Archive for September, 2007

New Visitor’s Team

by Stephanie Shin

Therefore, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God (Romans 15:7).

Many members of Lighthouse may remember the first time that they attended the church. They might remember driving up to 10695 Treena St. only to see an office building where the church was supposed to be. They might remember the nervous scanning for the familiar face that had invited them to come, and the anxiety that’s common when in a new enivornment. That’s where the New Visitors Team steps in.

Stanley Park summed up the responsibilities of the NVT: “It covers a lot of ground. We cover everything from parking, to greeting at the front door, the nametags, to the New Visitors Orientation, all the way to the follow up.” The first wave of greeting starts with the people who direct traffic. When the newcomers walk through the doors of Lighthouse, they meet the members of the NVT team that pass out the bulletins; first timers are encouraged to fill out the guestbook for follow-up later on and and they also receive their nametags. Members have their own nametags that are neatly organized by affinity groups.

As part of the team that organizes the nametags in the morning, Grace Mao Wu encourages LBC, “We put them up there so people can identify you…they might not know your name! It’s for the new visitors!”

After service, newcomers are asked to walk past the double doors to the first door on the left to attend the New Visitors Orientation. So what exactly goes on behind that door? Grace Mao Wu says, “We follow up with them during the NVO and get to know them better. They get to hear the gospel presentation and the history of the church.” They also get to hear Lighthouse’s doctrine on baptism and membership as well as ministry opportunities for those eager to get plugged in. And the new visitors that stay for the whole orientation get a small gift at the end—pens with the LBC insignia.

Long after Sunday is over, our new visitors receive a follow up email or phone call from one of the members of the NVT to answer any questions. And once every two months, the NVT hosts a Meet & Greet for the more recent newcomers as a casual enivorntment to eat, talk and to get to know the pastors a little better.

All these tasks are carried out with a greater motivation in mind. “How we greet people is a testimony to how Christ changed us. We want to make sure they’re taken care of, that they’ve had a chance to hear the gospel. It’s greeting all the way to the gospel. That’s relationship building, so you can get to the deeper stuff,” says Stanley Park.

Book Review: The Word of God in English

Book by Leland Ryken

Review by Stephen Hong

Does it really make a different what Bible translation you use? Differences in a few words here and there can’t be very significant as long as they all retain the same meaning, right?

According to Dr. Leland Ryken, in his book The Word of God in English, not all translations of the English Bible are created equal. In fact, many of them come from very divergent philosophies of translation. The central focus in the book is the tension between an essentially literal translation and a dynamic translation. Until the last fifty years, the overarching principle in Bible translation was to reproduce the words of the original to the words of the receptor language. At that time, Eugene Nida introduced the theory of dynamic equivalence, which, briefly summed up, is the emphasis of the reaction of the reader to the translated text, rather than the translation of the words and phrases themselves.

He outlines various fallacies of the dynamic equivalence principle, including fallacies about general translation theory, about the Bible and about the Bible’s audience. As he does so, it became increasingly clear to me how significant it is to hold to an essentially literal text.

Ryken does a great job of fleshing out these principles to actual translation texts. At one point, he focuses on Luke 10:42 and lists the different translations:

“Mary hath chosen the good part” (KJV)

“Mary has chosen the good part” (NASB)

“Mary has chosen the good portion” (ESV)

“Mary has chosen what is better” (TNIV/NIV)

“Mary has chosen what is best” (CEV)

“There is really only one thing worth being concerned about” (NLT)

The first three are from essentially literal texts, which aim to reproduce the original language, word for word (but adjusting syntax to modern English, which is why it is essentially literal). The second three are from dynamic equivalent texts. Notice that the second three makes the comparative element explicit, whereas the first set makes no explicit remark about Martha’s work, or leaves it implicit at best. It may well be the case that the translators of the first set agree with the second set in meaning, but the issue is that the dynamic equivalent translators, at this point, are moving beyond translation to interpreation. By doing so, it is preemptively excluding any possibility for alternative interpretations. Ryken suggests, though, that dynamic equivalent translations do serve as good commentaries or gloss texts, but are not reliable as primary translations.

Ryken, who is a professor of English at Wheaton College, served as a literary scholar on the council working on the English Standard Version several years ago. He gives a decent overview of the history of English translation, but does a more thorough job of dispelling wide-spread fallaceies, and getting into the nitty-gritty of translation principles and theories that must be considered in modern and future translations.

Look at the World Through God’s Eyes

by Pastor Patrick Cho

Lately, Lighthouse has been hearing more and more from Pastor John and me about developing a biblical, Christian worldview. In one sense this means believers need to be able to view the world through God’s eyes. The only way to practically accomplish this is to take the claims, philosophies, and ideologies of the world and pass them through the filter of God’s Word. This is an important issue because too many Christians have not considered the ramifications of it. Understanding what the Bible says concerning our world, our jobs, our families and relationships, and ourselves is tremendously important. Too many Christians who do not give this much thought fall into reasoning like the world.

