Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Blogging hiatus

With the arrival of Spring, I am re-evaluating how I spend my time. I am going to suspend blogging for an indefinite amount of time. I will probably post book announcements periodically, but for now this blog is on a moratorium. Thanks for all your support and comments.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Spring at Eisenbrauns

This tree is right in front of the building. Don't you love it?

Theology of Work

I had high hopes for this book. It started out so well. He described the problem so precisely: "Church on Sunday or church meetings during the week were the only places they expected to meet with God and become themselves the new creatures that they now were. Daily work only got in the way." He goes on to describe how this led him to decide to come up with a theology of work that was all-encompassing. Well, it has been downhill ever since.

<rant mode on>
Yesterday did it. He is critiquing Moltmann's theology of work and says, correctly, "A person simply cannot justify him or herself." But then he goes on to say, "However we need to go on and introduce the doctrine of sanctification, not merely the question of justification. If sanctification rather than justification is in view, then theologically it is less problematic to argue that what a person does (including work), in some qualified way, contributes either positively of negatively to what he or she is or becomes." He goes on in the next page to argue that sanctification is more our part.

STOP! Now, I am a classic Wesleyan and have been accused of believing that I can somehow work my salvation and sanctification out on my own power. But, I don't believe that we can do anything apart from God's empowering presence in us. We are not able to do anything but sin, whether we are justified or not! It is all of God. That is why Paul is continually saying "in Christ" (EN TWi XRISTWi).

I realize that about 85% of the Christians in the U.S. probably act and believe that they can work for their own sanctification. You know what I'm talking about: read your Bible, pray, go to small groups, church groups, program yourself to death, etc. All of which are not bad in and of themselves, but it feeds the mentality that we do the work and God watches us. Bad theology! So along comes this book and actually endorses that view!

People, get it straight. Check out Galatians 3:1-5 (NIV)
"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?"

Of course, if you don't believe God can work miracles, then I guess you have the right to throw out the whole section and do your works sanctification. But, don't call it Christianity!
<rant mode off>

OK, I'm done, I think I'll read a different book now, probably The Gospel of Judas. At least there I know it is gnostic and not Christian theology.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fog day

This is my third spring in Indiana, and I am still getting used to some things. For example, in Minnesota we had school canceled or delayed because of snow or excessive cold (wind chill colder than 50 degrees below zero F), but that was about it.

Well, here they delay school because of fog. The first time I heard that, I laughed. Then I went out and tried to ride my bike in it. Talk about zero visibility! It was scary, the cars couldn't see me until they were almost on top of me. I didn't do that again.

Today was a "fog day" and the visibility at 7:30 AM was about 50 feet, not a good thing for school buses. By about 9 it was all burned off and now it is clear and beautiful. Now you know :)

More bicycling-try 2

Blogger is acting up today, this post appeared 3 times and then disappeared totally. Let's try again...

Lest you be too dismayed, I took the seatpost in to the bike shop. They looked at it and said it shouldn't have broken. It will be covered by warranty and I will get a new one. Meantime, they gave me another one to use. It isn't carbon, but that's ok.

So, you ask, what is the big deal about carbon? It absorbs bumps and smooths out the ride. So why did I not get a carbon frame, then? I tried a carbon frame last spring. I borrowed it from a friend when we were in Minneapolis last year, visiting our son. I put about 200 miles on it. Man, it is fast! But, I didn't like the ride. You don't feel the road, except when there is a big bump, then it is jarring. With steel, you feel the road better and the big bumps are not as jarring. When I say steel, I actually mean a hybrid like chrome-molybdenum. It weighs a pound or two more, but I prefer the ride. Debbie has an aluminum bike, and it is nice, but I don't like the ride as well. A friend of mine told me to try titanium. I looked at the price of frames and said, no way. I don't want to put that much money into a bike. If I did, it would become an idol to me. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be." I don't want my treasure to be in a bicycle! Or a library, for that matter, and that is a tougher one for me, especially working for a bookseller.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Idle Musings on an 8 month anniversary

Eight months ago today at 6:35 AM I had an encounter with an F-150 pickup truck while riding my bicycle. I was T-boned by the truck while going 19-20 MPH. Needless to say, I lost in the encounter and was thrown between 20-30 feet in the air. I ended up with 12 staples in my head, multiple cuts, a fractured left leg and the whole right side of my body was purple with bruises from the waist down. In short, I was a mess and the pain was pretty intense as I lay on the pavement.

