Thanks, Pope Franky, You’ve De-Catholicized the Catholic Church…

Despite efforts to figure whether they were in a Catholic or Protestant service, local parishioners were left baffled after an “animated” man wearing vestments put on a head mic and began pacing back and forth as he delivered his sermon.

“The man looked like a priest and I was quite certain I was in a Catholic Church,” said longtime parishioner Joyce Parlin, who had no clue as to what the hell was going on. “But he kept pacing back and forth, ending each statement with a ‘can I get an amen?’ No one was exactly sure what he was asking for. I overheard one gentleman respond, ‘yes, I suppose,’ but the priest or pastor or whatever he was kept desperately asking if he could get more amens.”

Parlin went on to add that the priest or pastor or whatever the heck he was continually used words like “fellowship” and “ministry” during his sermon, words, Parlin admitted, she had never heard before.

“He also used the phrase ‘saved by the blood of the lamb,’ which I suppose is some sort of Christian take on the TV show Saved by the Bell. Hell, I don’t know.”

At press time, the band has begun singing praise a worship as beach balls are being thrown to and fro, confirming that the event is a Lifeteen Mass.

That’s what union with the Lutherans will do to you…

The Bee Stings Worshipless Megachurches

AL—Northwoods Church recently unveiled its new $90 million campus to much fanfare, but somehow just noticed Sunday that the design had failed to include a sanctuary or auditorium where congregants could worship corporately and hear the Word of God being preached each week.

The campus, a 170-acre lot nestled in the hills, includes a petting zoo, a monorail service to and from the parking lot, seven bookstores, nine coffee shops, three restaurants, two youth buildings, a baseball diamond, and three large foyers. Church members seemed to love enjoying the new amenities, getting massages at Wednesday night fellowships and partaking in exciting programs and ministry events throughout the week.

But when Sunday morning came, confused parishioners walked all over the campus, unable to locate any kind of main church building or sanctuary set aside for worship and the preaching of the Word.

“I can’t believe we goofed this up,” Pastor Rand Petty announced to church members over the megacomplex’s various PA systems and video projectors positioned strategically around the campus. “I could have sworn I very clearly mentioned to our architects early on that there was to be a main sanctuary just behind the northernmost tennis courts.”

Being forced to make do without a sanctuary, Petty instructed anyone who planned on skipping out on the bowling tournament in order to hear the message that morning to gather on the eastern polo grounds, where a message would be piped in on the Jumbotron.

“We’ll make this right. Northwoods will get a sanctuary squeezed in between the men’s ministry’s climbing wall and Olympic swimming pool sometime in the next three years. In the meantime, enjoy what’s really important: our various programs, events, and ministries,” Petty said.

Leaving a sanctuary out of its design isn’t an oversight.  .

The SBL Artifact Policy Statement

Members of SBL received this email today:

Dear Colleagues,

Members of the Society of Biblical Literature encounter important ethical issues related to the authenticity and provenance of ancient artifacts. Such artifacts include, but are not limited to, archaeological objects and ancient texts (including papyri, inscriptions, cuneiform tablets, and codices). To provide guidance for members, and a framework for articulating the Society’s position on these matters, the SBL Council has voted to endorse and adopt the American Schools of Oriental Research policy on stewardship of archaeological material and unprovenanced artifacts (

The SBL policy statement is available for your review.  It applies to SBL program session presentations at Annual, International, and Regional Meetings, and books and serials published by SBL Press. Implementation will begin with the call for papers for the 2017 Annual Meeting and for 2017 submissions to SBL Press’s books and serials.

Council also wishes to thank the members of the Task Force on Unprovenanced Artifacts: Douglas Boin, Malcolm Choat, John Fitzgerald, Ann Killebrew, Jodi Magness, Eric Meyers, Daniel Schowalter (co-chair), and Christine Thomas (co-chair).

John F. Kutsko
Executive Director

It’s too bad this wasn’t in place before Karen King’s foray into absurdity with her ‘Jesus Wife’ travesty.

The Dallas Morning News Eviscerates Trump’s ‘Republicanism’

As February follows January and the sun sets in the west, readers of The Dallas Morning News could rely on that newspaper to endorse the Republican candidate for president. But not this time — not when the candidate is Donald Trump. The Morning News editorial pulled no punches from the get-go:

“What does it mean to be a Republican? “For generations, the answer had been clear: A belief in individual liberty. Free markets. Strong national defense. “But what does it mean to be a Republican today? With Donald Trump as the party’s new standard-bearer, it’s impossible to say.”

The editorial criticizes Trump for “an authoritarian streak that should horrify limited-government advocates” and “his open admiration of Vladimir Putin.” It calls Trump a hypocrite for investing in hotels abroad even as he criticizes car manufacturers who take factories overseas. As for national defense, the editorial calls Trump an isolationist who “put sound bites over sound policy.”

Read the whole takedown.  The DMN is 100% on point.  Read it.  Especially if you’re a RINO.  Like Trump.

Oral Fixation and New Testament Studies? ‘Orality’, ‘Performance’ and Reading Texts in Early Christianity

You owe it to yourself to read this essay by Larry Hurtado- New Testament Studies, 60, pp 321-340. It is supremely interesting. It begins like this:

In recent decades, emphasising the ‘orality/aurality’ of the Roman world, some scholars have asserted that in early Christian circles texts were ‘performed’, not ‘read’ (and could not have been read), likening this action to descriptions of oratorical delivery of speeches (from memory) or theatrical performance. It has even been suggested that some texts, particularly the Gospel of Mark, were composed in ‘performance’, and not through an author working up a text in written form. These claims seem to be based on numerous oversimplifications (and so distortions) of relevant historical matters, however, and also involve a failure to take account of the full range of relevant data about the use of texts in early Christianity and the wider Roman-era setting.

It’s spectacular.