Daily Archives: 15 Nov 2016

The Barbaric Destruction of Nimrud by ISIS

With thanks to Antonio Lombatti for the link.  What ISIS has done to a site of such significance is nothing less than barbarism.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Archaeology


Martin Luther- On the Papists

So let them go! Let them act! Let them suffer always and forever such things as their most sanctimonious sanctity deserves, such things as befit their most wise wisdom and which suit their most dignified dignity, which is greater than apostolic or angelic. Let their blood be upon their own heads now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

We are clear of their blood. We have spoken, we have testified, we have cried out, we have done and suffered all things that we might heal that Babylon, but she neither wants nor is able to be healed [Jer. 51:9]. Let us abandon her, that she may be a habitation for the pelicans, the hairy beasts, the satyrs [Isa. 34:11, 14], the Witzels, the Ecks, the Snotspoons,1 the Fabris, who are guests worthy of such a home as the lid is worthy of the pot. “You are righteous, O Lord, and Your judgment is right.” — Martin Luther

1Johann Cochlaeus, a humanist and Catholic controversialist with whom Luther had several polemical exchanges from the early 1520s on. His name was originally Dobneck, but, in humanist fashion, he used the Greek form (Cochlaeus) of his byname obtained from his place of birth (Wendelstein), which, in turn, reminded Luther of the word for “spoon” (cochlear).

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Modern Culture


SBL Travel Reading

All of us take something to read while we transit from wherever we are to SBL, don’t we?  Here’s what I’ll be enjoying whilst traversing from Knoxville to San Antonio (and back)-


Oh boy!


Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Books, Church History


The Bee Stings the ‘Christians’ Who Think Wearing a T Shirt is Evangelism

Sharing Jesus is hard, but it doesn’t have to be.

We consulted with dozens of the nation’s top evangelists and asked them for their secrets to successfully spreading the gospel to friends and acquaintances who you’re pretty sure don’t know the Lord.

Then, for you, we distilled their advice down to these seven simple, tried-and-true methods of faithful soul-winning:

  1. Never mention it. This is a subtle tactic, but effective. One of the most impactful ways you can share Christ is to be sure never to talk about Him, no matter what. And if a non-believer brings up God or Jesus, be sure to change the subject or flail your arms about to scare him or her off so your evangelistic strategy isn’t ruined.
  2. Use elaborate metaphors from current films and TV shows. Old-school evangelism was all about preaching Jesus from the Scriptures, but there’s a reason that’s considered outmoded now: it’s lame and boring. Instead, find a gospel connection from a recent film like Dr. Strange or Tyler Perry’s latest art film, and share Jesus as the “greater Batman” or whatever.
  3. Build relationships for 40–50 years before sharing Christ. Too often, Christians jump right into presenting the gospel before building meaningful relationships. So for the first four or five decades of your friendship with someone who desperately needs the gospel, just connect with the person, love on them, and also fervently pray that they don’t die.
  4. Wear Christian T-shirts. A recent study showed that the majority of converts to Christianity were first exposed to God’s amazing grace through “Lord’s Gym” T-shirts. So replace your wardrobe with gaudy Christian T-shirts—especially ones that parody secular brands and logos. Now you’re always talking about Jesus, even when you’re not.
  5. Get a clever rapture bumper sticker, and put it on your friend’s car. One of the fruits of salvation is putting a Christian fish or bumper sticker on your car. But the true faithful will go out and buy a box of bumper stickers that make a clever quip about the rapture, and put them on all the cars in their neighborhood. What a great witness for Jesus!
  6. Hide Chick tracts in their bathroom. If your neighbor invites you over to watch Monday Night Football, great. You’ve infiltrated their oikos. Now it’s time to excuse yourself to the restroom and leave some of Jack Chick’s most fiery tracks on top of their toilet, in their medicine cabinet, and under the sink. Next time they use the bathroom, they’re sure to be scared straight into the Kingdom.
  7. Whisper “Jesus loves you” in their ear while they sleep. It’s the time-honored message of American evangelicalism: Jesus loves you. But to get across the full effect of this powerful gospel truth, you need to slip into your friend’s house in the middle of the night and whisper these words into his or her ear.

