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Thread: Bible Works in church

  1. #1
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    Default Bible Works in church

    Is it ethical to open the laptop and activate Bible Works during the service? People glared at me when I did so, as if my key plunking disturbed their sermon snooze. The screen partially blocked my view of the preacher - at least his midriff, which was already obscured by the pulpit. Visible to him was the top third of the laptop cover peeking out over the back of the empty pew in front of me, and he probably thought I was surfing the web. Actually I was checking his exegesis; and after getting the Hebrew and Greek versions of Psalm 130 side by side on the screen, I refuted a key point in his sermon. (The Hebrew of verse 6 is obscure, the Greek contradicted him about the watchers' relief in the MORNING). He said the closing prayer, and the guy next to me glared impatiently as I unloaded the computer from the four bags under which I had it propped on my lap and shut down Windows. The battery was practically dead.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Fincke View Post
    Is it ethical to open the laptop and activate Bible Works during the service?
    Why don't you just ask the preacher?

  3. #3
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    The humble opinion of one preacher. . .

    Using BibleWorks (or another tool, for that matter) to catch the preacher in exegetical errors strikes me as more than a potential breach of decorum, it strikes me, frankly, as somewhat hostile to preacher.

    Engage your Pastor in conversation about the text -- that's a preacher's dream -- but follow-up on your hunches when you get home. Call your Pastor on Monday morning, but when you're in worship on Sunday listen to God's Word to you. (How well can one really hear, if one is busy raising objections)

    By the way, the exegetical "error" you suggest the preacher made, does not strike me as an egregious one -- cut the poor preacher some slack!

  4. #4
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    Sorry, I forgot to finish. When I walked out the back, I shook the preacher's hand and complimented him on his sermon (on the delivery). He smiled. I didn't mean to give the impression that I stood up during the sermon and criticized him. Had I done that, all the stuff on my lap -including the computer - would have fallen on the ground. Or, with laptop in the left and pointed, waving finger in the right I could have made my point before the ushers ushered me out. Furthermore, my former pastor - when he heard about the incident - supported the pastor's exegesis. But 130:6 is clear in the Greek: The watchers watched until the evening - that is the 9 to 5 shift - and went home for dinner. They didn't watch until daybreak and breathe a sigh of relief that no nighttime invaders had made it (so the preacher).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Fincke View Post
    But 130:6 is clear in the Greek: The watchers watched until the evening - that is the 9 to 5 shift - and went home for dinner. They didn't watch until daybreak and breathe a sigh of relief that no nighttime invaders had made it (so the preacher).
    What makes you think the Greek is correct here, especially when the LXX is all over the place in the Poetic books, as well as other places?

    Because the preacher chose to preach on the Hebrew does not make his exegesis wrong. It is the Greek that is certainly wrong.

    Furthermore, as was already mentioned, your attitude on the matter leaves a lot to be desired. Why would you even waste your time going to a church simply so you could topple the preacher's theme? Sounds like the problem lies more with yourself than the preacher.

  6. #6

    Default A Pastor's Opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Fincke View Post
    Is it ethical to open the laptop and activate Bible Works during the service?
    I agree with others that the Pastor should be asked. If someone wants to use a laptop or netbook during a service I believe it should be as discreetly as possible (actually on your lap and as low as possible), that you should sit in the very back to disturb as few people as possible, and if you notice it being a disturbance to others close it down.

  7. #7
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    Default May I open my Bible in a service?

    Seems to me there are two issues being discussed in this thread.

    1. Is it courteous to use a laptop in a service (in the seats rather than on the platform, I assume). Or is it threatening, distracting, etc.
    2. Is one allowed, during the service, to question what is happening, what is being said.

    On issue 1, I would suggest that it is no more intrusive than the ubiquitous intrusion of laptops into all other aspects of life. Rather than being threatened, I would hope that the preacher would welcome the indication that someone is engaging the text, or the preacher's ideas.

    On Issue 2, the preachers I most respect and love are the ones that welcome both my affirmation and and my challenging. I preach rarely; when I do I really value the "are you sure that..." responses.

    If you can use BibleWorks, or your Bible, during a service and still hear, do it with God's blessing. And even if you are distracted, I suspect that God can still speak to you in your tangent. Though it might be courteous to apologize to the preacher. Especially if you apologize when you daydream or snooze off.

    --Jim

  8. #8
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    Dear Adelphos,
    Your attitude - "It is the Greek that is certainly wrong" - contradicts not only the raison d'etre of Bible Works - to promote dialogue between and engagement with the versions - but also the fundamental tenet of the Christian faith: the inerrancy of the Bible. If Billy Graham were preaching today, he would surely be using Power Point, and the listeners would be submerged in tears not because of their miserably sinful condition, but rather due to the complexities of Bible Works propped on their laps-.

  9. #9
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    The problem isn't so much the use, or non-use, of Bible Works during a worship service. If you were "glared at" by someone else in the congregation, it is probably because they thought you were:

    1) being disrespectful to the pastor
    2) being a distraction to others
    3) being a "know-it-all snob" by using a computer instead of a book like everyone else
    4) not paying attention and playing "Age of Empires" instead

    In respect to the "Greek", one must remember that the "Greek" is as much of a translation as the "English", and although the translators may have been closer in time and culture to the authors of the Hebrew text, it doesn't mean that they were better at translating the Hebrew text or understood the meaning of the Hebrew text more than someone today.

    There are times - many times - when they clearly got it wrong. And there were times when it is clear that they were "guessing" as to what a passage meant.

    Finally, as a pastor, I have had people who spent the entire service trying to "catch me out" so as to show off their superiority in some area - and didn't really listen to the message for something to encourage them in their faith and discipleship.

    So, if I can make a suggestion. Turn off your computer. Listen carefully. Be challenged and encouraged in your faith. Then, get a copy of the sermon and check out the fine exegetical points later at your liesure.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Fincke View Post
    Dear Adelphos,
    Your attitude - "It is the Greek that is certainly wrong" - contradicts not only the raison d'etre of Bible Works - to promote dialogue between and engagement with the versions - but also the fundamental tenet of the Christian faith: the inerrancy of the Bible. If Billy Graham were preaching today, he would surely be using Power Point, and the listeners would be submerged in tears not because of their miserably sinful condition, but rather due to the complexities of Bible Works propped on their laps-.
    Even though your answer is virtually a complete non-sequitur, BibleWorks does not assert that the Greek is correct. Furthermore, there are an innumerable company of translators who have asserted that the Greek is wrong, and thus you should take your own medicine and look up how many versions in BibleWorks follow the Greek. Let me save you the trouble...

    With the sole exception of the DRA, and not including the two LXX versions which don't pretend to consider the Hebrew, ALL of the English translations assert that the Greek is wrong.

    Once again -- because we've had this conversation before -- you have set yourself up as superior to a whole horde of translators -- to ALL the translators, in fact -- that are represented in BibleWorks, excepting only the aforementioned.

    Like I said, the Greek is certainly wrong. Nor do you appear to know how confused the LXX is in the poetical passages of Scripture.

    Those who have stuck to the Hebrew in this verse have maintained the integrity of God's written Word.

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