Daily Archives: 13 Aug 2011

The Most Interesting Essay on Job You’ll Read This Year

Is by David J.A. Clines in this enjoyable volume published by the Lit Verlag (and which can be had in North America through Eisenbrauns).

Job, You Ask Some Good Questions

Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? Their offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them. … Have you not asked those who travel the roads, and do you not accept their testimony that the evil man is spared in the day of calamity, that he is rescued in the day of wrath? (Job 21:7-9, 29-30)

I’ve often wondered the same…

The Boycott Of Israel Explained

In Al-Jazeera

Author and history professor Mark LeVine speaks with sociologist Lisa Taraki, a co-founder of the Palestinian campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Mark LeVine: What is the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement and how is it related to the academic and cultural boycott movement? How have both evolved in the past few years in terms of their goals and methods?

Lisa Taraki: The BDS movement can be summed up as the struggle against Israeli colonisation, occupation and apartheid. BDS is a rights-based strategy to be pursued until Israel meets its obligation to recognise the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and complies with the requirements of international law.

Etc.  The whole is, if one is willing to set aside one’s bias, well reasoned and intelligent.

World renowned public intellectuals, academics, writers, artists, musicians and other cultural workers have now endorsed the academic and cultural boycott call; their names are too many to note here, but the interested reader can consult the PACBI website. In addition, several campaigns for academic and cultural boycott have been established around the world: in the UK, the USA, France, Pakistan, Lebanon, Germany, Norway, India, Spain, South Africa, and Australia, and many other countries. The newly established European Platform for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (EPACBI) is an important coordinating body in Europe.

My problem with it, though, and let me be perfectly direct here, is that I have friends in Israel who – in their work – would be hurt by such a boycott and frankly I don’t see how hindering or injuring the work of people like Aren Maeir or Israel Finkelstein or Eric Cline is either helpful or will lead the government of Israel to change its policy.

That is why I won’t be taking part.  Two wrongs don’t make a right.

All Hale President Bachmann

Official photo of Congresswoman Michele Bachma...

America's next President

The HuffPo says of the straw thing in Iowa

Michele Bachmann appears to have blown the doors off this thing, with reports of at least 6,000 votes. Ron Paul aides tell me they passed out 4,700 or 4,800 tickets. And there are reports of more than 3,000 tickets passed out by Pawlenty.

Again, these are not official numbers, but if they are right, then Bachmann is the big winner today, and Pawlenty has some very hard questions to answer about whether his campaign has any future at all.

All hale Bachmann- what America deserves (no, really, she’s just what we deserve).

The Life of Brian, Redone

The Guardian tells us

The story behind the making of the film and the religious storm it caused are the subject of Holy Flying Circus.

And moreover

Holy Flying Circus will tell the story of the making of Life of Brian and the righteous fury that surrounded the release of its satirical take on the gospels. It is the first attempt to dramatise the activities of the sextet who transformed the nature of comedy in this country and produced a British film now critically regarded as one of the very best.

Coming together this summer to play Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and the late Graham Chapman, the performers have admitted to feeling odd about playing men who have the status, if not of modern-day messiahs, then at least of comedy gods for their fans around the world.

There’s a lot more. Must see tv.

What a Fine Representation of the Soaring Glory of God

Nicolas Pictet has posted this beautiful photo of Laon Cathedral (near Reims) on the Facebook:

You can see heaven, but you can’t touch it unaided!

Dorothy King’s Very Interesting Post

On a first century victim of crucifixion.  Quite nicely done and nicely illustrated.  You’ll enjoy it.

Every Televised Soccer Game

Oh this is nice!  Every league of significance and every game all around the world and what channel it is on.  It’s soccer heaven!

Another Quote of the Day

Our life is superficial without depth or meaning so long as it does not have its roots in eternity. — Emil Brunner

The Core Problem of the Angry Atheist

Lack of humility. They can’t explain God’s governance of the world and so they deny that God exists. They should pay attention to the sage remarks of Emil Brunner:

A man who proposes to ‘explain’ God’s government of the world is even more ludicrous than the raw recruit who wants to explain the general’s plan or a shophand who criticizes the organization and management of a mammoth industrial enterprise.

