December 1, 2020

Saturday Ramblings: October 1, 2016


1955 Nash Rambler 4-door Cross Country wagon

October has always been my favorite month to ramble. When we were first married and living in Vermont, the fall was the best time of year — mountains ablaze with color, sapphire blue skies, fresh apple cider, and all manner of quaint little villages to visit as we wound around those ramblin’ roads.

I still love it, and would love to take this autumnal-looking ’55 wagon on a road trip.

Whaddya say? Let’s ramble!

• • •

I always think of the Reformation and Martin Luther when October arrives. So, each week during the month here on SR we will include a Luther insult that you can enjoy and use in your web interactions (in Christian love, of course). These come from that awesomely magnificent site, The Luther Insulter.

My friends, this is what Sola Fide will get ya.


• • •


A baby with three “parents” — is this ethical?

What was the real offense behind the Great Schism?

Did you know the real story behind those amazing Dyson hand dryers?

Are Tullian Tchvidjian and ExPastors playing it straight?

What is the scariest thing about health care in America today?

What are the best pop/rock songs of the 2000’s? (Hard for me to take this list seriously when “Impossible Germany” isn’t even on it.)

• • •


Arnie would have loved this…

American golf fan David Johnson was watching Team Europe golf pros on the practice green at the Ryder Cup this week. Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson were struggling with a 12-foot putt that neither of them could make, despite repeated efforts. Johnson yelled out that he could make it, and to his surprise, Stenson pulled him out of the crowd and gave him a chance.

Teammate Justin Rose turned up the pressure by laying a $100 bill on the ground next to the ball.

Remarkably, in front of the watching crowd and a team of some of the best golfers on the planet, he sized up the putt…and sank it!

To the replay:

Afterwards, Johnson said these immortal words, words everyone who has stood over a meaningful putt will understand: “I closed my eyes, swallowed my puke and hit the putt, and it happened to go in.”

• • •


220px-esvstudybibleCrossway has reversed its decision to make the ESV Bible text permanent. Jeremy Weber at CT reports:

The publisher of the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible has reversed its controversial decision to finalize the text after tweaking 29 verses.

“We have become convinced that this decision was a mistake,” stated Crossway president and CEO Lane Dennis in an announcement released today. “We apologize for this and for any concern this has caused for readers of the ESV, and we want to explain what we now believe to be the way forward. Our desire, above all, is to do what is right before the Lord.”

Last month, Crossway had announced that they had “closed the book” on future revisions, saying, “We desired for there to be a stable and standard text that would serve the reading, memorizing, preaching, and liturgical needs of Christians worldwide from one generation to another.”

However, scholars such as Tremper Longman criticized the decision, saying that (1) advances in scholarship regarding the text will be ignored, and (2) the ever-changing nature of the English language will render the ESV outdated for future readers.

No word about whether they would ever consider changing their controversial decision to re-translate Genesis 3:16, which critics asserted reflected the translators’ complementarian position on gender roles and not an accurate translation of the text.

• • •



The owner of the famous Manhattan Jewish restaurant, The Carnegie Deli, announced this week that it would be closing on Dec. 31 this year.

Though in recent years, the deli has become more of a tourist destination than a favorite hang-out for New Yorkers, this announcement marks the end of one of the city’s most recognized landmarks.

Alan Feuer at the NY Times describes it like this:

With its linoleum floors and animal protein odors, the Carnegie Deli was never fine dining, but the seedy lighting and eclectic checkerboard of celebrity photos (from the quarterback Y. A. Tittle to the Fonz, Henry Winkler) gave the place a homey sort of drop-ceiling charm.

The brand will carry on through a family-owned meat processing facility and commercial bakery in New Jersey, along with a scattering of licensed locations around the U.S.

The Carnegie Deli elicits a sense of old New York nostalgia in one of my favorite films of all time, Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose. Here is A.O. Scott’s video review of that film, and as, you can see, the deli plays a prominent role in bringing back a world that may never really have existed, except in our minds and hearts.

• • •








• • •


Finally, I have never had kidney stones, never wanted to have kidney stones, hope I never have to deal with kidney stones. I have a female friend who has been suffering with one for the past couple of weeks and I know even more than ever, I don’t want anything to do with kidney stones.

Hear that, kidney stones?!

But if, by some chance, I ever get kidney stones (no! no! please! no!), I know what I’m going to do.

I’m going to have someone drive me over to Cedar Point, the amusement park in Ohio, home of the world’s finest roller coasters. And I’m going to go straight to the greatest roller coaster I’ve ever ridden: The Millennium Force. Why? Because a team of Michigan State researchers has determined that riding a roller coaster can help people pass kidney stones.

So, kidney stones — beware! Because this is what I’m gonna do to you if you ever come around…


  1. Three parents? Why not? What does it matter, ethically anyway, how many people provide genetic material in the conception of a baby? Genetic code does not impart spiritual life, nor does it change the significance of a human life, does it?

    Designer babies? We already can provide in utero therapy and enhanced fertility to ensure the best possible results. Genetic engineering is just one step higher on the ladder.

  2. RE: the ESV announcement – I’ll leave the arguments about the individual verses to the linguists and OT scholars. But their initial announcement about their “final” revision being set in stone and unchanging for generations to come just smacked of hype and hubris. That it took just over a week for them to backtrack is absolutely hilarious.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      >set in stone and unchanging for generations to come just smacked of hype and hubris

      And really bad product development. So… you aren’t going to encourage me to buy a new edition in five years? I suspect you do not understand how this works.

      Now the decision has been reversed – meaning the president of the division finally got around to reading that e-mail from the product development team.

      This story does have an intersection with the golf story, somewhere.

    • Isn’t CrossWay the publishing division of the SBC? If so, there is an explanation of the hubris.

      • No it’s not, but nice way to show your own hubris Tom.

        • I’ll just go ahead and apologize for what I said. I should have just said no. But can we please just quit the snarky comments towards whole segments of people, especially when they have nothing to do with it.

          • “…especially when they have nothing to do with it.”


            By the way, my snarkiness was directed toward the “Convention” part of the SBC.

          • What do you mean by “Really?” What does the SBC, even the convention part, have to do with the ESV? The SBC did produce it’s own translation of the Bible, it is the Holeman Christian Standard Bible. There may be some SBC people on the translation committee for the ESV, I don’t know. But the convention has nothing to do with it.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Spreading the Word of Calvin.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I was following it over at Wartburg Watch.

