Sunday, September 28, 2008

Levitical Arguments

Oh yes I love it when people use Leviticus in their anti-homosexuality arguments---someone did just that in the Sunday School class I visited today, but I guess they've never read this letter:

it first appeared as a response to something that Dr. Laura Schlessinger said about homosexuality on her radio show a few years back. So, if you’ve seen this before (which you probably have) then I apologize for being off the pace. But if you haven’t, then enjoy. It’s pretty funny. And oh, so true about so many of us, other than Dr. Laura. But remember people, it’s satire.

[Dr. Laura Schlessinger was a radio personality who once said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident]

Dear Doctor:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from you, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own a Canadian?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should ask the police to do it?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Thank you,

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Legendary Actor Paul Newman Dies

Legendary Actor Paul Newman Dies
posted: 9 HOURS 3 MINUTES AGOcomments: 1504filed under: Movie News, Obits, Paul Newman dead at 83 PrintShareText SizeAAAWESTPORT, Conn. (Sept. 27) -

Paul Newman, the Oscar-winning superstar who personified cool as the anti-hero of such films as "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Color of Money" — followed by a second act as an activist, race car driver and popcorn impresario — has died. He was 83.
Newman died Friday at his farmhouse near Westport following a long battle with cancer, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.

In May, Newman dropped plans to direct a fall production of "Of Mice and Men" at Connecticut's Westport Country Playhouse, citing unspecified health issues. The following month, a friend disclosed that he was being treated for cancer and Martha Stewart, also a friend, posted photos on her Web site of Newman looking gaunt at a charity luncheon.
But true to his fiercely private nature, Newman remained cagey about his condition, reacting to reports that he had lung cancer with a statement saying only that he was "doing nicely."
As an actor, Newman got his start in theater and on television during the 1950s, and went on to become one of the world's most enduring and popular film stars, a legend held in awe by his peers. He was nominated for Academy Awards 10 times, winning one Oscar and two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including "Exodus," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Verdict," "The Sting" and "Absence of Malice."
Newman worked with some of the greatest directors of the past half century, from Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston to Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers. His co-stars included Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and, most famously, Robert Redford, his sidekick in "Butch Cassidy" and "The Sting."
"There is a point where feelings go beyond words," Redford said Saturday. "I have lost a real friend. My life — and this country — is better for his being in it."

Newman sometimes teamed with his wife and fellow Oscar winner, Joanne Woodward, with whom he had one of Hollywood's rare long-term marriages. "I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?" Newman told Playboy magazine when asked if he was tempted to stray.
They wed in 1958, around the same time they both appeared in "The Long Hot Summer." Newman also directed her in several films, including "Rachel, Rachel" and "The Glass Menagerie."
With his strong, classically handsome face and piercing blue eyes, Newman was a heartthrob just as likely to play against his looks, becoming a favorite with critics for his convincing portrayals of rebels, tough guys and losers. New York Times critic Caryn James wrote after his turn as the town curmudgeon in 1995's "Nobody's Fool" that "you never stop to wonder how a guy as good-looking as Paul Newman ended up this way."
"Sometimes God makes perfect people," fellow "Absence of Malice" star Sally Field said, "and Paul Newman was one of them."

Newman had a soft spot for underdogs in real life, giving tens of millions to charities through his food company and setting up camps for severely ill children. Passionately opposed to the Vietnam War, and in favor of civil rights, he was so famously liberal that he ended up on President Nixon's "enemies list," one of the actor's proudest achievements, he liked to say.
A screen legend by his mid-40s, he waited a long time for his first competitive Oscar, winning in 1987 for "The Color of Money," a reprise of the role of pool shark "Fast Eddie" Felson, whom Newman portrayed in the 1961 film "The Hustler."
In the earlier film, Newman delivered a magnetic performance as the smooth-talking, whiskey-chugging pool shark who takes on Minnesota Fats — played by Jackie Gleason — and becomes entangled with a gambler played by George C. Scott. In the sequel — directed by Scorsese — "Fast Eddie" is no longer the high-stakes hustler he once was, but an aging liquor salesman who takes a young pool player (Cruise) under his wing before making a comeback.
He won an honorary Oscar in 1986 "in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft." In 1994, he won a third Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his charitable work.
His most recent academy nod was a supporting actor nomination for the 2002 film "Road to Perdition." One of Newman's nominations was as a producer; the other nine were in acting categories. (Jack Nicholson holds the record among actors for Oscar nominations, with 12; actress Meryl Streep has had 14.)
As he passed his 80th birthday, he remained in demand, winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the 2005 HBO drama "Empire Falls" and providing the voice of a crusty 1951 car in the 2006 Disney-Pixar hit, "Cars."
But in May 2007, he told ABC's "Good Morning America" he had given up acting, though he intended to remain active in charity projects. "I'm not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to," he said. "You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that's pretty much a closed book for me."
Newman also turned to producing and directing. In 1968, he directed "Rachel, Rachel," a film about a lonely spinster's rebirth. The movie received four Oscar nominations, including Newman, for producer of a best motion picture; and Woodward, for best actress. The film earned Newman the best director award from the New York Film Critics Circle.
In the 1970s, Newman, admittedly bored with acting, became fascinated with auto racing, a sport he studied when he starred in the 1969 film, "Winning." After turning professional in 1977, Newman and his driving team made strong showings in several major races, including fifth place in Daytona in 1977 and second place in the Le Mans in 1979.
"Racing is the best way I know to get away from all the rubbish of Hollywood," he told People magazine in 1979.
Newman later became a car owner and formed a partnership with Carl Haas, starting Newman/Haas Racing in 1983 and joining the CART series. Hiring Mario Andretti as its first driver, the team was an instant success, and throughout the last 26 years, the team — now known as Newman/Haas/Lanigan and part of the IndyCar Series — has won 107 races and eight series championships.
"Paul and I have been partners for 26 years and I have come to know his passion, humor and, above all, his generosity," Haas said. "His support of the team's drivers, crew and the racing industry is legendary. His pure joy at winning a pole position or winning a race exemplified the spirit he brought to his life and to all those that knew him."
Despite his love of race cars, Newman continued to make movies and continued to pile up Oscar nominations, his looks remarkably intact and his acting becoming more subtle — nothing like the mannered method performances of his early years, when he was sometimes dismissed as a Brando imitator.
Newman, who shunned Hollywood life, was reluctant to give interviews and usually refused to sign autographs because he found the majesty of the act offensive. He also claimed that he never read reviews of his movies.
"If they're good you get a fat head and if they're bad you're depressed for three weeks," he said.
In 1982, Newman and his Westport neighbor, writer A.E. Hotchner, started a company to market Newman's original oil-and-vinegar dressing. Newman's Own, which began as a joke, grew into a multimillion-dollar business selling popcorn, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce and other foods. All of the company's profits are donated to charities. By 2007, the company had donated more than $175 million, according to its Web site.
"We will miss our friend Paul Newman, but are lucky ourselves to have known such a remarkable person," Robert Forrester, vice chairman of Newman's Own Foundation, said in a statement.
In 1988, Newman founded a camp in northeastern Connecticut for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. He went on to establish similar camps in several other states and in Europe.
He and Woodward bought an 18th century farmhouse in Westport, where they raised their three daughters, Elinor "Nell," Melissa and Clea.
Newman had two daughters, Susan and Stephanie, and a son, Scott, from a previous marriage to Jacqueline Witte. Scott died in 1978 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium. After his only son's death, Newman established the Scott Newman Foundation to finance the production of anti-drug films for children.
"Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to acknowledge what he was doing was special," his daughters said in a written statement. "Intensely private, he quietly succeeded beyond measure in impacting the lives of so many with his generosity."
Newman was born in Cleveland, the second of two boys of Arthur S. Newman, a partner in a sporting goods store, and Theresa Fetzer Newman. He was raised in the affluent suburb of Shaker Heights, where he was encouraged him to pursue his interest in the arts by his mother and his uncle Joseph Newman, a well-known Ohio poet and journalist.
Following World War II service in the Navy, he enrolled at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he got a degree in English and was active in student productions.
He later studied at Yale University's School of Drama, then headed to work in theater and television in New York, where his classmates at the famed Actor's Studio included Brando, James Dean and Karl Malden.
Newman's breakthrough was enabled by tragedy: Dean, scheduled to star as the disfigured boxer in a television adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's "The Battler," died in a car crash in 1955. His role was taken by Newman, then a little-known performer.
Newman started in movies the year before, in "The Silver Chalice," a costume film he so despised that he took out an ad in Variety to apologize. By 1958, he had won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for the shiftless Ben Quick in "The Long Hot Summer."
In December 1994, about a month before his 70th birthday, he told Newsweek magazine he had changed little with age.
"I'm not mellower, I'm not less angry, I'm not less self-critical, I'm not less tenacious," he said. "Maybe the best part is that your liver can't handle those beers at noon anymore," he said.
Newman is survived by his wife, five children, two grandsons and his older brother Arthur.
Associated Press writers Hillel Italie in New York and Josh Dickey, Greg Risling and Susan Katz in Los Angeles contributed to this story.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2008-09-27 09:55:46

