Daily Archives: 7 Sep 2011

Rick Perry is, Literally, an Idiot

Today 9:43 PM Perry Over His Head On Climate Change

Rick Perry just bought the farm on climate change. He came off as dangerously in over his head. He said that despite the fact that most credible scientists think that human activity has something to do with climate change, he was not convinced.

“Galileo was outnumbered for a spell!” he declared. He got the analogy exactly wrong. Galileo was the scientist; the church and its allies, who knew nothing about the scientific method, were lined up against him. He never answered the question about which scientists he had consulted. He suddenly looked like the guy Karl Rove says he is, “a guy who only cares about soundbites.”

And people will vote for him… because some people embrace ignorance.  Look how many times Texas has…

On What Being a Minister is Really Like

Wartburg, Lutherstube between 1890 and 1900

Leave it to Luther to tell the truth like no one else can, or has…

“In this life Christ is incomprehensible. He rewards his best ministers in such a way that I must say I hardly know what I am about, whether I preach aright or not. This tormented St. Paul too. He didn’t talk much about it to others, I think. He couldn’t talk about it, for who can imagine what he meant when he said, ‘I die every day’ [I Cor. 15:31].”


It was said in Lochau that six hundred of the richest parishes in the diocese of Würzburg are vacant. He [Luther] commented, “This will have bad consequences. It will happen among us, too, if contempt for the Word and its ministers continues to be so great. If I wanted to get rich under these circumstances I wouldn’t preach but would be a juggler and travel about the country. For the sake of money I’d have plenty of spectators.

And still there’s this-

When there was talk about contempt for the Word of God among peasants, noblemen, and townspeople, he [Martin Luther] said, “Such contempt ought to be both a consolation and a warning to us, so that we give thanks to God for the blessing of being among those who love his Word, diligently hear and learn God’s Word, and find delight in the Holy Scriptures. For it is a great punishment and a severe judgment of God if a man so hates God and his Word that he is unwilling to hear it and neither honors nor esteems the ministers of the Word.”

So, Mark Stevens, this is for you.  Just because.

Fear Factor: ‘If Palestinians Get a State, Israelis May Get a Trial at the Hague’

Nothing quite as prone to stir up AIPAC to stir up Congress  to fight tooth and nail against Palestinians like the amazingly ridiculous claim that if Palestinians get Statehood Israelis may face trial.

According to the statute of the court, the direct or indirect transfer of an occupier’s population into occupied territory constitutes a war crime.

Well isn’t that interesting! That’s nothing less than an admission that Israel is ‘occupier’ and that they have unjustly uprooted the population of the land. Else why even fear the possibility of trial for war crimes? It’s as if they’ve confessed “we’re guilty of war crimes and we don’t want the Palestinians to have the legal grounds to prosecute us for it”.

Recognition of a Palestinian state could, in theory, lead to Israeli officials being dragged repeatedly before the International Criminal Court in the Hague for claims regarding its settlement policies in the West Bank, legal experts say.

In theory? That’s fear mongering at its best. It isn’t based in fact or reality, it’s based in supposition and potential.

Here’s an equally possible scenario which doesn’t necessitate provoking fear: the Palestinians will be so elated and so concentrated on their efforts to build a nation that they won’t have time to pursue dead end suits against old Israelis.

But of course that wouldn’t stir the Zionists to call their congressman, would it.

Drug Testing an Entire College

Textbooks? Check. School sweatshirt? Check. Urine specimen cup? Only if you want to stay in school.

A drug-free demand greeted new students Wednesday at Linn State Technical College, a two-year school in central Missouri that has enacted what may be the most far-reaching drug testing policy at a public college or university in the country.

Federal and state courts have consistently upheld more limited drug testing of public high schools students, such as those who play sports, as well as NCAA athletes and students at private colleges. But the move by Linn State to enact widespread drug tests of the general student body appears unprecedented – and no small point of pride for administrators at the state’s only technical college.

Good idea.  And I’m surprised BYU doesn’t do it already.  But you know where they really need to enact this?  UNC!  Those people… Well, you know how Carolina is…

What’s A 12 Year Old Doing With Pictures of Herself Like That? Where Are Her Parents?

