Daily Archives: 29 Mar 2019

The ‘Wicked Bible’ Is on Exhibit at Emory

I think you’ll know why it’s called that as soon as you spot the typo. And go see it for yourself beginning April 8.

Britain Has Lunatics as Nutty as Our American Lunatics

What Makes Colleges Great Isn’t What Harvard, Yale or Stanford Have

This interview at NPR is worth your time.

If you’re naming top colleges, you might not think of the City University of New York right away. It’s not selective — it serves what one former official called “the top 100 percent.” It also has a pretty low graduation rate.

But if you look deeper, at metrics like diversity and sheer number of lives changed, then CUNY can make a strong case.

With more than a quarter of a million students across its 25 colleges and graduate schools, it’s among the largest university systems in the country. With students hailing from more than 200 countries, it’s surely among the most diverse colleges in the world. And according to Harvard economist Raj Chetty, CUNY ranks among the top 10 colleges that most promote social mobility.

In other words, a large number of its students come from the bottom fifth of the income distribution and rise to the top.

Since 2000, Gail O. Mellow has presided over LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens, one of seven community colleges in the CUNY system. She has just announced plans to step down in August, so I called her to get her thoughts on how we define “the top” in higher education right now. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Read it all.

The Bible Doesn’t Call it a Whale, So JUST STOP IT…

You bloody dilettantes, here’s what the Bible says-

‎וַיְמַ֤ן יְהוָה֙ דָּ֣ג גָּד֔וֹל לִבְלֹ֖עַ אֶת־יוֹנָ֑ה וַיְהִ֤י יוֹנָה֙ בִּמְעֵ֣י הַדָּ֔ג שְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה יָמִ֖ים וּשְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה לֵילֽוֹת׃

So STOP IT, ya mad bunch of daft mistaken loons.



Those College Bribing Moms and Dads are Really Just Narcissists Who Want themselves To Look Better

Here’s the truth about the bribery scandal.

Many kids compete for elite college slots in an attempt to gain access to a higher social class, but some of these parents are surely seeking the opposite effect — a degree that suggests their kids are not simply coasting on their inheritance while cultivating vanity careers. They are heaping money on their progeny in an attempt to correct for how rich they are.

If an elite school is a branding exercise, that brand is perhaps more valuable to rich parents than to rich kids. An underperforming, school-averse teenager is often content to attend a low-pressure state school with good parties; it’s his parents who are desperate to prevent this. More than faking their kids’ athletic or test-taking prowess, these parents have faked their own parenting. They did not wind up raising enviable, academically extraordinary children, but they’ve fudged the results so they can drop “U.S.C.” in conversations instead of “A.S.U.” Some went to comical lengths to hide these interventions from their children, while others, including Olivia’s parents, supposedly involved the kids, letting them know the exact distance between what they were getting and what they deserved. When these parents celebrated their success, you might imagine they were reacting not with pride but with relief: They had managed to prevent their kids from messing up the paths they had planned for them.

They had also helped convince the rest of us that their kids really were successful. We still like to picture our higher-education system as the linchpin of a meritocracy, like a public utility that sorts the accomplished from the rest. We instinctively conflate elite schooling with worth. The idea of unqualified kids getting into Stanford or Georgetown may rankle us, but this scandal should also call into question the outsize reputations of such schools. They exist partly through a bargain in which wealthy elites commingle with the highest-achieving students of the lower and middle classes. The wealthy launder their privilege by allowing select others to earn their way into its orbit. And the intelligence and success of hardworking peers makes a wealthy wastrel seem qualified by association: Maybe he graduated with straight C’s, a drinking problem and an unearned job at the family business, but he went to Yale — isn’t that where smart people go?

Etc.  A superb piece.

Hooper in Zurich

bullinger32Did you know that it was on this date in 1547 that John Hooper visited Bullinger in Zurich?

In his extant diary Bullinger has marked March 29, 1547, as the day when Hooper and his wife, in their exile, accomplished their long-cherished desire of visiting him [Bullinger]; and March 24, 1549, when they left him for England with their daughter Rachel, his god-child.

So Thomas Harding.

If You Can Sue the Drug Companies You Should Be Able to Sue the Gun Makers

So drug companies can be sued when people use their dangerous products and death or harm results, but gun makers can’t be sued? That makes zero sense.

Chris Tilling Has Been Wearing These For Years…

The horror is just one of the things you have to endure when you room with him at SBL.

Why Are there ‘Lutherans’ and ‘Calvinists’ and ‘Wesleyans’ But Not ‘Zwinglians’?