Part of the problem is that Christianity to many is still a compartmentalized portion of their lives. Even people who may be very involved in the life of the church (attending Bible studies, leading ministries, etc.), may not fully understand what being a Christian means in the workplace, culture, home, and school. While they strive to live according to biblical principles when it comes to spiritual disciplines, they do not consider what impact being a Christian has in their work, studies, and families. When it comes to “extra-religious” areas of their lives, they do not see things through God’s eyes.

This is particularly dangerous because some of the most significant decisions in life are made outside of church life. God never intended for us to compartmentalize our faith. Not having a good understanding of scriptural principles to guide someone through life is extremely detrimental leading inevitably to horrible life choices and unsound counsel. As a result, people are left to make decisions based upon what they reason is fair, right, or good. The problem is that God has not left it to us to determine that. He determines what is fair, right, and good, and we live in response to what He decrees.

This is one of the reasons why we see more and more Christians abandoning biblical principles for what is practically appealing. In evangelism, in an interest to not offend others, Christians shy away from preaching the entire gospel. The gospel becomes a conversation where everyone has a say and is partially right. In the workplace, Christians lie in interviews and on resumes. They cheat in order to gain another rung in the ladder of achievement. All the while, justification is thrown around that everybody does it (the same justification that is used when Christians download songs and software illegally, by the way).

Convictions are being replaced by compromise. Where once we would have had church members be willing to die for the sake of the gospel, we now see them watering the gospel down and making it more “user-friendly” and “culturally sensitive.” There is reluctance in standing for the truth because “the truth divides,” because it means we need to tell someone they are wrong.

Of course this is not to say that people do not matter – that we should not think about what people feel and should preach the truth regardless of an individual’s personal life circumstances. Certainly we can respond to people and meet them where they are. Jesus did! But this does not justify turning the tables on what the Bible clearly teaches is the truth. Jesus did not compromise truth in the name of love. He taught the truth in love. Understanding how truth and love come together in a practical way in everyday life situations requires a development of a strong biblical, Christian worldview. Instead of forcing to fit biblical principles into an antibiblical cultural frame, believers need to learn to stand on convictions and live lives in consistency with what they believe to heighten their testimony and prove that it is God through His Word who changes lives.

Scotland’s First Martyr

by Moon Choi

With these last words, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” Patrick Hamilton died at 24 years old and became Scotland’s first martyr for the Protestant movement.

Born in 1504, Hamilton came from an extremely privileged family. Through his family’s influence, Hamilton was appointed to an Augustinian monastery at the age of 13. Rather than staying in Scotland, he left to study at the University of Paris. It was there that Hamilton encountered Luther’s theology based off of Scripture and Erasmus’s writings and his publication of the Greek New Testament. After earning a Master’s Degree from Paris, Hamilton set out to the Louvain in Belgium which was renown for the study of Greek, Hebrew and Latin.

After his studies in Paris, the 19 year old Hamilton went to St. Andrews University as a graduate student and a teacher. St. Andrews at the time was the Roman Catholic stronghold, “the very Vatican of the church of Scotland” (Tjernagel, 2). Hamilton never stood out as sympathetic to the reformation as he followed all the typical rituals of worship.

In 1525, warning signs of the Reformation in Scotland could be seen. The government took quick action to ban the possession of any reformation literature and decreed warnings about the heresies that would inevitably reach the students at St. Andrews University. With his continental education and his knowledge of reformation theology, Hamilton “was now conclusively brought…to accept the theological and spiritual reform of Luther in preference to the moral and disciplinary reform of his former master, Erasmus” (Tjernagel, 3).

In 1527, Hamilton decided to study Lutheran theology himself and set out for Wittenberg, Germany. Hamilton was able to hear Luther and other religious leaders preach. On top of that, “he found the monasteries deserted, priests married, and the people singing Christian hymns.” (Tjernagel, 3) To add to his already impressive academic resume, that year, Hamilton was in the first class of the University of Marburg. In his class were the English reformers William Tyndale and John Frith. Hamilton, at this time wrote what came to be known as “Patrick’s Places,” a series of textbook exercises which simply pointed to the gospel.

After a term at Marburg, Hamilton, now 23 years old, felt equipped to evangelize at home. He first converted the members of his family. Then he preached to the surrounding towns and countryside, even to the neighboring parish.