Are they the disengaged sort who don’t check in on (read stalk, if necessary) their child online?

A Northern Ireland man is suing the company, claiming that Facebook is “guilty of negligence” and had created “a risk of sexual and physical harm” after his 12-year-old daughter uploaded provocative pictures to her page, according to the BBC. Perhaps more importantly, the father is also upset because of his daughter’s age.  While Facebook maintains a policy of verifying that users are over 13, there are no checks in place to make sure they’re telling the truth. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Digital Trends reported, the girl’s father claimed that Facebook had not yet removed the girl’s profile.

Honestly, instead of suing Facebook for the deceptions of his daughter, this guy needs to sue himself.  And his daughter needs to learn the consequences of uploading such smut by suffering the same fate any person who uploads child porn does.

Stealing for Sex (Change)

Police in Arizona say two Walmart employees burglarized the store where they worked to pay for a car and a sex change operation.  Police arrested 23-year-old Spencer Danger Cullen and 19-year-old Adriano Valdes Altiveros III on Friday.  Reinhardt says Altiveros reportedly told detectives he stole cash to buy a car. He says Cullen told police she stole the money to go forward with a sex change operation.

I suppose it’s just too much to expect that people save up for their ridiculous behaviors.  Or that parents refrain from naming their children ‘Danger’…  Yes, it’s just too much.

Quote of the Day

“Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.”  —  Philip Schaff

Applebee’s: Whatever Happened to ‘The Land of the Free’?

I’m authentically annoyed by the action of Applebee’s and I’m going to let them know it.  And, I’m offended by their decision.  What right do they have to insist that one of their employes either drop facebook or lose his job?

An Applebee’s worker may be fired if he refuses to sign an agreement that bars employees from making negative comments about the workplace on Facebook.  “I was pretty much told it was going to come to a point where I was probably going to have to sign it or be let go,” said 36-year-old Jason Cook of Federal Way, Wash.  Cook has worked for Applebee’s for three years and has no complaints against his employer. But he’s concerned the policy would limit his self-expression. He shared those concerns in status updates on the social networking Website.

More and more companies are doing this kind of thing and they all deserve to be asked a question:  what are they afraid of?  What secrets don’t they want let out?  Are they industrial secrets?  Are they worried that spies will disclose their recipes?

Employees aren’t slaves and they don’t belong body soul and mind to their employers.  When did America cease to be the land of the free?  What people do with their own time is their own business and corporations have no right to act otherwise.

Anyway, I like Applebee’s but I won’t be going back until they rescind their idiotic requirement.

Aging cremated infants: the problem of sacrifice at the Tophet of Carthage, by Larry Stager et al

In ANTIQUITY 85 (2011): 859–874, Stager and the others suggest

The Greeks and Romans reproached the Phoenicians for the sacrifice of infants, and the excavation of cremated infants at ‘Tophets’ (named after the sacrificial site in Jerusalem mentioned in the Bible) seems to bear this out. However, the argument for infant sacrifice depends largely on a skewed age profile, and age is not easy to determine. The authors approach this problem with a battery of new techniques, showing that in the Tophet of Carthage the majority of the infants died between one and one and a half months. Sacrifice was thus very probable.

Interesting piece.  I commend it to your attention.

Biblical Archaeology Review’s Regrettable and Lamentable Plagiarism

At Bible and Interpretation we read

As our readers know, B&I is always on the lookout for news about the trial of Oded Golan, whom the Israel Antiquities Authority has accused of forging antiquities, especially the inscription found on the so-called James Ossuary. So when an August 31st email from the Biblical Archaeological Society announced a new essay on the BAR website by Golan himself, we momentarily hoped that news on the trial was breaking. But upon closer inspection, Golan’s entire article turned out to be one we had already published, word-for-word, in spring 2011, “The Authenticity of the James Ossuary and the Jehoash Tablet Inscriptions—a Summary of Expert Trial Witnesses”.

