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June 2004 Blog Archives

Monday, June 28

1:47 PM Counting the cost.

1:45 PM Die Zeit posted this photo of Lady Liberty in Colmar, France. A parable...?


10:47 AM Praise the God of Creation!

10:15 AM I just received a copy of the latest review of my book Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism (Baker Books), which appeared in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. The conclusion reads:

This book is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to introduce students to NT textual criticism. It is also an excellent place for veteran scholars to update themselves on textual criticism.

The book includes essays by Eldon Jay Epp, Michael Holmes, J. K. Elliott, Maurice Robinson, and Moises Silva. Many thanks to Professor John Clabeaux of St. John's Seminary College in Brighton, MA, for his gracious review.

8:47 AM God bless the Catholic University

8:45 AM With "stop-loss," the draft has already begun.

8:33 AM Is modesty optional?  Here's one mother's take. (Hat tip: Buried Treasure.)

8:30 AM Had a very nice radio interview with Mrs. Kelly McGinley at the CP convention in Valley Forge. If you haven't visited her website yet, I hope you will. Here's a sampling of her excellent writing.

8:25 AM Many thanks to John Leone, a Constitution Party delegate from New Jersey whom I met at the national convention, for adding a link to daveblackonline at his website, which promotes "Christian Leadership Principles and Constitutionally Limited Government." Here's a sample.

8:23 AM Meet John the "Dipper."

8:12 AM From the mailbag: I've said to you before, you have "ruined" me. I most likely will not be voting for Bush. He has demonstrated that he cannot get the job done that is most important to me: abortion. Not that he doesn't want to; he appears to be incapable of fulfilling this task. He doesn't have either the leadership ability or the clout. Most of my friends think I'm crazy for possibly voting for Peroutka ... but ... while a vote for Peroutka may (in a very indirect way) be a vote for Kerry in this election, maybe in four years the Republicans (or some other party) will put a candidate up for election that I wouldn't feel guilty voting for (like Peroutka). A vote for Peroutka is a vote for an America that will be better for my children ... though I may have to suffer under Kerry's leadership for 4 - 8 years.

8:05 AM A pastor friend of mine is writing an essay on Ephesians 6:1, arguing that children ought to be present in worship based on Paul's use of the vocative of direct address in this verse ("Children, obey your parents," not "Parents, remind your children to obey you"). I passed on to him this great quote by William Hendricksen from his Ephesians commentary:

The apostle assumes that among those who will be listening when this letter is read to the various congregations the children will not be lacking. They are included in God’s Covenant…, and Jesus loves them…. Were Paul to be present with us today he would be shocked at the spectacle of children attending the Sunday School and then going home just before the regular worship service. He has a word addressed directly and specifically to the children.

7:56 AM Lewis Goldberg, editor of The Patriotist, and Jonathan Grubbs, a Christian Constitutionalist from Florida, were kind enough to post a link to my latest book on their home pages. Many thanks, guys!

7:35 AM Robert Lloyd sent me this very kind note:

Dr Dave:

One heck of an inspirational article here. This is so important for our people in leadership positions to keep preaching and for all of us to keep hearing... "Not Everyone Has Surrendered"...

God speed in Valley Forge.

Deo Vindice,

Robert Lloyd


7:23 AM Just back from a five day trip to Valley Forge for the national Constitution Party convention. As is our custom, we avoided the freeways, preferring instead to drive the back roads (always looking for another antique for Bradford Hall!). We spent the first night just outside of Lancaster, PA and then the next day we explored Amish country. When we stopped at the local Mennonite/Amish visitor center, I struck up a conversation with an Amish gentleman. We spoke "German" with each other - I "High German" and he "Pennsylvania Dutch" (which, of course, has nothing to do with Holland; it's a variety of German). Though neither of us could speak the other's dialect, we could understand each other perfectly. I had the audacity to inquire if he knew of an Amish family we could visit with - not a tourist trap, but a real working farm. And what do you know - he did! A relative of his who lives in a nearby valley graciously welcomed us and gave us a grand tour of his barns and breeder house. I was again blown away by the Amish and their simple lifestyle - something my wife and I are trying to emulate on our own farm in Virginia. Child-rearing is the first priority among Amish parents, and most Amish men prefer to farm in order to spend their days with their families. And in the less mechanized Amish existence there are many tasks for the children so that they quickly become aware of their own validity as persons - an awareness children in our more "sophisticated" society may not reach nearly as soon. I've also noticed that the Amish, in keeping with their Swiss ancestry, have little tolerance for bad manners or for poor workmanship. The local farmer told me about one of his ancestors who was beheaded in Bern, Switzerland, for his Anabaptist faith (a 32-stanza hymn about him is in their hymnal). I plan to add this tidbit of information when I lead my Reformation Tour to Europe next year.