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Evangelist Arrested in Child Sex Probe

Evangelist Arrested in Child Sex Probe

posted: 4 HOURS 37 MINUTES AGOcomments: 177filed under: Crime News, National NewsPrintShareText SizeAAALITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Sept. 25) - FBI agents arrested evangelist and convicted tax evader Tony Alamo at an Arizona motel Thursday, alleging days after raiding the Arkansas headquarters of his ministry that he took minors across state lines for sexual purposes.
Alamo was staying at a hotel in Flagstaff, Ariz., when arrested, said FBI spokesman Steve Frazier in Little Rock. The religious leader — who began his career as a California street preacher in 1966 — was scheduled for a federal court appearance Friday in Flagstaff.
Alamo is suspected of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits taking children across state lines for illegal purposes. Frazier described those purposes as "sexual activity."
He said he didn't believe any children were with Alamo at the time of his arrest but would give few other details. Authorities did not say when minors were taken across state lines or which states were involved, but Alamo has ministries in California and Arkansas.
Federal agents and Arkansas state police had raided the headquarters of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in tiny Fouke on Saturday and removed six girls ages 10 to 17. They sought evidence that children there had been molested or filmed having sex.
Prosecutors sought Alamo's arrest after interviewing the girls this week, but Frazier would not disclose what the children said.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, describes the ministry as a cult. Alamo's church rails against homosexuals, Roman Catholics and the government, and Alamo has preached that girls are fit for marriage once they are sexually mature.
"Consent is puberty," he said in a phone interview with The Associated Press last week from Los Angeles while agents raided the compound. He denied any involvement with pornography.
An Arkansas judge has hearings set for Friday and Monday on whether the state Department of Human Services can keep custody of the six girls. The girls will attend the hearings.
"We will transport them to and from hearings. We will take part in any future hearings," agency spokeswoman Julie Munsell said. "Our job right now is to basically take care of them."
State Circuit Judge Jim Hudson said two hearings would be conducted Friday and the other four Monday in Texarkana.
The six hearings will be split among three judges who will decide whether the state had enough evidence to temporarily remove the children from their homes on the Fouke compound. If a judge rules against the state, the girls would be returned to the parents.
Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said that no further arrests were planned that would involve his agency.
FBI agents and police in Arizona arrested Alamo as he was leaving the Little America Hotel, which is along Interstate 40, Frazier said. It wasn't known where Alamo was headed when he was picked up.
The hotel, in Arizona's northern mountains near the Grand Canyon, bills itself as a luxury resort. Fred Reese, a hotel spokesman, declined to comment.
Alamo and his late wife Susan were street preachers in Los Angeles before forming a commune near Saugus, Calif. Susan Alamo died of cancer in 1982; Alamo claimed she would be resurrected and kept her body on display for six months while followers prayed.
Alamo was convicted of tax-related charges in 1994 and served four years in prison after the IRS said he owed the government $7.9 million. Prosecutors in that case argued that Alamo was a flight risk and a polygamist who preyed on married women and girls in his congregation.
Since establishing his ministries in Arkansas, Alamo has been a controversial and flamboyant figure in the state. Snapshots often show him wearing large dark sunglasses, and he recently said he is legally blind.
In his autobiography, "My Life," former President Bill Clinton, an Arkansas native, described Alamo as ""Roy Orbison on speed."
Clinton recalled traveling in 1975 to see Dolly Parton sing at Alamo's compound in the town of Alma. Remembering the fiasco after Susan Alamo's death, Clinton wrote: "A couple of years later, he got involved with a younger woman. Lo and behold, God spoke to him again and told him Susan wasn't coming back after all, so he took her out of the glass box and buried her."
FBI documents identified Alamo by his birth name, Bernie Lazar Hoffman, and said he turned 74 the day of the raid. Alamo has said he was born Jewish but converted to Christianity.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2008-09-20 22:01:07

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Americans leaving churches in droves

Americans leaving churches in droves
Julia Duin (Contact)
Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Quitting Church: Why the Faithful Are Fleeing and What to Do About It" (Baker Books) is the new book by Julia Duin, assistant national editor (religion) at The Washington Times. In this excerpt, she details her personal experience and survey numbers showing the difficulties evangelical churches have with keeping their members.

"You're not going to church?" I asked him.

It was his birthday, so we had met for dinner at the Olive Garden, one of our favorite Italian restaurants. He shook his head. "Matt," I will call him, was legally blind and unable to drive. That and a few other handicaps had not prevented him from having a decent-paying job with the U.S. government, from amassing a world-class library in his home, and from being the go-to guy with answers to all my questions about Reformed theology.

But here he was, disconsolate. A reporter by trade, I dragged his story out of him.

"I don't mind taking the metro to church, but you know me," he said. "I'm pretty Reformed, and the kind of church I like is always at least two miles from the nearest stop."

