Jeremy Pierce: June 2006 Archives

NLT Review

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Rick Mansfield posted his review of the NLT last week. I hadn't heard much about the second edition. It sounds pretty good to me. See also his addendum.

For earlier posts in the series, see the NASB, TNIV, and HSCB reviews. I'm curious what he'll say about the Message, which is next up.

2.Thomas Aquinas(93%)
3.Baruch Spinoza(73%)
4.William of Ockham(72%)
6.John Stuart Mill(55%)
7.Jeremy Bentham(52%)
8.Immanuel Kant(51%)
13.Nel Noddings(30%)
14.Jean-Paul Sartre(29%)
15.Ayn Rand(28%)
17.Friedrich Nietzsche(16%)
18.David Hume(12%)
19.Thomas Hobbes (4%)

Ethical Philosophy Selector [hat tip: Matthew]

You scored as Beast. Beast is an intelligent, politcal spokesman for the X-Men. He has a Ph.D in Genetics and is well versed in literature. He may look like a blue fuzzy monster, but deep down he's very benevolent and logical. Powers: Enhanced strength and agility

Jean Grey
Emma Frost

Most Comprehensive X-Men Personality Quiz 2.0
created with

[hat tip: Matthew]

The 128th Christian Carnival is up at Cadmusings. I haven't been highlighting posts I especially like for a while now, but I can't resist pointing one out this week. Check out Pet peeves in the homosexuality debate at Heart, Mind, Soul, Strength. I'm convinced that the final statement allows too much. Some of these things happen far more often than should be tolerated by either side if they at all care about people really listening or if they're serious about intellectual honesty and moral integrity.

I'm no fan of the flag-burning amendment Congress just tried to pass, but Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) has a very strange argument against it. He says the amendment flies in the face of 1st Amendment freedom of speech. Well, yes, at least on standard readings of the 1st Amendment. I do think burning a flag is a stupid and wasteful way to make any point, but I think free speech has enough value that those who think they're saying something by burning a flag should be allowed to do so. But my reasoning for this is based on the value of free speech. It's not based on the first amendment. It makes no sense to argue against amending the Constitution by appealing to the Constitution. Byrd's complaint would be like arguing against the repeal of Prohibition by saying that Prohibition was in the Constitution. The 21st Amendment most definitely flies in the face of the 18th. But then that was the point. So too with this. Of course it flies in the face of something that its goal is to limit. I liked what Byrd had to say about why the gay marriage amendment was stupid, and I think there are similar arguments that work here, but this particular argument is pretty lame.

Most of the other things he says in this speech are ok, but I have to note another mistake that Senator Leahy also made recently. Senator Byrd at least acknowledges one amendment that limited individual freedom (the 13th), but he misses several of the others I listed in the above-linked post, most notably Prohibition. Perhaps he just meant currently valid amendments. Still, I think the others I listed are most plausibly taken as limitations on individual rights (notwithstanding some commenters' arguments to the contrary).

Phil Ehart interview

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Since March 27, Kansas fans have speculated about the reasons for Robby Steinhardt's departure from the band and his re-replacement by his former replacement David Ragsdale. See my posts here and here. In one of the best interviews I've ever read from drummer and band manager Phil Ehart, we now get the details. Robby wasn't fired, but he didn't just leave on his own either. He'd gradually been losing interest in the band, and it was showing in his performance. Eventually, the band had to make him realize that his heart wasn't in it and that it was affecting the band. But they didn't fire him. They left it to him to decide what to do, and he realized that he didn't really want to keep doing it.

There's lots of other great stuff in the interview. He explains why he has insisted that the band be part of any efforts by labels to repackaged already-released material and remasters, even with projects he wouldn't have been motivated to do. He just thinks that if it's going to be done, it ought to be done right with band input. He reflects on Always Never the Same, the album (with the following tour) that utilized an orchestra as a sixth band member. He also offers thoughts on their current situation with their two writers reserving material for other projects, the different band lineups over the years, and the controversial period of the early 80s when two band members became evangelical Christians, singer Steve Walsh left over the explicit Christian lyrics that followed, and newcomer John Elefante turned out to be an evangelical Christian himself, leaving them with a majority Christian band.

