Posts for Oct, 2005.

10/24/2005 7:00:00 AM

Gonzalez and Richards Chapter Fourteen

Assumptions and implications are not the same thing.

Posted Monday, October 24, 2005 by Gerald Vreeland
Comments: None
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I’ve always thought the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence was misguided.  There seem to be a couple of scenarios.  We all recall when Voyager was infused with the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”  That seems to present a face of Western culture best not replicated anywhere, much less out there.  It could have any of several effects: any superior life-forms might deduce that we are not worth the bother to contact or they might think we are ripe for extinction – or run a sub-space turnpike through our star system (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). Read more of Gonzalez and Richards Chapter Fourteen

10/20/2005 9:30:00 AM

Poll-the-Blog is born!

Or, The collapse of Western Society is now upon us

Posted Thursday, October 20, 2005 by Josh Michael
Comments: 1
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Have you always wanted to know what the experts think?  Well, since you can’t have that, why don’t you ask us instead?


Do you have an issue you would like debated?  A question you would like answered?  A passage discussed?  Want to know what we think about a topic?  What to get strangers to argue about something?  Well now is your chance…with Poll-the-Blog!

Read more of Poll-the-Blog is born!

10/19/2005 6:09:00 AM

Grump Is a Noun, the MP3

Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2005 by Brian Beers
Categories: Humor   Comments: 2
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Charlie...Just remember you asked for it.

In Introduction to Biblical Grumps: Jacob Dr. Vreeland revealed that he had regaled a hapless congregation with his personalized rendition of that old-time favorite, Love Is a Verb.

Thank you, Mike up in Silverdale,  for providing this eagerly anticipated audio of Dr. Vreeland rapping. For those of you longing for edification, he also provided the complete sermon.

Read more of Grump Is a Noun, the MP3

10/17/2005 7:00:00 AM

Gonzalez and Richards Chapter Thirteen

Assumptions and implications are not the same thing.

Posted Monday, October 17, 2005 by Gerald Vreeland
Comments: None
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I went in to Jiffy-Lube on Saturday (9/17/05) and found this science-fascist periodical – it was a lot of fun to read.  There was a news blurb on the Montana T. Regina – and they discovered that she was pregnant.  The collateral damage was that they had no scientific paradigm within which to put the femur soft-tissue problem.  Fun stuff! 


Being out of the loop bothers me at times; but having it around my neck bothers me more. . . .  What I really love is when I find out that some kindred spirit is really an incognito scholar.  Reading the same periodical (see all you can learn when you get your oil changed?), I discovered that there was a debate about theistic evolution and whether or not evolution is incompatible with theism.  The scholar naysayer was none other than Alister McGrath. 
Read more of Gonzalez and Richards Chapter Thirteen

10/16/2005 11:26:00 PM

Life lessons from biblical geography

Israel, Phoenicia, and Aram (Syria)

Posted Sunday, October 16, 2005 by Charlie Trimm
Comments: 1
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When I went to Mt. Carmel, I was intrigued that there were so few biblical events that happened in that specific region. But the reason why that was so dawned on me as I was studying Phoenicia. Mt. Carmel was on the border between Phoenician and Israelite territory, as the Phoenicians controlled all the coastal land around Mt. Carmel. The one major biblical event that happened there was the contest between the God of Israel and Elijah with the prophets of Baal and Baal. This contest was not just a contest between two gods, but also between two nations, as Baal was one of the gods of the Phoenicians (1 Kings 18). One can understand why Elijah was so scared of Jezebel after the contest when it is considered that not only was she a follower of Baal, she was also a Phoenician and the Phoenician god had just been defeated.

