Those Who Construct a ‘god’ of their Own Liking…

Always make that ‘god’ skankier than themselves.  As the Los Angeles Times makes clear enough-

Study links willingness to cheat, viewpoint on God. The study found no difference in the ethical behavior of believers and nonbelievers. But participants who saw God as compassionate were more likely to cheat than those who believed in an angry, punitive God.

And

A new study on the link between one’s view of God and willingness to cheat on a test is the latest example of social scientists wading into the highly charged field of religion and morality.

Persons without ethics love a ‘god’ who requires nothing of them.

The study, titled “Mean Gods Make Good People: Different Views of God Predict Cheating Behavior” was peer reviewed and published earlier this month in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion.

The title of the study should be ‘skanky people construct skanky gods’.

In line with many previous studies, it found no difference between the ethical behavior of believers and nonbelievers. But those who believed in a loving, compassionate God were more likely to cheat than those who believed in an angry, punitive God. “The take-home message is not whether you believe in God, but what God you believe in,” said Azim Shariff, a psychologist at the University of Oregon. Shariff conducted the study with psychologist Ara Norenzayan, who had been his doctoral advisor at the University of British Columbia.

No, the take home message is that when people make a god, they always make him in their own image.  God reveals himself and requires faith and fidelty.    Luther put it best- and it’s a shame the researchers didn’t read him: ‘man always has God or an idol’.  The cheating man has a god who cheats and the lying man has a god who lies because the liar and the cheater only have a god who looks back at them when they look into the mirror.

(With thanks to Marc Cortez on FB for mentioning the report).

Why, Oh Why Must Our Government Lie- Even When it Needn’t?

Sometimes I get so disgusted I consider converting to mennonitism and being done with everything.

The White House admitted last night that its initial account of the way Osama bin Laden died at the hands of US forces had been riddled with errors.

Claims that the al-Qaeda leader had died while firing an automatic weapon at commandos were withdrawn, with President Barack Obama’s spokesman admitting “he was unarmed”. A dramatic description of bin Laden using his wife as a “human shield” and forcing her to sacrifice her life also proved to be false. The woman was still alive and was taken into custody with several of the terrorist’s children.  In an embarrassing climb-down, Barack Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, admitted that the previous version of events — which came mostly from the chief US counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan — had been put out “with great haste”.  The about-turn left the US open to accusations of a cover-up and led to calls for video footage of the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and images of bin Laden’s body to be released to end conspiracy theories.

Liar, liar, pants on fire, US Government.  What the devil is wrong with you people?  What else have you lied about?  Did you really get Osama?  Did you really bury him at sea?  Or will he turn up in Memphis at Graceland in a few years giving tours?

Feckless idiots.  Nothing will stoke the loon conspiracy theorists mad ovens like this.  Feckless idiots.

Now That’s Interesting…

The other day I posted a piece which supposedly quoted MLK Jr. and Bob Cargill pointed out that the quote was a fake.   So I deleted the post (in quite a miffed mood I have to confess).

But when the Huffington Post linked to the story in their ‘around the web’ section after the story, they linked to my link to Bob.

It must be the price of fame… Anyway, Bob’s the man- I’m just the lowly messenger.

Sometimes the Line Between Total Depravity and Total Stupidity is Blurred

And you end up with a transgendered guy marrying a Hindu ‘god’.

Jyoti, a 62-year-old transgender Indian who was born a man, saves up money every year to buy a beautiful new wedding dress for a festival at which she gets married to a Hindu god.  This year, she played her role as a “bride” wearing a blue silk brocade sari that cost 15,000 rupees ($338) — nearly 2 months’ earnings.  The “groom” at the annual festival in Koovagam, Tamil Nadu, was Aravan, a Hindu god celebrated as a young warrior who was killed in the ancient epic, the Mahabharata.  Heavily made-up and dripping with gold jewellery, hundreds of transgender brides excitedly discussed their wedding plans as they queued to marry Aravan in his temple.

I think that some people might be so excited about the possibility of doing this themselves that there may be an outbreak of the same thing in San Francisco when the AAR (those people are nutbags) joins the SBL again.  Yes, don’t be surprised if various weirdo subgroups meeting with the AAR have a parade next to the pier and celebrate their marriages to rocks and toads and nice frocks and other inanimate objects.

Via.

Quote of the Day

The alleged findings of scholarly exegesis have been used to put together the most dreadful books that destroy the figure of Jesus and dismantle the faith…And so the Bible no longer speaks of God, the living God; no, now we alone speak and decide what God can do and what we will and should do. And the Antichrist, with an air of scholarly excellence, tells us that any exegesis that reads the Bible from the perspective of faith in the living God, in order to listen to what God has to say, is fundamentalism…  –  Joseph Ratzinger

Oh But They Do…

Abandon doctrine in favor of tradition.  Or if you prefer, set aside Scripture in favor of tradition.  Here’s just one example of many-

Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus had brothers and sisters.  The Greek words can be fudged any way you wish, but their meaning cannot be changed.