The convention itself was splendid. I got to meet many nice people and hear many great talks. The presidential (Michael Peroutka) and vice-presidential (Chuck Baldwin) speeches were outstanding in every way. The team is now in place to lead the Constitution Party to victory in November, and I was both thrilled and humbled to be a part of this historic convention in such a historic venue.  

By the way, Michael Peroutka's acceptance speech is now available online.

Monday, June 21

9:58 AM Christian Pragmatism 101: How to grow your own mega-church.

9:57 AM From the conclusion of an excellent study of evangelifishism:

Herein lies the difference.  The Christianity of Christ is a hated gospel.  It makes too many demands upon a human being.  Christ’s gospel requires daily mortification of private sin and lusts, refusal to compromise with the world, and a willingness to walk away from anything that is demonstrated to be contrary to the Word of God.  The ‘Christianity’ of the modernist, however, is a pleasing gospel.  It is received with joy, promises an eternal happiness, demonstrates itself in a pleasing and entertaining ‘worship’, and requires little more than moral living.  ‘Jesus’ is a friend, and God is a God of ‘love’.  Compromise permits many things as long as one “feels” good about them, or can rationalise them as being ‘applicable to the times in which we now live’.  Carnal complacency and the love of entertainment are the signs of the times to which the ‘church’ has adapted itself. 

Read more.

9:53 AM You've got to see the ending of this trailer.

9:51 AM Getting to the "Brown and Root" of the matter.

9:45 AM If you live in the Wake Forest area and would like to attend my verse by verse study of Philippians this July 6-23, please go the seminary website and download the syllabus. FYI, here are the course assignments:

1. Read the entire book of Philippians in at least 5 different translations. Also, purchase and read a commentary (of your choice) on Philippians. Then list (3-5 pages) at least 25 new insights you gleaned as a result of your reading and study.

2. Memorize the “heart” of Philippians (1:27-2:11) in a translation of your choice.

3. Write a 10-15 page paper on a topic of your choice from Philippians. This must be a new paper and may not incorporate work done for any other class. Suggested topics include:

  • The historical background of the city of Philippi

  • The prominence of women in Macedonia

  • The NT teaching about “overseers/elders” (1:1)

  • Paul’s prayer for the Philippians (1:9-11)

  • Paul’s fourfold definition of Christian unity (2:1-4)

  • The Christ hymn of 2:5-11

  • “Joy” in Philippians

  • etc.

4. Your final assignment is what I am calling a Servanthood Project. According to Phil 2:1-11, Christian humility is evidenced by selfless acts of service to others. Therefore, I am asking you to perform at least 3 acts of service for someone in your church or community (if possible, make it a family project). Then write a 3-5 page summary of your project.

The class is based on the English Bible and presupposes no knowledge of Greek. For those of you who have taken Greek (and still remember it!), my analysis of the structure of the entire book of Philippians is available here.  

9:05 AM The latest from Pat Buchanan:

And so, with no weapons of mass destruction yet found after 18 months of searching, the second pillar of the president's case for war falls to earth. Iraq was an unnecessary war.

Yet, now we have 138,000 soldiers there, with casualties mounting, the cost rising and the hostility to America's presence growing. Every attack on U.S. troops or contractors – even when they involve Iraqi dead and wounded – seems to be cause for jubilation.

7:16 AM Weekend highlights: singing country Gospel at the local retirement home for Father's Day...finishing our goat barn (including milking and birthing stalls)...trying out our new rice cooker (a birthday present from my wife - I am agog at how well it works!)...mowing and edging our NC out the horse waterers...listening to Stroop's fantastic Hodie...watching the local turkey family snare insects each morning...finishing two books on the life of George textual study of Philippians. Hope you, too, had a great weekend!

Saturday, June 19

8:40 AM As I prepare to teach the Book of Philippians this summer, I found these words by John MacArthur to be timely indeed. 

8:30 AM More Republican fallout.  

“The gloom among Republicans is deepening as President Bush falls behind Democratic nominee John F. Kerry,” says University of Virginia Political Science Professor Larry J. Sabato. At the heart of the gloom is Iraq. “Bush's presidency is--by his own admission--inextricably bound to Iraq, and things are going very badly there,” Sabato adds.

