Total Depravity: He Offered Pills to Anyone Who Would Bring Him a Child For Sex

Alonzo Branson, 62, LaFollette, was sentenced to 13.5 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to eight counts of trafficking for a commercial sex act, two counts of solicitation of a minor to commit rape of a child, and possession of a Schedule II controlled substance with intent to sale and deliver in a drug free zone. He also will have to register as a sex offender.

This was among some of the first convictions in the state for trafficking for a commercial sex act.

Branson was accused in April 2015 of trying to lure children to his home for sex in exchange for drugs. Investigators say he offered to trade his prescription pills to anyone who would bring him a child for sex.

It’s difficult to conceive such perverse wickedness exists.  But it does.

The grave is licking its lips in anticipation, opening its mouth wide.  Is 5:14 (NLT).

hell

Bloggers and their Eyebrows

You know their names, but do you know their eyebrows?

The Bee Stings the Doctrine-Less Precious Things

Anthony Frond has gotten to the point where he refers to any and all citations from the Bible as “base legalism,” according to friends and family of the recent college graduate. Formerly holding to a fairly biblical definition of the word, he has now reportedly expanded its meaning to shut down any discussion, debate, or argument mentioning Scripture.

“I have to admit, he’s nothing if not consistent,” noted former roommate Caleb Shelt. “The other day, he started cussing up a storm over losing on the Xbox, and when I reminded him of Ephesians 4:29 and James 3, he called me a ‘modern-day Judaizer.’ Then he said he was going to go use his ‘Christian liberty’ to get good and hammered—daring me to tell him he shouldn’t.”

Shelt also described an embarrassing recent incident in church where Frond got up and left in the middle of a sermon point about the general importance of baptism in the Christian life, shouting how he has “had it up to here with all your man-made regulations.”

His mother, Anita Frond, also expressed concern.

“I asked Anthony if he’d seen my Bible lying around, and he just yelled, ‘Ugh, Mom, you’re such a Pharisee.’ He also said my quoting of 1 John 4:19 was ‘knee-jerk repressionism’— whatever that is.”

Frond was unavailable for comment as he was busy accusing an acquaintance of “flagrant legalism” for claiming that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.”

Indeed.

The Deuteronomistic History and Israel’s Kings

New in B&I

The perspective of Dtr [Deuteronomistic Historian] is clear: Israelite worship should be centralized. As such, he uses Jeroboam as a literary tool to construct the portraits of and pass judgment on northern kings. As rivals to the Davidic throne, northern kings, are almost always judged negatively. The bad kings are like Jeroboam. The standard by which they are measured has little to do with their comprehensive behavior as kings, but instead is concerned with their actions for and against uncentralized worship and (in)fidelity to the deuteronomistic covenant. This issue becomes of the utmost importance in the eyes of the historian. Despite other kings’ wrongdoing—emptying the temple treasury (Jehoash, 2 Kgs 11:15), warring against the other kingdom (Asa, 1 Kgs 15:16), even idolatry (Omri, 1 Kgs 16:25-26) — for Dtr, Jeroboam remains the evil king par excellence.

Breitbart: It’s Just a Hate-Speech Site

For years, one of the main grievances among Twitter users has been the ability for anonymous trolls to send abusive comments to other people on the service.

But on Tuesday, Twitter barred one of the most egregious and consistent offenders of its terms of service, Milo Yiannopoulos, in an attempt to show that it is cracking down on abuse.

The ban against Mr. Yiannopoulos, a technology editor at the conservative news site Breitbart and known by his Twitter handle, @Nero, follows a campaign of prolonged abuse against Leslie Jones, a comedian and co-star of the recently released “Ghostbusters” movie. The film and its stars have come under fire from various parts of the internet for months, after it was first revealed that the reboot of the 1984 film would feature an all-female cast.

Ms. Jones in particular has borne the brunt of the online abuse in recent days, especially since the release of “Ghostbusters” in the United States on Friday. Hundreds of anonymous Twitter commenters hurled racist and sexist remarks at the star’s Twitter account, rallied and directed by Mr. Yiannopoulos this week. The news media picked up on the abuse after Ms. Jones began retweeting screenshots of the litany of comments sent to her over the past few days.

Breitbart is a hate-speech site.  Period.  It’s nice to see twitter do something about it.

Free Access to an Essay In Reformation and Renaissance Review- Machiavelli among the doctors: The Prince and divine accommodation

This study will illustrate and reflect on how Niccolò Machiavelli shared terminology and a pattern of thought with contemporary theologians of ‘divine accommodation’. This is the idea that God, while remaining immutable, ‘accommodates’ himself to humankind’s variety and to changing times in order to reveal himself profitably to his fallen creations. Theologians extended the capacity for accommodation to Christ’s disciples and apostles, especially Paul. According to Machiavelli, the ideal Prince or ruler accommodates himself to the changing times and variety of circumstances by choosing among an unlimited diversity of human natures and utilizing them as the times require in order to achieve his ends. It is argued, therefore, that Machiavelli secularizes divine accommodation and transposes the powers of infinite adaptability and flexibility on to the ideal rulling prince. Machiavelli acknowledges, however, that his ideal is generally impracticable; humans have given natures, and most lack the capacity to transform themselves as needed – to their ruination.

