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Daily Archives: 6 Dec 2010

Very Special Christmas Greetings From Your Favorite Bloggers…

Some of the bloggers have got their Christmas greetings ready and they asked me to send them to you!  Happy Holidays from the Bloggers you admire!

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

Passing a Trooper at 100+ Miles an Hour…

Isn’t very bright.  Not to mention it ends horribly.

What goes through a kid’s mind??? This unfortunate lad is, apparently, still critical in the hospital and this happened in August… Hopefully people will watch, and slow down.

(Via Joel on FB).

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

Barack Obama, the ‘Cave’ Man, Strikes Again

He ran as a Democrat but for all the world his policies and actions sure are awfully Republican.  Frankly I don’t know why the Republicans hate him so much.  Rush Limbo ought to be singing his praises and Bill O’Reilly and the other servants of Satan at Fox News should give him some kind of award.

Barack Obama is bowing to Republican demands to extend a deep tax cut for wealthier Americans, to the fury of some of the president’s allies who say he has succumbed to “blackmail”.

Blackmail? Nah, let’s call it what it is- cowardice. Spinelessness. He can’t be blackmailed. No one is threatening to disclose some secret of his. He has only one secret. He’s secretly a Republican. But then again that’s not much of a secret at all.

In a bruising political battle that appears to set the tone for Obama’s dealings with the Republicans in Congress following their victories in last month’s midterm elections, the president had sought to extend a tax cut for middle-class Americans introduced by the Bush administration seven years ago which expires at the end of this month. But he wanted to see a return to pre-cut rates for households with an income above $250,000 a year, on the grounds that wealthier Americans could afford to pay more. The move would generate trillions of dollars for the financially-strapped treasury over the next decade.

Alas…

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Politics

 

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Congratulations to Rachel Elior

Recipient of a very well deserved Festschrift-

With Letters of Light: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Early Jewish Apocalypticism, Magic, and Mysticism in Honor of Rachel Elior, Ed. by Arbel, Daphna V. / Orlov, Andrei A.

This collection of essays is a tribute to Rachel Elior’s decades of teaching, scholarship and mentoring. If a Festschrift reflects the individuality of the honoree, then this volume offers insights into the scope of Rachel Elior’s interests and scholarly achievements in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish apocalypticism, magic, and mysticism from the Second Temple period to the later rabbinic and Hekhalot developments. The majority of articles included in the volume deal with Jewish and Christian apocalyptic and mystical texts constituting the core of experiential dimension of these religious traditions.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Bible, Books

 

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Ok Palestinian Authority, That’s Not Right- Even Atheists Deserve Freedom of Speech

Even atheists should be free to speak their minds.  And they shouldn’t be arrested for doing so.  And then jailed.  It’s immoral.

A Palestinian atheist jailed for more than a month for sharing his anti-Islam views on the Internet has apologized for offending Muslims, and a Palestinian military spokesman said he expected “positive” developments in the case.  Rights groups have criticized his arrest as a demonstration of the limits on free speech under the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, which has trawled Internet sites like Facebook as part of a crackdown on dissent and unpopular views. The 26-year-old blogger, Walid Husayin — who had called the Muslim God a “primitive Bedouin” and Islam a religion of “irrationality and ignorance” — apologized in a letter to his family and to all Palestinians and sought forgiveness for what he called his “stupidity.”

You know the worst thing about this? That he felt he had to apologize in order to get out of jail. That’s tragic. Forcing someone to deny themselves simply so they can be free to live their lives is grossly improper. Shame on you, Palestinian Authority, shame, shame, shame on you!

And shame on those radical Muslims who now have made it impossible for him to be released from jail- because if he is, he’ll be killed!

A young Palestinian blogger jailed for posting “blasphemous” remarks online is being kept in jail over fears he will be killed by his family, security sources said on Monday. Walid al-Husseini, 26, was arrested in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilya at the end of October accused of “blasphemy against the prophet and the Koran” for posts on his blog and on social networking site Facebook. “It is impossible to release him because we are afraid he will be killed by his family,” a security source in Qalqilya told AFP, adding that relatives had disowned Husseini after his arrest.

Radical Islam is a plague on the planet. With thanks to the vigilant Lombatti for pointing out this ludicrous tale.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

The Biblical Studies Carnivals for 2011

If you’ll take a look at the right nav panel you’ll notice that we’ve got someone hosting Carnivals for the entire year.  Thanks for your fantastic willingness people!  Brilliant!

(I think this is the first time in the history of the Carnival that we’ve got an entire year slated in advance.)

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

And Now For Something Completely Archaeological

Distribution of Ancient Greek colonies corresp...

Egyptian Outposts

Naukrtis, a Greek trade emporium on Egyptian soil, has long captured the imagination of archaeologists and historians. Not only is the presence of a Greek trading settlement in Egypt during the 7th and 6th century B.C.E. surprising, but the Greeks that lived there in harmony hailed from several Greek states which traditionally warred amongst themselves. Dr. Alexander Fantalkin of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology is delving deeper into this unique piece of ancient history to come up with a new explanation for how Naukrtis developed, and how its inhabitants managed to operate on foreign soil and create a new sense of common identity. The Greeks that inhabited Naukrtis, explains Dr. Fantalkin, may have come from warring city states at home, but they formed a trade settlement in Egypt under the protection of powerful Eastern empires. This link not only brought them together as a culture, but explains how they were allowed to operate in the midst of Egyptian territory. Dr. Fantalkin’s theory was recently presented at the Cultural Contexts in Antiquity conference in Innsbruck, Austria, and will soon be published in the proceedings of the conference.

There’s a lot more– with many thanks to Antonio ‘the Mythbuster’ Lombatti for the heads up.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Archaeology

 

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It’s Apparent that Satan is Testing Me Today…

Trying to make me blow a gasket it seems- or lose my temper and say a bad word.  Between the angry atheists and their lies, the imbeciles at PETA, and now Pepsi’s moronic advert… (via Stephen who’s right- communion isn’t garbage food).

Well, Satan, I won’t cave in so bring on your best. You’ve not even managed to get me much ruffled yet. Indeed, send along one of those ‘spiritual but not religious’ types!

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Theology, Total Depravity

 

Didn’t Make it to SBL But Still Want A Copy of the SBLGNT?

You can download a PDF of the entire volume here.  Other formats are available too, including a print version (the one handed out at SBL).  With thanks to James McGrath on FB for making a remark about the PDF availability.  A few weeks back I got the BibleWorks version and it’s a great resource.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Bible

 

If the Isaiah-an Shoe Fits…

Isaiah 5:18ff

Ah, you who drag iniquity along with cords of falsehood,
who drag sin along as with cart ropes,
19 who say, “Let him make haste,
let him speed his work
that we may see it;
let the plan of the Holy One of Israel hasten to fulfillment,
that we may know it!”
20 Ah, you who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!
21 Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes,
and shrewd in your own sight!
22 Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine
and valiant at mixing drink,
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
and deprive the innocent of their rights!
24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will become rotten,
and their blossom go up like dust;
for they have rejected the instruction of the LORD of hosts,
and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

It’s almost as though Isaiah knew atheists too… But of course ‘atheism’ as we know it didn’t exist in the Ancient Near East. Even those ‘pre-enlightenment’ souls had sense.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Bible, Theology

 

Convert to Christianity, and Die

Even if you’re a teenage girl… in Somalia

A 17-year-old girl in Somalia who converted to Christianity from Islam was shot to death last week in an apparent “honor killing,” area sources said. Nurta Mohamed Farah, who had fled her village of Bardher, Gedo Region to Galgadud Region to live with relatives after her parents tortured her for leaving Islam, died on Nov. 25. Area sources said they strongly suspected that the two unidentified men in Galgadud Region who shot her in the chest and head with a pistol were relatives or acting on their behest.

So much, again, for the ‘peaceful’ followers of Mohammed.  And what an indictment of American Christians who can’t even be bothered to attend worship much less ‘take up their cross’.   Antonio has it right when he remarks

Schifose bestie ignoranti. A volte, mi sento quasi convinto che in certi paesi ci sia bisogno della dittatura. Potrebbe mai l’Egitto essere così avanzato tra i paesi musulmani se non avesse un padre-padrone come Mubarak?

Evidently many countries do demand a tyrant in order to control the beasts.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity

 

One More Snippet of Weather Joy

The snow has finally ended and this is what we’re left to deal with this morning…

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

A Fascinating Discussion of Mental Illness

Over at Stuart’s place.  Very much worth a look.  Especially the connection to the theological question nicely phrased here-

Anyway, this leads me smoothly to a blog post by Brian LePort over at Scientia et Sapientia which looks at the phenomenon of pharmaceutically ‘drugging’ members of our society and asks:

What do you think? As a Christian theologian what do you say to the drugging of society? What is our response to madness? Should we support it because it is “good” in a utilitarian fashion or should we oppose it because all too often the drugs are not for the worst case scenario but for the control of those whom we find uncontrollable?

Give it a look.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Theology

 

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That Afghan War Thing Isn’t Going So Well

Art work of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.

Karzai picking a child's pocket

Especially in light of the sad fact that more and more Afghans think the insurgents are in the right.

A new poll by several Western television outlets says more than a quarter of Afghans now see insurgent attacks against U.S. and NATO forces as justified. The poll was released on Monday. It says the number of Afghans who accept the attacks has gone from 8 percent last year to 27 percent this year. The increase comes as President Hamid Karzai calls on international troops to be less disruptive of daily life in Afghanistan. The poll was based on face-to-face interviews with a random sample of nearly 1,700 Afghan adults in all 34 of the country’s provinces. It was conducted from Oct. 29 until Nov. 13 by ABC News, the BBC and ARD German TV.

