Daily Archives: 21 Jan 2010

Technological Lunacy Has a Name, And It’s Blippy

You’ll know what I mean as soon as you read this CNN interview.  Technology has plumbed the depths and trespassed  into territory where it doesn’t belong for absolutely no purpose whatsoever aside from the perverse interests of depraved souls.

Our culture is finding more and more ways to play exhibitionist.  Blippy is Twitter times 100 in terms of its exhibitionistic intentions.

William Dever, The Kingdom of Solomon, And…

His continuing efforts to straddle the fence.

Dever, a leading figure in biblical archaeology for nearly half a century, was the guest speaker for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Biblical Archaeology Lecture sponsored by the seminary’s Charles D. Tandy Archaeology Museum and Tandy Institute of Archaeology.

At a lecture there Dever said, purely pandering to his audience,

“Tonight, I want to talk about the age of Solomon, but before I do that, I want to set it up by telling you something about a school of European biblical scholarship,” Dever said. “These people call themselves revisionists because they are rewriting the history of ancient Israel, but when they finish, there is no history. They call themselves revisionists. I call them nihilists.”

He also

… encouraged students to study archaeology and urged Southwestern to train biblical archaeologists who can challenge the skeptics in the field. Biblical archaeology, especially in the United States, is in “disarray,” he said. Many academic programs are floundering, and some have been shut down or replaced by academic programs emphasizing modern Middle Eastern studies.

‘Biblical archaeology’ is a failed methodology because it is ideologically driven.  Dever is encouraging the field to move backwards.  For shame.

A Leading Haitian Theologian Discusses Robertson’s Remark and Other Things

CT recently spoke with prominent Haitian theologian Dieumeme Noelliste, currently professor of theological ethics at Denver Seminary and president of the Caribbean Evangelical Theological Association.

Here’s the bit on Robertson:

I was concerned by the point raised by a leading figure in American conservative Christianity (Pat Robertson), this notion that Haiti is cursed due to an 18th century meeting. This is really simplistic, very facile, in fact very rude and crude. This is not the time to raise such a question. And it’s very simplistic: Haiti had not yet formed as a nation when this syncretistic practice took place. In fact, by the time Haiti had leaders who could speak on behalf of the country, these leaders spoke against voodoo. Anti-voodoo campaigns were led by the church with the support of the state. So that kind of statement makes a mockery of the God that we serve; is God so impotent that he can’t outdo Satan? Haiti is overwhelmingly Christian.

Read the whole brief piece. It’s very nicely done.

Something For the Intertestamentally Interested

The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha:

Charlesworth in paperback. That’s pretty great. Click the cover and be magically transported to Eisenbrauns.

Sad News: The Death of Abraham Malamat

I am sorry to convey the sad message that Professor (emeritus) Abraham
Malamat of the Hebrew University has passed away today January 21 at
the age of 87. The funeral will take place at Har Hamenuchot cemetery, Jerusalem on Sunday. Via Joseph Lauer.

Malamat was a gifted scholar whose work has had, and will have, a lasting impact.

Prop 8 Trial: The ‘Religion Is Hostile to Gays’ Argument Won’t Fly

Lawyers defending California’s gay marriage ban produced campaign fliers and other documents Thursday showing some churches in the state opposed the 2008 ballot measure that established the ban. … Stanford University professor Gary M. Segura spent his second day on the witness stand under cross-examination by David Thompson, a lawyer representing Proposition 8 backers. Thompson sought to undercut Segura’s earlier testimony that gays are politically powerless in the United States and to show U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker that some churches in the state campaigned against the gay marriage ban.

So the ‘it’s just us against the whole wide world’ argument won’t work. Neither will the ‘we’re the only victims of persecution” argument.

Thompson also sought to counter Segura’s assertion that gays are the targets of more violent hate crimes than any other group, and that such events increased in California and nationally during the campaign for Proposition 8. Thompson introduced as evidence news coverage of Proposition 8 supporters being assaulted, getting death threats and being subjected to economic boycotts to argue the gay rights movement lost support because of such incidents.

The trial continues…

Is This Really A Newsworthy Story?

Or an early April Fool’s joke on the news-junkie public?

Supplies of Belgium’s top brands [of beer] – Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe – are rapidly running low in bars and supermarkets as unions have set up blockades outside the country’s largest breweries to protest proposed job cuts. For nearly two weeks, picketers have stacked crates and set fires to block the entrances to the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, in the city of Leuven, as well as other plants. The protesters have not only prevented any beer from leaving the breweries, they’ve also stopped the raw ingredients and packaging materials from getting in.

What a (non)tragedy…  Maybe the Belgians can drink milk now.  In fact, maybe the nation’s dairy cows are behind the whole thing.  Maybe it’s the perfect way to cut down on drunk driving.  Perhaps it’s Divine Providence!

Annoying ‘Lost’ Fans

That is, ‘Lost’ fans are already annoying enough, but according to the Onion, they’re going to be even more annoying now (as if that were even possible!)

See the report here.