And then

We should fore-go the desire to decipher out of the darkness His will for ourselves.  The solution of the world riddle will not come until the day of salvation.

Rejecting the notion or idea of God because the finite mind can’t comprehend the plan of God is like refusing to turn on a light because one doesn’t understand the way electricity works.

Quote of the Day

The fundamentalist would do well to cover his mouth where God is silent.   The postmodernist would do well to cover his mouth when God speaks – Jeff Park

135: That’s the Number of Google+ Invites I have

You’re welcome to one of them.  It’s really quite useful.

Fox News and Friends Should Rename Themselves Fox Hypocrites and Liars

If you missed Jon Stewarts exposing the hypocrisy of Fox on the subject of ‘entitlements’ do yourself a favor and see it here.  Honestly I just don’t comprehend how anyone with so much as half a brain can believe Fox.  I’ve never seen such unbridled hypocrisy outside political circles (which probably explains it- Fox is the soapbox of the far right and never intends to be anything else).

The REAL Rick Perry

He’s false more than he’s true.  And he’s true more than other Texan politicians.  Says volumes, really.

No one in Texas politics has faced the Truth-O-Meter more than Rick Perry, who’s gotten more True ratings than anyone else in the state — 10 — while also leading in False (14) and Pants on Fire ratings (7).

Read the whole report.  Pretty interesting stuff.  The bottom line: Perry is a typical politician.  It doesn’t look to me like his Christianity has informed his ethics too much.

The London Riots: A First Hand Account

The Telegraph has a really engaging essay from first hand of the London riots.

A police officer, whose anonymous blog has captivated thousands, tells of his shock, exhaustion and terror after confronting the mob. I have worked every night and every day this week. Since last Saturday, when I was on the streets of Tottenham in north London in the early hours as rioting and looting broke out, through to the early hours of yesterday morning. I have clocked up around 125 hours, too many of them being pelted by stones, petrol bombs and, in one case, in the chaos of it all, by a 4ft ornamental palm tree.

Do read it all.  My one reservation is that the author is an anonymous officer.  I hope he doesn’t turn out to be a fraud like Damascus Lesbian Girl did.  Now and forever all anonymity online implies fraud at some level in my estimation.

Logos 4: My Recommendation to Logos Software

Yesterday Cliff mentioned the impending availability of the Duke Papyri collection from Logos, for free.  I signed right up, having Logos 3 and having used it for a long time.

Alas, I learned later on that Logos 4.3 is required for using the new, free resource.   Dismayed, I shared with Cliff via Twitter that such was the case.

He replied that I could in fact download the ‘core’ of Logos 4.3 for free, which I did (though it took most of the night- it’s a 1.5 gigabyte file and I’m on simple DSL).

It auto-installed once it was downloaded and when I checked it this morning I was really pleasantly surprised and pleased.  It’s a vast, vast improvement over Logos 3.  Night and day, actually.

 The welcome screen

the exegetical screen

I’m so impressed that I’m going to buy the upgrade package.  And here’s my recommendation to Logos:

1- Prominently display the link to the Logos 4 core download on the home page under something like ‘try it out before you buy it’.  If everyone else is as happy with it as I am I’m fairly sure they will have considerably more purchases.

2- Publicize the free download on the Logos blog and elsewhere.  Trying to find it on the Logos site isn’t the simplest thing and frankly I never would have known about it if Cliff hadn’t told me on the Twitter.  Get the word out.  Literally.

As I mentioned in a recent review of BibleWorks 9, it’s my go to resource for exegetical work in terms of biblical studies software.  As I also mentioned, the strength of Logos is its huge collection of secondary literature.  I still think that’s true.  But Logos 4 is much better for exegesis than Logos 3.  And that’s a certainty.

Combined, the resources for exegesis in BibleWorks 9 and the (mainly) secondary resources available in Logos 4 ‘have it all’.

I guess what I’m saying is, you probably need both.  Skip lunch at McDonalds for a couple of months and get both.