Daily Archives: 5 Jun 2012

In His Graceless State, Man…

… Is not only severed from God and from his original nature… but his attitude towards the world and to his fellow-man is also perverted.    … He behaves in a masterful way, snatches greedily at the world for his own purposes, and in so doing, is the slave of his lust for the world, enslaved by its spell and its glamour.  — Emil Brunner

The Evolution of Religion: A Free Online Lecture from Wentzel van Huyssteen of Princeton Theological Seminary

Free Online Public Lecture
June 6, 2012 (this Wednesday!)

Dr. J. Wentzel van Huyssteen, Princeton Theological Seminary’s James I. McCord Professor of Theology and Science, will give the Science for Ministry public lecture on “The Evolution of Religion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Emergence of Self.” In this lecture, Dr. van Huyssteen will evaluate the important current discussion on the evolution of religion and of the religious sense. He will argue that it is in the emergent self that we find answers to the theological impact of this important conversation.

This lecture will be streamed live on Wednesday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m. (EST) and will be available on demand. Please email scvm@ptsem.edu for more information.

Stop Facebook from Using Your Photos for Their Adverts

via a Facebook Friend

And So It Begins: The Tyrannical Minority Will Force You to Comply

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling that a professional photographer who refused to take pictures of a gay couple’s commitment ceremony violated state anti-discrimination laws.  The Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/JSAdE5 ) reports the court agreed on Thursday with a previous ruling, ruling the photo studio is considered public, similar to a restaurant or store.  The New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruled in 2008 that Elane Photography violated the state Human Rights Act by discriminating against Vanessa Willock on the basis of sexual orientation. The photography studio says its refusal was not an act of discrimination, but a reflection of the owners’ religious and moral beliefs.

Your religious and moral views are no longer allowed in the United States of the Tyrannical Minority.  You must toe the line and if necessary act contrary to your conscience simply to appease the views of the few.  Too bad if you don’t like it.

But I tell you all now and I say it without fear of contradiction- I will NEVER participate in a ceremony which binds two in marriage who happen to be the same sex.  Never.  Sue on.  I’ll go to prison and forfeit every piece of property I have before I’ll violate Scripture just to make the State happy.

Israel is More Paranoid, and More Tyrannical, By the Day

When Sandra Tamari arrived at Israel’s international airport, she received an unusual request: A security agent pushed a computer screen in front of her, connected to Gmail and told her to “log in.”

The agent, suspecting Tamari was involved in pro-Palestinian activism, wanted to inspect her private email account for incriminating evidence. The 42-year-old American of Palestinian descent refused and was swiftly expelled from the country.

Tamari’s experience is not unique. In a cyber-age twist on Israel’s vaunted history of airport security, the country has begun to force incoming travelers deemed suspicious to open personal email accounts for inspection, visitors say.

Absurd!  Israel is isolating itself to such an extent that it will soon be absolutely friendless in the world community.  Then, I suppose, the Government there can lament its self imposed isolation and complain ‘see, everyone really does hate us’ when it fact it seems that the opposite is the truth, the government of Netanyahu hates everyone.  [HT Tom Verenna on FB].

On Comprehending The Scriptures: The First Key is Humility

No matter who a man may be, if he teaches you in accordance with his own thought and mind his teaching is false. But if he teaches you in accordance with the Word of God, it is not he that teaches you, but God who teaches him. For as Paul says, who are we but ministers of Christ and dispensers or stewards of the mysteries of God?

Again, I know for certain that God teaches me, because I have experienced the fact of it; and to prevent misunderstanding this is what I mean when I say that I know for certain that God teaches me. When I was younger, I gave myself overmuch to human teaching, like others of my day, and when about seven or eight years ago I undertook to devote myself entirely to the Scriptures I was always prevented by philosophy and theology. But eventually I came to the point where led by Scripture and the Word of God I saw the need to set aside all these things and to learn the doctrine of God direct from his own Word.

Then I began to ask God for light and the Scriptures became far clearer to me – even though I read nothing else – than if I had studied many commentators and expositors. Note that that is always a sure sign of God’s leading; for I could never have reached that point by my own feeble understanding. You may see then that my interpretation does not derive from the over-estimation of myself, but the subjection. — Huldrych Zwingli

Limited Time Offer: The Common English Bible for e-readers, Free!

Via the CEB facebook page-

Starting tomorrow — for two days only — the full Common English Bible and Common English Bible with Apocrypha will be available for free on your Kindle and Nook.

Details here.  If I were the sort of person who used an e-reader, I’d take advantage of the offer.

