“Though imperialism is now held in disrepute, empire has been the default means of governance for most of recorded history, and the collapse of empires has always been messy business…Back then it was states at war; now it is sub-states. Imperialism bestowed order, however retrograde it may have been. The challenge now is less to … Continue reading Are we sure Chancellor Palpatine didn’t write this?
The marketing strategy here is to get “influencers” to naturally and realistically spread your messaging/propaganda through their regular channels. Source: MRBlog | ISIS and the US Government: The Propaganda War – The Marginalia Review of Books Thomas does a great job breaking down the current efforts by our intelligence community to use hyperlocal and big … Continue reading Propaganda Marketing
House of Cards is fun, but take a few mins to watch something a little more substantive this weekend (like this): As you might expect, I argue that even though we have thousands of manuscripts of the New Testament, we do not have many *early* ones — and hardly any *really* early ones. That is … Continue reading Is the Original New Testament Lost?
This is terrible… The Islamic State group released a video on Thursday showing militants using sledgehammers to smash ancient artifacts in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, describing them as idols that must be removed, according to the Associated Press. The destructions are part of a campaign by Islamic State, who have destroyed a number of … Continue reading Why We Should Care About Archaeological Destruction
At the beginning of the year, I decided to stop eating meat and meat products. I have some experience with this from my days in graduate school (it was more of an economic decision then!), but I was still going into this new year / new eating pattern with the full understanding that it’s very … Continue reading Theological Eating
If digital archaeologists ever “dig this up” 2,000 years from now, they’ll surely be puzzled by our lapse back into character driven hieroglyphics (complete with the ability to hover over emoji’s if you can’t figure it out): Barack Obama said his address to Congress this year was all about “finding areas where we agree, so … Continue reading State of the Union… in emoji
A few days ago, Merianna asked me if I was still eating eggs. It’s a good question, after all. Part of my 2015 package of resolutions (trying to make it sound congressional) was to not eat meat or animals unless I killed them (which is unlikely, but had to make that allowance). When I moved … Continue reading Do Vegetarians Eat Eggs?
The first image is the site of Dura Europos from June 28 2012 and the second image is from April 2 2014 (notice how many looting holes there are now): Dura Europos is located right near the border of Syria and Iraq on the Euphrates and is an archaeological record of the strife this … Continue reading More on Dura Europos Looting
The “holes” in the inset picture are looting holes from the area near the main agora at Dura Europos. Sadly, we haven’t properly excavated much of that area. This literally breaks my heart given that we’ve properly excavated such a small amount of Dura Europos and we’ve learned so much about Judaism, early Christianity, and … Continue reading Dura Europos Looting
My home county is in dark green. It’s time that I got on the ball with Hunger Initiative. “The recession has subsided for most Americans but it still hasn’t subsided for low-income Americans. Their situation just has not improved,” he said, adding that it was “probably worse now” because a temporary funding boost in 2009 … Continue reading The Great Recession is Not Over
I love the Bible. I’m a Christian and a person of faith, so that’s (supposedly) a given. However, I really do love what I consider to be this set of inspired texts that has influenced and shaped the development of our species to such an extreme level that it’s simply unimaginable to think what our … Continue reading Meant to Struggle
Fantastic ThinkingReligion show with @thomaswhitley tonight about the role of American Civil Spirituality: http://thinking.fm/2014/01/27/thinkingreligion-21-american-civil-spirituality/ Continue reading Fantastic ThinkingReligion show with @thomaswhitle…
Greenville’s doing just fine. I’m more concerned about the brain/talent drain in the Pee Dee of SC due to lack of state support for economic development and infrastructure: http://m.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/01/smaller-town-startups-stopping-the-brain-drain-in-south-carolina/283338/ Continue reading
Whatever you’re doing right now, stop it. And go look (watch) this amazing production: Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt. Code is on GitHub. Continue reading The Story Behind a T-Shirt
Great analysis… What happens when the Christian faith is reduced to a single story? In the mid-19th century you get slavish support for the institution of slavery. In the early 21st century, you get an all-white, all-male institution preparing pastors for leadership in all-white, male-led congregations. via Don’t blame Al Mohler, it was God’s idea. Continue reading The Danger of a Single Story
As a Christian (not to mention a human), I think it’s our duty to give to others without stipulations and without strings when we can. I appreciate the sentiment from people who like to make “care packages” for the homeless or poor, but there’s a balance between dignity and help that has to be walked. … Continue reading What Happens When You Just Give Money To Poor People?
I got my driving permit the day I turned 14 and my full driver’s license the day I turned 15 in Marion County, South Carolina. I’ve never looked back and love driving. When I moved to Connecticut for graduate school in 2000, I kept my SC residency. Eventually I had to give that up when … Continue reading Finally Got My SC Driver’s License (Again)
This is a pivotal time for the understanding of citizenship in our country (based on wisdom and legalities at least): Judge Challenges White House Claims on Authority in Drone Killings – NYTimes.com:‘Are you saying that a U.S. citizen targeted by the United States in a foreign country has no constitutional rights?’ she asked Brian Hauck, … Continue reading Limits of Citizenship
Worth your time to read Pres Obama’s remarks on not just the Trayvon Martin case but how he views the race situation in the US at the present. This reminds me a great deal of the type of candor we heard out of Obama in 2006-2007 that made him so likable by so many: Remarks … Continue reading Remarks by the President on Trayvon Martin