Daily Archives: 23 Sep 2011

Where’s the Satellite Going to Fall?


Go ahead and admit it- you fell better with such precise info don’t ya…  Oh, and the heavy red lines, those are where angry atheists live…

Psalms as Torah: Reading Biblical Song Ethically

Speaking of Gordon, he’s got a new book coming out in February 2012 titled Psalms as Torah: Reading Biblical Song Ethically.

The Psalms are the most-read part of the Old Testament, but their importance for ethics has often been overlooked. However, the Psalms offer some of the most potent ethical instruction in the Bible. In this book renowned Old Testament scholar Gordon Wenham examines the source of the Psalms’ power, reflects on their main ethical themes, and shows how they function as prayers that change us. Wenham makes an important contribution to biblical scholarship and breaks new ground in discussions of Old Testament ethics, yet he writes accessibly, making this book invaluable for students in Old Testament/ethics courses, scholars, and pastors.

Well Blah on You, ‘Preachingtoday.com’

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusa...

I love Gordon Wenham but when I went to read what sounded like a grand piece on preaching the imprecatory Psalms (which I love to do, as you might guess), I couldn’t.  Why?  because it’s behind a pay-wall.

Blah.  I hope they paid Gordon for his piece but I won’t be paying to read it.  Especially for $9.95 a month to read papers on a site I doubt I would read more than once a decade.

Blah to pay-walls for Christian websites.  Blah.

I Guess This Is What Happens When You’re Irish and You Drink A Lot

The death of a 76-year-old Irishman has been ruled a case of spontaneous combustion, the BBC reported.

Michael Faherty died in his home in December 2010. His body was badly burned, but a fire in the nearby fireplace did not cause the blaze, forensic experts said. Scorch marks on the ceiling above the body and the floor below, and no trace of accelerant, led the coroner to return the controversial verdict,  the first of its kind in Ireland, according to the BBC.

“This fire was thoroughly investigated and I’m left with the conclusion that this fits into the category of spontaneous human combustion, for which there is no adequate explanation,” West Galway coroner Dr. Ciaran McLoughlin told a court Thursday.

May he rest in peace.  I just hope it never happens to Máire Byrne, my favorite Ireland-er.

One More Bit of Rearranging

I had to put these where they belonged- in close proximity due to their constant consultation.

How New Discoveries Should be Made Public

Via Bob Cargill

Given all of the debunking and criticism of pseudoscientific claims and sensationalist headlines I do on this blog, I thought I’d take a moment to mention a recent discovery and the team of real scientists who released their discovery to the public the correct way. In particular, I’d like to highlight two things: 1) the team’s reaction to a potentially earth-shattering discovery, and 2) how they presented it to the media.

Click the link above to read the rest.

Quote of the Day

If you thought the US government was unpopular in the Arab world, wait till Obama vetos a Palestinian state. He’ll be as popular as GW Bush.  – Sultan al-Qassemi

It’s Friday: If You’re Alexa Ranking Isn’t Good, Neither is Your Blog…

Oh that sounds mean doesn’t it.    😉  But hey, your ranking may be better than mine, which means you’re a better person.  Are you?  Find out.

I heard a ‘giant’ say today that his blog was ahead of the pack and then I looked and his Alexa ranking (the only legitimate because the only unbiased ranking system) was in the million plus range… and I wept.  For him.


CNN reports

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formally asked the United Nations to recognize his territories as a state.  Abbas was greeted with a long round of applause as he began his speech.  He told members of the U.N. General Assembly that Israel is in a “race against time to redraw the borders,” which harms the lives of tens of thousands of Palestinian families.  Less than an hour after Abbas was to end his speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will give a rebuttal speech declaring the request a unilateral move that will only hinder the prospect of true peace in the region.  In Ramallah, in the West Bank, crowds greeted news that Abbas had formally filed the statehood request with cheers, song and dance.  Mass demonstrations are planned for Friday in New York and are expected across the Middle East.  U.S. embassies across the region warned citizens to avoid the expected demonstrations, saying they could turn violent with little warning.

Notice, by the way, the implicit racism of the US embassies:  Arab demonstrations are expected to become violent without any warning…  That’s interesting if you think about it.  Think about it.

I Was Running out of Shelf Space…

So I had to rearrange a bit, put some shelves in the middle of the study, and expand ‘internally’ as it were.  But I think it’s quite nicely organized.  With room for a couple of more shelves when I need them.

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The Most Recent Republican Propaganda-Fest

Last night’s propaganda-fest was riddled, as they all are, with misrepresentations, misprision, and malpractice.  Naturally that’s to be expected- they are politicians after all and, like actors, lawyers, and con-men, they’re paid to lie.  And the chief liars and the lies they told?

BACHMANN: “President Obama has the lowest public approval ratings of any president in modern time.”

