Isn’t It Friday Yet?

Alec Baldwin and Ingrid Newkirk at a PETA even...

Waiting stinks.  I need to be at SBL.  I need to hang out with Tilling and make fun of AAR people with their straggly beards and unwashed hair and ‘naturist’ stench and their PETA sentimentality.

Ok that was just some random thinking out loud.  Take it for what it is…  the truth.

[I do love SBL but only because I get to see friends and mountains of books.  Papers are sometimes good and usually just boring dreck.  But I do love it (for the same reasons that parents love their ugly children) ].

Angry Atheists and Dilettantes, Have I got a Vacation-Spot Suggestion for You!

A beach in Brazil!  I know, it sounds lovely and you’re surely thinking ‘but what’s the catch?’  No catch, really.  I just think you lot deserve a nice relaxing vacation in an exotic and unusual location!  Pack your bags and head out NOW!

Thousands of flesh-eating piranhas have infested a river beach popular with tourists in western Brazil and have bitten at least 15 unwary swimmers, authorities said Wednesday.  Officials in the city of Caceres in Mato Grosso state said this is the first time they have had a problem with piranhas at the Daveron beach on the Paraguay river, where the aggressive fish began schooling about two weeks ago.  “People have got to be very careful. If they’re bitten, they’ve got to get out of the water rapidly and not allow the blood to spread,” firefighter Raul Castro de Oliveira told Globo TV’s G1 website.

Go, have fun!  Post photos!

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The Decline of The Episcopal Church: The Cause Is Easy to Discover

Simply put, the Episcopal Church has, for the most part, become nothing more than a culture accommodating country club occupied by  persons more concerned with following the latest fad than following Christ.

Washington’s new Episcopal bishop is candid about the church’s decline, but won’t acknowledge the cause. … Mariann Budde, the first woman to be installed as Washington’s top bishop (another briefly led on an interim basis), comes to the diocese acknowledging years of decline and a culture of Episcopalians who, she told the Washington Post, have lost focus on the core missions of worship and evangelizing. Statistics released in October by the U.S.-based church reveal it has lost over 40 percent of its churchgoers since the mid-1960s. Budde replaces John Bryson Chane, who famously said he was “so sick and tired of reading reports about the statistical decline of The Episcopal Church” that he no longer reads them. In selecting a replacement, the diocese sought a candidate who did not fatigue as quickly.


Professing to be “thrilled” to be in D.C., where same-gender marriage is legal, Budde told the Washington Examiner: “I’m pretty confident that the gospel is clear on this in terms of our accepting people as we are created by God to be and not asking people to change to conform to some uniform standard of human expression.”

Ugh. At least the article intelligently observes-

So we can forget about presenting people with a transforming encounter with the living God; Christianity is about “a spiritual basis of life” that is focused strictly upon acceptance. Never mind that churches which elevate this teaching are those experiencing the most rapid declines.

And rightly. May the tribe of the accomodationists wither and evaporate.  And the ‘seeker sensitive’ and ’emergent’ right along with them with their bastardized pseudo-theology and simpering self-centered-ness.

Answering Your Letters

A questioner from the U.K. writes

1.Since Satan cannot be omnipresent and omnipotent, who tempts us?
2.What does the phrase “because of the angels” mean in 1 Corinthians 11:3-16?


Thanks for your note Michael. Briefly in reply,

On 1- See James 4:1ff which says

What is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives? 2 You long for something you don’t have, so you commit murder. You are jealous for something you can’t get, so you struggle and fight. You don’t have because you don’t ask. 3 You ask and don’t have because you ask with evil intentions, to waste it on your own cravings (CEB).

In sum, then, we are tempted and brought into spiritual conflict when we desire wrongly. The source of most of our temptation, in other words, isn’t external, but internal.

On 2- It seems to me that Paul is actually referencing the Book of Jubilees which greatly expands Genesis 6:1ff.

I hope this helps.


Total Depravity: The Gross Old Teacher / Masturbator Edition

Words fail

A teacher at a suburban Christian school has been charged with a felony, after he was fired for allegedly masturbating behind a podium while teaching class.


