Daily Archives: 3 Apr 2012

Luther: On the Difference Between the Righteous and the Unrighteous

Portrait of Martin Luther as an Augustinian Monk

“The righteous man is one who accuses himself first” (Prov. 18:17). Therefore “even if he falls seven times a day, he as often rises again” (Prov. 24:16) in that he does not excuse himself for his sins, but quickly confesses them and accuses himself. … On the contrary, those who set up their own righteousness and excuse themselves for their sins (like Saul, like Adam and Eve) do not judge themselves or accuse themselves but think they are doing well and are pleased with themselves and love themselves and their own life in this world. “Therefore the ungodly will not rise in the judgment”. — Martin Luther

Who’s Telling the Truth? Charlesworth or Tabor?

Mark Goodacre sets their ‘accounts’ of the ‘discovery’ of the ‘Jonah ossuary’ side by side (and be sure to read his entire post).  You decide which is telling the historical truth and which has fashioned an account based on wishful thinking:

Charlesworth Tabor and Jacobovici
I was moved when I looked through a camera on the end of a robotic arm into a pre-70 Jewish tomb. There in the darkness below my feet was an ancient tomb with bone boxes (ossuaries) clearly made before the massive revolt against Rome in 66 CE. As the camera turned, I saw a door that sealed the tomb in antiquity. Then the camera moved silently past ossuaries. A shout was heard by colleagues near me as an inscription came into view. Then, not much later the robotic arm moved again, being directed by a scientist. None of us could believe our eyes. We were all riveted to a drawing that ostensibly broke the second commandment. What was it? What was depicted? What did the early Jew intend to symbolize? The following day we called in Professor James Charlesworth, an expert in Greek and early Christianity, who was in Jerusalem doing research on the Dead Sea Scrolls. After reinserting the robotic arm and swinging the camera once again over to the third niche, we showed him what we had discovered: first the inscription, then the image. He immediately and independently offered the same interpretation we had come to the day before. He excitedly sight-read the inscription. “The Divine Jehovah raises up from [the dead].” He also offered without hesitation the same interpretation of the fish. What we are looking at, he said, appears to be the earliest representation from Jesus’ followers of their faith in his resurrection of the dead. A quiet shudder went through the room as the implications of his conclusion sunk in.

Ben Myers, the Brightest Neo-Barthian I Know, Taken to School on the Trinity By a Tiny Child


The Strangest, Most Ageist, Church Motto I’ve Ever Seen

Via the Church Curmudgeon on the twitter.  Don’t look at the services announcements, look at the Church Motto at the top of the sign…

Evidently the church has never read Gal 3:28-

οὐκ ἔνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ Ἕλλην, οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ· πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.

If there are no sexual or economic distinction in Christ, it only stands to reason that there are no age distinctions either. ‘For you are all one in Christ Jesus’.

Congregations divided by artificial criteria fail.

Kentucky Fans, See What Your ‘Celebration’ Accomplished?

Police say doctors amputated the foot of a man who was shot in the leg during raucous celebrations in Lexington of Kentucky’s NCAA basketball championship.  Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts says 31-year-old Harold Calloway remained hospitalized Tuesday afternoon. He was shot around 2 a.m. as Kentucky fans were celebrating in the streets. No arrests have been made in the shooting.  Roberts says police don’t typically identify wounded victims, but Calloway has outstanding criminal warrants in Indiana.

I guess the police are implying that since he has warrants outstanding he deserved to have some crazed nut shoot him.  Nevertheless, thanks to the ‘celebration’ of ‘victory’, a guy is footless in Kentucky.

More Proof that if it’s Unprovenanced, It’s Worthless

If an artifact isn’t scientifically extracted from a controlled dig, scholars, publishers, magazine editors, and academics in general should have nothing at all to do with it.  Forgers and fraudsters are too clever and too good at what they do and the quest for money knows no boundaries of either morality or decency.