      The only thing I could liken it to was the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible.

  3. Also… middle age is holding two remotes in your hand, helplessly trying to figure out how they operate the cable TV, while your wife’s friends live-tweet you to offer the technical expertise of their eight-year old children.

  4. Adam Tauno Williams says

    “”””bringing back a world that may never really have existed, except in our minds and hearts.”””

    Great line. Oh, Preservationists, you drive me batty.

  5. seneca griggs says

    ” “I closed my eyes, swallowed my puke and hit the putt, and it happened to go in.””

    That’s pretty much how I putt; but with much less success

  6. The only roller coaster I’ve ever been interested in is the roller coaster of love. I’ve heard that that helps with kidney stones, too.

  7. Clay Crouch says

    The Ryder Cup story will keep me smiling all day.

  8. “You will want to control your husband,
    but he will dominate you.”


    That is a good interpretive translation.

  9. I find Wilco nauseating. Too many effects pedals indicating a lack of discernment and security. ;o)

    • I like “Impossible Germany”, but what I like about it is the extended solo, not the song itself. The solo is transcendent, the song not so much.

      I don’t know enough about pop/rock music since 2000 to offer my own bests.

    • Too many effects pedals? Would you dis a painter because she insisted on using a lot of different colors in her palette?

      I’m not a big fan of WILCO. I’ve always found them rather bland. But I’ve been a huge fan of NELS CLINE since way before WILCO. WILCO pays his bills and provides him the freedom to pursue more interesting projects. For example his own band, THE NELS CLINE SINGERS.

      • Nels Cline has done some terrific jazz work. One of my favorite albums by him is a reworking of compositions by the late jazz pianist Andrew Hill.

  10. That scariest thing about healthcare in America today would go away if we had single-payer healthcare; apart from that, it will continue to be the scariest thing about healthcare in America today, and tomorrow too.

    • Ditto and a +1.

    • Michael Jones says

      I am a medical practitioner (PA) and had been opposed to single payer system for all of my career. Then I decided to hope my own practice, (Headache Medicine), simply because I care deeply for those who suffer from severe headache disorders and weren’t getting the best care in the general neurology system. It was never about money. I found myself entering the world beyond the looking glass in dealing with insurance companies. It became a total nightmare. We were overwhelmed with patients coming from hundreds or thousands of miles away, because we offered a state of the art and compassionate service (The headache medicine physician I hired shared the same vision as me). This network in network out of network refusing to pay prior authorizations and on and on caused me to be consumed with the insurance side. It became a crazy shell game where insurance companies try their best not to pay a penny for anything. I went through five billers (thinking they were the problem). Our last year, with me working 60 + hours per week, I cleared 8K for the year (thankfully my wife was working) and almost had a mental breakdown from anger and frustrations of dealing with insurance companies. So, for my own mental health I closed the practice and am now working as an employee., Health care is a total mess right now. Burn-out among medical providers is skyhigh. The suicide rate among physicians is about the highest of any profession. Those of us who care about patients the most get hit the hardest. So, I am now greatly in favor of a single payer system, however, it must be done rationally, where the best outcome for the patient is the highest priority and NO influence from drug companies, insurance companies, the few (but growsing) medical providers who are con artist and etc.

      • Michael Jones says

        I have a spell correction program that fixes things that I didn’t intend that should have been “open” nor “hope.”

      • Thank you for this, Michael.
        I do not work in healthcare and used to be stridently opposed to single payer, but have come to think it’s the better option. There is no free market in healthcare. You can’t choose if & when you will access it because you don’t get sick as a planned activity. You can’t shop around because no one call tell you with any certainty what anything costs and every situation is different. Insurance companies dictate everything and they really only care about the bottom line. Competition, we are often told, will solve many of the problems. Right. Try to imagine your doctor’s office dealing with double or triple the amount of plans and the patient having a different plan with different coverage and different rules every time he/she needed an appointment.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          That’s why my spam filters are full of Hot Stock Tips for Medical Insurance mega-companies — “Invest NOW or be left out forever! The money will come in in buckets!” type tips.

          The last surge was when Obamacare was rolled out.

        • +1 and +1 to what Michael and Suzanne wrote.

          In the US about 35% of health care cost is “administrative”. The rest of the developed countries in Europe and North America (Canada) spend less than 8% on administrative cost.

      • Patrick Kyle says

        If anti-trust and price fixing laws were enforced on the Medical industry along with requirements to post a concrete price for each service and procedure, most of the problems would fix themselves. Add to this allowing Insurers to compete across state lines and medical care/insurance prices would drop like a rock. Single payer is just another scam.

        • The real scam/scandal is the privatization of health care, starting during the Reagan era.

          • Patrick Kyle says

            The Insurers in Minnesota are going broke thanks to the ACA. Privatization is only bad when monopolies are created and enforced with government help. If the Medical industry had to comply with standard anti-trust and fraud laws we would be far better off.

            • The bottom line is that health and health care are not commodities and shouldn’t be treated that way. Some kind of single payer system that takes as much consumerism and big business out of health care should be pursued. ACA was a Rube Goldberg compromise that left no one completely happy because we won’t accept this reality.

          • CM – exactly.

          • Patrick Kyle says

            CM, Health Care is a commodity. It is a set of skills and knowledge acquired by individuals at great cost and personal sacrifice. (Think 12 years of school and hundreds of thousands in debt to be a Dr.) It is drugs and equipment, invented and manufactured by people, usually also at great cost. It is limited by nature in quantity and scope. You and I have no ‘right’ to make dr.’s work for us for free, or for a wage that will not allow them to service their school loan debt. We have no right to tell company that has spent hundreds of millions to develop a drug that they have to give it away for free or for a price that does not allow them to recoup their costs. This article gives a good breakdown on why our healthcare system is broken.

            • Kyle, to change the subject somewhat, a single-payer system is the only thing that makes administrative sense. The U.S. spends up among the highest administrative costs for health care in the world — 25% or more goes to administration (contrast Canada – 12%), and nearly all of it is due to the sales, marketing, and underwriting activities of our highly fragmented framework of private insurance, with its diverse billing and review practices. In contrast, the U.S. already has the largest and one of the most efficient single-payer systems in the world — Medicare (administrative costs from 1-6%). We’re talking billions and billions of dollars here, all because we have an inefficient system of paying for health care for those not covered by Medicare. We’re not paying for “health care” we’re paying billers and coders and insurance companies.

