Monthly Archives: August 2011

Oh No, Not in Copenhagen Too!

This is so tragic and so completely barbaric:

One man was killed and two more wounded in a shoot-out outside a mosque in central Copenhagen on Tuesday morning.

The Norway gunman seems to have like minded friends across the sea in Denmark.

Anti-Islamic feeling has been strengthening in Denmark ever since the conservative Jyllands-Posten newspaper outraged the Muslim world by publishing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

Astonishing, really, given the openness of Danish society and the friendliness (in a German-esque way) of the Danes. God willing all this madness will end and never be repeated. I know the decent Danes wish the same.

I’m Very Sorry: The Biblioblogger Social in San Francisco

With regret I have to inform folk that my efforts to secure a venue for the projected biblioblogger get-together in San Francisco have resulted in dead end after dead end and disappointment heaped on top of disappointment.

I’ve been trying since January to either secure a sponsor who would provide us with a space (and found none- though I contacted quite a number of possible contenders) or just some space in a restaurant.  Sponsors were unwilling to expend the necessary funds to secure a spot (it’s really quite expensive) and venues all wanted a fairly hefty fee in payment.

Many of you will recall that in past times we’ve been able to meet in a location free of charge.  Unfortunately, San Fran seems a different sort of place and each venue I contacted was unwilling simply to allow us to gather and fellowship (even though I assured them that there would be plenty of soft-drinks consumed!).

I look back longingly to our meetings in San Diego and New Orleans where restaurants were happy to give us space.  Alas… I just can’t find such a place this year.

And time has really run out to do so.

I’m really sorry.  I mean it.  I’m really, really sorry.  Perhaps I’ll have more luck next year.

Is The Whole Atheist v. Theist Discussion Just Boring or What?

There’s a fine essay which probes the issue of belief and unbelief among Pastors (much in the news these days thanks to some atheist ‘pastors’ in Holland) right here.

Die Zeitschrift «reformiert.» hat mit dem protestantischen Pfarrer gesprochen, der weiterhin in seinen Kirchgemeinden predigen darf – und das meist vor vollen Rängen. Im September kommt er in die Schweiz.

I hope you’ll take a look.  There are atheists who are cordial and sensible and agreeable even in their disagreement.  And then there are the angry atheists who are nothing more than fundamentalists.  I much prefer the former.  Converse with the latter is nothing more than an utter waste of time.

It’s Better to Pray to God than to a Saint or at some Shrine

Because you don’t have to go on pilgrimage to pray to God. And the consequences of trudging off to a spot of idolatry can be hazardous to your health…

Man on Pilgrimage of Thanks after Recovery from Car Crash is Run Over And killed after only a mile into his journey. How very unfortunate: A year earlier, he had been injured in a road accident and made a full recovery. So the man decided to make a pilgrimage to a shrine to give thanks for his survival – only to be knocked down and killed by a car less than a mile into his trek. The 40-year-old Spanish man died instantly after being hit by the vehicle just 20 minutes into his journey. Two women walking with him wer … Read More

via Fr Stephen’s Blog

Prophetic Jesus, Prophetic Church

That’s the title of a forthcoming volume by Luke Timothy Johnson at Eeerdmans that I’m sure one and all will want to look at.  There’s a short excerpt published here too.  What’s it about?

Christians chronically and desperately need prophecy, says award winning biblical scholar Luke Timothy Johnson. In this and every age, the church needs the bold proclamation of God’s transforming vision to challenge its very human tendency toward expediency and self interest — to jolt it into new insight and energy.  For Johnson, the New Testament books Luke and Acts provide that much-needed jolt to conventional wisdom. To read Luke-Acts as a literary unit, he says, is to uncover a startling prophetic vision of Jesus and the church — one that imagines a reality very different from the one humans would construct on their own. Johnson identifies in Luke’s writings an ongoing call for today’s church, grounded in the prophetic ministry of Jesus Christ, to embody and enact God’s vision for the world.

Sounds engaging.

Yes, We’re Looking at You, Brill

The Guardian is right-

Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist.


Academic publishers charge vast fees to access research paid for by us. Down with the knowledge monopoly racketeers.

And- pointedly

Who are the most ruthless capitalists in the western world? Whose monopolistic practices make Walmart look like a corner shop and Rupert Murdoch a socialist? You won’t guess the answer in a month of Sundays. While there are plenty of candidates, my vote goes not to the banks, the oil companies or the health insurers, but – wait for it – to academic publishers. Theirs might sound like a fusty and insignificant sector. It is anything but. Of all corporate scams, the racket they run is most urgently in need of referral to the competition authorities.

