Daily Archives: 11 May 2012

On Theology: An Observation

Theology is most polemical when at its most practical;  theology is most practical when at its most polemical.

Same Sex Marriage Makes Sense… If Your Worldview is Skewed and Your Theology Unbiblical

Michael Horton has a very, very fine, very intelligently written, unassailable piece on the fact that same sex marriage makes sense only in a society adrift, where ego-centrism reigns and the God revealed in Scripture is jettisoned.   Some of the better bits-

… Same-sex marriage makes sense if you assume that the individual is the center of the universe, that God—if he exists—is there to make us happy, and that our choices are not grounded in a nature created by God but in arbitrary self-construction. To the extent that this sort of “moralistic-therapeutic-deism” prevails in our churches, can we expect the world to think any differently? If we treat God as a product we sell to consumers for their self-improvement programs and make personal choice the trigger of salvation itself, then it may come as a big surprise (even contradiction) to the world when we tell them that truth (the way things are) trumps feelings and personal choice (what we want to make things to be). …

And

… The fact that “moralistic-therapeutic-deism” is the working theology of Americans—whether evangelicals, Catholics, mainline Protestants, or agnostics—demonstrates the pervasiveness of secularization even in our churches. The old actors may still be invoked: God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. Bits of the old narrative may still be mentioned: creation, providence, redemption, salvation, heaven. However, the shift is evident enough. These old words are mapped onto an essentially human-centered rather than God-centered map. The map is the autonomous self’s striving to create a sense of meaning, purpose, and significance. Each individual writes his or her own script or life movie. “God” may still have a meaningful role as a supporting actor in our self-realization and peace of mind, but we’re the playwright, director, and star.  …

And

… How would someone who believes that sin is unhappiness and salvation is having “your best life now” make a good argument against same-sex marriage? There is simply no way of defending traditional marriage within the narrative logic that apparently most Christians—much less non-Christians—presuppose regardless of their position on this issue.  …

Read the whole brilliantly constructed and irrefutable essay.

Not me buddy, not me!

Vaisamar

Vecinii noștri de la ITP au vrut să construiască 3 blocuri mari de locuințe. Nefăcându-și bine socoteala cheltuielilor, au săpat o groapă mare, au turnat temelia și s-au oprit din cauză de criză.

Peste groapă a plouat, apa a crescut, și astfel a apărut un mic ecosistem semisălbatic.

Rațele sălbatice au adus pe lăbuțe ouă de broască. În timpul verilor trecute, neamul broscăresc a prosperat ca în vremea faraonului din Exodul.

Pe marginea lacului artificial mișună voios șopârle (despre care sper să scriu cândva), iar prin apă fojgăiesc șerpi, unii mici și alții măricei.

Nu cu mult timp în urmă m-am luptat și eu cu unul, pe care l-am scos pe mal, pentru a-l examina mai aproape. Apoi i-am dat drumul în lac.

Zilele trecute, unul dintre studenții mei, mai curajos, a prins cu mâna o mândrețe de șarpe, cu lungimea de aproape un metru.

Așa se face că am…

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Google Maps, Orbis, and the Ancient Roman World

With many thanks to Joel Green for mentioning this fascinating resource on G+.

For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.

Taking account of seasonal variation and accommodating a wide range of modes and means of transport, ORBIS reveals the true shape of the Roman world and provides a unique resource for our understanding of premodern history.

I’m adding a link to it under ‘Useful Sites’ on the sidebar.

The Persian Imperial Authorization as Historical Problem and as Biblical Construct: A Plea for Differentiations in the Current Debate

Another great essay by the great Konrad Schmid.  It was originally published in 2007 but remains relevant.

David Jeselsohn, of ‘Gabriel’s Vision’ Fame, Writes in Defense of Robert Deutsch

Dr Jeselsohn writes

April 9, 2012
Dan Hotel Tel Aviv

We are all aware of what Robert Deutsch has suffered for the past seven years with the injustices cast upon him in a whirlpool of slander and libel and of criminal accusations. With amazement and a good deal of admiration I followed the behavior of Robert Deutsch during the course of that bizarre and hallucinatory trial. I can’t comprehend from where he was able to draw the moral strength and the tranquil behavior in order to continue his scientific (archeological) activities, his commercial business and his auctions twice a year.

