The curses on vocation

Picking up from yesterday’s post, something else I learned from Jordan Cooper’s presentation on the Two Kingdoms and Creation.  He pointed out that just as God established human culture by appointing the vocations of marriage, parenthood, and work in Paradise, the curses after the Fall are directed specifically to vocation:  conflict within marriage; pain in parenthood; frustration with work.

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“See the place where they laid Him”

We blogged about the excavation of what is believed to be the tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.  When the marble cladding was removed over the place where the body would have been laid, there was a layer of debris.  Under that was another marble covering.  The researchers removed that, exposing the original limestone burial slab.

The researchers only had permission to study the slab for a short time, but they collected and recorded all the data they could.  They continue to study the rest of the tomb.  They have determined that the site, which also encloses six other rock tombs, was, in fact, a Jewish cemetery at the time of Jesus.

After the jump, read the latest details.  And click the link for PICTURES.  (They are copyrighted by National Geographic, so I’d better not copy them here.)
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Hezekiah’s toilet

Archaeologists have excavated a site identified with the rule of Hezekiah.  It includes a shrine with horned altars with the horns knocked off.  Also in the shrine:  a stone latrine.  Scientists have determined that it had never been used, so it was apparently put in just to desecrate the shrine.

This would seem to be evidence of Hezekiah’s crackdown on idolatrous worship.  In fact, there is a Biblical text about it:

“Then they demolished the pillar of Baal, and destroyed the temple of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day” (2 Kings 10:27).

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Solo scriptura vs. sola scriptura

A new study of evangelicals has found a surprising amount of out-and-out heresy when it comes to their understanding of the Trinity–particularly in regards to the Son of God and the Holy Spirit.  Among other things, such as a basic relativism and a repudiation of the church’s authority over them.

Mathew Block, communications director of the Lutheran Church-Canada, discusses the findings.  He argues that part of the problem is a misunderstanding of the authority of the Bible.  People say the Bible is their authority, then consider that to be a license to interpret scripture any way they want to.  Instead of sola scriptura, we have solo scriptura. [Read more…]

Religion replaces sex on the Banned Book list

Last week was Banned Books Week, the American Library Association’s tribute to books they get complaints about.  Now this observance is essentially bogus.  None of the current books they list every year have actually been banned.  Complaints are not the same as censorship.  Libraries have a certain budget and select what books they want to purchase.  The closest thing to censorship would be if librarians refuse to buy, say, conservative books or Christian books because they don’t agree with them and so prevent their patrons from reading them.

Nevertheless, it’s telling to see what books make the “Banned Book” lists, which are sort of a bellwether of the hot button issues from year to year.

Previously, most of the “banned books” raised objections because they contained sex scenes that parents considered unsuitable for children.  But this year, five of the ten most “banned” books drew objections because of their religious perspective.

Number 6 on the list is the Bible.  Secularists are wanting it to be banned because of its violence, intolerance, and because they think having it in a school or public library violates the separation of church and state.

Of the other titles that draw objections for religious reasons, they aren’t so Christian friendly:  one is pro-Islam, one promotes atheism, and the other two deal with LGBT issues and are probably critical of conservative religion. Most of the other titles that raised objections had gay and transgender themes.

But those are the flash points today:  LGBT and religion. [Read more…]