Daily Archives: 5 May 2012


the view from here

A Special Edition of the Video Book Recommendation

Neoliberalism and Biblioblogging: The View from Sheffield

So far there are two contributions to what will hopefully be a longer series on the Sheffield Biblical Studies blog.  Part one is here and two here.

Yes, I sure hope there’s more.

What Causes Rape?

via Maegan Gilliland

Aussies as Young as Ten Are In Alcohol Treatment

Al Jazeera is reporting

Drinking alcohol has long been a part of Australian culture.  But today, the country is suffering huge social and economic costs from its love for the drink.  A recent report estimated that the tangible cost for alcohol misuse is $25bn a year, including medical expenses, lost wages and productivity.  Ten million Australians experience negative effects from other people’s drinking, and 70,000 fall victim to alcohol-related assaults. With an increasing number of young people binge-drinking, children as young as 10 are seeking treatment for alcohol addiction.  Police and hospital authorities are urging Australians to sober up but face formidable challenges from a powerful alcohol industry and an entrenched drinking culture.

Just how sad is that?  But don’t say anything about it or some sweet soul will think that being a binge drinker at the age of 10 is a bad thing and if you say otherwise you’re just a dreadful monster…

The Denunciation of Sin Isn’t ‘Judging’, or ‘Gossip’, It’s Love

From time to time some ‘brave’ anonymous soul drops me an actual letter written on actual paper and put in an actual envelope and actually mailed.  These tiny mailings always feature a blank return address and no signature or name.  You have to love cowardice.

Anyway, today a little glob of treasure arrived insinuating that my regular denunciations of sin were ‘putting other people down’.

Alas, fearer of the light, there’s a bit of bad news for you.  First, the first words out of the mouths of the guilty are always ‘don’t judge me’.  The only people who ever say that are the people who have done something wrong, know they’re wrong for doing it, and wish that no one else recognized that little fact.

Second, if the denunciation of sin is ‘gossip’ or ‘putting other people down’ then you had best toss out your Bible, Old and New Testaments together because, if you ever bothered to read it you’d discover the denunciation of sin on just about every page.  From the Garden of Eden to the last passages in the Book of Revelation, sin is excoriated and damned.

Third, and here’s the most relevant bit, oh tender hearted ‘let people do what they wish and never say anything about it’ soul:  the Bible, from first page to last, condemns sin because sin destroys both its practitioners and those around them.  No sin is private.  Every sin has implications for the public.  Every sin is a public sin.

Those who refuse to denounce sin are enablers of sin and partners in perversion.  They are the same sort of people who watch a drunk walking down a railroad track with a train bearing down on him and do nothing to get him out of the way or to show him the way to safety.  They love silence and they love acquiescence to sin because they hate the people around them and don’t care if they’re damned or not.

So, gentle soul, I’d rather yell at the drunk to get off the track and be called ‘rude’ for yelling than let him be run over by the train and imagine in my corrupt heart that I’ve been nice to him because I didn’t yell.

Welcome to the Party, Harvard and MIT

It’s nice to see the ‘big boys’, the ‘leaders of the education industry’ finally catch up to what some of us have been doing for a decade.  I’m fairly sure that now even those who a few years ago were naysaying online education (and publication) will be swallowing hard and admitting that it really is a useful educational methodology.  It’s too bad they weren’t smart enough or foresighted enough to know this back 10 years ago.  Or 5.  Or 2.

The amusing thing will be now to watch all the folk who hated it before talk about how useful and important it is now.  But I guess better late than never is ok if they enjoy being far behind the curve.

… The elite, pace-setting universities have embraced the Internet. Not long ago, online courses were interesting experiments. Now online activity is at the core of how these schools envision their futures. This week, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology committed $60 million to offer free online courses from both universities. Two Stanford professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, have formed a company, Coursera, which offers interactive courses in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics and engineering.

Welcome to the party, guys.  Nice to see you – finally.  If you need any help figuring out the neighborhood, just ask.  We know it’s all new to you.  After all, you’re ‘elite’.

Perverse Greed Reaches a New Low: The Tale of Jami Lynn Toler

A Phoenix woman has been charged with fraud and theft after authorities say she told people she had breast cancer and needed treatment so she could get money from them to buy breast implants.  Police reports filed in Maricopa County Superior Court say 27-year-old Jami Lynn Toler told her former boss she needed a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction and was uninsured. She also told the tale to her mother and grandparents.  Toler helped organize fundraisers and collected more than $8,000 beginning in September, according to the report. Medical records obtained by Mesa police show she didn’t have cancer and paid a plastic surgeon with the cash.

The only implantation she needs is the one where she’s implanted between Satan’s teeth.

Satan chewing the perpetrators of fraud

A Bevy of Essays from Thomas Römer

Thomas has uploaded a bevy of essays to Academia.edu-

Christian Moser’s ‘Die Dignität des Ereignisses: Studien zu Heinrich Bullingers Reformationsgeschichtsschreibung’

Christian’s new volume

… examines the published and unpublished historical works and materials written by the Zurich Reformer Heinrich Bullinger primarily considering the Reformation History preserved in his handwritten manuscript from the 1560s. Its origin, sources, and his applied work processes are analyzed in the context of the theological assumptions and methodological claims of Bullinger’s historiography, which are also classified and examined against the background of early modern humanist and confessional historiography. The history of reception and influence of Bullinger’s Reformation History are another aspect of this analysis of what came to be a foundational source for later Reformation historians. In addition to this investigation, numerous unpublished source materials by Bullinger are edited, and detailed descriptions of extant transcripts are documented.

How very intriguing.

Unsensational Qeiyafa

A new essay by Finkelstein, I. and Fantalkin, A., titled Khirbet Qeiyafa: An Unsensational Archaeological and Historical Interpretation has just appeared in Tel Aviv 39/1: 38–63.

The Abstract-

The article deals with the finds at the late Iron I settlement of Khirbet Qeiyafa, a site overlooking the Valley of Elah in the Shephelah. It points out the methodological shortcomings in both field work and interpretation of the finds. It then turns to several issues related to the finds: the identity of the inhabitants, their territorial affiliation and the possibility of identifying Khirbet Qeiyafa with sites mentioned in the Bible and in the Shoshenq I list.

With many thanks to Alexander for sending along a copy. It’s a very, very persuasive argument they offer.