Everyone claims to agree that people should be encouraged to understand science and other academic research. Without current knowledge, we cannot make coherent democratic decisions. But the publishers have slapped a padlock and a “keep out” sign on the gates.

You might resent Murdoch’s paywall policy, in which he charges £1 for 24 hours of access to the Times and Sunday Times. But at least in that period you can read and download as many articles as you like. Reading a single article published by one of Elsevier’s journals will cost you $31.50. Springer charges €34.95, Wiley-Blackwell, $42. Read 10 and you pay 10 times. And the journals retain perpetual copyright. You want to read a letter printed in 1981? That’ll be $31.50.

Read the whole thing, it is SPOT ON. And then think of all the academic publishers with their outrageous fees and ask yourself who really, really is in it for the money.

Why Facebook Will No Longer Be my Primary Social Media Site

And Google+ will be.

First, I’m really weary of Facebook constantly changing things around.  Just when I get the hang of how some feature works, they change it.

Second, I am utterly disgusted with their latest accessibility fiasco.  To be specific, before their latest update I could easily select groups which could view posts.  Now, if I want to interact with a limited number of people, I have to type in their names or type in the names of those I wish to exclude from a particular conversation.  I find that idiotic.

Third, I can do with Google+ exactly what I wish to do in terms of specific communications.  Facebook seems to want to make it as hard as possible to be specific in communications and Google + seems to want to make it as easy as possible.  I know which I prefer.

So I’ll still check in on Facebook and post generalities from time to time, but for real interaction, I’m moving over to G+ from now on.

I have 132 invites left for G+.  You’re welcome to one.

The Biblioblog Reference Librarian Gone Wild

Steve’s been busy lately. He’s started a new Journal for bloggers and a new Press for publications. And it’s all peer reviewed (I wonder who those peers are!).

Anyway, I still have reservations and questions.  Aside from who the ‘peers’ are (will they be degreed academics or loving amateurs?), will there be a connection to the already existing bibliobloggers group of SBL?   Is Steve reinventing the wheel?  Questions, questions.

Biblioblog Library Anouncements: New Version, New Journal, New Press This post comprises an important three-pronged announcement: First, the latest version of the Library (Beta 3) will soon be going live. Currently there is a brand-new mockup you can take a look at here (but be careful as most of the links aren’t connected yet). Where I did not realize it myself, as I’ve been told by others it is much more “Gawker-like” with how it shows the latest posts in whatever category or topic you’re viewing in the right-ha … Read More

via The Biblioblog Reference Librarian’s Desk

The Making of an Atheist

via Estee of FB- Neat, huh?!?!?!

Wine in the Bible

The German Bible Society has a really nice ‘encyclopedia entry’ on the subject of wine in the Bible.  Give it a read.

Throwing a 7 Year Old Off a Boat is a Decidedly Bad Idea

A man is accused of throwing his 7-year-old son overboard after the boy witnessed a fight between the man and his girlfriend on a cruise in Newport Harbor.  Witnesses say they saw Sloane Briles, 35, hit his son and then toss the child in the water. People on three boats in the area rushed to save the boy, pulling him to safety, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino. The boy was shaken up but otherwise OK, Amormino told KTLA.

In other news, real parents love and shield their children from all the harm they can.

Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now

He’s in trouble with the law again

The Transportation Security Administration says a man tried to board a flight from Miami to Brazil with nylon bags filled with exotic snakes and tortoises hidden in his pants.  TSA spokesman Jonathon Allen says the man was stopped after passing through a body scanner at Miami International Airport last Thursday. Security officials spotted the nylon bags filled with seven snakes and three tortoises stuffed inside the man’s pants.

What a weirdo!  Just go to a pet store!!  Anyway, keep praying for Chris.  He clearly needs it.

Our Wretched System of Injustice

A Chicago man who has been arrested 99 times was sentenced to 18 months in prison Monday after allegedly going door-to-door with his 3-year-old daughter in suburban Riverside “looking for new victims to con.”

Albert Luis Alvarez, 37, was arrested on August 10 after Riverside residents called police about a “suspicious” man asking for money while pushing a stroller, the Chicago Tribune reports. When police found Alvarez, he allegedly threw several bags of drugs on the ground before police found more heroin in his pockets. He was allegedly telling residents that he was injured and needed money for his young daughter, who was ultimately turned over to a family member, Fox Chicago reports.

When police took him to the station, they realized he had 98 prior arrests and 23 convictions, CBS Chicago reports. He has been convicted of burglary, robbery, larceny, assault, drugs and smuggling. He also gave various police departments 10 dates of birth, nine names and five Social Security numbers used as aliases.

