Saturday, December 26, 2009

Back from Christmas Cabinning

Nancy and I spent Christmas in a cabin over at Douthat State park. The icicles were longer than my leg and thicker than my arms...amazing!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Virginia has some crazy "abortion" laws

Evidently, Virginia allows fourth-trimester abortions...

After this incident, perhaps this law will change and mothers will no longer be able to kill their babies after they are born.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jesus on Cross gets 8-year-old in trouble

A kid got sent home and ordered by the school to undergo psychologic evaluation because he drew Jesus on the cross when asked to draw something that Christmas reminds him of.
The teacher accused the child of drawing a "violent" image.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Interesting Note on the Passover

I'm just finishing up a book on the effect of Judaism on Early Christianity, and the author made what might be a profound observation.

The Passover (which many people consider Communion a form of) was the only sacrifice in ancient Israel where everyone got to take the role of a priest (or at least a position in a priest's household).

In the most commonly described sacrifices, someone would either pay money for an animal to be sacrificed or bring a sacrifice to the Temple. The priest would then be given the sacrifice as a representative of God. The priest would then given part of that sacrifice to God as a tithe and eat the rest.

The Passover was different. The head of each family would bring a sacrifice into the temple courts and sacrifice it themselves and then take the sacrifice back to their household to be eaten.

I find this interesting, but I'm wondering what conclusions one could draw are valid interpretations and which are simply fancy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Interesting discussion on Amazon forum

A discussion topic I started a long time ago on Amazon's discussion board has recently gained new life. If people want to join in, click here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Interesting Connection in Mark: Bartimaeus, John, James, and Jesus

This past sunday, Pastor Larry pointed out something in Mark 10:35-52 I had never seen before.

When reading Mark's version of James' and john's request in 10:35-45, I had previously been struck with the question as to whether Jesus was referring to the two thieves who were "on his left and right" when coming into his glory (and more recently the point that Jesus says James and John will drink the same "cup" he does and undergo the same observation with significant soteriological ramifications.)

But Pastor Larry pointed out something more direct and obvious.

The sermon text was the gospel text for the day, and as it was being read, I realized Mark 10:51 is pretty silly. A blind beggar cries "Have mercy on me Son of David" and Jesus asks "what do you want me to do for you?"

Well...duh. Blind beggar.... No points for guessing the answer.

But then in the sermon the pastor pointed out Mark's purpose here, and Jesus' question makes a lot more sense. Jesus asked Bartimaeus the same question as he asked James and John.

In other words, we have another example of Mark casting the disciples in an unenviable light.

So, clearly we are meant to compare/contrast the interaction of John/James with Jesus and the interaction of Bartimaeus with Jesus. The question is...what are the conclusions Mark intends for us to draw?