(Read More: Here)

Monday, September 22, 2008

So I Was Looking For Something On Our Special Needs Program

And found this instead:


WOW! What a wonderful month in the life of CGM. God is so Good to us all and we continue to see him moving in the ministry. I am pleased to announce that my Son Will Hutchinson has begun working with CGM as a Ministry Assistant. He will be doing some of the traveling and pre-work with Tournament Directors and events as well as helping with the growth and promotion of the ministry. I am excited to be working with him and for him to have the vision for CGM. He will begin his Seminary work at Andersonville Baptist Theological Seminary in June as well as beginning the Duke University Non Profit Management Certificate program. Pray for him as he begins his work with CGM.
The Caraway Golf Event for Ministers and Layman in Asheboro, NC was a great success. We had over 90 golfers there and a wonderful time of Worship, Fellowship and fun. Steven Boggs of Wilmington, NC shared with us about his ministry and efforts to help Parents deal with Young people of addictions. Steven is also a great golfer and will be adding much to the CGM family in the future.

---Steven is a member of our church.

Relationships needed to break poverty cycle

Relationships needed to break poverty cycle
By John Pierce
Baptists Today

ATLANTA-While soup kitchens and clothes closets meet some basic human needs, something more personal is needed to counter poverty, said one who lives and works among the poor.

"We need football games, where we can play together," said Jimmy Dorrell of Mission Waco, a multifaceted ministry with impoverished persons in Central Texas.
Relationship-building is the first and most important step in discovering ways to help break the cycle of poverty, he told participants in a special interest session Feb. 1 during the New Baptist Covenant celebration.

"You should have friends who are poor," said Dorrell, who along with his wife, Janet, bought a home in an economically deprived north Waco community 28 years ago, raised four children and built long-term relationships with neighbors.

Mentors, who build relationships with and help guide those seeking to improve their lives, are an essential part of the decade-old Christian Women's Job Corps and its counterpart, Christian Men's Job Corps, said Cara Lynn Vogel of Woman's Missionary Union of North Carolina.

The job-training ministry sites are separate by gender and vary in emphasis by location, Vogel said of the WMU ministry efforts in which "women mentor women and men mentor men."

"The issue of poverty can be overwhelming," said Vogel. "But more importantly, we need to talk about solutions."

The solutions found in the Christian Jobs Corps efforts are built on mentors encouraging and enabling participants to develop through spiritual nurture, health and nutrition, education and job skills training.

Vogel told of an African-American woman, pregnant as a teen, whose experience in the program led to setting and repeating new goals. Today she is a pharmacist serving as a mentor to another woman at one of the sites in North Carolina.

(Read More: Here)

Sunday---September 21, 2008

This Sunday was special in the life of FBC-Wilmington as we had 7 babies dedicated, 4baptisms and 4 people join the church.

One of the persons baptized was a guy with down-syndrome, who recently had surgery on his legs---so his dad had to assist with the baptism.

Another guy with down-syndrome, who is also part of our special needs program, was one of the ones that joined our church.

Another person who joined our church recently got out of prison.

So it indeed was a special and successful Sunday!

How ironic was the sermon!

It's Time! October 5th

The reason I linked to Justin's Blog post for my last post is because on Oct. 5th we begin our church-wide missional study.

This Summer, I participated in an intensive Gospel study on the Book of John as part of the prep work for that and came to similar results as Justin's post.

I've already posted most of my John study on Facebook and will start posting it on my Blog in Oct. and finish, where I left off.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

White Lion's Social Consciousness

Here are the lyrics to the above song:

When The Children Cry
Artist(Band): White Lion

little child
dry your crying eyes
how can I explain
the fear you feel inside
cause you were born
into this evil world
where man is killing man
but no one knows just why
what have we become
just look what we have done
all that we destroyed
you must build again

when the children cry
let them know we tried
cause when the children sing
then the new world begins

little child
you must show the way
to a better day
for all the young
cause you were born
for all the world to see
that we all can live
with love and peace
no more presidents
and all the wars will end
one united world
under god

when the children cry
let them know we tried
cause when the children sing
then the new world begins

what "have we" become
just look what we have done
all that we destroyed
you must build again
no more presidents
and all the wars will end
one united world
under god

when the children cry
let them know we tried
when the children fight
let them know it ain't right
when the children pray
let them know the way
cause when the children sing
then the new world begins

White Lion and Social issues

Unlike most bands of their genre, White Lion recorded occasional songs that addressed social or political issues such as apartheid ("Cry for Freedom") and the effect of divorce on children ("Broken Home"). The song "Little Fighter" was about the Rainbow Warrior, a ship owned by the environmental group Greenpeace that was illegally destroyed by operatives of the French intelligence service. This concern for political and social issues was also hinted at in the cover art to their album Big Game, which featured a lion's head hidden in tall grass with the White House in the background.

Read an interview with band member and co-founder of the group here.

Renowned Archaeologist Dies at Dig

Georgi Kitov, archaeologist, March 1, 1943 - Sept. 14, 2008

Renowned Archaeologist Dies at DigBy VESELIN TOSHKOV, AP
posted: 1 DAY 3 HOURS AGOcomments: 20filed under: Science NewsPrintShareText SizeAAASOFIA, Bulgaria (Sept. 19) - Archaeologist Georgi Kitov -- an expert on the treasure-rich Thracian culture of antiquity -- died of a heart attack while excavating a temple in central Bulgaria considered to be one of his greatest discoveries, his family said Thursday. He was 65.
Kitov died Sunday during the excavation of a large Thracian temple surrounded by lavishly furnished graves near the village of Starosel, according to his wife, Diana Dimitrova.

The temple, unearthed by Kitov in 2000, as well as other sensational finds over the past 16 years brought him international attention.
His discoveries include two 5th century B.C. gold funerary masks — one weighing a pound — from the Shipka valley in central Bulgaria, a bronze head from a statue of a Thracian ruler, gold and silver jewelry and a complete set of bronze armor.
But he was also criticized for using bulldozers in some of his digs.
Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolai Ovcharov described Kitov as "a phenomenon" in archaeology.
"Many disagreed with his methods, but his great discoveries will be remembered by Bulgarians," Ovcharov said.

Kitov compared the previously little-known Thracian civilization to that of ancient Greece. Though unlike the Greeks, the Thracians had no written language, and so left no records.
"We found indisputable evidence that the Thracian civilization was at least equal to the ancient Greek one," Kitov said in 2004. "In fact, we proved that Thracians were co-authors of the ancient culture, which often is called Hellenistic by mistake."
First mentioned in Homer's Iliad as allies of Troy, the Thracians were an Indo-European nomadic people that settled in the central Balkans around 5,000 years ago. They were conquered by Rome in the 1st century, and were assimilated by invading Slav peoples in the 6th century.
Fierce warriors and horse-breeders, the Thracians were also skilled goldsmiths. They established a powerful kingdom in the 5th century B.C. Its capital was thought to be Seutopolis, whose ancient ruins lie under a large artificial lake near Shipka, in an area dubbed "the Bulgarian Valley of Kings" for its many rich tombs.
Kitov once told The Associated Press that the temple at Starosel "vies with ancient Greek temples in Sparta, Athens and Mycenae."
Some other archaeologists criticized Kitov, however, for using heavy machinery in his digs. Kitov defended his high-speed technique by saying it was necessary to keep ahead of looters.
Some archaeologists also accused him of failing to adequately document or publish his finds.
In 2001, Bulgarian authorities rescinded his excavation permit for a year for allegedly digging without permission.
Sofia's National History Museum Director Bozhidar Dimitrov said Kitov regarded archaeology as a duty more than a job.
"He suffered from the widespread looting, and tried to counteract by digging more and more," Dimitrov said. "Very often he won the race against the looters."
Kitov was born on March 1, 1943, in the southwestern town of Dupnitsa. He earned a history degree from the University of Sofia, and studied art history at the St. Petersburg State University.
He is survived by his wife and 9-year-old daughter. A funeral is planned for Friday.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2008-09-18 15:06:39

Insightful Message on ExploringOurMatrix Blog

Go here: for an insightful post that will make you think.