Golan’s essay is a composition we published in response to an article by Gideon Avni, Director of Excavations and Surveys for the Israel Antiquities Authority. In March 2011, Avni had challenged the authenticity of the James ossuary in an important article published here in Bible and Interpretation, “On Archaeology, Forgeries, and Public Awareness: The ‘James Brother of Jesus’ Ossuary in Retrospect.” That of course is the ossuary under debate in Golan’s trial and Golan immediately requested that he be able to respond to Avni’s piece. We agreed and published his article. That article later appeared essentially verbatim on BAR’s website. After leaving our prior publication uncredited, it is good to see that they have finally provided the appropriate citation to Bible and Interpretation.

Don’t feel too badly- I’ve noticed over time that BAR does that a lot.    It’s one of the reasons I’m constantly harping on bibliobloggers to play fair and cite their sources.  I think it’s grossly dishonest to pretend that one has found, or written, something when one has been pointed to it and copied it.

Citing sources is scholarship.  Pretending originality, well that’s something quite different.

A Brief Interview With John Calvin: On ‘Emergent Christianity’

John Calvin

glaring at the silly emergents

I was chatting with Calvin earlier today (no, really, we chat all the time, he and Luther and Zwingli and I are always on G+. No, Really!) and I just happened to ask him

JW: John, what do they think of the Emergent Church up in God’s Presence?

JC: To be frank, if I might quote myself, mutatis mutandis

If they are [true] churches, the power of the keys belongs to them;  [but in fact] the keys are inseparably connected with the word which they have put to flight.

Again, if they are churches, they can claim the promise of Christ, “Whatsoever ye bind,” &c.; whereas, on the contrary, they discard from their communion all who sincerely profess themselves the servants of Christ.

[But if they are right], either the promise of Christ is vain, or in this respect, at least, they are not churches. In fine, instead of the ministry of the word, they have schools of impiety, and sinks of all kinds of error (Inst. IV.II.10).

JW: That’s rather blunt.  ‘Schools of impiety and sinks of all kinds of error’?  Sure, it’s true, but blunt.

JC: What did you expect?

JW:  My bad.  Anyway, ttyl (and tell the other two hi).

JC: Will do.  Ciao.

The World’s Worst Book Reviewer

Chris points out the offender, who writes

This is not a book about what who is saying what. It’s a book about what God says.

To which Chris rightly reacts-

Seriously?! To be more precise, this is a book about what Chan and Sprinkle think the bible says, but this is not quite the same thing!

Some people should stay away from the Bible, and books about the Bible.  For their own sake.

Neat Promo Video for Logos NICOT/NICNT Digital Download (Now on Sale!) (via EerdWord)

Worth sharing.

Here at Eerdmans, we are still essentially babies when it comes to creating promotional video and multimedia content. We want to learn — we’re learning really quickly — but there’s still so much we have yet to learn. That said, we’re always thrilled when our books show up in other people’s promotional videos — especially when those videos are as well done as this one by Logos Bible Software. Just look at the bookshelves sag under the weight of th … Read More

via EerdWord

Languages, Humanities and a New Testament PhD

James joins in the fun.

As everyone knows, there has been some debate over the nature of what a (British) doctorate in NT studies should be about. It was started (and continued) by Larry Hurtado (here and see also here and here), with BW16 responding (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here!), and others, such as Mike Kok and James McGrath, joining in. It now seems to have gone viral. Some of the discussion/disagreement surprises me because I think there are a numb … Read More

via Sheffield Biblical Studies

eBook – Archaeology 2.0

Thanks for the HT Bob.

eBook 'Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication & Collaboration' now available There is a new digitally-published (like!) book available at the University of California’s eScholarship repository entitled, Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication and Collaboration. The book is edited by Cal Berkeley’s Eric C. Kansa, the Alexandria Archive Institute’s Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and Michigan State’s Ethan Watrall. The volume explores the social use and context of the Web within the discipline of archaeology, and it is the f … Read More

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

Presence, Power and Promise: The Role of the Spirit of God in the Old Testament

This forthcoming volume from IVP Academic looks quite intriguing.  Indeed, look at the TOC for yourself.

