Month: October 2014

Ten Commandments Smashed a Second Time

Smashed 10 CommandmentsThe Ten Commandments have been smashed a second time.  The first time the perpetrator was Moses.  He got mad when he saw that the Israelites were worshiping the golden calf (Exo. 32:19).

It’s happened again.

This time in Oklahoma City, on the lawn of the Oklahoma State Capital grounds.  On Friday, October 24, 2014, a man who claims to be a Satanist drove his car into a granite monument containing the Ten Commandments.  The monument was shattered.  Oklahomans were shocked (although the ACLU was suing to have the monument removed).

Here’s ABC’s version of the story.  And Huffpo’s version here.

I’m surprised none of the journalists reporting on the story mention the “legal precedent” for such behavior established by none other than the most famous law giver this side of Hammurabi, i.e., Moses.

I’ve generally been opposed to these sorts of public displays of the Ten Commandments (I call them the Fourteen Commandments, because there are actually fourteen commands, but who’s counting?).  But every time I give my students a pop quiz on the Ten Commandments (did it again this week), typically about one out of ten can name all ten.  And these are seminary students.  Perhaps I should support these types of displays?  Maybe students would do better on my quizzes?

I still think it’s more important to obey the Ten Commandments, than to display them.  What do you think?

Hand over Fist by Kevin Glenn

The Democrats are blaming the Republicans for gridlock.

The Republicans are blaming the Democrats for waste.

Denominations are splitting over the issue of gay marriage.

Churches are dividing over the issue of women in leadership.

Friends are unfriending friends over volatile disputes on Facebook.

Kevin Glenn has something to say about this subject.  (I hate to give spoilers, but it involves Jesus.)

Here is the blurb I gave to describe Kevin Glenn’s new book, Hand Over Fist: An Invitation to Christ-Centered Civility.

“What can we do to stop the incivility epidemic in politics, at work, at home and even in the church?  Start by reading this book.  Combining humor and wisdom, stories and truth, Kevin Glenn invites his readers to follow Christ in a movement toward compassionate civility that will yield spiritual, emotional and relational rewards for those who accept his invitation.” (see top left of the front cover)

The book includes a Forward by Leonard Sweet, and an Afterword by Frank Viola.  Hope you enjoy it.

From Justin Hall to 100,000 hits

100K hitsIn 1994, Justin Hall, a freshman at Swarthmore college began begin his web-based log, Justin’s Links from the Underground. Thus, began the first blog.

In 2004, New York Times Magazine called Hall, “the founding father of personal blogging.”

In 2014, my son Nathan was a freshman at Swarthmore college (OK, finishing his freshman year, he’s now a sophomore).

On Friday, October 10, 2014, my blog went over 100,000 hits. (Thanks to all of you who visit regularly.)

Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

What will happen in 2024?  We can only guess.

Denzel Goes Old Testament

Denzel WashingtonDenzel Goes Old Testament” is the title of the film review of The Equalizer by Richard Corliss in the most recent Time (Oct. 6, 2014).  He plays Mac who gets in trouble with the Russian mob for defending a Russian prostitute after she is abused by her pimp.

I wonder what Corliss means by going Old Testament?  

“Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Exo. 34:6)?  I don’t think so.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psa. 23:1)?  Nope.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares YHWH, plans for your welfare and not for evil” (Jer. 29:11)?  Nah.

Sounds more like Ghostbusters, Old Testament-“What he means, Mr Mayor, is Old Testament, real wrath of God type stuff.”  This is right before one of the best lines in cinematic history, “Dogs and cats living together.  Mass hysteria.”

I haven’t seen the film, but Denzel Washington’s character seems like a good guy, a bit vigilante.  But the connotations of OT still don’t seem entirely positive.

What do you think it means to go Old Testament in the context of the review title?