Babylon Trekville

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Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski and Smallville's Bryce Zabel proposed their plan to rejuvenate Star Trek a little more than two years ago. I posted on this at the time, but they released nothing of the details. Paramount went with J.J. Abrams for an eleventh movie rather than going with what we now know was called Star Trek: Reboot., so Zabel has posted the plan online. It's in this post, if you want the context where he explains it a little, but the PDF for the plan itself is here. I have to say that I wasn't very impressed when I read Zabel's description of it in his post, but the actual plan won me over. I think I would have really liked such a series.

The 128th Christian Carnival will be taking place this week, hosted at Cadmusings. The Christian Carnival is a weekly collection of some of the best posts of the Christian blogosphere. It's open to Christians of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. One of the goals of this carnival is to offer our readers to a broad range of Christian thought. This is a great way to make your writing more well known and perhaps pick up some regular readers. For examples of past carnivals, see Matt Jones's list of previous Christian Carnivals.

To enter is simple. First, your post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are about home life, politics, or current events from a Christian point of view. Second, please submit only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

Then do the following:

Why Parableman?

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I've only once or twice explained how I got the name Parableman. Last week I went to a dissertation defense that reminded me of my secret origin, so I'm going to use that as a roundabout way to get to explaining the name. There was a very strange moment at this defense. I just have to say that it's really funny to hear an octogenarian philosopher utter the words "Your mother's a whore!" to a devout Catholic in a suit. It's even stranger given that it was a committee member addressing a question to the candidate who was defending. Indirect discourse is so fun when you ignore key elements of the context. One of the committee members was even visibly shocked to hear that exact expression coming out of his mouth, but in context it was part of a perfectly legitimate question.

What shocks about this is when you ignore or bury the context. I didn't just explain why this professor was uttering that expression. Telling you that he said it to this upstanding Catholic guy in a suit at a dissertation defense is extremely misleading. It was just such an incident that led to my recognition as Parableman. Back in college I said a whole bunch of true things about someone to some friends of both of ours. I left out some crucial information, however. If I'd done it in a different tone it would clearly have implicated some false information that wouldn't have been good, but I used a fairly cryptic and mysterious tone that clued them in pretty quickly that I was hiding something and not exactly suggesting what the information might otherwise have suggested (so it wasn't really slander by implication). They thought this cryptic approach was worthy of the moniker Parableman, and they proceeded to write an entire song about me to the tune of Particle Man by They Might Be Giants. I wish they'd written it down, because it was actually pretty good.

So it has nothing to do with parables, really. It's just that I said some cryptic things. It wasn't exactly out of character to do that, but it wasn't really anything to do with parables. Isn't it disappointing to find out that the Parableman got his name in a way entirely unrelated to anything that could accurately be called a parable?

A friend reminded me of a piece I wrote a year and a half before I had even thought of blogging, one that I've had sitting online without anything linking to it. I had always intended to move all my previously posted pieces to my blog, but I'd completely forgotten about this one, so here it is. This was written in the context of a discussion list within a Christian campus ministry and assumes some very particular arguments for positions that I'm seeking to find a middle ground between. I wouldn't word everything this way now, but I'd like to leave it as it is. The original piece was written 24 April, 2002. When I posted it to my old website on 28 February 2003, I modified it in a few places to remove the names of the guilty, to fix grammar, and to clarify some misleading statements. What follows is the statement as I posted it on that day.

OK, I've got to say one thing about the "God picking someone out for you" issue. I'm convinced that the reason people are so resistant to this idea is that they fail to see the biblical point that God is sovereign over everything that happens in a way that's totally consistent with our making our own choices. Read Isaiah 10 very carefully and compare it with Genesis 50:20 and Acts 2:23; 4:24-28. It's hard to get around that.

The only way I can read the resistance to this is that people somehow think what's being said is that God picks someone special out for you but then has no interest in what you do to get to the point of finding such a person, which assumes God isn't ultimately sovereign over everything but has this obsession with this one thing about us, and we have to spend all our energy to figure out who that person is before we can live our life normally.

