Daily Archives: 29 Nov 2010

Total Depravity: The High School Hostage Taker

Police say an armed student is holding 23 other students and 1 teacher hostage inside a high school in Marinette, Wis.  Police Chief Jeff Skorik says no injuries had been reported inside Marinette High School as of Monday evening.

America’s gun culture strikes again. Pray for America’s conversion as well as for the safety of all those involved and at the mercy of yet another manifestation of madness.

UPDATE: CNN has more information here.

Despicable White Racists

These ‘people’ (one is tempted to call them sub-human) are the low water mark of humanity and really should be locked away where their infectious and vile racism can’t come into contact with decent citizens.

Three friends had just finished their shifts at a McDonald’s when prosecutors say they carried out a gruesome attack on a customer: They allegedly shaped a coat hanger into a swastika, placed it on a heated stove and branded the symbol on the arm of the mentally disabled Navajo man. Authorities say they then shaved a swastika on the back of the 22-year-old victim’s head and used markers to scrawl messages and images on his body, including “KKK,” `’White Power,” a pentagram and a graphic image of a penis. The men have become the first in the nation to be charged under a new law that makes it easier for the federal government to prosecute people for hate crimes. The case also marked the latest troubling race-related attack in this New Mexico community, prompting a renewed focus among local leaders on improving relations between Navajos and whites.

There’s more than enough total depravity out there but this lot is a gross example of that disease. They should obviously be placed in small cells and tossed little chunks of raw meat and small cups of water as is fitting for beasts.

Call For Papers: Magic and Divination in the Biblical World

Call for Papers
Magic and Divination in the Biblical World
European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, August 8-11 2011:

Chairs: Helen Jacobus, jacobus.helen@gmail.com, Philippe Guillaume, philippe.guillaume@gmail.com and Anne Katrine Gudme, akgudme@hotmail.com.

The aim of the group is to investigate the practices of divination and magic: the practitioners and those who used them, issues of prohibition, and the relationship between magic and/or divination and religion. New approaches in this field with regards to the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and archaeological research are welcome.

Participants are welcome to submit their papers the 2011 session at Thessalonki for publication in a volume with Gorgias Press. If you have any queries or would like to discuss your possiblecontribution before submitting your proposal through the EABS website, please feel free to contact. Email: < jacobus.helen@gmail.com>.

We look forward to meeting you. The call for paper closes on January 31st 2010. Link to the EABS website: http://www.eabs.net/conf.aspx

Jeff Fisher Should be Fired: He Has Assembled a Team of Thugs

Jeff Fisher has somehow or other created an environment in the Titans camp which seems bent on stupid thuggishness. He needs to be replaced before the Titans are known as the Nashville Thuggans (though it’s probably too late).

Ireland’s Politicians Are More Honorable than America’s

The Irish are hopping mad for the same reason Americans are hopping mad: government bailouts of banks and financial firms. But give the Irish parliamentarians credit for “keeping it real.” Whether facing the Irish public or the Irish pubs, the Irish pols do not hide from the public as do their American counterparts.

Read Mr Ventre’s entire essay.  It’s a true picture of the difference between Irish politicians and American politicians.

The 2010 Biblioblogger Christmas Album is Out!

Many of your favorite bloggers and scholars, aside from being terribly interesting and fascinating writers, are also accomplished musicians.  Unknown to most, at the end of SBL this year, they got together and sang their favorite songs for a new CD: Bloggers And Scholars at Christmas-Tide.  Here are the tracks and the fine, fine blogger/scholar singers who sang them:

Tommy Verenna
Mark Stevens (who knew he could sing so badly?)
The Context Group, led by Bruce Malina
Scot McKnight
NT Wright
NT Wrong (he’s not dead yet)
David Ker (I know, I thought he was dead too!)
Madeleine Flannagan (I know, she seems so normal!)
and last but not least, the NT Wright Groupies with special guests James Crossley and Mike Bird.

Bob Cargill on the Golbian Self Disclosure

Bob’s done a good job exposing the error of Raphael Golb’s ways in his latest rather strange behavior.  The ashen white figure to the left is said Golb as he’s led out of court for his jail stint.   He’s not had a very good day since.

Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

On a plane between New York and Chicago…

People have gone to interesting lengths to avoid pat downs or full body scans at U.S. airports. In Los Angeles, one woman wore a bikini through a security checkpoint to avoid the scans. Others are less worried about public nudity. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a woman got completely naked on a Saturday night flight from Chicago to New York. The woman was considered “emotionally disturbed” and apparently was not making a statement about passenger privacy. A Newsday news manager, who was on the naked woman’s flight, told the Associated Press that she was yelling “No! No! No!” as flight attendants attempted to cover her him with a blanket.

Oh Chris… all of us who know you know how near you are constantly to unhinged-ness.  Now the whole world knows…

In Which I Respond, For the Last Time, to Hector Avalos

Hector’s new essay in Bible and Interpretation is simply a re-hashing, in my estimation, of previously rehashed ‘atheists can too do biblical studies’ arguments that have been addressed decades ago by none less than Karl Barth.  So here, my final response to Hector (because now we really are at a serious impasse from which we cannot extricate ourselves until he either becomes a Christian or I become an atheist- neither of which seems likely and especially not the latter), will simply be a repetition of Barth’s brilliantly articulated statement (with a dab of Luther for good measure) – applied to the real impossibility of dialogue with militant atheists (and fundamentalists of all stripes, including fundamentalist atheists).

There are three reasons why all planned apologetics and polemics have obviously been irresponsible, irrelevant, and therefore ineffective.  a) In such apologetics faith must clearly take unbelief seriously.  Hence, it cannot take itself with full seriousness.

