Daily Archives: 22 Apr 2011

Wounded by Joel’s Transgressions; Bruised by Joel’s Iniquities

Joel wounds me grievously. And after I’ve been nothing but nice to him!

You know, Jim likes to present to himself as adhering to the Reformation, but he is really just another emergent…

I can only say in response that he might just as well have broken out the M word* and called me that! It’s just as hurtful as the E word! ‘Emergent…’ Gag! I’ve been wounded by Joel’s transgression and bruised by Joel’s vile iniquities. Pray for him… The floodgates of divine wrath are about to descend.

[* – m = mennonite]

Insights From the Heidelberg Catechism

Question 8. Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness?

Answer: Indeed we are; (a) except we are regenerated by the Spirit of God. (b)

(a) Gen.8:21 The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Gen.6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. Job 15:14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water? Job 15:35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit. Isa.53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (b) John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 1 Cor.12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 2 Cor.3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

The framers of the Catechism saw with crystal clarity the fact that unaided by the grace of God, good is utterly and thoroughly impossible for us.  Good outside of God doesn’t exist.  Only a form of it, an apparition, a fraudulent and deceptive untrue manifestation.  ‘There is none good but God alone’ is 100% true.

More Anti-Christianity in Egypt

A modern Coptic monastery

Tens of thousands of Egyptians led by hard-line Islamists escalated their protests Friday over the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor in southern Egypt, deepening mistrust between religious communities during the bumpy aftermath of Egypt’s revolution.  More than a week of protests seeking to unseat the governor of Qena province are testing the ability of Egypt’s transitional military rulers and the interim government to handle an Islamic movement capable of rallying large numbers behind its hard-line agenda without jeopardizing the future of a democratic Egypt.

Tens of thousands…  That bodes quite poorly for the future of Christianity in Egypt.  Will Christians be driven from that country as they have from Iraq, Iran, Palestine and Israel?  Does ‘democracy’ in the middle east mean the end of the Christian community there?

I’ve Lost All Respect For Franklin Graham

Here’s why.

A US religious figure whose father advised several US presidents has backed Donald Trump’s bid for the White House. Reverend Franklin Graham also told ABC television that he doubted former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin would join the field of candidates aiming to unseat President Barack Obama. Asked whether Mr Trump might be his preferred candidate, Rev Graham told ABC’s “This Week” program: “Sure, yes.” “When I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, well, this has got to be a joke,” Rev Graham said. “But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, you know, maybe this guy’s right.”

Um, no. The more you listen to him the more you realize the man is a birther lunatic who lies about his own wealth. What’s an evangelical doing supporting a liar?

Total Depravity: The Thieving Church Secretary Edition

What’s the deal with so many church secretaries going crazy and stealing from churches?  Do they think they work on Wall Street or something?

A Bristol woman was charged Thursday with embezzling more than $200,000 from a Johnson City church as the church’s secretary.  Jessica Lynn Tramel, 32, 916 Weaver Pike, Bristol, was charged with 150 counts of forgery, theft of property over $60,000 and identity theft.  Police said in a news release Tramel’s arrest resulted from an investigation into an embezzlement report filed by the Unaka Avenue Baptist Church staff stating that funds were missing from the church bank account. An audit indicated that 229,265 was missing.

There’s more.  Follow the link above.

I just wish that these folk would run for political office if they’re so desperate for money and don’t mind acting in a deceptive and underhanded way to get it.  Politics is where the real money is and it’s all under the table and off the books.

[Look closely- that birthmark under her left eye is 666!]

Smokers Can be a tad Touchy…

And if you ask them not to smoke, they might just take a pen and stab you right smartly in the face…  Like a man did to a Jersey woman

A New Jersey woman was stabbed in the face with a pen on a New York City subway train after she tried to stop a man from lighting a cigarette.  The assault occurred on a crowded No. 3 train near the Chambers Street station during Tuesday’s morning rush.  Witnesses told the Daily News and the New York Post that an argument quickly escalated when Evelyn Seeger asked the man not to smoke. The witnesses say two riders were trying to restrain the man when he pulled out a pen and slashed Seeger’s face.

He’s probably a coffee drinker too.  Whatever the case, what a violent chap!  And isn’t it against the law to smoke on trains?  I’ve only ridden the Jersey rail a dozen times or so so I don’t recall.  But I think it is.

Coal Powered Cars: How ‘Green’ Are they Really?