When I got to the ER, they stapled my head and then Debbie (my wife) arrived. They told her it would be 45 minutes while they took X-rays, etc. So, she went over the Eisenbrauns and told them what had happened and asked for prayer. Then she went home and called people in the church to pray. By the time she got back to the ER, Dave (Eisenbrauns' business manager) was there. They prayed together, then people from the church started arriving and they let them into the ER. As they gathered around me they started praying. The pain started dropping as they were praying. It went from a 8-9 down to about a 5-6.

After everyone left, they put me in a leg immobilizer and told me I would probably require surgery for the knee. Later that afternoon a long-time prayer partner (back from University of Chicago days) called and we prayed over the phone. We both believed God that the pain would disappear and that I wouldn't need surgery.

The physical therapist and the nurses all kept telling me that I would need surgery and so, they wouldn't allow any food after 10:00 PM. I guess that was a forced fasting! They also assured me that I would be in extreme pain the next day from muscles tightening up and the knee.

I slept poorly that night, the staples in my head were very uncomfortable. But, next morning I woke up and the pain was gone. No pain, none whatsoever, no muscle tightness, no sore leg. The surgeon came in, felt my leg, had me move it, looked at the x-ray, shook his head and said I wouldn't need surgery. He told me I could go home that day, should keep the leg immobilized for 4 weeks and that he would see me in a week. He asked how the pain was, I told him there wasn't any. He offered to give me a prescription for painkillers, which I declined.

When I went to see him the next week, they did x-rays and asked me how the pain was. I said there wasn't any. I saw what they wrote on the chart and laughed. They wrote "denies pain." Now anyone who knows me knows I am a sissy when it comes to pain. I don't do very well with it, I grimace and groan, etc. If I am in pain, you know it. There was no pain.

I firmly believe that God answers prayer, and he answered the prayers so that I did not require surgery and did not feel pain.

In celebration of the 8 month anniversary yesterday I rode 50 miles. I figured that was an appropriate celebration. It was beautiful, the red bud, plums, pears, etc. Even the lilacs are starting to come out. God is wonderfully creative and he is faithful to his children.

Two miles from home, I went over an unusually rough railroad track and the seatpost on my new bike (compliments of the insurance company!) broke. This is the best bike I have ever owned, carbon fork, carbon seatpost, Ultegra components, steel frame. It cost me $30, the insurance company paid the rest. Anyway, the seatpost broke. I walked the last 2 miles home of what would have been a 52 mile ride, but suddenly became a 50 mile ride and 2 mile walk. How did I react? I praised God (I Thess. 5), after all he is in control!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Another new Anchor Bible volume

Wow, they changed the publication date of an Anchor Bible volume. No, not the way you are thinking...they moved it one month closer, November instead of December! Here's the skinny:

Exodus 19-40
A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
Anchor Bible - AB
by William H. Propp
Random House,Forthcoming November 2006
704 pages,English
ISBN: 0385246935
List Price: $49.95
Your Price: $34.92

No graphic yet, but you all know what a Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Anchor Bible volume looks like, the blue one. Look for it at AAR/SBL in Washington, D.C. We'll have it.

Quote for the day

"Human beings have lost their own, God-like essence, which they had from God. They live now without their essential purpose, that of being the image of God. Human beings live without being truly human. They must live without being able to live. That is the paradox of our existence and the source of all our woes. Since then, the proud children of Adam have sought to restore this lost image of God in themselves by means of their own efforts. But the more seriously and devotedly they strive to regain what was lost, and however convinced and proud they are of their apparent victory in achieving this, the deeper the contradiction to God grows. Their distorted form, which they modeled after the image of the god of their own imaginative projections, resembles more and more the image of Satan, even though they may be unaware of this. The image of God, as the Creator's gracious gift, has been lost on this earth."—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible

Abingdon recently (finally?) announced that the first volume of the New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible will be released this November. After looking at the flier, I would suggest that those of you who have submitted articles had better proofread them carefully. The flier had several different dates on it for volume 1, none of which matched and were different from the dates given on Abingdon's website. The flier said in big print that volume 1 would be available "late 2006." The information next to volume 1 said "Available January 2007." Their website says November 2006. November is late 2006, and I suppose that if it is available in November, it will still be available in January 2007, but that seems to be special pleading :)

Enough rambling, here's the stuff that matters:
New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible

New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible
Volume 1, A-C
New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible - NIDB 1
Edited by Katharine Doob Sakenfeld and A. Andrew Das
Abingdon,Forthcoming November 2006
ISBN: 0687054273
List Price: $75.00
Your Price: $52.43

Quote for the day

"The only thing left for us is to look away from ourselves and to look to the one who has already accomplished everything for us, and to follow this one."—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Yes, spring really is here. I went for a bike ride last night after work and was amazed at how much the leaves have popped since my Saturday ride. It was as if the trees were exploding with leaves and blossoms. There are quite a few red bud, plum and other flowering trees on the route I ride, and I love watching them as they come to fullness this time of year.

I love spring. Well, I love seasons is a better way of putting it. I love to see the Creator's handiwork in nature and then reflect that He knows us by name and loves us.

"Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou my God shouldst die for me?"–Charles Wesley

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The biblio-blog community

Jim West has a post today about the "Dis-integration" of the biblioblogging community. This spurred a response by Chris Heard. I haven't seen any others yet, but I am sure there will be.

As one who has always considered myself as an outsider (not in an excluded sense, but I have tried to keep my posts more general, which is why I chose ANE Books as the title), here are a few comments:

Chris's comment about the lack of ease in following comments is well taken. Scot McKnight's site has the ability to track comments if you post them, but that is the only one I know of. Scot has a custom built site. I don't think most people would be willing to go to that trouble. So, strike the interaction via comments.

Another aspect is that there is no "central" blog that people interact on. What do I mean? When I worked in IT, the first thing I did every day was check It was the equivalent of the water cooler. Everything was posted there and the interaction was sometimes good, sometimes (usually?) bad. But it was a central location that everyone knew. Biblical Studies is not like I.T. It is made up of individuals who make contributions over the course of time and interact with each other. Should it have more interaction? Probably. Will it ever get the interaction of a Slashdot? Probably not. It is a different animal.

A third aspect is the sprawling nature of blogs. I spend almost an hour a day reading blogs, and I don't read all that I know of. I follow the ones I need to in order to keep my finger on the pulse of what's going on for listing the needed books. I follow some other ones for personal enjoyment (there is a lot of overlap there). But, there is no way I could keep up. I suspect others are like that also.

So, what is the answer? Or is there one?

I just saw Eric Welch's post. Hilarious! You have to read it.

Atonement theory

Scot McKnight has been doing an off again on again series on the atonement. He is writing a book on it and sharing his thought on his blog along the way. Today he is discussing penal substitution. Here is a brief excerpt:

"So let’s also think together about how an “image” speaks: if these are the two terms we bandy about [penal substitution] when we talk about what we believe, and I used to do this myself, then we are creating an image of atonement as something that settles justice [God’s just retribution against sin] — the image, as it is often used, is not being used to say something positive about the atonement, even though I know full well that many who use these terms do have in mind many other good things. Like forgiveness and reconciliation and justification and a lot of other good things.

"Let me ask if the image conveyed by penal substitution excites those good things? I don’t think it does.

"Now let’s also admit that our churches are filled with folks who have embraced the gospel that Jesus died for my sins (understood in terms of guilt) and that in so believing or accepting that gospel the problem has been taken care of — and they need not get any further than that. I am suggesting that a reduced gospel emerges from a reduced atonement theory"

<idle musing>
Good stuff. You should read the whole post. I am looking forward to his book, if he would just tell us the name of it :)
</idle musing>

Quote for the day

"He who can sit with ten open commentaries and read the Holy Scriptures — well, he is probably writing the eleventh, but he deals with the Scriptures contra naturam." — Kierkegaard

Monday, April 17, 2006

Two new Hermeneia volumes announced

Augsburg/Fortress just announced two new volumes in the Hermeneia series:

A Commentary
by Robert Jewett
Edited by Eldon J. Epp
Fortress Press,Forthcoming November 2006
1000 pages,
Cloth with dustjacket, 7.25 x 9.35
ISBN: 0800660846
List Price: $90.00
Your Price: $81.00 (10%)

And, a bit more portable:

Hermeneia on CD-ROM
All 38 published volumes
CD-ROM with case, includes brochure with system requirements, installation instruction, technical support contacts, and notice of future publications.
Fortress Press,Forthcoming November 2006
ISBN: 0800661990
List Price: $1,000.00
Your Price: $800.00 (20%)

<idle musing>
Interesting, a check over at the other big bookselling site shows the first one at list price, and the second one not listed at all. They also have the latest Anchor Bible volume (Exodus 19-40) listed at full retail–Eisenbrauns sells it at 30% off. Hmm, is there a pattern here? Could it be that they use loss-leaders on the popular titles and get it back on the specialty titles? Just an idle musing...
</idle musing>

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Quote for the day

"Some like to read their bible in the Greek, some like to read it in the Hebrew. I like to read mine in the Holy Spirit."—Smith Wigglesworth


Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as His Love; Alleluia!
Praise Him all ye heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!

Charles Wesley

<idle musing>
This is one of my favorite hymns. I want it sung at my funeral, just to remind people that death is swallowed up in victory!

Have a great Resurrection Sunday!
</idle musing>

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Quote for the day

“True Christian change works more like an oak tree in the spring, when the new life inside pushes off the old dead leaves that still hang on.”—John Perkins in Let Justice Roll Down

<idle musing>
I grew up in an oak woods. The oak doesn't drop all its leaves in the fall, they just hang on until spring. We used to joke that you could rake leaves year round with oak trees. Anyway, I like the word picture, the new life within pushing off the old dead leaves. We can try to fix ourselves by pulling off leaves, but there are always more leaves to pull off. It is only as the new life becomes real within us that the old leaves are forced off. A much more effective way, don't you think?
</idle musing>

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A new Anchor Bible volume announced

Random House just announced this new volume, coming out in December, they don't even have a graphic for it yet!

Exodus 19-40
A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
Anchor Bible - AB
by William H. Propp
Random House,Forthcoming December 2006
704 pages,
ISBN: 0385246935
List Price: $49.95
Your Price: $34.92

"New" books from Eisenbrauns/Harvard Semitic Museum

Thanks to the magic of print on demand, Eisenbrauns has made two Harvard Semitic Museum books available again:

I must confess I never studied any Ethiopic, in fact I never even opened a grammar of it! The alphabet looks upside down to me. I was very glad when HALAT/HALOT used transliteration for it in their etymologies. I never could make sense of the script in either BDB or KB2. I think I finally figured out what shin looked like. But, for those of you who need to learn it, one of the standard grammars is available again:

Introduction to Classical Ethiopic (Ge'ez)

Introduction to Classical Ethiopic (Ge'ez)
Harvard Semitic Studies - HSS 24
by Thomas O. Lambdin
Scholars Press,1978
x + 452 pages,English
ISBN: 0891302638
Your Price: $69.50

And for the historians out there:

The Chronicler's Use of the Deuteronomistic History

The Chronicler's Use of the Deuteronomistic History
Harvard Semitic Monographs - HSM 33
by Steven L. McKenzie
Harvard Semitic Museum,1985
219 pages,English
ISBN: 0891308288
List Price: $39.50
Your Price: $36.74

Confessions of a grammar junkie

I have to come clean. I am a grammar junkie. Yes, that's right, I read grammars for the fun of it. Right now I am reading by Stan Porter's Idioms of the Greek New Testament. No, you won't find it on the sidebar, I just read a few pages a day. I've been doing it for years, reading grammars that is. I can't help it. When I was in second year Greek, we were using Brooks & Winbery's Syntax of New Testament Greek. I read it for class, but secretly, I was reading Dana & Mantey with their idiosyncratic 8 case system. I used to take Smyth's Greek Grammar and read sections of it just for fun. For a while I was collecting Latin first year teaching grammars. I can't help it. I read LaSor's inductive Hebrew grammar just for the historical grammar notes.

