Category Archives: Modern Culture

Cairo Genizah Exhibit

If you have a chance to go to this, go.

Medieval documents from the Cairo Genizah are now on display in an exhibit at the Cambridge University Library called “Discarded History: The Genizah of Medieval Cairo.” Many of the texts, which reveal the colorful social histories of medieval Jewish life in Old Cairo, at the center of an Islamic empire, will be on view for the first time—most of them have been translated into English for the first time.

You Can’t Watch This Without Tears Streaming Down Your Face

The Best Rendition of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony Ever

The Difference Between Real Evangelism and Fake Convert Making

The great commission isn’t about ‘reaching people’ it’s about making disciples. Real evangelism makes disciples, not mere converts.‬

Calvin’s Deathbed Farewell Speech to the Ministers of Geneva

Spoken on 28 April, 1564-

“ ‘Brethren, after I am dead, persist in this work, and be not dispirited; for the Lord will save this Republic and Church from the threats of the enemy. Let dissension be far away from you, and embrace each other with mutual love. Think again and again what you owe to this Church in which the Lord hath placed you, and let nothing induce you to quit it. It will, indeed, be easy for some who are weary of it to slink away, but they will find, to their experience, that the Lord cannot be deceived. When I first came to this city, the gospel was, indeed, preached, but matters were in the greatest confusion, as if Christianity had consisted in nothing else than the throwing down of images; and there were not a few wicked men from whom I suffered the greatest indignities; but the Lord our God so confirmed me, who am by no means naturally bold (I say what is true), that I succumbed to none of their attempts. I afterwards returned thither from Strassburg in obedience to my calling, but with an unwilling mind, because I thought I should prove unfruitful. For not knowing what the Lord had determined, I saw nothing before me but numbers of the greatest difficulties. But proceeding in this work, I at length perceived that the Lord had truly blessed my labors. Do you also persist in this vocation, and maintain the established order; at the same time, make it your endeavor to keep the people in obedience to the doctrine; for there are some wicked and contumacious persons. Matters, as you see, are tolerably settled. The more guilty, therefore, will you be before God, if they go to wreck through your indolence. But I declare, brethren, that I have lived with you in the closest bonds of true and sincere affection, and now, in like manner, part from you. But if, while under this disease, you have experienced any degree of peevishness from me, I beg your pardon, and heartily thank you, that when I was sick, you have borne the burden imposed upon you.’

“When he had thus spoken, he shook hands with each of us. We, with most sorrowful hearts, and certainly not unmoistened eyes, departed from him.”

Beza modestly omits Calvin’s reference to himself which is as follows: “Quant à nostre estat interieur, vous avez esleu Monsieur de Beze pour tenir ma place. Regardez de le soulager, car la charge est grande et a de la peine, en telle sorte qu’il faudroit qu’il fust accablé soubs le fardeau. Mais regardez à le supporter. De luy, ie sçay qu’il a bon vouloir et fera ce qu’il pourra.”

Calvin, the best Frenchman the Church has ever produced.  See you some day, John.

The College Bookstore Sellback Scam

This pretty much sums up what college bookstores do to students: they sell expensive required textbooks.  Those textbooks aren’t the sort of thing anyone would want to keep.  The bookstore buys them back for a pittance.  Then the bookstore sells them as used for hundreds of percent markup.  It’s theft, pure and simple.

graphic via Erick Van Der Euncle.


Standing in Solidarity with CEU

Cambridge and Oxford Universities are teaming up to stand in solidarity with CEU, which is under heavy governmental fire.

Oxford and Cambridge Universities generously offered to organize a series of three seminars entitled „We Stand with CEU: New Directions in History”. The organizers are the two Regius Professors of history: Lyndal Roper at Oxford and Christopher Clark at Cambridge. These seminars are intended not only to show admirable collegial solidarity but to give greater exposure to and convey a closer appreciation of history at CEU.

Visit the link above to see the program and if you’re in the UK, attend.

How Swiss Reformed Folk Have Influenced America

Schweizer reformierte Auswanderer haben ab dem 16. Jahrhundert grossen kulturellen und religiösen Einfluss in Europa und den USA gehabt. Sie seien gar für ein amerikanisches Schimpfwort verantwortlich, sagt der deutsche Volkskundler Helmut Seebach.

Read the interview here. Interesting things abound.

American Biblical Dilettantism

Most Americans will tell you what they think the Bible means, but only 11% have read the entire thing (and that’s probably an overly optimistic percentage) and only 9% say they’ve read it more than once. And more than half of Americans have either read none of it, a few sentences, or a few stories.  Biblical illiteracy is rampant in America.  Christians, of all people, should be students of Scripture.

Breaking News: You don’t know anything about the Bible if you’ve only read it once.  Anything.