Loads of people seem to think that electric cars are the best thing for the environment.  Don’t they know that

1) most electricity comes from coal fired plants?
2) coal pollutes more than oil and gasoline?
3) coal too is a limited natural resource?
4) fossil fuels are not the way forward?

Unless your electric car is juiced up from a nuclear plant, you’re not all that green after all. But self delusion is always fun, isn’t it!

From the ‘Dumb Criminals’ File

This thug isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.  Indeed, he’s not even as sharp as a butter knife.

Inked on the chest of a Pico Rivera gang member was the detailed scene of a liquor store slaying that had stumped an L.A. County sheriff’s investigator for more than four years. It leads to a jailhouse confession from Anthony Garcia — and a first-degree murder conviction.

He should have just tattooed ‘dimwitted murderer- take me to prison’.

“Think about it. He tattooed his confession on his chest. You have a degree of fate with this,” Parker said. “The detective who spotted it had been a Pico sergeant who went on to become a homicide sergeant. I never worked Pico station. I never would have recognized that Pico liquor store.” Investigators don’t believe Garcia’s elaborate tattoo was a rash decision. Photos from several bookings over the years show the mural on his chest evolving as he added details to the tattooed murder scene — until one day Lloyd saw them as a whole and something clicked.

Good grief.  He’s proud he’s a depraved murderer.

DC Cops Are Celebrity Worshipers and Not Law Enforcers

Absurd.  If any sane or normal person were to do this, they would be arrested and tossed under the jail.  But when a drug using booze sucking imbecile who happens to be famous for being an idiot wants a police escort to speed him through the city because he’s also a poor planner and can’t manage to arrive on time, it’s apparently ok.

The actor Charlie Sheen was granted an 80mph police motorcade to speed him through the congested streets of Washington DC because he was late for a show. Amid mounting criticism, it was unclear who had authorised the police escort on Tuesday to get Sheen to his show “Violent Torpedo of Truth: Defeat Is Not an Option” at DAR Constitution Hall. Sheen posted a photo on his Twitter account showing a police car with lights flashing as he was escorted from Dulles International Airport to the show. “Citizens of the District don’t want to see their police force used to escort private citizens and that Charlie Sheen, of all people, is getting a personal escort,” Phil Mendelson, a District of Columbia councillor, said. A police investigation has now been launched into why he was granted the motorcade.

Citizens might not want to see it but the cops do. And of course, citizens don’t matter. Only d-list celebrities do.

The DC cops have been hanging out with politicians too much. They’ve caught a case of the dirtbags too.

Forum on Teaching Archaeology to Undergrads

This is something very much worth checking out.  If we can get young people to understand real archaeology and how it works, maybe they won’t fall for the idiot archaeology as practiced by various dimwitted cap wearing pseudo-archaeologists on tv.

This Forum stems from the session “Teaching Archaeology to Undergraduates and K-12 Schoolchildren” co-chaired by Ellen D. Bedell and Eric H. Cline at the 2010 ASOR Annual Meeting in Atlanta.  The theme of the 2010 session was the use of technology to teach archaeology.  Four of the presentations are being made available on Dig-it-al NEA in hopes that these papers inspire others to incorporate similar techniques and technologies into their own curriculum.

There’s more at the link.

‘Again’? I Don’t Remember Ever Not!

An op-ed in the Washington Post suggests that people hate Congress, ‘again’.  But I don’t ever recall thinking Congress anything but a collection of clowns, sellouts, buffoons, and imbeciles.  It isn’t the best we send to Congress, it’s the worst- motivated, as they are, to a man and woman, by lust for power and greed for wealth.  That hardly is the cream of the crop.

Have you ever known a politician who wasn’t power hungry or willing to take what they can get from lobbyists and PACS and anyone else?

If we really wanted to send the best to Congress, we would draft public servants.  The people who run for office are running for self.

What Joel Watts Doodles in Church

Everyone who knows Joel knows that he tweets and facebooks during the worship service at his church.  But before you jump on Joel for that perverted and wicked behavior, remember, there are famous bloggers who sleep during SBL papers and others who sleep during their own presentations!

What you may not know is that Joel also doodles when he’s at church, in his word book.  Joel, you see, is just learning to write with a pencil and he practices sentences and vocabulary every Sunday.

Here’s his latest work, photographed just this past Sunday.  Palm Sunday.  Palm.  Sunday.

