Daily Archives: 4 Sep 2011

Congratulations, Cambridge University

Cambridge is a beautiful city and the University is made up of some of the very best colleges staffed by some of the very best Professors in the world.  So the first place ranking they’ve earned is well deserved.  Congratulations, Cambridge University!

Cambridge University has held its top place in an international university league table, after ending Harvard’s six-year lead in last year’s rankings.

Breaking News: A Newly Discovered Codex of the Gospel of Judas!!!

The Archaeological-Biblical Review is set to publish a newly discovered Codex of the Gospel of Judas which has been discovered in the hills of Elkington, WV.

According to the essay, written Harry Spanks, the newly found Codex

… dates from the first century CE and, indeed, to the first half of that century.  I posit the date of 35-40 CE.  The script is clearly paleo-Hebrew and I translate as follows:

And then did Judas say … [a….] so that the truth will come from a book written on metal which will contain all the truths which Jesus spoke to we, his disciples.  […..]  twelve [….] lay down […..] fish and goats, lights and swamps, liver and [onio…].  These wondrous words will then fall into the world with such force that none can deny them save those destined for damnation and perdition ….

We (the publication team), aided by a coterie of British scholars of the Bible (and a few Scandinavians) will publish, in book form, a full length treatment of the find.  We are also working on a movie to be filmed in Canada by a well known Canadian film-maker.

We want to thank all those who have been involved in this project since the beginning here in Elkington.

The essay contains more but I’m not at liberty to divulge it as the authors only wish the public to see bits and parts until the book goes on sale and the movie airs on The Discovery Channel.

Here, though, is a photo of the Codex:

Please do not redistribute it – the scholars involved wish to retain copyright.

Any ‘Pastor’ Who Says that the Words ‘Saved’ and ‘Born Again’ Have no Place in the Church is a Damnable Heretic

Such a suggestion is grossly unscriptural.  Or has this ‘pastor’ never read ‘you must be born again’ or that we are ‘saved’ from the wrath to come by Christ?  These aren’t simply terms that have no value or meaning- they are loaded with significance.  They are core theological principles.   To toss them is to toss any semblance of Christian theology onto the rubbish heap of cultural irrelevance.

An Indiana megachurch pastor says he is annoyed at the word “saved,” especially when used among Christians to describe someone that has made a commitment to follow Jesus for the rest of their lives.  In one of his recent blog posts, Granger Community Church’s executive pastor, Tim Stevens, asked readers, “Does the Word ‘Saved’ Bother Anyone Else?”  Stevens told The Christian Post that he also has a problem with the phrase “born again.”  “I have similar hesitations with ‘born again’ probably because it’s also an insider term,” Stevens said. “’Born again’ for the world at large is somewhat of a misunderstood term.”

No wonder he’s the pastor of a large church.  He’s just the sort of deceiver lots of ‘Christians’ like to follow; just the sort of ignorant and ill informed theologically dilettante’s that doesn’t have any business talking about the Bible.  He’s a man-pleaser, an ear tickler.  He’s a panderer to culture and a traitor to the Gospel.  Any real Christians who attend his cult should leave right off.  Elsewise they’re following a heretic.

Luther And Drunkards

“Nobody doubts that the best age was before the Flood. Then men lived to an advanced age in great moderation, without drunkenness, war, and strife. They served only God and fellow-men, and in an admirable way they contemplated God’s heavenly and earthly creatures. A spring of fresh water was more pleasing to them then than all the malmsey wine is to us now.” Thereupon he vehemently damned drunkenness and gluttony. “The Germans [he added] are the best* nation, and I think the h has been changed to g and that they used to be called Hermans^.”

Which is, if you think about it, a bit odd for several reasons. First, the age before the flood was excessively wicked according to Genesis, which is why there was a flood in the first place. And second, Luther drank like a fish himself.

* – by which he meant the ‘best’ at being drunks.
^ – i.e., drunks.

A Beuatiful Symphonic Piece

Life in a Cult: Or, Why Do People Follow Such Foolishness?

In a heartbreaking account, we learn of life in a cult and the victims of ungodly insanity.

When Ria Ramkissoon’s spiritual mentor ordered her to deny food and water to her toddler son, she didn’t know what to think or do. She was paralyzed by fear and confusion.

The 19-year-old mother had been living with the woman, who called herself Queen Antoinette, for several months when Ramkissoon’s son did not say “amen” before a meal one morning. That word was one of the few Javon Thompson could say at 15 months old, and Antoinette told Ramkissoon not to feed him until he said it. Like always, she cited the Bible as her authority.

In Antoinette’s unusual household — which police and prosecutors later described as a cult — no one questioned her orders.

There’s a lot more and it all results in the death of a little boy.  Unfortunately all because of ignorance of the Bible on the part of too many and pure evil and deception on the part of one.

Conference Report: The Aussie Bible Reader’s Annual Meeting

A friend from down under sends along news of the just completed ABRAM Conference.  Here are the highlights:

Madeleine Flannagan

A gaggle of beer guzzlers hit [town…] yesterday in a 10-hour drinking marathon, hoping to stumble their way into Guinness World Records. The “Thirsty 13” started at 8:45 a.m. and video-recorded one of their crew downing a brewskie at each of 200 bars. … All that remains is for Guinness to agree that this beat the old 170-bar record—and for the coffee and vitamin B to set in.