Bush’s Iraq woes deepened this week when the 9-11 Commission concluded no link existed between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. With the earlier claim of weapons of mass destruction already discredited, the commission’s finding removed the last of Bush’s questionable justifications for the war in Iraq.

Even Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush, refuses to publicly endorse his son’s Iraq war and an increasing number of prominent Republicans and Conservatives are straying off the reservation.


8:20 AM Grasping at straws?

8:04 AM The blessings of a Christian society.  

Thursday, June 17

4:05 PM Arnaud de Borchgrave does it again:

The tsunami of anti-American venom unleashed around the world by the Abu Ghraib torture pictures also has crested and begun to subside. But Mr. Bush is still being pummeled mercilessly for what Le Monde called "out of control hoity-toity hubris."

A common editorial thread between the world's most respected journals was that the occupation has weakened the world's only superpower, both within and without Iraq; that its strongest alliances have splintered; and that its policies have been rejected by overwhelming majorities throughout the world. The dominant emotion seemed sorrow, not anger.

Read Cakewalkers go AWOL.

4:00 PM Our seminary email is down, so if you've emailed me in the last 24 hours it may be a while before I can respond. Meanwhile I've been working on my speech for the Constitution Party convention in Valley Forge next week as well as reading a real page-turner: Washington's Crossing.

Wednesday, June 16

12:50 PM Here's the final schedule for the Constitution Party National Convention next week. Mega-kudos to Debbie Hopper (one of the speakers) for an outstanding job in coordinating the event.

12:47 PM Michael Peroutka recently received these comments from a mother concerned about the draft:  

My husband and I voted for Pres. Bush (were ardent supporters) but we have been so very disappointed in him. We still pray for him as our leader and as our brother in Christ, but we will be writing your name on our ballot this year.

My 16 yr old son found your site and showed my husband and myself. I thank God that America still has some noble men who honour God, family, Constitution, and yes women.

Read more.

10:50 AM The opiate of the people (and it ain't religion). 

10:45 AM On May 31st Baptists lost a great pastor-teacher. Read his obituary here.

10:43 AM Yet another reason to send your kids to public school: healthy food.

10:01 AM Abu what????

Two rehearsals for his primetime May 23 speech were not enough to keep George W. Bush from mangling the name of the prison that brought shame to the U.S. mission in Iraq. Tom Shales of the Washington Post noted that "in addition to a generally lackluster delivery, Bush stumbled over the crucial name Abu Ghraib, the now infamous prison where grisly torture of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops has become an international scandal as well as an enormous embarrassment to the Bush administration." During the half-hour televised address, Bush mispronounced the infamous prison’s name each of the three times he mentioned it while announcing U.S. plans to tear it down and replace it with a new facility. The prison, the scene of torture under Saddam Hussein and the setting for the Iraqi prison abuse scandal under the U.S. military, has a name that English speakers usually pronounce as "abu-grabe." But Bush stumbled on the first try, calling it "abugah-rayp." The second version came out "abu-garon," and the third attempt sounded like "abu-garah." White House aides, who described the speech as an important address on the future of Iraq, said Bush practiced twice on Monday before boarding his helicopter for his trip to the speaking venue at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

9:56 AM Aren't you glad we have James Dobson to help us all survive adolescence?

Boost Your Daughter’s Walk with God. What do faith, fashion and fun have in common? Brio magazine! It’s a monthly dose of positive affirmation that empowers teen girls 13 and up to make godly choices.

9:56 AM "Bible school has evolved into a massive event that takes months to plan and organize." And all we get is a Rickshaw Rally?

9:54 AM No surprises here. Our new combat uniform resembles UN blue. (Hat tip: Southern Cause Messenger Board.)

On Monday, June 14, 2004, the Army unveiled a redesigned combat uniform with a digital camouflage pattern that looks strikingly different from soldiers' current battle dress uniforms. It marks the first major change in the Army uniform since 1981, and new recruits be issued the redesigned uniform starting in October 2005 and the entire Army will be outfitted by December 2007.  (AP Photo/US Army)

9:45 AM Our family is studiously examining this essay.

9:23 AM This home-educated author writes:

An honest resolution introduced at the Baptist General Convention that might address the problem of our nation would end with a call to Baptist churches to stop watering down faith in God with compartmentalized Christianity.

