Daily Archives: 6 Oct 2016

Look, Again, If You Work For A Conservative Evangelical Organization, and You Don’t Hold Conservative Evangelical Views…

You shouldn’t get an attitude or be surprised if they ask you to leave when you violate their principles.  It’s simple- if you don’t like what they believe, leave.

Complaining that you don’t feel their policy is fair is like being a pacifist who joins the Army and then demands that the Army adopt his pacifistic views.

One of the largest evangelical organizations on college campuses nationwide has told its 1,300 staff members they will be fired if they personally support gay marriage or otherwise disagree with its newly detailed positions on sexuality starting on Nov. 11.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA says that it will start a process for “involuntary terminations” for any staffer who comes forward to disagree with its positions on human sexuality, which holds that any sexual activity outside of a husband and wife is immoral.

Staffers are not being required to sign a document agreeing with the group’s position, and supervisors are not proactively asking employees to verbally affirm it. Instead, staffers are being asked to come forward voluntarily if they disagree with the theological position. When they inform their supervisor of their disagreement, a two-week period is triggered, concluding in their last day. InterVarsity has offered to cover outplacement service costs for one month after employment ends to help dismissed staff with their resumes and job search strategies.

There’s much more, which do read.  And again, if you disagree with an organization’s principles, exactly what kind of principles do you have which would allow you to work for them?

Because It’s Worth Repeating

NT Wright’s Exciting Forthcoming Volume!

In pre-pre proofs!  Even the cover is still just a screen shot!!!!

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Meanwhile in Israel, Going Unnoticed By the Rest of the World, Is This Horror

Education Minister and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett said Thursday that “we must give our lives” for the cause of annexing the West Bank to Israel. Bennett, who was speaking at a at a conference in Jerusalem in memory of settler figure Hanan Porat, also criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the plans to evict the illegal outpost Amona by the end of the year.

“On the matter of the Land of Israel, we have to move from holding action to a decision,” Bennett said. “We have to mark the dream, and the dream is that Judea and Samaria will be part of the sovereign State of Israel. We have to act today, and we must give our lives. We can’t keep marking the Land of Israel as a tactical target and a Palestinian state as the strategic target.”

Bennett didn’t mention Netanyahu by name, but criticized the prime minister’s statements in favor of the two-state solution. Bennett also made a veiled attack at the Supreme Court over its rulings on Amona and on the eviction of other illegal West Bank outposts.

“Like Hanan said, we have no right to divide the land,” Bennett said. “Not with words, not with actions, not by silent acquiescence, not with quiet excuses. Not by politicians and not by jurists,” the education minister said. “The path of concessions, the path of dividing (the land), has failed.”

Lebensraum.  Pure and simple.  Lebensraum and the exile or extermination of the Palestinians.

#TBT – To a Time When People Understood the Bible, and You Can Too Now

Because you can acquire for a pittance the PDF’s of THE COMMENTARY from yours truly for a paltry $199 $100 (on sale for throwback Thursday) by clicking my PayPal Link.  It’s that simple.

The ‘Person in the Pew’ commentary series is now complete.  It is the only series of Commentaries written by a single person on the entire Bible and aimed at layfolk in modern history.

Here’s what the Principal of Ming Hua Theological College, Hong Kong, thinks of it (specifically concerning 2 Corinthians and generally of the whole) :

Saint Paul knew more than I can ever imagine about Christians living in tension with the Gospel and with each other, and his several letters to the Church in Corinth are pivotal to the entire New Testament. Which is why I am so pleased to mention here some recent commentaries by a friend of mine, Jim West, on I and II Corinthians.

Subtitled ‘for the Person in the Pew’, and published by Quartz Hill Publishing House of Quartz Hill School of Theology, California, these two commentaries are in fact part of a much larger project by West to write similar commentaries on every book of the Bible, and to make them available in print and electronically for everyone to read. That project is now nearly completed and the results are tremendous.

I think there are three main reasons why these commentaries are so successful. First, West is a first-class Biblical scholar, one who makes the intelligent critical study of the text central to his theological interpretation. That commitment is rarer than one might imagine and to have it realized across the entire Bible is an astonishing feat that gives us now a unique resource.

Second, and delightfully, Jim West is a great writer: his pages fizz with sharp words and phrases and he appears incapable of saying anything boring about these texts. This ability keeps us reading along with him and, more importantly, reading along with Saint Paul. I have rarely come across any Christian writing project, aimed at ‘the person in the pew’, that has succeeded so brilliantly in bringing alive its subject matter.

Third, West couldn’t dodge an issue if his life depended on it, which can be an uncomfortable position for a Christian theologian. Corinth, as with most churches in most places, had some strange people believing and practising some odd things. The knack, as West points out, is to engage them endlessly with love and grace rather than self-righteous anger, but to engage them: ‘Paul lived with a purpose. And he urges the Corinthians to do the same. As we all who name the name of Christ must’ (West on I Cor. 9:27, p.60).

I am going to be talking to Jim about making these commentaries available through Ming Hua’s website, but inspect them for yourselves if you have the time: you will find them a superb companion to your own reading of the Bible and, as importantly, a great reminder of just how much the early Church struggled with some of the same problems we face now.

Gareth Jones, Principal
Ming Hua Theological College
Hong Kong

Click the link above and get it through Sunday, October 9 for $100.  Half price.

Dear People Who Don’t Take Your Kids to the Doctor Because You ‘Believe in Prayer’

Ben Sira is right and you’re wrong.

Honor the physician with the honor due him, according to your need of him, for the Lord created him; for healing comes from the Most High, and he will receive a gift from the king.