Those ABRAM’s really have their priorities in order.

It’s Not A ‘Thinking Man’s Sport’:The Life and Times of Joel Watts and Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens and his special friend

Standing in a pool full of 2-foot-long alligators, Jay Young Joel Watts starts teaching a class on gator wrestling.  “He who hesitates gets bit. Don’t think about it,” says Young Stevens (Watts’ co-worker), and owner of Colorado Gators. “Alligator wrestling is not a thinking man’s sport.”  It takes a certain kind of crazy to want to pay $100 to handle animals sensible people run away from. People do sign up, however, ready to try their hands at this most extreme of sports.

Read the rest of Joel and Mark’s insane story here.

Bob Cargill on the ‘Lead Codices’

Bob has some salient observations of his own worth reading.

Tom Verenna has put together an excellent video setting forth much of the evidence that the so-called “Jordan Lead Codices” are, in fact, fakes. If you have not been following this case, Bibliobloggers (scholars and students who blog about matters pertaining to the Bible) were among the first and most vocal critics of this so-called “discovery,” and many have led the way in demonstrating their lack of authenticity. You can check out the original  … Read More

via XKV8R: The Official Blog of Dr. Robert R. Cargill

How The Tea Party can Avoid Hypocrisy

Christian Salafia has put it rightly when he notes

If you belong to the teaparty, please feel free to forego Federal disaster relief for [Hurricane] Irene.

You know, it really is the only way you can avoid the just charge of hypocrisy.  If you are a tea party person you have, of necessity, to refuse any sort of financial aid of any sort offered by the Federal government.  If you accept such aid, no matter how dire your circumstances, you’re purely and simply a hypocrite.

Israel’s Treatment of Peaceful Protestors

Israel’s treatment of peaceful protestors doesn’t cause the US government any consternation and in fact the US has known about premeditated violence against peaceful folk before that violence happened

US government officials have been well aware of Israel’s harsh methods of dealing with peaceful protests in the occupied Palestinian territory of West Bank for quite some time, according to a recently leaked WikiLeaks diplomatic cable.  A cable from the embassy in Tel Aviv from February 16, 2010, titled “IDF plans harsher methods with West Bank demonstrations”, reveals a premeditated effort by the Israeli army to use force against peaceful demonstrators in the West Bank.  In the cable, the US ambassador to Israel noted that government officials considered any rally as grounds for use of military force.  In a meeting held between US officials and Avi Mizrachi, head of Israel’s central command, the latter warned  the Israeli army will be more assertive in how it deals with West Bank demonstrations and will start sending trucks “with ‘dirty water’ to break up protests, even if they are not violent”.  As the US cable pointed out, “dirty water is a reference to the IDF’s chemically treated water that duplicates the effects of skunk spray”.

Silence is agreement.  The person who stands by while violence is perpetrated is guilty of violence.  The same holds true of governments.

James Crossley Reports on the British New Testament Conference

Right here. I especially liked this part-

Whilst perusing the bookstalls, there just so happen to be a promotional talk by Wright on his New Testament for Everyone. To add to the strange coincidences, and this came as a real surprise to me, someone actually asked Wright about his translation of 1 Cor. 6.9 (‘…practising homosexuals of whichever sort…’) and whether his theological presuppositions influenced his translation. It seemed to me to be a very serious question rather than a joke and the discussion was certainly a serious one. After the discussion, whilst looking on with a mixture of amusement and curiosity, the next question (again, a very serious one and not a joke) was on the same issue (I think it was something about ontology and the difference between non-practising and practising homosexuality but I couldn’t quite hear). Discussion of these questions at the promotion has been doing the rounds on Facebook, including some eyewitness testimony and some apparently verbatim quotations.

I’m surprised that the Wrightians didn’t tackle the questioner and hang him out in the field for blasphemy.

Quote of the Day

Next Sunday I am going to put a bike helmet on Nathan for church, that way I don’t have to watch him so closely after the service! 🙂 — Mark Stevens

[If you’re scratching your head trying to figure it out, join the club. I have no idea… but Mark is Australian so there ya go].

Politicians and Their ‘Theology’: Manipulating a Gullible Public

Yahoo news has a nice essay on politicians and their faith.   I’ll just mention it and let you read it for yourself.  My reason for pointing it out is to take it as an opportunity to remind folk that politicians don’t HAVE theology, they USE theology to garner votes.  They manipulate gullible voters into believing that their faith is important to them.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been an authentically genuine believer in the White House since Jimmy Carter.  The rest, since, only put on the facade of faith because they saw it as politically expedient.

The only ‘theology’ politicians hold is the ‘theology’ of deception and manipulation.  Don’t let them fool you.  ‘By their fruits you will know them.’

When Christians are told They Aren’t Allowed to Pray…

A Christian organisation has been ditched by a national charity for offering to pray for people with debt problems.  Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has been forced to leave AdviceUK, an umbrella group representing the interests of thousands of advice workers, after it was judged that praying was ‘incompatible’ with membership.

If you’re, as a Christian, involved in a voluntary organization that tells you not to pray, dissasociate yourself.  Just go and do your thing and let the pagans worry about their own stuff.   If you cave in and stop praying just because someone tells you to, paganism wins and you’ve handed it the victory.