Dear New McKendree Church Family,
Can you believe it’s been three months—a quarter of a year—since we’ve worshiped in our High Street sanctuary? While we’re all ready, High Street and South Campus worshipers alike, for things to get back to normal, you’ve got to admit this temporary “inconvenience” hasn’t been much of an inconvenience at all. Our dedicated Saturday evening worshipers haven’t skipped a beat and being on one campus has provided us with a new fellowship opportunity between the two Sunday services. I thank God we’ve not settled for merely surviving this transition but have chosen to thrive. God’s good!
As I’m sure you’ve been able to t
ell from the weekly updated pre-worship videos, the High Street renovation is progressing on schedule. The exterior phase is complete, and the painters and woodwork stainers are nearing completion. Once done, the carpet layers will take the floor…literally. Simultaneously, HD Media will upgrade our audio capabilities and install our concealable video screen. And as I write this, a Langford Heating and Cooling crew is replacing the sanctuary’s remaining two air conditioning units…the units originally installed during the Carter Administration (1976!). While there’s still much left to be done, I’m feeling more confident by the day that we’ll be worshiping in our new and improved High Street Sanctuary by Advent…maybe before!
In the meantime, we keep doing the ministry God called us to. With that in mind, I’m excited to announce that on the weekend of October 8/9, we’re starting a six-week worship series entitled “The WORD: A Journey Through John”. The series will begin with an overview of John’s Gospel and how it differs from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And then, in weeks two through six, we’ll dig into the unique way in which John reveals Jesus as truly human and truly divine and what that reality requires of us, Jesus’ disciples. Accompanying the sermon series, I’ll provide a Monday through Friday daily devotion, each one on a selected theme or passage from John’s Gospel. The first devotion will be available on Monday, October 10. We’ll post the devotions online and send them to you via email or text. CLICK HERE or fill out this week’s bulletin insert to let us know your preference. I pray that we’ll all participate in this series together, not just in worship but in our devotion time, our group Bible studies, and our family devotions. In other words, I pray that the Gospel of John becomes our New McKendree Church family devotion focus for six weeks.
On a separate but related topic: One question I’m asked time and time again is what Bible translation and type I recommend. That’s a good question. After all, the market is flooded with many Bible translations and just as many Bible types to choose from. If you’ve been to a Christian bookstore or an online Christian bookseller only to be dazed and confused by all the Bible options available, you know what I’m talking about. I’m all about choice, but too much choice can be overwhelming.
Since choosing the Bible that best fits your needs is primarily a personal preference, perhaps it’d help if I let you in on my Bible preferences. As for me, I use several different translations:
~ The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) — The NRSV is the translation most often used by Bible scholars, i.e., seminary professors.
~ The New King James Version (NKJV) — the wording and sentence pattern are similar to the King James Version (KJV), but without the “old English” verbiage; thee, thou, abideth, etc. Many feel at home with this translation because it’s closest to what most “senior Protestants” grew up reading.
~ The New International Version (NIV) — this version uses modern English and sentence patterns. In other words, it attempts to honor the author's original intent but does so in a way that most people speak.
~ The New Living Translation (NLT) — much like the NIV; modern English, conversational sentence patterns.
~ The Message — not a translation, but rather a paraphrase. It’s an excellent devotional resource but not recommended for Bible study.
While I may use different translations, there’s only one type of Bible that I use and therefore recommend; a study Bible. Adding historical, theological, and life application relevant footnotes, personality profiles, timelines, diagrams, maps, and cross-references is what makes a Bible a study Bible. A good study Bible is God’s Word and a theological library, all contained in a single book.
So, in terms of Bible types, I recommend a study Bible, and of all the study Bibles out there, I haven’t found any better than the Life Application Study Bible published by Tyndale. As for translations (NRSV, NKJV, NLT, etc.), it’s a personal preference thing. I prefer NLT, but that’s just me. Your results may vary.
I hope this helps. Because Bible study is vital to our development as Christians, picking the right Bible should not be taken lightly. If you have questions or want to try one of mine out, feel free to give me a call or stop by.
Remember, God’s got this, so let’s keep on looking up and keep loving and caring for one another!
Your brother in Christ,