Random Cuteness

So the above link comes from Bruce Reyes-Chow's Blog and is a video of his middle child imitating Nickelodeon's iCarly. Reminds me of my grandma's stories about my dad imitating Elvis. Anyways, I just thought I'd pass the cuteness along to those who haven't seen it yet. You can also click here or here to access the post as well.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Christian Themes In "Cool Hand Luke"

On Wed. Nights, I am doing a study on Faith and Film led by Vick Griffin of our church. The first movie that we are watching is Cool Hand Luke. Reprinted below is a handout that Vick prepared, which I have hyperlinked relevant sections for further study:

Cool Hand Luke

-Released in 1967, starring Paul Newman

-Directed by Stuart Rosenberg

-Written by Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson, based on the novel by Donn Pearce

-Nominated for 4 Oscars [Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Music, Original Music Score, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium]

-Won Oscar for Best Supporting Actor [George Kennedy]

-Supporting cast included Dennis Hopper, Harry Dean Stanton, Strother Martin, Jo Van Fleet, Ralph Waite, Wayne Rogers, Joe Don Baker and Anthony Zerbe, among others

-Cool Hand Luke was produced by Jalem Productions, which was Jack Lemmon's production company

-Contains arguably one of the most memorable lines in all of film history: "What we've got here is... failure to communicate."

-Luke as "Christ-figure"-

*Central character
*An Outsider
*Associates and/or Betrayer Associate
*Death and Resurrection [?]

Next week, we will finish watching the movie but we left off at this scene:

, which looks like this: doesn't it?

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

September 20, 1378

1378 – Papal Schism: Unhappy with Pope Urban VI (pictured), a group of cardinals started a rival papacy with the election of Antipope Clement VII, throwing the Roman Catholic Church into turmoil. Read more here:

FBC-Wilmington Back Downtown

So after being downtown in our activity center, it was good to be back downtown last Sunday. I must say I'll miss getting Pepsi after church, but there is still Wed. nights.
Although, I am more of a Coke drinker---I like both Coke and Pepsi products and I am participating in both of their rewards programs.

I must have looked funny looking through the recycling bin at the activity center for extra tops with codes on them that you redeem for points to exchange for goods or sweepstakes' enteries. I must say though for all of Coke's goodness I am disappointed in the My Coke Rewards program due to all the rules and limitations in exchanging points for goods. Although, one good thing is that now you can exchange points to aid local schools.

However with all that said I like Pepsi's reward program, PepsiStuff better, because it is much easier to do. All you need is an Amazon account and you're off. I think next time around though I'll use my points for goods for the homeless.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Faith and Theology: Bruce McCormack: Orthodox and modern: studies in the theology of Karl Barth

Faith and Theology: Bruce McCormack: Orthodox and modern: studies in the theology of Karl Barth

Leonard Cohen's Eschatology

So every time I hear or read the lyrics to Leonard Cohen's "The Future," eschatological images always fill my mind---so here is a hypertexted reading of what the song means to me:

First here's the music video, so that you can listen as you read the lyrics before diving into the hyperlinks:

The Future
(Leonard Cohen)

Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul

And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!
Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul

When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant

You don't know me from the wind
you never will, you never did
I'm the little jew
who wrote the Bible
I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all

but love's the only engine of survival
Your servant here, he has been told
to say it clear, to say it cold:
It's over, it ain't going
any further
And now the wheels of heaven stop
you feel the devil's riding crop

Get ready for the future:
it is murder

Things are going to slide ...

There'll be the breaking of the ancient
western code
(See also:
Your private life will suddenly explode
There'll be phantoms
There'll be fires on the road
and the white man dancing
You'll see a woman
hanging upside down
her features covered by her fallen gown
and all the lousy little poets
coming round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson

and the white man dancin'

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
Give me Christ
or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby:
it is murder

Things are going to slide ...

When they said REPENT REPENT ...

So there you go, heavy stuff to chew on---note, I may be stretching it a bit, but that's the nature of poetic interpretation. Also, I don't agree with the beliefs of everything that I linked to---especially not Tim LaHaye---but they are things to think on.


Here's a Leonard Cohen influenced poem that I wrote last year:


A casual accident crawls out of caustic reality. A green-eyed monster claws, at his heart. Oh, Babylon, you are liaisons of drunken orgies. You, poor boobies of alcoholic pride. You, sack of rotten teeth and flesh. How quickly you sell yourself for a bottle. An ugly swan floats by and you rebel against it. A Resurrected Butterfly flies by and you would rebel against that, too. How dare you fling your Wisdom, in our faces! Your spastic tail swings, at anything with two legs. You, ape with cruel eyes. You betray your elasticity by stretching your limits. Is there no honor or dignity anymore? Whatever happened to decency and integrity? We are not amused by the selfish pricks displaying their crack, in gutters. We have called, but the signs were avoided. A dog limps by with a broken leg. I straighten my face, in the mirror. The windows are dark, now. There is not a sound, except for dawn, and then Babylon begins again with unholy terror.


Commentary- The Babylon Monster

When will people graduate from high school?
Why can’t we do anything without bullshitting
each-other behind our backs?
Take a good look, in the mirror, and face the Babylon within yourself.

Wikipedia Article Of The Day: 09-18-08

So this seems interesting:

Anekantavada is one of the most important and basic doctrines of Jainism. It refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth. Jains contrast all attempts to proclaim absolute truth with adhgajanyāyah, which can be illustrated through the maxim of the "Blind Men and an Elephant". In this story, one blind man felt the trunk of an elephant, another the tusks, another the ears, another the tail. All the men claimed to explain the true appearance of the elephant, but could only partly succeed, due to their limited perspectives. According to the Jains, only the Kevalins—the omniscient beings—can comprehend objects in all aspects and manifestations; others are only capable of partial knowledge. Consequently, no single, specific, human view can claim to represent absolute truth. Anekāntavāda encourages its adherents to consider the views and beliefs of their rivals and opposing parties. Proponents of anekāntavāda apply this principle to religion and philosophy, reminding themselves that any religion or philosophy, even Jainism, that clings too dogmatically to its own tenets, is committing an error based on its limited point of view. (more...)

What are your thoughts about it and how it may relate to the Christian view of postmodernism and Emerging/Emergent Christian ideals?

Last Summer

So as I wrote before---I have mild cerebral palsy. It mainly affected my speech until recently as my handwriting deteriorated---my arms began experiencing tremors often from normal muscle wear and tear.

My symptoms include:
- 1. lack of muscle coordination when doing voluntary movements (ataxia) ; (see #4 & 5)
- 2. stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity) ; (same as # 1)
- 3. excessive drooling (mostly when I'm tired) or difficulties swallowing (rarely) or speaking;
- 4. shaking (tremor) or random involuntary movements; and (in my arms)
- 5. difficulty with precise motions, such as writing or buttoning a shirt.