Regardless of what you think about whether we should have invaded Iraq to begin with, surely we bear the moral responsibility not to leave Iraq in a position that the list of people below would be the first to describe as terrible, especially given that they will have a very tough time making any progress toward a secure country with the current state of their forces. Given that the thirteen senators listed below will also be the first to say that we caused this situation, it's amazing to me that they will deny that it's our moral responsibility to do what we can to make reparations or amends. I think it's thoroughly immoral that anyone would be willing to vote to pull us out by a certain deadline without caring if the Iraqi military forces will by that time be able to handle the situation themselves. I have less to say about the other amendment that the Senate also rejected today, since that involves more complicated issues that I haven't investigated (and am in no position physically to do any investigating today), but I think the following senators deserve a severe reprimand from their consistuents for their unwillingness to take responsibility for the bad situation they are so happy to say we caused. Those most critical of the invasion of Iraq and our continued efforts there, particularly those who emphasize the negative consequences of that action, have no intellectual right to demand that we leave Iraq in its current state (or even in the expected state one year from now, which is how the amendment was worded).

Here are the offenders:

The 127th Christian Carnival: Voltron Edition is up at The Bible Archive.

In the Torah, Aaron is the first high priest of the Levitical order of priests. He had four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. The first two died in Leviticus 10, leaving Eleazar as the eldest inheritor of the high priestly line. We see in Joshua that Eleazar's son Phinehas had become the high priest by the time of the conquering of the land. Then we lose any record of what was going on with tabernacle worship until we get to Samuel, where there seems to be a fixed temple structure built up around the tabernacle implements of worship from the end of Exodus. Perhaps the most surprising feature of the priestly situation at the beginning of the book of Samuel is that the high priest Eli was not descended from Eleazar but his younger brother Ithamar. Where are the descendants of Eleazar, then? What happened after Phinehas?

This surprising fact in the Samuel history has led a number of scholars to propose a skeptical reconstruction of what really happened. On this view, the high priestly family has always been descended from Ithamar, and Eli's family in Samuel was the original high priestly family. With David we get the insertion of a priest named Zadok alongside the final remaining Elide priest Abiathar/Ahimilech. I Chronicles 24 tells us that Zadok is the head of the the Eleazar clan of priests, which Ahimelech (perhaps the same man called Abiathar in Samuel, perhaps his son) was head of the Ithamar clan of priests. The revisionist theory takes Zadok to be a complete outsider from the conquered Jebusite city of Jerusalem. David allowed him to continue his priestly duties, casting him as a priest under the order of Melchizedek, the original priest-king of Salem (which became Jerusalem) from Genesis 14. This allowed David to assert his legitimacy to be king in the Jebusite city, and then Chronicles and the other places that list him as a descendant of Eleazar are just reworking the tradition to make him fit the Israelite origin story, casting Zadok as a son of an older brother of the ancestor of the Elide priests. Thus no sign was left of the Jebusite origin of Zadok.

This is a list of the current and forthcoming commentaries in the Eerdmans Critical Commentary series. For more series, see my post on commentary series.

Only three volumes of the ECC are out now: Psalms, I-II Timothy, and Philemon. The latter two were intended to be Anchor Bible volumes, but the authors died without finishing them, and AB reassigned those volumes to other authors. The editor of the Anchor Bible series began this series with the completion of their work by students of theirs who shared the style and viewpoint of their teachers. Only one further volume has been completed beyond those two, but the list of contributors suggests that this series will be similar to the more recent Anchor Bible entries in quality and perspective, with top-notch scholars ranging from moderate to pretty skeptical.

My impression of this series so far is that it's much too detailed for non-scholars to spend much time on. At least the NT volumes so far seem this way. They've got lots of information, but it's too much for expositors who don't reserve most of their week for sermon preparation. Detailed academic commentaries exist that don't drown the reader with this much information. Even so, the academic can't ignore this series, and well-trained preachers with a large budget might use it as a reference. It will end up being one of the most important scholarly commentary series as it develops. The one OT volume so far seemed to me not to answer any of the questions I was interested in. Surprisingly, it didn't seem anywhere near as detailed as I expected given what the NT volumes are like, but what it did have focused on things that weren't as helpful as, say, the Word Biblical Commentary trio of volumes. I tried to use it when I was leading a Bible study on the Psalms, and it was virtually no help. So I'm not sure what to say about that one. I've read lots of reviews that rave about it, but it just didn't seem useful to me. The volumes in this series are also extremely expensive. Several names in the list of contributors lead me to think their work will become the standard on the books in question, but I wonder if I will end up with many in my library due to the prohibitive cost and painstaking level of detail.

