Tag Archives: God

More Than a Quarter of Americans Are Wretched Theologians, Just Purely Wretched

Indeed, the percentage is much higher than a paltry 25%, but 25% at LEAST are really awful when it comes to theological astuteness and acuity.  Why?  Because at least 25% of Americans actually think God influences the outcome of sporting events!

kippyAs millions look forward to watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, a new poll finds more than a quarter of Americans believe God “plays a role in determining which team wins” at sporting events, CNN reports. Asked if they believe God plays a role in who wins, 27 percent of Americans said yes. The survey by the Public Religion Research Institute also found that more than half of Americans believe “God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success.”

Let me assist those misguided ignorant souls with a brief lesson in theology:

1- Sports don’t matter.  God concerns himself with things that do matter.
2- God may well care about the health and welfare of athletes, but that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the final score.
3- There is not one single rightly exegeted biblical text which supports the false teaching that God influences sports scores.
4- The supposition that God influences the outcome of games turns God into little more than a petty tyrant who picks winners and losers.
5- Your God is too small if you believe he does such things.

And finally, as my esteemed Systematic Theology professor put it back in College- “God Don’t Care Who Wins No Ball Game!” – Prof. Dr. Paul Brewer.

My fellow Americans, before you presume to speak for God- first, don’t.  And second, if you must, then at least have the good manners to try to learn something first.  But really, do just shut up about God unless you have the wherewithal to do it without lying.

More Twitter Theology That Makes Me Sigh…

The answer is, neither-


God is found in Christ.  Doesn’t anyone read the Bible anymore?

ὡς ὅτι θεὸς ἦν ἐν Χριστῷ κόσμον καταλλάσσων ἑαυτῷ, μὴ λογιζόμενος αὐτοῖς τὰ παραπτώματα αὐτῶν καὶ θέμενος ἐν ἡμῖν τὸν λόγον τῆς καταλλαγῆς. 2 Cor 5:19

God isn’t trapped in entertainment centers or desert holes in the rock. God is found in Christ. That’s where. In Christ.

[I sure wish Brunner were still alive so he could set folk straight.]

The Truth About Atheism

Atheists don’t disbelieve in God; they disbelieve in a distorted image of God either concocted in their own minds or foisted upon them by the theologically illiterate and incompetent.

No one who meets another can disbelieve in the existence of the other and no one who encounters, or rather is encountered by the Living God can deny his existence any more than they can deny their own.

That’s the truth about atheism. It may be an inconvenient truth or an ignored truth or even a denied truth, but it is in fact THE truth.

All Those Republicans Who Talk About their Love of God and the Bible Apparently Never Read It

Heads up, far right-

Seek the LORD so you can live! Otherwise he will break out like fire against Joseph’s family; the fire will consume and no one will be able to quench it and save Bethel. The Israelites turn justice into bitterness; they throw what is fair and right to the ground.

(But there is one who made the constellations Pleiades and Orion; he can turn the darkness into morning and daylight into night. He summons the water of the seas and pours it out on the earth’s surface. The LORD is his name! He flashes destruction down upon the strong so that destruction overwhelms the fortified places.)

The Israelites hate anyone who arbitrates at the city gate; they despise anyone who speaks honestly.

Therefore, because you make the poor pay taxes on their crops and exact a grain tax from them, you will not live in the houses you built with chiseled stone, nor will you drink the wine from the fine vineyards you planted. Certainly I am aware of your many rebellious acts and your numerous sins. You torment the innocent, you take bribes, and you deny justice to the needy at the city gate.

For this reason whoever is smart keeps quiet in such a time, for it is an evil time.

Seek good and not evil so you can live! Then the LORD, the God who commands armies, just might be with you, as you claim he is. Hate what is wrong, love what is right! Promote justice at the city gate! Maybe the LORD, the God who commands armies, will have mercy on those who are left from Joseph. (Amo 5:6-15 NET)

Pay attention- the taxation of the poor for the enrichment of the wealthy is EVIL and God punishes those who do it. Get ready, then, judgment day is coming, pseudo-believers and ignorers of the Divine Command.