Yet in spite of this scriptural truth Catholic dogma insists, based on its tradition of the perpetual virginity of Mary, that Jesus was an only child.

That is, they reject Scripture’s plain meaning in favor of their traditional/dogmatic ideology.  So, yes, Catholics do – when they wish – abandon Scripture.

Being a Christian In Pakistan Just Got More Dangerous

A mob of Muslims have forced thousands of Christians from their homes and attacked a Seminary.  The full details of this terrible story are available here.

We need to pray quite diligently for Christians in other lands who pay a very high price for being believers (while here in America very few pay any price at all, including but not limited to the lowest level of part time commitment imaginable).

What to Do, What to Do…

I’ve been sent a photo from the ‘Royal Wedding’ that is real, but a bit off color because of the … well shoot.  Anyway, I can’t post it because of its off-coloredness.

But it’s so funny I want to share it because it’s hilarious.  What to do, what to do…

What Difference Exists Between Protestant/Reformed and Catholic/Pentecostal/Emergent?

Only one thing that really counts- the unwillingness of the Reformed/Protestant to abandon Scripture (rightly interpreted via the agency of the Holy Spirit) for the sake of mysticism (a la Catholicism) / spiritualism (a la Pentecostalism) and individualism (a la the emergent heresy).

In other words, what makes one a Reformed Christian or a Protestant Christian is one’s adherence to Sola Scriptura as the one central and abiding characteristic of Christian faith and practice.  Catholics abandon sola scriptura in favor of tradition; Pentecostals abandon sola scriptura in favor of the ‘inner light’; and emergents abandon sola scriptura in favor of their own self interests and selfish motives.

One cannot be either Reformed or Protestant (in their various manifestations: Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc) without clinging to Scripture as the ONLY source of doctrine and the only wellspring of practice and devotion.  The abandonment of Scripture is the open door to error in both faith and practice.  And this is precisely why those who are truly Reformed and truly Protestant cannot become, even in small measure, Catholic, Pentecostal, or Emergent.  Such would be a betrayal of the faith.

Eric Cline and Tel Kabri in the News

Via for purchase-

During the 2008 and 2009 excavations at Tel Kabri, more than 100 new fragments of wall and floor plaster were uncovered. Approximately 60 are painted, probably belonging to a second Aegean-style wall fresco with figural representations and a second Aegean-style painted floor. A date within the Middle Bronze II period, probably in the 17th century B.C.E., may be suggested for the Kabri frescoes, which makes them significantly earlier than the Tell el-Dab’a and Qatna frescoes and roughly contemporary with the Alalakh Minoan-style frescoes. That there are at least four Aegean-style frescoes found to date at Kabri (two painted floors and two wall paintings) may hint that either the palace was decorated with a single Aegean pictorial plan in mind—an ambitious undertaking by a unique Canaanite ruler—or that different paintings were commissioned in different episodes and executed by different Aegean (or Aegean-trained) artisans.

Though you can see numerous images for free.  With thanks to Chris Rollston for the heads up.

Walking Dead TV Listing Fail (via Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion)

For American readers, just so you know ‘The Walking Dead’ is NOT a documentary….

It seems that Simcha (and his penchant for calling trash tv documentary) has some colleagues at the BBC…

At least, I sincerely hope so. From the current Radio Times: The undead are also apparently working as copy-editors for the BBC. … Read More

via Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion

A Report from the 2011 Meeting of the Calvin Studies Society

Which met recently at the Lutheran Seminary in St. Paul, MN.  As reported by the Reformatorisch Dagblad.

The penultimate paragraph contains an important question very much worth considering-

Als Luther zijn confessionele volgelingen vandaag zou kunnen zien, zou hij dan niet het hoofd moeten schudden en zijn hart vasthouden, omdat de ”theologie van het kruis” toch weer al te zeer een ”theologie van glorie” is geworden, waarbij het zo moeilijk is om blijvend te leven uit geloof alleen, uit genade alleen? Overigens geldt deze vraag evenzeer voor de protestanten die zich afstammeling weten van Calvijn.

A Forthcoming Volume to Watch For

R.L. Webb and M.S. Goodacre (eds), Jesus as Restoration Prophet: Engaging the Work of E. P. Sanders (London & New York: Continuum/T&T Clark, forthcoming).

Unfortunately, that’s all I know about it and the Continuum site doesn’t yet indicate further details.  But the title makes it sound fun!