It Is, Perhaps, The Most Amazing Passage in All of Paul’s Letters

I can never read this segment of Romans 7 (14-25) without simply gasping. It’s astonishing. It is, in fact, the best thing Paul ever wrote-

14 Οἴδαμεν γὰρ ὅτι ὁ νόμος πνευματικός ἐστιν· ἐγὼ δὲ σάρκινός εἰμι, πεπραμένος ὑπὸ τὴν ἁμαρτίαν. 15 ὃ γὰρ κατεργάζομαι οὐ γινώσκω· οὐ γὰρ ὃ θέλω τοῦτο πράσσω, ἀλλ’ ὃ μισῶ τοῦτο ποιῶ. 16 εἰ δὲ ὃ οὐ θέλω τοῦτο ποιῶ, σύμφημι τῷ νόμῳ ὅτι καλός. 17 νυνὶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγὼ κατεργάζομαι αὐτὸ ἀλλὰ ἡ οἰκοῦσα ἐν ἐμοὶ ἁμαρτία. 18 οἶδα γὰρ ὅτι οὐκ οἰκεῖ ἐν ἐμοί, τοῦτ’ ἔστιν ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου, ἀγαθόν· τὸ γὰρ θέλειν παράκειταί μοι, τὸ δὲ κατεργάζεσθαι τὸ καλὸν οὔ· 19 οὐ γὰρ ὃ θέλω ποιῶ ἀγαθόν, ἀλλὰ ὃ οὐ θέλω κακὸν τοῦτο πράσσω. 20 εἰ δὲ ὃ οὐ θέλω τοῦτο ποιῶ, οὐκέτι ἐγὼ κατεργάζομαι αὐτὸ ἀλλὰ ἡ οἰκοῦσα ἐν ἐμοὶ ἁμαρτία. 21 Εὑρίσκω ἄρα τὸν νόμον τῷ θέλοντι ἐμοὶ ποιεῖν τὸ καλὸν ὅτι ἐμοὶ τὸ κακὸν παράκειται· 22 συνήδομαι γὰρ τῷ νόμῳ τοῦ θεοῦ κατὰ τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον, 23 βλέπω δὲ ἕτερον νόμον ἐν τοῖς μέλεσίν μου ἀντιστρατευόμενον τῷ νόμῳ τοῦ νοός μου καὶ αἰχμαλωτίζοντά με ἐν τῷ νόμῳ τῆς ἁμαρτίας τῷ ὄντι ἐν τοῖς μέλεσίν μου. 24 ταλαίπωρος ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπος· τίς με ῥύσεται ἐκ τοῦ σώματος τοῦ θανάτου τούτου; 25 χάρις τῷ θεῷ διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν.

Amazing.  The contradiction of human existence has never been put better.

Donald Driver’s Cleats and The Horrible Woman Who Ripped Them From the Kids Hands

She’s a terrible person. Terrible.

Answering Your Letters: Multi-Lingualism

Jim,

I notice that you use German and other languages on your blog sometime.  Why do you do this?  Your intended audience is English speaking people.

David

Well David, two things.  First, my audience is the world and, believe it or not, a lot of people around the world speak different languages than English!  Shocking, I know, in a country where hardly anyone has been outside their own borders and certainly never bothered to learn another tongue.  And second, I use other languages because I’m a big believer in the Reformed call Ad Fontes!   If you cite something you should cite it in its original if you have it.

Finally, and as an aside, it’s pretty perilous (and silly) of you to imagine that you know what my intended audience is in the first place.  Presumptuous much?

Bar Kochba Treasure

Here ya go

Archaeologists have discovered a treasure trove comprising about 140 gold and silver coins along with gold jewelry, probably hidden by a wealthy lady at a time of impending danger during the Bar Kokhba Revolt some 1880 years ago.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) presented the sumptuous find Tuesday and said it was recently exposed in a salvage excavation in the vicinity of Kiryat Gat, in southern Israel.

The rooms of a building dating to the Roman and Byzantine period were exposed during the course of the excavation. Archeologists discerned that a pit had been dug in the earth of the ancient building’s courtyard and then refilled. To the archaeologists’ delightful surprise, a spectacular treasure trove of exquisite quality was discovered in the pit. It had been wrapped in a cloth fabric that had mostly deteriorated.

According to archaeologist Emil Aladjem, who directed the excavation on behalf of the IAA, “The magnificent hoard includes gold jewelry, among them an earring crafted by a jeweler in the shape of a flower and a ring with a precious stone on which there is a seal of a winged-goddess, two sticks of silver that were probably kohl sticks, as well as some 140 gold and silver coins.”

“The coins that were discovered date to the reigns of the Roman emperors Nero, Nerva and Trajan, who ruled the Roman Empire from 54-117 CE. The coins are adorned with the images of the emperors and on their reverse are cultic portrayals of the emperor, symbols of the brotherhood of warriors and mythological gods such as Jupiter seated on a throne or Jupiter grasping a lightning bolt in his hand.”

The discovery of such a clearly Roman themed artifact proves that the real possessors of the land are the Romans, and that means their modern descendents, the Italians.  After all, if a Hebrew artifact proves modern Jews have the right of possession, a Roman artifact proves the Romans do…

Cats Are Grad Students Biggest Fear

Via Karl Hand on FB- another reason you grad students should rid your homes of all cats-

I’m With the Little Guy on This One…

Via our friends at Ref.ch on the FB-