Believe it or not, his penmanship has greatly improved!

And This Week’s Winner of the ‘Dilly the Dilettante Award’ Is…

Mr Christian Zionist Obama Birds!

The other entries were close, but our panel of judges decided that the rank ignorance of this Dilly Nominee surpassed the insanity of the others.  Congratulations to our Loser ‘Winner’!!!!!   Here’s your sign, and wear it with shame pride.

Another Jesus Sighting: Or, People Really Can be Delusional

This one isn’t even remotely human, much less ‘Jesus-esque’.

What’s weird about this imaginary and delusional sighting is that the guy sees it ‘where he hurts’.  If that’s anyone’s visage, it’s the devil’s (as you can tell by the pain he inflicts).  The devil or Joel Watts

.  And it does sort of favor Joel…

Yuval Goren on the ‘War in the World of Archaeology’

Via Joseph Lauer (why doesn’t he blog?)

Those who read this morning’s Ha’aretz[Hebrew] article “A Storm in the World of Archaeology: Was proof of the existence of David’s Kingdom found in Khirbet Qeiyafa?” will no doubt be interested in reading Dr. Yuval Goren’s reaction (in Hebrew) to it.     Dr. Goren, who is mentioned at the end of the article (in the section regarding an earlier article that IMHO need not have been revisited), kindly gave permission to circulate to the list his attached e-mail, which is directed to his many colleagues as well as to the article’s writer.    As is well-known, Dr. Goren is the Vice-Dean, Faculty of Humanities, of Tel Aviv University, and the University’s Laboratory for Comparative Microarchaeology, Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations.     Thank you, Dr. Goren!

Here’s the letter-

חברות וחברים, עמיתיי למקצוע,

זה עתה סיימתי לקרוא הכתבה של אסף שטול-טראורינג במוסף “הארץ”” העוסקת במלחמות
הארכיאולוגים הקיימות לכאורה בתוכנו. אני חייב לציין כאן לשבח את הכתב, שלעניות
דעתי עשה עבודה עיתונאית ראויה והוגנת והציג את העמדות השונות בויכוח (שבשום
אופן אינו מהווה מלחמה!) הנטוש בין כמה מעמיתינו בנוגע לתיארוך של שכבות באתרים
מסוימים מראשית תקופת הברזל. גם אם המרואיינים בכתבה נסחפו לעיתים לאמירות
קשות, לא התעצל הכתב ופנה לאנשי מקצוע נוספים מהם קיבל תמונות מאוזנות יותר,
אותן אף הביא בשמם. בניגוד לכתבותיו של ניר חסון באותו עיתון, הלוקות בשטחיות
ובהתלהמות צהובה מן הסוג שכולנו פוגשים לצערנו במדיה, ראויה לדעתי כתבה זו לכל
שבח ואני אף מכתב על הודעה זו את כותבה.

