Monthly Archives: April 2018

The Reinstatement of the Monthly Avignonian Biblioblog Carnival

I’m reinstating the Avignonian Carnival beginning on June 1 (collecting posts from May 1 and onward to the end of the month).

During the Middle Ages there were, for a period of time, two papacies.  One in Rome, and a competing papacy in Avignon.  One was ‘official’ and the other was an upstart rival claiming legitimacy and being the rightful heir to Peter’s Keys.

Accordingly, there will be official Carnivals (which Phil Long will tell you about) and my own little Avignonian rival Carnival.  Double the pleasure, double the fun.

Stay tuned.  And if you have posts you’d like included, send them along.  Who knows, your post may be chosen and others will actually see them (in contrast to the official Carnival which usually only the author’s mom will read).   😉

George Mason University Has Behaved Despicably and Abhorently

The President, the Deans, and everyone on the Board of Trustees needs to resign, immediately.  They’ve sold the University’s integrity.

Newly released documents show Virginia’s largest public university granted the conservative Charles Koch Foundation a say in the hiring and firing of professors in exchange for millions of dollars in donations. The documents’ release follows years of denials from George Mason University that the donations inhibit academic freedom. The documents were released to a former student under a Freedom of Information Act request after a judge scrutinized Mason’s denial of similar requests at a trial last week.

DISGUSTING.  GMU isn’t a University- it’s a chamber pot.

Tim Keller Is Either Daft, or He Doesn’t Think About What He’s Saying, Which Means He’s Daft

The White House Chief Of Staff Knows What We All Know

White House chief of staff John Kelly has eroded morale in the West Wing in recent months with comments to aides that include insulting the president’s intelligence and casting himself as the savior of the country, according to eight current and former White House officials.

The officials said Kelly portrays himself to Trump administration aides as the lone bulwark against catastrophe, curbing the erratic urges of a president who has a questionable grasp on policy issues and the functions of government. He has referred to Trump as “an idiot” multiple times to underscore his point, according to four officials who say they’ve witnessed the comments.

Etc.  Thanks for catching up, John.

Trump Supporters Upset At Vulgarity of Everyone But Trump

After comedian Michelle Wolf’s controversial stand-up act at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Trump supporters across the nation stated they were “outraged” and “triggered” that Democrats would tell mean jokes about conservatives and Republican politicians.

People who voted for one of the most crass public figures ever to run for president were offended that Democrats would “sling mud” and “stoop to a new low.”

“This was over the line,” one man who has defended the president’s crass insults and crude comments throughout his presidential run and tenure in office told reporters. “These guys are really dragging down the level of discourse in this nation.”

“This is America for crying out loud. Our national conversations should remain civil, and these Democrats aren’t helping things with their insults and sarcasm,” he said as he favorited a tweet from the President slamming one of his critics. “Ha, classic Trump. Got em!”

At publishing time, sources had been able to confirm that millions of Trump supporters declared their homes to be “safe spaces” from any mean jokes about the president.

The hypocrisy is truly astonishing.

Paul Middleton’s New Book

From T&T ClarkThe Violence of the Lamb: Martyrs as Agents of Divine Judgement in the Book of Revelation.

The act of martyrdom in the worldview of the Apocalypse has been considered to be an exemplification of non-violent resistance. Paul Middleton argues here, however, that it is in fact a representation of direct participation by Christians, through their martyrdom, in divine violence against those the author of Revelation portrays as God’s enemies. Middleton shows that acceptance of martyrdom is to grasp the invitation to participate in the Revelation’s divine violence. Martyrs follow the model laid down by the Lamb, who was not only slain, but resurrected, glorified, and who executes judgement. 

The world created by the Apocalypse encourages readers to conquer the Beast through martyrdom, but also through the experience of resurrection and being appointed judges. In this role, martyrs participate in the judgement of the wicked by sharing the Lamb’s power to judge. Different from eschewing violence, the conceptual world of the Apocalypse portrays God, the Lamb, and the martyrs as possessing more power, might, and violent potential than the Emperor and his armies. Middleton believes that martyrdom and violence are necessary components of the worldview of Revelation.