Is there any hope for me? Is there a "Grammars Anonymous" chapter near me? "Hi, I'm James. I read dead language grammars. I need help!"

Monday, April 10, 2006

The role of "pastor"

This is from a blog I discovered over the weekend— The M Blog (thanks to The Heresy for the link). This is only a brief excerpt from a lengthy post by a missionary to Ecuador, the whole post is here:

"In many of the house churches shepherding/leadership is shared amongst several without anyone filling the role of 'the pastor.' Responsibility is mutual amongst ALL the church, not just the pastor. Our team does not have any problem with churches selecting one of their own and calling them to be one of their pastors/elders. But we have noticed a pattern that has emerged within those church plants where they have singled out and called a pastor.

"Of the 4-5 house churches we relate to where they did name an official 'pastor', all are suffering right now. Not because they called a pastor, but becuase the church looks to their named 'pastor' as the one to do all the work of teaching, leading, evangelism, preaching, etc.

"Everyone of these pastors has come to me complaining that they cannot get the church to do the 'work of ministry'. They expect the pastor to do everything (sound familiar?) Quite a number have even left because their 'pastor' was not as dynamic and educated as some of the others around in the more established churches. The work of "being the church" has been replaced by "going to church.""

Quote for the day

“Being a messenger of Jesus does not grant any personal rights; it does not entitle one to respect or power. That does not change even when the free messenger of Jesus has turned into an official pastor. The rights of a man with a university education and the privileges of social standing are no longer valid for anyone who has become a messenger of Jesus. ‘You received without payment!’ Or was there something else which attracted us besides the call of Jesus which took us, who did not deserve it, into his service? ‘Give without payment.’ Let it become clear that with all the riches you have to give, you covet nothing for yourselves: no property, but also no respect or acknowledgment, not even gratitude! From where would you get such expectations? Any honors we claim for ourselves are stolen from him to whom they rightfully belong, the Lord who sent us out.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Friday, April 07, 2006

I saw a scary statistic today over at Chief Marketer:

"Consumers today encounter from 3,500 to 5,000 marketing messages daily, vs. 500 to 2,000 in the 1970s."

<idle musing>
That is a very scary thought. As Christians we are commanded to "take every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). 5,000 marketing messages a day isn't exactly helpful to that end—perhaps our society really is the Babylon of the book of Revelation...
</idle musing>

Quote for the day

"If my intent in passing judgment were really to destroy evil, then I would seek evil where it really threatens me, namely, in myself. But the fact that I seek evil in another person reveals that in such judgments I am really seeking to be right myself, that I want to avoid punishment for my own evil by judging another person. All judging presupposes the most dangerous self-deception, namely, that the word of God applies differently to me than it does to my neighbor. I claim an exceptional right in that I say: forgiveness applies to me, but condemnation applies to the other person."—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Church Planting--the middle-class way?

Ran across this post at lunch today, from Next-Wave Church and Culture (thanks to House Church Blog for the link). There are 10, of which two jump out at me as insane and dependent on man and not God, the comments are not mine, but from the Next-Wave blogger:

3. Location, location, location

Yeah, okay. I hear you. I think our outside-the-box meeting space has done huge things for us (we meet in a pub). But...

I want to differentiate between planting a service and actually planting a community. Planting a service is easy. You just need a bunch of dough, a few people willing to work themselves to death and voila'... and yes, that's all about the location.

Planting a community, however, is a bit more ephemeral... a bit harder to quantify into easy-to-follow steps. It's a partnership between the Spirit and desperate people trying hard to listen to that Spirit. It usually results in a Sunday morning (or other time) gathering, and often people are told about it/invited to it... but that's not the heart of a true community is it?

5. It takes big money to plant a church.


If you'll excuse my language, that's a load of shite. And a dangerous lie to tell to church planters. I wish to God (literally) that people would stop saying this. Is it easier to plant with "big money"? In some ways... And I'm really glad for churches that are able to start with a lot of support. Seriously. The fact that someone is willing to put up that kind of money on a venture that statistically has an 80% or more chance of failure is amazing in the best sense of the word. A lot of people are putting their wallets where their mouths are to plant churches.


