Sunday, September 27, 2015

Arrogant Ehrman, Error-Plagued Ehrman

If skeptical Jesus studies is a Good Cop, Bad Cop routine, then someone like Richard Carrier may appear in the role of Bad Cop, while Bart Ehrman is cast as his opposite number.  Personally, I think Marcus Borg or John Crossan played the part more convincingly.  But one can't deny that Erhman often comes across as soft-spoken and reasonable, or that he has piled up a mount of original books in Jesus scholarship, that have made him something of a star in this field. 

Or, perhaps, puffed up like a balloon.  A balloon that has been huffed and puffed beyond its tensile capacity, and is ready to burst. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Did Jesus Really Liberate Chinese women? Response to Patrick and Loren.

Two frequent visitors, Patrick and Loren, expressed questions and doubts yesterday about my on-going series claiming that Jesus and the movement he inspired have liberated "billions" of women around the world.  I appreciate the challenges, which will allow us to look more closely at a few interesting details.  So here's my response.  

I. Patrick: "What do you mean by 'liberation'?  I didn't see any definition listed so it is difficult to tell what is or isn't a good example of women being liberated outside of the examples you presented.  When you discuss a woman who is liberated what would her status be in that society with family and the society around her once she is liberated?"

Timely Slogans for Every Candidate

(Note: lower-tier candidates, please call direct for volume discounts)

Hillary Clinton:

"Because Charm, Truthfullness, Kindness, and Concrete Positive Achievements aren't Everything."

"Make me President, and I promise I'll obey the Law."

"You can Never have enough Spare Body Parts!"

"Frankenstein was the Real Feminist: Stop the War on Women!"

"Yeah, right.  So you tell me what were you doing on the night of September 11, 2012!"

"Yes I am human!  See!  This is a smile!"

Donald Trump: 

"The Brokest Country Ever, a Real Estate Heir who went Bankrupt Three Times: What Could Go Wrong?"

"Elect a President who will be as rude to America's enemies, as he is to Female Reporters and Ex-Wives."

"Isn't it time EVERYONE hate America?"

"Because America needs more Vulgarity!"

"Facts?  Yeah, well you're ugly!"

"Don't Vote for those Inauthentic Phonys!  Elect the Real Deal!"

Berry Sanders: 

"Because Taxes are Still way too Low!"

"Why Shouldn't We Follow Europe Down the Drain?"

"Twenty Trillion in Debt?  Let's try throwing money at the problem!"

"We Need Our Grandkids' Money More Than They Will!" 

"Obama was a reactionary!"

"Where has Socialism ever not worked?"

Joe Biden:

Creepy Biden © Michael Ramirez,Investors Business Daily,joe biden,creepy,hands,touch,joe-biden

"Because you know I'll get a paycheck from you, anyway."

"Stand up, America, and take a bow!  Don't be shy!  What are you doing in that Wheelchair after Eight Years of Obama-Biden, anyway?"

"My Party Went to Philadelphia and all they got was this Lousy Political Hack!" 

"Because we ran out of Democrats!"

Ben Carson: 

"Why Don't We Elect Some Nice Guy at Random and See What Happens!"

Jeb Bush:

"No, Seriously, This Really is 2016!"

Carly Fiorina:

"Come on, Guys.  You KNOW you've always wanted a Strong Woman to Boss You Around."

"So NOW why would anyone vote for Hillary?"

Lindsay Graham:

"My good friend John McCain came in second, didn't he?  That's not bad, in such a Big Country!"

Bobby Jindal:

"Let's Count Votes from ALL the World's Democracies, This Time!"

Marco Rubio:

"Don't Blame Me Just Because I'm a Freshman Senator, Too!" 

"Hey, it worked for the Democrats!" 

"You know you want Florida!"

John Kasich:

"You WANT my State!  You NEED my State!" 

Chris Christie:

"Not Nearly as Rude as Donald, Plus I Ran a State!"

"Obama Ate Broccali!  Time for a Change!"

Scott Walker:


Saturday, September 19, 2015

"Jesus is the Answer" -- even on the SAT.

You may remember the old slogan, "Jesus is the answer."  Maybe it comes from a song by Larry Norman.  The usual response was, "to what question?"  But perhaps that misses the point.  Maybe one thing that makes Jesus uniquely the answer, is the plurality of questions to which his life, teachings and works provide the best answer.  

I was thinking about this the other day when I was teaching my students how to take the written part of the SAT test.  I ask them to develop a number of stories, especially true stories and histories, that they can draw on to support their answers to the SAT prompt.   Normally, I good SAT essay is 400 words or more, providing a clear intro, two or so supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion, in 25 minutes -- pretty hard for Chinese young people to write, so they need help in preparation.  So I told them I'd limit myself to just two or three supporting examples -- "Jesus, contemporary Chinese or American society" -- and try to write full essays in half the time.   And they could choose the question for me to answer at the last moment.