Volumes Released So Far:

The 127th Christian Carnival will be taking place this week, hosted at The Bible Archive. The Christian Carnival is a weekly collection of some of the best posts of the Christian blogosphere. It's open to Christians of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. One of the goals of this carnival is to offer our readers to a broad range of Christian thought. This is a great way to make your writing more well known and perhaps pick up some regular readers. For examples of past carnivals, see Matt Jones's list of previous Christian Carnivals.

To enter is simple. First, your post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are about home life, politics, or current events from a Christian point of view. Second, please submit only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

Then do the following:

NASB Review

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Rick Mansfield's series reviewing Bible translations has another entry, this time on the New American Standard Bible. See also his earlier reviews of the HCSB and TNIV, which I linked to here.

The 126th Christian Carnival is at Nerd Family.

I was surprised to find out that so many of the Veggie Tales voices were done by Phil Vischer. Bob the Tomato and Mr. Nezzar don't sound like they could be possibly be the same person.

But that pales compared to what I just discovered. Apparently, Elmo and Sam the Eagle are voiced by the same guy. That's a little disturbing, isn't it?

Update: The term 'frell' originates in Farscape, which was executive produced by Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets. I generally prefer 'frak' from Battlestar Galactica, but 'frell' seemed more appropriate given the Muppet connection. It also has a better sound for this form of statement. By the way, catalogues of fictional curse words abound, so if you don't like 'frak' or 'frell' you can choose any of a long list.

Searches Piling Up

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rape is it moral or immoral in todays society
It's thoroughly and despicably immoral in any society. What could possibly possess someone to suspect that mere societal differences could ever make rape morally ok?

why did rosa park refuse to not move
That's such a nice example of overnegation that I couldn't fail to miss the opportunity to post it.

madonna why she is a hero
You know, there's got to be something good to say to this one, but nothing I can come up with will do it justice.

sean hannity member of kkk at age 16
Um ... Hannity is from New York, isn't he? Do you really think a Northern Aggressor would fit in well? Even aside from his strong ideological differences with them, he'd hardly be considered a likely candidate for the KKK.

how long does someone has ti be living together to be considered married
The length of time required is zero. Until very recently, most people used to get married before they'd lived together at all (and maybe it's even still most people, for all I know).

vanessa williams nationality is half white and black
No, she was born in the Bronx. Her nationality is American. Since when has anyone's nationality been black, white, or some combination thereof? If I tried to list something like that on an official form, they'd probably put me on some watchlist, assuming I'm in some racial separatist cult that wants to overthrow the government.

I've got a question for any philosophers who read this blog. I've encountered an issue that I know very little about and was interested if anyone knew the answer. Are there any views out there according to which there are natural kinds but something that is a member of a natural kind might cease to be a member of that natural kind and then be a member of a different one? I'm pretty sure Aristotle would never allow something like this, but I was wondering if any philosophers have defended such a view.

Rebecca has a nice post up today called Isaiah 10 and Reconciling Friends, arguing that divine sovereignty and human responsibility are old friends and not the enemies some make them out to be.

She's also requested that anyone send her links of recent discussions of this issue so she can collect all the links at the bottom of her post. So if you've noticed anyone else blogging about the issue recently, leave a comment to let her know.

Update: She reposted this in a new context. It was originally posted when people were debating the divine sovereignty issue. The current debate she wants links to is about whether it can be truly said that God killed Jesus. So if you have links to any recent posts on that debate, let her know. See her comment below.

Laurence Thomas defends Dr. Laura on marital sex, particularly her encouragement to married women to be more willing to be coaxed into sex by their husbands. Laurence argues that seeking to satisfy their husbands' desires is not merely giving in to selfishness. It's actually acting in a way that serves the interests of him while also being in her own self-interest at the same time. He suggests that the gift of sex is a power that women have that men do not, a theme consistent with a number of his recent posts. The good life involves the best use of that power, and fostering gratitude is one good use of any moral power. In the process, he argues that Dr. Laura's view comes from feminist motivations that her critics have simply failed to see, out of their assumption that seeking a man's happiness must always mean ignoring a woman's own concerns. It does not, and it particularly might not even when a woman thinks it means ignoring her own concerns.

