Daily Archives: 5 Sep 2012

Loving Scripture

This is a fine story- and one to think about the next time you glance at your own unread and un-consulted copy of Scripture-

The launch in Embu Town, Kenya on June 16th of the Kiembu-Kimbeere Bible, a brand new translation made possible by the incredible work of the Kenyan Bible Society, was a truly momentous occasion. All those in attendance could feel a sense of gravity to the event; an awareness that it had been a long road to get to that point. But there was one person there for whom that was particularly true – and that was Hannah.

Whilst many of us perhaps couldn’t imagine expecting our grandparents to make their way by foot to a church service, that is in fact exactly what 82 year Hannah did. She walked. And not just up the road or a block or two over…she walked, one foot in front of the other, for six hours. She walked all that way for a chance, just a chance, that someone might agree to trade with her for the only currency she had – her beans.

Her beans, for a Bible. That was Hannah’s hope.

That’s one Bible that will never see a speck of dust due to disuse.  Would that all of us treasured Scripture so.

The Spineless Democrats and the Jewish Lobby’s Lordship of American Politics

Bullied by the Christian Zionists and the Jewish lobby, the Democrats have knuckled under and reinserted reference to Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel (even though it isn’t, and until the Palestinian question is settled, it won’t be).

We expected the Republicans to cow-tow to the Zionists but the Dems too?  The party of marriage equality?  The party of freedom and liberty?  I guess all those ideals apply to everyone but the Palestinians, so the Dems just dissed them and have ensured that the peace process is once more made a mockery.

These Dems… they’re moral cowards (except when it comes to standing up for the rights of gays to wed- then they’re all action).

On behalf of all decent Americans, Palestinian people, I apologize for the cowardice of our politicians and their toadies.

The Photoshop Stylings of Chris ‘The Heretic’ Tilling

I feel like I’m dancing with myself…

Sad News: The Death of Walter Harrelson

Via Jack Sasson

Walter Harrelson was born 28 Nov 1919 in Winnabow, North Carolina, studied at the University of North Carolina (AB, 1947) and earned his ThD from Union Theological Seminary (1953). After a stint as Dean at Chicago’s Divinity School, he moved to Vanderbilt University (1967), where he served as Dean of the Divinity School. He “retired” in 1990. In 1995, Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem,NC) asked him to help found its Divinity School.

Walter Harrelson is predeceased by his wife, Idella Aydlett Harrelson. They had a daughter (Marianne) and 2 sons (David and Robert).

There will be a memorial service for him on Sunday, 23 Sept, at 3:00 p.m. in Wait Chapel, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC. There is an affectionate portrait of him here. “Justice and the Holy: Essays in Honor of Walter Harrelson,” is a Festshrift for him, edited by Douglas A. Knight and Peter J. Paris (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989). It contains a 6-page c.v. organized chronologically up to 1989.

He was such a nice man.  May he rest in peace.

Another Day, Another Shooting in America

Our local tv news station reports

The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office says an 11-year-old boy accidentally shot his mother, Stacy Wicks Duggan, in the back of the head. The parents had left the gun, loaded, under the slat of a bunk bed. The mother is in critical condition.

Ghastly.  Truly ghastly.  Why wasn’t it secured?  Why was it left under the bed?  How will this little fellow live knowing that he shot his mom in the head?  What psychological damage has been done just so his folks could ‘feel safe’ and ‘exercise their Second Amendment rights’ (the two reasons constantly given when guns are used in crimes or accidents).

I believe that on the day of judgment the framers of the Constitution will be held responsible for every victim of gun violence perpetrated in this country.  Had they had a bit of foresight, they could have known that the proliferation of guns would only mean the proliferation of violence and injury.  Were they not so driven by their fear of Britain, they might have acted with sense and skipped the silly amendment altogether.

The Impossibility of Evolution

I post this just for the joyful benefit of the folk who love this sort of thing.  Enjoy!   (I know that I’ll enjoy just knowing that some folk will have near seizures from it).  Schadenfreude!  (Everything sounds better in German, don’t you agree?)

Jodi’s Terrific Piece at the ASOR Blog on Qumran, and Her New Book

You can read her ASOR post here.

Speaking of Jodi, her new book by Cambridge University Press titled The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest has just shipped. So, yeah!  I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time so I’m keen to get it.

Something else to digest.  Fantastic.

Any Friend of Gerhard von Rad…

Is a friend of mine.  And it seems that one Benjamin Smith is an admirer of von Rad’s work, so I’m adding him to the blogroll (in spite of the fact that he links to wikipedia’s von Rad page).

Perhaps one day he will abandon pervert-ipedia.  Until then, I’ll try to be tolerant and overlook this fault.

(Indeed, even Gerhard can’t believe Ben has linked to pervert-ipedia.  Look at the scowl it provoked!)

Anthony Le Donne is Blogging

At a new blog called – unsurprisingly – The Jesus Blog.  It’s focus is, again unsurprisingly, the Historical Jesus.  Give it a look.

Sodom and Gomorrah Were Not a Husband and Wife…

And Golgotha isn’t a type of pasta…   Or, good heavens, just how ignorant are people about the Bible?  A fine essay in Zeit Online discusses the ‘Analphabetismus‘ of western culture (I love that word Analphabetismus) concerning Scripture. Indeed, its author calls the piece a Polemic. I’m all in. A war on dilettantism and ignorance needs to be waged.