It's not necessary. You don't have to have "big money" to plant a church... In fact, you might be better off without it.

You should definitely look over the whole list, he goes on further about the money.

<idle musing>
If you decide you want to plant a church, then you will need all this. Notice the pronouns—you, you, you. If God tells you to plant a church, then He is responsible to make it work, as long as He is allowed to have control of it. Notice the pronouns this time—God, He, He (ok, God isn't a pronoun, but you get my idea). Human centered christianity is the bane of this culture, and the sooner we realize it, the better off the church will be.

In case you haven't noticed, I get steamed up about this topic. If Christianity is real, and I believe it is, then it has to be supernatural from beginning to end. I am convinced that the sooner we stop trying to do our things our way in our timing the sooner we will begin to see God doing His things in His way in His timing. The result will be genuine revival in the form of changed lives and by extension changed communities. Love is the key, not laws, and when God moves, He fills people with His love. Of course, it might not look the way we expect it and it certainly won't be controllable (praise God), but we have to be willing to let God have His way.
</idle musing>

Why I Am Not An Arminian final summary

I finished Why I Am Not An Arminian yesterday. Their best chapters were definitely the historical theology ones. When they talked about divine sovereignty, they seemed to be arguing mainly against open theology and didn't really address traditional Wesleyan-Arminian beliefs.

They are infralapsarian, as the chapter on predestination made clear. This makes their version of Calvinism less rigid and closer to a Wesleyan-Arminian understanding. In several places they say that they can't explain the doctrine, but leave it as a mystery. While I am all in favor of leaving things as mysteries, I was left wondering why it didn't make more sense to agree with the traditional Wesleyan understanding and leave things as a mystery which are unexplainable. What I mean is, there are many verses which seem to imply that we must persevere, that it is possible to make genuine choices (not just in a compatibilist way). If you are going to leave things as a mystery, why discount these verses with tortured exegesis? Why not accept them and leave the exact outworkings as a mystery? Why redefine "all" in a limited way to defend a limited atonement? To their credit, they do acknowledge that many Calvinists have done a less than good job in exegeting these passages, but I was left wondering how their exegesis was any better.

On the whole, the book was OK, but I was disappointed. I expected a more robust defense of Calvinism. Perhaps I was looking for something they weren't trying to deliver, after all it is an introductory book. Most people who read it will not have read Calvin or any other Reformed theologian, with the possible exception of a "pop-theologian."

Now the question is, what to read next...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Quote for the day

“…I remain convinced that whatever else God is, God is not a capitalist…First and foremost, from a capitalist point of view, God has a lousy business model. Consider the parable about hiring workers for the vineyard at different times of the day and paying them all the same wage (Matt. 20:1-16). Any businessperson reading this as a straightforward description would conclude the obvious: there’s no way in which this is an economically competitive practice. Overpaying the latecomers results in a wage bill higher than one’s competitors; no extra payments for the all-day laborers invites resentments and its sequalae—shirking, sabotage, and more. It also provides no material incentives for working hard, for loyalty to the boss, for reliability. It’s bad labor utilization and is certain to put God’s vineyard out of business sooner rather than later.” — Michael L. Budde “God is Not a Capitalist” in God is Not...Religious, Nice, "One of Us," An American, A Capitalist

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Gawwada (it's a language)

Eisenbrauns is working on Morphologies of Asia and Africa, a companion volume to Phonologies of Asia and Africa. I pass along to you some tidbits:

Some important vocabulary from Gawwada (Cushitic).

c’óq: the noise of dripping water, or, with a causative verb, of a finger stuck into an eye;
hófhóf: a soft noise, as, e.g., when a knife enters flesh;
lumá?: the action of swishing away, said of a snake;
túrr: the action of farting with no noise but bad smell;
t’úup: a suckling noise made when drinking, in appreciation.

Enjoy :)

Thought for the day

A friend of mine sent me this:

On Wednesday at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06. — Of course, that only works for the U.S. way of abbreviating the month/day/year. Europeans will have to wait another month :)

Monday, April 03, 2006

2 week sale at Eisenbrauns

I'm running a 2 week sale on selected Brill titles, but not announcing it on BookNews until April 6. Don't you feel special?