9:20 AM Three cheers for the United States, savior of the world. From Mrs. Bush:

...One year ago, President Bush stood before the United Nations General Assembly and pledged that the United States of America would return to UNESCO as a symbol of our nation's commitment to human dignity. Our delegation is proud to be here today representing our country and fulfilling that commitment.

...I'm proud that President Bush has made a massive commitment, $15 billion, to fight this humanitarian crisis. This is the largest single commitment of funds in the history of international public health initiative on a specific disease, and I'm very proud of my husband's leadership to help the children of the world.

...UNESCO's aptly named Education for All has an ambitious but I'm convinced attainable goal of ensuring universal primary education and expanding literacy worldwide by the year 2015. This program closely mirrors the goals of my husband's No Child Left Behind initiative ....

So much for the U.S. Constitution. 

9:10 AM My long time friend David Allen, who is the newly installed dean of theology at Southwestern Seminary and with whom I am co-editing a new book titled The Text-Driven Sermon, continues to promulgate the completely myopic and untenable view that Luke wrote Hebrews. As the KJV superscription says, "The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews." Case closed, brother Dave!

(BTW, on Origen's famous statement that "only God knows" who wrote Hebrews, see this essay.)

9:05 AM Carmon Friedrich's take on things educational.

8:54 AM Ricky Pittman, a public school teacher in Monroe, LA, sent me this email:

Dave: I really liked your article, "Screen of the Scriptures." (Found it via League of the South of which I'm a member) I've attached a MSW article, "How to Teach the Bible in Public Schools" which I had printed in Teachers of Vision, Vol. XLIX, No. 1 Back to School 2003. p. 6. (A publication of Christian Educators Association International.) In this essay, I argue that the public school system is not the only problem here. Please read it and let me know what you think. I would love for you to post this article with my email if you like it enough. I appreciate so much your writing.

Rickey Pittman

Glad to do it, brother. You can reach Ricky at his website.

Christians have all heard it said from pulpit and in print, “They (whoever they are) have taken the Bible out of the public schools and forbidden us to teach us.”   Such statements are nonsense, propaganda, designed to create a fear of and resentment toward public education.  While it is true the Bible does not occupy the strategic position it once held in education, government, and society, ANY teacher may teach their students much more about the Bible than he or she realizes.  After teaching English literature in public schools and universities for nine years, I have learned several strategies that will help teachers raise Biblical and cultural literacy in their students.

While law and government policies and societal mores have been a factor in the Bible’s lost presence in public education, actually, the most significant cause of the loss of the scripture’s presence is ignorance.   Today there exists an appalling ignorance of the Bible on the part of teachers and students.   There is also an ignorance of the significant role the Bible plays in understanding the literature of Western Civilization.

A teacher today has ample opportunity to teach rich many facts and insights found in the scriptures simply by the careful instruction of literature.  In fact, I would argue that one can’t fully understand British and American literature without a Biblical background.  Our literature is full of allusions to Judo-Christian history, people, and scriptures.  To not have a Biblical background is to not fully grasp the significance of the poetry, short stories, and novels that our government requires our students to study.  Think about the many allusions filling the works of Milton, John Donne, Shakespeare and even modern writers, such as Hawthorne and Faulkner.  Many times each week as we study literature in my classroom, I often say something like, “This line, passage, or word is an allusion to something in the Bible.  Who can tell me what this refers to?”  If the students don’t know, and they usually don’t, I supply the explanation, complete with Biblical reference.  In the teaching of Literature lies a Christian’s opportunity to teach the Bible.

For example, consider Singer’s short story, “Gimpel the Fool.”  The Jewish and Christian imagery is rich and complex, and the pathetic story of Gimpel’s cruel and immoral wife is an obvious allusion to the prophet Hosea.  A teacher can’t teach Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter without teaching about the Puritans and how their thinking was influenced by their fanatical Calvinistic philosophy and how their efforts to control sin actually made sin more powerful.

Ignorance of the Bible is not difficult to discover in the classroom.  I always ask my students, especially the more overtly religious ones,  “How many have read the whole Bible?”  Tragically, after nine years of teaching, I have had no student affirm that he or she has read the whole Bible.  When I share with them how I have read the entire Bible over 200 times and have translated the Greek New Testament into English, they can hardly believe it.  This reveals a significant problem that exists in even the most fundamental churches in today’s society.   Church and home education have moved away from whole Bible teaching and reading to trendy topics and issues that focus on the same few scriptures time and time again.  Many of my students are zealous for their faith and very committed to God, but when I question them regarding the Biblical (both Old and New testaments) allusions in literature, they are at a loss. Unfortunately, many of my students confess that much of scriptural material I present to them is new.  As you can see, it is not the government that has taken the Bible out.

