Godfather Ben starring in Apocalypse Soon

Who knew that when I went to film a course for Logos in Everett Washington, they would turn me into the Godfather? I suppose they thought that when they offered my course on Johannine Literature they were making ya'll an offer you couldn't (or shouldn't refuse) :) :) … [Read more...]

The Pilgrimage: Israel Part Five

There is still today considerable debate as to which little town named Qana (Cana) in the north is Biblical Cana, of wedding fame. It may be Kirbet Qana, but that is not the traditional site, and we visited the traditional site which has a lovely Catholic Church, and an even more lovely little wedding chapel....not far from the local wine salesman :)As you may remember, the Pope visited Israel and Jordan just a little after we moved on to Turkey, and these posters were up … [Read more...]

The Pilgrimage: Israel Part Four

Ah the Sea of Galilee, especially at sunrise and sunset its beautiful. If you can't get inspired there, you are a pilgrim without a pulse.(moonrise over the Golan from the Tiberias side, through the map of the lake).(sunrise over the Golan).From Megiddo we went north to Tiberias, and made that our base camp for several nights running. There's a lot to see up there. The sea of Galilee is of course misnamed. It is not even a lake as big as Lake Cumberland here in Kentucky. … [Read more...]

The Pilgrimage: Israel Part Three

Armageddon is a word that sends chills down one's spine. The word comes from Har Megiddo, the hilltop city on Megiddo. Megiddo, in the Jezreel valley was near the major routes north/south where armies marched--- Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and of course Israelites, so when a person of the Biblical world thought of a locale where there might be a major battle of world powers (like the battle of Carcar, for instance), Megiddo regularly came to mind. It is of course the 23 layered city … [Read more...]

The Pilgrimage: Israel Part Two

Mt. Carmel is an important site, both in terms of the OT and probably in terms of the NT. This is the mount which according to tradition Elijah had his victory over the prophets of Baal (see statue above next to the Carmelite monastery). It is possible that this, and not Mt. Hermon or Mt. Gilboa was the mount of Transfiguration. Indeed, I would say its more likely this hill, since this is by tradition the hill where Elijah had his victory, and perhaps ascended into heaven. What better place … [Read more...]

The Pilgrimage— Israel: Part One

Why do people make pilgrimages to Israel? Do they think God is more present in Israel than in other lands? Do they think they need to make such a trip to get closer to Jesus? Why do already baptized people want to be rebaptized in the Jordan? Doubtless, there are lots of different reasons Christians go to Israel, and most of them don't go just because they got a good deal on a 'tour'. Touring is one thing, a pilgrimage is another. I was fortunate enough to lead a tour to Israel and … [Read more...]

Plain Movies/Plane Movies Part Two

There are good movies that come and go in the theaters without a lot of fanfare, while other dogs remain barking for weeks in the same theaters. There is no accounting for taste when it comes to some folks. Stuck on a ten hour flight from Istanbul to NY a week or so ago, I watched three movies to pass the time---: 1) Nebraska; 2) Grudge Match; 3) Ruby Sparks. The first and last of these movies received considerable acclaim, and in the case of Nebraska some Oscar nominations. Grudge Match, yet … [Read more...]

Who Wrote the Gospels?

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After All— On the Folly of War

After all the wars are over, And all the battles won, After all the blood's been spilt, From here to kingdom come,Do you think it really mattered In the larger scheme of things That this nation took the prize Or that one got no rings?So what if one lasts longer Outlasting all their foes While another bites the dust And sooner tastes the woes.All empires rise and fall Not one endures forever Every nation has a life span Despite plans and best endeavors.After all the … [Read more...]