Daily Archives: 24 Aug 2016

You Are Not The Final Arbitor of Good and Evil

People sometimes say that if God really is all powerful then he is not Good because of the things that happen.

I say that if God is behind everything that happens, and what he does is good, then what’s bad to us is only bad from our perspective.

Furthermore, since God is God and you are not, then what is evil and good are ultimately determined by God and not by you.

Or in other words, God is the final arbitor of that which is ultimately Good and that which is Evil. And you are not. Nor is your philosophy nor your worldview nor your point of view.

Signs of the Times

Remember when police officers were our ‘best and brightest’?  Yeah, not so much anymore, it seems…


Praying for Italy

The death toll from an earthquake in central Italy has risen to at least 120, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said, according to national news agency ANSA.  The shallow, 6.2-magnitude earthquake devastated towns early Wednesday, placing rescuers in a desperate race against time to pull survivors from the rubble.  More than 1,000 people were displaced by the quake, the civil protection agency said.

Very sad.

The Bible is not Open to Narcigesis: Thinking the Bible is Written to You

Oh I like this word very much. Thanks Jeff Carter!

Jesus Without Baggage

The Bible is a massive collection of writings, and we must investigate and interpret each passage to understand what it says. There are two primary ways of doing this.


All genuine scholars know that study of biblical passages begins with exegesis, which is determining what the passage actually says. We do this by careful analysis of the passage’s original language using tools by language experts. Context is also involved.

Unfortunately, most of us are unable to do this. But we can access the works of exegetical scholars (I recommend Anchor Bible Commentaries). Keep in mind that most commentaries are NOT exegetical, so choose appropriately.


Eisegesis is reading our presuppositions and our theological perspectives INTO a passage. A lot of believers read the Bible this way without realizing it. Eisegesis is not a satisfactory way of understanding the biblical text.

The Bible – Pixabay


I don’t remember where I…

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Why Didn’t I Think of Offering a ‘Certificate Course’????

Darn it.  Why can’t I ever come up with good marketing ideas like that.  Why do I have to rely on dead people endorsing my good work?  Dead people and some live ones.  But mostly dead ones.



What Are Dead Theologians Saying About My Stuff?

“We have shaped our entire theologies around the insights found in Jim West’s books”— Jurgen Moltmann & Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  (Via Jon Balserak).

The Bee Stings Zondervan’s ‘Bible For Every Subgroup’ Publishing Tactic

In a move designed to help students of the Word carefully impose their own theology and personal experiences onto the text, Zondervan released its all-new Choose Your Own Adventure Bible to widespread public acclaim Wednesday morning.

Boasting over three hundred different endings, the CYOA Bible allows readers to guide and bend the narrative through all its various twists and turns in order to shape the Bible’s theology to fit readers’ own tastes, biases, and prejudices.

“What a great resource to help pastors and laymen alike insert themselves into any biblical text,” Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church said in a promotional video touting the new study Bible. “In the past, Bible readers were just reading some boring story about Hebrew men and women that were really difficult to relate to. Now, the Bible is finally all about you.”

The video also previewed one of the CYOA Bible’s storylines, as a reader decided that God wouldn’t punish the world with a great flood, but rather praised and rewarded the ingenious and creative ways mankind had invented to rebel against Him.

The CYOA Bible is already a runaway success, having reportedly sold over 4 million copies in its first hour of availability, causing Zondervan to announce that it would be slowly phasing out the “old, boring versions of the Bible that don’t cater to reader preferences.”

On the mark.  And just what the Millennials actually want.

Signs of the Times


Yes, you can.

An Exciting New Series!

Ernst Axel Knauf’s Commentary on Judges: A Textual Supplement

Ernst has provided a very extensive text critical expansion of his Judges Commentary.  You’ll want to take a look at it here.

Kara Slade’s Love for The Commentary


Be like Kara. Read The Commentary.

Sarah Bond’s Fantastic Hour by Hour Reconstruction of the Eruption of Vesuvius (24 Aug, 79 CE)

Pliny the Younger reports that it was in the seventh hour after sunrise (right around noon) on August 24th of 79 CE that his mother pointed out to his uncle, Pliny the Elder, that a cloud of unusual size and shape is appearing.” Pliny the Elder was then stationed at Misenum, serving as the commander of the Roman fleet there. In the hours that would follow, thousands would die in the wake of Vesuvius’ eruption, their bodies sealed beneath a mixture of ash, rocks and pumice. The popular fascination with Pompeii remains today and new digital efforts to map the continuing excavations within the city serve to reveal the daily life of the people and animals who lived and died in the shadow of Vesuvius. The letters of Pliny, the excavations in and around Pompeii, and volcanological evidence now allow us to reconstruct a timeline for the eruption.

Read the whole.

A Festschrift for Yosef Garfinkel

From the Israel Exploration Society


At this moment the death toll stands at 37.  Recover quickly, Italy.  CNN is posting regular updates here.