Golgatha ist keine Zahnpasta, und Sodom und Gomorrha sind kein Ehepaar. Noah ist nicht bloß der Vorname von Boris Beckers Sohn und Hiob nicht allein der Titel eines Romans von Joseph Roth. Ostern ist nicht das Fest von Jesu Hochzeit und Pfingsten nicht das seiner Auferstehung.

Viele Bewohner des sogenannten christlichen Abendlandes wären sich da allerdings nicht so sicher. »Don’t know much about history«, sangen Simon & Garfunkel 1978 in dem Lied, das die wunderbare Welt der Liebe beschwor und die Unkenntnis von Geschichte, Biologie, Algebra, ja jedem beliebigen Schulstoff besang. Nur die Unkenntnis von Religion kam nicht vor. Doch diese spezielle Wissenslücke könnte man längst hinzufügen.

Aggghhhh…….. Read it all, and be ashamed.

Christianity Without Christ Isn’t Christianity at All

At “Miracle-Seed Sunday” in Singapore’s New Creation Church last month, the pastor’s sermon was preceded by PowerPoint and video presentations, and donations were overseen by auditors.

[ Singaporeans] are flocking to a new species of churches making appeals more in common with “Material Girl” pop-singer Madonna…

Wearing a white leather jacket and jeans, Senior Pastor Joseph Prince asked God to reward a crowd of about 1,200 with houses, cars, jobs, pay raises and holidays if they contributed to New Creation’s multimillion-dollar funding drive.

Prince’s 24,000-strong flock belongs to a flourishing breed of churches from Houston to Sydney winning followers with a focus on personal well-being. As the rise of so-called mega churches helps make Christians the fastest-growing religious group.

Perversity and damnable heresy.  May they, along with Simon Magus, in the words of Peter, go to hell – and take their money and their false gospel with them. There’s more here, just in case you survived the vein bursting in your brain.

Job Opening: Old Testament

From Viv Rowett, the exceptionally gifted SOTS MEMSEC-

Old Testament Studies
Position Announcement

Regent University’s School of Divinity invites applications and nominations for a tenure-track faculty appointment at the rank of assistant or associate professor. The appointment involves responsibility for teaching and research in some aspect of Old Testament studies (preferably Pentateuch). Interest in and aptitude for teaching biblical languages and hermeneutics are also desirable. Most of the instructional responsibilities will be at the MA and MDiv levels, with opportunities to teach at the PhD level.  A PhD and an aptitude to become proficient in multiple forms of instructional delivery are required. University or seminary level teaching experience in a relevant field is desirable. In addition to teaching and professional research, the position entails advising students and participating in committee work. The successful candidate must also demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the Renewal (Charismatic) perspective in Christianity. Ministerial credentials are preferred.

Applicants should send a letter of interest, transcripts, curriculum vita, and a brief statement on their Christian experience and philosophy of education in relation to ministry. In addition, letters of support from three referees should be sent to the postal address. NOTE: Letters of support should come directly from the referees, not from the applicant. 

Old Testament Search Committee
c/o Sara Frazier
Office of the Dean
School of Divinity
Regent University
1000 Regent University Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464 

Isaac Watts’ Lovely Rendering of Psalm 1

Psalm 1

Blest is the man who shuns the place
Where sinners love to meet;
Who fears to tread their wicked ways,
And hates the scoffer’s seat:

But in the statutes of the Lord
Has placed his chief delight;
By day he reads or hears the word,
And meditates by night.

[He, like a plant of gen’rous kind,
By living waters set,
Safe from the storms and blasting wind,
Enjoys a peaceful state.]

Green as the leaf, and ever fair,
Shall his profession shine
While fruits of holiness appear
Like clusters on the vine.

Not so the impious and unjust;
What vain designs they form!
Their hopes are blown away like dust,
Or chaff before the storm.

Sinners in judgment shall not stand
Amongst the sons of grace,
When Christ, the Judge, at his right hand
Appoints his saints a place.

His eye beholds the path they tread,
His heart approves it well
But crooked ways of sinners lead
Down to the gates of hell.

Isn’t that delightful?  If you use Logos Software then you can get all of Watts’ settings of the Psalms this month for free.  It’s really a nice little book with some tremendous renditions of the prayers found in the Prayer Book of Ancient Israel (the Book of Psalms).

On 5 September, 1571

Heinrich Bullinger published a little booklet, containing a speech he had given before the City Council on 5 September, in late 1571.   In it he described the ‘repulsiveness’ (Widerwärtigkeit) of the times and the distance from God so many in the city were evidencing.   He also reminded the council that the bad weather, the economic crisis they were currently enduring, and the widespread hunger were all related to the impiety of the City.

The cure for this godlessness was a focused renewal on prayer, and more specifically, community prayer.   But Bullinger didn’t stop there.  He castigated the Council for its own godless behavior, particularly their penchant for drunkenness and their absence from Church life.

The Council, to its credit, saw the error of its ways and issued a mandate (which was nothing less than a required prayer) on 19 September titled ‘Gemeine Gebet’, based on Lev 26:14-28.  The City would reform its morals and live in concert with the Reformed faith it had embraced decades before.  It ordered that the Prayer (composed by Bullinger) be prayed every Thursday after the Sermon along with the Lord’s Prayer and the Confession of Sin.