Category Archives: Modern Culture

Summa Summarum

If you don’t love your brother, nothing else you do or say matters. 1 Cor 13 in a nutshell.

That One Time Luther Tried to Copy Melanchthon’s Work…


More Loathsome than Cruel Politicians are Silent Theologians

Cruel politicians who care nothing for their countrymen are vile. Silent theologians, who raise no cry of outrage at the mistreatment of others, are worse.

Both are damned but silent theologians are damnable.

There is nothing worse, no greater evil, than a silent and thereby thoroughly complicit theologian.


A Thought Experiment: Would It be So Awful to Keep the Bible Out of Ignorant Hands?

The Bible is regularly misused, misquoted, misapplied, and misrepresented. So why not return it to inaccessibility as in the days of yore.

After all, ‪what do you expect to happen when it came to pass that any ignorant dilettante would feel free to talk about the bible? Why are you surprised that it’s misused?

The cure is simple: rip it from ignorant hands and dont allow the common unwashed herd to have or touch it.‬

Problem solved. At least it could be.

Marsha Blackburn Needs To Go

She doesn’t serve the people of Tennessee, she serves Donald Trump and big Pharma.  She. Needs. To. Go.

Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn has been accused of breaking Senate rules by giving a live television interview while proceedings for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial were still ongoing.

Blackburn spoke to Fox News‘ Laura Ingraham Tuesday while her colleagues were sat in the Senate chamber, apparently breaking the rules governing the proceedings.

Justin Goodman, the communications director for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, was among the first to notice the transgression.

He tweeted a photograph of Blackburn speaking to Fox, writing alongside the picture: “It appears Republican Senator Marcia Blackburn was just caught doing a live interview on Fox News instead of sitting in the Senate chamber.”

Quote of the Day

Those that design ill against others are commonly willing to have it thought that others design ill against them.  –  Matthew Henry

Signs of the Times

True Truth

“I’m not sure why anyone is surprised that corrupt and cynical people do corrupt and cynical things. Some of y’all need a higher doctrine of sin and a lower anthropology.” – Kara Slade

2020 Election Security

Paper ballots.


Was Alexander Hamilton Also Among the Prophets?

He seemed to see our day, when he wrote

Divine Election in the Hebrew Bible

Here’s a new book that may be of interest.

cov652To citizens of the modern world the idea that someone or something might be especially elected by God seems problematic. If someone is elected, someone else is not elected. Does the God of all people have preferences? The idea that one particular nation should be elected by God is particularly difficult to accept.

Nevertheless, as this study intends to show, divine election is a central theme in the Hebrew Bible, and present in all its main parts. There are central acts of elections and less central acts of election. Abraham is elected as the founder of the people of Israel. Moses is elected as the ancestor of the religious and political people of Israel. David is elected as first of the Davidic kings. The election of these persons represents something more important than the persons themselves.

There are also other significant acts of election in the Hebrew Bible, especially the election of the land of Israel and of the city of Jerusalem. As well, there is the election of individuals such as the prophets. And even the Assyrians, the Babylonians and King Cyrus of Persia are presented as elected by God for special tasks.

A new full-length study of the important concept of divine election in the Hebrew Bible is long overdue, and Hagelia’s readable and balanced monograph can be expected to bring the topic back into contemporary conversation.

A review copy arrived some time back and here are my views:

Hagelia’s well presented monograph provides readers with the most thorough investigation of the concept of ‘election’ in the Hebrew Bible yet published.  Beginning with an introduction in which he sets out the reasons for his study, through the second chapter where terminology is examined and then on into the following chapters where, part by part, H. shows how the notion of election works in

  • The Primeval Story
  • The Patriarchs
  • Moses and Joshua
  • David and Solomon
  • The Land
  • Jerusalem
  • The People of Israel
  • Israel’s Remnant
  • Other Elections
  • Election Related Matters

And finally, the interesting question as to whether election can be lost.  The volume ends with a summary of the argument, a bibliography, an index of references, and an index of authors.

This brilliant tome has its tone set in the very first sentence of the book:

Divine election is a controversial matter.

To put it mildly!  H. then continues

Can we accept the idea that some people, or one particular people, are exclusively elected by God- at the expense of others?