The ‘Prosperity (False) Gospel’ Takes A Beating

Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide? @ Yahoo! Video. Via James Spinti

News From Haiti

From the Tennessee Baptist Convention Disaster Relief leadership:

Many people are eager to respond to the heartbreaking disaster in Haiti. There are serious infrastructure and coordination issues that are hampering the disaster relief response. Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief continues to be in daily communication with our partners: Baptist Global Response (Southern Baptist Entity with primary responsibility for International disaster response), the Florida Baptist Convention, North American Mission Board and our sister state conventions. BGR, Florida Baptists, IMB and North American Mission Board now have personnel on the ground in Haiti and are feeding information back to us on conference calls daily.

A primary hindrance to Southern Baptists sending in teams is the transportation issues. The airport in Port-au-Prince is still closed to commercial flights. The 200 mile trip from Santo Domingo to Port-au- Prince that would normally take 7 hours to drive now takes 18 hours. All roads are heavily damaged and vehicular travel is very slow and extremely hazardous. Another issue is the safety and security of volunteers. There are no secure areas for teams to sleep. When teams are deployed, they will more than likely be sleeping in tents.

At this time Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief is not collecting any items to be shipped to Haiti. The docks at Port-au-Prince are expected to be closed for up to 90 days and non-governmental air cargo is very limited. Our Southern Baptist leadership has requested that money be given to be used to buy items needed in bulk. We are praying that shipping ports will re-open soon and more supplies can be sent.

BGR and NAMB are telling us that it could be 90 to 120 days before Disaster Relief teams are needed in Haiti. When called upon the teams that will go will be food distribution, medical, restoration, rebuild and chaplains. It is anticipated that this response to Haiti will last three years and perhaps longer. We as Southern Baptists want those people in Haiti to know we will be there for the long haul. Thank you for your continued patience as we seek the best way to respond to the needs of the people of Haiti.

For now, we hope you will continue to pray, give, and prepare to go. Follow this link to give online or by check. http://www.tnbaptist.org/page.asp?page=99 All funds will be used for victims assistance according to our Board-adopted policy on designated Disaster Relief contributions. You can also see information and even download bulletin inserts by going to www.namb.net/haiti

You can also follow these links to regular updates from Baptist Global Response http://www.baptistglobalresponse.com/new/.

That’s Some Strange Church Behavior

Out in Kansas.

A hearing on Wednesday shed some light on the activities at New Covenant Faith Center, a church that’s come under a very public investigation by Sheriff Mike Sharp‘s office. The sheriff’s office removed cash, computers and firearms in the course of a search of the church, the parsonage and a “retreat.” The church pastor, Lloyd D. Sartain, was taken into custody and released without being charged.

What’s the deal?

Some church members have reported wrongdoing in the organization, deputies said. Some neighbors said they think Pastor Lloyd Sartain is “corrupt” and that it’s a cult-like church.

That doesn’t bode well.  Yes… It’s all very odd.

It Has Arrived!

It. It’s got some fantastic essays. Now I have something to read this weekend.

Calvin: On Scripture and the Enthusiasts

Those who abandon scripture and imagine some other way to come to God are not so much deceived by error as they are excited by sheer craziness. From that kind of folk have come forth irrational fools who presumptuously claim the teaching of the Spirit, despising all instruction and ridiculing the simpleness of those who still follow the letter of scripture which is, as they call it, dead and killing. But I would like to hear from these people who this spirit is, by whose inspiration they are so carried away that they dare to despise the teaching of scripture as childish and too base? — John Calvin

[Sheer craziness… irrational fools… there it is!]

Cargill’s Expose of Jimmy Barfield

Worth reading, every word of it.   In sum- dilettantes should simply keep their hands off of archaeology.

Guilty

A jury in Waco, Texas, found former Baptist minister Matt Baker guilty of murder after more than seven hours of deliberation Jan. 20.

So endeth the tale of the mistress using murdering Pastor.

John Edwards Admits To Being A Liar…

And to being the father of his mistresse’s baby…  Oh don’t look so surprised.  He’s a politician, a lawyer.  What else could we expect but behavior totally depraved?

Former presidential candidate John Edwards has admitted fathering his former campaign videographer’s daughter. In a statement released to NBC News, Edwards said, “I am Quinn’s father…It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me.” The admission comes after months of denials from Edwards that he fathered former mistress Rielle Hunter’s daughter, Frances Quinn. The revelation also comes a week before his former campaign aide, Andrew Young, is set to appear in an ABC interview saying he posed as the father as a favor to Edwards. The two-time presidential candidate also admitted to providing financial support to the child and said in the statement that he has “reached an agreement with her mother to continue providing support in the future.” “To all those I have disappointed and hurt these words will never be enough, but I am truly sorry,” Edwards said.

Edwards is only admitting all this because he wants to take the wind out of the sail of his former campaign aid spills the beans. ‘Get ahead of the story…’ – that’s the politician’s way. It has nothing whatsoever to do with authentic regret; it’s just another political move. America, behold, thy politically minded ‘public servants’.

Irony and Antiquities

In a display of what might be called ironic chutzpah, burglars broke into an Ashdod museum this week and stole silver coins from the Hellenistic period and other archaeological finds that were part of an exhibit called “Antiquities Thieves in Israel.” The exhibit, at the Korin Maman Museum, displayed artifacts that the Israel Antiquities Authority had previously recovered from antiquities thieves. Now it seems the authority will have to begin its hunt all over again.

Now that’s irony. Via Joseph Lauer.