God Created Man Good…

God created man good: but man, being left to his own counsel, did through the persuasion of Satan, by his own action and depraved will, corrupt the goodness that God created in him: so now that sin is proper to man, I mean, man’s corrupt action against the law of God, and not a creature created in him of God.– Heinrich Bullinger

Quote of the Day: On American Theological Ignorance

Dear European friends confused about the American phenomenon of Tebowing. Let me explain. Some Americans think Jesus picks football games, and that he has a favourite player called Tim Tebow. Last night in a football game, this QB threw for 316 yards, and some of my folks back home said it wasn’t coincidence that he threw for 316 yards because it points to John 3:16. Not kidding. Stop laughing.  – T. Michael Law

As I told Michael, it never ceases to amaze me how truly ignorant so many Americans are when it comes to theology.  They believe God not only chooses the winner of a sporting event, they even believe that if the QB is a Christian God will favor him with a win.  So what does God do when both teams QB’s are Christians?  Do they have coins in heaven for him to toss?  What if both teams are comprised of all Christians?  How does God pick?

Tebow is a good kid and he’s becoming a better quarterback- but come on people, God decides which team wins?  Really?  Please prove it.

God. I Understand Him

Numbers 14 (in the Common English Bible) –

1 The entire community raised their voice and the people wept that night. 2 All the Israelites criticized Moses and Aaron. The entire community said to them, “ If only we had died in the land of Egypt or if only we had died in this desert! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our children will be taken by force. Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt? ” 4 So they said to each other, “ Let’s pick a leader and let’s go back to Egypt. ”

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the assembled Israelite community. 6 But Joshua, Nun’s son, and Caleb, Jephunneh’s son, from those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite community, “ The land we crossed through to explore is an exceptionally good land. 8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he’ll bring us into this land and give it to us. It’s a land that’s full of milk and honey. 9 Only don’t rebel against the LORD and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are our prey. Their defense has deserted them, but the LORD is with us. So don’t be afraid of them. ” 10 But the entire community intended to stone them.

Then the LORD’s glory appeared in the meeting tent to all the Israelites. 11 The LORD said to Moses, “ How long will these people disrespect me? And how long will they doubt me after all the signs that I performed among them? 12 I’ll strike them down with a plague and disown them. Then I’ll make you into a great nation, stronger than they. ”

God. I understand him.  I completely get why he was so sick and tired of their whining and rebellion and disobedience.  Be fair, wouldn’t you be fed up too?

The thing I don’t understand, but for which I am all the more grateful for that very reason, is why God continued, and continues, to be gracious to the sorriest splotch on his creation- humankind.

Marcionites ancient and modern who think that the God of the Old Testament is unlike the God of the New are idiots who have never bothered to read either.

Do You Feel Like God Owes You Something?

You’re mistaken.

Since all people have sinned in Adam and have come under the sentence of the curse and eternal death, God would have done no one an injustice if it had been his will to leave the entire human race in sin and under the curse, and to condemn them on account of their sin. As the apostle says: The whole world is liable to the condemnation of God (Rom. 3:19), All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).  – Canons of Dordt, 1.

With Christmas Approaching…

Georg Friedrich Händel

Isaiah 40 always rings in my ears- both because it’s fairly commonly read during Advent/Christmas and because of Handel’s marvelous oratorio ‘Messiah’ (which, coincidentally, was written for Easter, though now it’s only ever performed around Christmas).

The Common English Bible has done a brilliant job of capturing the underlying Hebrew sense when it translates the opening verses thusly-

40:1 Comfort, comfort my people!
says your God.
2 Speak compassionately to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her that her
compulsory service has ended,
that her penalty has been paid,
that she has received
from the LORD ’s hand
double for all her sins!