Here’s the most recent case in point (with thanks to Antonio Lombatti for pointing it out on FB) –

The statue of the young woman was found in a goat pen outside Athens, and Culture Ministry archaeologists soon declared it a fine 6th-century B.C. original.  But on Tuesday the ministry said a more thorough examination has determined it’s a fraud.

The price the fraudsters wanted for it is eerily indicative-

Police seized the statue last week and arrested two suspected antiquities smugglers who allegedly were trying to sell it for €500,000 ($666,000).

If there weren’t a market for these things, the fraud would end.

It’s Never too Early to Plan For The SBL Annual Meeting

If you’re going to Chicago in November for SBL, you’ll want to check out this incredibly useful website. It has everything, from where to stay to where to eat to how to get to and from the airport to events and everything in between. There are even coupons you can print up for all kinds of discounts.

Just so you know… and keeping you informed.

Music for the Emergent Church

The Emergents finally have their own CD collection of worship music. If you’re Emergent, you’ll love it!

The NCAA, Dumb Jocks, And Dumber Officials

The NCAA has been airing tv spots spouting the view that NCAA athletes aren’t dumb jocks and folk need to rethink thinking that they are.

Alas, if only the NCAA itself weren’t staffed by some rather dumb people, maybe we could believe them.  Take a look at how they spell Atlanta…

Via Jay Bilas

‘Alanta’ huh?  Nice.

On Tribulations

John Calvin, in commenting on John 12:24, sagely observed-

When the godly are distressed by various afflictions, when they are pressed hard by the difficulties of their situation, when they suffer hunger, or nakedness, or disease, when they are assailed by reproaches, when it appears as if they would every hour be almost overwhelmed by death, let them unceasingly consider that this is a sowing which, in due time, will yield fruit.’

Cargill Points Out Another Problem with the “Jesus Discovery” Claim

Robert writes

The video points out 2 basic points:

Digitally inked images were released to the public without acknowledging that the videos had, in fact, been inked (with ink colored to look like a naturally engraved area). (After I wrote my blog post (http://robertcargill.com/2012/03/13/sins-of-commission-and-omission/), they later designated the image as “marked” and uploaded the “uninked” image for comparison). The digital ink does not correspond to the engraved areas, giving the illusion of a fish where none is present. http://robertcargill.com/2012/04/02/youtube-video-digitally-manipulated-fish-in-the-margins-imagery-on-the-so-called-jonah-ossuary/.

If you plan on watching the April 12 (it should have aired April 1, let’s just be honest) ‘Jesus Discovery’ special on the ‘Discovery Channel’ you need to watch the video above first and check out the other links on the subject (which are now voluminous).

Children Can Be Evil

Three 9-year-old girls and an 8-year-old boy were handcuffed and arrested at Morrell Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., after allegedly being involved in a fight at the school that led to one of the children being “forced onto railroad tracks,” WJZ TV reports.

Despite outrage from parents and the American Civil Liberties Union — who claim the arrests violate state law — the Baltimore Police Department defend their decision to keep the children in a holding cell for 12 hours.

“It’s our policy, regardless of the age, when a suspect is arrested by police, they’re handcuffed,” Det. Jeremy Silbert told WJZ-TV. “And the reason is just not for the suspect’s safety but also for officers’ safety.”

Look, they ganged up on a kid and forced it onto railroad tracks.  Maybe the ‘outraged’ parents should be glad the victim wasn’t killed.  Children aren’t always Cherubs you know.  Some of them are evil.

Loretta Hammonds, mother of one of the students, told WBAL-TV that she was outraged when the school called to tell her about the arrest.  “I immediately ran to the Juvenile Justice Center, and they would not let me see her or even talk to her,” Hammonds told the station. “I just started crying. My baby’s in the back of a cell and she’s 9-years-old.”

Her ‘outrage’ pales in comparison to the outrage I’d feel if a motley gang took my child to the railroad tracks.   Perhaps she should aim her outrage at herself for not teaching her child to respect others and not bully them.  Apparently this is a pattern of behavior.

The Baltimore Sun reports the arrests were an effort on the part of the police to respond to area parents’ outrage after the bullying incident — where one child allegedly almost drowned and another’s head was “forced onto a railroad track.”  The four children have been charged with aggravated assault for the incident.

