Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Funniest Top Gear Segment- Ever

An Active Duty American Serviceman in Texas…

Tried to board a plane with explosives in his carry on luggage.

Officials declined to release the man’s identity but said that he was an active-duty member of the United States military. The explosives were discovered shortly before 9:30 a.m. at a security checkpoint inside the Midland International Airport’s only terminal building.

Officers with the Transportation Security Administration detected a suspicious item in the man’s carry-on bag during X-ray screening, officials said.

The enemy is within.

I’d Not Heard of Brad S. Gregory…

Until I got this fascinating book for Christmas from my lovely bride:  The Unintended Reformation:  How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society.  It turns out the guy knows his stuff!

This volume is amazingly insight-filled and tremendously interesting.

Oddly though, it shouldn’t just be of interest to historians of the Reformation or the modern world.  It should be read by biblical scholars so they can see how history ought to be done and Gregory’s method should be adopted, mutatis mutandis, by them.

If you have some Christmas cash or a gift card for your local book-ery, don’t miss this one.

Visiting a Lifeway Store is a Depressing Thing

Lifeway (which used to be known as the Baptist Book Store but which changed its name because it wanted to sell more than it wanted to serve the Church), the publishing arm of the SBC Sunday School Board is one depressing place to visit.

I had to today… to pick up some things for the youth group.  While there I snapped this photo of the ‘best sellers’ that Lifeway is shoving down the throats of Baptists.  The display is near the door so you can’t miss it…

Is this really the depth of thought to which Baptists are summoned?  Is this the best we have to offer Christians and Churches?  Heaven help us.

Well He’s Not the Sharpest Knife in the Drawer

Do you have change for a million-dollar bill?  Police say a North Carolina man insisted his million-dollar note was real when he was buying $476 worth of items at a Walmart.  Investigators told the Winston-Salem Journal ( ) that 53-year-old Michael Fuller tried to buy a vacuum cleaner, a microwave oven and other items. Store employees called police after his insistence that the bill was legit, and Fuller was arrested.  The largest bill in circulation is $100. The government stopped making bills of up to $10,000 in 1969.  Fuller was charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument.

If you stop to think about it, it really is tragic that someone can live for 53 years and still be that surprisingly dim.  The poor guy.  His poor family. Everyone knows they only break $100’s at the wal-mart and you have to go to Target to get the bigger bills busted…

Quote of the Day

I don’t know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from? — Matthew Barnett

Easy enough to figure out really, they’re shopping for the church that meets THEIR needs rather than the one where they can serve.

As The Year Draws to a Close, I Remain, as Always, More Popular Than You…

Again, according to the only honest broker of internet activity- Alexa.

Me- 82,540
Joel Watts – 235,547
Deane Galbraith – 1,087,293
Allan Bevere – 1,562,235
Danny McClellan – 1,653,637
Mark Stevens – 1,941,079
Marc Cortez- 2,047,673

Oh well keep trying you guys… maybe next year (if I’m dead) you’ll overtake me. Or, storm my unassailable castle. In the meanwhile, here’s a little video clip sent your way –

Naked Archaeologists, Naked Pastors…

What next, naked Congressmen?  What’s the deal with the affixing of the modifier naked to nouns these days?

God willing, such disturbing imagery will be forsaken in 2012.  God willing we shall none of us ever have to imagine archaeologists, pastors, or elected officials without clothes in 2012.

That, at any rate, is my hope.  Pray with me to that end.

Litigious Americans and their Refusal to Accept Responsibility

A South Carolina woman is suing the bar that served her alcohol as a minor the night she had a car accident that left her paralyzed.

Chelsea Hess, 22, is also suing the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the town of Bluffton and Beaufort County for negligence for allegedly not maintaining the road shoulder she drove her car over in her accident.

Hess was 20 years old on Aug. 8, 2009 when she went to Jock’s Sports Grill in Beaumont, S.C. for a game of billiards, according to her lawsuit.

She alleged that she ordered an alcoholic drink at the bar and was served without being asked for her identification. The legal drinking age in South Carolina is 21.

It’s sad that she’s paralyzed but she chose to order booze and she chose to drink it and she chose to drive and her condition is completely her responsibility. But she’s chosen the ‘point the finger at the other guy and tell him it’s his fault’ avenue so beloved these days. It’s not my fault, it’s yours….  Total depravity’s signature move.

