Daily Archives: 5 Feb 2018

Sign up for the 2018 Season at Tell es-Safi/Gath!

Do it….

The Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project Official (and Unofficial) Weblog

Just a reminder to you all that the online registration for joining the team for the 2018 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath is up and running! The 2018 season will be the 23rd season in the field – and promises to be a very interesting one.

Don’t miss out the chance to have an extraordinary enriching experience of digging at one of the largest biblical period sites, with an international team of researchers, students and volunteers. Learn about cutting edge field archaeology, the material remains of the Bronze and Iron Age ancient Levant in biblical times (and in particular that of the Philistine culture), and related issues in history, archaeology and geography. In addition, have a unique field experience, meet people from diverse backgrounds – and get a chance to visit sites in Israel on the weekends and before and after the excavation.

This season, we will focus our work in…

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That Awkward Moment When You Reveal That You Don’t Know a Theologian Well Enough To Spell His Name…

And as a Followup to the Preceding Post…

The Talmud says (somewhere) “Spare the rod and spoil the child, but the rod should be no stronger than a shoelace.”

Via Liz Fried.

Just So You Know, Christians Don’t Beat their Children to Death

Duggar daughter’s in-laws are hosting a couple at their church who urge parents to physically discipline babies and children with plastic tubes and other items.

Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries are the authors of several parenting books that have been linked to child deaths, and they will preach at a family camp in Arkansas, reported Radar Online.

Fort Rock Family Camp and Retreat Center is operated by the parents of Austin Forsyth, who’s married to former reality TV star Joy-Anna Duggar.

The Duggar family starred on the popular TLC show “19 Kids and Counting,” which focused on their religious “Quiverfull” beliefs.

The Pearls have self-published several books, including Created to Be His Help-Meet, that promote a patriarchal, conservative brand of evangelical Christianity that encourages parents to beat children as young as six months old with plastic tubes to ensure obedience.

“It’s a good spanking instrument,” Michael Pearl said. “It’s too light to cause damage to the muscle or the bone.”

Their teachings have been linked to the abuse deaths of at least three children whose adoptive parents were convicted of murder.

The children suffered beatings, malnutrition and other abuse, and prosecutors say their adoptive parents practiced extreme variations on the Pearls’ teachings.

Christians don’t torture their children.  And they certainly don’t beat them to death.  Or beat them at all.  And don’t we live in strange times when such even needs to be said….

The Episcopalians and Divine Pronouns…

The last surviving members of the Episcopalian religion voted last week to stop using male pronouns for God, sources at a meeting of the Diocese of Washington, D.C. confirmed.

The 37 remaining Episcopalians on Planet Earth conducted the vote in an effort to make the last three or four Episcopal churches in the country be more inclusive, in the rare case anyone actually showed up to any of their services.

“We don’t want to offend or trigger the six or seven people left in our pews,” said the writers of the resolution. “And we get literally dozens of visitors every decade—what if we scare one of them off by reading the Book of Common Prayer and forcing them to hear the words ‘He’ or ‘Him’? That’s a chance we just can’t take.”

At publishing time, fourteen of the attendees of the meeting had left the faith.

Knitted Goods

Rachel has opened an Etsy shop. She also takes special orders and makes really beautiful things.

Sneak Peek at Herman Bavinck on Preaching & Preachers

Bavinck is pretty insightful.

Hendrickson Publishers Blog

Want a sneak peek at James Eglinton’s Herman Bavinck on Preaching & Preachers? At this link is a lecture Eglinton gave in 2016 at a Presbytery meeting in York, UK. In it he introduces the listener to Bavinck the preacher  and the connection between Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics and the task of preaching.

Some more Herman Bavinck links you don’t want to  miss out on:

Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) is widely celebrated as one of the most eloquent divines in the Reformed tradition. Despite having preached regularly throughout his adult life, how he preached and what he thought about preaching have remained largely unknown to the many preachers who read him in the present day-until now. This book provides an English translation of Bavinck’s key texts on preaching and…

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Quote of the Day

If you try to win people into attendance of your church by impressive ministry, events, music, or anything but Jesus, you don’t have a methodology problem to change. You have an idol that needs to be destroyed. – Philip Nation

Finally, A Logos Post I Care About: Christoph Heilig on What Makes a Good Biblical Scholar

For me personally, a good biblical scholar is someone who enriches the discipline not only, and not even primarily, through his or her publications, but also through the way he or she interacts with colleagues, especially those who do not yet hold powerful positions or might never do so.

I am reminded of people for whom self-interest is not only topped by enthusiasm for the subject matter of the discipline but also by an interest in the individuals who constitute that field, persons you can rely on, always willing to support, without envy or ulterior motives, rejoicing over your successes, sharing the pain of your daily struggles as a scholar.

In particular, I am thinking of the kind of senior scholar who carefully reads through an article by a graduate student that interacts with the work of that expert and who then gives gracious and motivating feedback … a person who does not consider him- or herself to be too good for waving across the book hall at SBL upon recognizing a former student or acquaintance … someone, who is not only aware of the manifold and crushing pressures that young scholars feel within today’s academia, but who also works actively towards creating an environment that allows for free spaces, creative development, and individual career paths.

~Christoph Heilig, Researcher, University of Zürich

I love that little guy.

White Privilege

If you’re still confused about what ‘white privilege’ is, Tom Brady’s wife enfleshes it-

NB- The Patriots didn’t let anyone win….  This is white privilege at its best…

The Demeaning of Prayer

Prayer is demeaned when it is posted on an internet social media site because 1) it is aimed not at God, but at people; and 2), because God doesn’t use twitter or facebook or even have or need a computer.

Prayer is also demeaned when it is incoherent.  ‘Heavenly Father Lord’ is addressed in the second person and then ‘God’ is discussed in the third person- as though whoever ‘Heavenly Father Lord’ is, is not God.  ‘HFL’ has made a way for us to worship God?

Prayer is also demeaned when it is rambling.  ‘We welcome you into our life praying for a better life and a new life’?  Why?  And who is doing the praying?  We, or ‘HFL’ who sort of introduces us to God and whom we welcome into our lives so they can be better and new?  Is that really the purpose of discipleship?  ‘better’ lives?  How so?

Prayer is also demeaned when Jesus is dragged in as a mere footnote.  ‘In Jesus’s name’ means, in biblical terms, in his authority.  But such a prayer as that above, in its incoherent, demeaning, rambling silliness is hardly something Jesus would pray.

‘Teach us to pray’ is the only prayer this young lady, and her like, should be praying.  ‘Go into your closet’ and pray, and keep it off the internet.  Because when it’s on the internet, it isn’t prayer at all.  It’s self aggrandizement.

What Did Luther Think of Physicians?

Yeah, turns out, not much…

lutherDear God, if I had died of stone in Smalcald I would now have been in heaven, freed from all evil, for a year. I was at that time sufficiently annoyed by the physicians. They gave me as much to drink as if I had been a big ox. They worked over my body until all my members, even my private parts, became lifeless. I had to obey the physicians. I did what I did from necessity, lest I appear to neglect my body. Wretched is the man who relies on the help of physicians.

I don’t deny that medicine is a gift of God and I don’t reject this knowledge, but where are the physicians who are perfect? A good regimen is worth a great deal. So if I feel tired and nevertheless adhere to my regimen, go to bed by the ninth hour, and have a restful night, I will be refreshed. When I get up from my rest I can’t work very long. My time has just about come anyhow.”  –  Martin Luther

Wretched is the man indeed…  and poorer.