Scriptural content is not only found in literature.  A study of drama reveals that playwrights through the ages possessed an amazing knowledge of the scriptures.  Another interesting issue of the importance of a Biblical education is seen in the typical high school study of Shakespeare.  I have noticed that the students who could or had worked through the King James Version had a much easier time with Shakespeare’s language.  I love the modern translations, but in my writing and teaching, I still use the Authorized Version, for that is the version of British and American literature.

True, legally, and I think ethically, a teacher must not proselytize his or her students in classroom situations.  Nor do I allow my religious students to hold an evangelical campaign in my class.  My classroom is designed to promote thought and learning skills; my lessons are designed to raise the academic abilities and cultural literacy of the students.  When a teacher is heavy-handed in matters of the soul, the pressure backfires and the teacher is resented and not respected.  Additionally, one should have confidence in the silent power the scriptures possess.  Bible verses can effectively perform their Hebrews 4:12 work on their own in just the sharing.  Students already have state-approved organizations in public schools, such as the Christian Fellowship of Athletes, that can help the students as well with their social and evangelical needs.

An effective education requires a balance.  Knowledge and use of the Bible will help a student’s education to be well rounded.  Yet, though we often have a great zeal to communicate the scriptures, we must be careful to avoid a tendency to dismiss or take lightly the other important elements of education a child needs from history, science, the arts—and yes, even exposure to views contrary to the Christian view.  I feel secure enough in my beliefs to examine or look at opposing points of view.  If I’m right and my thinking and learning is sound, what is there to fear?  Answering challenges and reasoning through problem areas should only strengthen one’s faith, not cause its loss.  We should expect such challenges and rise to meet them.  Yet, we must be prepared.  It is truly sad when the authors of literature or skeptics attack scripture and seem to know more about biblical subjects than Christians do.

Teachers too, need to be well rounded.  I know that many fundamentalists might argue that the Bible is all that is needed in education.  This Puritan notion is ridiculous, a mindset resembling the Taliban who virtually have banned anything educational, artistic, and cultural from their society except for the Koran. Everything a teacher knows can matter in the classroom, including what they know about the scriptures.  Students in this apathetic age need teachers who know literature and the scriptures, and they need teachers who know how to use them both effectively to open, probe, challenge, and broaden the minds of the young disciples they instruct.   If the teacher knows and teaches literature well, he or she has ample opportunity to expose students to the scriptures. 

8:10 AM My good friend Mark Dankof is now writing for DixieInternet.

8:05 AM From the mailbag:

Dear Dave,

I visit your web page fairly often. I just read your article on the SBC school resolution. Nice piece of writing. Can I reprint it?

Our church has operated a Christian School for about 25 years. Both our pastor and his wife left good paying jobs in the public schools to pastor the church and lead the school. When attendance overwhelmed our small church, capacity 80 and also used as a school, we voted to build a school building before a bigger sanctuary. We have church services in the gymnasium and may see the new sanctuary someday but I don't see the imminent need for it other than knowing that the folks getting married would like to have the ceremony in a more formal setting. 

7:45 AM John Kerry - an echo, not a choice.

7:34 AM The draft will probably be THE issue of 2005. Only one presidential candidate will oppose the Selective Service System - the Constitution Party's Michael Peroutka. Others may promise what they will, but, like Ronald Reagan, they will succumb to militaristic pressures once in office.

Monday, June 14

11:38 AM It's spreading like kudzu.

10:54 AM So you like to talk to your dog....

9:26 AM The myth of Santa Clause: Not so harmless.

9:24 AM Validating homeschooling for Christian families.

9:15 AM An age-integrated church? 

7:37 AM When does human life begin?

7:35 AM " all means, get your children out of these hedonistic, socialist training camps called government schools!" Read more.

7:32 AM A reader asks:

Dr. Black,

I have been reading your blog for a few months now, and have read your articles on Mr. Peroutka.  He seems to be a good man, and would promote many things that are on our Christian agenda.  However, would it be a waste of our vote to vote for Mr. Peroutka?  Would this not take away votes from Mr. Bush, putting him in a precarious position to lose to a candidate that would be worse than him?  Is it more important for us to support the lesser of two evils that might win, or the best man assured to lose?  Would you shed some wisdom and light on this dilemma?

