Zwinglius Redivivus

Archive for the ‘pseudo-scholarship’ Category

What Sheffield Has Done is Dishonest, Misleading, and Disgusting

In 2009, the University of Sheffield proposed to close the Department of Biblical Studies, perhaps the world’s foremost and most innovative biblical studies department.

The response included a barrage of letters protesting the plan from academics worldwide. Many of the letters are preserved on the Save Biblical Studies website. Responding to these protests, the University promised to retain the Department of Biblical Studies and to strengthen it.

But as early as 2014, the University of Sheffield again decided to disband the Department. The Department no longer exists, and current academic staff are now employed to a “Research Institute for Biblical Studies“, which has been interpreted as a short-term stop-gap measure before biblical studies at Sheffield ceases completely.

But what about all those academic protests? Did they count for nothing? Not at all. The letters of protest have been mined by the University of Sheffield, and used as marketing endorsements for biblical studies at Sheffield.

Appallingly, the University has taken letters of protest, culled them, edited out bits, and then made use of them as though they were promotions of the new Research unit-

All of these endorsements were culled from the letters of protest written in 2009 against the closure of the Department. They are now being used as “endorsements” of the University of Sheffield after the closure of the Department. To be clear, the protests are all being callously misrepresented as unqualified positive statements about biblical studies at Sheffield University.

Read the whole evidentiary piece here.  I’ve never been more dismayed by an academic institution before.  Someone is a deceiver at Sheffield and worse than Mark Driscoll in his or her misuse of material.

UPDATE:  Here’s a screenshot of the cropped and misleading quotes, for that inevitable moment when the University yanks that segment of its page.


Written by Jim

September 1, 2014 at 08:13

Posted in pseudo-scholarship

I’m Not Sure ‘Creationism’ is the Same thing as Radical Islamism… But the British Government Thinks So

In an attempt to crack down on religious ‘extremism,’ Britain’s Education Secretary has announced that any schools that teach creation will be stripped of government funding.

Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary of Great Britain, delivered a statement to Parliament late last month, in which she condemned the spread of religious views within British schools. Citing a recently-released report, Morgan particularly emphasized the danger of radical Islamic beliefs infiltrating Britain’s classrooms.

“There has been no evidence of direct radicalisation or violent extremism,” Morgan stated. “But there is a clear account in the report of people in positions of influence in these schools, with a restricted and narrow interpretation of their faith, who have not promoted fundamental British values and who have failed to challenge the extremist views of others.”

The report mentioned by Morgan also denounces the teaching of creation in public schools, suggesting that anti-evolution beliefs are comparable to radical Islam. One section of the report claims that creation beliefs equate to “teaching belief as fact.”

Ok that’s just weird, and a bit silly.  Actually, more than a bit since I have yet to hear of one adherent of Creationism strap bombs to herself and blow up a bus.

Written by Jim

August 16, 2014 at 11:35

They’re ‘Excavating’ [Sic!] in Kentucky for the Ark…

A bit of fun poking double entendre in the title of the post concerning the story here…

Workers are clearing land in northern Kentucky to build a long-stalled tourist attraction featuring Noah’s Ark.

Ken Ham, head of the Christian ministry Answers in Genesis, posted video of the excavation work on his Facebook page this week.

It is the first sign of large-scale construction activity at the site in Grant County since plans for the 510-foot long biblical ark were announced by Answers in Genesis in 2010. The project had been delayed when private donations did not keep pace with the construction timeline.

“They’re doing all the site work now to get the spot ready,” Michael Zovath, the project’s coordinator, said Thursday. Zovath said heavy machinery will eventually push away about a million cubic feet of earth and rock to make way for the 200-acre ark site and parking lot.

Oh.  Boy.  Just think how many out of work academics can serve as tour guides!!!!!!  Take heart recent grads, you can work for Ham!

Written by Jim

August 15, 2014 at 10:22

Twitter Theology That Makes Me Sigh


The problem with Evans’ ‘theology’ is twofold- first, the Bible knows no such beast as ‘unconditional forgiveness’.  Forgiveness is based on repentance and it isn’t the vapid empty ‘hand wave’ that non-theologian journalists wish it was.  And second, Christian theology throughout its generations has never attempted to describe such a thing as unconditional forgiveness.

As I’ve said for a good while, forgiveness without repentance is merely permission to continue to rebel.

Evans may be a good writer, but she is an awful theologian.  When she tries her hand at it, it just provokes more than a little sighing and a good bit of nausea.

Maybe in 50 Years the Person who Inscribed the ‘James’ Ossuary Will Come Forward as Well…

The mysterious rune stone that disappeared from the shores of Pojac Point, strangely resurfaced and has been concealed under lock and key, now adds another chapter to its odd tale.  Plans to put it on public display in Updike Park were suspended after a Providence man said he carved the runic letters in 1964.  Adding to the whodunit is the fact that people who lived near the stone in the 1950s say they remember seeing the carvings before 1964.

The enigmatic stone, sometimes called the Narragansett Rune Stone or Quidnessett Rock, is a 6-ton, 7-foot-long boulder that came to public attention in 1984, when a quahogger noticed its carved symbols, visible only at low tide. Archaeologists, geologists and historians have debated whether it is evidence of Viking exploration. Disappearing from Pojac Point in June 2012, causing a dispute among neighbors, it was recovered by the attorney general’s office in April 2013, and kept under wraps at the University of Rhode Island. Experts, one from as far away as Sweden, have studied it, and the state Department of Environmental Management was planning to display it in the park.

Everett Brown, 63, of Providence, has added another layer to the story, coming forward to say that he carved the Norse-like letters 50 years ago.

Fraud.  Ain’t it glorious…  Maybe the guy who inscribed the ‘James Ossuary will come forward one day too.

Written by Jim

August 3, 2014 at 12:40

Richard Dawkins is the UK’s Ann Coulter

Like Coulter, he is a publicity whore.  Like Coulter, he seldom knows what he’s talking about.  Like Coulter, he loves the spotlight.  Like Coulter, he befouls himself with more ignorance about theology and religion than a herd of swine wallowing in their own excrement.  Like Coulter, he is either a moron, a liar, or a complete imbecile.  Perhaps it’s all three.

In any event, Richard Dawkins is the UK’s Ann Coulter.  And he should be understood as such.  Nothing more.


The Most Ignorant Paper I’ve Ever Read

Is this one, which I only made it 1/3 through before my head exploded from the blatant and unrepentant stupidity.


Written by Jim

July 26, 2014 at 08:22


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