From the first verses of Genesis, the Spirit of God makes a dramatic appearance in the Bible. Yet there is surprisingly little scholarly work on the Spirit in the Old Testament. On examination, what we find are similarities but also some significant differences in emphasis from the New Testament.

To unpack these emphases on creation, wisdom, prophecy, leadership, creativity and more, the editors of this volume have brought to the task a host of first-rate Old Testament scholars. Together they present a comprehensive examination of the issues facing interpreters and exegetes on the identity and activity of the Spirit in the Hebrew Bible.

This volume provides readers with an able guide to the interpretative background of ancient Near Eastern literature, the major themes and motifs, and particular texts and passages that contribute to an understanding of the Spirit in the Old Testament.

Yes, that does sound interesting.  So I’ve requested a review copy.  If they send one, I’ll definitely let you know what I think.

Killed, Because There wasn’t Any Garlic Bread for Dinner…


Jamie Ellis stabbed Alami Gotip, 22, more than 30 times at her home in the Dedridge area of Livingston, West Lothian.  The High Court in Edinburgh heard that her young children were asleep upstairs at the time of the attack on 25 May.  Ellis, 18, said he snapped because she had been “moaning at him” because he had not made garlic bread for tea.  He later told police he felt their relationship was coming to an end and said: “I love her that much I can’t possibly imagine her with anyone else.”

People are capable of such barbarism in these ‘enlightened’ times….

Another Perverted Pedophile

A band director with Fairfax County schools charged with soliciting a child online was corresponding with an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old boy from his school, prosecutors said at a bond hearing Tuesday.

A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge set Michael K. Cook’s bond at $10,000. Cook, 43, of Centreville, was arrested on Aug. 31 following an online police sting. Cook was placed on administrative leave from Fairfax’s Robinson Secondary School, where he was in charge of the symphonic and marching bands.

Fairfax County prosecutor Kathy Stott said in court that Cook was “willing and eager” to meet the officer posing as a student, and that Cook wrote that he wanted to perform oral sex on the boy. Stott argued Cook should remain held without bond.

He should be held without bond, tried, and when convicted, imprisoned in Texas.  Forever.

Found Dead in a Bathtub, Naked, With Another Man

And who was that other man?  A local tv meteorologist…. who was found asleep in the tub where the dead guy was…   Eewww

KARK-TV, Channel 4 meteorologist Brett Cummins was found asleep in a bathtub with a naked dead man on Monday, according a Maumelle Police report.  In a police report obtained by ArkansasBusiness.com, police identify the dead man as Dexter Paul Williams, 24, of Mountain Pine. The body was found in the bathroom of a home belonging to 36-year-old Christopher John Barbour.   Just after 8 a.m., officers were called to the home on 16 Village Way to investigate a possible drowning in a jacuzzi tub. An investigating officer says when he arrived Williams’ body was in a fetal position on the floor of the waterless tub.   “His face was blue and purple in color with a chain around his neck,” the report states.   According to the police report, Barbour told police he’d invited Cummins to his home Sunday evening. Cummins brought along a friend, later identified as Williams.

It sounds very much like a politician should be involved…

Barbour told police that he and his guests were drinking and using illegal narcotics. The police report states Barbour was not sure what kind of drugs they were using, but that they snorted them. Around 10 p.m., Cummins and Williams got into the jacuzzi tub and Barbour joined them where they continued to drink, the report states.

Oh come on, there has to be a politician involved.  Why won’t they name him?

LandMinds and The ‘City of David’ and the ‘Elah Fortress’

From their Facebook page-

This week on LandMinds… (September 7, 2011) – we’re off on another road trip – this time to the Elah Fortress (Kh. Qeiyafa). Barnea and I take a look at this year’s results – and review the “Second Gate Controversy”. Next, we have the director of Megalim – the City of David educational organization, Mr. Aharon Horowitz. In our final hour, Barnea and Dovid shmooze about some recent excavations and tours… It’s a fun show – listen to the live stream at 5pm or download the podcasts from the LandMinds page at http://www.facebook.com/l/gAQA4CD77AQDUI2BBy-IaEJ4kojSvB4nrZzUQES_vuvie3g/www.foundationstone.org.