The Bee Stings Princeton’s ‘Diversity’

The Presbyterian Church (USA) issued a statement Thursday reaffirming its inclusive stance toward everyone who holds the exact same beliefs that they do.

Hundreds of PCUSA leaders signed the document affirming their progressive, forward-thinking tolerance for everyone except those who disagree with them at all.

“As a denomination, we just want to reiterate our sincere desire to extend a warm embrace to people of all backgrounds, as long as they don’t disagree with us on any single issue,” Rev. Craig Barnes said on behalf of the group, speaking to church leaders gathered at Princeton Theological Seminary. “We are totally committed to being accepting, loving, and never condemning—unless you’re a filthy, toxic traditionalist. Then all bets are off.”

“I mean, come on, it’s 2017, idiots,” Barnes added.

At publishing time, the denomination had agreed to posthumously denounce and honorarily excommunicate several “backwards-minded” Reformed and Presbyterian thinkers, beginning with Abraham Kuyper.

Exactly.

A Conversation about Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook

Worth reading.

Hendrickson Publishers Blog

If you study Biblical Aramaic and haven’t yet gotten a chance to explore this new handbook, you’re in luck. We sat down with Amy Paulsen-Reed, one of the editors, so she can tell us more about the book and how it was put together.

But first, a bit about the book. Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook is designed to enable students, pastors, and scholars to read the Aramaic portions of the Bible with understanding and confidence. Created by Donald R. Vance, George Athas, Yael Avrahami, and our very own Jonathan G. Kline (who also developed the questions below), it contains the full text of the Aramaic portions of the Bible, extensive vocabulary and word lists, and an apparatus that contextually glosses and parses 94% of all vocabulary.

How is Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook different from other books on Biblical Aramaic? What are its unique features?

What makes

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The Bible Doesn’t Call us to Apologize, It Calls Us To Repent

Have you ever noticed that the Hebrew and Greek equivalent of our notion of ‘I’m sorry, I apologize’ is nowhere to be found in Scripture?  Or that you’ve never noticed any story in the Bible that features some character or other going to someone and saying ‘I’m sorry I did that’?  That’s because ‘apologizing’ is meaningless.  It changes nothing, it effects nothing, and it restores nothing.

Instead, Scripture calls us to repentance, which isn’t a mere feeling of sadness for some wrong done but an actual change of behavior.

If people change their behavior after they’ve done a wrong, then they’ve done the right thing.  But if they merely utter a few words and then continue to behave the same way as before, they’ve not done a single meaningful thing.

Any sorrow that doesn’t lead to real repentance is false.  No matter how much the wrongdoer may sound off with words like ‘I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to, I apologize’.  If you are really sad that you’ve hurt someone, change your behavior and don’t do it again.  Otherwise, you haven’t repented at all and you aren’t even really sorry.

Reformation Thursday

This only I would learn of you, whether you are baptized on the sword or on the Cross?–Menno Simons

In discussions about Christian attitudes to war, one of the surest ways to annoy people is to take an “almost pacifist” position—holding that war is legitimate in principle but almost always wrong in practice. Many defenders of Christian involvement in war get far angrier with “almost pacifists” than “real pacifists.” In fact, some authors on just war argue that the just war tradition has been hijacked by people who really want to be pacifists but don’t have the honesty or courage to admit it. I am one of those people. In practice, most of the time, I sound like a pacifist. Yet I’m not quite willing to go all the way.

Etc.  Enjoy.