Monthly Archives: September 2011

Some People Snub their Noses at Print On Demand…

But evidently they don’t realize (or care to realize) that some publishers, like Sage for example, actually charge scholars to publish-

Get to know SAGE Open, SAGE’s new open-access publication of peer-reviewed, original research and review articles, spanning the full spectrum of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities. More than 550 manuscripts have already been submitted since January 1, 2011. Explore SAGE Open today at www.sageopen.com.  Submit today and take advantage of the introductory author acceptance fee of $195 (discounted from the regular price $695)—you pay only if your submission is accepted.

That’s right- if you want Sage Open to publish your piece you only have to pay $195 as an ‘acceptance fee’ (marked down from their regular $695!) so that you can feel superior to those who are smarter than yourself and don’t pay for someone else to make money from them after making money from them!

Tell ya what, you can keep your vaunted ‘peer review’ which costs you $200 roughly and I’ll just let good friends who are leading academics look over my stuff and clean up things I’ve overlooked and go ahead letting my editors publish via print on demand.  Because, let’s face it, if you have to PAY someone to publish your stuff, it’s probably not worth reading anyway.

What Martin Luther and Emergents Look Like to Real Christians

The Final Sign of the Apocalypse

The world isn’t about to end, it has ended and we’ve all been plunged into purgatory where, quite fittingly for purgatory, Glenn Beck will host a children’s show.

It’s not Nick News, The Electric Company or even the Magic Treehouse. Starting next Monday, talk show host Glenn Beck hopes to educate a young audience with his new children’s program, Liberty Treehouse. As he told Politico, his kids’ show “will not only entertain children and young adults, but it will respect them and their knowledge and passion for history, art, science and current events.”

What idiot network will air this moronic Dreck?  Guess.

Anyway, we’re all clearly dead and being purged for our iniquities (as the Papists would like us to believe because, for them, Jesus is insufficient).

What is Prayer?

In the simplest terms, prayer is

Binding our heart to God.  — Huldrych Zwingli

Precisely.

Did the Synagogue Save Judaism?

That’s the question Paul Flesher asks in a new essay at Bible and Interpretation.    Enjoy.

If You Allow Anonymous Comments on Your Blog…

Remember this little tidbit from Dorothy King-

“Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.” Anonymous Proverb

And The Big Loser of the Week Award Goes To… Mark Bradford

The 46 year old man who tracked down the little kid who ‘killed’ him in Call of Duty… and attacked him…   And no, you can’t make this kind of stupidity up.

Mark Bradford, 46, admitted he ‘just lost it’ after a 13-year-old player gunned-down his character then proceeded to mock him over the microphones used in the game Call Of Duty: Black Ops.  Jobless father of three Bradford confronted the youngster at an address in Plymouth, Devon (UK), and started to strangle him.  The attack only ended when the teenager’s horrified mother pulled Bradford off the boy then he left without any explanation.  The teenager’s mother said: “It’s pathetic that a grown man would attack a defenceless child like this.  “If you can’t handle losing to a child then you shouldn’t be playing games.”  Bradford admitted the attack was ‘moment of madness’ as the child ‘would not shut up’.

Mr Bradford, you, sir, are the biggest Loser I’ve ever heard of.  You should be forced by law to have a big fat red L tattooed to your forehead so everywhere you go people know your character.

Look, I’ve Got No Quarrel With Bachmann’s Faith…

I’m glad of it.  Truly.  I wish every politician had deep, real, abiding, substantive faith.  I just don’t think she’s smart enough to be President.  That’s all.

The leader of the House’s Tea Party Caucus said conservatives have to stand against federal takeovers of U.S. industries, including the automotive, banking and insurance industries the government bailed out during the recession.  “And we can’t settle when it comes to America standing up for our greatest ally in the world, Israel,” Bachmann said.

