Random Blog Posts and Stuff

The first RBP&S of 2011!

*

Craig Adams asks What would have been John Wesley’s attitude toward the modern doctrine and practice of Speaking in Tongues?

Thus we can say that Wesley would not have fully endorsed either cessationism or pentecostalism. Extraordinary gifts and miralcles have not necessarily ceased, look but they are not necessary proofs of the Holy Spirit, either.
Wesley said that he did not claim “extraordinary gifts” of the Spirit as being necessary to the Spirit’s regeneration or sanctification of Christian lives. He does not seem to have claimed any particular “extraordinary gifts” for himself.
But, there is nothing in Wesley’s teaching that would absolutely disallow extraordinary gifts in the Church. Wesley’s defense of Montanus and his love for the writings of Tertullian could be seen as an argument in favor of the possibility of “extraordinary gifts” in the contemporary Church.

************

The top 50 Biblioblog ranking for December is up. I never know what to make of these lists in terms of actual “top”-ness, but it’s a great place to find a few new blogs to read.

************

Scientia et Sapientia has been posting tips for their Th.M program. The latest installment is for any student in any program: How to deal with Over-Research-itis:

This debilitating illness manifests itself in a tendency to spend almost the entire semester researching, leaving yourself with precious little time in which to actually write the paper that all of the research was supposed to be for.
If you’re not sure whether you suffer from this unfortunate syndrome, just ask yourself whether you tend to be frustrated with your papers because you don’t think they really reflect the quality of research you did for the project. If so, you probably suffer from over-research-itis.

Do I suffer from this? Um. Well. Considering I have been “researching” for my Pentateuch paper since November and still haven’t written a single paragraph, I think the answer is *gulp*.

*************

As regular readers are aware, I’m a fan of de-motivational posters. Today I came across a site full of Emergent po-motivational posters. Check them out!

*************

And if you went to Westdale high school in the 90’s like I did, you may remember science teacher Ms. Audrey Gleave. My prayers go out to her family and friends, and let’s pray that the police catch the creep who did this.

Canadian Pantomimes

One of my favourite memories from childhood is watching theatrical pantomimes on television. In the 80’s, store there were two Canadian pantomimes (fractured fairy-tales) that were filmed for tv: The Cinderella Gang, and and The Magic of Aladdin. Both were headlined by Karen Kain and Ross Petty and starred some amazing Canadian talent (including, Jeff Hyslop from Today’s Special; Denis Simpson from Polka Dot Door; Bruno Gerussi from the Beachcombers).

In the 90’s, Ross Petty resurrected the pantomimes and mounts one every year at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. I was privileged to attend Robin Hood, which was later filmed for tv.

I love The Cinderella Gang because it is the only panto where Ross Petty plays the “good” guy. In all subsequent theatrical pantos, Ross Petty plays the villain. He does a fabulous job as a villain, and relishes the “boos” from the audience, but I really like him as the good guy.

The Magic of Aladdin has an amazing energy, due in large part to the talents of Jeff Hyslop.

And Robin Hood is fantastic because it pairs Karen Kain and Frank Augustyn (both ballet dancers), and it has some of the best music of all the pantos.

I had all three of these taped off tv onto VHS, and for the past several years, my husband and I have scoured all avenues, trying to get DVD copies of these performances. We emailed Bravo and CTV. No luck. We even emailed Ross Petty Productions and there is no DVD release expected of these fabulous Canadian gems.

So our family Christmas present this year was to have all three videos converted to DVD. And I have to say, the quality is much higher than I expected. I thought that there would be a loss in the conversion, but there isn’t.

If there are any die-hard fans out there who are desperately searching for these gems, email me (cdntheologianscholar {{at}} mac {{dot}} com) and we can talk about “sharing” these DVDs.

RIP Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen has passed away at the age of 84.

From the news report:

Born in Regina, doctor Canada, diagnosis Leslie Nielsen appeared in more than 100 movies and hundreds of television shows over the course of his career.
Awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he was also made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002…

You can see more here.

In honour of his passing, I present a trailer from a classic Leslie Nielsen movie:

A Buffy Re-boot

It has been announced that Warner Bros. is working on a re-boot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In my opinion, cialis this has disaster written all over it.

First, look they are re-booting the movie. The movie was awful. The reason it was awful was because the “suits” did not understand what Whedon was trying to do. The “suits” won and audiences were left with a B-level movie. It was only when Whedon was given the opportunity to do Buffy for the small screen, that we got to see what it was really supposed to be about.

Second, The Buffy-verse does not need a reboot! Spinoffs? Sure. Adaptation of the season eight comic book? Okay.
I say leave the Buffy story alone, and focus on one of the new Slayers (for those of you not in the know, at the end of Season 7, the Scooby Gang found a way to activate all the potential slayers in the world.)