As CBS 2′s Dana Kozlov reports, Schaumburg police said he might have been doing it for the past 10 years or more.

Wait, what???????????  10 years?  How’s that possible????????

And in court Wednesday, a Cook County assistant state’s attorney told the judge that prosecutors have a handwritten note from LaDuke, in which he admits to fantasizing about students.  Paul LaDuke, 75, has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child. LaDuke has been a math teacher at the school for 26 years, and is also an ordained minister.

Um, I don’t believe I’d touch any note touched by the vile old man’s hand.  And he’s ordained?  Aggghhhhhh……….

Investigators determined that, while seated at a podium in class on Friday, LaDuke unzipped and lowered his pants and masturbated while students were present in the classroom.  “Through the course of our investigation, our detectives have come to believe that this has happened several times per year for 10 years or more, possibly,” Nebel said.


I give up.  [Via Bob Cargill on FB.  Bob clearly hates me and wishes I would die of cranial implosion.]

Congratulations to Joel Green

He’s the new General Editor of the New International Commentary on the New Testament (Eerdmans).

Green is the fourth general editor in the commentary series’s long history, following Ned B. Stonehouse (1946–1962), F. F. Bruce (1962–1990), and, most recently, Gordon D. Fee (1990–2011).

Check out the Eerdmans link above- Joel offers some thoughts on the series. And again, congrats to him. I just hope and pray he isn’t as slow at the process as David Noel Freedman was with the series he edited. That chap left manuscripts on his desk for over a year at times before he even looked at them! That would drive me to drink.

Mike McQueary Begs to Differ…

But now he’s claiming that he did in fact go to the police when he saw the boy raped by Sandusky.  So reports the Telegraph:

Mike McQueary, the coach at Penn State who is said to have witnessed Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a shower, has broken his silence, claiming that he did, in fact tell the police about what he saw. Mike McQueary’s comments, in an email made available to The Associated Press on Tuesday, appeared to add more confusion to a scandal that has enveloped the university and resulted in the firing of renowned head football coach Joe Paterno, the ousting of president Graham Spanier and charges of perjury against the athletic director and a senior vice president. McQueary, now the football team’s wide receivers coach, told a friend from Penn State that he made sure the 2002 shower assault he witnessed was stopped and went to the police about it. The friend made McQueary’s email, written Nov. 8, available to the AP.

Uh huh…

McQueary … wrote: “I did stop it, not physically … but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room … I did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police …. no one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds … trust me.” Added McQueary: “Do with this what you want … but I am getting hammered for handling this the right way … or what I thought at the time was right … I had to make tough impacting quick decisions.”

The right way would have been to walk over and grab the boy and leave with him. The wrong, the depraved, the wicked, the damnable thing to do was to leave without him. That’s inexcusable. McQ can try to evade guilt all he wishes but when he left without taking the young fellow with him, he became a partner to the crime.

And because the Bible is always relevant – let’s all remind ourselves of what James writes (in 4:17) – It is a sin when someone knows the right thing to do and doesn’t do it (CEB).

In Which Zwingli Explains His Understanding of the Lord’s Supper

Coloured woodcut of the Marburg Colloquy, anon...

‘This SIGNIFIES my body’ was Zwingli’s reading of ‘hoc est corpus meum’ and that simple clarification shattered the myth of the Mass and changed the face of theology from that moment on.  And Zwingli first explained it fully in a letter he wrote on the 16th of November, 1524 Ad Matthaeum Alberum de coena dominica epistola.

Zwingli had briefly explained his view in the earlier ‘Exposition of the 67 Articles’ but here he takes on the Roman and Lutheran notion of ‘transubstantiation’. Matthew Alber was a supporter of Luther’s and in the present Flugschrift Zwingli lays the foundation for what will really turn out to be the sharpest point of disagreement between him and Luther. But Zwingli also takes issue with Karlstadt’s views.

When Alber got the letter he immediately had it printed, and published, in Germany. A fact which Zwingli did not learn until half a year later.

