Daily Archives: 20 Apr 2011

Spam That Compliments: Ain’t it Glorious

I doubt that Joel or Mark have ever gotten as complimentary spam comment as this, ever…

In fact, given the fine grammar, I wouldn’t be at all surprised that Joel wrote this himself as his alter-ego ‘Phylicia’….

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


Goldfish Racing is Over…

I have the feeling that PETA is behind it somehow.  Or someone equally silly.

The weekly gold fish races at a Tacoma bar are canceled after it received complaints from animal rights activists.  Every Tuesday night the Harmon Tap Room would feature races in which cheap feeder fish from a pet store were “raced” down two 8-foot troughs. Racers guided the fish with squirt bottles.  Bartender Joel Cummings told KIRO-FM the fish were cared for when they weren’t racing but occasionally they would pass away.  After complaints by phone and email, the Harmon Tap Room replaced goldfish racing with beer pong.

Oh what fools these mortal creatures be.

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture



Israel Supplied Arms to Argentina During the Falklands War

I bet that makes the Brits happy what with Britain considering Israel an ‘ally’.

Israel secretly supplied arms and equipment to Argentina during the Falklands War due to Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s personal hatred of the British, a new book discloses.

If hatred of Jews is antisemitism, Jewish hatred of Brits must be antibriticism. I wonder how many antibritites there are in Israel.

Air to air missiles, missile radar alert systems, fuel tanks for fighter bombers and gas masks were dispatched from Israel apparently destined for Peru but were then transported on to Argentina, it claims. As the British Task Force sent to reclaim the islands after the 1982 Argentine invasion of the Falklands began to get the upper hand, Argentina’s ruling military junta was left with few choices from which to source replacements for equipment lost in war. But according to ‘Operation Israel: the rearming of Argentina during the dictatorship (1976/1983)’ the junta found that Begin was willing to strike an agreement.

It’s high time for Jews the world over to denounce antibriticism. That sort of ethnic hatred is intolerable in today’s world. It has no place here among the decent.

Israel is an ally of America too.  I wonder when they’ll start supplying our enemies with weapons.  If they haven’t already…  [And John Hagee and the other heretic Christian Zionists probably would applaud it].


Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity



The Burial Box of James the Brother of Jesus: 10 Years On- by Paul Flesher

Paul does a nice job.  Amidst it he says

Given the nature of belief, however, a verdict against forgery will strengthen many Christians’ belief that the ossuary links to Jesus through his brother and thus “proves” the Bible. Indeed, many people will continue to believe in the inscription’s authenticity even if it is declared a forgery.

Read it all.

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


Mangled Greek + Terrible Object Lesson = Sermon Fail! (via Scotteriology)

I can’t take it any more. I really can’t. I watched as much as I could and then I had to slam my head into the desk and I think I’ve broken something. I need some ibuprofen. BBL…. This guy’s definitely in the running for the Dilly the Dilettante of the Week Award.

I saw this video of some guy preaching over at American Jesus “Preaching in a Kiddie Pool” who comments, “Apparently the pastor was trying to make a point about wearing nice clothes not being what it means to give your best for Jesus. Fair enough, that’s a great point.” It might be a great point, but it has nothing to do with the text he is preaching on, or his basis for such a point! [youtube= … Read More

via Scotteriology


Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Dilettante, pseudo-scholarship


The State of Modern American Christianity

You have to bribe the darlings in with pizza and magic and other entertainments because they’re too precious to love the Gospel and the God who provides it.

Unfortunately, as we all know (or should know), if you can bribe them in with treats, the world can bribe them out with better treats.  And that’s precisely what happens and exactly why youth events based on such ‘things’ eventually fail.  Temporal bribes don’t suit eternal truths.

At any rate, such things overlook the truth of what Paul writes the Corinthians (2 Cor 4)-

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

I don’t find bribing them in permitted or advised there.  Shameful craftiness and watering down the Word of God (by packaging it so that it appeals to the godless) is decried by Paul and he advances only one authentic methodology for outreach- PREACH CHRIST and not SELF (or skills or talents or shows or food or anything else the world loves for us to pile on top of the truth).  It is CHRIST who converts lives, not pizza or magic shows.

