Daily Archives: 28 Mar 2012

Most Americans Disapprove of the Republican Party, and the Democratic Party

CNN emails

President Barack Obama holds a double-digit lead over former Gov. Mitt Romney in a head-to-head general election matchup, a new CNN/ORC national poll shows. In a hypothetical race, 54% of Americans polled said they would vote for Obama while 43% said they preferred Romney.

Poor Mitt. He really doesn’t stand a chance. The Repubs like Karl Rove must be stewing.

In the same poll, Obama’s approval rating inched above the 50% mark for the first time since May, with 51% of respondents saying they approve of the job he’s doing and 45% disapproving.

Ah well that will make many Repubs angry- most Americans approve of the Pres.

Meanwhile, 48% of respondents said they have favorable view of the Democratic Party. The Republican Party’s favorable rating dropped to 35%, with nearly six in 10 Americans saying they have an unfavorable view of the GOP.

Which means 52% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Dems and 65% have an unfavorable view of the Repubs. And yet, they mindlessly vote for them over and over again. There’s a real disconnect between views and votes.

The Huffington Post has Jumped the Shark

This one speaks for itself. Via the twitter.

Do the editors of the HuffPo really, really think anyone cares?  Really?

You Shouldn’t Trust Joe Oliver’s ‘Gut’ When it Comes to George Zimmerman

Jonathan Capehart notes that Oliver doesn’t even know Zimmerman beyond the level of mere acquaintance!

Since last weekend, Joe Oliver has been making the rounds of television shows as a “close friend” of George Zimmerman. A man who knew the man who shot an unarmed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. A man who could vouch for Zimmerman’s personal growth and character. A man who knew the gunman so well that he was certain that the voice screaming for help on one of the 911 calls was that of Zimmerman’s. But all that was blown out of the water last night.

During an interview on MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” host Lawrence O’Donnell, Charles Blow of the New York Times and I each took turns questioning the self-appointed defender of Zimmerman. After an intense grilling for about 30 minutes, Oliver revealed himself to be nothing more than an acquaintance and raised questions about why he inserted himself into this national maelstrom to begin with.

Throughout the two-part interview, Oliver tried to have it both ways. He’s known Zimmerman for six years, he said, “since he started dating his wife.” There’s even a family connection, and the two men have worked together at the same company. Oliver claims Zimmerman has grown from his past experiences into a “caring person.”

The guy’s a fraud.  He apparently just wants to be in the news.

In keeping with everything about the killing of Trayvon Martin nothing makes sense. Nothing. Oliver is no friend. He’s barely an acquaintance who appears to be trying to use his seemingly tenuous connection to Zimmerman for a purpose that defies logic.

Oliver isn’t Zimmerman’s “close friend”? He’s more of an “older uncle”? Oliver doesn’t know much about Zimmerman at all but has a “gut feeling” that he’s telling the truth? As O’Donnell pointedly said to Oliver at the end of the interview, “That is not good enough for America.”

This Oliver guy… what a scammer.

Why do People Church Hop and Church Shop? Because They’ve Got Bad Theology

Church hoppers, church shoppers; you know the sort.  They come to this church for this activity and that church for another activity and they believe the Church, and God, exist solely to serve them.

But that is, of course, simply bad theology.  Church shoppers are looking to be served and not to serve.  Church hoppers are looking to be pandered to, not to serve Christ.

When the church shoppers or church hoppers tell you that they’re leaving your church because another one offers them the ‘programs and activities’ they’re looking for, wish them well, tell them you hope they can find a place to serve, and wash your hands of them.  Don’t feel bad, or a failure.  For the simple fact is this:  self-serving, self-seeking, self-absorbed church attenders seldom ever become real, actual contributors to the life of the Church.  They take- they don’t give.  They take the time of others and never give their own.  They take the resources provided by others and never aid in provision.  They are ego-centric rather than Christocentric and the harsh reality is, quite simply, your community of faith is better off without them.

Here’s why: the workers seldom complain- and the complainers seldom work.  You have little chance of changing their selfish theology because they don’t wish to change.  They will always imagine that all the universe exists to meet their needs and they will never bother to meet the needs of anyone else.

You really are better off without them. They are weeds in the field; producing nothing.  If Jesus is right, and there’s no reason to think he isn’t, when he says ‘by their fruits you will know them’ then the one thing you will know when you encounter the church hopper and the church shopper is that they will always have two hands out to receive, and two clenched fists when it comes time to serve.

Zwingli’s ‘Freundliche Verglimpfung über die Predigt Luthers wider die Schwärmer’

Sometime around 28-30 March, 1527, Zwingli published his rejoinder to Luther’s sermon against the rabble-rousers. The full title,

Früntlich verglimpfung und ableynung über die predig des treffenlichen Martini Luthers wider die schwermer, zuo Wittemberg gethon unnd beschriben zuo schirm des waesenlichen lychnams und bluots Christi im sacrament. Zuo guoter bewarung von Huldrychen Zuingli ylends und kurtz begriffen,

serves as a table of contents. And the opening paragraph of the book proper states the reason for the publication-

Ich zwyfel nit, christlicher laeser, du vallist in etwas unmuots, so du dise min verglimpfung und ableinung, dero vast not ist, über des treffenlichen Martin Luthers predig, wider die schwermer vom sacrament des lychnams und bluots Christi geton und beschriben, ansehist, darumb daß du sorgest, es werde zwytracht under denen, die ouch bim euangelio stond. Da soltu sicher sin, das ich darmit gheinswegs umbgang, sunder allein daruff sich, daß wir nienen mit unwüssenheit oder unverstand umbkommen werdind, ouch niemand sich selb so hoch halte in der kilchen Christi, das im nieman gdore ynreden, so er glych on gottes wort redt oder so er imm gwalt tuot mit mißverstand.

Luther didn’t – couldn’t – correctly understand Zwingli because he lumped him with the loons on the left wing of the Reformation, the true Schwärmer. Luther’s inability to distinguish the refined and elegant theology of Zwingli from the maniacal lunacy of the Schwärmer was never overcome. Luther simply couldn’t see straight, his contempt for any view not his own was so great.

Still here in this book Zwingli manfully insists on the truth of his viewpoint and illustrates time and again how Luther has misread, intentionally it seems, him.

Mozart, I Love You- I Can’t Quit You…

This is one of my absolutely favorite pieces by the Maestro. And as it happens I listened to it first thing this morning at the gym at 5 and I can’t get it out of my mind. It’s on an unending loop.

Thank you, God, for Wolfgang Mozart.

Tel Aviv University Continues to Feature Azekah Excavation Participants

And today they’ve featured a guy that looks vaguely familiar but I’m not quite sure where I’ve seen him…  Gosh, he sure rings a bell…


I’ve, in the meanwhile, come up with a slogan for the Azekah dig:  ‘Azekah: We’re on the Ball!’

UPDATE: Roslyn Cargill has a far better slogan:  ‘Azekah: We’re on the Baulk!’

[Nice one Ros!]

The Inconvenient Jesus

This volume, now in its second edition, looks absolutely fascinating.

Dieses Buch über den historischen Jesus beleuchtet vor allem jene Seiten seiner Person und Botschaft, die heute problematisch oder anstößig erscheinen: seine hoheitliche Art der Lehre, seine Wunder, seine Gerichtsverkündigung, sein Gebot der Feindesliebe, seine Option für die Armut. Ein forschungsgeschichtlicher Beitrag zeigt auf, wie und warum es in der Moderne zu Umdeutungen kam. Die beiden letzten Beiträge behandeln die Leidensgeschichte und die Auferstehung Jesu mit dem Ergebnis: Aus historischen Gründen muss die Auferstehung Jesu ein Geschehen sein, das nicht nur in den Herzen der enttäuschten Jünger und Jüngerinnen stattgefunden hat. Die Darstellung ist konsequent historisch, kulturgeschichtlich und theologisch.

I’d be very keen to hear the impressions of anyone who has read it.  It hasn’t appeared in any review from RBL.

UPDATEEisenbrauns carries it.

Sebastian Moll’s Book ‘Jesus the Vegetarian’ Has Been Placed on ‘The Index’!

Boy was I surprised when Sebastian noted on facebook that his book had been placed on an index of books Evangelicals should avoid!   He notes it here on his blog as well (a blog, I have to admit, of which I was uninformed but which I am now adding to the roll).

You know you’ve arrived when some group or other lists your work as ‘avoid’.

You may recall that Sebastian had a piece a while back in Bible and Interpretation on the topic of vegetarianism.  If you missed it, it’s right here.

Quote of the Month

Our problem is not a Church immersed in the Scriptures and indifferent to current events, it is rather a Church largely ignorant of the Scriptures, allowing events to determine its message. — E. Earle Ellis

(with thanks to Carl Sweatman for posting it on G+)

Mocking Cats: Cats Mock the Twitter

Ok this is pretty funny (via Brian Kelley on G+) –

The Collected Works of Petrus Wachenius

Refo500 informs us that

Refo500 at the University of Warsaw

On Saturday, April 14 a meeting devoted to Reading Petrus Wachenius (a Polish Calvinist Author of the 17th Century) to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his stay in Pszczyna (German: Pless) will be organized in this Polish city as a part of the series of meetings on the Reformation in Poland and East-Central Europe.

The meeting will be held under the patronage of Refo500 – Central and Eastern Europe and co-organized by the Society for the Pszczyna Region, the Committee on the Study of the Reformation in Poland and East-Central Europe at the University of Warsaw and the Sub Lupa Publishers in Warsaw.

Collected works by Piotr Wachenius edited by Prof. Dariusz Rott and Dr. Mariusz Pawelec is a critical edition of three of his works: an anti-Catholic polemical treatise The Faithful and True Presentation, a short prayer book with a catechism Summary of the Holy Christian Worship and a book of My Domestic Hymns). Little is known about Piotr Wachenius (Petrus Vachenius Strelicenus), an author of several books printed in 1612. It is clear that the author was a Calvinist. It is possible that earlier Wachenius had been a member of the Church of the Czech Brethren. New evidence tracing Wachenius’ origins to Strzelce Opolskie (German: Groß Strehlitz) in Upper Silesia has been discovered in research libraries and archives in Poland and the Czech Republic. This is a clear evidence of ties between Polish and Czech Protestants in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which proves that there is a need for continuation of studies in Silesian Protestantism.

Now for the Latest: Police Wanted to Arrest Zimmerman, Prosecutor Said No

The special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case said that the Sanford Police Department asked the state attorney’s office for an arrest warrant to charge George Zimmerman early in the investigation, but the state’s attorney’s office decided to wait.  The Miami Herald reported that the local police initially went to the Seminole State Attorney with a request to file charges and the police report labeled the case as “homicide/negligent manslaughter. “The state attorney impaneled a grand jury, but before anything else could be done, the governor stepped in and asked us to pick it up in mid-stream,” Angela Corey, the special prosecutor on the case said.

Chris Serino, the lead detective on the case, expressed doubts around Zimmerman’s account of the shooting, according to ABC News. Serino filed an affidavit on the night of the shooting in which he said that he was unconvinced Zimmerman’s version of events.  Serino told MSNBC Tuesday night that he was not at liberty to discuss the case, but he feels very encouraged by the new investigation into the case, and he was “looking forward to the truth coming out.”

It’s obvious, then, that the lead detective didn’t believe Zimmerman from the very start.  Something stinks.  I’d be very interested to learn whether or not the Seminole State Attorney (Norman Wolfinger) has any connection with Zimmerman’s dad.