What follows is what I think to be the very heart of the letter:

Hic si sensus esset, potuissent et ista duo addi, quod videlicet iam nunc immineret captivitatis mortisque discrimen; et quod Ioan. 6. [Joh. 6. 51] dixerat: Panis, quem ego dabo, caro mea est pro mundi vita. Ut nunc dicat: Ecce hoc est corpus meum, quod pro mundi vita traditur, de quo vobis superioribus annis spopondi. Imo cum huc e Galilaea ante paucos dies ascenderemus, dixi vobis, quid mihi eventurum sit [Marc. 8. 31 f., Luc. 9. 22]! nunc adest eius temporis articulus. Aiunt et in eo dialogo, quem nos non legimus, quo multi offenduntur, nonnihil ex linguae Graecae proprietate adduxisse, quo demonstrationis immutatio clare probetur: quod scilicet ἄρτος masculinum sit et σῶμα neutrum. Sed ut bona venia dixerim, arbitror non paucas eiusmodi locutiones esse Graecis, quemadmodum et Latinis, ut quod praecesserit expresso masculino genere vel foeminino, post neutro demonstretur. Exempla non est quaerendi locus; nam celerrime coacti sumus scribere. Hanc Carolostadii sententiam, qui probaverit, nos minime offendet; veruntamen et nostram oro, ut expendat. Nos cardinem huius rei in brevissima syllaba versari arbitramur: videlicet in hoc verbo “est”, cuius significantia non perpetuo pro “esse” accipitur, sed etiam pro “significare”.

Right! Thank God for Zwingli’s sense. It’s the sort of sense that Luther never managed.

Rick Womick Is an Embarrassment to Tennessee, and the United States

A Tennessee lawmaker is drawing intense criticism after calling for the removal of all Muslims serving in the U.S. military. Republican State Rep. Rick Womick first made the controversial remarks Friday during a conference on Islamic extremism in America. “Personally, I don’t trust one Muslim in our military” and “if they truly are a devout Muslims, and follow the Quran and the Sunnah, then I feel threatened because they’re commanded to kill me,” the U.S. Air Force vet told Think Progress.

Personally I don’t trust this witless imbecile to represent anyone or anything in the great state of Tennessee. He is an embarrassment and I hope that the voters in his district toss him from office at the first opportunity.

My Review of ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn’

First- a disclaimer- I haven’t, and won’t see this film.  Having said that, I’ll now go on to review it just like many people ‘review’ books about biblical studies without ever having read them or- worse- comment on subjects related to the bible without having ever studied the matter and only hatching their half baked idiotic internet assembled philosophy after a half hour of thinking about it.

This movie stinks.  I can say that without fear of contradiction because I’ve seen 10 minutes of all the other 32 in the series and they all stink.  They appeal only to 12 year old girls and soccer moms.  So, ’nuff said.

Don’t go see it or you’ll be guilty of supporting bad acting, bad film-making, and bad thinking.

The Bible Reading Marathon

Students, faculty and staff at one Christian university in Florida have taken on a major challenge: they are going to read the entire Bible, in public, out loud, over four days. Palm Beach Atlantic University students and employees will take turns reading parts of the Bible on campus this week, with the hope that those who pass by would reflect on its words and would see the reading of the Scripture as an important aspect of a Christian’s life.

Nice idea. 4 days- that’s a goal!

Each volunteer will read aloud for half an hour at a time, and reading will continue each day from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m. the following morning. But organizers decided against reading throughout the night because they want others to be around to hear it.

That’s probably pretty smart. Unfortunately,

Each one of the volunteer readers has received a New International Version of the Bible to read from, the Sun-Sentinal reports, although they may read out of an alternative version if they should choose to do so. Everyone received the same version because, organizers say, it makes the transition from one reader to another easier.

They should have used the Common English Bible. It’s far more accurate than the NIV and just simply better as a translation for both reading ease and comprehensibility. Still, and I shudder to admit it, reading the NIV is better than nothing (though reading nothing itself would be better than reading the Living Bible).