Having faith may qualify you to be a good Christian, but it doesn’t make you a good politician.  I wish we lived in a world where it did.  But we don’t.  We don’t even live in the ‘best of all possible worlds’.  But being a Christian Zionist makes you a theological ignoramus.  And I just won’t vote for one of those.  Ever.  Besides, she’s absolutely deranged if she thinks Israel is an ally.  Allies help.  How has Israel helped us aside from not launching an attack on Iraq while we were preparing to invade to denude Saddam of all those WMD’s he had…

Bachmann is a good person (so far as that word can be used of any person).  But she’s not presidential.  Sorry.

Mind you, that’s not to say Obama is.  He lacks both faith and spine.  And there isn’t any other politician known to me who is suited for the office.

So I’ve given up hope that America has anyone worth electing.  Faithful or not.

Syncretism: The Earliest Yet Christian Inscription and What it Suggests

Researchers have identified what is believed to be the world’s earliest surviving Christian inscription, shedding light on an ancient sect that followed the teachings of a second-century philosopher named Valentinus.

And

  1. As translated by Snyder, the inscription reads:
  2. To my bath, the brothers of the bridal chamber carry the torches,
    [here] in our halls, they hunger for the [true] banquets,
    even while praising the Father and glorifying the Son.
    There [with the Father and the Son] is the only spring and source of truth.
  3. Details on the provenance of the inscription are sketchy. It was first published in 1953 by Luigi Moretti in the “Bullettino della commissione archeologica comunale di Roma,” an Italian archaeological journal published annually.

Via Antonio, who has more.

Frankly it isn’t at all surprising that early Christians were a tad syncretistic. Read 1 Corinthians and you can see the problem well documented.

Luther’s 1534 Translation of the Bible

Isn’t it fantastic! It’s wonderfully illustrated and really quite a feat. I love it! (This is a facsimile in 2 volumes)

The Latest Bibledex: ‘Choose Life’

Do watch. As always, a top notch piece of work.

Sometimes the Truth Really Hurts

‘With God on Our Side’

The DVD With God on Our Side commences with a quotation from Josh 5:13-14a, reminding us that God doesn’t take sides (in spite of Christian Zionism’s insane belief that he does).  [My asides in what follows are in brackets].

Content

Scenes from John Hagee’s rallies are interspersed with interviews with people who believe that Christians must stand with Israel and who believe that Israel must be aided in establishing it’s ‘biblical borders’ by Christians.

As far as the Palestinians are concerned, Hagee and his [ilk] reject the very existence of these people.  They’re ‘Arabs’, and they can claim neither land nor identity.

Furthermore, viewers are reminded that most visitors to Israel are fed an Israeli script and a ‘jaundiced view of Palestinian life’ is the fare fed by the American media.  The rhetoric of fear is intended to keep you on the tourist trail (and the Israeli script).

So ordinary Palestinians are the focus of the film and the center of interest, and the notion that the Palestinians have always been the ‘aggressors’ is debunked.

In 1948 Israel perpetrated ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians, driving 700,000 from their homes in their act of ‘independence’.  It expanded its borders in 1967.  Up to 400,000 new Palestinian refugees were driven from their homes.  Palestinians rose up against this dehumanization in the Intifada and the Israeli response created extraordinarily harsh conditions for the refugees.  Homes were occupied, schools were closed, jobs were eliminated, and Palestinians were essentially ‘ghettoized’.    It was, in sum, an attempt by Israel to force Palestinians to leave altogether.

Attempts were made to divide the land for peace- in the so called Oslo Accords.  The Oslo Peace Accords were signed by Israelis and Palestinians, with the Israelis systematically undermining every aspect of the ‘treaty’.

The Camp David Accords were also undermined systematically by the Israelis.  The myth that the Palestinians rejected ‘a good offer’ is debunked thoroughly by means of ample historical evidence.

Furthermore, Jewish settlements in Palestinian areas are clearly an attempt by the Israeli government to colonize the areas.  These settlements are illegal under international law and yet some churches support the construction of these immoral clusterings.  The settlement enterprise is the foundation of all the human rights violations in the area.  Hebron is a central case in point.  500 Jewish settlers are surrounded by 30,000 Palestinians and Israel funnels resources to the Israelis and away from Palestinians intentionally.

