Daily Archives: 14 Feb 2010

Total Depravity: Another Church Shooting

Out in Richmond, California,

Three young men with black sweatshirt hoods pulled over their heads walked into a packed church service in Richmond today, where one of them opened fire and wounded two teenagers sitting in the pews, police said.

Simply awful.

… the suspects had paced up and down an aisle – apparently looking for one or more targets – before shooting the victims near the back of the church. Church members “were going to ask them to remove their hoods” before the shooting, he said.

Pray for the church where this happened- and the victims, and their families. And a country where these kinds of things keep happening time after time. A sick society, where violence and selfishness reign supreme.

Pet Peeves That Peeve

I suppose Gavin has tapped into my just-below-the-surface rage by mentioning what has to be the one thing that annoys me more than just about anything else, including slow drivers, dilettantes, atheists, and snooty Lutherans- the use of ‘Revelations’ when the proper term for the Biblical book is ‘Revelation’.

Anyone who calls ‘Revelation’ ‘Revelations’ should be stripped of all degrees, forced to work as a greeter at Wal-Mart for six months, and then allowed, and only then, to mention the Bible in casual conversation.

If you don’t know the names of the books of the Bible, but you’re a ‘Professor of Religion’, your institution has been ripped off.  You don’t have a clue.   If you can’t get something so simple as a title correct, there’s no way you can be trusted to understand, much less interpret, the content of that text.

Calling ‘Revelation’ ‘Revelations’ is pure and unmixed total depravity, dilettantism, wretchedness, and perversity.

Judas Was Turned by the Romans into an Informant?

That’s what Gerry Adams, the Sinn Féin leader said as host of a series on the Bible airing in the United Kingdom.

Besides his idea about Judas being a little odd, the fact that Adams is the host is raising ire.

Willie Frazer, who runs a victims’ group, said that the prospect of Mr Adams featuring in a documentary about the Bible and forgiveness was disgusting. “Would the victims of 9/11 accept a programme where extremist Islamic terrorists were allowed to frame their actions in terms of religion?” he asked.

But he’s got some high profile scholars on his side.

He [Adams] was accompanied on his journey through the Holy Land by Helen Bond, senior lecturer in New Testament language, literature and theology at the University of Edinburgh. Dr Bond said Mr Adams “spent hours arguing whether first-century Galilee was ‘occupied’ and the meaning of ‘democracy’ in ancient societies”. She says on her blog that she learnt from Mr Adams. “Judas’s betrayal was another area where Gerry’s perspective helped me to see things rather differently.” Dr Bond said that while she had always approached Judas intellectually, “Gerry instinctively understood the defection of a ‘gang member’. “ ‘Yeah, that’s what happens,’ he said, ‘they got to him’.

Give the piece a read.

As for myself, I can’t think of any reason why Judas would betray Jesus- to the Jewish priests- if he were a Roman informant. It really doesn’t make sense. And if the Romans wanted to arrest Jesus, they hardly needed Judas’s help. They simply could have, and would have, arrested Jesus without use of Judas.

Adam’s theory sounds like the same sort of eisegesis found too commonly these days. Some modern guy thinks he sees a parallel between his own situation and a story in the Bible and so he superimposes his own worldview onto the Bible. Such moves tell us nothing about the events in the Bible, however. Nothing.

How Fat Is Too Fat To Fly?

‘Silent Bob’ fat perhaps?

Filmmaker Kevin Smith, fresh from delivering a speech at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, unleashed his fury on Southwest Airlines after the pilot on Smith’s flight from Oakland to Burbank ejected him for being “too fat to fly” Saturday evening. “I’m way fat, but I’m not there just yet,” Smith wrote on his Twitter.com account after the incident, adding that he was able to lower both arm rests at his seat. “I broke no regulation.”

He’s not as large as people I’ve seen on flights before. Indeed, I’ve seen folk on planes who easily occupied two seats and oozed over into the third. The pilot must not have liked on of ‘Bob’s’ films.

Eglon would never have been let on a plane.  He was so fat, when Ehud shoved the knife through him Eglon’s blubber swallowed it.  Now that’s fat.

I’m betting Southwest will be sorry its pilot did what he did.