Nonetheless, the state of modern American Christianity is such that by far the majority believe it justifiable to replace the Gospel with a show and turn worship into theater.  As depressing as that is, it’s at least a comfort to know that there are some on the planet who love God for God-self and not for their own sakes.  It’s just hard to find them.


Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture, pseudo-christianity, Theology


Total Depravity: The 22 and 23 Year Old Baby Murderers

A Knoxville mother and her boyfriend are charged with the murder of her 18-month-old daughter earlier in April.  Brittany Stinnett, 22, was arrested Wednesday on charges of felony murder and aggravated child neglect.  Police have filed the same charges against her boyfriend, Danny Jay Branam, Jr., 23. He was already in jail on unrelated charges.  The couple is accused of killing 18-month-old Brooklyn Stinnett. Emergency responders found the child not breathing or responding when they were called to Big Oak Apartments on April 5.

Already in jail on unrelated charges…’ that’s the national anthem of the sort of people who kill infants.  Perhaps they’ll become mennonites in prison.

Such behavior is so evil- demonic.  Behold- the face of wickedness.

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Total Depravity


AV Equipment This Year at the SBL Annual Meeting

Just in case you missed the SBL Newsletter-

Free AV…til June 30th!  AV equipment requests for the Annual Meeting can be accommodated at no charge through June 30. In early May SBL will send out emails to all presenters to confirm your AV orders. After June 30th though, presenters and participants will be charged a $100 fee per request or change to AV orders. To request AV or change your current AV order before June 30th, contact the SBL Programs Coordinator at

You’ll remember that last year there was a bit of controversy about fees.  If you’re presenting and using AV stuff, best to get it lined up soon.  And good for the SBL execs for doing it this way.  Folk who wait till the last minute should have to pay, just as a matter of principle (I don’t have much tolerance for procrastinators.  I think, to be frank, that they are evil minions of Satan sent to ruin the world).

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Conferences, SBL


Israeli Intellectuals Want a Palestinian State

Only the loony Christian Zionists don’t.  But no one has ever accused that lot of anything even remotely related to intellectualism.  Indeed, they are anti-intellectual and anti-God.

Anyway, it’s nice to see Israelis standing up for what’s right and necessary.

A group of prominent Israeli intellectuals and artists have come out in favour of creating a Palestinian state based on the 1967 line marking the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. The 47 signatories include 17 recipients of the Israel Prize, the country’s highest civilian honour. Among them are Shulamit Aloni, the civil rights pioneer, the actress Hannah Marom and Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer. Their statement backs the Palestinian drive for recognition by the United Nations, in the absence of progress in peace talks with Israel. The Israeli government opposes the unilateral initiative. The statement, released on Wednesday, calls for an Israeli pullout from the West Bank. It says, “The complete end of occupation is a fundamental condition for the freedom of both peoples.”

Brilliant.  Good for them.


Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


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That Hand Sanitizer Might Not be the Best Thing for Your Children…

Especially given that a little 4 year old found it and got drunk on it.  As tragic as that is, I’m sure the besotted alcoholics will welcome the news that they can have clean stomachs and alcohol all at the same time…

A four-year-old Clarksville girl was taken to the hospital Monday night with what her mother thought might have been a head injury. Doctors instead discovered the little girl was drunk and had a blood alcohol level of 0.14.  “We got a call out there that a child was in an intoxicated state and the child was four years old,” police spokesperson Jim Knoll said.  Officers responded to the family’s home on Vanessa Drive and believed the girl became drunk from drinking prescription mouthwash.  The next day, her mother discovered a half-empty bottle of cupcake-scented hand sanitizer. She told WKRN that is what she believes her daughter drank.

Add hand sanitizer to the things to keep out of the reach of children.


Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture



Real Parents: An Observation

Real parents feel their children’s pain more deeply and more profoundly than they ever feel their own.

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Theology


The Dukan Diet: Don’t Bet Your Life on It

MSNBC reports

U.S. nutrition experts who reviewed the diet for HealthDay expressed some health concerns, however.  Karen Congro, a dietitian and director of the Wellness for Life Program at Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, called it ”a recipe for disaster.”  People who follow the diet for a few days will probably be OK, Congro said, but long-term, it’s unhealthy. “It is a high-fat diet, it does not restrict salt,” she said, among other criticisms.  And, she added, “It really has no evidence” of effectiveness. “Over the long term, it really isn’t good for your heart,” she said, citing the fat and salt content.