            • I would continue to argue that healthcare is not a commodity. I am not a consumer when I need healthcare, I am a patient, and the doctor or hospital is not selling me something, they are providing care. There are commodities within the healthcare system, but overall, the idea of “profit” and “healthcare” are not simpatico. The western idea of healthcare is rooted in the Christian ethic of loving those in need, not in profiting off their illnesses or injuries. Of course, those who choose to serve others in this way should be well reimbursed and highly honored, especially those who achieve great knowledge and skill in the healing arts.

  11. I can’t figure out why C.M. didn’t include this in his rambling Ramblers.

  12. Roller Coaster rides help pass kidney stones? I really want to know how that scientific study began? A patient that came into a hospital stating that he/she had been hit with the stone while in line, got on the ride anyway, and whaddya know! Felt better after the ride! Or a scientist says to a colleague, “Hey! What do you think would happen if we shoved a patient with a kidney stone attack on a roller coaster?”

    • Don’t forget that you need a control group.

      So we need about 40 people locked in a backroom, and 40 on a bus to Great America.

      What could go wrong?

  13. The Western Church certainly did a dirty to the Eastern Church by unilaterally inserting the filioque into the Nicene Creed; but the idea that anybody can rightly be excluded from Communion, for lack of beard or anything else, when (according to the Gospels) Jesus himself admitted Judas (who he knew had betrayed him) to Communion at the Last Supper is the real dirty: that’s the real dirty, which both wings of the Church have been committing almost since the beginning.

    • Screwed up the italics! And I thought I was being so careful. Lol!

    • +1

    • But I’ve come to believe that the Church lacks the ability to actually exclude anybody from Communion. Oh, I know you people out there can line up texts in support of it, texts about the Keys and texts in the Gospels and Epistles supporting excommunication, etc., but I’m not having any of it, so don’t bother. In his last hours, Jesus is reported by the Church to have admitted to Communion the man he knew had betrayed him, and to have said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do…”. I take these, and other, texts of inclusion and unconditional forgiveness and love as weightier and truer and more revealing of the heart of God than the others that speak exclusion from, and self-protection of, the Church. It’s these words that are new, and good news, in this suffering, fractured world.

      • None of this is to say that church’s should not discipline members for certain types of behavior, particularly clergy (as in the case of Tullian Tchvidjian). We certainly don’t want someone who is uncontrollably violent beating-up fellow parishoners in the sanctuary, or abusing them anywhere else for that matter. But Communion with Jesus is not something that the Church owns or has a right to keep for itself, nor should it in effect do so in the name of protecting the integrity of sacrament; openness at the altar rail during Holy Communion should reflect the openness and presence of Jesus to all people at all times. We should always err on the side of liberality in this rather than fearful propriety.

        • Correction:…None of this is to say that churches should not….

        • +1000

        • Patrick Kyle says

          The Apostle Paul be damned…

          • Not going to play your game, Patrick Kyle. The big Nobodaddy in the sky who wants to keep people out does not exist. He’s a hellish imagining without substance. You may want him to exist, but he doesn’t. Don’t bother proof-texting; I’m not buying your goods.

          • No Kyle. Actually, problematic and stupid interpretations of Paul be damned.

          • Patrick Kyle says

            Robert F. i’m sorry for whatever happened in your life that hurt you so badly that you are no longer able to deal with certain aspects of reality. What can I say?

            Tom, Robert F. slice it any way you want, but people were abusing the Lord’s Supper and some died because of it, so says the Apostle Paul. I’m not making that up, it’s not a matter of interpretation. Robert F, why you insist on reviling anyone who takes Paul’s admonitions seriously, by practicing Closed Communion, or examining Communicants before they receive the Supper,is beyond me.
            The idea that everyone has a ‘right’ to take Communion in any church they wish, reeks of the spirit of this age, and shows an abiding disrespect of those who take Paul’s admonition seriously, and lovingly shepherd the Lord’s Table. You may disagree on their view as to what constitutes the abuse Paul was talking about, but there are really only a few things it could be. Any responsible Pastor will be sure those under his charge do not partake in an unworthy manner. Period.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            The big Nobodaddy in the sky who wants to keep people out does not exist.

            Exist or not, He’s still very popular.

          • Patrick Kyle, Criticism does not equal reviling.

  14. Richard Hershberger says

    The baby with “three parents” and ethics: framing the story as there being three parents is shameless click-bait, and obscures the more interesting ethical issues. If the baby truly had three parents, then the discussion would be about how to accommodate parental rights and responsibilities to this new reality.

    But upon reading past the headline, it turns out that the baby has two parents, just like the rest of us, plus a tiny snippet of DNA from a donor. I suppose a court somewhere might be dumb enough to conclude from this that the donor has to pay child support and gets weekend visitation rights, but that misses the point. Why was this snippet of DNA inserted? Because the mother has a “genetic condition.” In other words, this is a case of gene scrubbing.

    This raises far more significant ethical questions. We aren’t told what the condition is, but let us assume it is unquestionably undesirable. If so, would it be ethical to have the baby without this gene scrubbing? But the procedure presumably is expensive: beyond the reach of most people. What about the ethics of that? Given that we have the ability to perform this procedure, is it ethical to doom children of the less affluent to this condition?

    But this is just the start. Who decides what genes are undesirable? Even if the condition in this instance is unquestionably bad, you know perfectly well that people are going to push that, leading like an arrow straight to skin color. Discuss.

    • The article say it was Leigh’s Disease I think, which is pretty serious.

      We do ethics for this stuff before we get good at it rather than after, though!

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > The baby with “three parents” and ethics: framing the story as
      > there being three parents is shameless click-bait,

      +1 True.

      And as an aside this perpetuates the notion of lineage = parentage. The parents of a child are the people who raise it, care for it, and educate it; however many of them that may be. Lineage is mere tissue donation.

      > discussion would be about …. parental rights and responsibilities

      Truth. And that is an enormous thicket, regardless of medical science.

      > This raises far more significant ethical questions

      I am not so sure it does. Most “ethical questions” around this seem to be to be the “Don’t play God” card, which isn’t a real ethical dilema, but one of cultural comfort. If one isn’t comfortable [used to?] a technology it is “playing god”, otherwise it is “of course, why not?”.

      Aren’t automobiles playing God? Wasn’t walking was good enough for Jesus? Is there some reason you need to go 70mp/h? [and everything you do does make a physiological imprint, it is possible to sort people who drive a lot, from those that don’t, with some testing]

      > beyond the reach of most people. What about the ethics of that?