3 A voice is crying out:
“ Clear the LORD ’s way in the desert!
Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God!
4 Every valley will be raised up,
and every mountain and hill
will be flattened.
Uneven ground will become level,
and rough terrain a valley plain.
5 The LORD ’s glory will appear,
and all humanity will see it together;
the LORD ’s mouth
has commanded it. ”

It really is a stunning few sentences.  If only they were heard in their full force.

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When the Prince of Peace Comes…

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Or, as the Common English Bible has it- ‘Then they will beat their swords into iron plows and their spears into pruning tools.’

I like very much what Keil has to say about this saying from Isaiah 2:4-

Since the nations betake themselves in this manner as pupils to the God of revelation and the word of His revelation, He becomes the supreme judge and umpire among them. If any dispute arise, it is no longer settled by the compulsory force of war, but by the word of God, to which all bow with willing submission.

With such power as this in the peace-sustaining word of God (Zec 9:10), there is no more need for weapons of iron: they are turned into the instruments of peaceful employment, into ittim (probably a synonym for ethim in 1Sa 13:21), plough-knives or coulters, which cut the furrows for the ploughshare to turn up and mazmeroth, bills or pruning-hooks, with which vines are pruned to increase their fruit-bearing power. There is also no more need for military practice, for there is no use in exercising one’s self in what cannot be applied. It is useless, and men dislike it.

There is peace, not an armed peace, but a full, true, God-given and blessed peace.

It is in war that the power of the beast culminates in the history of the world. This beast will then be destroyed. The true humanity which sin has choked up will gain the mastery, and the world’s history will keep Sabbath. And may we not indulge the hope, on the ground of such prophetic words as these, that the history of the world will not terminate without having kept a Sabbath? Shall we correct Isaiah, according to Quenstedt, lest we should become chiliasts?

“The humanitarian ideas of Christendom,” says a thoughtful Jewish scholar, “have their roots in the Pentateuch, and more especially in Deuteronomy. But in the prophets, particularly in Isaiah, they reach a height which will probably not be attained and fully realized by the modern world for centuries to come.”

Yet they will be realized. What the prophetic words appropriated by Isaiah here affirm, is a moral postulate, the goal of sacred history, the predicted counsel of God.

Sometimes the ‘oldies’ really are the good ones. And I don’t know about you, but the cessation of all conflict would be very welcome.

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Advent Scripture for the Day and Luke’s Heilsgeschichte

46 Mary said,
“ With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
47 In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
48 He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
49 because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
50 He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
51 He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
52 He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy,
55 just as he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever. ”  (Luke 1:46-55, CEB)

If that sounds very familiar it should- it echos, intentionally, the song of Hannah at the birth of Samuel.   Luke purposefully ‘continues’ the story of God’s mighty deeds in the Old Testament, linking them with the mighty deeds of God in the days of Jesus and John the Baptizer.  Luke, even more than Matthew (and certainly more than Mark and John) , wishes to demonstrate the continuity of Salvation-History.  Luke is the theologian of Heilsgeschichte.

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God’s ‘To-Do’ List

The good folk at Reformiert Info are commencing a new weekly feature- God’s To-Do List.  Here’s the info-

Neu: Jeden Montag präsentieren wir «Gottes to do-Liste». Mit Ernsthaftem und Humorvollem, Kleinem und Grossem, Ewigem und Aktuellem. Kommentieren erwünscht!

Gottes to do-Liste für den 26. September:

– Selbstversuch: Probieren, wie schwierig es ist, an mich zu glauben
– Einkaufen: Rotwein, Traubensaft, Brot, Katzenstreu
– Heute Abend die Diskussion in Bern mit dem atheistischen Pfarrer Klaas Hendrikse besuchen
– Versuchen, das Schweizer Fernsehen zu begreifen

It’s a great idea!

How Scott Distorts the Pope’s Message

In a very subtle way, Scott turns what the Pope said positively into a slam on something else. The Pope spoke positively of marriage which Scott then took to mean that the Pope was slamming gay marriage.

Alas, speaking positively of something does not rightly equate to speaking negatively of something else. And Scott needs to be fair.

