Friday, February 29, 2008


Well, I'm looking forward to the new movie this summer, but Tudor Parfitt has gone one step further. He claims to have found the Ark of the Covenant, and he's written a book about it. You can read an excerpt at MSNBC.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


After church member and Presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke at a United Church of Christ convention the IRS is threatening to strip the denomination of its tax exempt status. However, the mayor of Hartford, Connecticut has asked elected officials to intervenes:
Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez asked Congress today to investigate the IRS' threat to strip the United Church of Christ of its tax-exempt status over Barack Obama's speech to a church convention in Hartford in 2007.

"If the IRS is successful, every church synagogue and mosque that invites an elected official to speak on issues such as the war in Iraq, abortion, the environment, labor and other issues of social justice could fear loss of their non-profit status," Perez said.

He is asking U.S. Sens. Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman and U.S. Rep. John B. Larson to intervene.

"This IRS action should outrage members of both parties and people of faith throughout the country," Perez said.

A letter from the IRS to the church says candidates are permitted to speak at church functions, but if a candidate is speaking "in his or her capacity as a candidate, then other candidates running for the same office must also be invited."

The church says Obama, a UCC member, was one of 60 speakers from many fields invited to talk about the intersection of their faiths and vocations. He was invited a year before becoming a presidential candidate.

It seems to me the IRS doesn't really have a leg to stand on. Obama is a member of the UCC, and he was invited well before he became a candidate. All political office holders are perpetual candidates anyway. Now certainly churches do not need to become simply political arms of either party, which can be a real danger, but this seems to be a tempest in a teapot.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Conservative commentator and founder of National Review William F. Buckley, Jr. has died at age 82. I read his God & Man at Yale in college and it proved to be a gateway into intellectual conservatism for me. I was able to interview WFB for my senior thesis in college at the National Review offices, a truly wonderful experience.

Without his founding of National Review magazine the American political and cultural landscape would have been far different, and likely would not have included Ronald Reagan as President.

He was a towering figure and will be missed.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

PREACHING THIS MORNING...'Honor the King' from 1 Peter 2:11-17 in a series from the epistle. Peter explains that although we are aliens and strangers we still must show deference to human institutions. If Peter could tell us that during the time of Nero surely we can honor the candidates we have been given for office regardless of how challenging that may seem at times.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Archaelogists have discovered a 2500 year old city in eastern India that may have had a population of 25,000:
The remains have been discovered at Sisupalgarh near Bhubaneswar, capital of the eastern state of Orissa.

Researchers say the items found during the excavation point to a highly developed urban settlement.

The population of the city could have been in the region of 20,000 to 25,000, the archaeologists claim....

RK Mohanty of the department of archaeology, Deccan College, Pune, who is one of the two researchers involved in the excavations.

"The significance of this ancient city becomes clear when one bears in mind the fact that the population of classical Athens was barely 10,000," he said.

Not all are convinced by the theories surrounding the findings, however:
But some historians and archaeologists in Orissa have expressed reservations about the claim of the two researchers.

"At best, it is a guesswork. Without excavating the entire area of the fortified city, it is not possible to determine its population or periodicity," said BK Rath, former director of the state archaeology department.

"The actual area excavated so far is only a minuscule part of the city. How does one determine the size of the average family in a period about which very little historical literature or evidence is available?"

Such disagreements are what often help produce the fruit of truth in such situations. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the find.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails...

Friday, February 08, 2008

NEW LEADERSHIP for the Mormon and Greek Orthodox churches.
NUNS AND MONKS are on the decline the Catholic Church is finding.

Archaeologists have found evidence of pre-Greek worship of a god on site long associated with Zeus worship:
But archaeologists say they have now found the ashes, bones and other evidence of animal sacrifices to some pre-Zeus deity on the summit of Mount Lykaion, in the region of Greece known as Arcadia. The remains were uncovered last summer at an altar later devoted to Zeus.

Fragments of a coarse, undecorated pottery in the debris indicated that the sacrifices might have been made as early as 3000 B.C., the archaeologists concluded. That was about 900 years before Greek-speaking people arrived, probably from the north in the Balkans, and brought their religion with them.

The excavators were astonished. They were digging in a sanctuary to Zeus, in Greek mythology the father of gods and goddesses. From texts in Linear B, an ancient form of Greek writing, Zeus is attested as a pre-eminent god as early as 1400 B.C. By some accounts, the birthplace of Zeus was on the heights of Lykaion.

After reviewing the findings of pottery experts, geologists and other archaeologists, David Gilman Romano of the University of Pennsylvania concluded that material at the Lykaion altar “suggests that the tradition of devotion to some divinity on that spot is very ancient” and “very likely predates the introduction of Zeus in the Greek world.”

SOME ACTUAL SCIENCE applied to the millennarian agitation over so-called global warming. It looks like global cooling is on its way instead.

Monday, February 04, 2008


but with these options I think I'll have to go with Firewood.

(Apologies for leading Theosebes into politics per se, but when I saw these signs while driving through Macon, Georgia, I couldn't resist.)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

PREACHING THIS MORNING...'The First Verse In the Bible', first of a 30,442 part series. (Okay, I'm just joking about that last bit.) The first verse of the Bible lays a foundation of the existence of God, His pre-existence and His immense power. The Bible takes the thread of Creation to demonstrate our need to give God honor and obedience as well as to lead us to the One for whom and by whom the universe was created: Jesus Christ.