Thank you for writing. Please read the essay by Michael Harrison entitled "No More Excuses! Why a Vote for Michael Peroutka over George Bush Is Not a Wasted Vote." I believe it will answer each of your questions satisfactorily.

Friday, June 11

12:08 PM Die Zeit asks, "Warum wollen die USA plötzlich die NATO im Irak dabeihaben?" Good question.

11:55 AM The SBC resolution on public school is gaining ground with a critical endorsement.

11:54 AM The forgotten war.

9:23 AM Two recent letters:

Dr. Black

Just wanted to say please keep up the outstanding work you are doing spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am an avid Michael Peroutka supporter but have had my hands full explaining why he is the only Christian conservative candidate running for president that is worth supporting.  I sometimes feel that most Bush supporters listen to what they want to listen to and hear what they want to hear...regardless of the truth.  I have went to pro-Bush websites and being called everything from a liberal to a traitor.  Mr. Peroutka has been called the same and then some.  The only thing I know is I am spreading the word.  I will vote  my conscience and let God decide the rest.    God bless you and your family.

Dr. Black:

I have only recently become acquainted with your website,, and have found it to be extremely refreshing. I consider myself a recovering neo-conservative and have sought news sources where American history is accurately portrayed and the ideals of our nation's foundation are embraced.

I have become an avid reader of men like Walter E. Williams and Thomas Sowell and I visit websites like and regularly. But it wasn't until I found that I found someone with whom I so closely identify.

Like yourself I am a Southern Baptist. Most importantly, like you, I am committed to the Reformed faith and desire to see our convention return to its historical theological position.

It was with the discovery of that I found a resource, for the first time, which brought together so many of my own deeply held convictions. In just a few short weeks I have become a fan of your website.

It is for this reason I felt compelled to contact you. I simply wanted to say thank you for expressing yourself so well through I have enjoyed it more than you can know. Also, please keep it up. Your website is the first place I visit any time I log onto the internet. Again, thank you.

9:15 AM Good morning, all! We've had a wonderful week, one of the busiest since moving to Bradford Hall. Some good friends from a farm in western Virginia helped me celebrate my 52nd birthday yesterday. A formal dinner was prepared by my wonderful wife (she surprised me with my favorite meal - southern fried chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, and strawberry shortcake), followed by a "musikalisher Abend" of piano entertainment in our parlor (she played my favorites - Claire du Lune, Moonlight Sonata, and Für Elise). The evening ended with singing around the piano and clavinova and one of my infamous "Henny, Jenny, Penny" bedtime stories for the kids. Earlier I took the youngest of their nine children horseback riding at our NC ranch and gave them a tour of the seminary. On Wednesday the children helped us get up 286 (!) bales, and yesterday they caught bass and blue gill in our new farm pond. Folks, life doesn't get much better than this. We have lacked neither bread nor friends. The way is sweet, and our hearts are glad. As I used to pray in Germany, Grosses hast Du uns getan/Alles in uns betet an!

Monday, June 7

4:27 PM Oops!

1:30 PM My colleagues at Denver Seminary, Craig Blomberg and Bill Klein, have just updated their New Testament Exegesis Bibliography.

10:12 AM Richard Clarke's tour de force is now available for francophones. Here's a key excerpt:

Plus tard, dans la soirée du 12, je quitte le centre de vidéoconférences et je découvre, déambulant seul au beau milieu du PC de crise... le président. Il a manifestement une idée en tête. Il fait signe à certains d'entre nous et ferme la porte de la salle de conférences: «Ecoutez, je sais que vous avez des tonnes de choses à faire... mais je veux vous voir tous, dès que possible, tout repasser au peigne fin depuis le début, absolument tout. Voir si Saddam est à l'origine de tout ça. Voir s'il y est lié d'une manière ou d'une autre...»

Je suis une fois de plus abasourdi, incrédule, et cela doit se voir:

«Mais, monsieur le Président, c'est Al-Qaeda...

- Je sais, je sais, mais... voyez quand même si Saddam n'est pas dans le coup. Regardez encore, c'est tout. Je veux la moindre parcelle d'information...