בהערת שולים אך במסגרת מובלטת הוכנס לכתבה זו גם העימות הקיים כביכול ביני לבין
פרופ’ יוסי גרפינקל בנוגע לבקשותינו המקבילות לערוך חפירות בתל שוכה, איש-איש
מתוך מטרותיו המדעיות. בלהט הויכוח עלו משני הצדדים אמירות לא מקצועיות ולא
ענייניות שראוי היה שלא ייאמרו, ואכן הקפדתי הקפדת יתר שאמירות כאלה לא יצאו
ממני. חבל מאוד שהיה מי שדאג להביא ציטטות חלקיות, שנאמרו בישיבה סגורה בחדר
מנהל רשות העתיקות ובתכתובת דוא”ל סגורה שתפוצתה כללה חמישה מכותבים, עד
לעיתונות. מצידי אגב לא יצאו האשמות כלשהן כלפי פרופ’ גרפינקל או פרופ’ הייזל,
שבקשתם המשותפת לחפור בתל שוכה נשקלה מול בקשתי. יתר על כן – ראיתי במנכ”ל רשות
העתיקות את הסמכות היחידה הראויה להכריע בנושא זה, ומסרים ברוח זו גם העברתי
אליו. לכן צר לי על שהדברים הוצגו כעימות הקיים כביכול בין המכונים
לארכיאולוגיה באוניברסיטאות העברית ותל אביב. בפועל, אין כמובן להאשמות המופנות
כלפיי בכתבה כל אחיזה במציאות והחפירה שאערוך באתר תמומן מכספי יתרות מקרנות
מחקר ותרומות שגייסנו מגורמים שונים ואמשיך לגייס בעתיד. מאחר והואשמתי בביצוע
מחקר בשירותו של פרופ’ פינקלשטיין שימומן מתקציביו, יעיד פרופ’ פינקלשטיין עצמו
כי מעולם לא לקחתי כל צד בויכוח המדעי הנוגע לתיארוך השכבות מראשית תקופת
הברזל, אינני מתמחה בתחום זה ופרט לעניין מקצועי שמעוררת בי כל סוגיה
ארכיאולוגית באשר היא, אין לי כל מעורבות בנושא. לעניין התקציבים, ידוע לכל
עמיתיי ואני מניח שאך לפרופ’ גרפינקל עצמו כי מלכתחילה הרחקתי את עצמי מתקציבי
המחקר שקיבלו פרופ’ פינקלשטיין ופרופ’ סטיב וויינר (ממכון ויצמן למדע) מקרן
האיחוד האירופי וממקורות אחרים לצורך חקר “ישראל הקדום”. יתרה מכך, ככל הידוע
לנו כיום מתוצאות הסקרים הארכיאולוגיים בתל שוכה, השכבות הארכיאולוגיות שבאתר
תחילתן ככל הנראה במאה השמינית לפנה”ס ולפיכך אין לאתר זה כל נגיעה לויכוח
הנוגע לימי דוד ושלמה. על כן, למרות שיש בדברים שצוטטו בשמו של פרופ’ גרפינקל
בעיתון יותר משמץ של דיבה, אני רואה בהם התבטאות לא מוצלחת של אדם בצערו ואני
מבקש שנעבור על הדברים לסדר היום ולא נמשיך בסגנון זה. ההכרעה בדבר מתן רישיון
החפירה בתל שוכה נעשתה על ידי שוקה דורפמן, מנכ”ל רשות העתיקות, שהוא האדם
המייצג את הגוף האמון על מתן רישיונות החפירה מתוקף חוק העתיקות. ידוע לי ששוקה
הגיע להחלטה לאחר התייעצות עם גורמים רבים, בהם המועצה הארכיאולוגית וכמה
מבכירי הארכיאולוגים בארץ. בשלב מסוים, כאשר עורבו בויכוח (לא על ידי!!!)
גורמים חיצוניים ואף נכתבה כתבה מעליבה בעיתונות, הודעתי לכולא דעלמא על כוונתי
למשוך את בקשת הרישיון וזאת לשם הרגעת הרוחות. על פי בקשתו המפורשת של מנהל
הרשות שבאה מיד לאחר שהודעתי על כוונתי זו, לא משכתי את בקשת הרישיון וההכרעה
נעשתה בסופו של דבר על ידיו.

בכל מקרה, אני רוצה להבהיר שאין מדובר במלחמת ארכיאולוגים, בוודאי שאין כאן
עימות בין המכונים לארכיאולוגיה ואף לדוד ולשלמה אין כל נגיעה לנושא. אני מבקש
מאוד מכל עמיתיי וידידיי בכל המוסדות הארכיאולוגיים להרפות מן הנושא, למתן את
הטונים הצורמים ולשוב למערכת היחסים החברית ששררה בתוכנו בעבר. ויכוחים מדעיים
ימשיכו כנראה להתקיים בתוכנו (וטוב שכך), אך רצוי מאוד שהם יישארו במסגרת
הקולגיאלית שהם ראויים לה ומתוך כבוד הדדי וכבוד למקצוע. בעיקר נכונים הדברים
בימים בהם יוצרים גורמים דילטנטיים מחוץ למקצוע המאוד מכובד שלנו מצגי שווא של
תגליות מקראיות סנסציוניות, תוך ניצול רגשות הציבור ובאמצעות גורמים בלתי
אחראיים בתקשורת. ייתכן שאת כל המרץ וההתבטאויות הקשות עלינו להפנות לכיוונים
אלה וכלפי השרלטנים המגלים בסמוך לחגים הנוצריים או העבריים המתאימים את
הגלוסקמאות של ישו, אחיו, אימו ואולי גם של רוח הקודש, את הכתובות האמיתיות
בהחלט ממקדש שלמה בירושלים, את עקבות יציאת מצריים בסנטוריני, את תיבת נוח
ולאחרונה גם את המסמרים האמיתיים ששמשו ללא שום ספק לצליבת ישו והובאו למנוחה
נכונה בגלוסקמא של כייפא הכהן הגדול. ממש ניסים ונפלאות! אלו הם המקומות בהם
נדרשות התבטאויות חריפות מצד ארכיאולוגים בכירים ואחראיים בעיתונות ובאמצעי
התקשורת האחרים ודווקא שם אנחנו “נרדמים בשמירה”.