To be sure, the Pope has spoken out against gay marriage. But the notion that every utterance positively spoken about marriage is a veiled slam at gay marriage is misleading misprision.

If I say that Scott’s wife is pretty I am not at all implying that everyone else’s is ugly. If I confess that my wife is the most beautiful woman I know it isn’t a slam on the wife of everyone else.

Scott is free to support gay marriage all he likes just as I and the Pontiff are free to object to it. But Scott (and marriage equality-ites) aren’t free to insist that every positive comment is also a negative comment at the same time. That’s just not fair. And how can Scott, or anyone, talk about equality inequitably!?!?!

God Comes Out In Favor Of Marriage Equality Yesterday in Madrid, Pope Benedict tried to give a speech to approximately 1.5 million people at Spain’s World Youth Day. In the address he said “The Lord calls many people to marriage, in which a man and a woman, in becoming one flesh, find fulfilment in a profound life of communion,” he told the young pilgrims. “For this reason, to acknowledge the beauty and goodness of marriage is to realize that only a setting of fidelity and indissolubility, … Read More


Agree? Disagree?

The pendulum of popular belief about Satan tends to swing between two extremes. On one side there are those who believe that he doesn’t exist at all, or if he does exist. he is a mere impersonal evil “force,” sort of a collective evil that finds its origin in the sin of society. On the other side there are those who have a preoccupied fixation, a cultic focus of attention upon him that diverts their gaze from Christ.  Either way Satan gains some ground. If he can persuade people that he does not exist, he can work his wiles without being detected or resisted. If he can get people to become preoccupied with him, he can lure them into the occult.

Personally I tend to be rather Barthian on the subject – (See his Church Dogmatics, III,3 – Sec. 50).

Under the control of God world-occurrance is threatened and actually corrupted by the nothingness which is inimical to the will of the Creator and therefore to the nature of His good creature.  … God determines the sphere, the manner, the measure and the subordinate relationship to His Word and work in which it may still operate.

We Must Stop Telling Teens To Abstain From Sex in order to Avoid Pregnancy

For Christians, for the Church, such a reason is totally inadequate and totally inappropriate.  More correctly, teens and unmarried persons should abstain from sexual activity because such activity is contrary to the purpose and will of God and is in fact sin.

When we tell people to abstain in order to avoid pregnancy we make the commandment of God of no account.  This is utterly inexcusable for Christians, theologians and the Church.

The ‘practical’ reason for abstinence, the avoidance of an unwanted child, is a reason completely foreign to the biblical revelation. Not once will anyone read anywhere in any Scripture in any legitimate translation that the reason to avoid sexual activity is pregnancy.  Rather, the reason is simpler and more profound: God commands it.

And why does God command it?  Because the human body is made for more than just the satisfaction of desires.  We are made to glorify God, yes, even in our bodies.  To degrade that high calling and to behave as nothing more than a dog on the street in heat is to demean ourselves and treat contemptuously the image of God.

So, instead of telling teens (and unmarrieds) to avoid sex so they don’t have a child to care for- we are supposed to tell them to refrain from sexual activity because God wishes it.  And his wishes supersede yours.  Always.

Baptized Babies? God Doesn’t Endorse that Kind of Forced Faith

So the cartoon is altogether wrong anyway. Bob’s suggested re-do, though, is more on the mark. Those Catholics and their crazy ways!

Who Does God Love The Most? (via Scotteriology) I got this from Scott Bailey, who makes me laugh once a day. You can tell it’s not a Church of Christ book, because 1) it would be 12-year old, and 2) it would be full immersion, not sprinkling, and 3) it would say ‘save,’ not love. 😉 … Read More

via XKV8R: The Official Blog of Dr. Robert R. Cargill


Man does not … of himself know that he is a sinner: ‘natural’ self-knowledge is of the same character as ‘natural’ knowledge of God; it means ‘knowing about something’ which is not real knowledge.  — Emil Brunner

August 2010 Biblical Studies Carnival

Carnival in Maastricht

Let’s get this out of the way right up front so that it needn’t be mentioned again:  guess who was the #1 most beloved blogger of July?  That’s right pilgrims- me!

