Daily Archives: 5 Nov 2018

Jerry Falwell Jr is Not a Christian

Because no Christian can disregard the teaching of Jesus in any aspect of life. Period. Part time Christians are not Christians.

Anxiety: An Observation

Everything in our society aims to create anxiety in us. Politicians want us anxious so we become xenophobes and turn to them for protection and the media wants us anxious so we will tune in and watch their shows and our workplaces want us anxious about losing our jobs so we’ll show up and Madison avenue wants us anxious about how we look so we’ll buy stuff. But Jesus says ‘be anxious for nothing…’

I choose Jesus’s way.

The NRA Responds ‘If Grandma had Been Armed, She Could Have Defended Herself Against the 11 Year Old’…

We haven’t had enough of this have we?  We haven’t had enough of this to put a stop to it have we.

No, we haven’t.

An 11-year-old boy in Arizona fatally shot his grandmother before turning the gun on himself after refusing to clean his room Saturday, officials said.  Yvonne Woodard, 65, and her husband lived with their grandson in a home in the Phoenix suburb of Litchfield Park, according to Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez.  The grandfather told detectives they had asked their grandson to clean his room, but he was being stubborn about it.

The couple were sitting on the couch watching TV together when the grandson came up behind his grandmother and shot her in the back of the head, Enriquez said.  The grandfather first ran after the grandson before returning to help his wife. He then heard gunshots as his grandson shot himself.  Enriquez said the gun belonged to the grandfather. Investigators have yet to find anything that would indicate the grandson wanted to hurt himself or others before the shooting.

I’m so sick of this.  So very sick of it.

Helmut Koester Sexually Assaulted Elaine Pagels…

Ugh. Just ugh. What is wrong with men? Can’t dudes keep their nasty hands to themselves? Most can, but some of you guys are just jerks.

Looking at a scene earlier in the book, you write about the excitement of discovering the secret gospels as a graduate student at Harvard but also about being sexually assaulted by your graduate adviser, New Testament scholar Helmut Koester. I’m grateful you included that story in the book. What prompted you to do so?

I almost didn’t. I thought about it carefully, yet wrote about it before the #MeToo movement started. Drew Faust, the first woman president of Harvard, had just given me an honorary degree at Harvard, and when I heard that she had set up a committee on sexual harassment, I thought about confronting Koester at that time.

I didn’t have the opportunity before he died, but I did talk to the dean in charge of depositions and discovered that there were many people to whom it had happened with the same professor and others. This was part of the story about being a woman graduate student almost anywhere in that time. I didn’t feel that I owed him any protection, since he didn’t protect any of his students.

STOP IT, men.  You disgrace us all.  You disgrace your families.  You disgrace your profession.  You pollute your legacy.  You make yourselves vile.  You hurt women (and that’s the worst thing of all). STOP IT.

Signs of the Times… Still… Always

Quote of the Day

The great and boundless licentiousness which I see everywhere throughout the world, constrains me to beseech you, that you would earnestly turn your attention to keeping men within the restraint of sound and wholesome discipline. That, above all, you would hold yourself charged, for the honour of God, to punish those crimes of which men have been in the habit of making no very great account. I speak of this, because sometimes larcenies, assault, and extortions are more severely punished, because thereby men are wronged, whereas they will tolerate whoredom and adultery, drunkenness, and blaspheming of the name of God, as if these were things quite allowable, or at least of very small importance. Let us hear, however, what God thinks of them.  Letters of John Calvin, vol. 2, 182.

Signs of the Times

Need proof?  Well here you go:

Love and Hate and Authentic Christianity

If Scripture is right to say that mature love drives out fear (and it is) then what Trump is peddling is hate, the father of fear. No Christian can support hate. No Christian can love God, whom he has never seen, if he hates his brother.

Lecture Announcement

That Famous German Sense of Humor

Why Can’t People Just Let the Psalms Say What they Mean Instead of What they Want them to Mean?

And seriously, why can’t they just let Isaiah be Isaiah and the Yahwist be the Yahwist and the Deuteronomist be the Deuteronomist?  Why must they decontextualize and thus misrepresent the very text they claim to admire?  Why?