I’m sorry she’s paralyzed. But she has no one to curse but herself for it. Thankfully, her self indulgent ignorance didn’t injure anyone else. If she had, though, I’m sure she would be blaming them too.

Congratulations, Dr Pfoh

Our brilliant colleague and friend Emanuel Pfoh received his doctorate last week and I wanted to congratulate him, publicly, for it.  Well done!

Manu is one of the co-moderators of the Biblical Studies list (which you should join, by the way) and a long time contributor.  He’s written an excessively important volume titled The Emergence of Israel in Ancient Palestine, and he’s one of those rare all around good guys you scarcely meet anymore.

Again, congratulations!


Police have launched a hate crime investigation into vandalism of a “gay nativity” scene outside a California church. The scene at Claremont United Methodist Church featured three wooden light boxes portraying a heterosexual and two homosexual couples holding hands beneath a Star of Bethlehem and the words: “Christ is Born.” The gay couples were pushed over, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The only hate crime in this instance is the hatred of Christianity demonstrated in the disfiguring of a Lukan image for the sake of pandering to an illegitimate reading of Scripture and a quest for ‘cultural acceptance’ whatever the cost to theological truth.

And this time it isn’t the Episcopalians.  It’s the United Methodists…

Strange Bedfellows: The Christian University and the Republican Office Seeker

…  Liberty University, the evangelical institution founded by Jerry Falwell, is … giving Mr. Gingrich some help in Iowa, running 30-second commercials in which Mr. Gingrich extols the virtues of a Liberty education.

[The] video [doesn’t] explicitly endorse….  Mr. Gingrich as the Republican nominee, but their pro-Gingrich messages raise a host of election law questions and highlight how loopholes in the law allow politically motivated groups to influence the outcome of elections. Liberty, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, is prohibited by law from participating in campaign activities on behalf of any candidate. Newsmax, a corporate entity, is also limited in its political activities but is now much freer to get involved since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court case.

Christianity + marriage to a political party or partisan = the malformed demon called Constantinianism and that foul Constantinianism is a servile christendom unworthy of the name of Christ.

Whenever Christianity and the State enter into partnership it’s Christianity that comes off worse.  Always.  Always.  The folk at Liberty responsible for this decision ought to read a little Church history.  And they don’t have to go back too far.  They can just inquire of the German Christians.

Thinking Like an Atheist

In three easy steps:

1-  Lump all Christians together into one massive Borg-ish collective.
2- When one or a tiny minority of the collective does something stupid- attribute that stupidity to all.
3- Mock the entirety of Christianity.

Like this chap has done-

So, if Christians were actually lame and unintelligent enough to adopt atheistic reasoning we could

1- Hear of some atheist or atheists who were child molesters.
2- Denounce all atheists as child molesters, since they all clearly share the same exact mentality.
3- And mock all of atheism.

Except Christians are too smart to act that way. It’s a shame that the ‘reason exalting’ atheists exemplified by the clearly angry atheist lad above in his feckless ‘tweet’ aren’t as smart.

Calvin on the Pentebabbleists

English: John Calvin Deutsch: Maße: 10,9 x 7,8...

Sure, the original post uses the phrase ‘hyper charismatics’ but it’s the same exact thing:

For certain giddy men have lately appeared, who, while they make a great display of the superiority of the Spirit, reject all reading of the Scriptures themselves, and deride the simplicity of those who only delight in what they call the dead and deadly letter…

But what kind of Spirit did our Savior promise to send? One who should not speak of himself (John 16.13), but suggest and instill the truths which he himself had delivered through the word. Hence the office of the Spirit promised to us, is not to form new and unheard-of revelations, or to coin a new form of doctrine… From Institutes I.IX.1

Calvin was so much more insightful than our modern Montanists could ever hope to be. Thank God.  With thanks too to Daniel Stoddart on G+ for the tip.

New Year’s Day Has Nothing to Do With Christianity

So I – frankly – hope those ‘waging war’ against the ‘de-christianization’ of the ‘holiday’ lose big time.

So, sorry James, I’m with the other side on this one.  Down with New Year’s Day!  It’s just a chance for besotted losers to gather in assembly and prove to all and one that without being drunk, they are profoundly and inhumanly uninteresting and while drunk, ignorantly and decisively sub-human. Here’s the proof-

If Christians really want to be authentically Christian, they’ll avoid celebrating the ‘New Year’ holiday like the plague it is.