Whew.  That was close.  I managed just a 20,000 point spread over my nearest competitor friend colleague compatriot.  Speaking of blogging, don’t – for any reason – miss Ben Myer’s piece titled Theology 2.0 – Blogging as Theological Discourse.

Well let’s do it- what were the most interesting posts in August?

Old Testament

August started with an Australian bang when Matt posted his go at an always fascinating question- did God command genocide in the Old Testament? Well did he?  And is it fair to impose quite modern categories (like genocide) on ancient texts?  That, to me, is the central question that has to be answered before any other can.  Why must God be subject to our notions of the way things must work in the universe?  Steve Wiggins investigated the regularly investigated theme of divine kingship in the Old Testament.  So far as I can tell, Mowinckel did the definitive work on the subject.  Christian Brady talked a bit about Boaz (not booze, for the Aussies out there who got inexplicably excited at the possibility) in the Targum of Ruth.  Marc struggled with Psalm 109 and he dragged Spurgeon in for help.

Bob MacDonald is trudging through the Psalms and Jonathan is struggling with revenge.

Christopher Rollston, epigrapher extraordinaire, posted a fine entry on the ASOR blog about the probable inventors of the alphabet.  Sharp stuff from a smart guy.

Gavin mentioned an interesting series in the Guardian on Job, by a Jewish person!  A Jewish person thinking about Job… the times, they really are a-changin…  To bring Job-ian things back to an even keel, Bob Cargill uses Job 29 as a model for social justice.  Hmm… I’m not so sure Job is all that thrilled with how things worked out in the backwash of that application of just compassion.  A glance at Job 30 paints quite an interesting picture indeed and in it Job repudiates (or ‘refudiates’ if you’re one of THOSE people) the entire enterprise.

Tim Bulkeley discussed the ‘abstract’.  You know, that little – devilishly difficult to write – 150 word summary of a 30 page essay we all have to write from time to time…  And he also mentioned what looks to be a fantastic learning opportunity- a colloquium titled Isaiah and Empire.  If you’re in New Zealand you really ought to make plans to go.  But that’s not all from Tim (he did a lot of good stuff in August) – he also discussed one of our favorite topics- open source!

Ken Schenk takes a gander at Genesis 1.  As Christian Scripture…  Who knew…  And speaking of Christian Scripture, Bacho Bordjadze, a new blogger, is blogging over at ‘Reading Isaiah as Christian Scripture‘.    He’s got a number of great posts, seems to have a delightful sense of humor, and seems to appreciate Karl Barth (a tad). Check him out. I think you’ll be glad you did.

New Testament

In August the Aussie Stevens attended a conference featuring Ben Witherington III and informs us a bit about it as the meeting proceeded.  Joel and TC discussed Revelation a bit but, bless their hearts, they’re both wrong.  It isn’t a book about enthronement or eschatology; it’s a book which ‘unveils’ Jesus Christ for a persecuted Church: he is the victorious Lord.  Steven Demmler analyzed one of Bultmann’s sermons.  Very much worth a read.  Lamentably, James Crossley posted absolutely nothing, and hasn’t since the first of the year.  But Chris Tilling recommenced blogging (see below, under uncategorized) with a multi-part review of Douglas Campbell’s amazingly long book.  Ridiculously long.  Overly long.  Dare I say what I’m thinking?  Unnecessarily long…   I couldn’t finish it.  It wore me down, and out.  So I’m glad Chris is summarizing it.  And I’m glad it’s Chris who’s doing it, because, in my opinion, no one working in the field today knows more about Paul than Chris Tilling.  And I mean that in utter sincerity.  Matt Page offers some very interesting observations on those sometimes confusing lists of 12 Apostles found in the Gospels.  Joel informed us of an essay by Vermes on Josephus’ view of Jesus.