בברכת חג שמח ושבת שלום לכולנו ולכל בית ישראל (ויהודה),


Prof. Yuval Goren, Ph.D.

Vice-Dean, Faculty of Humanities
Laboratory for Comparative Microarchaeology
Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations,
Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

They Do it Every Year: Crucifixion in the Philippines…

It must be some sort of mixture of paganism, belief in magic, and sub-Christian superstition which drives some Philippinos to endure crucifixion (with real wood and nails- maybe Simcha can go to the Philippines in his next special and experience it himself so that he can narrate from a first hand point of view exactly what it’s like…).

Whatever their reasoning, someone needs to tell them that one crucifixion for sin is sufficient and any others a complete waste of time.

Anyway, as an aside, they aren’t even doing it right.  Everyone knows (or should) that the nails weren’t driven through the palms, but the wrists.  Attribute that little blunder to bad Christian art which scarcely ever gets anything right.

There Isn’t A Complete Explanation for the Problem of Human Suffering…

So opines Benedict XVI in a TV interview.

Pope Benedict admits there isn’t a full answer to suffering in rare TV interview The Pope has spoken about the tsunami in Japan, conflict in Iraq, the civil war in Ivory Coast and victims of multiple sclerosis in an unprecedented television appearance due to be broadcast in Italy on Good Friday.

With no offense to the Holy Father, anyone who reads Psalm 22 (or any of the Lament psalms) or the book of Job knows that. But do read the rest of the Telegraph essay announcing the tv interview.

In my mind it is precisely at the Cross that the true meaning of human suffering is clarified: suffering is salvific- if not for the sufferer than for others.  And it is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for human sin which solves human suffering- for in life everlasting in the presence of God believers will know suffering no more.

So there may not be a complete explanation for suffering in this life; but suffering is solved and destroyed in eternity.

Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

Chris has been vacationing in Spain, where he’s taken up working out in the gym.  But, this being Chris, it’s not a normal gym.  Of course not.

A gym in Spain’s Basque region has come up with an eye-catching way of battling the recession.  It has begun offering naked workouts, for nudists.  Easy Gym in Arrigorriaga is the first of its kind in Spain, pioneering the peculiar practice of stripping while keeping fit.  “With the crisis we noticed there were fewer people using the gym,” owner Merche Laseca explained to the BBC.  “I’m not a nudist myself, though I have no problem with it. But this initiative is about the money.”

Ok.  Seriously.  Chris….   Being a regular at the gym I can fearlessly assert that nothing would be more completely disgusting than seeing the workout crowd naked.  Nothing.  A naked gym?  That’s surely what hell must look like.  Blubber flapping around and sweaty old people getting in your personal space is bad enough- but completely exposed blubber…

I’d pay NOT to go to such a hellish establishment (because I’m 100% sure it isn’t going to be inhabited by Hooter’s Girls.  And if it were, they would pay NOT to see me!) so there’s no way I’d pay to go to it.  [There’s a photo at the link above but I warn you, if you’ve eaten don’t look].

Leave it to Chris to find a place like that to work out while on vacation.  Oh Chris…

What Does INRI Mean When it’s On a Cross?

Put simply, it’s the Latin abbreviation for ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’.


With thanks to Jan Pieter for reminding me to mention this since it comes up every year.

More Reprehensible ‘Me-ianity’ Parading as Christianity

The whole purpose of meeting as Church is to gather together with other members of the community of faith to worship, celebrate, and encourage.  That isn’t possible if you hold ‘drive through’ services and such ‘services’ only play into the disgusting ‘me-ianity’ so widespread today in American culture.

Good Morning Tennessee — Tearsa: Busy? One TN church housed in an old bank building is holding drive through Good Friday services at the drive thru window. The story is on GMT this morning. [Via GMT’s Facebook page.]

Driving up to an old bank window and ‘celebrating’ Good Friday? Here’s a suggestion: stay at home and watch this video.  It will match your own outlook perfectly.