NLT)and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.
(NRSV) and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spiritb of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
(YLT)who is marked out Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of sanctification, by the rising again from the dead,) Jesus Christ our Lord;

The NIV 1984 edition is consistent with all other translations:

(NIV1984)and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

Then comes the updated family of New International Version Bibles, the NIV 2011, followed by the UK version, the NIV Reader's Version (a version for young people) and the Today's New International Version (TNIV) which was discontinued at the same time as  publication of the NIV 2011 began.
(NIV) [2011]and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
(NIVUK)and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
(NIRV)By the power of the Holy Spirit, he was appointed to be the mighty Son of God because he rose from the dead. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.
(TNIV)and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

The reason why this matters so much is the Christological heresy known as adoptionism, the view that Jesus was born merely human and that he became divine—adopted as God's son—later in his life.  No theologically knowledgeable translator could be unaware of the error of adoptionism, and to translate Romans 1:4 in a way unlike any other English translation—a way that opens the door to this erroneous view—is inexcusable. 

This is only the beginning of a whole catalog of problems I am finding with the NIV (2011).  I'll return to this subject as time permits.

A Missionary Leader Goes Home: The Rev. Walter Hannum (1925-2012)

I received the following news from Sharon Steinmiller, Director of the New Wineskins Missionary Network, regarding the death of Walter Hannum.  As I told Sharon, "I was profoundly touched by Walter and Louise's ministry.  Walter was truly a great missionary statesman and visionary leader, but so low-key that his tremendous accomplishments seldom received the recognition they deserved."  I am certain that he is, even now, hearing The Master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Dear Friends of New Wineskins and of Walter and Louise Hannum,

Walter and Louise Hannum with Dr. Andrew Swamidoss - May 1998
I just got a call from Louise that Walter died yesterday.  He hadn’t been eating well for some time.  Louise told me it was a miracle that he was not in any pain—gall bladder is normally extremely painful.  Last week someone asked him how he was and he said, “I’m a happy man!” and yesterday when Louise read Morning Prayer with him he said “Amen!” in all the right places.  So there are many blessings.

Walter was my mentor and friend and I had the privilege of being his “honorary daughter.”  I cannot over­estimate the impact the Hannums have had on missions among Episcopalians/Anglicans in North America and the Anglican Communion.  They were the voice crying in the wilder­ness for missions—particularly for unreached people groups— for decades before others in our Church picked up the cry.  They gave orientation and training to over 300 missionaries, taught numerous one-week Introductory Courses on World Missions, and presented mission seminars around the USA.  They served as adjunct professors of World Mission and Evangelism at Trinity School for Ministry.

Walter and Louise founded ECMC (now New Wineskins Missionary Network) in 1974 to “enable Episcopalians to be more knowledgeable, active, and effective in fulfilling our Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations by raising mission vision in parishes and dioceses, promoting and providing training for missionaries and mission committees, equipping Episcopalians to reach unreached people groups around the world, and raising prayer support for Episcopal missionaries.”  Because of their vision, persistence, and faithfulness, that has been happening ever since!

The New Wineskins for Global Mission conferences, first held in 1994 to honor their 20 years of ministry as founders of ECMC, have continued every three or four years and have impacted generations of seminarians and countless churches and missionaries.

Walter served twenty years in Alaska as Archdeacon of Northern Alaska preparing the first ever Indians and Eskimos for priesthood. Born December 30, 1925—long before anyone ever heard of dyslexia—he graduated from the Philadelphia Divinity School of the Episcopal Church in 1953 and received a Th.M. in Missiology in 1975 from the School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.  He had a key role in the existence of the Good News Bible, Canon 9 Ordinations, SAMS, Yavatmal College for Leadership Training in India, and the Indian Graduate School for Missiology.  He was involved in the founding of AFM, Global Teams, and the U.S. Center for World Mission.

As Walter used to say, “You can count the seeds in an apple, but no one can count the apples in a seed.”  Anglicans in missions around the world thank God for Walter Hannum, and there will be people from tribes, tongues, languages, and nations gathered around the throne who are the fruit of his life and ministry.

If you want to send a note, Louise’s address is Pilgrim Place, 627 Leyden Lane #106, Claremont, CA 91711-4235.

“Happy are those who from now on die in the service of the Lord!… They will enjoy rest from their hard work, because the results of their service go with them.” Rev. 14: 13, Good News Bible)
Sharon Steinmiller
New Wineskins Missionary Network