- Tout à fait. Nous allons tout regarder... encore une fois. (J'essaie de bien réagir, de me montrer plus respectueux.) Mais vous savez, nous avons déjà cherché à plusieurs reprises si Al-Qaeda recevait des fonds de tel ou tel Etat, et jusqu'ici nous n'avons pas trouvé le moindre lien concret avec l'Irak. L'Iran a un rôle modeste, tout comme le Pakistan, l'Arabie saoudite, le Yémen...

- Cherchez du côté de l'Irak, de Saddam», insiste le président, irrité, avant de nous quitter. Lisa Gordon-Hagerty et moi le regardons partir, bouche bée.

Sur ces entrefaites arrive Paul Kurtz, croisant le président qui s'en va. Voyant notre tête, il demande: «Bon Dieu, qu'est-ce qui se passe ici?

10:10 AM Nope, we watch no TV at Rosewood Farm. "What in the world do you do in your spare time?" we're often asked. Well, nothing so unusual. Simply what they did before TV.

9:25 AM Look who's paying only 5 cents a gallon for gas.

9:21 AM The problem with Ebonics (scroll down to picture of Bill Cosby). 

9:18 AM My prayers are with these families and this school.

9:16 AM "In the context of 9/11 it may not have been the best way to promote their religion."

9:14 AM Auburn Baptists to Pinckney: Take a hike.

9:05 AM So much for our pre-war intelligence.

8:45 AM Last weekend my eldest son was listening to NPR's interview with gay Bishop Gene Robinson. Nowhere in the discussion were the Scriptures referenced, so my son called the program. When he told the screener he wanted to read from Romans chapter 1, he was rudely cut off. He called back, with the same results. In this essay on homosexual marriage, Lon Mabon ably defends the Bible and the Constitution.

7:56 AM Lest we forget:

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
- Dick Cheney, speech to VFW National Convention, Aug. 26, 2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
- George W. Bush, speech to UN General Assembly, Sept. 12, 2002

No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
- Donald Rumsfeld, testimony to Congress, Sept. 19, 2002

The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq.
- George W. Bush, Nov. 23, 2002

If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, press briefing, Dec. 2, 2002

We know for a fact that there are weapons there.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, press briefing, Jan. 9, 2003

What we know from UN inspectors over the course of the last decade is that Saddam Hussein possesses thousands of chemical warheads, that he possesses hundreds of liters of very dangerous toxins that can kill millions of people.
- White House spokesman Dan Bartlett, CNN interview, Jan. 26, 2003

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard, and VX nerve agent…. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
- George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2003

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.
- Colin Powell, remarks to UN Security Council, Feb. 5, 2003

We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons - the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.
- George W. Bush, radio address, Feb. 8, 2003

If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since [UN Resolution] 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us.
- Colin Powell, interview with Radio France International, Feb. 28, 2003

So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad?….I think our judgment has to be clearly not.
- Colin Powell, remarks to UN Security Council, March 7, 2003

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
- George W. Bush, address to the U.S., March 17, 2003

The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.
- George W. Bush, address to U.S., March 19, 2003

Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly…..All this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleisher, press briefing, March 21, 2003

There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And….as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.
- Gen. Tommy Franks, press conference, March 22, 2003

I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.
- Defense Policy Board member Kenneth Adelman, The Washington Post, March 23, 2003

One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.
- Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clark, press briefing, March 22, 2003

We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat.
- Donald Rumsfeld, ABC interview, March 30, 2003

Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find - and there will be plenty.
- Robert Kagan, The Washington Post, April 9, 2003

But make no mistake - as I said earlier - we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, press briefing, April 10, 2003

We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.
- George W. Bush, NBC interview, April 24, 2003

There are people who in large measure have information that we need….so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.
- Donald Rumsfeld, press briefing, April 25, 2003

We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.
- George W. Bush, remarks to reporters, May 3, 2003

7:15 AM Rachel Layne sent me this piece on dogs. Yes, it's sloppy sentimentalism, but dog lovers ARE sloppy sentimentalists. Just last night I was sitting in my library at Bradford Hall reading with my son and listening to our "Great Organs of Baltimore" CD when my attention was drawn to our beautiful Sheltie Shiloh curled up at my feet, sound asleep. I thought to myself what a blessing it is to have a dog, even though you know one day you will have to part with your faithful friend. That's the inevitable fate every dog lover faces, but, we would all agree, it's well worth it. My father-in-law (another sloppy sentimentalist) once asked me if he'd meet his dogs in heaven. "How can it be heaven without them?" he asked. The only answer I could think of was C. S. Lewis's: If having our dogs with us in heaven is necessary for our happiness, you can be sure they'll be there.

