Thursday, September 21, 2017

Flowchart on alleged literary devices

Continuing my series on the allegation of fictionalizing literary devices in the Gospels, I've put up a flowchart and introductory discussion of its nodes at W4. I'm beginning with the big picture. What questions need to be answered in a given case before concluding that there really is a fictionalizing "literary device" in a passage, whether in a biblical historical book or in a secular document?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Open Thou Mine Eyes



I think I like this recording even better, though obviously not professionally recorded.




Open thou mine eyes and I shall see;
Incline my heart and I shall desire;
Order my steps and I shall walk
In the ways of thy commandments.

O Lord God, be thou to me a God
And beside thee let there be none else,
No other, naught else with thee.

Vouchsafe to me to worship thee and serve thee
According to thy commandments
In truth of spirit,
in reverence of body,
In blessings of lips,
In private and in public.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

New Testament posts

I have two new New Testament posts up at W4 and another one in the pipeline. For the current posts, see

New Testament Interpretation in the Real World

Hoaxer or Historical Witness: The Johannine Dilemma


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Nabeel Qureshi: 1983-2017

See here.

Our brother in the Lord, Nabeel Qureshi, about whose cancer I wrote earlier, has gone to be with the Lord today.

And we also bless thy holy name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear, especially Nabeel, beseeching thee to grant them continual growth in thy love and service, and to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Blogging slow-down and Facebook hiatus

Recently I deactivated my Facebook account and have been very much enjoying the rest. I don't know when I will go back, though probably I will sometime.

Obviously, my blogging has slowed down, and I'm going to say outright that I no longer feel any duty to blog about current events in general. I've decided that it was unhealthy for me to feel that I had to "say something" about whatever is happening right now. That does not mean that my principles or opinions have changed; they haven't. It just means that I've decided that trying to be a pundit on current events was becoming a ball and chain and that the value I was adding to the information stream was not worth the artificially produced ADHD of trying to think of something to say all the time.

I know what it's like to be a reader and to wonder what's going on when a blogger slows way down. One wonders if there's been some crisis in their life that is taking a lot of time or if they have changed their minds.

I admit that the rise of the Trumpites has been a discouraging blow to me. I no longer feel as though I represent and speak to a large slice of normal conservatives who may be (let's say) a little farther to the right than most Republicans on matters like immigration but are basically sensible people. Too many souls are being devoured by the maw of the alt-right, the manosphere, and Trumpism, and it just makes me too sad to think about.

However, one good effect of the Facebook hiatus has been that I've been reading more over at National Review, and I've found them refreshingly sensible on a variety of issues and more strongly conservative than I had remembered from the last time I spent time there. For example, on the matter of Confederate monuments, while some have (ridiculously) called for capitulating and tearing them down, their colleagues have disagreed articulately. At this point I can usually find someone saying something I agree with on almost any current event over at NRO and don't feel a need to add my two cents at my obscure blog(s).

I'm of course home schooling and running my household, and I'm wondering how I ever had time to be on Facebook at all! In my spare time, I'm writing professional articles in probability to submit to journals for peer review, and that takes enormous effort and discipline. It's funny how one wants to do hard, enjoyable, intellectual work in one sense but at the same time the lazy part of oneself doesn't want to. Blogging little and being off Facebook allow me to force myself to do things I really want to do more.

If you have questions about things that I know about, or that you think I know about, feel free to contact me by e-mail. My name, first and last, no spaces, at gmail.com. Correspondence is a big part of what I do, and it's (IMO) more rewarding than blogging. I will update on undesigned coincidences and on new things related to Hidden in Plain View either here or at W4 and will blog occasionally.

Praying for Nabeel

I've been very burdened lately for Nabeel Qureshi, who is in the last stages of stomach cancer. Nabeel is (as readers no doubt know) a missionary to Muslims. He and David Wood were arrested some years ago in Dearborn while peacefully and legally chatting with a Muslim group. They subsequently won a lawsuit against the city, as the arrest was manifestly illegal. Nabeel, a former Muslim, has had a fruitful ministry bringing Muslims to know Jesus Christ as Savior.

A year ago he was unexpectedly diagnosed with (already) stage 4 stomach cancer. He has fought it with every weapon known to modern medicine, but it has steadily progressed. His videos chronicling the progression of the disease and his and his wife's faith in Christ through it can be found here. They have one child, a little girl named Aya. Nabeel's stomach has recently had to be removed to prevent him from bleeding to death from the tumors. He has a J-tube in place for nutrition and hydration.

Because Nabeel's denominational background is particularly dedicated to seeking miraculous healing, he has repeatedly said throughout his fiery ordeal that he believes God is going to heal him physically. But if we can conjecture anything about what God is going to do from the on-going lack of healing and progress of a disease over time, this does not seem to be God's plan. In my admittedly fallible opinion, Nabeel is now dying, and God's will for him is a holy death. This last Vlog is painful to watch. It is my own opinion that his closest friends and his wife need to be by his bedside as he accepts death from the hand of God, supporting him through this most important time of a Christian man's life.

In any event, we Christians should pray for him.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

John Wenham's Easter Enigma

At W4 I review John Wenham's Easter Enigma.

I have enjoyed Wenham so much recently in part because I have been reading Licona's Why Are There Differences in the Gospels, which has a very different approach. Wenham is refreshing in contrast and much, much better.

Friday, July 21, 2017

New OT Undesigned Coincidence

See a post on a new OT undesigned coincidence related to I Kings and the city of Gibbethon, here.