Daily Archives: 21 Apr 2012

On Much of Modern Theology: An Observation

So much modern theology is like toilet paper: insubstantial and disastrous when poked through.

Chuck Colson Has Died

Via CNN- word just out that Chuck Colson, the former Watergate figure turned evangelist, has died.  May he rest in peace.

If Mozart is Played in Heaven By the Angels…

Karl Barth once famously remarked that when the angels in heaven played music, they played Mozart for themselves and Bach for God. That certainly makes sense to me.

By the same token, it also makes sense to me that when the demons in hell play for one another they play that dreadful hack Mahler and when they wish to delight Satan, they play the truly horrid Richard Wagner.

Mozart is to heavenly music as Wagner is to hellish.  What Mozart is to Christian theology, Wagner is to pagan thought,  What Mozart is to pure joy, Wagner is to torment.  Mozart’s voice is the sound of glory and Wagner’s is the sound of reprobation.

Who Does That These Days?

ἀδιαλείπτως προσεύχεσθε (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Bullinger: On Idleness

In all ages, and among all honest men, both idleness and needless occupations have been always condemned. Hesiodus said:

Both gods and men abhor
The lazy hand-inbosom’d lout,
That works not in a common weal,
But lurks, and lives without
Pains-taking; like the idle drone,
That lives upon the spoil
Of that, for which the busy bees
Do tire themselves with toil.

And Sophocles said:

Where idleness doth sit a-brood,
There’s never good egg hatch’d.

For God doth not assist slothful persons and idle slow-backs. Now I call those needless occupations, which idle and ill-disposed people do use, thereby to be troublesome to their neighbours, and to deceive other men; exercising, I confess, an occupation, but such an one as is utterly unlawful and unprofitable to all men, themselves only excepted, to whom it brings in excessive gains: of which sort are usurers, engrossers, hucksters, and other more, that have many arts to frank themselves with an idle shew of business, like a swine shut up to be fatted in a sty.

As for them whose wealth is come to them, not by their own labour, or their own industry, but by inheritance of their ancestors’ leaving, let them consider with themselves by what means the riches were gotten, which now by inheritance are fallen to their lot: and, if they perceive that they be heirs of unjust-gotten goods, let them be liberal, and make amends for them, not doubling the evil in possessing unjustly, and more wickedly digesting the thing that before was naughtily come by.

Let them put no trust or confidence in their ill-gotten riches, neither let them give themselves to idleness, but still be busy in some honest thing. But yet most commonly it cometh to pass, that ill-gotten goods are spent very lewdly. The best way therefore is, either to be heir to a good, just, and liberal man; or else to seek means, by their own toil and travail, to have of thine own wherewithal to sustain both thine own life and the lives of thy family.  — Heinrich Bullinger

Luther: On True Prayer

….Take note that a prayer is not good and right because of its length, devoutness, sweetness, or its plea for temporal or eternal goods. Only that prayer is acceptable which breathes a firm confidence and trust that it will be heard (no matter how small and unworthy it may be in itself) because of the reliable pledge and promise of God. Not your zeal but God’s Word and promise render your prayer good. This faith, based on God’s words, is also the true worship; without it all other worship is sheer deception and error.  — Martin Luther

Why Is Charlesworth Being Silent Now? He Was Pretty Chatty the Other Day…

When the ‘press release’ spewed forth like Jonah from the fish’s mouth Charlesworth and Tabor made a huge deal of it. But now that their claims have been freshly examined and once again found wanting, Charlesworth can’t be bothered to make a comment.

… skeptics [about Tabor/Charleswort’s claims] also point out that the discovery team’s own photos, released before Charlesworth and Tabor began claiming the inscription says “YONAH,” clearly show two unconnected lines rather than a backwards L-shape representing “nun.” Tabor has since released a different picture of the inscription in which the “nun” appears to be unbroken, and has addressed the controversy thus: “The ‘nun’ is not broken. There are some white splotches on the ossuary surface in our close up photos and one of them is at the juncture, which might make it look like the line is broken, but it does intersect.”

The discrepancy between the photos raises further skepticism about the discovery. “Each photograph of the supposed ‘inscription’ seems to paint a different picture, and since the beginning of this debacle a disconcerting number of photographs have been found to be filtered, altered, or mislabeled,” Caruso told Life’s Little Mysteries.

Charlesworth did not reply to requests for comment.

When the photo doesn’t fit, adjust it. That’s the methodology now employed. But that’s not new. The photos of the ossuary have been manipulated a number of times. To no avail however, since no one is convinced of the reading (except, mysteriously, Robert Deutsch and James Tabor and James Charlesworth).

No wonder Charlesworth doesn’t feel like responding to MSNBC.  But I’m sure yet another ‘press release’ will turn up soon with yet more ‘evidence’ of the claim that ‘the Jonah ossuary’ features the word ‘Yonah’.  These days it’s academics via the press release, right…

Kamikaze Kat: The Funniest Cat Video EVER

Funniest cat video EVER- with thanks to Chris Tilling for pointing it out.

Maegan Gilliland’s Visit to the Chester Beatty Library

Maegan chronicles her visit (sans photos… come on Maegan, you have to take photos) to the Chester Beatty Library here.  She went along with a group led by the inestimably intelligent Larry Hurtado.  M. writes

via Google Images

On 11 April, 2012, a group of New College postgraduates accompanied Professor Larry Hurtado to Dublin, Ireland to visit the Chester Beatty Library. The library houses the personal collection of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, an American mining tycoon who developed a keen interest in collecting artifacts during the early-20th century. The library, known for its impressive Western, East Asian, and Islamic collections, has within its walls an extensive collection of Christian manuscripts. Our short time at the Chester Beatty Library was a reminder of the value of preserving and documenting these early Christian documents. It is fortunate that so many libraries and organizations have dedicated both time and resources to this painstaking task.

There’s a bit more as well.  Thanks Maegan!  Next time, though, do take some photos.  Did I mention you should take pictures?  Yes, by all means.  Because, since you didn’t, I’ve had to find one of the site on the web.  Don’t let Google Images rob you of the photo-joy.