So last Summer, my new doctor decided to prescribe Propranolol to help control my tremors and he recommended that I have physical and occupational therapy: here. I also have to use these tools: weighted utensils and a button hook. Unrelated to last Summer, but related to this topic---I think this is cool, check out this Evangelist with cerebral palsy: David Ring and for other people with cerebral palsy see:

Tropical Storm Hanna

The other week Tropical Storm Hanna hit the Carolinas but wasn't too bad---just a lot of sand, dirt, leaves and pinestraw everywhere. The other day I came across this old article from the New York Times about my church, when Hurricane Fran came through and knocked our steeple down.

Here is the relevant portion of the article:

Here in Wilmington, residents began to saw, rake and sweep up the mess. But many knew it would be days, if not weeks, before the machinery and manpower necessary to haul away the wreckage would become available.

At the First Baptist Church of Wilmington, the pastor, Michael Queen, spent the morning receiving the whispered prayers of passers-by mourning the destruction of the church's 197-foot-tall steeple, a city landmark.

"Rabbi Waxman was here, and Father Hadden from the Catholic church and one of the ministers from the Presbyterian church," Queen said.

The spire, built in the 1860's, lay in a three-foot heap of brick, wooden beams and copper sheets, leaving an open roof of jagged brick. Queen said the title of last Sunday's sermon, still advertised in a glass case, served as a perfect epitaph: "All in a Day's Work."

Queen said he was profoundly sad about the steeple, but was trying to keep it in perspective.

"A steeple in the street pales in comparison to the death of any one person," he said. "The church is not the steeple or the building and I keep trying to remind myself of that."

Yes, disaster relief is a big priority for Baptists. Hopefully, Hurricane Ike didn't do too much damage in Texas.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Baptists Today Blogs: Big hearts, big help -- and good news

Baptists Today Blogs: Big hearts, big help -- and good news

08-08-08 At 8 P.M.: My Cousin's Wedding

Rain And Amanda's Ceremony

So my cousin, Rain, is a lesbian, so many have falsely believed that my views on the same sex marriage issue are because of that fact---but nothing can be further from the truth. Before I get to that, I have to say that their ceremony was short and sweet and performed by a Unitarian Universalist minister. Though I've known about Unitarian Universalism---that was my first experience with something like that, so it was interesting. I must say I can respect Unitarian Universalists, even if our beliefs differ.

(I gotta rep Bill, my aunt's boyfriend here, since I haven't mentioned him yet---he took most of the photos of the ceremony). Much to the chagrin of my homophobic minded friends, I gave Rain and Amanda these books as gifts: a New Testament geared to gays and a Bible study for gays. Oh, and they chose 08-08-08 at 8 P.M. as the date to be joined, because they've been together for 8 years.


Anyways to get to my views: I have always believed that Baptist churches had the right to decide for themselves how to view things, so when I was pressed to defend my brother's beliefs (who is even more liberal than me on most things)---I reread all of the Baptists distinctives: soul liberty, liberty of conscience, freedom and church autonomy, etc. The Baptist distinctives then are where my views fit into the Baptist Tradition.

Other than that: issues of Biblical translation, historical issues and scientific findings are also part of my understanding of the issue. Although, I can agree with Conservatives that homosexuality was not God's original intent, but the traditional answers do not do the issue justice as it doesn't explain: intersexuality, Mermaid Syndrome, human cloacae, aphallia, which "is considered a substantially more troublesome problem in a male, and has in the past sometimes been considered justification for assigning and rearing a genetically male infant as a girl" and a number of other congenital malformations.

Also, my mom believes that homosexuality is God's answer to the problem of overpopulation. Either way, it is neither right nor just to deny love to God-fearing adults as true love never is a sin. The same-sex issue is unlikely to go away anytime soon, but it is the new civil rights movement. Facebook users can view my friend (who went to Campbell with me) Micah's note or you (everyone) can view the church he pastors for further relevant information.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some Interesting Readings Of Fosdick's "Shall The Fundamentalists Win?"

For an Emerging/Emergent take see: Earl Barnett's Blog.

For a Unitarian Universalist take see: Paul Wilczynski's Observations.

For a progressive Presbyterian take see: The Presbyterian Outlook.

For an Evangelical take see: Christianity Today.

For another Presbyterian take see: First Presbyterian Church Kenosha.

Update: *Edits* 1

Changed Blog layout.

Added new Blogs to my Blog list and Blogs that I'm following.

Edited all of my older posts' layouts for smoother reading.

Finished transfering Facebook notes.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Coldplay's Revolutionary Christianity

On the heels of Justin's excellent post from---Wednesday, August 20, 2008---Cartoon Of The Day. I'd like to share this interesting bit from a Wikipedia article:

The magazine Q asked Chris Martin about the line "I know Saint Peter won't call my name" sung in "Viva la Vida". Martin replied: "It's about… You're not on the list. I was a naughty boy. It's always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it. And this idea runs throughout most religions. That's why people blow up buildings. Because they think they're going to get lots of virgins. I always feel like saying, just join a band (laughs). That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation. I know about this stuff because I studied it. I was into it all. I know it. It's still mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious."[1] When asked about the song, bass guitarist Guy Berryman said, "It’s a story about a king who’s lost his kingdom, and all the album’s artwork is based on the idea of revolutionaries and guerrillas."[2]

This seems to tie in nicely with some of Doug Pagitt's thoughts from his Way Of The Master radio interview:

---(Part 1)

---(Part 2)

And for those of you who have yet to hear Coldplay's new song here are the full lyrics:

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead, long live the king"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
Once you'd gone there was never
Never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was a wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh, who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know St. Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world


Hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know St. Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world


You can also watch the music video:

Coldplay's new song also reminds me of John Lennon's "Imagine." So here is a thought that came to my mind: the question is although, eternal life and the afterlife are important to our Christian beliefs, shouldn't we as Christians focus on living the life of Christ in the here and now rather than turning Christianity into one more punishment and rewards religion among the many others?

Interesting documentary on Lloyd Geering

Some basic information on Lloyd Geering for those who don't know who he is:

Lloyd Geering
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lloyd George Geering ONZ, PCNZM, CBE is a New Zealand theologian born in Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand, on February 26, 1918. He is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Geering 'came in to the Christian tradition' in 1937.

He holds a D.D. from the University of Otago, a Masters Degree in Mathematics and was a minister in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and turned to theological teaching in 1956.

Geering is a controversial commentator on theological issues and considers Christian and Muslim fundamentalism to be social evils.

In 1967 Professor Geering gained a high profile when in 1967 he was charged with "doctrinal error and disturbing the peace and unity of the (Presbyterian) church". He was acquitted on both counts by the 1967 General Assembly of the PCANZ. The charges were brought by a group of conservative laymen and a conservative minister. During his "trial" he claimed that the remains of Jesus lay somewhere in Palestine, and that the resurrection had been wrongfully interpreted by churches as a resuscitation of the body of Jesus. He also rejects the notion that God is a supernatural being who created and continues to look over the world.[1]

He is a member of the Jesus Seminar and a participant in the program Living the Questions, an alternative to the Evangelical Alpha course; he is also a member of the Sea of Faith Network (New Zealand).

