Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reformation Day | First Things

Reformation Day | First Things:
"It was around two o’clock in the afternoon on the eve of the Day of All Saints, October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther, hammer in hand, approached the main north door of the Schlosskirche (Castle Church) in Wittenberg and nailed up his Ninety-Five Theses protesting the abuse of indulgences in the teaching and practice of the church of his day. In remembrance of this event, millions of Christians still celebrate this day as the symbolic beginning of the Protestant Reformation. At Beeson Divinity School, for example, we do not celebrate Halloween on October 31. Instead we have a Reformation party. ..."
Here is an interesting article about Martin Luther written from a Catholic viewpoint. Tim George, the author of this piece suggests that the Reformation exerted its effects on not only the Lutherans and the various Protestant groups that began to arise at about the same time, but has had a profound effect on the Roman Catholic Church as well.

On a more personal note, today my son is a commissioner to Presbytery, thus has begun to take his place in the next generation of reformed church leaders. Watching him grow not only in height, but naturity has been a wild ride at times, but worth it.

Conservapedia's Bible Removes Passages | Politics | Christianity Today

Conservapedia's Bible Removes Passages | Politics | Christianity Today:

This blog entry by Sarah Pulliam Bailey describes the "Conservative Bible Project", which is attempting to combat "liberal bias" in nearly all the current translations. To this end two notable deletions have occurred.
"...One is the long ending of Mark's Gospel, which includes verses about snake handling and the story of the woman caught in adultery. Neither is found in most of the oldest Greek manuscripts used to translate the Bible. Schlafly says that adultery story, in which Jesus says, 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,' should be cut because it portrays Jesus as being soft on sin. ..."
"Schlafly" is Andy Schlafly, the son of Phyllis Schlafly, abd is the founder of the Conservapedia wiki.
He goes on to say this regarding the John passage of the woman taken in adultery:
"...'It's a liberal addition, put in by people who wanted to undermine the reality of hell and judgment,' he said."
Well he should have stuck with the fact that neither passage is found in the oldest texts and seem to have originated with Jerome (340-420 A.D.) . Jesus was forgiving of a lot of people, men and women, while at the same time calling sin what it was. As for hell and judgment, even a casual reading of Scripture reveals that Jesus minced no words regarding the consequences of sin and the reality of hell.

Personally, I don't mind the way nearly all modern translations handle these two and a handful of other textual problems -- The words are set off from the main text with a note as to the reason for questioning the provenance of the text.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gore Vidal: Thirteen-year-old Roman Polanski rape victim was a ‘hooker’ « Entertainment

Gore Vidal: Thirteen-year-old Roman Polanski rape victim was a ‘hooker’ « Entertainment:
"Author Gore Vidal says he refuses to feel any sympathy for Roman Polanski’s rape victim, whom he dubs a “hooker.”

In an interview with The Atlantic, the controversial 83-year-old author of such books as “Myra Breckinridge” and “1876” says of the director’s sex scandal, “I really don’t give a [expletive]. Look am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s being taken advantage of?” ..."
This is just completely outside the pale. It's bad enough that Polanski drugged a 13-year-old girl with half a Quaalude and champagne and then raped her, but to hear the entertainment elite come to his defense simply draws a sharp line between their values and the values that I and hopefully most people have grown up with.

Gore Vidal has gone far beyond the standard "everybody does it" defense and feels the need to attack the victim herself. This is beneath contempt.

Polanski drugged and raped a thirteen-year-old and got off rather lightly for his offenses. Even though 33 years have gone by following his flight to avoid the consequences of his crime, it is time for Polanski to "man up" and return and face justice.