Discounts are from 30-40% off. Here's what I've got:

Sumerian Grammar

Sumerian Grammar
Handbook of Oriental Studies, Part One: The Ancient Near East and Middle East - HOSANE / HOSNME 71
by D. O. Edzard
Brill Academic Publishers,2003
xviii + 191 pages,English
ISBN: 9004126082
List Price: $126.00 Your Price: $88.20 30% off

The Context of Scripture

The Context of Scripture
only available in 3 volume set
Context of Scripture - CS
Edited by William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger, Jr.
Brill Academic Publishers,2003
xxviii + 599; xxvi + 438; liv + 406 pages,English
ISBN: 9004131051
List Price: $199.00 Your Price: $119.40 40% off

Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon Old Testament: Study Edition, 2 Volume Set

Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon Old Testament: Study Edition, 2 Volume Set
Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament - HALOT
Edited by Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner
Brill Academic Publishers,2002
cxii + 2094 pages,English
ISBN: 9004124454
List Price: $179.95 Your Price: $107.97 40% off

A Phoenician-Punic Grammar

A Phoenician-Punic Grammar
Handbook of Oriental Studies, Part One: The Ancient Near East and Middle East - HOSANE / HOSNME 54
by Charles R. Krahmalkov
Brill Academic Publishers,2001
xix + 309 pages,English
ISBN: 9004117717
List Price: $116.00 Your Price: $81.20 30% off

A Dictionary of the Ugaritic Language in the Alphabetic Tradition

A Dictionary of the Ugaritic Language in the Alphabetic Tradition
2 volumes
Handbook of Oriental Studies, Part One: The Ancient Near East and Middle East - HOSANE / HOSNME 67
by Gregorio del Olmo Lete and Joaquin Sanmartin
Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson
Brill Academic Publishers,2003
xliv + 1007 pages,English
ISBN: 9004136940
List Price: $295.00 Your Price: $206.50 30% off

The Bible in Aramaic

The Bible in Aramaic
Based on the Old Manuscripts and Printed Texts
One Volume Edition

Edited by Alexander Sperber
Brill Academic Publishers,2004
700 pages,English
ISBN: 9004140387
List Price: $140.00 Your Price: $98.00 30% off

A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law - 2 volume set

A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law - 2 volume set
2 volume set
Handbook of Oriental Studies, Part One: The Ancient Near East and Middle East - HOSANE / HOSNME 72
Edited by Raymond Westbrook
Brill Academic Publishers,2003
1248 pages,English
ISBN: 9004129952
List Price: $399.00 Your Price: $279.30 30% off

Quote for the day

“Listen carefully to most children’s sermons, and the gospel you hear proclaimed is ‘God is nice. You should be nice, too.’ To which the clever child should respond, ‘Let me get this straight. Jesus was crucified for saying that God is nice and we can be, too?’ … Imagine the extreme makeover this would give Isaiah’s vision of God: ‘…I saw the Lord sitting on a lawn chair, close and friendly; and the emblem of his ballcap said Chicago Cubs. Seraphs called to one another and said: ‘Nice, nice, nice is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his niceness’’ (Isaiah 6:1-3, altered a little).” — D. Stephen Long, “God is Not Nice” in God is Not...Religious, Nice, "One of Us," An American, A Capitalist

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Simple Obedience

"Or Jesus would say, do not worry; but we would understand: of course we should worry and work for our families and ourselves. Anything else would be irresponsible. But inwardly we should be free of such worry. Jesus would say; if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also. but we would understand: it is precisely in fighting, in striking back, that genuine fraternal love grows large. Jesus would say: strive first for the kingdom of God. We would understand: of course, we should first strive for all sorts of other things. How else should we survive? What he really meant was that final inner willingness to invest everything for the kingdom of God. Everywhere the same—the deliberate avoidance of simple, literal obedience.

"How is such a reversal possible? What has happened that the word of Jesus has to endure this game? That it is so vulnerable to the scorn of the world? Anywhere else in the world where commands are given, the situation is clear. A father says to his child: go to bed! The child knows exactly what to do...The situation is supposed to be different only with respect to Jesus' command. In that case simple obedience is supposed to be wrong or even to constitute disobedience. How is this possible?" — Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Discipleship

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