He was honored in 1988 as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and in 2001 as Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In the 2007 New Year Honours List he was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand.

Geering is a patron of the Coalition for Open Government.

Although I don't agree with everything Dr. Geering says, he does present an interesting alternative take on Christianity.

Some Blog posts of interest

On the book,"The Shack":

On Lego Martin Luther:

And check out Karl Barth Rap, also on Bruce Reyes-Chow's Blog:

Muslims Outnumber World's Catholics - AOL News

This is old news, but it's interesting nonetheless.

The Violence of Love by Oscar Romero

Also a free ebook edition of The Violence Of Love a collection of Oscar Romero's homilies is available here.

Romero-The Movie

So March 24, 2008 was the 28th anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero's assassination---so for anyone who hasn't seen the movie Romero, here is the full movie in 11 parts:

---Romero Trailer

---Part 1

---Part 2

---Part 3

---Part 4

---Part 5

---Part 6

---Part 7

---Part 8

---Part 9

---Part 10

---Part 11

The PreteristSite ~ Contra-Dispensationalism ~ 100% Certified Heresy-Free

This site has some good anti-dispensationalism/anti-rapture resources.

King James Onlyist Nuttiness

--------This stuff is so absurd that it's scary. It's scary that these kooks believe this stuff and the heresy of King James Onlyism.

------for even more nuttiness.

The Carrot Principle

An Article By Dr. Ballard.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Collection Of Other Baptist Blogs

Baptist Bloggers
Powered By Ringsurf

Humorless Religion Is Blasphemy: Thus Sayeth The Rabbi

Check it out here:

-----good stuff!

Biblical Criticism Continued

Continuing from a previous note: ---here is a handout of a brief overview of Biblical Criticism that I prepared for a Small Group I participated in:


-What is Biblical Criticism?

*Biblical Criticism is the study of how the Bible was transmitted orally, at first and the process of how the Scriptures were collected into text form.

*Biblical Criticism is divided into two distinct categories: “Higher” Criticism and “Lower” Criticism/Textual Criticism.


*There are three major branches of Higher Criticism: Form Criticism or Literary Criticism, Source or Source Redaction Criticism and Historical Criticism.

-Form Critics main concern is dividing out the distinct literary forms of the Bible. I provided you all with a photocopy of pg. 46 of W. Barnes Tatum’s “In Quest Of Jesus” that diagrams a representative sampling of Form Criticism applied to the Gospels.

-Source (Redaction) Criticism is the study of the “oral” or “textual” sources of a book or several books of the Bible and how the sources were edited by a ‘redactor’ into one single source/narrative. Representative of this is the Documentary Hypothesis in regards to Torah criticism and the different theories of explaining the Synoptic Problem in regards to Gospel criticism.
*On pg. 3, in the Documentary Hypothesis hand-out, there is a chart diagramming the theorized sources of the Torah.
*The Wikipedia article explains the Synoptic Problem and the different theories explaining it. You’ll find a Div. Student’s paper, underneath that, explaining the importance of the Synoptic Problem, in Biblical interpretation.

-The third and most controversial branch of Higher Criticism is Historical Criticism. Historical Critics seek to distinguish Jesus, in His historical context, apart from theological proposition. There have been 4 major quests to discover the historical-sociological Jesus---the most recent one undertaken by the “Jesus Seminar.”


*Lower Criticism is Textual Criticism. Textual Criticism is the study of all the collected Biblical Manuscripts and the process of collating them into one single Hebrew or Greek Text for the Bible translation process.

*Textual Critics main concerns are smoothing out “Scribal errors” found in the manuscripts and deducing the best possible rendering that is closest to the “Original Autographs”---since we don’t have the “Original Autographs,” all we have to go on is copies of copies as well as early Bible translations and Early Church writings.

*As newer manuscripts come to light and are accounted for---newer editions of the Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic Old Testament or Greek New Testament must be produced. In example, the current Greek New Testament is in the 4th edition for the United Bible Societies’ critical Greek text and the 27th edition for the Nestle/Aland critical Greek text. Both Greek texts are the same, but have different notations of textual variants. Also, a Textual Commentary is published alongside each new edition of the critical Greek text to further explain why the textual critic chose what they did.

*The Greek text hasn’t changed since 1986, but the notations of variants have---as scholars have yet to finish studying all the “Dead Sea Scroll” findings.

*Included in the Textual Criticism hand-out are:
-a photocopy of pg. 49 of Roy Robinson’s “The Thoughtful Guide To The Bible,” which has an illustration of the three parts of a critical Greek text. The photocopy may be fuzzy, but the first text bubble reads: Greek Text Selected By Textual Critics; the second bubble reads: Textual Variants Rejected By The Critics With MS (manuscript) Evidence Indicated; and the third bubble reads: Other Bible References For Comparison.

-Underneath the illustration is a sample page from the 4th edition UBS Greek text for clarity.

-Next are two charts explaining the types of unintentional and intentional scribal errors isolated by textual critics from pgs. 225-226 of Paul D. Wegner’s book, “The Journey From Texts To Translations: The Origin And Development Of The Bible.” The two charts are scribal errors in the New Testament, but the same types of errors are in the Old Testament as well.

-Underneath that is pg. 325 or Appendix 3 from Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life,” which explains the usefulness (for those who can’t read the ‘Original’ languages) of using several different translations.

-Finally, I included a photocopy of pgs. 80-83 of Craig R. Koester’s “A Beginner’s Guide To Reading The Bible,” which explains the difficulties of Bible translation.

Historical criticism today: a word to evangelicals

Here's an interesting article from The Fire and the Rose Blogspot:

"Saturday, September 06, 2008
Historical criticism today: a word to evangelicals
Slandering historical biblical criticism (HBC) is all the rage nowadays. Alternative methods of interpreting Scripture—e.g., inter alia, canonical, literary, linguistic, poststructural, and political readings—have all but displaced HBC. When HBC is taught, it is almost always with a caveat, such as: “this was how I was instructed when I was a student,” or “this is an important part of the history of biblical interpretation,” or “you have to know this first before we can advance to more nuanced readings.”

But just because the field of biblical scholarship has moved past the old hegemony of HBC does not validate the conservative claim that HBC is a rejection of Scripture, was misguided from the start, is evidence of the liberal attack on orthodoxy, or some other nonsense like that. HBC provides a part of the picture, a part that we must not lose: viz., the historical-cultural origins of the biblical text. HBC is the basis for a key Christian axiom: the text of the Bible is a human document and is thus not in itself the Word of God. Only Jesus Christ is, by nature, the Word of God. All other words must become the Word of God by means of the actualizing power of the Holy Spirit..."

Read more at:

The Absurdity Of Biblical Inerrancy

Tony Cartledge has an interesting article on inerrancy on his Blog.

An anonymous poster raised these valid questions---

Anonymous said...
Well, at the risk of starting the fight all over again, here are the questions I asked then and have never heard an "inerrantist" answer yet:

1. How do you KNOW "the Bible" is without error?

Which "Bible" are you talking about? Which translation? Which set of manuscripts?

