Daily Archives: 13 Jun 2012

One Preliminary Observation on Olson’s ‘Against Calvinism’

His apparent willingness to equate Calvinism with ‘Reformed Theology’ and use the terms interchangeably is extremely unfortunate.  Calvinism is indeed Reformed Theology, but Reformed Theology is not necessarily Calvinism.  Zwingli and Bullinger both offer Reformed Theology and that before Calvin even came along.

There’s sufficient confusion amongst the masses concerning the Reformation in its many manifestations and the suggestion, hint, or even misprision that Reformed Theology = Calvinism simply adds to and continues that misrepresentation.

Hopefully he will correct this misrepresentation in due course but he should have done so at the very outset.

More, of course, anon.

UPDATE:  Fortunately he does distinguish between ‘Calvinism’ and Reformed, though not till the second chapter.  I reiterate, he should have done so from the start.  A simple sentence could have sufficed to deter his readers from thinking that Reformed = Calvinism.   Further, his failure to do so simply opens the door to misunderstanding.  ‘Well at first it seemed like he saw the two things as one and now he’s saying they’re different…’  one can easily imagine readers saying to themselves, and justifiably.

Alienating Still More of My Friends…

Pretty soon I won’t have any at all. I’ve already made the fundamentalists, gay rights advocates, angry atheists, homeschoolers, cat lovers, and Zionists mad. And now I’m about to make the Student Loan Forgiveness Act crowd mad too.

My take on the issue is simple:

1- If you agree to a loan, you agree to pay it.
2- If you don’t wish to pay your loan back, don’t take it out.
3- If you don’t pay it, exactly who do you expect will? And why should they?
4- Christians are bound both by morality and ethical duty to act honestly.
5- It is dishonest to renege on one’s debts.
6- Therefore, Christians, of all people, should reject any choice which cheats others out of what they’re due.

I realize that lots of people think that student loans are burying many of the young. And in some respects I’m sure they are. But there are always alternatives. If you can’t afford the payments, live in a smaller house, drive a smaller car, abandon the luxury items which you have come to expect should be handed to you on a silver platter.

The ‘entitlement’ mentality doesn’t just exist among welfare recipients and society’s deadbeats. It also, tragically, abides in the hearts of too many of our young people, who have neither work ethic nor sense of fairness. With their hands out, they come begging for things they neither need nor must have. And they want someone else to pay for it. What is Christian in that?

Quote of the Day

“It is dangerous to be so busy that you have no time to wait on God.” AW Tozer

The Stubborn Nun Who Married The Hateful Reformer

Yes, you guessed it!

Katharina von Bora (1499-1552), ehemalige katholische Nonne, heiratet 1525 Martin Luther. Sie bekommen fünf Kinder.

Luther had managed to marry off all the nuns in a particular convent except for one cranky, stubborn, cantankerous one.  Katherine.  When he tried to foist her off on others she refused stating matter of factly that she would marry the Doctor and no other.  They were a perfect match.  And they married on the 13th of June, 1525.

Luther’s letters to her are fantastic bits of insight into his homelife and his table talk concerning or mentioning her is a study if FUN!

Katherine, the fiery little woman, put the Frau in Hausfrau.  God bless her.

Hershel Shanks Claims the Trial of the Century PROVED the James Ossuary Inscription Authentic

In an email (which I’m sure most of you received)- BAS writes

A new analysis and new evidence proves that the controversial “Brother of Jesus” inscription on an ancient bone box, or ossuary, is authentic, according to the July/August issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR), the world’s largest circulation magazine devoted to Biblical archaeology.

And, after breaking its own arm patting itself on the back, the email continues

In a post-verdict analysis, former U.S. Department of Justice lawyer and BAR editor Hershel Shanks explains why it can be said beyond reasonable doubt that the inscription is authentic, and he presents new evidence not available at the trial to support this conclusion.