I think the key issue in the whole post is the difference between choosing to see someone else's desire as an imposition on oneself vs. choosing to see it as an opportunity for kindness, one that will in the end reap the rewards of the other's gratitude. This point generalizes to many other circumstances, of course, but it does seem apt here. I think the problem Dr. Laura's critics have had is that they see her as arguing that women should consent to sex as a conjugal duty, when that is not at all what she's saying. She's saying that the kind of character trait that builds a good marriage includes seeking to please one's spouse, especially if the means of pleasing involves pleasure to oneself. I guess some of her critics can't see the difference between that and a mere fulfillment of a duty that one hates, but it's a fundamental distinction in terms of both motive and result. It's telling that in the one place this comes up in the writings of the apostle Paul in I Corinthians ch. 7, he tells married couples not to deprive each other (except by mutual consent for a limited time and only then for the sake of more focused prayer). The motive is concern for each other. The result is a good for each other that otherwise would count as deprivation. This is mutual. If abstaining is depriving each other, then sex is a good (a good for both parties) to be encouraged and engaged in, in part for the sake of the other. As far as I can tell, that's all Dr. Laura is saying to women. (What men might need to hear is a very different thing, but that's an issue for another time.)

Playful Primate

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According to Matthew, I was a Playful Primate in the Ecosystem on Friday. I was away and didn't get to see it until Saturday when I got his email, and I had then slipped from 100 to 110, back into the Large Mammal Category. I've slipped quite a bit since then over the last two days, currently residing at 206.

I've been in the 70s or 80s before. Somehow when I had three URLs that the Ecosystem recognized I was coming up higher because they all counted redundantly. Joe Carter added me to a Christian blogroll that hundreds of people ended up using, and I was in it three times with different URLs all going to the same blog. Then I got booted from the Ecosystem when the Blogdom of God and Ecosystem both did upgrades within a month of each other (Adrian Warnock thinks it was his fault, but I'm agnostic on the question of blame), and I finally got back in it with the new version of the Ecosystem by adding without the other URLs. It still wasn't letting me add or change my old URLs because of the problem, so I had to disable those completely, remove the good old URL from the entry for the bad old URL, and add the good old URL to the new entry for This process took over a week of making each change one at a time and then waiting for the autoupdate at the Ecosystem to register them before making the next change. Then it took a while for it to recognize all the people linking to me, and I had to email people who linked to the bad old URL to get them to change it so their links would be noticed (and go to the right place, which is a little more important). Finally, hosting the Christian Carnival this week put me over the top. I know from experience that maintaining very high status is next to impossible unless you blog interesting new content every day, and I can't keep that up in a way that can satisfy the diversity of interests that draw people here. In the end, it's always nice not to have to check my site meter as often anyway, and more links means higher Google ranking, which means much more Google traffic and a site meter that recycles itself every few hours.

Of course, what was really fun was being tenth in the whole Ecosystem for a day. The Ecosystem was undergoing severe failure that day, and only something like a couple hundred blogs were even appearing, all but nine of them ones with fewer links than mine (or, more accurately, fewer links from the other people that were still appearing in the Ecosystem). La Shawn Barber was #1 that day. I really wish I'd been able to figure out how to do a screen capture that day.

The 126th Christian Carnival will be taking place this week, hosted at Nerd Family. The Christian Carnival is a weekly collection of some of the best posts of the Christian blogosphere. It's open to Christians of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. One of the goals of this carnival is to offer our readers to a broad range of Christian thought. This is a great way to make your writing more well known and perhaps pick up some regular readers. For examples of past carnivals, see Matt Jones's list of previous Christian Carnivals.

To enter is simple. First, your post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are about home life, politics, or current events from a Christian point of view. Second, please submit only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

Then do the following:

Great D.A. Carson quote:

When I was a boy of about nine or ten, my father called me over to listen to him reading an editorial or a letter to the editor (I cannot remember which) in The Montreal Star, one of the leading papers in eastern Canada at the time. The writer was inveighing against all those stupid Christians who believe the Bible is the Word of God, when it speaks so ignorantly of the sun "rising" in the east: any schoolboy knows that the sun does not rise, but that the earth rotates on its axis. My father asked me what I thought of the argument. I looked at him rather nonplused. He grinned, and calmly turned to the front page of the paper, and drew my attention to the line, "Sunrise: 6:36 am."

[The formatting and spelling may be affected by the process of scanning the article, as is often the case at this site, so I wouldn't assume he really misspelled 'nonplussed' or that he didn't italicize the name of the newspaper.]

The book review this comes from starts here. It's very long. The particular location of this quote is on this page.