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10/10/2005 7:00:00 AM

Introduction to Biblical Grumps Round Three: David

1 Kings 1 & 2 When Good Kings End Badly

Posted Monday, October 10, 2005 by Gerald Vreeland
Comments: 10
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1 Kings 1 & 2

The Third Accession/Succession Narrative[1]

Epilogue: The Consolidation Of An Empire

The Narrator Has Come Not To Praise David, But To Bury Him

 or When Good Kings End Badly

Exiles, House Arrests and Assassinations


1 Kings 1

Indecision And Adonijah

“His Father Had Never Crossed Him At Any Time”


We often refer to King David as "the Man after God's Own Heart."  Is this really the case?  Is this always and only the case?  We know that God is looking for one; but has He found him?  Can one really be found?


In 1 Sam. 13:14, we read: "For now your kingdom shall not endure.  The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."  These are Samuel's words to Saul in the heat of the moment.  There is no Divine precedent as yet in the text of Scripture.  Samuel may be working without a net here – especially in view of the fact that no alternative has been suggested by God.  Samuel has not yet been commissioned to anoint the least of Jesse's sons.  Samuel the seer could be flying blind. 


Three chapters and several major events and royal failures later, Samuel is sent to Bethlehem to anoint the next king.  When he sees the oldest of Jesse's sons and says to himself, "Surely the LORD's anointed is before Him (1 Sam. 16:6).  But verse seven says: ". . . the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  These are God's words to Samuel with respect, of course, to Jesse's oldest son, Eliab.  However, much later when God says, "Arise, anoint him; for this is he" in v. 12, we know that "he" is the king; but we still do not know that this is "The Man After God's Own Heart."  We are left to guess as much – and history will prove us right to question. 

[1] From my forthcoming, The Darker Side of Samuel, Saul and David: Studies in Narrative Artistry; Studies in Flawed Leadership.

Read more of Introduction to Biblical Grumps Round Three: David

10/3/2005 10:43:00 PM

Remembering Well

Toward a Scriptural View of Communion - or - My communion can beat up your communion.

Posted Monday, October 03, 2005 by Sam Yeiter
Comments: 10
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   We all do it.  We appeal to logic when we approach an issue that we feel scripture does not speak to explicitly.  Often this approach is helpful, and I would even say valid.  However, I believe that all too frequently we fail to do adequate study because we trust our logic so thoroughly.  I recently found reason for this accusation in myself with regard to communion, and I think probably it is a safe one to point at the academic/pastoral world as well.  I recall spending about eight minutes talking about the Lord’s Supper at seminary…add that to the 12 seconds I got at college, and all totaled I had only spent eight minutes and twelve seconds trying to think biblically about communion.

   This past week I was called out and asked to give a scriptural defense of open communion over against closed communion.  I could bring up a couple of texts that could be interpreted my way, but in the end I found myself saying, “Well, we are one body in Christ.  Open communion is simply the better picture of unity.  Ergo, closed communion is stupid and anyone who believes in it is stupid (insert other ad hominem attacks here…)

   As soon as I took a breath, I realized that I had not ever really studied it.  I am not suggesting that we abandon logic in the Christian life, but I found that for myself I had only logic and a proof-text.  So off I went…and now, off I go.


(If you read this post before 10/6, I have made several updates and shortened it a bit.)

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10/3/2005 7:00:00 AM

Introduction to Biblical Grumps round Two: Moses

Numbers 20 - Deaths In The Family - Waters Of Contention And A Holy God - Troubles With The Cousins

Posted Monday, October 03, 2005 by Gerald Vreeland
Comments: None
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Last time, we tried to connect the dots in some of the later years of the Patriarch, Jacob.  In that, we saw that things needn’t end as badly as they’ve begun and we maintained that: Even The Grumpiest Of Grumps Can Reform.  Sometimes, however, history shows us that things do not end well. 


In, Numbers chapter 20, we have what constitutes the turning point in the life of Moses: Miriam and Aaron die and Moses, himself, is forbidden from entering the promised land.  In addition, the people must now circumnavigate the land of Edom.
Read more of Introduction to Biblical Grumps round Two: Moses