Third, Joss Whedon is against this, and in true Whedon-humour says this:

I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don’t love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I’m also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can’t wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill. I can, however, take this time to announce that I’m making a Batman movie. Because there’s a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto, rebooting into a theater near you.

Finally, I think this boils down to the fact that Warner Bros. is looking for the next Twilight. Repeat after me: Buffy is NOT Bella! Oh, and another thing:


Is Education a Democracy?

Earlier this week I posted a story from the Chronicle of Higher Education about a man who writes papers for students; students who either have no desire or no ability to write papers, cheap and have several hundred (or thousand) dollars to spend on hiring a professional paper writer.

Today I am reading about another case of cheating, this time in Florida, where 200 of 600 students cheated on an exam. All 600 students have to re-write the exam as a result. The professor is offering academic amnesty (i.e. no punitive repercussions) for those students who confess and agree to take an ethics course.

Nathan Gilmour, over at Christian Humanist, looks at both situations and the state of education in general. He writes:

I still believe that higher education exists not for its own sake but for the sake of a larger community. That particular sort of benefit has at its root a set of aristocratic assumptions, namely that some human beings have over the years acquired a real and intelligible range of human goods alternately called wisdom, expertise, and learning; and that inherent inequality between teacher and student can and should have the erotic force (in the old Platonic sense) to draw students upward, inspiring them to emulate those professors whom they admire and to supplant those whom they despise…
My own working assumption, the assumption of aristocracy, is that students must rise in their relationships to their teachers, not assume a prior and all-consuming equality, and to cheat within this context is to betray the institution and the larger community. The open secret is that every professor worth anything at all longs for the day when student supplants teacher, taking the future of the community in directions that the teacher is incapable of imagining. But a system corrupted by widespread cheating stands to ruin all chances of anything like that happening.

Is education a democracy? Are students and teachers equal in the classroom?

I admit that I struggle with this. The seminary where I’m taking classes has small class sizes, which is great. But because we all live, work and study in the same small college town, there is an informality and equality that I find hard to navigate.

I sit under these professors. I am paying to learn from them and to be challenged in my theological and biblical assumptions. They are the experts in their fields, and deserve respect and a degree of deference. A sign of respect that I can use is to call them by their title, “Dr. so-and-so.”

And yet, the informality of the community has us all on a first-name basis. One of my professors (and his family) is a friend of my family. We semi-regularly have family dinners together. In the informal setting I can call him by his first name. But once I’m in the classroom, I can’t do it. I know that some teachers say, “Just call me so-and-so” but I can’t.

Professors and students may worship together on Sundays, together as equals. They may be neighbours and friends. They may do extra-curricular activities together. But in the classroom, there is, for me, a clear demarcation of roles. I am the student. They are the teacher. I am not the expert. I am the one who is called to sit at their feet and learn from their wisdom. They are called to teach and guide and utilize their wisdom to challenge and grow us.

The Extent of Cheating

There’s a fascinating article up at the Chronicle of Higher Education about the extent to which students of all levels will go to pass their courses. In this case, order the author of the article is paid to write papers, malady theses and dissertations for undergraduate and graduate college students.

Read the whole article. It is sick and twisted and will make you wonder about the state of higher education. And it’s not only papers for bricks and mortar classes. The author has even been paid to log into online/distance ed. classes and contribute to online class discussions and online assignments.

The worst though was this little gem:

I do a lot of work for seminary students. I like seminary students. They seem so blissfully unaware of the inherent contradiction in paying somebody to help them cheat in courses that are largely about walking in the light of God and providing an ethical model for others to follow. I have been commissioned to write many a passionate condemnation of America’s moral decay as exemplified by abortion, gay marriage, or the teaching of evolution. All in all, we may presume that clerical authorities see these as a greater threat than the plagiarism committed by the future frocked.

This year, this author will make nearly $66,000 writing papers for profit. Writing for students who cannot write for themselves, either because they lack the ability to, or the desire to. $66,000!!!!!! That’s more than several teachers with PhD’s I know make.

So maybe I should switch career dreams? Maybe I should drop-out of seminary and make money by writing papers. I mean, heck I have to write papers anyway, maybe I should write them not for the goal of getting a degree, but for the money? What do you think?

Yeah, not going to happen.

Remembrance Day 2010

On this Remembrance Day, search please pray for those who are currently serving in Afghanistan. Please pray for those who will be serving until the Canadian Mission ends in 2011. Please pray for the families of the soldiers.

Please pray for the reservists of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise’s), salve as they serve at home and abroad in a variety of capacities.

On a personal note, please pray for my family members and friends who are currently serving overseas.

Random Blog Posts and Stuff

Rachel Held Evans writes a letter to a Young Calvinist (From a Young Arminian):

I’m not really interested in convincing young Calvinists not to be Calvinists. If you believe Reformed Theology represents the most faithful interpretation of Scripture, try then by all means, sovaldi sale study it and celebrate it. Raise your family in that tradition and teach others about it. Be the best Calvinist you can be.
But please be kind. For whatever reason, there seems to be a tendency in some Calvinist circles to use theology as a weapon.