Well, there you have it. We are truly humbled and blessed to encourage you toward more faithful evangelism with these seven effective methods.

No excuses now—get out there and share Jesus!

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Modern Culture


Ethics Fail


I wonder if he realizes that he’s encouraging deception and theft.  Probably he does.  But doesn’t care.

The more interesting question is how many are already planning to do it and how many are happy to engage in what amounts to identity theft simply to save a few bucks…


Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Modern Culture


News Sites That Are Either False, Misleading and Partisan, Or ClickBait

This is an excellent resource.  Be sure to check the list before you cite the source.

Below is a list of fake, false, regularly misleading, and/or otherwise questionable “news” organizations, as well as organizations that regularly use clickbait-y headlines and descriptions, that are commonly shared on facebook and other social media sites. Many of these websites rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.

Other sources on this list are purposefully fake with the intent of satire/comedy, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but they are regularly shared as actual/literal news. I’m including them here, for now, because 1.) they have the potential to perpetuate misinformation based on different audience (mis)interpretations and 2.) to make sure anyone who reads a story by The Onion, for example, understands its purpose. If you think this is unnecessary, please see Literally Unbelievable.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Modern Culture


The Bee Stings the Gender-Sensitive Readers of Scripture

Brilliant.  Exactly what the anachronistic ego-centric readers of today need: mocked.

Remorseful for using terms that fly in the face of contemporary progressive sensibilities, God Almighty issued an apology Tuesday for the gendered language found throughout His Word, the Holy Bible.

“The fact that gendered language has been non-offensive for millennia is no excuse, since through my omnipotence I knew that by the time the 21st Century rolled around it would no longer be considered acceptable,” the statement, miraculously delivered through a heavenly messenger, read in part.

“Please accept my deepest and most sincere apologies for using such offensive terminology when describing humankind and myself throughout the pages of Scripture, and feel free to edit the eternal Word of God so that it aligns more closely with your current, advanced understanding of the nature of things,” he continued, adding that it was never His intention to advance the agenda of the patriarchy.

“My choices were unfortunate and regrettable, and I have no intention of trying to mansplain them away. I will do better.”

Bible publishers worldwide reportedly began work Tuesday on new translations of the Holy Scriptures, removing any pronouns or phrases which specify a gender either directly or by implication.

Imagine, ancient texts which speak in their own language instead of the overly sensitive mental meanderings of today’s precious snowflakes.  How dare they…

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Modern Culture


The AAR/SBL Academic Culture – A Challenge (Gupta)

The best rules for #SBLaar16 you’ll find in any post.

Crux Sola

academic-conference.jpgThis is about my 10th or 11th SBL. I remember those early years of being starstruck when I saw Luke Timothy Johnson in the flesh, or when I got a few minutes in line at a cafe to talk to D. Moody Smith. The first papers I presented – how much I prepared and rehearsed. There are so many wonderful things about SBL. It has always been a highlight of my year.

I am trying now, settling into a decade of SBL-ing, to find ways to strengthen the experience. So, here are my bits of advice for everyone, but especially those who have been around for a while, like myself.

#1: You’re not too cool for anyone, so don’t be a jerk. Don’t make SBL about showing off your status, or kissing up to someone. Remember what it was like to be blown off by someone (as they look for someone…

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Modern Culture


That’s Despicable, West Virginia


Classy… like Pamela Taylor knows anything about being classy.  And, oh, by the way, Michelle Obama has never posed nude for a magazine like your ‘classy’ First Lady elect has…  Ms. Taylor.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Total Depravity


The Only Immigration Policy Appropriate to Believers

 “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”. — (Exod. 22:21)

If you have anti-immigrant sentiments your problem is ultimately with God, not with immigrants.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Modern Culture


Is Alcoholism A Big Problem in AAR?

I saw this tweet and thought to myself- is alcoholism that big a problem in AAR?  How curious.

@AARWeb is so generous to provide 12-step meetings at sblaar16! Look for us under “additional meetings.” One Panel At A Time!

How curious.  I wonder what drives AAR folk to it.  I wonder if a study has been done of the prevalence of alcoholism among religion scholars.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2016 in Modern Culture