The next time someone tells you that the poor minorities never get a break from the broken legal system, remind them of this example of the American Injustice System.

Mozart, Again, But Never Too Much

A beautiful movement-

UPDATE: The Blogger Gift Give at SBL

Adrianna of IVP Academic writes

“Being the social creature that I am, I’ve realized that simply having bibliobloggers come to the booth would not guarantee that I would have a chance to personally meet them. So instead, I will be on hand at the annual bibliobloggers reception (details TBD) to hand-deliver the gifts provided by IVP Academic. So stop by the IVP booth for great deals on books but come to the reception for the free stuff!”

My apologies to one and all for the confusion which was caused solely and only by me and neither IVP or Adrianna should be blamed for it.  Actually I think I’ll blame the serpent.  Yeah, that works.  The serpent confused me and I was yeah verily mightily confused!

Anyway, see you at SBL.  Perhaps someone can make better progress in attempting to arrange a venue than I’ve been able to.

A Handy Guide to Scholarly Editions of the Bible (via Εις Δοξαν)

Jason’s right- right useful stuff here.

I received in the mail today, as I’m sure some of you have, a handy guide to the scholarly editions published by the German Bible Society. It’s a guide geared for first-year students, “who might benefit from a basic introduction like this.” There are short write-ups on the BHK, BHS, and BHQ, as well as a short history on the Greek New Testament. If you’re interested in perusing this handy little guide, you can download the pdf. And, be sure to ch … Read More

via Εις Δοξαν

The Little Ingrate Who Sued Her Mother…

Because mom didn’t give her enough money for a homecoming dress…

The dismissal of a lawsuit brought against a Barrington Hills mother by her two grown children who accused her of “bad mothering” was unanimously upheld by the First District Appellate Court of Illinois.

The suit, originally dismissed by Cook County Judge Kathy Flanagan who called the siblings’ allegations “petty grievances” according to the Toronto Sun, sought more than $50,000 in damages for emotional distress and cited issues like curfew enforcement, insufficient college care packages and haggling over homecoming dress budgets as sources of undue suffering.

The two-year legal battle began when Steven II, now 23, and Kathryn Miner, 20, filed a lawsuit against their mother Kimberly Garrity in 2009, represented by three attorneys including their father, Steven A. Miner, according to the Daily Herald. Miner and Garrity divorced in 1995 and the children lived with their father.

Oh do read the rest, and see what pettiness and greed can do.  I know one thing, if my daughter ever sued me for such idiotic and trivial reasons there would be a mighty outpouring of Old Testament style divine wrath and rage.

More on the ‘Miriam Ossuary’, Or at Least Catching Up

An interesting piece which commences

In Jerusalem and Judah, ancient limestone burial boxes containing skeletal remains — called ossuaries — are fairly common archaeological finds from the 1st century BCE to the 1st century AD period. Forgers have also added inscriptions or decorations to fraudulently increase their value. So three years ago, when the Israel Antiquities Authority confiscated an ossuary with a rare inscription from antiquities looters, they turned to Prof. Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology to authenticate the fascinating discovery.   Prof. Goren, who worked in collaboration with Prof. Boaz Zissu from Bar Ilan University, now confirms that both the ossuary and its inscription are authentic. The ossuary’s inscription, which is unusually detailed, could reveal the home of the family of the biblical figure and high priest Caiaphas prior to their exodus to Galilee after 70 AD. Caiaphas is infamous for his involvement in the crucifixion of Jesus.  Prof. Goren’s finding has been reported in the Israel Exploration Journal.

I’m not sure why this is just now being mentioned by the Eureka Alert people.  The IEJ essay came out in July as I noted then.  But at least the Eureka people aren’t peddling lead.

[Joel’s not sure if the story is new.  I think he’s intentionally trying to hurt my feelings].

There are no Atheists in Heaven, Nor Among Listeners of Mozart’s Music

No one in the semblance of a right mind could deny the existence of God knowing the gift he gave to Mozart and through Mozart to us. No one.

Even The Most Perverse Pedophiles Reap what they Sow

Warren Jeffs, the polygamous sect leader and convicted child rapist, is in a coma and may not survive, a source close to Jeffs tells ABC News.  Jeffs, 55, had been fasting for the past three days and became so weak that doctors at the Texas prison where he is serving a life sentence induced a coma, according to the source.  The leader of a radical polygamist sect of Mormonism known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS), Jeffs is scheduled to go on trial a second time in October to face charges of first-degree bigamy. Conviction would be punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.  Jeffs was moved last Tuesday to a solitary cell at the Powledge Unit in Palestine, Texas, because of the large amount of media coverage surrounding his case, prison officials said.

The world will not be a worse place in his absence.