Look people, losing weight isn’t rocket science.  Consume fewer calories than you need and you’ll lose weight.  Consume more than you need and you’ll gain weight.  Period.  And determining caloric intake need is simple.

Fad diets don’t work.  They just don’t.

[This announcement was brought to you as a public service of the ‘theology addresses every aspect of life’ department of our corporation].


Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture



Latest BibInt: Mid-Life Crisis Special Edition! (via Sheffield Biblical Studies)

Sounds like some interesting stuff. I’m just glad I passed mid-life about 20 years ago.

The following (obviously very good) essays in the latest Biblical Interpretation were written by grown men: What These Cryptic Symbols Mean: Quotation, Allusion, and John Darnielles Biblical Interpretation pp. 109-128(20) Author: Adam, A.K.M. A Tale of Two Cities: San Francisco and “Gomorrah” in Biblical Allusion and Unestimated Prophecy pp. 129-150(22) Author: Blackwell, J. Mark For EveryManc a Religion: Biblical and Religious Language in the … Read More

via Sheffield Biblical Studies

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Bible


Lady Gag(alot)’s Latest Assualt on Christianity

Those who imagine her a Christian (including herself, should she hold that deluded opinion) should take a moment to consider the facts of the case: she denigrates the Gospel, she attacks Christian beliefs, she mocks the Bible, and she pumps out nothing but absolute filth.  She is to Christianity what Magic Johnson is to sexual purity or what Bristol Palin is to abstinence.

Here’s another exhibit demonstrating her incredible depravity:

Die neue Single «Judas» von Lady Gaga hat in den USA bereits für hitzige Diskussionen gesorgt. … «Judas» erhitzt nicht nur wegen der zeitlichen Nähe zum Osterfest einige Gemüter. Die Catholic League For Religious And Civil Rights äusserte sich kritisch zu dem Song und dem dazugehörigen Video – und das, obwohl es noch gar nicht Premiere gefeiert hat. In dem Video wird die Sängerin als Maria Magdalena zu sehen sein. Beim Videoclip führt Lady Gaga auch Regie und hat sich hierzu die Choreographin Laurie Ann Gibson an ihre Seite geholt. «Viele Leute denken ohnehin, Lady Gaga ist Blasphemie, aber ich denke, sie werden sehr geschockt sein, wie unglaublich bahnbrechend die Botschaft des Songs und des Videos ist», erklärte die Choreographin.

The choreographer is a dilettante who clearly doesn’t know what Christianity is, or blasphemy for that matter. She should stick to having people flop around like seizure inflicted paralytics instead of delving into a subject she is woefully inadequate to address.


Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity


Absurd Stupidity: ‘National Pot Smoking Day’?

There’s something wrong with a country where illegal drugs are celebrated and a day devoted to their promotion.  If it’s ok to have such a beastly dive into depraved idiocy as ‘national pot smoking day’ why isn’t it ok to have ‘national crack whore day’ or ‘national meth mouth day’ or ‘national NAMBLA day’?  All are equally depraved so why isn’t the depravity of actually celebrating drug abuse more widely observed?

Illegal drugs (and legal drugs misused) destroy families.  Destroy them.  I know this from first hand experience, watching families completely ruined along with many lives because first mom or dad or both thought smoking a joint was cool (around their children).  And then, that not supplying a sufficient high, crack and meth engaged.  And once those death dealers are used, the game is up.  Once a meth head or a crack whore the only real exit is death.  Meanwhile, children suffer the horror of seeing parents slowly die and along the way do the most despicable things to satisfy their habit from selling themselves to selling their children for the next hit.

Indeed, the horrors I’ve seen.  Children in one room having to listen to parents in the next having sex for drugs.  Men having sex with men simply to acquire the drugs they crave.  Houses being robbed, old folks terrorized, and communities turned upside down and inside out just so the person who wants to get high can.

Drugs are destroying our society from the inside out.  It isn’t Muslim terrorists we should fear.  It’s the drug dealer down the street.  He or she is the very person who will bring our country to an end as we know it.

We’ve lost the war on drugs and we’ve lost it because so many people (including government officials and law enforcement) are making too much money from the misery.  And it all begins when illicit drugs are winked at and admired and celebrated.  It’s insane.


Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity


Philip Davies Interviewed in the Sheffield Telegraph on the Lead Codices

With thanks to Jim Davila for the heads up about this:

A PROFESSOR from Sheffield has been asked to help authenticate dozens of mysterious texts being talked about as the most important find since the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Philip Davies, The University of Sheffield’s emeritus professor of biblical studies, is one of a handful experts from across the world asked to investigate the 70 ancient texts, found in a cave in Jordan.  For some the find forms what could be one of the most important discoveries in Christian history – but others doubt their authenticity.


“It is extremely exciting and a very curious case – it’s not normal for books to be bound on both sides,” said Philip. “They may be sheets of secret signs and people may have prayed over them.”


“I think some of them may be authentic, and as yet I can’t work out what sort of a hoax they might be.”

And finally

“At the moment the codices are hard to reach so it’s difficult for any of us to actually see them at first hand,” said Philip.  “At the moment there is every reason to be extremely cautious.”

I suppose the final statement is 100% on the mark.  For my part, I still am of the opinion that these pieces are modern tourist trinkets but I haven’t laid hold of them and depending on photos isn’t the best procedure for determining authenticity or inauthenticity.  It would take a lot to convince me that they are genuine as even my great fondness for Philip hasn’t allowed me optimism.

And by the way, speaking of Philip, today is his birthday, so a very happy birthday indeed to my Sheffield friend.


Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Archaeology, Bible


Jan Gunneweg Responds to Joe Zias’ Piece on the ‘Jesus Nails’

Professor Gunneweg writes

To whom it may concern,

The undersigned, Dr. Jan Gunneweg of archaeology/archaeometry at the Hebrew University for 38 years, declare herewith that he underscribes every item discussed by Joe Zias, whom he knows for 25 odd years.

I am convinced that it is a disgrace to archaeology, history, Old as well as New Testament exegesis that such a “nail-story” will get any comment on TV or otherwise. We know the “Naked archaeologist parade” and what it has done to scientific research. I have seen the Exodus-blunder where Bietak was used to beef up some science in Egypt. I do not have to spell it out, but in a nutshell: THIS is no science, it is even not palatable science fiction.

I do not blame archaeologists who never made it to the evening news, nor Christian fundamentalists who happen to have faith in what their ministers tell them to believe, but I really blame the media of any kind who make money on this disinformation.

Let us put a point after the past written quasi-scientific reports and turn for a change what Jan Gunneweg and 147 collaborators from allover the globe have published in three scientific books on Qumran that can be found on the website that even on the 29th of June 2010 was not taken into account when NG aired the movie “Who wrote the Dead Sea scrolls” wherein I was portrayed saying things that had been said already in a 2000 Discovery Channel documentary entitled ” Voices from the Desert”.

Have a good Easter and for Jews a good continuation of Pesach.

Cordially yours, Prof. Em. Jan Gunneweg

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Archaeology


I Wish I Had a Subscription…

To the Netherlands Daily. There’s a new essay that commences

Is het mogelijk God te kennen? Ja, zegt Johannes Calvijn, want God past zich in zijn spreken aan mensen aan. Maar heeft God ook gevoel? Nee, stelt Calvijn, want God is onveranderlijk. Als de Bijbel Gods emoties beschrijft, is dat maar een beeld.

I want to see how the author works it out! [Subscription sites… I understand you, but I don’t like your pay walls].

UPDATE:  I’ve heard from a friend in the Netherlands that the dissertation upon which the essay is based is available, and in English!

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


Quote of the Day

Ban the use of ‘sic’ – all it shows is how clever you are at spotting a mistake (and how often has it shown that the ‘sic’ writer does not know subtle English!) but detracts from the point being made. If an emendation is needed, just use square brackets as any normal person. – James Aitken

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


The Birthday of a Notable

Today we celebrate the birthday of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte. In 1808, the President of the French Second Republic and as Napoleon III, the ruler of the Second French Empire was born. He was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I and was elected President in 1848. In 1851, he initiated a coup d’état, before ascending the throne as Napoleon III on 2 December 1852. He ruled as Emperor of the French until 4 September 1870.

Via Europeana on FB.

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Posted by on 20 Apr 2011 in Church History