The human race is always prone to give names to aspects of experience, and then to take for granted that whatever corresponds to those names exists. Give something a name (like intelligence, or perseverance, or wickedness), and many people will think that it exists, not as a kind of behavior that fits a certain description, but as the cause or underpinning of the behavior. Thus for example reading, which in general is easily identifiable behavior, has become transmuted into the reading process, which is assumed (by many) to actually exist within the human brain (which is also supposed to contain a writing process, a grammatical process, and a phonemic awareness process) .—Understanding Reading, pages 7–8
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
Right on! Do you think God would be more pleased with you if you read another couple of chapters in the Bible? Or if you spent more time in prayer? Or if you went to a soup kitchen? Or helped the homeless?
While none of those are bad in and of themselves—actually they are commendable acts—but if you are doing them to "please God more" then they are dead works. Trash! Garbage! Worthless! You are trying to earn what you already have—the love of God. Stop it! Change your heart and mind (i.e., repent) and accept the love of God in Christ.
He might still lead you to do those things—in fact, he probably will!—but now they will be out of a different motivation. And that is what counts.
And should we expect consistency? Look at your own life and theology. I'll bet there isn't a whole lot of consistency there! I know that I catch myself in inconsistencies all the time. Humanity is not a rational being, despite what we would like to think. My goal is to prayerfully eliminate the inconsistencies, though; I want my life to be consistently Christian, with Jesus shining through in thoughts, words, and deeds.
What about you? Is that your goal too?
As I told someone the other day, "If it were easy, we wouldn't still be arguing about it!" But that's the fun of it, right? Right? Oh, come on—it's fun, right? : )
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Neonicotinoid apologists reject these studies, in part because the researchers force-feed neonic-laced food to the bees. The critics say that the most important thing for bees is freedom of choice. Give bees the right to pick their own nectar in the wild, they say, and they will eat a wide variety of foods that best suits their individual needs, mostly avoiding the poisonous plants. It sounds oddly like the talking points of soda manufacturers in soda ban debates: Let consumers “make the choice that’s right for them.”
The journal Nature published two studies today that disprove the “freedom of bee choice” theory. In the first, researchers offered bees two food sources: a pure sugar solution and a sugar solution laced with neonicotinoids. The bees did not avoid the contaminated food—they actually preferred it! The researchers then went a step further, testing the bees’ neural response to the insecticide. (Isn’t science amazing?) Although bee brains have bitter-sensing neurons that help detect poison (humans have them, too), this defense mechanism didn’t respond to neonicotinoids. In the end, the neonic-fed bees died earlier than their health food-eating peers, essentially poisoning themselves with junk.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
I've posted the outline that I created, along with a supporting file of graphics, on Academia.edu. I hope at least a few of you might find it helpful.
Disclaimer: This is not intended to be an academic/scholarly outline. It is intended to give a good overview of the ANE backgrounds to a group of Christians who want to better understand the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. The presentation takes about 4.5 hours, allowing for three breaks and questions; in this case the questions took between 30–45 minutes. Of course, depending on the group, the question session may be shorter or longer.
I had a blast doing it. I hope I get the privilege of doing it again sometime soon. I'm sure I'll continue to modify the outline, so if you have suggestions, please leave a comment. Again, bear in mind that this is designed as an overview for the advanced lay person with a basic knowledge of the Bible, so suggestion should be appropriate for that audience.
As an aside, they posted an interview with one of the students (Marie) on their Facebook page. Although I have to say, I am not a professor!, but thanks for the compliment : )
Friday, April 24, 2015
Isn't that a refreshing viewpoint? I think I'm going to like this book...
OK. That one brought a smile to my face : )
Context really is everything. And sometimes I wonder how correctly we get the context in the ancient world...and how can we know if we get it right? But that's the challenge that keeps me digging deeper all the time!
The present study explores the significance of information-structure functions for preposing in BH. The concepts of focusing and topicalization are clarified and redefined so that they provide insights into when and why preposing occurs. A sample of preposed clauses is examined to determine whether information-structure functions are statistically dominant or whether functions that relate to the clause as a whole, such as simultaneity and anteriority, are the dominant kind. In addition, differences between preposing in narrative and direct speech are explored. In subsequent chapters, focused and topicalized clauses are analyzed in detail from the syntactic and the pragmatic perspectives.— Word Order in the Biblical Hebrew Finite Clause, pages 46, 47
Why would Jesus make reference to all of this, and why would he frame the petitions of the prayer he gave his disciples in terms of not doing what the biblical prototype of “this generation” does, unless he was trying to give to his disciples something that would help them avoid becoming like them?—The Disciples’ Prayer, page 98
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Uncomfortable facts which refuse to be fitted in, we find ourselves ignoring or distorting so that they do not disturb these established assumptions.—Purity and Danger, pages 45, 46
Ain't that the truth! I'm wading through Lambrecht's Information Structure and Sentence Form: Topic, Focus, and the Mental Representations of Discourse Referents right now. Talk about dense! And confusing doesn't begin to describe it...I've heard people say it is one the hardest books they ever read. I agree. I'm not sure if it is the subject or the writing—or both!
So, for someone to say that the whole idea of topic is "problematic" is refreshing. At least I'm not the only one confused...
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
At the same time, what we have discovered is fundamentally at odds with certain key tenets of postmodernist thought, especially those that claim that meaning is un-grounded and simply an arbitrary cultural construction.
What has been discovered about primary metaphor, for example, simply does not bear this out. There appear to be both universal metaphors and cultural variation.—Metaphors We Live By, pages 274–75
And the standard hasn't changed in 2000 years...mercy and forgiveness, loving. And the last time I checked, those three words don't have a meaning of "hate" or "bomb them to death" in their definition. No, not even for "American interests" that "need to be defended."