      You mean like advanced medical procedures TODAY? This has been true for decades. Forget advanced medical procedures – we deny BASIC medical care to people every hour of every day. By the numbers the single most effective way to create and extended healthy lifespan? DENTAL CARE. Yep, seriously. But, nope, millions of people do not have access to that. We seem pretty much unconcerned, ethically, about that.

      So beyond some initial shock effect I doubt there is much of an issue here – just more of the same.

      > is it ethical to doom children of the less affluent to this condition?

      As we deny less affluent children early childhood education, access to extra-curricular activities, basic medical care, etc… All of which have a tremendous follow-on to level of health and prosperity later in life. Those who can afford to provide these things to there children do so in abundance. We seem pretty much unconcerned, ethically, about that.

      > Who decides what genes are undesirable?

      Those who can afford to make those determinations.

      > you know perfectly well that people are going to push that

      Yes, without a doubt. If we find that offensive – not really an ethical argument – we can regulate it. We do this all the time.

      I’m doubtful that many parents with dark skin will choose to lighten the skin of their offspring; probably a few will. The social backlash to that I imagine will squelch such an impulse getting traction.

      From a medical perspective some people might choose to slightly darken their children’s skin. I would consider that – being of pale Finnish descent in a place where the sun actually shines is pragmatically non-optimal.

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        This is just a more advanced version of an organ transplant. Essentially. But I once read an article by Malcolm Muggeridge which was a screed against the first heartplant (1967? – I ought to know, it was a SA achievement). So it seems that many wallow in ignorance and reactivist morality…

      • Burro [Mule] says

        Lineage is mere tissue donation.

        Occam’s Razor: Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

        Mule’s Lather: When a phenomenon is described as ‘mere’ or ‘merely’, something important is being excised from consideration.

        • I lack the intellectual prowess to argue against Adam’s points, but, if body and soul are one, as I think a Christian as opposed to classical Greek conception of life entails, then my instincts nudge me to think that “something important is being excised from consideration” also.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            And if we are all descendents of Adam & Eve how does it matter? As was with the one man, so it is with all.

            > body and soul are one, as I think a Christian as opposed to classical Greek conception of life entails,

            So your soul is inherited specifically from your biological parents? This would explain the visitation of sins unto the tenth generation, the moral inferiority or superiority of some groups,…

            No, I stand firmly by my statement. All notions of “soul inheritance” – or whatever term you wish to invent – are rubbish. I’ll call it the “ethnic fiction”.

            The parents of a child are the people who raise it, care for it, love it, educate it, … Full stop.

          • Is the soul something that exists, or can continue to exist, apart from the body? There’s never been any evidence of that, and science leads us to think that it’s not the case. Otoh, the body may be far more than we perceive it to be, expansive and powerful beyond our ability to image, when filled with Divine energy. I believe the Orthodox concept of theosis involves this sort of filling of the body with Divine energy. You seem to think that by saying body and soul are the same I’m saying that the soul is subject to physical limitations; I mean to say that body has greater capacity and potential for transcendence than most of our anemic imaginings about the soul’s immortality.

            I have no argument with what you say about who and what parents are, only with calling any of the bodily aspects of what goes into our creation “mere”. The body, in all its aspect, and everything that goes into it, is incalculably noble.

          • My responses have nothing to do with “soul inheritance” or anything like it, or the other things you mention. The person comes into existence with her body and soul indivisibly together, two facets of the same person. “Ethnic fiction”? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

          • Ethnicity is no fiction.

            I believe the ethné has an ontological reality as a waystation between the atomic individual and the oikomene, and as an object of the economy of God. This belief makes me as racist as the grossest cross-burner, but I’m OK with that sobriquet. It’s another area where I find myself at odds with my times.

            Any arguments to the contrary would have to not be ad hominem, nor exclude the Eurasian steppe-sized middle between the tabula rosa and Hitler.

          • **tabula rasa

            Mea culpa. I need work on my Latin.

          • The existence of the individual in ethnicity is a stage somewhere between the existence of the individual in tribal society and the development of the individual in a universal human society. To stop at the ethnic, or to try to step back into it, is to resist the energies that move us toward full humanization, which I’m not sure is different from your theosis.

          • And the energies that move us toward full humanization are the energies of the Kingdom of God. Best not to resist those.

          • I am open to tutelage, but I view the Omega [full humanization] point not as the development of the person in a universal human society (whose?, whom?) but as the person integrated into his ethné, which then adds its particular line to the full human spectrum. The Old Testament phrase, “ lived so many years, and was gathered to his fathers/people” comes to my mind in this regard.

            I don’t see the ethné as something we outgrow, but as a core component of our identity.

            Haggai 2:6-9
            Isaiah 2:2,4
            Isaiah 60:5
            Matthew 28:19

            Once again, I am open to tutelage, but what I described appears me to be the project of the Orthodox Church, each ethné with her Church, and all the Churches in communion. What you describe appears to me to be the project of Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation.

          • I believe the ethné has an ontological reality as a waystation between the atomic individual and the oikomene, and as an object of the economy of God.

            Forgive me, but this kinda strikes me as another proof of Orthodoxy (and similar) being really stuck in ideas and thoughts from it’s time period when it was founded. Just because someone had a good idea for something at that time doesn’t mean it’s something we should hold on to now. I’d lump any flat earth ideas or soul ties ideas or folk religion wards against demons or even inherited sin as other ideas that should be abandoned now, but had good intention at the time with the limited knowledge available to them.

            Is there a progressive or Neo- version of Orthodoxy?

          • Stuart – Not really (in answer to your question), though I suspect there are Orthodox xtians who are a lot more “progressive” than Mule.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            Ethnicity is a fluid concept.

            Ethnic Russian: Before those Swedish vikings established their Kingdom, there were no Russians. There were tribesmen, potentially each with their own tribal ethnicity. But what became the centre of the new ethnicity is no longer so – the origin of the Ethnic “Rus” today is Ukranian (Kiev).

            Or an ethnic Englishman: Is he Anglo-Saxon? Or Danish? Or Celtic? Or Norman? Or even French nobility landed during the Revolution? Or even later – like Peter Ustinov, of Russian descent? Or Jewish like Disraeli? Both people with impeccable English cultural assets. Or Stephen Fry – as English as Tea and scones, but also with some Jewish ancestry?

            No – ethnicity is very much not a DNA – inherited attribute. To suggest that is not only to be ignorant of (Deep) history, but also to play the game of the racial theorists emerging from the noneteenth century, with their dubious understanding of both history and science, and with the resultant rivers of blood during colonial and world wars…

          • Mule,
            I’m of Italian lineage, living in America, surrounded by a population mostly of German and Swiss heritage. What ethnicity do I belong to? Am I Italian? Am I generic white? Do Italians belong as an ethnic subgroup with the Spanish and Portuguese? Are we a different race from the Germans? As an Italian, what have I to do with Russians or Greeks? My family comes from southern Italy; do the Northern Italian blue bloods want anything to do with southern mongrels like me? It all seems rather silly; as Klassie said, ethnicity is fluid, as is race. And it seems very clear to me that the New Testament intends for the Church to tear down these boundaries.

          • Stuart,

            Notice that Mule’s comment started with “I believe…” His opinion on this is not Orthodox teaching. One interesting thing about Orthodoxy is that dogma is different than opinions, which are allowed, and allowed to be discussed. Also, interestingly, none of the things you say should be abandoned is any part of Orthodoxy. However, “progress” in some things may not actually be the zenith of human life.


            How do I say this… This on-line medium makes some things difficult; absent face-to-face time spent with people and more intimate knowledge of the circumstances of our lives than is practical or wise to share in a blog comment, we simply don’t know the kind of burdens we each have to bear. Give the Mule a break, please. I mean no offense, to you or anyone else.


          • In my limited understanding of Koine, “ethne” meant “the nations” other than the Greeks. To me that denotes identity of kingdom/country/tribe/clan, not genetic diversity.

          • Mule, yes, I know numo is right.

            Numo, there are 2 things going on for me. One is, sometimes I wonder what opinions one is required to express in order to be welcome to comment here. Maybe I’m just getting more crochety in my old age, and misreading intent; that is certainly possible, and please forgive me if I am. I try to stay away from replying to some of the commenters, because no useful purpose would be served by saying that I think they’re wrong, and it wouldn’t be likely that I would change their minds.

            The other is that “conservative”, “progressive” and other labels that originate in politics and are used to describe churches or theologies are becoming more problematic in that I think they’re going the way that the word “gospel” has gone among Evangelicals: too general and less defined anymore to be of much help. Perhaps it would be more useful to describe more specifically in terms of social policy, extent of government, anthropology, etc. I don’t know.

            I too get frustrated with how some Protestant converts bring their rigid understandings (I almost said “fundamentalism”, but I don’t think that term is helpful in this context either) to Orthodoxy. I think they’re missing the point. I don’t think the West is the big bogeyman. However, there are differences in the philosophical and theological history of the Eastern and Western churches that are significant. A lot of Christians from both east and west are ignorant of them, and I think we lose something if we can’t discuss this.

            I only have deep experience with the life of my own parish. There are people of all political stripes in it. We are proudly Russian in heritage, but we aren’t a Russian enclave; half of us come from other ethnic backgrounds. Culture plays into this, too. You grew up and live in the eastern US, with a different kind of immigrant experience in your community than in mine (probably closer in flavor to my mother’s home town in 1920s Montana). I grew up and live in the northern California, where things are less formal and more open in general and we tend not to go off on “crusades” about anything except environmental issues. At the same time, people in my parish are generally not interested in departing from Orthodox teaching directed to professing Orthodox Christians. Would that make us rigid? And let me say right now that I know all of us in my parish are hypocrites about one aspect or another of that teaching – and I don’t think that changes the reality to which Orthodox teaching points. I’m glad we’re all in the hospital where there is all the medicine available for healing. (I’m not saying that other churches don’t have any of the medicine, but if I thought it was all in one place somewhere else, I wouldn’t be in the Orthodox Church; does that make me rigid?)

            I appreciate your journey, and I’m glad you have had positive encounters with Orthodox and Orthodoxy. We agree on universal reconciliation and related; that this possibility exists in Orthodoxy is one of the things that drew me to it, and because of this I am able to be peaceable with regard to where others are on their journey. We probably agree about a lot of other things, including nationalism. I just don’t want there to be a litmus test. Steve Martin’s comments used to irritate me to no end, but I’m sorry he’s not here anymore; he wasn’t mean-spirited, and I wouldn’t have chosen banishment for him.


          • Dana,

            Yes, it was unfair of me to use those labels, though you’ll note that i used double quotes around progressive. Agreed on pretty much everything else you say, and I’m sure I’d like your parish and the folks in it. Lutheran churches are like that (hospitals, people of all kinds) and I honestly believe that’s what the church is supposed to be. There’s also plenty of room to agree to disagree, and I know you understand what I’m saying. Nevertheless, it *is* possible for people to conflate their religious and political (etc.) views, and I feel that some number of converts to *anything* tend to do it. I’ve seen Catholics who became Protestants do it, and vice versa.

            The thing is… i came of age during the Vatican II era, and even lived in a convent for a bit over a year ehen i was in undergrad. But then, after JPII became pope, things started cycling back, away from many of the Vatican II reforms, and i don’t think that’s been good for the RCC in general, nor for the RCC in this country. I bet some of the religious I used to know were being grilled when P. Benedict instituted his panel to ascertain the “faithfulness” of women religious in the US. That saddens me deeply. I learned a lot of things from the nuns and lay friends (but the nuns especially) that are only just beginning to realky hit me, largely due to age.

            At any rate, i enjoy reading your posts, and Tokah’s. Sometimes i enjoy reading Mule’s as well, but you and Tokah come across very differently to Mule, and to some other converts I’ve encountered.

            I think we are on the same page. But I’m not always certain of that with some other folks.

            Example: back in the 90s, the then-ecumenical patriarch made his 1st visit to the US. His 1st stop was in D.C., where i was living at the time. Local EO folks were really hoping he would come bearing an olive branch; that he would reach out to the RCC. The opposite happened, sadly. So, by “progressive,” I was meaning those msny EO people who had been actively working and praying for steps toward some kind of reconciliation. I can’t imagine how discouraging it must have been for them, and for all of the Catholics who had been trying to reach out, to bridge gaps.

            I do pray that Jesus’ prayer for unity will be answered one day, and I’m by no means convinced that it mesns doctrinal uniformity.

            Hope this is helpful. Btw, how is the painting coming in the interior of your parish church – any new pics?

          • (Hope this gets to the right spot…)

            Thanks, numo.

            The most complete photo record of our church’s frescoes is kept here:

            Fr Patrick, the chief iconographer, is from the Boston area, grew up Catholic, became “born again” as a teenager, and then Orthodox in college. He went to Rhode Island School of Design. His monastery is in the next county, and we’ve built him and Fr Moses, his assistant, a comfortable room in one of the buildings on the property, for when they are working at St Seraphim’s. You might be interested in his other fresco projects:

            Photos of their other work are here:

            I knew Fr Patrick studied for the better part of 6 years with the Ouspenskys, but I lately found out that he took fresco class with Lucienne Bloch and Stephen Dimitroff, who worked with Diego Rivera.


          • Dana – am hoping this ends up as an actual reply to you, not off on its own somewhere…

            Thanks so much for the links/pics! Fr. Patrick’s work (and that of his assistant) is *very* beautiful, and I’m SO impressed with his ability to work using true fresco technique. It’s incredibly rare nowadays, almost a lost art. Am not surprised that he studied so long with the Ouspenskys, either. (I have a number of his books, but all are in storage ATM. He’s the go-to for comprehensive English-language info. on all things related to icons and iconography, and is a fave of mine, per his understanding of the form and media, as well as his ability to make historical and theological connections that are relatively easy to grasp for those of us who are not familiar with the Eastern churches, and who’ve had little-no exposure to icons and Eastern iconography, either O. or Eastern Catholic of whatever affiliation/kind.)

            The colors in the frescoes are so vibrant; I do wonder about some of the pigments he’s using, as well as how he might (or might not?) be incorporating more “modern” materials into his murals.

            Interesting, too, that Fr. Patrick has been on a journey that’s so close to what both you and i and a whole lot of other people have experienced, generally speaking. And believe me, I am attracted to many things in the O. churches (including ones that are supposedly monophysite, like the Ethiopian, Eritrean and Coptic churches, though much of that is, for me, directly related to the music, visual imagery and incorporation of movement into prayer…). I like to watch/listen to vids of Ethiopian and Eritrean spiritual songs (their term for their non-liturgical sacred music) on uTube.

          • numo,

            Fr P uses no modern materials; only natural pigments – earth colors (some oxides he prepares from the local dirt), and some ground semi-precious gemstones. The plaster is true lime putty; he gets a dry preparation he likes at a local feed store (!) and adds the water. Fr Moses uses egg tempera for the final highlights and the name inscriptions. Completely Old School.


          • Dana – I figured he was likely grinding most, if not all, of his own pigments. Old school is glorious, in this case!

            Fwiw, referring to the “i believe” in Mule’s comment, he concluded by adding in what seem to be political ideas and calling them “the project of the O. church,” as far as he can tell. That’s where things started going off the rails, imo, not with “I believe.” After all we all believe things that might or might not be accurate or true, in pretty much all areas of life. I’m not referring to religion here, but perceptions and opinions that add up to beliefs, of one sort or anothet.


        • Plague’s Addendum/Corollary to Mule’s Lather: …and when a teacher appends ‘simply’ or ‘obviously’ to a new concept or operation being presented to a classroom full of students, there is something importantly wrong with the teacher.

        • Burro [Mule] says

          Dana –

          numo is right. There are Orthodox Christians more progressive than I. Protestants tend to self-segregate by politics, but the small-c catholics are very much ‘here comes everyone’.

          • I’m Lutheran, so neither/nor, in many respects. Which might have something to do with why I used to follow certain “political” aspects of the Eadtern Orthodox churches, back whennI lived in an area that has an incredible variety of (for lack of a better word) “ethnic” churches, founded (mostly) by relatively recent immigrants, with the exception of the local Greek O. parishes. And yes, a lot of them are very progressive, in terms of both religion and politics.

            The world they live in seems orders of magnitude different to yours, almost as if they are in a parallel universe, with the exception of church affiliation. Frankly, I’m more comfortable (far more) with people who’ve grown up Orthodox than I am with most converts from low-church Protestant backgrounds. I am often baffled by how many of them turn against “the West,” in a sort of generalized way. I guess their fundy tendencies are being expressed through their newfound template of beliefs, but either way, they sound an awful lot like Khomeini inveighing against the so-called Great Satan.

            Unfortunately, the less balanced converts tend to drown out those who are of a more peaceable disposition.

            As for me, well, while being in a (broadly) “Western” liturgical church, I have found a great deal of solace in certain aspects of EO belief, because we are free to enquire, question and search. The ecumenical creeds are our benchmarks, and there’s a lot of room for learning, discussion and even cordial disagreement therein. I’m perfectly happy to stay there, while continuing to learn more about various strands of thinking from way back as well as right now. The church is Christ’s body, and afaik, only he knows who is part of it. (But then, i lean toward universalism in a specifically xtian context, and no more believe in the heaven/hell dichtomy than does Robert F.) But I don’t think I could ever become EO or RC, because of many things, not least the relative rigidity of certain beliefs that are not in any of the ecumenical creeds.

            At any rate, so long as a person emphazise when certain things are personal opinions, fine. But I’m with Klasie on ethicity, as well as nationalism. It can be truly toxic – as it was in his country of origin, S. Africa, for so many years.

  15. NO, TT and ExPastors are NOT playing it straight.

    (Why does that need to be stated?)

    • Burro [Mule] says

      Don’t most Protestant denoms have a process for the restoration of “fallen” clergy? In the Assemblies of God, the process is for the district presbyters to remove the pastor from ministry and freeze the assets of the church, or at least to take responsibility for the church funds out of the hands of the local church board. This because they had learned that one of the first things pastors do is finagle their cronies onto the local board, giving them carte blanche with the church finances.

      After removal from the pastorate, the AofG requires that the pastor spend five years supporting himself as a layman, undergoing monthly reviews. If after five years, the repentance appears genuine, the former pastor has his ordination papers restored. I have seen cases where it worked, and worked well. Still, I don’t know if the AofG still follows this procedure, or if they have changed it, as they have done with their position on divorced clergy.

      I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t know the corresponding procedure among the Orthodox.

      • Read John Updike’s novel A Month of Sundays for an hilarious, bawdy, theologically playful fictionalized account of one mainline Protestant denomination’s process of restoration for one “fallen” clergyman, a process which doesn’t take much longer than a month of Sundays.

        • Burro [Mule] says

          Love Updike, and miss him sorely.

          In the Beauty of the Lilies is one of my favorite books. A Month of Sundays sounds entertaining. It’s right up his alley.