Someone sent me a link to a piece by RJ Escrow called The Evangelighouls -- How The Christian Right Exploits War's Youngest Victims. He's crossposted it also at his personal blog Night Light. It's basically a hack smear of Campus Crusade for Christ, the second largest Christian missions organization in the world (after the Southern Baptist Convention's missions wing).

There are plenty of errors in Escrow's post. Some of these are purely factual. He consistently misspells the name of Steve Sellers (as Sellars). He says Sellers is president of Campus Crusade, a position currently held by Steve Douglass (and only ever held by one other person, founder Bill Bright). Sellers is a vice-president overseeing the ministries in North and South America, not president of the whole organization. In the earlier draft picked up by Yahoo, he uses a definite article before the name 'Campus Crusade for Christ', a common feature of those who speak derisively about the organization who don't really know anything about it. He seems to have removed all but three of those at this point. What disturbs me more are Escrow's false attributions, misrepresentations, and assumptions of motives well beyond the evidence.

The 125th Christian Carnival is up at Matt Jones' Random Acts of Verbiage.

Rick Mansfield has started what looks to be an excellent series on his favorite Bible translations. So far he's done the HCSB and the TNIV. I have to say that I agree with him in the main, with some disagreements expressed in the comments. I'm especially appreciative to see him liking the TNIV for what it is and seeing what it's good for (enough for it to come in second place) while preferring a more formally equivalent translation for his own primary use, because that's exactly my own attitude.

In the comments on the TNIV post, I challenged one of Rick's statements. He says, "From a grammatical standpoint, one of the most controversial aspects of the TNIV's implementation of inclusive language is the use of plural pronouns for singular antecedents. This is in keeping with the way we informally speak, but technically it's a grammatical error." I responded that this use of 'they' is actually singular and pointed him to the linguists at the Language Log blog. He replied that he's never seen it in a grammar book and thus won't believe it until he does. I tried to respond, but Haloscan wouldn't let me leave a comment with lots of links, so I'm just posting it here instead.

Well, it is in a grammar book, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Here is an interview where one of the authors of that book, Geoff Pullum, explains and defends the view on this issue taken in the book. Pullum also blogs at Language Log, and several posts there argue for this view. I managed to dig up a few posts on this here, here, and here.

There's also a strong history of the singular 'they', including a number of the finest writers of the English language and the KJV translators.

On NPR this morning, they had a brief segment on the current gay marriage debate. I don't support this amendment, for reasons on at least four levels, most of which I've covered so many times before that I don't want to go into it all again right now. But even if you fully opposed this amendment, it doesn't do to say false or misleading things in order to support that view. Senator Patrick Leahy was quoted on NPR this morning saying that this amendment would be the first time in U.S. history that we would amend the Constitution to limit individual rights. I'm not sure what he's talking about, because I count six times that amdenments have done exactly that.

13th Amendment, Section 1: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

That sounds to me like a limiting of individual rights. I would have a right to own slaves if the 13th Amendment were not in effect. I do not have such a right due to that amendment. The 13th Amendment thus limits my individual rights.

14th Amendment, Section 3: "No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability."

This takes away the individual right to hold certain offices among those who have committed certain offenses. That's an individual right that the amendment removes.

This is a list of the current and forthcoming commentaries in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series. For more series, see my post on commentary series.

The Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOTC) series is an interesting venture. The publisher and editors are evangelicals, but I'm not sure how conservative all the authors will be. I get the sense that some of them are only moderately evangelical. This is not a full-scale academic conmmentary, but it's much more than a popular-level exposition. I'd probably place it within the intermediate range, but I've got only the slightest familiarity with the series so far, having looked at only one volume just a little bit without reading much of it.

Only Deuteronomy and Daniel have been published so far, and both are of the highest quality scholarship without the detail of the more in-depth series. The primary purpose, according to the editors, is to explain the text to the contemporary reader, focusing on theology and providing less detail on other elements commentaries often cover. There are enough really stellar people on the projected authors list that I expect this series to be excellent. Given the conservative nature of the publisher and the stated aims of the series, I was a little disappointed at the stance Lucas takes on Daniel's date and content (rejection of an exilic setting and historical basis of the accounts), but the list of names of other contributors suggests a fairly conservative lineup.