As Barth rightly notes, granting unbelief recognition means granting it seriousness- and that a seriousness which it does not deserve.  To take it seriously is to denigrate faith.  So to recognize the unbelief (the angry atheism, whether he likes the phrase or not) of Avalos and others is to recognize something unworthy of recognition, since in gazing in the direction of that unbelief one has, for the moment, turned one’s gaze away from faith.

b) In all independently ventured apologetics and polemics there may be discerned the opinion that dogmatics has done its work.

But dogmatics hasn’t had its final say because dogmatics, the articulation of the Christian faith, is ever new because ever new persons are in need of hearing that articulation.   Atheism cannot demand ‘a full accounting’ because none exists, nor can it ever.  And assuming that it does, and can, is to fall into the trap of pride.

c) An independent eristics at least runs the risk that once its task is completed dogmatics will think that its conflict with unbelief has been brought to an end in the form of such prolegomena, and that it will thus lose the necessary awareness of the constant exposure to assault of all its statements.

Theology, and biblical studies, must go their own way without regard for unbelief or they become slaves to the ideology of unbelief and indentured to unbelievers who demand an answer from them when no answer will satisfy unbelief anyway and hence all such efforts are doomed to fail.

Dogmatics requires Christian faith.  Dogmatics is a function of the Christian Church.

And, I would add, so are biblical studies.  Absent Christian faith, neither dogmatics nor exegesis can be or are meaningful.  Avalos may disagree with this, as may others as well, but unless I am shown by plain reason and Scripture that I am in error, I cannot, I will not, alter my view (any more than Avalos is about to alter his).  My presuppositions may be showing, but atheist presuppositions are equally transparent.  So until we can all adopt the very same presuppositions, there’s no point in talking past one another.

I’ll let Luther have the last word- the last provocative word- on the subject (since I think I’ve made my position pretty clear) –

Hence it is a poor and miserable thing that this rabble of sophists opposes [the Gospel].  For what do these poor bats hope to accomplish with their petty flappings?  Let them come!  By the grace of God they have no true learning.  In all these things there is no better counsel than to preach the Gospel simply and purely, praying God that he will direct and lead us.

Federal Workers Have their Pay Frozen, But Don’t Worry, Congress Will Continue to Make A Bundle…

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle...

Party on, White House

From their ridiculously high salary and benefit packages and the obscene amount that each and every one of them gets under the table from Lobbyists.  So don’t cry for Congress…

President Barack Obama will announce a two-year pay freeze for federal employees Monday, a move White House officials say is the first of many difficult decisions that must be made to reduce the nation’s mounting deficit.  The White House said Monday that the freeze would apply to all civilian federal employees, including those working at the Department of Defense, but would not affect military personnel. The freeze is expected to result in more than $5 billion in savings over two years, according to Jeffrey Zients, a deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget.

Whew… at least the White House and the Congress are going to be ok. I would have lost sleep if their pay had been frozen, or even cut…

The Scottish Church Isn’t Alone in Being Offended at a ‘Sexmas’ Ad

In 1559 John Knox returned from ministering in...

John Knox is not amused in the least

The Scottish government’s “Sexmas Survival Guide” for the Christmas season is not amusing church leaders.  The official sexual health Web site will advise young people on navigating occasions like the “after-work do,” when inhibitions are relaxed and office workers have to negotiate “the unexpected rise,” Scotland on Sunday reported.  … The Rev. Alan Falconer of the Church of Scotland’s St. Machar’s Cathedral in Aberdeen said, “This would not be appropriate at all. This detracts from the festival for it to be classified in this way.”  The government, which introduced the guide last year, is defending it.

John Knox would be chopping off some Government heads.Via Antonio

The Latest Volume of Zwingliana has Arrived

The post office had this waiting for me this morning. What’s so nice, besides the fact that it arrived in such a timely way, is the fantastic new layout (on the inside) and the smart new cover (which you can see by comparing it to the previous number).

The editors have made all previous volumes available online completely free (save the most recent three, which are only available to members of the Zwingliverein in print editions).

Lots of great reading to keep my lazy self occupied!

Awesome Birds, Awesome!

These birds are giving this vile cat what it deserves- a whooping!

Wiki Leaks: The Biblioblogger Edition!

In shocking new documents just released which contain the private correspondence of various biblio and theo bloggers new revelations undermine the cheery facade and show the underbelly of blogger’s real attitudes.

For instance, Mark Goodacre writes to a colleague at Duke: ‘Yes of course I know that Q exists!  I’ve read it in the original manuscript when I last visited the British Museum’s secret archive.  But I can’t tell anyone that.’  James McGrath in a secretly recorded conversation remarks ‘I am by default an adherent of Intelligent Design.  It’s the only theory that makes real sense’.  Jim Linville, in the most shocking of all the revelations these new documents contain, actually told a co-worker ‘I raise cats for food.’

Other stunning revelations include the fact that Chris Tilling hates golf and just pretends to play because he’s British.  Mark Stevens and Joel Watts have a mancrush on each other.  James Crossley is a tremendous fan of Real Madrid and absolutely loathes Manchester United.  Frank Emanuel hates the emergent movement.  Madeleine Flannagan is an evolutionist.  And worst of all, Mike Bird hates with a passion everything to do with the Apostle Paul.

Furthermore, Roland Boer hates New Zealand and China and thinks their inhabitants are hobbits.  Ben Myers smokes at least 4 packs of cigarettes a day and drinks a gallon of whiskey at each meal.  Kim Fabricius has a secret crush on Kim Kardashian.

As more of these documents are gone through there will doubtless be more stunning revelations.  When they come to light you – dear reader – can be assured that they will be mentioned here.