          • Mule,

            Updike would be pleased to hear that – and would need to revise the following poem:

            by John Updike

            It came to me the other day:
            Were I to die, no one would say,
            “Oh, what a shame! So young, so full
            Of promise — depths unplumbable!”

            Instead, a shrug and tearless eyes
            Will greet my overdue demise;
            The wide response will be, I know,
            “I thought he died a while ago.”

            For life’s a shabby subterfuge,
            And death is real, and dark, and huge.
            The shock of it will register
            Nowhere but where it will occur.

      • Details vary by jurisdiction, but all based in the same canons that govern ecclesiastical courts, Mule.

      • In this day and ago where the excesses of the Reformation are in full bloom…

        All that a defrocked pastor need do is move to a different location and open a new franchise center. Ala Driscoll.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > ExPastors

      Creepy! This represents a catastrophic institutional failure of the Evangelical churches; they need to deal with this kind of thing.

      A fallen pastor should be “pursued” for restoration? What, like he pursued all those who passed through his revolving door of a church? Right, but he’s the valuable one. A seriously twisted form of leadership.

      By the time I reached the end of the article I wanted to walk into the room and punch them all in the face. Complete nonsense.

  16. October again
    the feral cats reappear
    from summer journeys

  17. The Crossway Shuffle

    Here I stand!!! No, wait, I meant over here. No, wait . . . .

    This takes me from viewing these guys, and they are guys, as a bunch of tunnel-visioned misogynist control freaks, on to now seeing them as a bunch of profit-driven corrupt weasel-wafflers who should be running for political office. The use of disguised passive voice non-admission admission of guilt is masterful. Woman, thy name is mud. I’m glad I have an old copy of the ESV but I doubt if I will now ever give them the endorsement of citing from it. This is way worse than the shuffle the NIV went thru. Shameful!

    • As if anybody cared, I have never been able to distinguish much difference between the ESV and the 1952 first edition RSV, except for the inclusion of ‘virgin’ in Isaiah 7.14.

      The 1952 version of the RSV ‘works’ better for me than any other English translation of the Bible, including the Orthodox Study Bible, which I should really get around to purchasing one of these days.

      “Gender-neutral language” is too much like Newspeak for my tastes, yet somehow the NRSV is less jarring than the NIV where the NIV attempts it. There are too few segments of my ideological world free from the intrusive neopuritan schoolmarms of left and right to welcome them into my Bible reading time. I find the Coverdale Psalter from the 1928 BCP most expressive.

      • The choice of “virgin” in that case seems more political than anything, fallout from the modernist/fundamentalist split.

        News flash: Jesus does NOT have to be born of a virgin. Why? Because that whole idea is propped up with some inherited sin via sperm idea popularized through Augustine. Unscientific and therefore opposite of God’s creation and cannot possibly in any way be true.

        • flatrocker says

          Newsflash: So how would you explain Luke 1:34-35?

          Augustine may have embellished the concept, but he didn’t conceive it (no pun intended).

        • Again, Stuart,

          “inherited sin via sperm” is not part of EOrthodoxy and did not figure in at all to how the Greek-speaking theologians hammered out the answer to the question, “Who is Jesus and what is his relationship to the Creator?”

          The word almah means “young girl of marriageable age” – with the understood assumption she is a virgin.

          If Jesus were the son of a woman not a virgin, how would we know that he is both 100% divine and 100% human? As we say in an Orthodox prayer, Jesus is “without mother according to divinity, and without father according to humanity.” If he is not both divine and human (no speculation is made in EO about how this came about biologically – it is considered an unseemly intrusion, and the “how” is much less important than “the fact of” and “why”), then how can we as humans possibly be united to God, other than as an artifact of our own minds? How can we be delivered from the sting of death, and healed of our propensity toward self-preservation at the expense of the Other (un-love)?

          Precision in the vocabulary of theology makes a difference with regard to whatever we can understand about God. I think the shallowness of most of American Protestant theology makes it easy for a lot of disillusioned people, not just you, to dismiss this precision: “Oh, that’s just theology.”. Not trying to rag on you, or offend you or anyone else. I realize you’re had a lot from which to detox, and we’re all of us in process. When I was on the way out of E’ism, I was asking a lot of “why” questions that were never addressed in my Protestant experience – or studiously avoided – and I thought about these things a lot.


          • Dana, good points all, though it is all regarding faith and belief,not facts that can be proven. I believe, but I also have many questions regarding the interpretation of certain passages. I doubt any of the original readers/hearers of the earlier sections of Isaiah thought that the passage in question was even remotely messianic, let alone literally referring to a young woman who was a virgin. Imo (fwiw 🙂 ), it’s not a good idea to default to X interpretation (even one that you or I believe in) without 1st trying to understand what was being said to the original audience/readership.

            I dunno, maybe my background in history is showing, but i believe that backing away a bit and taking a more wide-angle view can help us better understand the beliefs we cherish, as well as developing a greater appreciation for those of others, and, additionally, an appreciation for *how* the texts in the canon developed, and why, and… many other things. (Like literary genres within the canon.)

          • One of the main reasons I’m taking the approach i discussed above: i wandered from Lutheranidm to evangelicalism, and spent several decades having to try and live with very “narrow” views of Scripture. It took a lot for my brain to start being able to handle the extreme cognitive dissonance I experienced after leaving (that not by my own choice) and reverting to my Lutheran background. There is so much freedom to *think* and learn out here; I’d never go back.

            I can also see how someone from Stuart’s background would react after years and years of being in harmful, cultic churches. Because I was there, too. It’s amazing to me that I’m still xtian.

          • Numo,

            good points yourself, esp about faith and not facts that can be proven.

            We have in common that we started “higher” on the candle (I as a Catholic), then went to E’lism with the very narrow views of scripture, and then came “up” again. For me, it was so radical that I felt like a drowning person finally able to break the surface of the water and breathe. Being able to think and sort through things, as you and I and Stuart have all done, means a lot to me. Believe me, everything (except forsaking Jesus) was on the table for me as I embarked on that.

            I agree that Isaiah’s readers would most likely not have seen the passage as messianic. Literary genre etc. are important. Understanding “what was being said to the original audience/readership” was my pole star as I was navigating my way out of those narrow views of Scripture. N.T. Wright’s work means so much to me because of that being his focus, specifically of the people of 1st Century Palestine, both Jewish or Greco-Roman. If there is anything I learned on my journey, it is that there is a lot of Scripture that is highly cryptic, as a leading Jewish scholar, James Kugel, says. I believe that the “key” that best unlocks meaning of Scripture is viewing all of it through the Gospels, and specifically through the meaning of the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of Christ.

