Things I Would Change about America if I Could

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1) The tax code. We need a far more equitable tax code where those who get the most benefit out of the American economy also pay the largest amount of the tax burden. ‘To whom more is given, more is required.’2) Elimination of Super Pacs and an absolute limit on the amount of money that could be spent on an election. In order to accomplish this we also need a shorter campaigning season, say, no more than 6 months for a national office and no more than 3 months for state or local off … [Read more...]

Moonrise Kingdom…. or Moonshine Kingdom?

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In a summer of pathetic and predicable, bland and boring movies, along came Moonrise Kingdom a film that has the visual quality of my Dad's old super eight movies--- you know, grainy, close ups too close, weird angles, the works. For an hour and 33 minutes you are transported to a strange but familiar, distant yet close, world. You may, or may not be a fan of Wes Anderson’s previous movies (e.g. The Royal Tannebaums) with its mannered camera angles and quirky characters and faux old sets a … [Read more...]

More on Sam Adams

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What sort of devout Christian was Sam Adams? Like many New Englanders of his age he was in fact a devout Calvinist (and less well known was his strong emphasis on the second coming of Christ and eschatology in general). Here is a very interesting letter from John Adams defending Sam Adams, who was his second cousin. The letter was written to one William Tudor (whom I do not know) on 5 June, 1817. What is interesting about the letter is that Samuel had been dead for fourteen years, and yet his … [Read more...]

Samuel Adams— the Man not the Beer

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Samuel Adams, the man not the beer,though he and his father were indeed 'maltsters' as they were called in the 18th century, is of course best known for his role in prompting the American revolution, having something to do with: 1) the protest that led to the Boston massacre; 2) the Boston tea party; 3) the forming of documents that led to our Declaration of Independence (see picture above of him in Faneuil Hall pointing to the Massachusetts charter), and 4) had more than a little to do with the … [Read more...]

Vince and Amy– El Shaddai

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Hurtado on the Ascension

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(here's a helpful post by Larry Hurtado on the Ascension). Jesus’ “Ascension” by larry hurtadoWell, another dreadful "thought for today" on Radio 4 this a.m., this one ostensibly taking as its pre-text (and I use the word advisedly) that today is Ascension Day, and opining that Jesus' Ascension (portrayed solely in Luke-Acts in the NT) means that Jesus has deaked out and we're on our own! So, children, the moral lesson is that we should just face up to it and learn to cope. Hmm. Well, … [Read more...]

Hurtado on Wire on Mark as Performance Literature

Larry Hurtado offers the following critique of Antoinette Wire's case that Mark is the text of a particular performance.My review of Antoinette Clark Wire's book, The Case for Mark Composed in Performance (Cascade Books, 2011) has now appeared in Review of Biblical Literature: http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/8392_9192.pdf. I posted on the book earlier this year: http://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/orality-textuality-and-the-material-evidence/. … [Read more...]

Were the Images Altered or Enhanced? More on the Jonah Patio Tomb Ossuary

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Professor Jim Charlesworth (see previous blog posts on the Patio Tomb) has shared with me the following letter from the producer of the 'Jesus Tomb Discovery' about the images which were the basis of his analysis.Dear Prof. Charlesworth, Attached are two best images of "Yonah" inscription in question. One image came from the high definition camera and the other one from the fiber-optic video probe. None of these images were altered, enhanced or even colour corrected. The difference in … [Read more...]

Top Ten Reasons to be a Methodist

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(with apologies to and adaptation from Robin Williams Top Ten Reasons to be an Episcopalian).10. No snake handling (a real sales feature in Kentucky).9. You can believe in dinosaurs.8. Male and female God created them, male and female we ordain them.7. You don't have to check your brains at the door.6. Even cross and flame boxer shorts are not considered a tacky Christmas gift for clergy in the UMC.5. The church year is color coded, to make it easier to follow. … [Read more...]


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