Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

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A former handyman serving life in prison for the 1993 murder of seven people at a suburban Chicago restaurant has been awarded nearly a half-million dollars in a civil lawsuit in which he alleged a jail guard punched him in the face.


Oh Chris… you scoundrel..

[Those of you who know Chris will be shocked by the likeness... They say everyone has a twin somewhere.  Chris's is in Illinois]

Dispensationalism (And Christian Zionism) Explained in 3 Steps

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How to be a Dispensationalist:

1. Replace over 1,800 years of Christian teaching on Church/Israel with new doctrine.
2. Call the historic position of the Church “replacement theology.”
3. Don’t see the irony.

[Via Lutheran Satire]

Scholarly Work and the “Blogosphere”

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Amen and Amen! Books are for research. Blogs aren’t.

Originally posted on Larry Hurtado's Blog:

I’ve been puzzled in recent days by some readers whose comments suggest that they expect that sound scholarly analysis of serious historical questions can be conveyed persuasively in blog-postings and/or replies to comments.  There seems to be some notion that they shouldn’t have to read books and articles, plow through the data, etc.  So, they ask a question; I respond briefly and point them to some book or article for fuller and more adequate discussion; but then the responses sometimes suggest the folk posing the questions really can’t be bothered.  Yet they often seem to have firm opinions on the issues involved, challenging me to dislodge them to their satisfaction.  So, I think it’s well to try some clarification of things here.

Scholarly work intended to have an impact on the field isn’t done in blogging.  The amount of data, its complexity, the analysis and argumentation involved, and the engagement…

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A Multi-Part Review of ‘Bible Secrets Revealed’

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I confess to being mystified as to why CSNTM is reviewing this series and I’m even more mystified as to why they are just getting to part 3 now.  Is it airing again or something?  They reviewed the first two parts in May.  Did someone go on vacation, for several months?

Anyway, my mystification aside, they remark

Before looking at some examples in the four Gospels, the view of women in one of the Gnostic gospels, the Gospel of Thomas, provides a rather disparaging view of women. In it is the following dialogue between Peter and Jesus:

“Simon Peter said to them, ‘Make Mary leave us, for females don’t deserve life.’ Jesus said, ‘Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven’” (Gospel of Thomas, 114).

This quote was not mentioned at any time in the episode. Had any of the New Testament Gospels included a statement this bizarre and offensive toward women, there is no doubt it would have received much attention. Rather, it can be argued that the New Testament Gospels diminish the role of men and elevate the status of women.

My own memory of the episode aligns with this suggestion.  Gnostic stuff which bolstered the view of King et al was highlighted and stuff like the above is nonchalantly skipped.

Anyway, take a look at the review series.  It’s pretty spot on.

Just Causes and Such Things: An Observation

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No one who kills a child is just, and neither is their cause.

Quote of the Day

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John Calvin: “A man will find that they who are converted to the gospel often take most liberty to do evil. It would seem that a number have not gained anything by the gospel but to busy themselves by crafty devices to ensnare other men’s goods.”

St. Jerome on Hatred and Murder

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jeromeThe apostle and evangelist John rightly says, in his first epistle, that “whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer.”  For, since murder often springs from hate, the hater, even though he has not yet slain his victim, is at heart a murderer.

Why, you ask, do I begin in this style? Simply that you and I may both lay aside past ill feeling and cleanse our hearts to be a habitation for God. “Be ye angry,” David says, “and sin not,” or, as the apostle more fully expresses it, “let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”

What then shall we do in the day of judgment, upon whose wrath the sun has gone down not one day but many years? The Lord says in the Gospel: “If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

Woe to me, wretch that I am; woe, I had almost said, to you also. This long time past we have either offered no gift at the altar or have offered it whilst cherishing anger “without a cause.” How have we been able in our daily prayers to say “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,” whilst our feelings have been at variance with our words, and our petition inconsistent with our conduct?

Therefore I renew the prayer which I made a year ago in a previous letter, that the Lord’s legacy of peace may be indeed ours, and that my desires and your feelings may find favor in His sight.

Soon we shall stand before His judgment seat to receive the reward of harmony restored or to pay the penalty for harmony broken. In case you shall prove unwilling—I hope that it may not be so—to accept my advances, I for my part shall be free. For this letter, when it is read, will insure my acquittal.  – Jerome, Letters.

Why do I mention this?  Because all the violence in the world today and throughout human history has its roots in hatred.  Hatred brings forth murder and murder brings forth war.  And yet most are too foolish to notice the connection.  The cure for war is the abolition of hatred.