Monday, April 21, 2003


I received this purportedly true account from a grad school mate of mine, now a professor at a fine institution of higher learning somewhere in Dixie. He tells of an enlightening exchange in a colleague’s class. For full disclosure, the friend who sent me this is a Calvinist Baptist; the professor in the account is believed to be a member of a church of Christ. Names have been suppressed to protect the guilty:

In an effort to prepare his students for their upcoming midterm exam, the professor decided to offer a study session last Wednesday. Knowing that many of his students were Baptists and that all Baptists know the surest way to heaven is by attending Wednesday night prayer meeting, he decided to offer the review session at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon. But when he gave the class the time for the meeting, a student stated that the Methodists had an important function at the Wesley Center that afternoon from 4:30 to 5:30.

The professor said, ‘Fine. We’ll move the review session to 5:40 so the Baptists can still go to prayer meeting. This way, we can please the Baptist gods and also please the Methodist gods.’

The Methodist student then raised his hand again and asked, "What do you mean? It’s all the same god.’ To which one of the Baptist students replied, ‘No He’s not!’

The Methodists then said, ‘How do you know he’s a HE?’

Baptist student: ‘That’s exactly what I mean.’

From the mouth of babes…

Monday, April 14, 2003


Ferrell Jenkins, retired professor of the Bible at Florida College, was interviewed for this interesting article on Iraq and Biblical Archaeology. It includes several of his photographs as well.

Where can we find the winning American war plan? Why, in the Bible, of course! Top Bush officials were briefed by Bible codes guru Michael Drosnin. Drosnin finds the answers to almost any question--past, present and future--by feeding the Hebrew Torah into a computer that applies a process known as ELS (equidistant letter sequencing):
To Drosnin and the like-minded, the Hebrew Bible is a giant crossword puzzle that criss-crosses the entire text with a complex network of hidden phrases and words -- a computer program that could not have been written by humans.

Well of course it is. And some people are worried about the new hermeneutic!

Barry Levy, dean of McGill University's religious studies department, has the right take on the whole nonsense:
"The codes just confirm ideas people already have. To imagine this does anything other than provide spectacular entertainment is just silly," Levy says. "You could probably do this with a newspaper."

Your tax dollars at work.


The Iraqi war is of interest to many of you--as it is to me--because of the country's Biblical connections (obviously we all have many reasons to find it of great interest). No, I'm not talking about the Apocalyptic interpretation du jour, but rather the Biblical history there. My middle-school aged students in Bible class had looks of shock when I pointed out to them that Abraham was an Iraqi (forgive me the anachronism). Of course, since the Garden of Eden was likely in modern day Iraq, I suppose we're all Iraqis by heritage. Babylon--home of the Tower of Babel--and of Judah's captivity, also endures in Scripture as a symbol of opposition to God. But I digress.

Getting back to Eden, Coalition forces moved into the area believed to be the place where God placed the Garden in Genesis. Residing there now are people known as Marsh Arabs, apparently a group Hussein believed to be in the way of his vision of progress. Hussein has been forcing out the Marsh Arabs and systematically draining the wetlands there. A new group called Eden Again is making plans to restore the ecology of the area to its pre-Saddam state.

Someday if some stability comes to the region, perhaps it will open up to those of us who would love to see that Eden, and maybe follow travel from Ur to Babylon to Haran and beyond.

Monday, April 07, 2003


Scientists and doctors think they know what killed Herod the Great. It ain't pretty:
More than 2,000 years after Herod the Great succumbed at age 69, doctors have now settled on exactly what killed the king of ancient Judea: chronic kidney disease complicated by a very uncomfortable case of maggot-infested gangrene of the genitals.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Thursday, April 03, 2003


The ACLU is suing the state of Florida for distributing HIV/AIDS pamphlets with Biblical references urging compassion for those with AIDS. Ah, those intolerant Christians, urging compassion. What will they try to pull next?