A. No one alive has ever examined a single one of the original manuscripts.

B. And if you did have one of the original manuscripts, just exactly to what would you compare it to establish that it contains no error?

What is the available standard by which accuracy would be judged?

It seems to me that if "the Bible" was inspired by the Holy Spirit, you'd have to take that original manuscript to the Holy Spirit and ask Him, "Would you please check this to see if the writer got it right?"

The whole question of "inerrancy" is specious. It is a question that is impossible to answer. And if a question is impossible to answer, then it is not a reasonable question in the first place.

That's about like asking, "Can God create a boulder so big that He can't move it?"

As a statement of faith, I can accept someone's declaring that he BELIEVES the Bible to be inerrant.

But when it comes to someone's "proving" that the Bible is inerrant, he has absolutely no available tool with which to perform the analysis and evaluation.

Therefore, for one to demand that SOMEONE ELSE subscribe to HIS BELIEF about the inerrancy of the Bible, especially in order to qualify for or be retained in a position of employment, that is absolute arrogance and presumptuousness. And it's done as a demonstration of power in order to control.

How does one person DARE to demand that another person subscribe to a postulate that the first person cannot PROVE?

What EVIDENCE has ever been produced that the Bible is without error?

Just as a personal observation, one of my Bibles has a misspelled name in it--twice. At least it is misspelled in comparison to the other Bibles of the same translation I've examined. But I must admit, I haven't checked it against the original manuscripts.

Still, I'm fairly confident that this is ONE BIBLE that is not without error!

And if this one is not, how do you propose to be certain that all of the others are not?


Brother Deaux

Additionally I'd like to ask inerrantists:

Where is the support for Mosaic authorship of the Torah in the Torah itself?

If then the theory of Mosaic authorship doesn't come from the canon itself but Apocryphal sources, does that mean that those sources are inerrant, too? Why or why not?

If Apocryphal sources then are errant but contain truth in them---why not the canon itself?
Additional questions: How can mere humans decide what God's truth looks like?

Is God's truth something that we can vote on?

Rowan Williams and kenotic ecclesiology

Also from:

Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Rowan Williams and kenotic ecclesiology
My paper in Rome today discusses Rowan Williams’ theological conception of Christian tradition. Here’s an excerpt:

“There is a profound apocalyptic dimension to Williams’ thought here. The meaning of doctrine is not latent within doctrinal history itself. The truth of doctrine is not immanent within the church’s own history and practices. Rather, the truth of doctrine comes to the church from beyond the church’s history. This means that an essential discipline of Christian theology is the practice of self-dispossession, of renouncing the claim to any final vision or any authoritative grasp of the truth.

“Following Donald MacKinnon, we might speak here of the ‘kenotic’ shape of doctrinal identity. Even where orthodoxy emerges as the historical winner from the struggle with heresy, that same orthodoxy must relinquish the right to claim a total vision or to interpret the direction of history. In relinquishing this right, orthodoxy preserves its own essential vulnerability vis-à-vis its founding event – and it confesses that the church can receive truth only from outside itself, as a gift that enters history from beyond history, tearing history open in the apocalyptic rupture of God’s advent.

“Williams’ role as Archbishop of Canterbury in recent years illustrates precisely this dialectic of kenosis and apocalypse. As a churchman, he combines an uncompromisingly rigorous commitment to the truth of doctrinal orthodoxy with an absolute refusal to grasp the truth as a possession or to wield it as an instrument of power. Indeed, the most striking thing about Williams’ conduct as Archbishop of Canterbury is his willingness to fail, his refusal to pursue any ideal of ecclesial ‘success’ in abstraction from the church’s spiritual identity as a community defined by weakness, fragility and self-dispossession.

“This rejection of the idolatrous notion of a ‘successful’ church, this willingness to fail, is at the same time a profoundly apocalyptic gesture: the church’s identity is not immanent within its own practices and institutions; its identity is that which exceeds it, that which comes to it as gift, that which fills its own emptiness and abasement. Williams’ approach here stands not only as a witness to the church’s proper identity, but also as a sharp critique of the tendency among some contemporary political theologies to hanker after the fleshpots of Christendom, or to envision the ecclesial polis as existing in any way other than that of discipleship and crucifixion. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer has observed, the church’s suffering is infinitely more dangerous to the world than any political power it may retain – the church’s only authentic power is its weakness.”
Labels: ecclesiology, Rowan Williams

posted by Ben Myers at 6:06 PM 12 comments links to this post

Donald MacKinnon on apologetics

Donald MacKinnon on apologetics from

Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Donald MacKinnon on apologetics
“The philosopher is not an apologist; apologetic concern, as Karl Barth (the one living theologian of unquestionable genius) has rightly insisted, is the death of serious theologizing, and I would add, equally of serious work in the philosophy of religion.”

—Donald M. MacKinnon, The Borderlands of Theology: An Inaugural Lecture (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1961), 28.
Labels: apologetics

posted by Ben Myers at 2:58 PM 36 comments links to this post

The Gospel Of Bruce Springsteen


Here this is for you, Dr. J:

Here is an excerpt from the book The Gospel According To Bruce:

Bruce's Ten Suggestions for Spiritual Living

1. The world has gone awry. The world according to Bruce is often portrayed as a gritty, conflicted, sometimes dark and sinister place. It differs for the particular characters involved in each song, of course, but the darkness is always there on the edge of things or not very far beneath the surface.

2. There is a power within the souls of men and women to transcend the world and to achieve real victories in spite of the world. For every homeless loser who has left his wife and kids high and dry back in Baltimore, there is that good man or good woman who works endlessly at a thankless job to meet his or her responsibilities. People have within them the power to choose to be true to themselves and what really matters.

3. The world is as it is. There is both great pain and great joy in life, Springsteen affirms. Once we have accepted that the pain is part of the deal, then we are free to experience genuine joy when it comes our way.

4. Life without connections is empty and dangerous. Springsteen sings of a stark array of misfits, criminals and losers. But there is always compassion in the portraits he presents, and we sense that the line between winners and losers is a narrow one and that what differentiates the former from the latter are the connections they have with other people.

5. Our stories symbolize something deeper. The great lie of our contemporary, celebrity-crazed culture is that only the rich and famous have stories worth telling. There are almost no celebrities featured in Springsteen's songs. His stories are our stories, and the wisdom (as well as the folly) they contain is ours, too.

6. Life is embodied. Sexuality is intrinsically neither good nor evil, Springsteen implies; here, as in all human ventures, only good soil will produce worthy fruit.

7. It's all about change. If we cling to the past, it withers and dies. If we let it go gracefully and move on to the next stage of our lives, the gifts of the past can continue to bless us.

8. There is no guarantee of success. Sometimes life teaches us lessons about humility and silence and emptiness and pain and unanswered prayers. At those times, we know that our true treasure is the power of our own integrity, and our reward lies in keeping faith with those other decent, down-to-earth, hardworking people everywhere.

9. Hope is resilient. The men and women in Springsteen's songs may win or they may lose, but they seldom abandon all hope. Despair is seldom, if ever, given the final word. It is hope that carries us human ones on the sacred vector toward life's divine possibilities.