Groucho Marx put it this way: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

7:15 AM George Lansing writes:


We have not seen the first snake since getting our guineas six or seven years ago.  We have a great story of my wife reaching in to get the eggs from the nesting box and almost grabbing a 6' King snake instead!  But that was before guineas.  They are well noted for eating ticks and fleas, but have done a great job on snakes as well.  I usually am able to keep 10 to 20 around, but lose more some years than others to predators.

Thanks for writing, George. We currently have a hen sitting on six guinea eggs a neighbor gave us. They're due to hatch out in a week. I'll let you know how things go.

7:10 AM The truth about Reagan.

7:06 AM 397 miles, 9 and a half hours, and a drive through the beautiful Appalachian Range brought us to the Clemens farm near the West Virginia border to pick up our goatlets. Such magnificent scenery takes one's breath away. The Clemens, a homeschooling family, gave us a deal we couldn't pass up (Nomen est omen: Clemens is Latin for merciful). The newly weaned Boer/Spanish does are now safely ensconced in their new pasture at Rosewood Farm. I was glad to see how eagerly our other goats welcomed their new companions.

By the way, if you ever find yourself on Highway 220 south of Rocky Mount (as we did half way through our trip), do plan to stop at Big Papa's diner for some great Southern cooking. $5.50 for a complete buffet, including sweet tea and coffee.

Friday, June 4

5:06 PM Aloha au i uka me/Ke kahakai o Pupukea: "I love the uplands/and the seashore of Pupukea." (Sorry, folks - I'm in a nostalgic mood again, but Pupukea was probably my favorite break in all of Hawaii. Aloha, and have a great weekend.)

3:10 PM Lest we Southern Baptists forget, home-schooling is God's idea, not Pinckney's.

3:07 PM Public education IS religious!

3:05 PM Socialization, schmocialization

3:00 PM Secrets of a happy home life (1894 style).

12:05 PM As usual, David Brownlow is right.

11:58 AM Beware the back-door draft.

11:48 AM A fellow blogger no longer wants to be called a "conservative."

11:45 AM Nice site: "Here I Blog."

9:55 AM A public baptism is sparking controversy in my adopted home state of Virginia. Reflecting on the past, I've always thought it ridiculous that Hawaii (where I was hatched and raised) should have an "Interstate Highway" or that churches on Oahu should have baptistries. I was baptized in a public ceremony at Kailua Beach Park when I was eight. Later both of my sons were baptized there. After all, it was a "public" park!

9:43 AM The secular case for home-schooling.

9:35 AM Fed up with the myth of Republican conservatism, Ron Holland endorses the Constitution Party of Peroutka and Baldwin:

My point is the Nader third party candidacy cost the Democrat Party the 2000 Presidential Election and today you see Kerry and the other Democrats bowing and scraping toward Nader and his liberal supporters in their rhetoric, issues, platform and voting records.  Don’t fool yourself, the Democrat Party leadership doesn’t care one way or the other about Nader’s political philosophy or views. They are 100% concerned with winning elections and the 2000 Presidential Election taught them to pay attention to and deliver on the promises made to their liberal supporters or else suffer the consequences and political defeat at election time with a defection of their voters to a leftist third party effort. 

In the 2004 Presidential Election, Christian conservatives and constitutionalists need to teach an identical lesson to the Republican Party leadership if we want them to remember us after the election. To date, our sheep-like voting behavior of voting Republican based on future promises instead of past actions over and over again has conditioned the GOP leadership to neglect us, our agenda and break their campaign promises after every election.

9:22 AM Thank you, brother seminarian, for this very kind note:

Brother Dave,

I sure did enjoy your class on 1st Timothy this spring and continue to enjoy the wealth of information on your website.  I praise and thank God for your family and your ministry to so many. 

9:20 AM It's great to be back in the office today after working feverishly at the farm trying to finish our two-story goat barn for the Boer/Spanish-cross does we will pick up today in western Virginia. I'm glad to report that the new calves are doing fine, as are the newly hatched chicks. Yesterday we shot a huge copperhead that had been sneaking into the hen house and eating our eggs. Thankfully none of the chickens were harmed. Seems we've got oodles of rabbits, squirrels, and snakes this time of the year. They join the deer family that graces the hay field next to Bradford Hall every evening (how DO they know it's not deer season?). At any rate, hope all of you are doing well and enjoying the beautiful summer weather.

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