Three things.  1) The fact that BAR has a giant circulation has nothing to do with the accuracy or reliability of its reports.  The National Enquirer has a larger circulation and both publications share one purpose: money-making from questionable stories.  2), Shanks is a lawyer, not a scholar.  So ’nuff said on that score.  He’s not competent nor equipped to render judgment on an ancient inscription.  Others, better and wiser and more informed than himself, have made contrary claims and when it comes to deciding on the word of a dilettante and the word of a scholar (like Yuval Goren) I’ll take what the scholar says as truth.  And, finally, 3) his ‘new evidence’ can’t be used to prove anything.  ‘New evidence’?  After all this time?  And we’re supposed to accept it at his word when he clearly has more than a financial interest in the whole sordid affair?  Not a chance.

You are, of course, free to believe everything that spews from the pages of BAR, but as far as I’m concerned its a toxic dumping ground and the society which supports it a society driven by concerns other than archaeological.

Tel Aviv University Archaeologist Admitted to the Israeli Academy of Sciences: Nadav Na’aman

The Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University is proud and delighted to announce the appointment of its long-time associate, Professor Nadav Na’aman, to the prestigious Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Nadav Na’aman is Professor Emeritus of the University’s Department of Jewish History. He has written extensively, especially on the Ancient Near East, Bible and Archaeology. Since1977, he has also served as a distinguished member of the editorial board of the Institute’s archaeology journal, Tel Aviv.

Prof. Na’aman’s books include Borders and Districts in Biblical Historiography; The Past that Shapes the Present: The Creation of Biblical Historiography in the Late First Temple Period and after the Downfall (Hebrew); Inscribed in Clay. Provenance Study of the Amarna Tablets and Other Ancient Near Eastern Texts (co-authored with Yuval Goren and Israel Finkelstein); Ancient Israel and Its Neighbors: Interaction and Counteraction; Canaan in the Second Millennium B.C.E.; Ancient Israel’s History and Historiography: The First Temple Period.

Via Jack Sasson. Congratulations, Professor!

Science and Creation: The Latest From Bibledex

More On The British Anti-Troll Law

The Telegraph has a very sage editorial, stating

Social networks have a duty to identify internet bullies who cower behind anonymity.

Amen and amen!  And then the backstory-

The conviction and sentencing of Frank Zimmerman, the 60-year-old man who threatened my children anonymously over the internet last summer, has aroused much comment. Mr Zimmerman, after having variously claimed that he was agoraphobic, too poor to eat (yet able to use a computer) and that his computer was hacked, was arrested when he failed to turn up for sentencing. He was finally given a suspended term with an extensive restraining order, barring him from contacting me and various other people in public life. If he breaches it, he will go to jail.

With much more, and then concluding

Ultimately, the internet is just another form of communication; once that is accepted, including by service providers and social media, trolling will lessen. After all, not so long ago it was acceptable to drink and drive. As victims repeatedly fight back, we can hope to see a culture shift.

Fighting back.  That’s what we all are responsible to do.

Christian Hazing? What?????

What passes for Christianity in some quarters these days boggles the imagination.

The all-girls Christian social club 7 and 6 holds an annual initiation ceremony where the pledges are forced to eat gross food and are doused with things like ketchup and oatmeal. It’s supposed to be light-hearted and fun, but this year it turned violent when one pledge was allegedly singled out.

Amber Sizemore, 14, was excited for the annual event, held this year on May 17th at a lake house in Bean Station.  But Sizemore says things went wrong when she accidentally got ketchup on one of the older girls.

“She freaked out and really singled me out,” said Amber. “We had red solo cups filled with gross stuff and every girl got a spoonful but me, I got the entire cup poured in my mouth.”

Read the rest and ask yourself, where do people get their ideas of what being a Christian means, because it surely isn’t sound theology.

Of Course Most of the People Who Come Here Aren’t, But Some Are

via Brian Kelley on G+