The Bible: A Source for Ancient Trash Talking

Since we’re studying 1 Kings in our college group, I decided to read through it once again.  Recently, I read the story where Ben-Hadad and Ahab exchange messages, and for some reason this time it struck me a bit differently.  In this story, Ben-Hadad tells Ahab that all he has belongs to him, and Ahab responds politely (or perhaps cowardly) and agrees.  However, then Ben-Hadad basically tells him, “I was serious, I’m sending people to take everything,” and Ahab denies him due to the advice of the elders.  Ben-Hadad then responds:

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Bad Sermon Song

This past Sunday, our youth pastor preached and good message on Matthew 4 and how Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John to be his disciples.  During it, he told us a pretty cool story about how he knew a worship leader who could compose songs on the spot during a message and would then sing what he came up with at the end of the sermon.  Our youth pastor said that he’d be willing to sit through bad sermons just to hear what this worship leader would sing.

That is no doubt an extraordinary gift, but it made me wonder: What on earth does one sing after a terrible message?  I have illustrated how I think that might go (click to enlarge):

Bad Sermon Song

Awkward… ;).

A New and Improved Way to Present Personality Profiles: Informed by My Feelings

I recently took a legit online personality quiz, and unsurprisingly, I was tagged as a strong extrovert and very feelings-based (100% feeling, actually).  Those who know me well will readily agree with such results; even if they do not, I know they are wrong because that’s the way I feel.  I will judge them as unworthy to be my friends and hold a grudge, but eventually, I will forgive them when they show proper remorse because I will be lonely and want to receive much deserved attention.

Though these results were dead-on accurate, it sort of offends my feelings that some people think they have the right to categorize people in their way.  Who the heck are Myers and Briggs anyway?  Sounds like some bloodsucking insurance company.  Also, the guy whose theories they based their types on, Carl Gustav Jung, is a fishy character because he’s white but has a Korean last name, making him sound like some sort of half-Korean half-Russian Mafia leader.  Who trusts these people?  My feelings sure don’t.  I even asked my feelings if I should recommend such a study, even if that study got me right:

“Feelings, how do you feel about Myers-Briggs?”

“>:o”

“I feel the same way because, you know… you’re my feelings.”

“:)”

Thus, I have decided to supplement the Myers-Briggs categorizations with my own explanations, based off my extensive experience and how I feel about people.  You can be assured that these will correlate very well with reality because my feelings always do.

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Seeking the Wisdom and Approval of Men: The Draw of Secular Higher Education

When I was looking into graduate schools for philosophy, I looked at a website called Philosophical Gourmet, which gives helpful tips on graduate school and also famously (or infamously, depending on how you view it) ranks graduate schools of philosophy.  The site is edited by Brian Leiter, who has carved out for himself a fairly distinguished career and currently teaches at the University of Chicago.  There is no doubt that his website is useful to a large degree; it speaks frankly about the job prospects of philosophy graduates (in terms of teaching at higher institutions) and about the challenges of grad school.  Because of this site and also because of the recommendation of a professor, I applied to the University of Houston which has a highly regarded Master’s program in philosophy (I got accepted but ended up not going, opting to stay around DFW area and go to the University of Dallas).

I have recently used his site again as I mull over my future, and this time I actually researched Leiter himself.  He is clearly highly intelligent and knowledgeable, but I can see why he gets embroiled in controversy, so much so that he has been asked to step down from his position as editor of the website/report.  As I looked over his personal blog, it was striking how pompous, arrogant, and condescending he regularly came off, especially to people whom he heavily disagreed with.  He is clearly a committed atheist who, at best, has a patronizing view of religion, if not a downright contemptuous one.  It is so bad that he has regularly taken heavy potshots at a fellow atheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel, for even entertaining that scientific or philosophical arguments for intelligent design and against evolution might be worth listening to.  Quite contrary to typical professional language, Leiter does not hesitate to call fellow philosophers “stupid” and “incompetent.”  It is clear he doesn’t much like Alvin Plantinga either for his Christianity, though he has no choice but to admit that Plantinga has done good work in philosophy such as his landmark work The Nature of Necessity.  Furthermore, when other philosophers have criticized his rankings, he often dismisses them as bitter people who don’t like that their own departments got ranked low.  Sour grapes, y’all.

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