Because Zwingli taught his followers to exalt God alone.  A lesson the Lutherans and Calvinists and Wesleyans must have missed.

This is the fountainhead of my religion, to recognize God as the uncreated Creator of all things, who solely and alone has all things in His power and freely giveth us all things. They, therefore, overthrow this first foundation of faith, who attribute to the creature what is the Creator’s alone. For we confess in the creed that it is the Creator in whom we believe. It cannot, therefore, be the creature in whom we should put our trust. – Zwingli

Nor, it should be added, after whom we name ourselves.

Fun Facts From Church History: Lutherans Are a Snooty Lot

P. Schaff writes

The bitter theological differences between Lutherans and Reformed had long been a disgrace. Beza had in early life brought trouble upon himself by minimizing them, as has been already recorded, but in his old age he made one more attempt in that direction. Count Frederick of Wuertemberg, a Lutheran, but a friend of reconciliation, called a conference at Montbéliard (or Moempelgard), a city in his domains in which were many Huguenot refugees, with whom the Lutherans would not fraternize.

The count hoped that a discussion between the leaders on each side might mend matters. Accordingly he summoned Beza, confessedly the ablest advocate of Calvinism. On March 21, 1586, the conference began. It took a wide range, but it came to nothing. Beza showed a beautiful spirit of reconciliation, but Andreae, the Lutheran leader, in the very spirit of Luther at the famous Marburg Conference with Zwingli (1529), refused to take Beza’s hand at parting (March 29).

Shameful.  And snooty.

The Zwingli Stamp

I need to lay hands on this.

Happy 70th Birthday, Israel Finkelstein!

Today is Israel’s birthday. He’s an incredibly influential Israeli archaeologist and he has overseen the excavation of most of Israel’s most important sites. Over the years he’s been a great friend and I appreciate his great work. Check out a plethora of posts in celebration of his birth-iversary and a gallery of images:

Happy birthday!

March 29, 1549 Was a Tragic Day in Calvin’s Life

ideletteCalvin’s married life, though happy in mutual companionship, was one of sorrow through the trials incident to human experience. His only child, Jacques, born July 28, 1542, lived but a few days; and his wife’s health was always feeble after the birth of their son. On March 29, 1549, she, too, was taken from him. In spite of the severe repression of Calvin’s references to his affliction,—a fortitude of mind worthy of admiration in the judgment of his intimate friends at the time,—it would be an injustice to regard his sense of bereavement as other than profound and lasting. His marriage, though having little of romance in its beginnings, had in it much of the satisfaction that comes from mutual trust, and of loving absorption, at least on the part of the wife, in the other’s interests and work.*

Who was this little known woman? The best description is that found in Smyth’s excellent volume –

There was in Strasburg a pious lady named Idelette de Bure. She was a widow, and all her time was spent in training the children she had had by her first husband, John Storder, of the Anabaptist sect. She was born in a small town of Guelders, in Holland. She came to the capital of Alsace as a place of refuge for victims of persecution. The learned Dr. Bucer knew Idelette de Bure, and it was he apparently who recommended her to Calvin’s attention.

Externally, there was in this woman nothing very attractive. She was encumbered with several children of a first marriage; she had no fortune; she was dressed in mourning; her person was not particularly handsome. But for Calvin, she possessed the best of treasures, a living and tried faith, an upright conscience, and lovely as well as strong virtues. As he afterwards said of her, she would have had the courage to bear with him exile, poverty, death itself, in attestation of the truth. Such were the noble qualities which won the Reformer.

The nuptial ceremony was performed in September, 1540. Calvin was then thirty-one years old and two months. He was not constrained by juvenile passion, but obeyed the voice of nature, reason and duty. The papists who constantly reproach the Reformers are mistaken. Luther and Calvin, both of them, married at mature age: they did what they ought to do and nothing more.

No pomp in Calvin’s marriage, no ill-timed rejoicings. All was calm and grave, as suited the piety and gravity of the married pair. The consistories of Neufchatel and of Valengin, in Switzerland, sent deputies to Strasburg to attend this marriage; a striking mark of their attachment and respect for Calvin.**

She was, by all accounts, the perfect wife for Calvin. Sadly, their marriage lasted very little time at all due to her untimely death. Still, she’s a person with whom you ought to become acquainted. Smyth’s volume already cited contains an entire lengthy appendix which is devoted completely to her biography.

*W. Walker, John Calvin: The Organiser of Reformed Protestantism (p. 237).
**T. Smyth, Calvin and his enemies: A memoir of the life, character, and principles of Calvin. (pp. 170–172).