*******************

J.R. Daniel Kirk over at Storied Theology is doing a series looking at Mark 13. Check it out here, here and here.

*******************

University of South Carolina is offering a new class next semester: Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame. Wow. I can’t believe that this will be for credit. Maybe Briercrest should offer an equivalent, like, “Mark Driscoll and the Hyperbole of YouTube clips.” It could be an 800 level advanced class. What do you think?

*******************

Scientists have created a real invisibility cloak. All those aspiring to be Harry Potter will be thrilled. Now you too can sneak through the halls of Hogwarts without being caught by Professor Snape.

*******************

An Overall Feeling of “Meh”


* The blogosphere is all aflutter with the release of the translator’s notes and online preview of the new NIV 2011. I blog about the Bible and theology and stuff, prostate I should be excited right? I think I have translation fatigue. Or Bible translation/edition cynicism. At a practical level, find how many churches are going to rush out and replace their NIV pew Bibles for NIV 2011 pew Bibles? Other than seminary students and scholars, cialis who is really excited by this news? Do I really need another translation on my shelf? I have at least 7 already. Meh.

******************************


* Today is Election Day in the U.S. I have been avoiding the politics tab at Fark.com for weeks because of the craziness of this election. Tea Party, Barack Obama, Restore the Sanity. Blah, blah, blah. I’m not even in the U.S. and I have election fatigue. How much worse would it be if I had cable television? As my mother-in-law has said, “I’ll be glad when the election is over, because then they’ll stop running the attack ads 24/7.” I know Canadian elections are boring compared to the U.S. elections, but I’d take a civilized Canadian election over this crazy election, any day. Meh.

*****************************


* The hostile takeover bid of Potash Corp. has hit media saturation. I can’t go to a single Canadian news site, read my daily paper, or listen to the radio in the car, without someone mentioning that the Canadian government will decide this week whether the bid by BHP Billiton can stand. And it’s not just Saskatchewan news outlets that are covering it ad nausem. Now of course, you could say, “but you should care! You saw what happened when Stelco Steel in Hamilton got bought by foreign (in this case US) interests.” True, but Stelco was a disaster of a company prior to the sale, and it’s a disaster even after it’s sale to US Steel. Look at it’s neighbour Dofasco. Dofasco got scooped by ArcelorMittal, and is now a subsidiary of the steel giant. And it doesn’t have the drama and chaos that Stelco continues to have. The sale of Potash Corp is not the end of the world. Meh.

******************************


Ever since the new mega patch came out in advance of Cataclysm, World of Warcraft has been unplayable for me. I can check my mail and go to the auction house, and that’s about it. I’ve even tried playing on a low-level toon away from the crowds in Dalaran (aka “Lag”-laran), but the framerate still sucks. While it is frustrating, I have been feeling overall bleh towards the game, even before this patch chaos. Is Cataclysm going to make the game different, or will it be more of the same, just updated? Do I really want to shell out money for the X-pac in December? I probably will buy it, but I still say Meh.

So what are you feeling “meh” about today?

Random Blog Posts and Stuff

Mark Driscoll is causing controversy again (surprise, viagra surprise), find this time over whether or not a man can stay home with the kids while the wife works. John Stackhouse and Ben Witherington both take Driscoll’s exegesis to task. Brian LePort ponders the relevance of Driscoll having been a graduate of Western Seminary. Marc Cortez summarizes the issue here.

My question: if a trusted mentor of Mark Driscoll points out his exegetical error, discount would Mark apologize for his remarks? (I say a trusted mentor since I doubt he would listen to much, if any, of the blog chatter on this issue, even it does come from several highly respected academics).

******************
Ever wonder why Christianity is always Catholic on television? TV Tropes has the answer!

…maybe it’s because the costumes of Roman Catholic clerics are so quaint and distinctive, perhaps it’s the fascination of the mystery and ritual, perhaps it’s that our sex-obsessed society is bewildered by the thought of men taking a vow of chastity, or that ornate Catholic churches make the best sets, or the usefulness of the sacrament of confession as a narrative device. Or maybe it’s just hard to associate Southern Baptists with Ominous Latin Chanting. Another possibility is that Catholicism is simply a more visible form of Christianity in the bicoastal urban milieu in which most writers work. Not to mention that a not-inconsiderable number of writers are Catholics or ex-Catholics themselves, and may just find it easier to write what they know.

******************
If you’re in southern Saskatchewan, or want to come to southern Saskatchewan for a week, Dr. Guretzki is teaching a week-long modular on the Theology of Karl Barth, the first week of January. It’s going to be a great class! Check out the syllabus over at Guretzki’s blog.

******************
For your Friday viewing pleasure, check out this cute cat hunting its prey.