10. There is always something more. If Bruce is luminous in his work — shining a light of perception on the horizontal dimension of this earthly life — so he is numinous as well — casting this life we lead in the brilliance of an almost mystic glow; shedding the radiance of discernment on that vertical beam which crashes through the linear plane of existence and points it toward that which is higher, deeper, somehow transcendent.

**Excerpted from The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen by Jeffrey B. Symynkywicz. Reprinted by arrangement with Westminster John Knox Press. © 2008.

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible are copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and are used by permission.

Augustine’s Conception of Sin

So what do you think about these beliefs?

Fundie Nuts Vs. Harry Emerson Fosdick

Steven J. said on Ray Comfort's Blog ...
(Shiver)Curtis quoted John MacArthur saying:

"The result is that over the past couple of decades, large numbers of evangelicals have shown a surprising willingness to take a completely non-evangelical approach to interpreting the early chapters of Genesis. More and more are embracing the view known as “old-earth creationism,” which blends some of the principles of biblical creationism with naturalistic and evolutionary theories, seeking to reconcile two opposing world-views. And in order to accomplish this, old-earth creationists end up explaining away rather than honestly exegeting the biblical creation account."-------Fundie Nut

Valid Response: Please note that an old Earth is not part of evolutionary theory: that the Earth was much older than 10,000 years was realized before evolutionary theory was proposed, and was not inspired by the need of evolution for large amounts of time to work with. Old-earth creationists are, after all, creationists.

The biblical creation account mentions the canopy of the sky, with "windows" in it (these are opened to let in the rain for Noah's Flood). This view of the sky as a solid artifact is repeated throughout the Old Testament, from further references to the "windows of heaven" in Malachi to Isaiah's reference to the sky being set up like a tent over the (presumably flat disk of the) Earth. John MacArthur, to be more consistent, should complain about all those ministers who explain away, rather than honestly exegete, the biblical passages that teach a geocentric, flat-earth cosmology. Or, conversely, he could take the approach of "Verandoug" and recognize that he has allowed his interpretation of the Bible to be shaped by scientific discoveries, and be less disdainful of those who carry this process further than he does, to acknowledge that the Earth is, in fact, immensely older than the human species (which is itself older than 10,000 or so years). I suppose it is too much to ask him to go so far as to allow his interpretation of Genesis 1 to be shaped by the evidence in favor of common ancestry of humans and other species, but he could make a start down the road to self-consistency and respect for evidence.

June 27, 2008 12:28 AM


Harry Emerson Fosdick long ago said:

The Real Situation

When, therefore, Mr. Bryan says, "Neither Darwin nor his supporters have been able to find a fact in the universe to support their hypothesis," it would be difficult to imagine a statement more obviously and demonstrably mistaken. The real situation is that every fact on which investigation has been able to lay its hands helps to confirm the hypothesis of evolution. There is no known fact which stands out against it. Each newly discovered fact fits into an appropriate place in it. So far as the general outlines of it are concerned, the Copernican astronomy itself is hardly established more solidly.

My reply, however, is particularly concerned with the theological aspects of Mr. Bryan's statement. There seems to be no doubt about what his position is. He proposes to take his science from the Bible. He proposes certainly, to take no science that is contradicted by the Bible. He says, "Is it not strange that a Christian will accept Darwinism as a substitute for the Bible when the Bible not only does not support Darwin's hypothesis, but directly and expressly contradicts it?" What other interpretation of such a statement is possible except this: that the Bible is for Mr. Bryan an authoritative textbook in biology--and if in biology, why not in astronomy, cosmogony, chemistry, or any other science, art, concern of man whatever? One who is acquainted with the history of theological thought gasps as he reads this. At the close of the sixteenth century a Protestant theologian set down the importance of the book of Genesis as he understood it. He said that the text of Genesis "must be received strictly"; that "it contains all knowledge, human and divine"; that "twenty-eight articles of the Augsburg Confession are to be found in it"; that "it is an arsenal of arguments against all sects and sorts of atheists, pagans, Jews, Turks, Tartars, Papists, Calvinists, Socinians, and Baptists"; that it is "the source of all science and arts, including law, medicine, philosophy, and rhetoric," "the source and essence of all histories and of all professions, trades, and works," "an exhibition of all virtues and vices," and "the origin of all consolation."

Luther and Bryan

One has supposed that the days when such wild anachronisms could pass muster as good theology were past, but Mr. Bryan is regalvanizing into life that same outmoded idea of what the Bible is, and proposes in the twentieth century that we shall use Genesis, which reflects the prescientific view of the Hebrew people centuries before Christ, as an authoritative textbook in science, beyond whose conclusions we dare not go.

Why, then, should Mr. Bryan complain because his attitude toward evolution is compared repeatedly, as he says it is, with the attitude of the theological opponents of Copernicus and Galileo? On his own statement, the parallelism is complete. Martin Luther attacked Copernicus with the same appeal which Mr. Bryan uses. He appealed to the Bible. He said: "People gave ear to an upstart astrology who strove to show that the earth revolves , not the heavens or the firmament, and the sun and the moon. Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, whic of all systems is, of course, the very best, This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy,but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth."

Nor was Martin Luther wrong if the Bible is indeed an authoritative textbook in science. The denial of the Copernican astronomy with its moving earth can unquestionable be found in the Bible if one starts out to use the Bible that way--"The world also is established, that in cannot be moved" (Psalm 91:I); "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved forever" (Psalm 104:5). Moreover, in those bygone days, the people who were then using Mr. Bryan's method of argument did quote these passages as proof, and Father Inchofer felt so confident that he cried, "The opinion of the earth's motion is of all heresies the most abominable, the most pernicious, the most scandalous; the immovability of the earth is thrice sacred; argument against the immortality of the soul, the existence of God, and the incarnation should be tolerated sooner that the argument to prove that the earth moves."

The Hebrew Universe

Indeed, as everybody knows who has seriously studied the Bible, that book represents in its cosmology and cosmogony the view of the physical universe which everywhere obtained in the ancient Semitic world. The earth was flat and was founded on an underlying sea (Psalm 136:6; Psalm 24:1-2; Genesis 7:11); it was stationary; the heavens, like an upturned bowl, "strong as a molten mirror" (Job 37:18; Genesis I:6-8;Isaiah 40:22; Psalm 104:2), rested on the earth beneath (Amos 9:6); Job 26:11); the sun, moon, stars moved within this firmament of special purpose to illumine man (Genesis 1:14-19); there was a sea above the sky, "the waters which were above the firmament." (Genesis 1:7; Psalm 148:4) and through "the windows of heaven" the rain came down (Genesis 7:11; Psalm 78:23); beneath the earth was mysterious Sheol where dwelt the shadowy dead (Isaiah 14:9-11); and all this had been made in six days, each of which had had a morning and an evening, a short and measurable time before (Genesis I).

Are we to understand that this is Mr. Bryan's science, that we must teach this science in our schools, that we are stopped by divine revelation from ever going beyond this science? Yet this is exactly what Mr. Bryan would force us to do if with intellectualconsistency he should carry out the implications of his appeal to the Bible against the scientific hypothesis of evolution in biology.

---Courtesy of: