Daily Archives: 4 Jun 2015

“Periscope Theology”©

‘Periscope theology’ – live brief explanations of theological issues by yours truly. Install periscope and follow my twitter handle on that app (available for iphone or android).  @drjewest.  And if you have any topics you’d like covered, let me know.

I’ll tweet out an announcement several minutes before I go ‘live’.

What do you think?

Systematic Theology- By A Woman Person!

It shouldn’t be odd, but it is, when a woman publishes a Systematic Theology.  Fortress is publishing just such a thing and interviews the woman person author-ess here.

Katherine Sonderegger is about to launch the first volume of her Systematic Theology, a 539 page tome on the Doctrine of God. Here, Acquisitions Editor Michael Gibson asks Sonderegger about her work.

MG: The publication of volume one of Systematic Theology marks the first appearance in nearly two decades of a full cycle, multivolume dogmatics in English. Could you provide a bit of the background to this—what lead you to embark on such a task? What were some of your goals in writing such an ambitious, large scale project?

KS: I think it must seem an odd thing to say, but in truth I have always hoped to be able to write a systematic theology. I entered graduate school with the aim of equipping myself as best as I was able to undertake such a work. I had a splendid dissertation director, Wendell Dietrich, who allowed me free reign in my research and encouraged me to take on a large, constructive thesis. He had the wonderful gift of teaching rather than disciple making, and he offered me the remarkable chance to develop my own voice, my own assessment of the material at hand. How very rare that is! My colleagues in Barth studies opened my eyes to the unfailing richness and complexity of the Church Dogmatics. I learned from them, and from Barth even more, how very demanding, and how very joyous is the task of writing theology for the Church. It is, most deeply, a vocation.

Etc.  Looking forward to reading this book at some point.

American Sexual Morality: An Observation

The way a lot of people behave sexually, they more closely resemble a public toilet than the imago dei.  The way people degrade themselves and cheapen their most intimate attributes is stunning.

Dear Atlanta… You’re Trying to Kill Me…

Not only have a number of your citizens swerved right in front of me with inches to spare but your horrific traffic makes it impossible to turn left… into any restaurant.  And all your eating establishments are on the left.

So you’re going to kill me by starvation or by car.

Conference Announcement

International Conference: Diversité and rabbinisation: Textes et sociétés dans le judaïsme entre 400 et 1000 de notre ère.

All the details are here.

Dear Atlanta…

Your traffic is horrific. Why are so many of you driving around in the middle of the day???? Get thee to work!


A Visitor not used to horrific traffic.

My Absolute Favorite Tiq Soph…

Is Job 2:9

בָּרֵךְ אֱלֹהִים וָמֻת

Job’s wife doesn’t actually say ‘bless God and die’ she says ‘curse God and die!’ but the scribes couldn’t tolerate the notion of anyone cursing God, so they changed the text to something more fitting and bizarre.

The scribes make these sorts of changes over a dozen times and they’re referred to in biblical studies as the Tiqqune Sopherim- the changes of the scribes. The editors of BHS add this note:

correctio vel euphemismus pro


Consequently, when people call me a ‘blessing’ I normally understand them to be doing a little scribal adjusting of their own…

Flat Earth Luther

Luther should have stuck with theology and left science alone.

There was mention of a certain new astrologer* who wanted to prove that the earth moves and not the sky, the sun, and the moon. This would be as if somebody were riding on a cart or in a ship and imagined that he was standing still while the earth and the trees were moving. [Luther remarked,] “So it goes now. Whoever wants to be clever must agree with nothing that others esteem. He must do something of his own. This is what that fellow does who wishes to turn the whole of astronomy upside down. Even in these things that are thrown into disorder I believe the Holy Scriptures, for Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and not the earth [Josh. 10:12].” — Martin Luther

*Meant is the astronomer Copernicus.

Creflo be gettin’ his Jet…

It’s their money and they can spend it on a $65 million jet if they want to, the board of directors for Creflo Dollar’s ministry said.

“We plan to acquire a Gulfstream G650 because it is the best, and it is a reflection of the level of excellence at which this organization chooses to operate,” leaders of World Changers Church International said.

And they’re right.  If people are foolish enough to give this self-aggrandizing heretic their hard earned money so he can live like a Saudi Prince, he can spend it however he wants.

And, given the depravity of Dollar and his flock, he’ll continue to rake in the cash.  Because.  Invincible ignorance amongst the sheared sheep.

The ‘Rogue Nation’ Trailer… I Cannot Wait for This Movie

Yeah I’m really looking forward to this one! Who wants to go with?

Another Inscription from Qeiyafa: ʾIšbaʿal

Joseph Lauer writes

A second inscription discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa has been published in the new issue of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, pp. 217-233.  See Yosef Garfinkel, Mitka R. Golub, Haggai Misgav and Saar Ganor, “The ʾIšbaʿal Inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa”.  It is available at https://www.academia.edu/12775087/

“A new West Semitic inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa is presented. It was incised in Canaanite alphabetic script on a pottery storage jar before firing. Radiometric dating of the relevant layer has yielded a date of ca. 1020–980 B.C.E. The last few years have seen the publication of several new Semitic alphabetic inscriptions dated to the late 11th–10th centuries B.C.E. and originating at controlled excavations in Israel (Khirbet Qeiyafa, Beth Shemesh, Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi, and Jerusalem). The new inscription is an important addition to this corpus.”

And what does it demonstrate?  That someone owned a pot and inscribed it with his name and his dad’s name.  That’s it.  Does it prove anything else?  Nope.  So it’s an interesting artifact with a cool name, but is it fair, really fair, to call it ‘an important addition to this corpus’?  It doesn’t seem so.

Still, the article is well written and it has lots of photos and drawings and science-y looking graphs.