As Hamilton was tirelessly preaching the gospel, the Archbishop, Beaton, became aware of his activities. Beaton was in a bind as Hamilton was preaching heresy but was also from an influential family. Beaton bided his time, letting Hamilton continue preaching so that future charges could be indicted. Though pitted against the Hamilton family’s reputation, Beaton decided that Hamilton was to be put to death. Hamilton’s brother, Sir James Hamilton, came to know about his brother’s situation and mustered up a defensive force for his brother. He did not arrive in time. Hamilton, with thorough knowledge of his plight, came to the cathedral to be interrogated. He stood firm in his convictions. Beaton soon learned of Sir James Hamilton’s plans and had Patrick Hamilton kidnapped in the night. He accelerated Hamilton’s trial and had him successfully charged for heresy. That winter morning, Patrick Hamilton was burned from noon until six.

Hamilton was not the only one to fall as a martyr on Beaton’s watch. Eighteen years after his death, George Wishart was also burned. An outraged public violently protested and Beaton was also killed. During the course of his ministry, Wishart encountered a young man, John Knox, who would later become a French galley slave, then a pastor in England and chaplain to the young Kind Edward VI.

Hamilton’s life is remarkable in his pursuit of the knowledge of Scripture. He spent eleven years developing an esteemed academic career in four different countries, seeking to know the pure Word of God. His courage in light of his immediate plight is remarkably mature for someone of his age but one cannot help but realize that it is only natural that after becoming intimately acquainted with the Word, that he would not tremble before man but fearlessly serve his Lord Jesus Christ. (Tjernagel, Neelak S. Patrick Hamilton: Precursor of the Reformation in Scotland. Diss.)

Kent and Romi Hong

by Jennifer Shin

How did they meet?

Kent and Romi were first introduced to each other at a BBQ that a mutual friend (Kent’s co-worker at his previous company and a fellow member at the church Romi attended prior to coming to LBC) was hosting. Romi stated that she and Kent didn’t get to talk because the guys went outside to play poker while the ladies stayed inside the house.

Romi enjoys watching and playing tennis so Kent bought tickets to the Acura Classic Cup for the week after the BBQ and invited her to go with him. There, they were able to get to know each other. The two dated for about six months and were married another six months later on July 29, 2005.

Challenges as a Married Couple

Even during the few years that they’ve been married, both Kent and Romi agree that one of the challenges they constantly face is communication.

Another challenge that they face together is being purposeful in growing spiritually and taking concrete steps in respect to that.

“It goes beyond doing disciplines,” Kent said.

Blessings as a Married Couple

Kent replied that though he knew Romi to be a strong Christian, it’s been a blessing for him to watch her grow.

Romi said that it’s a blessing to have a partner who knows your flaws but still loves and accepts you. She said that it’s not about trying to change the other person. Rather, there is someone who is coaching and encouraging you. She said that it’s a blessing to be with each other. They pray that they can encourage and bless others at church and their family members, placing their focus on others and not on themselves.

Fun Facts

Quirks that they notice about each other:

Romi – Kent takes longer than her to get ready; spontaneous dancing and puts on dancing shows

Kent – Everything always has to be put in Ziplocs.

Favorite Foods

Romi – Seafood, Gummy Bears

Kent – PB on Toast, Ice Cream

Favorite Verses

Kent – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Romi – Philippians 3:8

One Word That Describes the Other Person

Kent about Romi – Giving

Romi about Kent – Trustworthy

John Yang

by Kevin Au

So I’m sure most people already know you are a college student at UCSD. What are you studying?

My major officially is Molecular Bio, but I’m following the track for Human Bio. I initially came in as Bioengineering. It was one of those subjects that I really liked in high school, and I figured, since I was coming to UCSD, I might as well do Bio. I made the switch to Human Biology because I know that being in Bio E wouldn’t really help my GPA, might as well just do Human Bio because it’s more applicable in going to Med School anyways.

Has Med School always been your ambition?

Always? No, I’m still not really completely sure. There are a lot of things you can do with a degree in medicine, and considering other fields like business or law, I felt like I would be less in a position of moral compromise with medicine…Plus, I have Asian parents, you know?

Yeah, I figured…Any siblings?

Yeah, I have 2 brothers. One, my older brother is 3 years older in Med School on the East Coast. My younger brother is going into his second year at UC Davis.

Ah, I see. So where are you from?

Its kinda complicated. I was born in New Jersey, then moved to Taiwan when I was five, then back to New Jersey when I was twelve, then back to Taiwan. I finished my junior and senior years of high school in San Jose, and came to San Diego for college.

Wow, so is Taiwanese your first language?

I actually don’t know Taiwanese. My first languages were concurrently Mandarin and English. I also have more recently been learning Japanese. Taking a class helps. I would really like to study abroad in Japan, but I just don’t really have the time. It wouldn’t help me fulfill my major, it wouldn’t help my grades; it would be just for language.