THE FACTS: That’s true, if you leave out Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford. All of them at some point in their terms dipped lower than Obama’s low point of 38 percent job approval, according to Gallup’s comparison.

She’s not very good with history.

ROMNEY: “I believe government is too big. It’s gone from 27 percent of our economy in the years of JFK to 37 percent of our economy.”

THE FACTS: Romney is including state and local government spending along with federal spending. His numbers are not far off, but most of the big increases came from Social Security and Medicare payments. Medicare started after Kennedy’s presidency. Now it is one of the biggest government spending programs, and one of the most popular. Federal spending alone accounted for 23.8 percent of the gross domestic product last year and is expected to reach 25.3 percent this year.

He’s not very good at history either.  Enjoy the rest.  And vote with a clear conscience…  for Donald Duck.

More Lunacy From the Seeker Sensitive / Emergent Heretics: The Boxer Killed at a ‘Church’ Match

Former Tulsa Golden Hurricane linebacker George Clinkscale died Wednesday night after participating in an unsanctioned amateur boxing match held at Guts Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The fights are targeted to young adults 18 – 30 years old, and promoted online as part of their “Sub 30″ ministry.  GUTS held Wednesday’s match in the parking lot and promoted it with billboards, but it passed under the radar of the state authorities who oversee amateur boxing.  Now they’re looking into the death of Clinkscale, who within minutes of his match was critically ill and died shortly after arriving at St. Francis Hospital.

Look- what is it about these ‘churches’ that lend themselves to methodologies utterly incompatible with biblical norms?   They’ve lost sight of both gospel and sense.

This was the sixth time that Guts Church had held a boxing event, billed on their website as “Guts Fight Night VI.” According to a tweet sent out by Guts Church pastor Bill Scheer, there were 12 fights set to take place during the event.

Insanity.  This isn’t Christianity, it’s just ignorance and heresy.

[And yes, it is heresy.  Heresy, by definition, is deviation from the norm.  If you don’t like my describing the nonsensical deviations parading under the banner of Christianity as heresy, too bad.  They are what they are and I’ll not deviate simply to make someone happy].

From the Archives of Zwingliana

Zwingli on the bronze doors by Otto Münch (193...

Zwingli Preaching

I’m commencing a new series today which I’m calling ‘From the Archives of Zwingliana‘.  Zwingliana is the annually published journal of the Zwingliverein.  So from time to time I’ll be posting mention of a particularly engaging essay I’ve read in it and urging your perusal of the same.  Today, for starters, I commend to your attention this gem by Lee Palmer Wandel:

Brothers and Neighbors: The Language of Community in Zwingli’s Preaching. In it she writes

In this essay, I would like to explore some of the sources for Zwingli’s language of brotherly love, how he drew upon them and how he transformed them. Zwingli is a good place to Start in an exploration of the language of brotherly love because it was his vision of a Christian community – more than Luther’s – that was reflected in the preaching of Bucer in Strasbourg, Eberlin in Augsburg, Oecolampad in Basel, as well as in the pamphlets of popular propagandists such as Utz Eckstein, Balthasar Stanberger, and Johannes Boschenstein. Like these other reformers, Zwingli was directly engaged with a civic community in reforming the Christian community. In looking at Zwingli’s use of the language of brotherly love we may begin to understand the relationship between reformation preaching and popular notions of community.

It’s quite a good essay.

Philip Davies Responds to Hendel’s Attack on Young, et al.

In comments to the essay Davies writes

I am a fan of Ron, who is a scholar and a gentleman, and I enjoy both agreeing and disagreeing with him. All I think I want to say in response is that all stories about the past are fiction in the sense of being constructed as narratives (even our modern critical reconstructions). But I agree (and have made the point in print) that in evaluating memories we need to know as much as we can about the facts of the past, otherwise our analysis and understanding of these memories cannot be complete. If, as it may well be, I have misrepresented myself on these issues, I hope this reply makes clear.

If you’ve not read the essay yet do.  And I suspect that Young, et al. will be replying before too long.

Susan Powell’s Father-in-Law, Steven, Has been Arrested for Indecent Activity

Pierce County Sheriff’s detectives arrested 61-year-old Steven Craig Powell at his residence in Puyallup at 9:30 p.m. on September 22, 2011.  Powell is the father of Joshua Powell, whose wife, Susan Cox Powell, went missing in Utah in 2009. The investigation and arrest of Steven Powell is not related directly to the search for Susan Powell, said the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.  Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist charged Powell with fourteen counts of Voyeurism involving two child victims and one count of possession of depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the 2nd degree. Powell was arrested on a warrant issued by the Pierce County Superior Court.

Maybe his daughter found out he was a reprobate and he ‘took care of her’.

Although the arrest of Steven Powell is not directly related to the search for Susan Cox Powell, detectives discovered the sexually explicit images while searching for evidence in the investigation of Susan Powell’s disappearance.

It’s depraved, and very, very suspicious.