‘Occupy Christianity’: Phrases that make me Hurl

Ah, well, you knew it would happen.  Jim Wallis wants to confiscate the silly #occupy label and he wants Christians to #occupy Christianity.  Or so his newsletter asserts-

What would it mean if Christians fully occupied the Gospel? To me, it means that Christians would lead the way to welcome the stranger among us and advocate on behalf of those living in fear of war; to ensure that everyone has enough to eat and a safe place to sleep at night. Looking back at the work we’ve accomplished this year (and the past 40 years!), I am humbled and honored to work alongside social justice advocates like yourself to further God’s work on earth. Because of support from people like you, Sojourners continues to help protect vulnerable people — we give a voice to the voiceless, by speaking truth in the halls of power and mobilizing faithful people to act for justice. Give today to support Sojourners and help grow the next generation of social justice Christians!

Give today huh? Nothing like a Sojourners money scam garbed in the clothing of a now irrelevant and shortly to be completely forgotten ‘movement’ (because it’s cold now and American ‘occupiers’ are, in true American form, ‘fair weather occupiers’).

I don’t need Wallis, or anyone else, to tell me that the Gospel is only really lived if I pass along money to them. So no thanks- I think I’ll occupy the gospel by living it and helping folk as I can- not by giving to big ole’ pseudo ministries pandering for dollars.

How Profoundly Stupid are the People at Fox News, Anyway?

A Fox staffer in Latin America thought a good way to promote a Christmas special would be with an online poll asking people whether they thought the Jewish people were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. Other options included Pontius Pilate or the high priests. Fox pulled the poll and apologized after receiving complaints, AP reports. The Simon Weisenthal Center in Buenos Aires called the poll a reference to Vatican propaganda that “resulted in the persecution and murder of Jews for two millennia.”

When Fox interviews someone for a job do they make them take an IQ test and if they score above 60 they’re disqualified?

And yet, astonishingly, Fox is still on the air.

Oh Thank Goodness For the Canadian ‘Mayan Calendar’ Guy…


English: Logo for University of Regina

Without his reassurance, I may have fallen afoul of the ‘end of the world in 2012 because the Mayan’s predicted it’ stupidity.

A Regina man who trained as a Mayan timekeeper says the end of the ancient Mayan calendar does not mean the end of the world. Dec. 21, 2012 marks the end of the 5,125-year-long Mayan Long Count calendar.  That has led to dire end-of-times predictions, including hundreds of thousands of doomsday websites and blogs on the internet and even films depicting the end of the world.

But to be fair, the hundreds of thousands of doomsday websites and blogs are all the product of just one maniacal lunatic and we all know who that is- Geoff Hudson.  So there are really only 1 website and 1 blog and loads of iterations of that singularity.

But the Global Chair of Journalism at the University of Regina says that’s not an accurate interpretation of the calendar.

Whew.  I’m relieved…  Just when I had given up hope that there were any decent people in Canada besides David Meadows and Jim Linville.  (With thanks to David for mentioning this mind laxative on the FB).

My New Year’s Resolutions

I do here publicly resolve to, in 2012,

1- not be so lazy and indolent and post so infrequently
2- sleep less
3- eat less
4- endure depravity less
5- suffer fools less
6- be less warm and fuzzy and compassionate
7- order more books

Amen and amen. So let it be written, so let it be done.

Bad Thinking: It’s Not Just a Problem for Biblical Studies / Archaeology

It seems that the ‘sciency’ people have a raft of bad thinkers of their own.  As NPR reports

2011 may go down as the year of the retraction in the scientific world.  Among the highly publicized discoveries that got debunked this year: a genetic basis for longevity; a new form of life; an explanation for autism; and a link between a virus and chronic fatigue syndrome.  All of these non-discoveries have something in common: They involved findings that both scientists and the public badly wanted to believe.

This year, when the sciency people urge you to bow at the altar of their ‘latest finding’, and denounce you for your faith in God, you might want to remind them that they’ve constructed their fair share of idols unworthy of worship and you choose to dismiss their exaggerated, unsubstantiated faith claims.  Science is a faith too- a system of belief (in – of all things- human intellect!!!!  HA!).