Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Postcards from the wall #9

Here's the ninth in my series of postcards from my study wall:

Sunday, 25 October 2009

What's your superpower?

A discussion with our God-daughter over the weekend led to a 'What's your superpower?' conversation.

I decided mine was
  • Sarcasm: I have the ability to crush people with a single sentence.
My auxiliary superpower?
  • Cynicism: I can see straight through you.
However, none of this comes close to the superpower I covet the most (courtesy of ASBO Jesus)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Thursday, 15 October 2009

A Result!

Some fantastic news...

Following my post last week about the bleak future of Sheffield University's Biblical Studies Department, the University have done a complete U-Turn. This is just great news.

The following statement is from the University:

"University of Sheffield Statement on the Department of Biblical Studies

The University of Sheffield has today confirmed its position with regard to the future of the Department of Biblical Studies. In the light of concerns regarding inadequate consultation, as well as feedback from staff and students, the Department of Biblical Studies is no longer under review and a proposal that it should be reconfigured as a Postgraduate Centre has been withdrawn.

Instead the University has asked the Faculty of Arts and Humanities to consider, as a matter of urgency, a short, medium and longer term plan for the Department. With regard to the undergraduate intake for 2010, the University can confirm that it will recruit students for this year onto single and dual honours degrees in Biblical Studies. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities are working with colleagues to ensure that these students are appropriately supported, including through the recruitment of additional staff.

Looking to the future, the University recognises the outstanding reputation of the Department of Biblical Studies in Sheffield for scholarship and a superb student experience, and has confidence that all concerned will work together to enhance this for future students.

Professor Mike Braddick
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities"

Friday, 9 October 2009

Mitchell and Webb on Door to Door Evangelism

This is a great clip from That Mitchell and Webb Sound...
Door to door evangelism the way it should be done!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Sheffield 'Bibs' Department Under Threat

As reported by Jim West, the Sheffield University Biblical Studies Department is under threat.
Here is the letter I have sent to the Vice Chancellor.
You can email him too at vc@sheffield.ac.uk

Prof. Keith Burnett

The University of Sheffield

Dear Prof. Burnett,

I am writing to express my dismay at the news that the Sheffield Biblical Studies Department is facing the threat of closure, either total or partial. I owe many things to the 'Bibs' department, ranging from meeting my wife there, to the superb education which I received at the hands of the first class teaching staff.

My three years in the department as an undergraduate fixed the trajectory for my professional career, and I am deeply troubled that young adults may now be denied the unique opportunities that a dedicated Biblical Studies department such as yours offers.

Sheffield University is to be congratulated on its historic innovation in founding and fostering such a department, a decision which has been vindicated innumerable times. The reputation of the department has been consistently high, both in terms of undergraduate teaching and postgraduate research. The field of Biblical Studies, and the wider discipline of theology, owes a debt of gratitude to Sheffield University for this.

With this in mind, I would strongly urge you not to lose this vital and unique department, which continues to offer so much to the worldwide academic community.

Yours sincerely,

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Some MBTI thoughts:
  • Is IJST the theological journal for ISTJs?
  • Was Moses a JEDP?
  • Was Jesus an NRSV?

Conservativising the Bible

A Wikipedia-style group editing project has been proposed to 'conservativise' the Bible...

You can join the fun at http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservative_Bible_Project

Here's the groundrules:
1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity
3. Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level[3]
4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle".
5. Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots";[5] using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census
6. Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.
7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story
9. Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels
10. Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."

In true Wikipedia style, you can track back additions and deletions.

For some reason, the following proposed translation of Genesis 1 was fairly quickly scheduled for deletion:

Genesis 1.1 In the beginning, God did a cost/benefit analysis and decided that social collectivism was the only sustainable economic paradigm and that the only people that actually go to hell are sinister, self-absorbed, greedy myopic fascists such as those that created Conservapedia.

Go Deep

A great cartoon courtesy of Polly. Click it for a better quality image.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Meet Crystal and Annie, our two new pet rats.
We bought them for each other to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, hence the names.
They are the latest in a line of rats who we have cared for over the years.
It all began with Ara Rat, then we had Rattle and Hum, and most recently Revel and Rolo.

p.s. I did also buy Liz a necklace!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Postcards from the wall #8

Here's the eighth in my series of postcards from my study wall: