Daily Archives: 2 Apr 2012

It’s Always a Very Good Idea to See What’s On Your Memory Stick…

Especially if you got it from someone else and if you’re going to show whatever is on it to a group of 9 year olds...

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has said it is investigating how a priest offering a presentation to parents on their children’s upcoming confessions instead ended up showing them a computer slideshow of gay porn.

Perhaps it had been used at a Priest convention?

Brady said the priest, the Rev Martin McVeigh, “has stated that he had no knowledge of the offending imagery” and is helping an internal church investigation.  McVeigh said other church officials used the memory stick and he wanted an investigation “so that what happened can be legitimately explained”.  “I don’t know how it happened but I know what happened,” McVeigh said.

I know how it happened: someone was saving stuff that they downloaded that they should neither have been viewing nor keeping.  That’s how.

The parents described how, at a 26 March meeting at the school, McVeigh inserted the memory stick, clicked open a folder – and unleashed a cavalcade of sexually explicit pictures of naked men.  “He was visibly shaken and flustered. He gave no explanation or apology to the group and bolted out of the room,” the parents said.

One would expect some sort of explanation like ‘I got this from Father Tilling!’  Or something!

Two other school and church officials continued the communion discussion, they said, “however the parents who viewed the pictures were horrified and distracted”. They said an eight-year-old child was also present.

‘Horrified and distracted’… there’s an understatement!

Let that be a lesson to ya.  Know what you’re showing before you show it.

Human Self Confidence: The Greatest of All Absurdities

Doug reminded me of this brilliant quote from our friend Emil Brunner-

Do you say yes to the God who comes to you in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Or are you and do you want to continue to be your own lord and savior? Do you see that with all the power and cleverness which you have—you cannot save yourself from corruption—or do you still believe that every one is the maker of his own fortune? Dear friends, human self-confidence has been given a hard jolt in our times. Many have for the first time noticed what empty phrases these words are: self-confidence, self-reliance, the power of the nation, our dignity. The man who puts his trust in himself is absurd.

Breaking News! NT Wright Thinks the Resurrection is Important for Christianity!

Whew that was close.  What if he had said it wasn’t????  All of Christianity would doubtless have crumbled…

Next week, NT will declare that the Bible is important for Christian theology!  Stay tuned!!!!

[Calm down, Wrightians, it’s just a bit of sarcasm].

Multiple Murders in Oakland at Oikos University

A gunman who opened fire at Oikos University, a Christian school in Oakland, Calif., this morning, killing at least six people and wounding as many as five others, may be in custody, police said.

According to police, the gunman entered the school at 10:30 a.m., and fired multiple shots. Police have not said officially how many people were killed or wounded, but Oakland City Council President Larry Reid told ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco police told him that at least six people were dead.

Aerial video from the scene shows five bodies laid out under sheets on the school lawn.

Police described the suspect as an Asian male, 5-foot-9, wearing tan pants, according ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco.

We should all mourn for our Country.  It’s sick.  On so many levels.

Oikos University is a Christian university that focuses on nursing. The school’s website describes students as “given the opportunity to obtain a Christian education that is based on solid Christian doctrine and ideology. Our main goal is to foster spiritual Christian leaders who abide by God’s intentions and to expand God’s nation through them.”

So what did any of these kids do to deserve such violence?  Sickening.  Time to read Lamentations, yet again.

UPDATEThe AP reports- Seven dead, three injured in Oakland Christian university shooting.

Oh Methodists, You’re Just So Episcopal

Our local news channel is soliciting church news on its Facebook page, asking folk to let them know what their churches are doing for Easter.  This one caught my eye…

Ftn city umc starts services on Thursday with a Maudy Thurs service then a Tennabare Service on Friday, and then a Easter Service on Sunday with a Butterfly Release.

I’m guessing they mean ‘Maundy’ but who knows.  Since they’re Methodists it could be a celebration of Maude.  I think it fascinating that their Easter service will feature a butterfly release- because, as we all know- when Jesus came out of the tomb a bunch of butterflies were released by the Apostles…

I wonder if they’ll have an easter bunny on the altar too…  I hope it’s a chocolate one that everyone gets to take a bite out of.  Come to think of it, they could use a chocolate bunny for Easter Communion!

Methodists, you’re just so Episcopal.

Fakes, Looting, and Artifacts Lacking Context

It’s really great to see ASOR taking proactive steps to address the problem of fraudulent ‘discoveries’ and artifacts publicized and lionized in spite of the fact that no decent, self respecting archaeologist deems unprovenanced items meaningful or useful:

Dear ASOR member,

The ASOR Blog (asorblog.org) is pleased to announce a new “theme” for the month of April—Unprovenanced Artifacts and Possible Forgeries. The ASOR Blog will continue to post other items of interest that are submitted by the ASOR Staff and ASOR Members, but (just like we did in March) we will solicit posts on the “theme” for the month and also encourage unsolicited submissions on the theme from our membership. The guest editors for the month will be ASOR executive director Andy Vaughn (asored@bu.edu) and Professors Lynn Swartz Dodd (swartz@usc.edu) and Christopher Rollston (rollstonc@ecs.edu). Submissions should be sent to Andy Vaughn with a CC to Kevin Cooney (asorpubs@bu.edu).

ASOR and the guest editors hope to provide a venue for individuals to discuss and debate this important topic, which is certainly timely with the recent announcement of a verdict in the forgery trial in Israel. The judge in that case rightly observed that debate about the authenticity of unprovenanced artifacts and their importance (or lack of importance) should be discussed in an academic setting. The ASOR Blog seeks to provide such a venue for an open and civil discussion.

It is the policy of the ASOR Blog that any ASOR member can post a respectfully written scholarly opinion or reaction. The Blog is moderated, but it’s not refereed or peer reviewed like an academic journal. The Blog is designed for professional members of ASOR, so membership in ASOR is required.

On behalf of ASOR, I wish to thank the guest editors for volunteering to moderate the discussion, and we look forward to a fruitful and lively exchange of ideas in April.


Andrew G. Vaughn, Ph.D
Executive Director

Total Depravity: The Teacher Who Gave Good Grades in Exchange for Sex

Former Atoka High School teacher Casey Hauff, 32, has been arrested in Atoka, Okla., on 11 felony counts of sexual misconduct, one of those charges being that he allegedly convinced students to have sex with him in exchange for better grades, KJRH TV reports.

An arrest warrant was issued in the case after investigators identified five female victims and found evidence that many of the sexual encounters took place at the school and during school hours, according to the station. The charges being brought against Hauff also include two counts of second degree rape, one count of forcible sodomy, four counts of solicitation of a minor, two counts of sexual battery, one count of showing obscene material to a minor.

According to KTEN TV, Hauff resigned last October, a move that led the Atoka Police Departement to request the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s (OSBI) help in the investigation.


Congratulations to Shmuel Ahituv!

Via Jack Sasson-

Congratulations to Shmuel Ahituv for winning the 2012 Irene Levi-Sala Book Prize Award for his handbook, Echoes from the Past, published by Carta, Jerusalem, in 2008.

The Irene Levi-Sala Book prize award is dedicated by the Sala Family Trust, London, to the memory of Dr Irene Levi-Sala who was a gifted archaeologist and maintained a keen interest in the culture and archaeology of Israel. The purpose of this prestigious prize is to encourage and reward high quality publications, both scholarly and popular, on the archaeology of Israel against the wider context of Near Eastern history and archaeology.

Congratulations indeed!

Free Access to ASOR’s Journals During April

From ASOR-

The American Schools of Oriental research is excited to announce free access to the current content of all three of our publications during the month of April. You are now able to access all content published in Near Eastern Archaeology, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the Journal of Cuneiform Studies over the last four years! Simply follow the instructions outlined below. If you decide to take advantage of this promotion we ask that you like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/ASOR.org

Please take the time to check out our publications for free! If you enjoy them during the month of the April please consider subscribing or becoming a member, both of which are great ways to continue your access after this promotion ends. You can join ASOR by following the links at http://www.asor.org.

Instructions for Users

To access the current content of Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Near Eastern Archaeology, and the Journal of Cuneiform Studies follow this access link:


– You will be directed to the Login/Register for MyJSTOR page.

– Complete the required fields to register a unique username and password. A unique email address is required, but the email address may be of any type (Gmail, Hotmail, a institution-issued account, etc.). If you already have a MyJSTOR account, please click on the Login link next to the JSTOR Logo in the top-right corner of the page to register your existing account through this promotion.

– Click “Submit” to register your account. You will be redirected to the JSTOR home page and should see “Your access to JSTOR provided by The American Schools of Oriental Research” under the JSTOR logo. You may now browse the titles or access them directly using the following URLs:

Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublication?journalCode=bullamerschoorie)

Near Eastern Archaeology (http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublication?journalCode=neareastarch)

Journal of Cuneiform Studies (http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublication?journalCode=jcunestud)

For subsequent access, please go directly to http://www.jstor.org and select “Login” at the top of the page to enter JSTOR with your username and password. Note that you may access JSTOR via this account from any location.

What? Really? A Conference About Dr Who and Religion???

People are aware that it’s a tv show, right?  Tv show.  You know, it’s made up… it’s fiction.  Its characters are invented by writers… etc.

Gilligan's Island

Personally I would be more excited about a Conference titled ‘Gilligan’s Island: The Function of Stupidity and Wealth on an Island and the Intersection of a Complete Absence of any Theological Overtones’.