Brian LePort leads us down the path of examining John the Baptist’s shrinkage in a multi-part series.  I don’t know why.  I worry about Brian.  I think you should all put him on your list of prayers.  Michael Barber commenced a series on Peter at the end of the month, so you’ll have to check in later in September to see how it turns out.

Scott commenced a new series on apocalypticism in Luke which looks like something worth keeping an eye on.  Stephen Carlson took a look at Galatians 3:1 and turned up some tidbits I had not considered.

There appears to be a new teaching tool on the horizon, and Mark points it out: sock puppets.   Sock puppets?  Incredible.  Perhaps next we can use lego blocks and flannel boards and cartoon cut-outs so that sad benighted unengaged college toddlers can have their paltry attention held.  Poor things, if there’s not a visual they appear to be incapable of grasping concepts (except when it comes to sex and drinking, abortions and partying- which none of them seem to need any instruction concerning, falling into it quite naturally and effortlessly – while their maids clean their dorm rooms…).  Mark’s also still casting the pods, and he did one in August on teeth.  Be sure to visit that one!   😉

R. Scott Clark has a fine post on reasons why you shouldn’t buy into NT Wright’s NPP.  Don’t let Wright make you wrong like he has so many of the gullible and weak willed.  Nevertheless, Wright still has his defenders (though if those defenders would crack open Johannes Weiss they would realize that what Wright says about parables has been said before).

And D. Miller takes us back to the question of the language of Jesus.

James McGrath does a fantastic job reviewing Neyrey’s latest contribution to Johannine scholarship.  McGrath is a good kid, and a good scholar (even if he does delve too much into the science-fictiony end of the wading pool).  You’ll learn from his review.

Church History

In what has to be one of the more bizarre bits of news this August, it seems that many Protestants are returning to Rome.  I’d be curious to know how many of them are already ‘Catholic lite” (i.e., Catholics without a Pope- like the Episcopalians and the Lutherans and the Anglicans).  Wherever they’re coming from, Rome is glad to have them.

Rob continues his series on the practice of Baptism in the history of the Church.  I’m not linking to any particular bit of it in hopes you’ll just scroll down and find the ones you want.

Dan Wallace did a great thing in August and he did it in a fine way when he eviscerated the nonsense known as “King James Only” – ism.  KJV only-ers have to be the most uninformed and ignorant readers of the Bible that presently exist.  Their lack of understanding is simply profound.  And it seems, invincible.

Joel Watts posted a Calvin quote.  That’s enough to get inclusion in any Carnival.  In fact, my policy is, if someone quotes Calvin (in a nice way and not in an attempt to insult him), they are automatically my BFF.

Mary (yes, that Mary) experienced an apparition of her own in August: she had a toaster appear on her!  Talk about turning the tables!

Stephen Smuts announced at the very last minute that the HCSB is available online in a glitzy yet useful format.  I realize everyone loves online stuff but friends, you owe it to yourself to have actual books and bibles on actual shelves.  They’re much better (because they don’t require electricity to use).

Systematic Theology

In August a Judge in California rejected the ballot initiative banning gay marriage.  It was nearly instantly appealed as many expected.  Also nearly instantly was the reaction among the biblio-theo bloggers.  Bob Cargill supported the decision and Scott Clark rejected it.  Both are worth reading.  Needless (I think) to say, I concur with Scott on this one.  Brian took the bull heifer by the horns and actually had the temerity to discuss the topic of ‘women in ministry’.  Oh he’s a brave lad.

Matt Flannagan pointed us to the fine essay by Gutting which guts Dawkins.  A fun read to be sure.  And speaking of Matt, he’s not only a blogger with Maddie- he also blogs at a new (to me) Kiwi blog with a theological theme.

No, Michael, the answer is no.  Science doesn’t have all the answers and it is particularly inept when it stumbles into metaphysical matters.  Did I say inept?  I meant to say utterly incompetent, uninformed, and dilettantish.  But of course neither does Al Mohler have all the answers when it comes to what people can rightly believe concerning things science-y. Nor, for that matter, does he have any answers about most anything most of the time.