Volumes Released So Far:

Leviticus, Nobuyoshi Kiuchi (April 2007)
Deuteronomy, J. Gordon McConville (2002)
Daniel, Ernest C. Lucas (2002)

Forthcoming Volumes:

The 125th Christian Carnival will be taking place this week, hosted at Matt Jones' Random Acts of Verbiage.... The Christian Carnival is a weekly collection of some of the best posts of the Christian blogosphere. It's open to Christians of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. One of the goals of this carnival is to offer our readers to a broad range of Christian thought. This is a great way to make your writing more well known and perhaps pick up some regular readers. For examples of past carnivals, see Matt Jones's list of previous Christian Carnivals.

To enter is simple. First, your post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are about home life, politics, or current events from a Christian point of view. Second, please submit only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

Then do the following:

For future reference (in case I forget) and for anyone who might ever experience this particular problem: I've been wondering for the past several days why my Firefox browser wasn't allowing me to scroll down web pages with my spacebar the way it usually allows me to. I thought there might be something wrong with my keyboard, but the spacebar worked for inserting spaces. Then I realized I could see whether it was Firefox or something else by checking Internet Explorer. It worked fine for scrolling in IE. That meant it had to be some setting in Firefox or some setting elsewhere that would somehow affect Firefox but not IE. The former seemed much more likely.

So I looked through every option in the various menus Firefox has, and only two seemed to have to do with scrolling. Neither changed anything. I even looked through the help file to see if these two functions were supposed to do something that they weren't doing. No, they did things that were unrelated to my problem. In the process I did notice something else strange. It listed Page Up and Page Dn as moving to the top and bottom of a web page. They didn't do that. They moved to the end of whatever line I was on. That should have been a clue. A little later I noticed that when I clicked on parts of a page with no text the browser was acting as if I had clicked on a line with text. That was clue #2, and I reminded me of a menu option that I had dismissed as irrelevant, which turned out to be exactly the problem.

So here is the solution: Under Options, select the Advanced tab. Accessibility Options will appear. Under Accessibility Options, one choice says "Allow text to be selected with the keyboard". That option was checked. I unchecked it, and the problem was solved. Now I can use my spacebar to scroll down web pages.

what do democrats think of the death penalty
There's nothing that Democrats think about the death penalty. I don't think the party has any official stance, but most Democratic politicians support it. More Democrats are against it than Republicans are, but among the elected officials there's nothing like the mass opposition to it among Democratic voters as compared with Republican voters.

scripture referring to God allowing satin into ones life
That would be funny, but I don't think you're going to find it in any serious Bible except maybe as a metaphor for God blessing people with abundance. Did they even have satin then? I know they had the relevant fabrics, but I'm not sure if they used the right weave.

organized religion not scriptural
Right. I suppose that might be correct if you edit the Bible to remove anything about the Levitical sacrificial system, the organization of worship in the temple set up by David, and the clear teaching about order in worship in Paul's letters (among lots of other things, I'm sure).

Which "immoral act" that doesn't hurt others, get's you put in prison then?
Oh, that's easy. Here are two examples. Try to kill someone, but fail so miserably that they never even find out about it, and make sure you get caught. You'll go to prison without having hurt anyone. You don't really harm anyone if you embezzle $5,000 from Bill Gates to buy enough medicine to save a homeless person's life, at least not anymore than you harm your neighbor by picking one blade of grass.

apologetics paul wrote matthew
Well, that's a new one, isn't it? I'm trying to decide if that's more or less likely than the thesis that Luke is the first gospel, and the other gospels altered Luke in ways that depart from what Jesus was really like. (Someone really believes that Lukan priority thesis, by the way, and he submits posts to the Christian Carnival almost every week that develop the thesis.)

can anyone besides the bishop of rome be the pope
Can anyone besides the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces be the President of the United States? Can anyone besides the President of the U.S. Senate be the Vice-President of the United States?

New Pictures Posted

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I'm pretty focused on figuring out racial essentialism at the moment, so I figured I'd link to some pictures Sam has posted instead of posting anything of substance. Some of these are from a while back, and I'd never gotten around to linking to them.

March: pictures from Ethan's birthday
May: Ethan eating rice cakes with a knife and fork
May: Sophia's new dress that Sam made

Prosblogion Profile

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I've finally got a profile on the Prosblogion site. So far it just lists my academic work, including teaching and research interests and then links to all the posts I've written at that blog. Most of the contributors have had profiles like this all along, but because I had my own blog my name in the sidebar has just linked to this blog. I thought it might be better to have the profile with a link within it to here, and now I do.

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