Harvard Is Right On Top of Things These Days…

The luminaries over there have concluded that

1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide.
2. Across high-income nations, more guns = more homicide.
3. Across states, more guns = more homicide.

Duh.  Thanks, Harvard.  Gosh, none of us would have ciphered that out if you hadn’t told us…  Between that and their ridiculously fraudulent ‘Jesus wife’ press release they’re proving why they’re one of the world’s ‘leading universities’.

I’m not alone in seeing this scornfully-


When Your Default Solution Is Violence, You Just Might Be an Idiot…

And this is why not everyone needs to own a gun.

totally_depraved_babyAn eastern Missouri man is charged with armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a weapon after shooting at a fellow barber shop patron during a discussion about last week’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The tale is confusing and bizarre, but serves as a sad commentary about this country’s gun culture. According to the Associated Press, a patron at the All Cuts Barber Shop in Wentzville, Mo. remarked Tuesday that he wanted to kill the suspect, Adam Lanza — who is already dead. Somehow, inexplicably, 57-year-old Lester Davis was offended and took the comment as a threat, asking, “You want to murder me?”

Police say Davis then went to his car, got a pistol and fired three shots at the unnamed customer. Fortunately no one was injured.

Isn’t it unbelievable?  Isn’t it?  So much wrong here.

An Important Poll

Please answer the following:

Who Can Effect Change in our Culture of the Gun? Sportsmen

NPR’s Frank Deford had one of the best editorials on the issue presently front and center for most Americans:  guns.  Give it a read, or a listen.  Here’s the best part-

… notwithstanding President Obama’s impassioned promise to reform our gun laws, we know how our craven politicians invariably proceed: They dramatically decry the violence, conspicuously pray for the victims, and then do absolutely nothing because they are lobotomized by the fear that the NRA will wail that our Second Amendment rights are being abrogated, so that then these one-issue voters will throw them out of office.

All this is old hat, so there is no sense struggling with what exactly James Madison had in mind about the militia when he and his otherwise succinct brethren were marking up the Bill of Rights. Nor do we need to hear how no laws can stop crazy people from getting guns so what’s the point of gun laws in our nation or laws for everything else? And how guns don’t kill people, and so on and so forth.

Rather, it’s just obvious that we Americans possess too many firearms — almost 90 per 100 people, far more than anybody else in the whole world. And obviously it’s too easy for us to obtain these automatic weapons of human destruction — this should also be obvious by now — and that nothing will change unless the very people who are gun owners themselves support the changes the president swears to promote. Hunters are good citizens who want guns to shoot game. Nobody can accuse them of supporting the confiscation of guns.

If the sportsmen would let their voices of conscience be heard above the homicidal fusillade, then some sensible prohibitions could be enacted, for those who have the potential to reduce the gun carnage in the United States of America are precisely the people who own guns and who are good sports.

The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, by Joan Taylor

Just drawn to my attention today

9780199554485_140Ever since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in caves near the site of Qumran in 1947, this mysterious cache of manuscripts has been associated with the Essenes, a ‘sect’ configured as marginal and isolated. Scholarly consensus has held that an Essene library was hidden ahead of the Roman advance in 68 CE, when Qumran was partly destroyed. With much doubt now expressed about aspects of this view, the Essenes, the Scrolls and the Dead Sea systematically reviews the surviving historical sources, and supports an understanding of the Essenes as an influential legal society, at the centre of Judaean religious life, held in much esteem by many and protected by the Herodian dynasty, thus appearing as ‘Herodians’ in the Gospels. 

Opposed to the Hasmoneans, the Essenes combined sophisticated legal expertise and autonomy with an austere regimen of practical work, including a specialisation in medicine and pharmacology. Their presence along the north-western Dead Sea is strongly indicated by two independent sources, Dio Chrysostom and Pliny the Elder, and coheres with the archaeology. The Dead Sea Scrolls represent not an isolated library, quickly hidden, but burials of manuscripts from numerous Essene collections, placed in jars in caves for long-term preservation. The historical context of the Dead Sea area itself, and its extraordinary natural resources, as well as the archaeology of Qumran, confirm the Essenes’ patronage by Herod, and indicate that they harnessed the medicinal material the Dead Sea zone provides to this day.

Oh Post Office… No Wonder You’re Going Broke

8245692314So, ‘funny story’… My friend Christian Moser of the University of Zurich sent, by mail, a copy of Duncan Shaw’s Renaissance and Zwinglian Influences in Sixteenth Century Scotland.  And yes, I know what you’re thinking…  who would want to read that but Jim West.  But I do.

Anyway, the package arrived today.  Here it is:


But when I opened it, (and it had signs that it had previously been opened), here’s what it contained:

photo (1)


I let the Post Office know and they’re going to investigate and check the ‘lost and found’ too…  I doubt the book will be found.  Bummer.  Oh USPS, no wonder you’re going broke.

Today With Heinrich Bullinger: Eintrichtung einer Schule in Rüti

bullinger93As the Reformation picked up steam it became increasingly important for schools to be organized in such a way that they would become bastions of Reformed thought.  With that in mind, on the 19th of December, 1537, Heinrich Bullinger wrote a brief instructional piece titled Eintrichtung einer Schule in Rüti.  It covers all the bases very briefly including instructions for daily preaching, instruction in the Bible, and the implantation of morals based on the Bible.

Schools were then a very important link in the chain of the spread of Reformed thought.

Candida Moss on the Road

From Candida’s FB page-

Current Lecture Dates:

2/5 11th Annual Pierre Lecture at the University of the Incarnate Word – “What Does it Mean to be Resurrected from the Dead? Christus Hall, 7pm. San Antonio, Texas.

3/12 “The Myth of Persecution,” 7:30pm, Berkeley Arts and Letters@First Congregational Church of Berkeley, Calif.

3/13 “The Myth of Persecution,” 6pm, Commonwealth Club Gold Room, San Francisco.

3/21 “You’re Such a Martyr!”: The History and Controversy of Persecution in the Early Church, Washington National Cathedral, 7:30pm.

Hope to see you there!

The Biography of Rudolf Bultmann

bultmann_bioRudolf Bultmann was the giant of twentieth-century New Testament scholarship. His pioneering studies in biblical criticism shaped research on the composition of the gospels, and his call for “demythologizing” biblical language sparked debate among Christian theologians worldwide.

This definitive biography—now in English for the first time—traces his career in Germany through the tumult of two world wars. Through richly drawn connections between events in his life and his theology, Hammann illuminates Bultmann’s contributions to biblical historical criticism and the changing role of religion in public life in Europe.

“In this outstanding book one encounters not only the history of a problem, namely the compatibility of historical enlightenment and religious beliefs, but also the story of a personality. The biography of Konrad Hammann is thus a prime example of a successful history of ideas.”—Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

I can’t vouch for the English translation but the German edition is brilliant.  It also seems that a discount is available via this link and you can get it for $42 instead of $60.

You’re welcome.