Daily Archives: 31 Jul 2012

What a Supporter of Gay Marriage Who Calls Himself a Christian, Thinks of Pastors

From the Facebook wall of a friend, this little bit of hate-mongering the likes of which one expects from Fred Phelps:

I have to say, any ‘Christianity’ which expresses itself in a desire to exterminate a group of people, any group of people, is not any sort of real Christianity at all.  ‘Sergio’ may fancy himself a follower of Christ but his death-wish for evangelists and pastors clearly puts the lie to that absurd claim.

Supporters of gay marriage that I know aren’t like this person (but I don’t know a whole lot).  This person is, again, in the camp of Fred Phelps and other monstrous miscreants.  I hope he doesn’t represent most supporters of gay marriage.  And I know, beyond any doubt, that he doesn’t represent any Christian.

Why Do Muslims Hate Juice?

Only One More Year

And then the SBC will be free of Richard Land.  This is something to rejoice about!

Rachel Zoll@rzollAP  RT @albertmohler: Congratulations to Dr. Richard Land, 25-year president of @erlcsbc upon the announcement of his retirement in 2013.

Few single individuals have done more damage to the reputation of the SBC than Richard Land.  And fewer have presented themselves as speaking for so many when they really speak for very few.

I hope that this time around the SBC chooses a real ethicist.

More Megachurch Misconduct

The First Baptist Church of Hammond has dismissed Jack Schaap as its pastor in the wake of a Lake County police investigation.  A press release issued Tuesday afternoon states Schaap committed “a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor.” The release states church representatives are cooperating with police in the matter.  Sheriff John Buncich said Tuesday afternoon, his department began a criminal investigation Tuesday morning after talking with high-ranking church representatives.  The sheriff said the investigation involves the church and Hyles Anderson College, which is operated by the church.  He declined to identify the target’s name or the investigation’s subject matter.  “The impact its going to make is that everybody is searching for leadership. Its shakes your faith a little bit.

CBS reports that the sin was an inappropriate relationship with a girl.  The police haven’t released the girls age but she has to be a minor or the police wouldn’t be involved in an investigation. They don’t investigate marital infidelity when both parties are adults.  There isn’t sufficient manpower to do so even if it were a crime.

The announcement comes 19 years after the church was rocked by the conviction of a deacon, A.V. Ballenger, for fondling a 7-year-old girl in the summer of 1991 in her Sunday school class.

Sick and sad and counterproductive and evil.  I feel bad for the church.  Not, however, the ‘Pastor’ who has indeed forfeited his office.

No, Mr Romney, You Can’t Pretend You Didn’t Denigrate the Palestinians

This man is unstable.  He cannot seriously assert with a straight face that he didn’t denigrate Palestinian culture unless he’s a pathological liar who doesn’t realize he’s said what he’s said or he’s just evil, wavering, wishy-washy and unbelievable (as in not worthy of being believed).

Republican presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney (MA) is trying to walk back remarks he made yesterday in Israel, according to Talking Points Memo. In an interview with Fox News’s Carl Cameron, Romney insisted that his remarks were misunderstood, that he “did not speak about the Palestinian culture or about the decisions made in their economy” and that any negative judgments against the Palestinians people were being fabricated by his listeners.

Go ahead, see what he in fact did say.  Check it out.

On an international tour that has been plagued by missteps and dogged by an increasingly restive press contingent, Romney made remarks yesterday to a group of donors at a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser regarding the disparity between the “economic vitality” of Israel and Palestine. Disregarding the crippling effects that heavy embargos and economic sanctions have had on the Palestinian economy, Romney blithely attributed the fact that Israelis generally make several times the average annual wages of Palestinians to the “power of culture and a few other things,” including “the hand of Providence.”

Now that he’s out of Israel and headed back to the States he’s decided to change his mind and pretend he didn’t say what he did in fact say.

Christians can’t vote for such a man.  Not and remain capable of sleeping without a guilty conscience.

The Wisdom of Zwingli’s Methodology of Reform

S. Jackson writes

Deutsch: Kupferstich Leo Jud (1482-1542); Schw...

Caution was Zwingli’s characteristic. He would move no faster than public sentiment approved. Yet he did his best to form such sentiment. He prepared the way for the change and then quietly let things come to a crisis. So it was with the radical matter of using the vernacular for the Church services; Zwingli advocated it, but Leo Jud, in the baptism of a child in the Great Minster, August 10, 1523, first introduced it, and then when Zwingli found it was popular, he proceeded to reform the liturgy and unfold his novel teaching respecting it.

The reason for Zwingli’s caution and for his allowing others to put into practice Reforms that were necessary was simply that he considered it wise to allow Reform to unfold naturally, from ‘the bottom up’, as it were. When change is forced, it’s wildly resented. When it’s a natural process, an evolutionary movement forward, there may be offended souls but they will be a minority.

It was this easy pace which so annoyed the Anabaptists. They wanted change shoved down the throats of the citizens of the Canton and they wrongly imagined that Zwingli wanted the same thing. They were wrong. He was wise, and they were foolish.

Zwingli’s caution shouldn’t be seen as weakness, but rather as real strength.  If everything is ‘my idea’ I’ll get very little done but if I can plant the seeds of change and then allow others to harvest the fruit, it becomes ‘our Reformation’.  The egomaniacal are incapable of that viewpoint.  Such were Grebel and Manz and Hubmaier.