The skill of the physician lifts up his head, and in the presence of great men he is admired. The Lord created medicines from the earth, and a sensible man will not despise them. Was not water made sweet with a tree in order that his power might be known?  And he gave skill to men that he might be glorified in his marvelous works.

By them he heals and takes away pain; the pharmacist makes of them a compound. His works will never be finished; and from him health is upon the face of the earth.

My son, when you are sick do not be negligent, but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you. Give up your faults and direct your hands aright, and cleanse your heart from all sin. Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice, and a memorial portion of fine flour, and pour oil on your offering, as much as you can afford. And give the physician his place, for the Lord created him; let him not leave you, for there is need of him.

There is a time when success lies in the hands of physicians, for they too will pray to the Lord that he should grant them success in diagnosis and in healing, for the sake of preserving life. (Sir. 38:1-14)

Tweet of the Week

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#TISsowhite? Reflections on Daniel Kirk’s Broadside

#Bam- Kirk gets taken to school.

Biblical Reasoning

Daniel Kirk has a post that has been making the rounds this week in which he connects the theological interpretation of Scripture (TIS) movement with something he calls the “problem of whiteness.” Leaving aside questions about whether or not we can speak of TIS as a singular coherent “movement,” let’s consider the thrust of Kirk’s argument. As I understand it, Kirk appears to be arguing that the TIS movement, unlike other “situated” readings (such as feminist, African American, and LGBT readings), has failed to own up to its own “revisionist” approach to Scripture and that this failure is owing to the general “whiteness” of the movement–presumably TIS advocates are mostly white males who are not accustomed to locating their scholarship within a particular perspective. As Kirk puts it:

White, western theology has sat at the center of biblical interpretation for so long that all of our debates can only be about what the text…

View original post 911 more words

Reminder: Call for Submissions

Please remember to pass along blog post links in the areas of Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Archaeology, Biblical Languages, and Miscellaneous biblical studies related themes for potential inclusion in the upcoming Carnival.  The more horrible the post, the better (the theme of the Carnival is horror show-ish because, well, it’s covering October).

I thank you in advance.

The Bee Stings the Persecution Complex of American Christianity

According to sources close to local believer James Beazer, the inside sales representative and father of two is suffering brutal persecution in the form of “two or three” lighthearted comments made about his faith each year.

At a recent summer picnic, the brave martyr is said to have told an intern from accounting that he goes to church on Sundays—reportedly earning him a withering verbal beating, as the intern was seen persecuting Beazer with harsh words like “Oh, so you’re one of those Bible thumpers?” and “Hope you’re not one of those holy rollers, Beaze!” followed by a friendly slap on the back.

While Beazer’s faith was put to the test, the salesman refused to waver, chuckling awkwardly and nodding before wandering away to see if there was any more punch.

In another incident, sources confirmed that Beazer was called a “Jesus freak” by his boss, who clearly meant the comment as friendly banter rather than a true insult, and was gently chided for saying he couldn’t come to a Sunday morning NFL game this season as he’d be at church.

“Christians all around the world suffer persecution and even face death every day,” Beazer told reporters Thursday. “Who am I to think I’m any different? I count all suffering as joy and I endure it for the sake of Christ.”

At publishing time, Beazer confirmed that he had been approached by a literary agent, who hopes to record his trials in an inspirational book for distribution in countries like China, Iran, and Somalia, so Christians abroad can get a glimpse of what it’s like to truly suffer for Christ.

If you want real persecution, try being a Christian in Islamic countries.  That’s where the real persecution is happening.

Pentebabbleist Please: Hurricanes and Gays and God’s Wrath

Oh boy, here come the ‘hurricanes are God’s wrath against the gays’ pentebabbleists again… right on cue

Dear Pentebabbleists, if I may, might I request that you cease and desist attempting to discern the will of God in natural disasters.  God hasn’t told you what he’s up to.  Stop pretending that he has.  When you misrepresent God do you know what that’s called?  That’s right, precious, it’s called lying.

I know prophets, dear pentebabbleists, and you are no prophets.  None of you.  None.  Not one.

#RefoThursday!

The Christian History Institute is beginning a new series today called #RefoThursday.  Each week a new essayist will offer a snippet from one of the Reformers.  The series kicks off with Luther’s last words:

Wir sind pettler, hoc est verum.

Here’s the essay.  Enjoy!

The Execution of William Tyndale

His crime?  Translating the Bible into English…

img_0138On Friday, October 6, 1536, after local officials took their seats, Tyndale was brought to the cross in the middle of the town square and given a chance to recant. That refused, he was given a moment to pray. English historian John Foxe said he cried out, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”

Then he was bound to the beam, and both an iron chain and a rope were put around his neck. Gunpowder was added to the brush and logs. At the signal of a local official, the executioner, standing behind Tyndale, quickly tightened the noose, strangling him. Then an official took up a lighted torch and handed it to the executioner, who set the wood ablaze.

One other brief report of that distant scene has come down to us. It is found in a letter from an English agent to Lord Cromwell two months later.

“They speak much,” he wrote, “of the patient sufferance of Master Tyndale at the time of his execution.”

Ancient Advanced Society Discovered in Jordan…

Ok… sounds kind of like the sort of headline followed up by mention of aliens…

Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of an advanced society living in the Jordanian desert over 6,000 years ago.

Excavation teams found three ancient, fortified settlements and what may be the earliest evidence of artificial irrigation systems during excavations in the basalt desert of Jordan.

The discovery, made by a German-led team, raises questions about who those in the ancient society were, why they were there, and how they became so advanced for their time.

No aliens so far… Read the rest to see if they crop up…