            The “almah” of “historical” Isaiah was indeed most likely a young Jewish woman of marriageable age (understood to not have had sexual intercourse yet) who was expected to give birth by the usual means to some sort of “political” deliverer. Through that interpretive key, we understand that the Isaiah passage is also actually pointing to a specific young Jewish woman of marriageable age, who was a virgin, who gave birth to the Deliverer of All (whose entry into our history certainly had political ramifications). They are **both** true at the same time, though I believe one “weighs” more than the other..

            It’s okay if you don’t agree with that. Just don’t assume that I did some kind of “default” move without thinking and studying the possibilities. I did, over the space of more than 10 years. As I did, the interpretive key of the Greek fathers, that of multi-level meaning viewed through the lens the Pascha of Christ the God/Man, was what made the best sense to me.


          • Dana – I wasn’t assuming that you were defaulting to anything, but certainly do admit to feeling uncomfortable when “we know” (or similar) comes up. This has absolutely *nothing* to do with you in any way, and pretty much everything to do with the way many (but not all) evangelicals use that, and similar phrases. I think clarity is important when discussing matters of faith and belief, and have found myself up against a brick wall numerous times over the “we know” biz, not least because I was very much that way myself, for many years.

            But I do continue to run into it with kind evangelical friends, as well as some folks who are, well, not so kind (and as evangelical as the kind people; likely more so). I live in an area that is both rural and hugely conservative in every way, though when i was younger, there was a substantial Jewish community, as well as an active “Roundtable of Christians and Jews” (that’s the actual nsme of the org, which still exists, in name at least). I am very careful about keeping my religious and political views on the QT, due to the hostility that does exist among some part of the population, and in some local churches that *really* conflate religion and politics. After all, I’m living here, snd think the majority of the local folks are decent snd kind… but many of them have never lived anywhere else, and/or have had about zero time in the company of people who believe differently, have a different skin color, and more. I’m from here, but it isn’t a place that I’m comfortable.

            Anyway, while I agree with what you’re saying re. Isaiah 6, i think it is important for all of us – me as much as the next person – to be clear that this is partly an issue of interpretation. I have given some thought to converting to Judaism (i know thst might sound odd, but it’s true) and have been trying to understand how/why specifically xtisn interpretations of the Tanakh look like to Jewish people, snd the impact they can still have on the Jewish community wotldwide, post-Holocaust.

            Anyway, i do get why others eho have bern severely burned in “fundamentalist” religion (doesn’t matter *what* religion) end up either not believing anymore, or else going through a long process of recovery and rediscovery of many things, belief (or lack,of it) included. It does seem that many folks from “low church” backgrounds have less to hang onto than those of us who have the ecumenical creeds as a yardstick (sort of). And I think it makes it harder for many people to feel like the entire system that is xtianity (whatever kind they were in) is anything other than bankrupt, empty, hypocritical. I am not there, and for whatever reason, i never have bern – which, I’m thinking, is largely attributable to the way that msny people, both xtian and not, showed love and kindness toward me.

            I know I’m rambling, and hope that I’ve managed to communicate something comprehensible re. questioning, the nature of belief, and of interpretation, as I’ve encountered it.

            We’re much more alike than different, I’m thinking. 🙂

          • Totally agreed on the cryptic nature of much scripture as well.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            The word almah means “young girl of marriageable age” – with the understood assumption she is a virgin.

            I assume Classical Hebrew uses one word (and its assumptions) for both?

            But in English “young girl” and “virgin” are two separate and different words, and that’s where things get buggy.

          • HUG – it’s also “buggy” because the writers of the NT were using the Septuagint, which is itself a translation (into Greek), while most modern translators use the Hebrew text for the Tanakh. The ancients weren’t reading the Hebrew, but the Greek translation, which isn’t all that accurate (as far as we know; some words are ???) in many places.

            So… it’s all pretty complicated.

      • >> The 1952 version of the RSV ‘works’ better for me than any other English translation of the Bible . . . .

        Mule, I recently read “The ESV and the English Bible Legacy” by Leland Ryken and published by Crossway, so there’s your built in bias and agenda up front. Also read “The Legacy of the King James Bible”, same author and publisher. Ryken regards the KJV as the epitome of English literature, and indeed there is a case to be made for that aside from the religious claims of the King James Onliers. What I found most interesting was Ryken’s lifting up of the 1952 RSV as the best interim translation between KJV and ESV. My mother gave me that version when I was confirmed in the Presbyterian Church about the time it came out. I never did read it, wish I still had it, and ordered a used copy on Amazon. I intend to read it with open eyes. Up until recently I objected to its insistence that you can only speak with God using Elizabethan thees and thous.

        The RSV may have had the least agenda of the moderns, other than attempting to remain true to the best available texts while retaining the musical magic of the KJV. I would say the NRSV brought in more agenda of a political and social engineering sort, which resulted in the NIV with its own anti-liberal bias and social engineering. The KJV had its own bias in upholding the divine right of kings and opposing the radical Reformed agenda of the Puritans with their Geneva Bible, an agenda which in my view is alive and well and behind the ESV. With the RSV still awaiting investigation from me, I find the recent Modern English Version to be the least biased and compromised modern version and the best at retaining the acknowledged literary quality of the KJV, better than your Orthodox NKJV.

        Most versions of the Bible in common use unavoidably carry a political and/or theological statement. I can tell a whole lot about you by checking out which translation you use. I’m thinking that, along with the MEV, the RSV doesn’t have that recognizable bumper sticker quality and it’s always good to operate outside the box, keep folks wondering.

    • Charles,
      You make my earlier comment about Crossway and the SBC seem mild in comparison. ;o)

      • Tom, if you find my tone somewhat harsh, feel free to substitute any of these: disingenuous, short-sighted, lack of integrity, self-serving, duplicitous. There’s more if you need them. In that vein, perhaps I will take a page from our great public service organization, Coca Cola, and start referring to my pre-2016 edition as ESV Classic.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Just so long as you don’t pull a cane sugar-to-High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup switcheroo.

  18. IndianaMike says

    Pumpkin Spice Rambler. Well done.

  19. It is theoretically possible for a human to have three genetic parents without IV if they are a chimera formed from two eggs each fertilized by a sperm from a different father that then merged. Human chimeras are known though apparently rare, and, I don’t think there is any documented case yet of one having two different fathers.