This trial would not have taken place if not for the fact that the Antiquities Authority acted imprudently, senselessly, foolishly and regrettably, with malice. Yes, with malice. It seems to me, at least for now, that the decision of the judge at the District Court in Jerusalem to acquit Robert of all charges and after the moral and financial damages incurred by him, the Antiquities Authority should express its full apology and reimburse him for the damages he sustained as well as learn a lesson for the future. If they are not forthcoming, the authorities responsible for the activities of the Antiquities Authority, including the minister in charge and the Archaeological Council should draw their conclusions in light of all that transpired and the total loss of confidence in the Antiquities Authority. They should consider replacing the AA’s directorate as soon as possible.

Dr. David Jeselsohn, Zurich.

You may remember Dr. Jeselsohn from a story in Ha’aretz from 2007. Or a Reuters essay from 2008. Or, more recently, from a Vatican Insider essay from 2012.

Britain’s Outrageous Censorship Practices: ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ and the Advertising Standards Authority

This really, really is outrageous.  Because a blogger calling himself Archbishop Cranmer posted this pro-marriage graphic on his blog, the authorities in Britain are assaulting him with threatenings:

Here’s what the blogger says-

Apparently there have been a number of complaints about one of the advertisements His Grace carried on behalf of the Coalition for Marriage. He has been sent all manner of official papers, formal documentation and threatening notices which demand answers to sundry questions by a certain deadline. He is instructed by the ‘Investigations Executive’ of this inquisition to keep all this confidential.

Since His Grace does not dwell in Iran, North Korea, Soviet Russia, Communist China or Nazi Germany, but occupies a place in the cyber-ether suspended somewhere between purgatory and paradise, he is minded to ignore that request. Who do these people think they are?

The advertisement in question is reproduced above. His Grace would like to make it clear to the ASA that he is reproducing this ‘offensive and homophobic’ advertisement as an educative illustration of allegedly offensive and homophobic advertising; not as an offensive and homophobic advertisement per se. Naturally, His Grace apologises in advance to all those who find this educative illustration offensive and homophobic, for it is never his intention to be either offensive or homophobic. But those of you who do find it offensive and homophobic are free not to visit His Grace’s blog whenever you wish.

There is NOTHING homophobic or offensive about that graphic and only the most idiotic bureaucrat could imagine there is.  And whilst normally my practice is to ignore anonymous blogs and bloggers, in this instance, because the British government’s actions are so egregious and inept, I’m going to make an exception.  Go visit his blog and read the remainder of his explanation of what’s gone on.  It’s authentically shocking.

And, America, believe me, our government is heading in the same direction.  So if you think this doesn’t matter, wake up and glance into the not too distant future.

Asking The General Public What the Bible Says About Gay Marriage…

Is like asking a class of kindergarteners what it thinks of Congress.  They may have an opinion, but it’s not an informed opinion and it shouldn’t be viewed as in any sense meaningful.

The problem is, however, that too many people think that spending a few minutes on google or a couple of days looking through the Bible makes them both expert in the material and competent to opine.  That, of course, is absurd.

Dilettantism is the disease of our modern culture which is least often recognized and most detrimental to actual truth.

Twitter Goodness

Oh that’s rich… someone needs to learn a few words.  And their meaning.  And how to spell them.

Breast Feeding Your Four Year Old?

It’s just creepy.  It’s like the moms who plop themselves in the tub and bathe their 12 year old sons (and yup, I sure do know such people).  It’s really, really creepy.

The subjects on this week’s TIME cover aren’t models in pose. Jamie Lynne Grumet, photographed by Martin Schoeller with her 3-year-old son, is a mother from Los Angeles who subscribes to attachment parenting, the subject of staff writer Kate Pickert’s cover story. Attachment parenting has been on the rise over the past two decades, since the publication of The Baby Book by Dr. Bill Sears and his wife Martha in 1992. Its three main tenets are extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and “baby wearing,” in which infants are physically attached to their parents by slings.

Creepy.  No wonder so many kids can’t manage to grow up.