Wild-Eyed Crazy Speculation and the so Called ‘Samson Seal’

The other day when the object in question first appeared I remarked regarding the overblown claims even then being made by some in the press-

Stop this dreadful misrepresentation, press people. You’re embarrassing yourselves and misleading (i.e., lying to) the public. And when Fox News and World Net Daily and the others of their ilk pick up this story they’ll run it as ‘Proof of the Biblical Samson found in Israeli Excavation!!!!’ and the next thing you know, the dim Maximalists will publish an essay in BAR suggesting that the seal was made by an eyewitness to Samson’s slaying of the lion.

In spite of that warning, the ANE-2 list has been ablaze with the wildest sorts of speculations. Today, though, two sane remarks by two sane folk worth reading.

Others, of course, have noted the silliness- but Kletter and Lehmann say it so well it’s impossible to imagine that the craziness could continue. But I bet it does.

(NB- Note the link to Fr. Smuts page below.  The discovery has been transformed from ‘possible evidence’ in the Telegraph to ‘Seal Depicting Samson’.  From mere possibility to absolute reality… and that’s why the press needs to do a better job of highlighting the speculative nature of such claims when they come to the surface).

Video Book Recommendation

I guess you’ve had to suffer waiting long enough for another of these.

The New ‘Digging at Azekah’ Blog is Up and Running

Check it out.  It’s their first post ever and it contains a nice description of the doings there and some great pictures, including one of a visiting scorpion!

Opening the Books of Moses

… presents an introduction to the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. It is written for any student engaged in the scholarly study of these most important of biblical texts. The aim throughout is to examine the books with a view to illuminating the ideas, beliefs and experiences of the time. The book presents a broad overview, which provides a survey of the current state of Pentateuchal research; an analysis of how the texts were shaped by their time and audience; an outline of Jewish areas in the Persian period; and an examination of key concerns and topics, notably the Torah, geography, ethnicity, Yahweh and other deities, theories of cult, treaties and oaths, and Moses. The book is the first volume in a six volume collection within the BibleWorld series that will explore in detail each of the individual books of the Pentateuch in turn. This first volume sets the stage as serves as a general introduction.

The very nice folk at ISD have sent along a review exemplar.  My review is here.  In case you don’t have time to read it let me simply say- this is the opening salvo of an important project which will change the course of scholarship’s approach to the Pentateuch for a long time to come.

This is What Happens When You Lie To Your Children and Tell them They Have Talent… When They Don’t

There’s nothing wrong with not being able to sing. I can’t. Most can’t well. What’s wrong is lying to your children and telling them they have a particular talent when they clearly don’t and probably never will. It’s just cruel, because it sets them up for failure- as the above example makes painfully clear.

Racist Romney

Jews are culturally superior to Palestinians and that’s why their economy is stronger, according to Racist Mitt Romney in remarks he stupidly made recently on his stopover in his second homeland (and his first priority), Israel.

Romney, speaking to a group that included Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, said higher personal wealth among citizens in Israel was an indication that the country was accomplishing something its neighbors were not.

Gee- perhaps years of oppressive and damnable occupation has something to do with that, eh Mitt?

Citing the book “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations,” Romney detailed his interpretation of author David Landes’ thesis. “He says if you can learn anything from the economic history of the world, it’s this: culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference. And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things,” Romney said.

Sure… right. Racist. The Palestinians (and all decent people who know anything about the occupation of Israel in Palestinian territory are outraged at such stupidity.

[Romney’s] remark Monday in Israel drew a sharp reaction from Sa’eb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator and a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. “This man, before he came here, he should have got some education about Israelis, Palestinians, and the region,” Erekat said. “The Romney statements on Jerusalem and the racist statements about the Israeli culture being superior to the Palestinian culture reflect someone who needs to be educated, who needs knowledge. His statements are serving those extremists in the region now, and will serve extremists unfortunately.” Erekat said Romney ignored the reality that Israeli occupation was the main reason Palestinian areas were suffering economically. “He does not know the situation on the ground, he does not know the settlement activities, he does not know that the Palestinian economy suffers most because of the Israeli occupation, because of the road blocks and closure and so on,” Erekat said.

I wish it could be laid at the door of ignorance but the fact is, Romney is a feckless Zionist who cares nothing for anyone but the Israelis. It isn’t ignorance driving his rhetoric, it’s racism.

Which Olympian is Your Body Double?

I’m not kidding.  Apparently we all have an Olympian for a body double (as made known to us by the BBC).  I was shocked and frankly depressed to learn that my body double is



Height 1.78m, 5ft 10in

Weight 90kg, 14st 2lbs

Gender Female

Sport Athletics

Why??????  I clearly need to either put on weight or lose weight.  Given my present state of depression thanks to the BBC, I think I’ll choose the former.  Where’s that bag of donuts….

UPDATE:  Hold on.  My despair drove me to enter the data again and this time:

You are most like:

Liam Phillips

Team GB

Height 1.78m, 5ft 10in

Weight 83kg, 13st 1lbs

Gender Male

Sport Cycling – BMX

Competing in

  1. Men’s BMX

Ok I can live with that. BMX. That makes a lot more sense than the woman discus tosser. I suggest that you enter your own data several times, until you come up with a suitable double.

Jona Lendering Reviews Eric Cline’s ‘Biblical Archaeology’

Here.  His evaluation?

Maar dit is dan ook alles waarop je kritiek kunt hebben. Dit boek is echt een juweeltje. Cline bied een prachtige inleiding tot de archeologie van Israël, die ik echt aanraden. Dit boekje moet hoognodig in het Nederlands worden vertaald.

He likes it!  Obviously for good reason.  It really is a gem.