Some of these settlers throw acid on Palestinians as they pass by and shout at them to leave.  They also throw stones and bricks and the Israeli soldiers stand by and do nothing.

In Jerusalem Israelis shout as they march through the streets “death to Arabs’, and the western media never reports it.  Meanwhile, Hagee and his kind defend this immorality.

Christian Zionism is a very dangerous ideology which uses very dangerous ‘logic’: it uses the Bible to justify evil perpetrated against the Palestinians.  It supports nothing less than Apartheid- and the Palestinians are the victims of the system. The separation barrier is the perfect symbol of this system of Apartheid.  The wall annexes valuable land, and cuts up cities and towns.  It doesn’t seal off Palestinians, it seals off property and the means to a livelihood for the Palestinians.  It is, in sum, an economic weapon against the Palestinians.  It wasn’t built on the boundary between Israelis and Palestinians, it was built IN Palestinian land to misappropriate Palestinian property.

[As I watch I wonder, how many Christians would support a state acting so immorally if they knew it was acting immorally?]

Palestinians are cut off from their own families, health care, education, jobs, fields, all in an attempt to make life so difficult and so filled with obstacles that they finally leave.  This is Israel’s goal.  It is, if you think about it, quite clever as a methodology of displacement.

[And it is evil.]

Most shockingly of all, the representatives of Christian Zionism are unconcerned about human suffering as brought about by Israeli oppression.  [Hagee especially cares only for his view and human beings not Jewish be damned.]

Small wonder, then, that Christians even in the Middle East are viewed with suspicion, given the fact that Westerners in general and many Christians in particular are more concerned for Israeli expansion than human beings who happen to be Palestinians (many of whom are Christian!).

This pathology finds its support in dispensationalism- a 19th century heresy which insists that the Jews must return to Palestine before Jesus can return.  Since Hagee and the other Christian Zionists are all dispensationalists, they are willing to see Armageddon descend and all destroyed but the ‘people of God’ (as they define that group).  Nevertheless Christian Zionism is bad theology as it endorses bad behavior and illegal activity.

Evangelicals must rise up against this immorality and stand with the oppressed.  Supporting occupiers and oppressors rather than their victims is neither biblical nor Christian.   Modern Israel is NOT the same as Biblical Israel. Christians of every stripe must come to realize this.  Zionist use of the Bible to legitimize a secular state is improper in the extreme.

Finally, Genesis 12 is not a mantra (in spite of Christian Zionism’s efforts to make it one) allowing a modern secular state carte blanche permission to do as it pleases to people it oppresses.  For Christians, John 8 is equally probative: true descendants of Abraham are people of faith- not family as determined by genetics or bloodline.

Most importantly, the Christian Zionist belief in ‘Two Covenants’ is  unbiblical.  Rather, there is only one covenant.  And one covenant alone.  This isn’t ‘Replacement’ theology.  It is Biblical theology.  Christians are, in Paul’s term, ‘grafted in’,  God has ‘broken down’ the wall that separates Jews and Gentiles in belief.  The ‘Chosen People’ are believers in Christ, not some particular ethnic group.

[Hagee et al are foes of Christian faith.  They disregard the sacrifice of Jesus and offer two ‘tracks’ to salvation- one for Jews (by just being Jews) and one for Gentiles (by faith in Christ).  This isn’t Christian theology, it’s paganism].

Hagee isn’t promoting peace, he is adding oil to the fire.  [He is, therefore, a foe of peace, and a foe of Christian belief.]

The people suffering most in the entire [sorry] episode are the Christians themselves.  They are dying off and they, unlike Israel, are unsupported by and large in the West.  But it is their presence there in that place that is the best hope for true peace.  It’s ok to love Israel, unless that love for Israel becomes hatred of others.  What’s needed most, then, is a theology of reconciliation, a theology of justice.

[That aim isn’t achieved when Palestinians are sealed off and displaced and mistreated simply so that a modern secular state called Israel can prosper and expand with the support of misguided and misinformed American Christians.]

Summary and Review

This is an excellent film!  There can be no doubt that the information it offers is accurate and neither can there be any doubt that every Christian ought to watch it- especially those given to the delusion called dispensationalism.  I heartily commend it to you, your church, your Bible study group, and most of all, to your blindly Zionist friends.