Long awaited.  Keen to read it.

New Testament Introduction

For my NT intro course I’ve been using Ray Brown’s magisterial Intro text but I’ve decided to switch over to LTJ’s intro text (3rd edition).  I think the students will really like it.  If you’ve used it, I’d be very interested in any feedback you’ve gotten from your students.  But keep in mind, mine are incredibly bright and obviously used to superior courses (since many of them have taken me for other course offerings).  😉

Liberating Theology

All good biblically oriented theology liberates. Specialized niche theologies only alienate and incarcerate.

Let Those With Ears, Hear

“God of vengeance, Yahweh, God of vengeance, shine forth! Arise, judge of the world, give back the proud what they deserve! How long are the wicked, Yahweh, how long are the wicked to triumph? They bluster and boast, they flaunt themselves, all the evil-doers. They crush your people, Yahweh, they oppress your heritage, they murder the widow and the stranger, bring the orphan to a violent death. They say, ‘Yahweh is not looking, the God of Jacob is taking no notice.’ Take notice yourselves, you coarsest of people! Fools, when will you learn some sense?” (Ps. 94:1-8)

Quote of the Day

The talk of a fool is like a load on a journey, but it is a pleasure to listen to the intelligent. (Sirach 21:16)

The First Issue of a New Religion Journal is Yours For the Reading

The Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture is a peer-reviewed academic journal publishing three issues per year. RMDC publishes original work that contributes to social-scientific discussion of the relationship between religion, media and culture. Studies of any religious tradition, medium or geographical region are welcome. The journal’s primary focus is on recent and contemporary media, but historical studies may also be considered. Theological writings will not normally be accepted for publication.

Today in Church History: The Edict of Nantes

Henry IV, King of France, issued the Edict of Nantes on the 30th of April, 1598

After he came to power, he did not forget his Protestant former co-religionists. The Edict of Nantes, which he promulgated in 1598, though it recognized Catholicism as the official religion of the French state, gave Protestants certain important rights-religious rights, such as freedom of conscience and liberty to continue worship in places where they had done so before 1597; civic rights, such as eligibility to hold public offices; and political rights, such as permission to hold public assemblies and maintain 450 places with garrisons as strongholds. This edict, the first in Europe to permit two religions to coexist legally under one political government, was rigidly enforced by Henry until he was assassinated by the Catholic fanatic Ravaillac in 1610.*

The Edict was then rescinded by the Papist’s puppet king.

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*Henry IV. In Who’s Who in Christian history (p. 312).

Ming Hua Theological College e-News Site

For your instruction and enjoyment.  The link is also on the ‘Useful Sites’ list.

Thank You, God, For Mozart

Where Did the Macron Tree Go?

What’s going on in Washington that even a tree falls victim to madness.

A mystery is brewing at the White House about what happened to the oak tree President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron planted there last week. The sapling was a gift from Macron on the occasion of his state visit. News photographers snapped away Monday when Trump and Macron shoveled dirt onto the tree during a ceremonial planting on the South Lawn. By the end of the week, the tree was gone from the lawn. A pale patch of grass was left in its place. The White House hasn’t offered an explanation.

What the devil is going on?

Depravity

Such depravity

Signs of the Times

Torah Theft: A Detective Tale

Before dawn on March 21, 1995, someone broke into a synagogue in the Palestinian city of Nablus.

The thief — maybe it was a band of thieves — crossed the carpeted sanctuary, pulled back a heavy velvet curtain, and opened a carved wooden ark. Inside were two handwritten copies of the Torah, the Five Books of Moses. One was a sheepskin scroll written around 1360 and kept in a slender copper case. The other was a codex, a thick book, probably from the 15th century and bound in a maroon leather cover. The thief or thieves snatched the manuscripts, escaped through the synagogue’s arched doorway, discarded the copper case in a stairwell, and vanished.

Read the whole.  Great storytelling.

‘Relevant’ Magazine- Garbage for the Ignorant, By The Ignorant

Exhibit A.

Silly Angry Atheists