They’re victimizers, not victims.  They’re perpetrators, not innocents.  Not all children are innocents: some are evil.

It’s Never A Good Day to be a Scapegoat…

via Brian Kelley on G+

‘Blackout Parties’?

Stupidity is incurable.  There is, it’s time for all of us to admit, an invincible ignorance which cannot, will not, may not, and shall not rid itself of self-destructive mad behavior.

When 24 young adults were hospitalized for intoxication at a dance party in upscale Montclair, N.J., last week, the promoters of the party, the Barstool Blackout Tour, added another blemish to their record of alcohol-fueled party events.

The party, which bills itself as a laser-light and electronic dance music show, is part of a 40-city concert tour created by Barstool U, a website geared toward young men with content focusing on sports and pictures of women.

More than 2,500 young adults – many of them students from nearby Montclair State University – arrived at the venue sporting neon outfits and, according to Montclair police, high levels of intoxication.

Police quickly decided to cancel the event as they watched thousands of inebriated people pushing and shouting to get into the theater, according to Police Chief David Sabagh. As police tried to disperse the crowds, they transported two dozen individuals to hospitals for alcohol-related illnesses, he said.

Invincible ignorance.  Unfortunately these are the very sort who drive intoxicated and their stupidity affects their victims when they create accidents.

Sad News: the Death of Helmer Ringgren

Dear SOTS member,
I have had news from Prof. Bertil Albrektson of the death of the Society´s oldest Honorary Member, Professor Helmer Ringgren, Uppsala (elected 1973).

“He died on Monday, 26th March, at 94 years of age. The chief mourners are his three daughters and their families.

His last years were made difficult by serious eye trouble, which prevented him from reading, and he also suffered from leg problems, making him fairly immobile; he was not often seen outside his home.

He got his doctorate at Uppsala in 1947 and was a pupil of Geo Widengren, professor of Comparative Religion, and of the famous semitist H. S. Nyberg. He had held chairs both in Comparative Religion (Åbo, Finland, 1962-64), and in Old Testament Exegetics (Evanston, 1960-62; Uppsala 1964-83).

The funeral service will be held at Helga Trefaldighets kyrka (Holy Trinity church) in Uppsala 11th April at 3 p.m.”

Prof. Albrektson’s email address is in our printed list, but I add it here: bertil.albrektson@comhem.se

With best wishes,
Viv Rowett
SOTS membership secretary.

May he rest in peace.  He was a fantastic scholar.

Kentucky… Shame

Authorities reported that one man was wounded by gunfire early Tuesday in Lexington, numerous small fires were set and dozens were arrested as thousands of people celebrated Kentucky’s win over Kansas to claim another NCAA title.

Every time some sporting event provokes senseless rioting it makes whatever University students are involved look like buffoons.  Your team won.  Great.  But how does that devolve into burning things and fighting?  What’s wrong with people?

Oh I know… that depravity thing again.

“We’re seeing fires being lit and things of that nature,” Roberts said, adding that people had set couches and at least one car on fire.  A car crashed into the patio area at a bar and grill where some people were dining, but the metal-and-brick wall kept the vehicle from getting onto the patio, she said. She didn’t have information about injuries.  Police had also handed out numerous citations, many for alcohol-related offenses, Roberts said.

Booze… that’s always the excuse isn’t it.  What sort of fools hand themselves over to the control of a substance which renders their capacity to make sane decisions impossible?

Anyway, Kentucky’s glory is Kentucky’s shame.

Oded Golan Admits He’s a Liar

Buried deep in an essay by Ha’aretz which appeared at the end of last week (which I missed and which I thank Mark Elliott for pointing out), Golan admits that he’s not an honest person-

Golan admits his hobby is one that involves not telling the entire story all the time − and sometimes lying − in order to obtain an artifact at the desired price. “You can’t always tell 100 percent of the truth,” he admits.

Nice to know…  Or rather, nice of him to admit it.