I’m No Fan of Chris Christie…

But bringing up his weight?  As a political liability?  So why is weight-ism proper and racism isn’t?

Whether or not he lets himself be persuaded to run for president, Chris Christie needs to find some way to lose weight. Like everyone else, elected officials perform best when they are in optimal health. Christie obviously is not.  You could argue that this is none of my business, but I disagree. Christie’s problem with weight ceased being a private matter when he stepped into the public arena — and it’s not something you can fail to notice. Obesity is a national epidemic whose costs are measured not just in dollars and cents but also in lives. Christie’s weight is as legitimate an issue as the smoking habit that President Obama says he has finally kicked.

That a black columnist would make weight an issue when he would rightly denounce anyone (or should) who made race an issue is gross hypocrisy of the lowest sort.  Calling Christie a fattie (which is what Mr Robinson has done) is as despicable as using the N word would be to describe Mr Robinson.  He should be ashamed.

Quote of the Day

“Knowledge of God comes before any particular blessing that we may desire from Him. The goal of all our seeking and all our worship and all our endeavour should not be to have a particular experience; it should not be to petition certain blessings; it should be to know God Himself – the Giver not the gift, the source and the fount of every blessing, not the blessing itself.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Exactly How Ignorant is Michelle Bachmann?

This ignorant?

Michelle Bachmann yesterday on Arab Spring: “Barack Obama has laid the table for an Arab Spring by demonstrating weakness.”

What is she talking about?  How did Obama ‘lay the table’ for Arab uprisings against oppressive governments?  And if he did, how did he do it by ‘demonstrating weakness’?????  How ignorant is Michelle Bachmann, and even more importantly, how ignorant are her supporters?

Via the Twitter of Chuck Todd.

Afghanistan Can’t be Saved

The same primitive tribalism that existed before the Russians invaded still exists and as soon as US troops leave the country will devolve into civil war, again.  When the US leaves, Afghanistan will return to what it was before the US spent billions and wasted thousands of lives: a war torn land of tribalists.  We’ve done nothing but see our young killed in a land hardly worth one life.

And worst of all?

… the same factions that fought the last civil war are now vastly more powerful from all the wealth they’ve accumulated over 10 years of American-led aid.

That’s right- in essence we’ve paid to have our children killed.

Thank you, President Obama, for ‘fulfilling’ your promise to get us out of that death-trap.

Comparing and Contrasting Protestant and Catholic Preaching

In 1529 the artist Gerog Pencz (who didn’t believe in much of anything) produced a woodcut titled Zweierley predig which sets side by side the chief points of Evangelical and Catholic proclamation.  Click to enlarge fully so the script is legible:

Erasmus of Rotterdam

Portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam, 1523. Oil an...

D.E.

I’ve just discovered that many of the works of Erasmus of Rotterdam are being made available by Logos quite soon.

The Desiderius Erasmus Collection (17 vols.) contains all of Erasmus’ major works and more. In Praise of Folly, one of Erasmus’ best-known books, is considered one of the most notable works of the Renaissance humanists. Against War and The Complaint of Peace still hold their own as some of the best Christian anti-violence literature written. The Colloquies of Erasmus is satire at its finest—funny, inspiring, rich with knowledge, poignant, captivating, and entertaining. And Francis Morgan Nichols’ 3-volume anthology of Erasmus’ letters show the depth and compassion of a man who’s influence would change the world forever.

The Desiderius Erasmus Collection (17 vols.) also includes Erasmus’ Proverbs Chiefly Taken from the Adagia of Erasmus, and Education of a Christian Prince, considered by many to be the antitheses to Machiavelli’s The Prince.

Quite useful indeed.  Just FYI.

Erasmus, by the way, like all the best thinkers, was smart enough to go to Switzerland.  He lived in Basel for a time and you can actually visit the building he called home.  Unsurprisingly, it’s a bookstore now (or at least it was a few years ago when I was last there).

Satan in the Flesh: The Photo

(via)