I think you should go. Anyways, what about your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?

Well, back when I had a life….Video games, anime, manga, board games. I still keep up with manga, I don’t play video games because I don’t have a TV, anime takes too much time. I stopped mostly because I need to study.

So how has God been teaching you lately?

I have been learning much in terms of trusting God with my future, and having faith that God is in control. I had always known it in my head, but as things have gotten difficult, it has really forced me to re-evaluate what I stand for. He was able to strengthen me in terms of my place in His plan. Different circumstances and books have taught me and stressed the importance of humility, godly character, and God-centered focus.

Awesome. So how did you end up here at Lighthouse anyways?

Some people from my home church have come to Lighthouse. When I first got here, Cindy Tsau offered to take me and some friends to visit different churches, and at the end we stuck with Lighthouse. I decided to stay because of Pastor John’s sermons. They were very different from what I’ve heard, and maybe more than anything else, my curiosity kept me coming back.

How long have you been a Christian?

I’d say I became a Christian sometime between the second half of my first year and the first half of my second year. That’s when I really came to an understanding of the gospel. I was baptized in high school, but I really want to be baptized again. I put it off for a while because I was unsure of my salvation, but after I really understood the gospel, and was assured that Jesus is Lord, things got busier, but I don’t want to put it off much longer.

Cool, so tell me something interesting or weird about yourself that not a whole lot of people know.

Umm…well, when I was in 3rd grade I was skating down a hill. I fell, face planted, and ground my teeth into the asphalt. So a portion of my front two teeth are fake (smiles).

Sung Bae

by Grace Wu

Collegians at LBC already know how difficult it is to be a full-time student. But what about adding full-time work on top of it? Singles Ministry member Sung Bae experiences firsthand the incredible time crunch under which he orders his daily activities.

Also known as “Mr. Megabyte” around LBC for his expertise in fixing computers, Sung is originally from Torrance, CA. He graduated from UCLA in 2004 majoring in Computer Science. Currently, he works at Kyocera as a phone engineer and is also an MBA student at University of San Diego at the same time. His usual schedule starts with waking up at 9 a.m., arriving at work at 10 and getting off at 5. From work, he heads straight to USD and attends class until 9 p.m. At around 10 p.m., he finally has time to sit down and spend time with the Lord in his quiet times. At home, his time is spent usually fixing a computer, playing video games, or improving somebody’s resume.

According to his housemate Ji Lee, Sung is the “tech guy” of the Diane house. However, Sung does have other responsibilities other than fixing computers and setting up networks. As a graduate student, academics are also an important part of his schedule. Taking advantage of the late hours, Sung can also be found at his favorite study spot— on the second floor of Geisel Library at UCSD until closing time at 2 a.m.

“[The second floor is] where it’s the noisiest. Noisy environments help me concentrate and studying with other LBCers definitely keeps me going,” Sung stated.

Studying, working, classes, and everything in between—how does Sung manage it all within 24 hours?

“I don’t know how I juggle both,” Sung stated. “There are numerous days where I wake up and contemplate how I’m going to get to the end. I know without God I would fall apart.”

As someone who works and goes to school, is easy to view classes with a dreadful attitude and think of it as just another obstacle to overcome during the day after a long day of work is over. However, for Sung, it is important to keep a good attitude about class. “While I’m at work I can look forward to class. If anything, the fact that I get to listen to a good lecture keeps me going,” Sung stated. Being a student is also an opportunity to shine the light in the classroom. According to Sung, the MBA culture and environment is very focused on success and wealth. Classmates usually ask one another what field of study they want to go into, and the questions and comments that circulate are “Why do you want to do that? It doesn’t make that much money.”

“It sounds silly, but it’s hard to not be caught up in that,” Sung said. As a Christian at USD, which is a private Catholic school, Sung is the minority there with only a handful of fellow Christian classmates with him. A large portion of his classmates is either Catholic or atheist that have a mentality of pursuing wealth.

“I deal with it by choosing not to participate in those conversations. My way of shining the light at school is to uphold my integrity with my classmates. Also, knowing that I can be judged at any moment of being Christian, I have to be prepared to make the right decisions and more importantly to watch what I say.” Outside the classroom and into the church doors, Sung is in training to shine the light at LBC as well. Pastor Steve is currently coaching Sung and preparing him for teaching preschool. “As much as I like playing with kids, I want to put it to better use. Rather than chasing them in the parking lot, I want to put it into something more meaningful,” Sung said. Even though Sung’s schedule where he needs to study and work simultaneously would be considered as too busy, he does not use that as an excuse to not serve in church. It is a challenge to not complain, but he does not use those excuses to not attend church activities.

“Anyone can say that they’re busy, but just manage your time better and take responsibility,” Sung said.


About

The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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