Coke Classic and the Need for a NIV Classic

Classic Coke and Classic NIV

New Coke/Coke Classic

Most of you probably┬áremember Coca-Cola’s brief foray into changing the formula of the popular soft drink. It was called “New Coke” and it was an attempt by Coca-Cola to gain market share among a key demographic, youth, an age group that was favoring Pepsi. It backfired. Although “New Coke” showed promise in many parts of the country, it was soundly rejected in the South, where Coca-Cola us based (Atlanta).

The strong Southern rejection spread. Comedians mocked Coke, fans at a Houston Astros baseball game booed a Coke advertisement. Within three months, Coca-Cola announced the return of the original formula, in a product called “Coke Classic.” Loyal Coke fans rejoiced. On the Senate floor, Arkansas Democrat David Pryor called the decision by Coca-Cola “a meaningful moment in U. S. history.” I’m not sure what that says about our country; perhaps it says more about the gentleman from Arkansas. Nonetheless, America as a whole must have agreed because the brief “New Coke” fiasco and it’s merciful conclusion thrust the Coca-Cola company into a period of renewed success as king of the soft drink world, a success that has been uninterrupted even to this day.

Biblica and the NIV Translation

Formerly known as the International Bible Society, Biblica is the worldwide publisher and copyright holder of the New International Version of the Bible. A self-governing group of Bible scholars, known as the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) is responsible for the content of the NIV. Originally published back in 1978, the NIV went through an update in 1984, which was followed by a couple of decades of remarkable popularity among English Bibles, even supplanting the venerable King James Version (KJV) as the best-selling English Bible. In 2009 Biblica announced that they would be releasing an update again in 2011, not coincidentally on the 400th anniversary of the KJV. The “new” NIV was indeed released in March of 2011.

“And what does this have to do with Coke?”

Glad you asked.

Continue reading Coke Classic and the Need for a NIV Classic

Book Review: “Jesus is _________________.” by Judah Smith


I’ll be honest. There are four reasons why I wasn’t expecting much out of this book: (1) The title and subtitle. The blank in the title kind of scared me. Does this mean he is going to promote Jesus as whatever you want/need Him to be? And the subtitle? “Find a New Way to Be Human”? I don’t think people need a find a new way to be human; I think people need to be saved! (2) I looked at Judah’s picture on the back and googled his name and saw a couple of other pictures of him and my first impression is that he was one of those “cool” hipster pastors who spent more time contemplating his wardrobe than meditating on God’s truths. (3) Foreword by Bubba Watson, 2012 Masters Champion. I prefer “Foreword by J. I. Packer” if that tells you anything. I tend to roll my eyes at a pro athlete endorsing a book on Christology. (4) Based on the above, and probably throw in a little bit of my impression of the colorful design of the book, and I was fully expecting something shallow and surface-level.

I was wrong. I was completely caught off guard by the power of this book. Sure, there were times when I wished Smith would have provided a little more theological precision and clarity, especially regarding the depravity of man. But that didn’t keep me from drinking in the fresh and clear ways in which Smith communicated the love and grace of God. 1st John 4:16 says, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” In this book, Judah Smith has certainly helped train my eye on God’s love for me.

If you are someone who wasn’t ever loved well, or if you were raised in an environment which was legalistic and rigid, filled with rules, or if you simply struggle to believe that God could truly love someone who has sinned so much, I urge you to get this book and soak in it’s refreshing message. Here are some examples of Gospel-centered statements that can help liberate you to enjoy God’s love:

“Even in our darkest moments of sin and self-centeredness, God still loves us.” – p. 46

“Our righteousness doesn’t depend on our present performance but on Jesus’s finished performance.” – p. 68

“God isn’t just willing to forgive sinners – he is passionate about it.” – p. 73

“God is just as pleased with us as he is with his Son.” – p. 76

“If we have faith in Jesus and his work on the cross, then we are as righteous right now as we ever need to be. We can’t add to it, and we can’t take away from it.” – p. 101

These are just a few of the many gems found in “Jesus is ___________.”

BTW, I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.