A Bacchanalia at Sheffield

Via Paul Middleton, this fun announcement:

Have you ever wanted to go back in time and get a taste of what the past was like? This 18th May at the University of Sheffield, you will have the chance to savour ancient Roman recipes, cooked by INOX Dine Chef Joe Berry, at a Roman banquet hosted by Dr Meredith Warren (Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies) and the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Arts and Humanities.

The set menu features authentic meals reconstructed from ancient sources, made from local produce, and also includes vegetarian options and wine:

* Patina of Plaice with Olive Relish and Soft Boiled Eggs
* Vitellian Peas with Olive Relish and Soft Boiled Eggs (V)
* Roast Quail with Celery Puree with Toasted Pistachio and Pomegranate
* Ricotta and Oregano baked Parcels with Celery Puree with Toasted Pistachio and Pomegranate (V)
* Shoulder of Pork with Sweet Wine Cakes, lentils, Athenian Cabbage and barley rolls
* Roast Butternut Squash Stuffed with Millet and Lovage with Sweet Wine cakes, Athenian Cabbage and barley rolls (V)
* Honey and Walnut cake with Ricotta sweet meats (V)
For more information and to book tickets, visit

Republicans Want to Keep Their Health Care Untouched By Any Legislative Change to the ACA

And that’s why I find Congress so utterly contemptible.

A new amendment to the Republican ObamaCare replacement bill exempts members of Congress and their staff from its effects.

The new changes to the bill would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal key ObamaCare provisions, such as the protection against people with pre-existing conditions being charged more and the requirement that insurers cover a range of health services, like prescription drugs and mental health.

The GOP amendment exempts members of Congress and their staffs to ensure that they will still be protected by those ObamaCare provisions.

Sickening.  Just sickening.  I will not be voting for any incumbent.  Use this tool to find your Senators and Representative and let them know how you feel about their schemes.

99% of the People on Facebook and Twitter Who Talk About the Bible

The Bee Stings Heretic Jakes

In an effort to ensure consistency and transparency across its various events and programs, a spokesperson for The Potter’s House Church in Dallas has confirmed that Bishop T.D. Jakes will be held to a two-heresy minimum each time he preaches.

The announcement comes as a relief to the congregation, which was often kept in the dark as to when Jakes would be launching into a passionate oratory that would wander across the bounds of orthodoxy and end up firmly in heretical territory. “Stability is really important to me and my family,” longtime church member Marvin Jones told reporters. “Jakes is our head visionary, and I support him 100%, but I’m glad he’s finally being held accountable. Now we know for certain that whenever we come to church, we’ll definitely be confronted with blasphemous or heretical teaching.”

Jakes’s most recent message, which contained only one grievous heresy, spurred the church’s leadership team into making the change. Josh Robinson, the church’s Prophet of Operations & Expansion, told press in a statement, “That was really the tipping point. Bishop Jakes is a real man of God, obviously, but even he needs to be held to some kind of standard now and then. Going forward, Bishop Jakes will be under close watch to ensure he meets the biblical standards for an overseer and also sincerely delivers at least two separate egregiously-unbiblical proclamations each week.”

Jakes himself was not available for comment, according to his butler.

Jakes: favored by anti-trinitarians the world over.

Signs of the Times


Sorry Bucko but Abortion isn’t A Ministry, It’s Murder

I have now officially seen everything under the sun.

Dr. Willie Parker believes he’s doing the Lord’s work when he kills unborn babies in the womb with his own “capable hands.” The self-proclaimed Christian, who not only acts as an abortionist, but incessantly advocates for abortion by invoking his faith, views his Mississippi abortion clinic as a “ministry.”

Nope.  10,000 times nope.


Their wearers tend not to be grammarians…

via Helen I.

Something Fun From David J.A. Clines

Read it here.

We’ve Had A Lot of Rain Here

Many roads in the county north of us are washed out and schools are cancelled here and in most surrounding counties today because of the flooding.  Here’s my report to the weather folk for the last three days-

Fortunately the rain has stopped, but the rivers and streams are still boiling over.

Bible in Politics Conference: Hot Topics!

For the folk in the U.K. (Well, it’s the UK for now… but give it some time and it will break up like the prom queen breaks up with the chess club geek).

Harnessing Chaos

Just before the General Election, CSSSB will provide the most up-to-date assessment of contemporary politics and possibly predict the election outcome with a 3% margin of error. Yes, finally some relevance for biblical studies for it is the Bible in Politics conference, 2-3 June! In addition to Erin Runion’s headline act, here are some of the topics to be covered at the conference:

  • Political uses of Paul as “mystic”
  • Bible in the American political sphere
  • Biblical aesthetics, Islamophobia and Homeland
  • The Bible, the Muslim Other and the far right
  • Andrei Zviagintsev’s 2014 film Leviathan
  • Politics of biblical translation
  • Taiping Revolution
  • Apocalypse on the Left
  • Bible and New Zealand politics
  • The Bible and contemporary Scottish politics
  • Trump’s Bible

Here is the link for registration:

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