I lament the kidnapping of Roland Boer and the hijacking of his blog which, evidently, took place in August.  How do I know?  Roland B. would never do this.  Never.  So either he has been kidnapped or the Chinese have planted something in his brain.

Ben Myers has a brilliant post on theologians and their longing (thirst, quest, desire) for God.  Be sure to read it if you haven’t already.  Along similar lines, Helen Ingram wonders about doing theology too and the reasons for it (and she’s hands down the winner of the bizarre blog background contest!).

Stephen Smuts showed us why theology matters.  If you don’t think it does, then you definitely need to read his post.  And Gavin showed us (or tried to) that there’s a connection between the weather and theology.  Nah.  He’s crazy.  I blame his head cold.

Archaeology/ Dead Sea Scrolls

News broke in August that Raphel Golb had rejected a plea deal and will head to trial in the middle of September for identity theft.  Doubtless his real aim is to bring his father’s theories into the light of public day.  Even if he loses the trial he wins.  And speaking of his father, Norman lashed out at Robert Cargill’s NatGeo DSS special (as we learn from Antonio the always vigilant).   Michael Barber looked at a scroll fragment in search of a Davidic Messiah.  You’ll have to decide whether or not you think he found one.  The fragment is a tad too fragmentary and imprecise for me.  I fear Michael is making a suit out of a mere button.

The season  at Gath wound down and Aren posted some very nice aerial shots of the site.  Some very nice desktop themes there.

Hershel Shanks and BAR managed, somehow or other, to thoroughly negate Robert Cargill’s participation in the Israel National Radio interview which he and Schiffman did previously.  And then, the next day, they did mention it.  One can only wonder what BAR was up to when it marginalized Cargill for no good reason whatsoever.

JP told us about Israel.  Israel, you know, the place where all the biblical action happened.


In August Matthew Page, the best of the bible film bloggers bar none, passed the 1000 post mark.  Congrats!  Chris Tilling started blogging again after a long nap layoff hiatus vacation prison term.  Duane Smith gave us a very useful sticker with which to alert readers of the peril of journalistic ineptitude.  Jason Gardner listed various bloggers and who they would be ‘fan-boys’ of.  I don’t know what a ‘fan-boy’ is, but I did appreciate Jason’s rightly noting the importance of Bultmann.  JD Kirk described why he continues to view blogging as a worthwhile enterprise.

Mark Goodacre (who removed me from his blogroll… why Mark, why???  I mean I can understand Davila and McGrath, Boer and … etc., etc., but et tu, Marcus?) discussed the interesting case of the unavailability outside the US of long out of print books on Google.  It’s an interesting question for which I wonder if there is even an answer.

The New York Times had an excellent essay on the changing nature of ‘peer review’, noted and commented upon here.  Biblical scholars need to reconsider their ensconcement in outmoded methodologies or they will become even more irrelevant.

Mark Stevens has been taking readers down a quite personal path.  It’s an open window on an interesting life and you should check it out.  Speaking of readers, you can’t have readers without books and speaking of books, Nick Norelli told the tale of his visit to the bookstore where he found the likes of Ehrman, Witherington, and Shanks on sale for a penny.  I know!  Who on earth would be willing to pay that much!!!

August 20th was the anniversary of Rudolf Karl Bultmann’s birth.  Any carnival worth its salt has to mention it.

Sadly, controversial Theologian Clark Pinnock passed away in August, as did Conservative Reformed Donald Bloesch.

Finally, if all the good posts included in the Carnival made you feel a bit stupid, don’t fret.  According to Darrell, it’s ok to feel that way!  There ya go, [names deleted to spare the sensitive feelings of the stupid], you can feel better about yourselves now!

Join us next month.  I’m sure you’ll feel way smarter.  Our host will be relative newcomer Steven Demmler.  He’s a student at Gordon-Conwell, so help him out (and be gentle… he’s not used to mean people!)

And now for something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!