Open letter to Brill: Fake and unprovenanced manuscripts


Roberta Mazza

For the attention of Brill.


On 22 October 2018, the Museum of the Bible issued a press release informing the public that five of their recently acquired fragments that were claimed to come from the Dead Sea Scrolls are modern forgeries. These five forgeries are included in the first volume of the series ‘Publications of Museum of the Bible’ which was published by Brill in 2016.

This volume has received sustained criticism from members of the academic community because it failed to provide information about the acquisition circumstances and collection history of the thirteen fragments it presented. In the introduction, the editor in chief stated only that they were acquired “on behalf of Mister Steven Green in four lots from four private collectors” adding the dates of purchase (November 2009, February 2010, May 2010, October 2014). Questions about the authenticity of all thirteen fragments were raised…

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It’s Not the Future of the SBC, But Its Death Seen Here


Emergent pseudo-christianity as exemplified in the exceedingly inaccurate ‘theology’ of these two and their kindred spirits won’t rescue the SBC from extinction, it will hasten it.  Anthropocentric fame-questing has nothing to do with Christian faith and everything to do with hellish and demonic self-aggrandizement.

Contra Hubmaier

Zwingli’s Antwort über Balthasar Hubmaiers Taufbüchlein, appeared on 5 November 1525.

It commences (after its Preface to Hubmaier)

Für das erst, das der widertouff ein sect oder ein rott sye, ist offenbar, dann ir anfang hat dise gstalt: Die by uns den widertouff angehebt, habend vormals uns zuegemuotet, daß wir ein besundere kilchen anhuebind. Und do wir inen das nit gestattet, sind sy hinus gefaren uff das land, und habend on alles kundthuon der obergheit der kilchen: der bischoffen oder wächteren, in den wincklen angehebt ze widertouffen.

Nun verstadt mencklich, so sy das liecht geflohen habend, das sy ir meinung vom widertouff der kilchen nit gesagt habend, darinn sy inn angehebt, und darinn ir urteil und bericht nit erwartet, das es offenlich ein sect und rott ist; dann die kilch sol unser leer urteilen 1. Corinth. 14. [1. Cor. 14. 29], Ioan. 10. [Joh. 10. 27]. Denn das sind rotten, die zämenvallend hinder der ordnung, dero sy ordenlich söllend ghorsam sin etc.

Nun habend sy das nit an einem end allein gethon, sunder an gheinem end anderst, dann wie sy zum ersten gethon habend, das ist: ir meinung vor gheiner kilchen offen nie fürgetragen, sunder all weg zum ersten in den wincklen angehebt ze widertouffen.

Hubmaier was the most intellectually gifted of the ‘Anabaptists’ but he was a man given to waffling.  When faced with the prospect of expulsion from Zurich he suddenly came to agree with Zwingli on the subject of baptism and then his conscience got the better of him and he recanted his recantation.

So he was locked up.  And then expelled.

Zwingli’s ‘Answer’ is a fine example of an excellent and yet ultimately unpersuasive defense of infant baptism.  And that primarily for one reason- baptism isn’t like circumcision.  Baptism is an act undertaken by believers.  Circumcision was an act performed upon newborns.

The analogy Zwingli and other defenders of infant baptism cling to – i.e., that just as circumcision served as a sign of the covenant for Israel so too does baptism for Christians – is false.  They are incomparable.

Still, Zwingli being wrong about baptism only means one thing: he wasn’t always right. But even given his disagreement with Hubmaier, his tone is extremely civil (a gift Luther completely lacked) –

Luther: On His Translation of the Bible

“This German Bible (this is not praise for myself but the work praises itself) is so good and precious that it’s better than all other versions, Greek and Latin, and one can find more in it than in all commentaries, for we are removing impediments and difficulties so that other people may read in it without hindrance. I’m only concerned that there won’t be much reading in the Bible, for people are very tired of it and nobody clamors for it any more.” — Martin Luther

Economic Sanctions: An Observation

Sanctions are the tactic of the bully, and coercion is the tactic of the tyrant. #BeBest…….