H. uses the following pages to answer that question in a careful, methodical, insightful, and brilliant way.  With sublime learning and a depth of familiarity with primary and secondary texts one seldom finds in scholarship, H. makes the case that the notion of election is found in most of the Hebrew Bible and that it, in its many manifestations, it is centrally important.

All in all, divine election is a basic theme in the HB, on several levels.  It is one of the important keys to understanding biblical theology.

And then, brilliantly

Claimed to being elect in no way makes the elected judicially immune, which the history of Israel itself confirms.

This book makes a real contribution to the field of Hebrew Bible studies.  Students and Professors alike will benefit immensely from reading it.  You are urged, good reader, to make use of this book, because doing so will be richly rewarding.

The Self-Defeating ‘Wokeness’ in Higher Ed

“The difficulty with the woke politic in HE is that, in eagerness to demonstrate that action is being taken, suggestions for remedial action is weighted towards the voices of a small and vocal seniority and the voices of the larger junior majority feel they cannot contribute and they must remain silent and passive to decisions that are taken on their behalf. This defeats the inclusivity that the action is trying to achieve, ignores the usually effective ‘middle ground’ and alienates and oppresses more individuals than it initially sets out to placate” – Helen Ingram


Signs of the Times

Via Joel Watts-

The Strange Church That Asks Old Folks to Stay Home So Young Folks Will Attend

What craziness.

Members of the congregation at a Methodist Church in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, are upset that their church is asking them to stay away for two years so it might appeal to younger people.

Grove United Methodist Church will be closing in June, but plans to relaunch in November. Current members, most over 60 years old, will be asked to worship somewhere else, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Officials from the church said the congregation needs a reset and the best way is to appeal to younger people. The church has struggled with membership and finances. Seven years ago, the church could no longer pay for its minister, so it switched to lay ministry, with weekly sermons by members.

We all know two things: it’s older folk who give the most in support of church and ministry and younger folk give very little in support of church and ministry. Not to mention, of course, the grotesque age-ism of this effort.

What foolishness. To cut off your nose to spite your face.

Read the rest.  It’s very annoying.

The Latest Trend in Academia

Evidently the latest academic trend is swearing during presentations.  Which reminds me of an old saying-

‘Profanity is the attempt of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully.’

A Tale of Two Museums

Has anyone who has been to both the Bibelmuseum Münster and the Museum of the Bible in DC written a comparison of the two?

Thanks for any help.

Who Among Us Hasn’t Wrestled With Our 4 Year Old Whilst Holding a Loaded Gun?

Besides every single sane person ON THE PLANET.  Otherwise, people get shot

A 36-year-old man and his 4-year-old son were both shot in the head on Sunday after a gun discharged while they were “play wrestling.”

According to a report from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to a home in the 1200 block of East Zinnia Drive, south of Bloomington, on Sunday on a report of a gunshot wound.

When deputies arrived, they found two people who had sustained gunshot wounds to the head.

Deputies said the man was “play wrestling” with his son while carrying a concealed handgun on the small of his back. During the play wrestling, the gun fell from the man’s body and one shot was fired, according to authorities.

I hope the boy is ok.  I hope the father loses custody.  He’s clearly unfit.

Call For Submissions

Yours truly will host the January Biblical Studies Carnival (posting 1 February).  I request, therefore, that you send along your submissions.  Either from your own blogs or from ones you’ve visited.

In the past, Carnivals have been ‘uneven’ or even perhaps ‘nearly non existent’.  But 2020 is a new year and will kick off with The Carnival to Beat All Carnivals.  Titled simply 2020: The Carnival, it will serve as the template for all the Carnivals to come this year:  Fully stocked, cleverly curated, and vividly presented.

Carnival attendees will not have to suffer entries that consist merely of a link and a two word descriptor.  Gone are the days of hum-druminess, dear friends.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad!  And send in your submissions!

Quote of the Day

I think much of the difficulty with Reformed theology with regard to free will is a misunderstanding/use of the notion of “sovereignty.” Sovereignty does not mean that the Sovereign controls EVERYTHING, rather that the Sovereign has authority over everything. That is a big and important difference. — Christian Brady


Faith is Better Than Fear

People with guns don’t intimidate me. Walk around, armed to the teeth because you live in constant fear if you must. I can do more with one prayer and faith in almighty God than you can with your entire arsenal.‬

And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. (Heb 11)

Faith is better than fear. Every single time. Because … this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. (1 John 5)