Monday, February 21, 2011

Some interesting links

A collection of stuff I've been collecting for about a week now:

Rod Decker has an excerpt from a new book about textual criticism which is very interesting:

Apparently, Burgon would argue modus ponens:

(1) If God inspired the New Testament autographs, then he
would also prevent them from being seriously corrupted.
(2) God inspired the New Testament autographs.
(3) Therefore, God has also providentially prevented the
New Testament manuscripts from being seriously corrupted.

Ehrman, in contrast, seems to be arguing modus tollens:

(1) If God inspired the New Testament autographs, then he
would also prevent them from being seriously corrupted.
(2) New Testament manuscripts show numerous signs of
(3) Therefore, God did not inspire the New Testament

The author goes on to point out that the problem is in (1). I agree. Go read it all.

Roger Olson explains semi-Pelagianism, the official religion of American Christians:

What is Semi-Pelagianism? It s a technical term used in the discipline of historical theology for the teaching of the “Massilians” John Cassian, Faustus of Riez and Vincent of Lyons (and others such as possibly Prosper of Aquitaine) that the initiative in salvation is on the human side even though full salvation can only be by God’s grace.

Cassian termed the initiative in salvation “exercising a good will toward God” and argued that God awaits it before he offers grace.

He notes that this is not what any classic Arminian/Wesleyan teaches. The main difference between Calvinism and Wesleyan/Arminianism is that Calvinism believes that grace is limited to the elect, Wesleyan/Arminianism believes in Free Grace for all. The initiative is all God's in both systems; the human is totally depraved. It is only by grace that you can respond.

And, this one is close to my heart, having lived in Madison, WI right after the violent demonstrations of the 1960s and early 1970s. Some elected representatives have been calling the Madison gatherings "riots." Far from it:


Law Enforcement Praises Protesters' Conduct

On behalf of all the law enforcement agencies that helped keep the peace on the Capitol Square Saturday, a very sincere thank you to all of those who showed up to exercise their First Amendment rights. You conducted yourselves with great decorum and civility, and if the eyes of the nation were upon Wisconsin, then you have shown how democracy can flourish even amongst those who passionately disagree. As of 5:00 p.m., no major incidents had been reported. There have been no arrests. However, discourse and discussion was - at times - loud and heated. That was to be expected. As previously indicated, the goal of law enforcement has been to provide a safe environment for democracy to take place. That goal has been realized for yet another day.

<idle musing>
Interesting, isn't it? I guess if you don't agree with the rights of non-billionaires to have a say in politics, it does look like a riot...
"Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you." James 5:1-6 NRSV

Prefer the Greek?
Ἄγε νῦν οἱ πλούσιοι, κλαύσατε ὀλολύζοντες ἐπὶ ταῖς ταλαιπωρίαις ὑμῶν ταῖς ἐπερχομέναις. ὁ πλοῦτος ὑμῶν σέσηπεν καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια ὑμῶν σητόβρωτα γέγονεν, ὁ χρυσὸς ὑμῶν καὶ ὁ ἄργυρος κατίωται καὶ ὁ ἰὸς αὐτῶν εἰς μαρτύριον ὑμῖν ἔσται καὶ φάγεται τὰς σάρκας ὑμῶν ὡς πῦρ. ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις. ἰδοὺ ὁ μισθὸς τῶν ἐργατῶν τῶν ἀμησάντων τὰς χώρας ὑμῶν ὁ ἀπεστερημένος ἀφ᾿ ὑμῶν κράζει, καὶ αἱ βοαὶ τῶν θερισάντων εἰς τὰ ὦτα κυρίου σαβαὼθ εἰσεληλύθασιν. ἐτρυφήσατε ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐσπαταλήσατε, ἐθρέψατε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σφαγῆς, κατεδικάσατε, ἐφονεύσατε τὸν δίκαιον, οὐκ ἀντιτάσσεται ὑμῖν.

Either language, it doesn't bode well for those who line their own pockets and ignore their workers.
</idle musing>

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