The NCAA Is Banning Eye Black Adverts

Now that Tim Tebow is out of school, the NCAA has decided to ban the decorations some athletes scrawl under their eyes.

Taking effect in the 2010 season is the banning of all words, logos, numbers or other symbols on the players’ eye black. This aligns with the NFL, which won’t allow Tebow or any other player to express themselves with eye black during games. Tebow’s last chance to sport a Bible verse in game action might have been at the Senior Bowl on Jan. 30, when Tebow wore James 1:2-4. Florida coach Urban Meyer once said he didn’t scan his locker room as a “eye-black cop.” Now he doesn’t need to police anything.

Is eye black scrawling something the NCAA needs to occupy itself policing? Shouldn’t they spend their time doing more important things like making sure athletes go to class and do their own work rather than having it done by tutors?

The NCAA doesn’t really stand for the National Collegiate Athletic Association- it stands for Never Concerned About Academics.

Evolution Sunday? Nah

Credo in Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae – The Apostle’s Creed.

This good and almighty God created all things, both visible and invisible, by his co-eternal Word, and preserves them by his co-eternal Spirit, as David testified when he said: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth” (Ps. 33:6). And, as Scripture says, everything that God had made was very good, and was made for the profit and use of man. Now we assert that all those things proceed from one beginning. — The Second Helvetic Confession.

It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good. — Westminster Confession

How God did it is his own business, that he did it is indisputable. That Churches will hear sermons today on Darwin is inexcusable. Sermons should be theocentric, not anthropocentric. That Pastors can, and will, ignore this basic theological truth is heretical, and preachers who preach about Darwin are nothing other than heretics. Church is about God, not Darwin, or you, or me.

Total Depravity: Misbehaving Lawyers

In this woeful era of mortgage foreclosures in the hundreds of thousands, greasy lawyers have found a way to take advantage of the already down-and-out.

Ripoffs of homeowners have become so commonplace that state bar associations from Florida to Arizona are warning their members of the many ethical pitfalls awaiting those who exploit the mortgage crisis. The California State Bar launched a task force a year ago to examine thousands of homeowner complaints about foreclosure lawyers. Currently, the California Bar is investigating more than 400 attorneys who are suspected of ripping off thousands of homeowners across the country.

No one should be surprised that lawyers are taking advantage of people- or that they are totally depraved. Most politicians, after all, spring from their rotten roots.

What I’m Reading Now

Emil Brunner’s withering slaughter of the theology of FDE Schleiermacher.

This one has, sadly, never been translated into English (why not????  It’s an amazing piece of polemic which devastates the very sort of theology underpinning ’emergent’ theology and modern (pseudo)ecclesiology.)   And besides never having been translated, it’s nearly impossible to find.

In this amazingly under-appreciated tome Brunner simply obliterates Schleiermacher’s notions of God and faith.  When he’s done, there’s nothing left of the old ‘liberal’ theology championed by Schleiermacher.  Schleier-macher is ‘shredded to ribbons’.  The theology of the mystic is set aside the theology of the Word, and the Word wins!

The best thing about this book, aside from its wit, is it’s unapologetic contempt.  Brunner simply loathes Schleiermacher and isn’t afraid to show it.  On nearly every page.

Roland Deines: On the Study of Theology

Deines teaches at the University of Nottingham.

With thanks to Daniel Sihombing for pointing it out (on FB).

And A Happy Singles Awareness Day (SAD) To You Too!

While those in romantic relationships will spend the day embracing, do give a thought for the multitudes for whom Valentine’s Day is nothing but Singles Awareness Day– also known as SAD.

SAD is that annual event during which persons without partners are painfully reminded of the fact that they are alone.

So thanks, Hallmark, for making a holiday intent on hurting people’s feelings…

And to the rest of you, pray for a SAD person today.

Looking For a Job?

Executive Director
Metanexus Institute (Pennsylvania)
(date posted: 02/14/2010)

Assistant/Associate Professor of Religion
Brewton-Parker College (Georgia)
(date posted: 02/12/2010)

Full-Time Faculty, Theology
Azusa Pacific University (California)
(date posted: 02/08/2010)

Professor of Christian Education
Campbell University Divinity School (North Carolina)
(date posted: 02/03/2010)