Blogging The Bible

David Plots, from Slate.com, has begun a series blogging through the Bible.

Like many lax but well-educated Jews (and Christians), I have long assumed I knew what was in the Bible—more or less. I read parts of the Torah as a child in Hebrew school, then attended a rigorous Christian high school where I had to study the Old and New Testaments. . .

. . . All this left me with a general sense that I knew the Good Book well enough, and that it was a font of crackling stories, Jewish heroes, and moral lessons. . .

. . . My goal is pretty simple. I want to find out what happens when an ignorant person actually reads the book on which his religion is based.

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Listen To The Money Talk

Money is the motivating factor of just about everything we do in life. Anytime there is a person getting attention for a cause, or writing a book, or singing a song, they are doing it for one main reason–money.

That’s why when Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code came out I never viewed it as a threat to my faith. The guy found a way to make money. The more controversial a thing is, seemingly the more money it will make.

Now, to combat the DaVinci Code, the Church has come out with hundreds of books, all sold for a tidy profit. Churches are also holding special studies to debunk The Code–gets people in church so they can give their money. Not only does talking about secular old-wives tales bring in the crowds, it keeps the church from having to talk about that inconvenient Gospel message.

I was sent a link by Anti-Itch reader Roger about an old friend of Dan Brown recounting how Dan Brown came up with the DaVinci Code storyline. Some interesting quotes in it, including this one.

“I remember when he was working on it. We went to lunch with an editor, with a name like Chaim Rothstein, or Izzy Stein—not exactly an Irishman. Dan started rattling off this conspiracy theory about the Church, then he got really nervous and turned to the editor, almost blushing. ‘Excuse me,’ Dan said to him. ‘You’re not Catholic, are you?’” Ted downed his beer. “That’s how much Dan Brown knows about religion.”

Weaving The Tangled Web

Four years ago the Vatican issued a directive that has put Catholic mass into great confusion. The issue involves kneeling. The Vatican said “The faithful kneel … unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.”

In an effort to become more modern and less traditional, many Bishops have eliminated kneeling, some new churches have even been built without kneelers. However, some of the old-timers still like to kneel.

“Kneeling is an act of adoration,” said Judith M. Clark, 68. “You almost automatically kneel because you’re so used to it. Now the priest says we should stand, but we all just ignore him.”

Bishops are not taking this sitting down, eh-hem, Kneeling “is clearly rebellion, grave disobedience and mortal sin,” Father Martin Tran, pastor at St. Mary’s by the Sea, told his flock in a recent church bulletin.

So, the controversy rages–kneel in adoration to God or listen to your Bishop. Kneeling was introduced in the Catholic Church in the 7th century during times of the mass when they believed God was present. I can see why the Vatican has now eliminated kneeling.

Theological Word Of Today

Today’s theological word is Sabellianism. Sabellianism.

Sabellianism is the act or process of owning or purchasing a Mercury Sable. Sables are nice four-door sedans and inspire much dedication by their happy owners. However, you need to be over 67 years of age to own one, leading to feelings of exclusivity.

Not really, I just made that up. Sabellianism is a belief about the trinity. It holds that there is one God but he reveals himself in three ways. There are not three persons, but three ways God is revealed.

This doctrine, believed by most to be heretical, is named after Sabellius, a guy. Tertullian, the well known scientist of turtle behavior, was his main opponent. Today there are still a few Sabellianists around in the Oneness Pentecostal churches.

Is This Really How It’s Done?

Here is an article dedicated to how a church grew because it now “rocks.”

“We needed to offer something different because people were leaving to find churches where they could express more joy or celebration,” said the Rev. Roger Miller, St. Paul’s pastor. “The church is just looking for a way to speak to the culture.”

No, as always, the church is just looking for a way to make money. (I originally said that as a joke, but later in the article I see “The growth allowed the church to begin a $2.6 million renovation.” Even when I think I’m wrong I’m right.)

“Down the road, churches will have to move to contemporary worship in some form or they’ll cease to exist.” That’s what Jesus said, by their contemporary, happy music you will know them.

Jesus Book #3

This book was so bad I even hesitate mentioning it by name. If I were an author I would hate to read a review that would sound like the review I would give this book. I also do not wish to give it any notoriety whatsoever.

The author completely misses the point of the life of Jesus Christ and the whole point of the Kingdom of God. There was no acknowledgment of Israel whatsoever in the fulfillment of the Kingdom. Instead, we could create the Kingdom right now, just by being busy little Christians. No need for the Messiah to even rule, we could!

The author is a preterist, hopefully his phones are being wire tapped. Revelation was a warning and promise for believers to endure tribulation just like the first century believers did. If Jesus came to earth now He wouldn’t even use the word “kingdom” as this is an outdated term.

This was a horrible, horrible book that can only lead to trouble and further misunderstanding of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Any look at the Gospels that does not ever once raise the importance of Christ’s death and resurrection will be twisted. This book was twisted.

Memorial Day Quotes

War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.
–Ambrose Bierce

War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
–John Stuart Mill