Gilligan’s Island was awesome.  Dr Who can’t make a radio out of coconuts.

[With apologies to all my weirdo unhinged bizarre friends who like Dr Who.  Mysterious creatures all].

Congratulations to Joel Watts!!!

Joel announces the fantastic news that his first book will be published in 2013 with the fine folk at Wipf and Stock. It’s title (tentatively) is Rhetorical Strategies of the Evangelist: Mimetic Criticism of Mark’s Gospel.

Congrats to him!

The Canaanite Village: Social Structure of Middle Bronze Age Rural Communities

Avraham Faust has uploaded a copy of his essay to Academia.edu titled The Canaanite Village: Social Structure of Middle Bronze Age Rural Communities, (Levant 37: 105-125).

Certainly worthwhile reading.  Enjoy.

Even Churches are Over-Sexualized

First we had the ‘Pastor’ in Houston who put a bed on his church roof to ‘bring attention to Christian sexuality’ and now the ‘Pastor’ who’s plopped a stripper pole on his platform so that he can ‘get people to talk about sex’.

“We talk about sex, we talk about drugs, we talk about faith, we talk about relationships; things that people are dealing with on a day to day basis.”  This series is called the Battle of the Sexes, with some rather interesting visual props.  “With our bed on one side what men want or desiring your stripper pole, your video games, your sports. The woman’s side orderly neat it’s all about love candy teddy bears roses and being wined and dined and cherished.”  He says his church brings in speakers and focuses on real situations and brings a godly solutions.  He says it’s more than provocative sermon titles.

Buddy, people are already talking about sex and taking part in it outside of marriage more than they have before- and shamelessly!  And that’s just the so called ‘Christians’!!!!

The problem isn’t that the world is uninformed- it’s over-informed.  The world is oversexualized and this ‘Pastor’ is just compounding the problem.  His job, as a Christian preacher, is to tell his congregants to ‘keep the marriage bed undefiled’ and to remind them that premarital sex is condemned as fornication and extra-marital sex is condemned as adultery.  Pure and Simple.

But I suppose even pastors will do whatever it takes to be in the news.

The Latest Number of la Revue Réformée

Le nouveau numéro de la Revue Réformée est maintenant disponible. Dans ce numéro :

– “Qui est mon prochain ? Action sociale et amour fraternel …” par Charles Nicolas.
– “Le combat des Réformés Evangéliques au XXe siècle” par Daniel Bergèse.
– “Parole en marche : la Parole de Dieu hors des murs de l’Eglise” par Erwin Ochsenmeier.
– “L’éducation populaire chez les protestants au début du XIXe siècle” par Anne Ruolt.


A New Study of the Theology of Musculus

Jordan Ballor’s dissertation, Covenant, Causality, and Law. A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus, will be published April 2012 as the 2nd volume in the Refo500 Academic Studies series.


Musculus, one of the prominent reformers of the second generation, is perhaps the earliest Reformed theologian, giving the covenant theology a distinct position. Ballor offers the first complete study of Musculus’ theology. His work takes as its starting point the covenant theology, as developed in the theology of Wolfgang Musculus (1497-1563).


By focusing on Musculus’ theology as found both in his Loci communes, as well as in his extensive and voluminous exegetical work, and in comparison and dialogue with a host of antecedent and contemporary figures, this book is the first full-scale study to place Musculus’ theology within its broader intellectual context.

Book order information and other details of the series in which it appears are available here at Refo500.

Meaningful Public Speeches: An Observation

A faithful-to-scripture sermon delivered by the world’s worst preacher is far more meaningful than the cleverest lecture delivered by the world’s best public speaker.


The Ideal Gift for Most SBL Presenters

It’s designed for karaoke but just imagine the possibilities!  It could be given to the hoard of SBL presenters who are really boring; or really awful singers who assault the ears of congregations around the world; or to each and every politician before speeches they give. All those folk could still tell their families that they presented or sang or spoke but no one else would have to be tortured!

Oh just imagine a world purified of all dreadful speaking and singing!  Paradise!

via Brian Kelley on G+

Big Brother Really IS Watching You…

Every email to your child. Every status update for your friends. Every message to your mistress.  The U.K. government is preparing proposals for a nationwide electronic surveillance network that could potentially keep track of every message sent by any Brit to anyone at any time, an industry official briefed on the government’s moves said Sunday.


Plans for a massive government database of the country’s phone and email traffic were abandoned in 2008 following a public outcry. But James Blessing of the Internet Service Providers’ Association said the government appears to be “reintroducing it on a slightly different format.”   Blessing said the move was disclosed to his association by Britain’s Home Office during a meeting in recent weeks.  Britain’s Home Office declined comment, saying an announcement would have to be made to Parliament first — possibly as soon as next month.

As though the Government weren’t already intrusive enough.  Where’s V?