China demolished a church. Not just any church; this was an impressive megachurch that was built for massive worship services. There was no warning. Demolition crews and police showed up during a worship service, started tearing the building down with a large track crane, and evicted the worshippers. The next day they arrested the pastors:
“…officials detained the church’s pastors, Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao, on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order.””
You learned in school how the Egyptians took the pith from papyrus sedges and used it to make a writing product like paper. We study ancient Egyptian society because they were literate and left a lot of written records. Also, their dry climate preserves papyrus, so that Egypt has yielded a lot of ancient writings. This makes Egypt a favorite field of archaeological study.
Some of the most-studied artifacts of the ancient world are papyrus copies of New Testament books. Scholars study, debate, quarrel, and publish frequently regarding these precious bits of early Christian culture.
Christian “book culture”
There are some interesting things that can be learned about the early Christians from their manuscripts. This is to pass along a few things I have learned that may be of use to some of you.
Normies and NPCs* freak out in Massachusetts over signs posted around town that read “Islam Is RIGHT About Women.” The most fun element of this is the confused looks on the faces of the individuals interviewed and the news-robots reporting. They don’t understand the message but they’re certain it’s hate speech.
The universe we inhabit is a simulation. It was created by a being that has power to meddle within the sim, but chooses to tweak the sim on relatively rare instances. The Creator did create the sim with a purpose in mind, and characters in the sim develop into final form through the process of interactions in the sim with elements of the sim and interactions with other characters.
The headline reads “A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked.” It was prominently displayed at the top of the default Google News Spotlight for several days. The article was at The Atlantic.
The headline is wrong, but the underlying story describes a blow to Determinism that I want to bring to your attention. The news hook behind this particular story is new research getting underway to investigate findings originally reported in a 2012 paper. It provides a needed corrective to a meme that has been going around since the 1980s.
Chick-fil-A exploits chickens for profit. The below is excerpted from an actual news article:
“Many U.S. cities, campuses, and retail outlets have refused to allow Chick-fil-A to locate within their spaces, and/or have been vocal opponents of the corporation’s hateful values,” the statement continued. “Toronto and the rest of Canada need to be next in line.”... [Read More]
Y’all remember the 2012 Democrat Convention, where the delegates booed God. Well, they are still at it. They passed a resolution at the DNC summer meeting. It celebrates the unreligious and includes a swipe at religious people.
A few weeks ago, in my “New religiongeschichtliche Schule” post, Hypatia made an observation that prompted this post. She observed that many people think that Jesus appeared at the time he did because God had devised a world in which the Gospel could spread rapidly and far and wide:
Christianity could not have arisen except out of the Jewish scriptures. Nor, I learned in my Bible class, could it have spread across the globe if it hadn’t arisen within the far-flung empire of Rome. That period was “ the fullness of time”.
I absolutely agree with this thinking, and want to make a few observations on point.
How long has it been since you saw any news or discussion about the global persecution of Christians? (I mean, besides my posts.) The churches are under attack all over the world, with dozens or sometimes hundreds killed monthly. This carnage goes unnoticed by American mass media. In fact, American mass media seem determined to keep this information hidden. American Christians are not acting to help Christians around the world because they do not know the extent of the plight.
Other religious minorities experience persecution. This also gets neglected by the purveyors of “news.” But the one clear thing about religious persecution is, it mostly affects Christians, and it is overwhelmingly attributable to Muslims and Communists.
In recognition of the extents of religious persecution, the United Nations declared August 22, 2019 to be an “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.”
This post is a follow-up to my Ramadan Bombathon and June posts about Muslim jihad in Africa. This is a story of great violence wrought by jihadiis in a dozen countries. This violence is a continuation of centuries of violence along the edges of Muslim lands, but the scene in Africa has become increasingly deadly in the years since the 9/11 attacks on America in 2001. That event seemed to precipitate fresh infusions of cash from oil-rich Arabs, who gave support to Wahhabi madrassas that taught violent jihad, and who gave money for purchase of black market small arms to give to jihadiis all over the world.
Below I am simply listing incidents of violent jihad in Africa that made it to Christian niche media in the weeks since my post in mid-June. There were undoubtedly additional acts of violence that went unreported. None of this made it into mass media journalism in America, so all of it is probably news to y’all.... [Read More]
“Let your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me!”
This is to provide a Christian view of angels and demons. Angels and demons are created spiritual beings, created by God before He created the world. They all were angels when they were created. God made them in kinds, so that there are angels, archangels, seraphim, cherubim, and other kinds of angels.
Before we go any further I need to note that I am writing for a group that includes several materialists who think this entire topic is fictional. I chose to write because I have seen several recent references to demons and occult subjects. Also because there are lots of goofy things going around media and the internet about angels and demons, I thought it appropriate and reasonable to provide a little bit of clarity regarding the orthodox Christian basics regarding spiritual beings. With Americans increasingly embracing a roll-your-own approach to religion, more and more of our people are vulnerable both to shallow superstitions and to really dark spiritual forces.
Religionsgeschichtliche Schule is a term that has dominated the study of Christianity in academic circles for 150 years. It is translated from the German as “History of Religions School.” In this case it means ‘school of thought’ rather than a physical place, and is a reference to a group of influential scholars. They are important because most of their core ideas are still going strong on the internet and are currently taught in the Religious Studies Departments of many universities.
A number of bad ideas got their start with the religionsgeschichtliche Schule, including “Pagan origins” of Bible stories and the idea that the divinity of Jesus developed late in the history of the Christian movement.
A colloquium was held at the University of Edinburgh a few weeks ago, titled “Varieties of Theism in Antiquity,” and amounted to a series of new scholarly papers presented by a group of academics who celebrate the countervailing views that have debunked the ideas of the original religionsgeschichtliche Schule.
Last year I wrote a dozen posts to report on the assaults by mass media on Evangelical Christians. I cited the many hatchet-job articles and a representative handful (out of many dozens) of editorials from mass media to document their collective attempt to suppress Trump voters and boost Democrat prospects in the 2018 midterm elections. Things quieted down after Christmas, but then heated up over abortion when a number of red states were working on bills to restrict abortion. The focus stayed on Culture of Death issues all spring, with a few occasional bursts of Catholic-bashing thrown in.
But now I see signs of a renewed energy in media attacks on Evangelicals. This looks like the ramp-up to 2020 campaigning. I am not alleging any conspiracy. All I am pointing out is that journalists as a group hate President Trump and hate the voters who put him in office. Since they are overwhelmingly irreligious, they neither understand nor wish to understand the concerns of Christians. ... [Read More]