Get the essay here.

Hebrew Ben Sira: Conference Details

The draft programme of the conference in Cambridge on the Ben Sira Hebrew manuscripts (September 12-14, 2016) is now available.

“Discovering, Deciphering and Dissenting:  Ben Sira’s Hebrew Text, 1896-2016”,  12-14 September 2016St John’s College, Cambridge.  A conference on the 120th Anniversary of the Cairo Genizah Discoveries.

Organisers: Dr. James Aitken, University of Cambridge, Professor Renate Egger-Wenzel, Universität Salzburg /ISDCL, and Professor Stefan Reif, St John’s College, Cambridge.

Speakers: Dr James Aitken (Cambridge), Professor Pancratius Beentjes (Nijmegen), Prof Dr Nuria Calduch-Benages (Rome), Dr Jeremy Corley (Meynooth, Ireland), Prof Dr Renate Egger-Wenzel (Salzburg), Prof Matthew Goff (Florida), Professor Jan Joosten (Strasbourg/Oxford), Professor Noam Mizrahi (Tel Aviv), Professor Vered Noam (Tel Aviv), Professor Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (Paris), Dr Ben Outhwaite (Genizah Unit, Cambridge), Professor Stefan Reif (Cambridge), Prof Dr Friedrich Reiterer (Salzburg), Professor Jean-Sébastien Rey (Metz), Dr Eric Reymond (Yale Divinity School), Prof Dr Aho Shemunkasho (Salzburg), Professor Benjamin G. Wright (Lehigh, USA).

I’m fairly confident it will be turned into a book.  I hope so anyway.

News From SOTS

The SOTS President's Bible (held by Barton)

The SOTS President’s Bible (held by John Barton)

If you haven’t checked out the SOTS webpage lately you should. Jonathan Stökl and Jim ‘James’ Aitken are doing a fantastic job keeping it in tip top condition and added a super new feature- the Conference Calendar. It’s on the front page. You can see who is doing what when in the Summer Meeting next week.  — http://sots1917.org/

Remembering Rhenanus

B. Rhenanus died on the 20th of July in 1547. Unfortunately his name is scarcely known these days but in his own he was tremendously important, significant, and influential. Rhenanus was one of Zwingli’s closest University friends and while in Basel, sent Zwingli many of Luther’s works (which were being printed there).

Though more Humanist than Reformer, Rhenanus was still a valuable member of Zwingli’s inner circle.  Oskar Farner published an interesting essay in 1913 about Zwingli’s ‘becoming’ a Reformer and in it he naturally brings up Rhenanus.  Give it a read.  And remember, we only see as far as we do because we stand on the shoulders of giants.

Below are photos from the Rhenanus Library.

Bible, Critical Theory and Reception: Glasgow, September 2016

There’s some strange guy in the first picture, but the rest of the info is useful.

Harnessing Chaos

The Greatest Glaswegian

The sixth annual seminar will be dedicated to some of the latest developments in biblical studies. Building on the success of the Bible and Critical Theory seminar and journal in the southern hemisphere, this approximate northern hemisphere equivalent will welcome papers in the general areas of critical theory, cultural studies and reception history. Reception history is broadly understood to include the use, influence and receptions of biblical texts in all aspects of what might conventionally be called ‘culture’ (e.g. film, pop music, literature, politics etc.).

This two-day seminar will be held in Glasgow, 12-13th September, 2016 at a pub location to be announced shortly but which should be in the West End. The seminar will be free of charge, though accommodation will have to be found privately. Further details (including confirmed speakers, times, and accommodation tips) will be made available on this blog and the BCTR(S) Facebook page in…

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Free Access to an Article of Interest- Overcoming Redemption: Neoliberalism, Atonement, and the Logic of Debt

From the Journal of Political Theology:

This paper discusses and critiques the structure of debt at work in Anselm’s satisfaction theory of atonement and the way in which it resonates with other economic and non-economic mechanisms that neoliberalism uses to create indebted subjects. The first part of this paper uses the work of Maurizio Lazzarato to understand how neoliberalism works to create indebted subjects. The second part of the paper discusses how debt structures Anselm’s satisfaction theory of atonement how the latter resonates with the general sense of indebtedness operative in neoliberalism. The third part of this paper discusses how recent appropriations of the satisfaction theory as an alternative to neoliberalism fail, based on the reading provided in the second part. The conclusion explores alternative theological proposals for thinking beyond the logic of debt.