From 8 to 27 percent is a huge increase. We should have left Afghanistan the moment we discovered the corruption of Karzai and his government.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture, Politics

 

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Total Depravity: The Pot Smoker Edition

A speeding car plowed head-on into a group of cyclists in southern Italy on Sunday morning, killing eight of them, officials said. The driver had been smoking marijuana, police said.  Bent, mangled bikes were strewn about the scene, and the sheet-draped corpses dotted the two-lane road near Lamezia Terme, in the Calabrian “toe” of boot-shaped Italy where the accident occurred.  In addition to the eight cyclists killed, four people were injured: two cyclists and the driver and a young boy in the car with him, said Maria Dolores Rucci, commander of the road police in nearby Catanzaro.  The ANSA news agency said the driver, who was only slightly injured, was placed under arrest on charges of multiple homicide. A police spokesman who declined to give his name said the man, a Moroccan national, had tested positive for marijuana.

So much, then, for pot being an ‘innocent’ little drug.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Total Depravity

 

Speaking of Angry Atheists… An Apropos Essay

Charles Lewis writes in the National Post- Dear atheists: most of us don’t care what you think (with thanks to Stephen for the tip).

It is worth reading in its entirety but especially instructive and profoundly correct are the following observations-

This perennial debate between atheists and the religious has no end in sight. It seems to sell tickets and for a certain type of intellectual it is like watching boxing without the blood. But the debate is useless for one simple reason: most atheists do not have a clue what religion is about. They see religious people as blind sheep following a series of incomprehensible rules and dogmas and then scoff at their lack of enlightenment. They find the flaw in the painting and say it is all now ruined. Atheists are utopians who believe a perfect society can be built if only religion was not in the way. As far as I can see, those Godless societies have not done too well, unless you consider North Korea a success.

And

Faith is not up for debate. I do not care whether Christopher Hitchens or the guy who sits three rows away thinks I am living in a fantasy. Why would I care? If faith could be broken by mindless criticism then it would not be faith. And the old woman kneeling in the pew every Sunday, or the Orthodox Jew who would never miss a Sabbath in Synagogue, have no need to ask permission of anyone to justify what they do and what they believe. They are far tougher than the people who criticize.

And that’s a fine summary of angry atheism- mindless criticism offered by mindless critics. Or, to re-quote Martin Luther

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.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Theology

 

What An Angry Atheist Thinks About Me

The comments of one Robert Wilson, on Facebook-

So, is it painful being so deeply closeted, or are you just used to it by now?

Surely you’re aware that you’re roundly mocked on a regular basis by the rest of biblioblogdom? You’ve become a punch-line thanks to your incessant megalomania and generally poor representation of love, wisdom and humility.

I don’t believe in god, but at least I’m up front about it. You hide your doubts behind a wall of narcissism and self-aggrandizement contingent on your being perceived by others as an erstwhile empirical source of esoteric knowledge.

As difficult as it may be for you to process, there are people out here as smart as or smarter than you. Unlike you, I recognize that fact and maintain a reasonable appreciation for my place in the zeitgeist. You, on the other hand, would get the bends if you deigned step down from your ivory tower built of unabashed ego and utter delusion.

When an angry atheist is that displeased, you know you’re on the right track. I think i’ll continue along my path and if it annoys more atheists I’ll consider it a gift for Christmas to myself.  My only worry would be if any word of it were true.  But, alas, every word of it is, like atheism itself and its perception of reality, an utter falsehood and a failure to grasp reality.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

I Loathe PETA More Every Day

Not only do they seem to think that animals are gods, they don’t even mind insulting Christians in their campaigns.  It’s as if they are trying to be idiotic and succeeding grandly.

But even worse than their insulting Christians is their reprehensible theological ignorance and foul dilettantism, as exhibited in their rationale for the above advert-

Visitors to the Vatican yesterday were the first to receive our new “Pope Condom” campaign leaflets, which we’ll also soon be taking to cathedrals and churches across the U.S.  Simply stated: It’s sinful that millions of dogs and cats are killed every year in animal shelters simply because there aren’t enough homes for all of them—and that millions more are abandoned on the streets, where they starve, die of untreated injuries or illnesses, or fall prey to animal abusers. The simple solution is to always spay and neuter animals instead of allowing them to produce countless offspring. Please help us bring salvation to dogs and cats by singing the praises of spaying and neutering to everyone you know.

Salvation to dogs and cats??????  Are you kidding me?  You ridiculous perverters of Christian doctrine.  PETA, you’re on the list.  And besides that, you’re beastial hypocrites.

Via.

 
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Posted by on 6 Dec 2010 in Dilettante, Theology, Total Depravity