Currently Reading: Crossan and Goldberg

Having finished Melville’s classic “big fish” tale, I steer back to starboard and continue my tour thru ancient Mesopotamia, Greece and Palestine both historically and archaeologically, as well as biblically as John Dominic Crossan reviews the evidence and historicity for Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles.

As I said in a post before, I have a similar volume by said author and scholar on The Historicity of Jesus that I read last year, but I also have an examination by Crossan on The Birth of Christianity on my shelf that I plan to read later on. Most probably not until the first part of 2020.

The other book I just started is Jonah Goldberg’s fascinating march thru the history of American Progressivism and what he considers Liberal Fascism as the “daughter” of not only earlier WW1 and WW2 era Leftist/Socialist fascism but also a Grand Daughter of the totalitarian and philosophical French Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I do tend to lean more politically Libertarian and conservative, what most historians and students of American history would call “classical liberalism”. From the first few pages in the book, having already and only so far read the introduction, it would seem both “liberal” and “conservative” labels have been given a bad rap and misapplied definitions over the decades and even the centuries.

I’m excited to get into the real meat of Goldberg’s book once I’ve finished with Crossan’s In Search of Paul. Why not tell me what you’re reading… what’s next on your TBR list? What have you recently finished? Down in the bucket… you know what to do. And thanks for reading.


Suicide and Grace

Recently found a post (link removed per request) by a christian regarding suicide that called out strongly those in the Christian community who dared to show mercy and grace, empathy and understanding to those struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide.

The post didn’t seem to empathize at all with those wo struggle or the family members and friends left behind.

September was Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month and because it’s so fresh in my mind, I thought I’d comment on the post and attempt either a discussion or a redirection. Here’s my comment I left on the post.

“I lost a stepdaughter to suicide”
I’m so sorry for your loss. But I’m wondering if you are as vocal in your personal life as on the blog. Are you telling people that your step daughter is in hell? I know I wouldn’t be comfortable with saying that publically to people I know, know me, and know my step daughter. How do you interact with them regarding this loss?

Lets see if she wants to talk. Manwhile, what do you think about her stance and ho would you respond if confronted with the reality of a loved one choosing to end their own life? Would it make you question your presuppositions or your faith? And if you’ve had the experience, and you’re comfortable telling your story, the floor is yours. Thx

Here’s an article by the Randy Alcorn she’s talking about in her post. His thoughts and theology on the subject.

And… Now she deleted the comments on her post. Nice


Currently Reading Also: In Search of Paul

Lest anyone think I’m slacking, along with Moby Dick I’m also trudging my way thru, currently on pg 157, of John Dominic Crossan’s book on the historical Paul.

It’s similar in scope and detail to the one I read of his on the Historical Jesus. Both books are Great Reads and Amazing History.



Two Believers Arguing about the Bible

Sadly, this could have been me. I was every bit as stubborn, foolish and ignorant in the face of intelligent, thoughtful and kind people who just disagreed with me.

I was a KJV, 6 days/6000yrs (certainly not more than ten), evolution denying bible totin’, chapter and verse spoutin’… arrogant S.O. a… God. They both understand and accept that they use circular reasoning about the belief that the Bible is the Word of God. The fact that Steven goes further down the Rabbit Hole to include the KJV Translation in his reasoning doesn’t negate that both are admitting and justifying their circular reasoning about the Bible in general.

If only James could take the logical consequences one step further… like I did.


Book Haul: Half Price Books

Got some good ones here. I’m really looking forward to reading Works of Love by Kierkegaard. I’ve a couple of his books on the shelf already.

Fear and Trembling, Training in Christianity, Spiritual Writings and the 1st volume of Either/Or. The first two I read years ago.

I won’t be getting to any of these new acquisitions very soon, the same as the making of books “… there is no end” to reading either. 😉 So for now, I offer them up for Book Haul comments and approbation.

What are you reading these days? Get any great books your just dying to get into? In the bucket down below. You know what to do.


Friday Round-up:

Welcome to the Friday Round-up. This will be a weekly post of links from Prized or Picked posts from the week either in my feed, of those who follow me, or otherwise “notable” posts that I feel have been Good, Interesting or… let’s just leave it at ‘Notable’.

The criteria is my own choosing, however thru the week if you have suggestions for the Round-up, please let me know. Here is the Round-up for this week:

A great little post on Scottish stones

Easter Aquorthies Recumbent Stone Circle

A recent post from a book blog I follow that does great reviews and information about reading and books

For Your Eye Alone

A nice post on one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite classic reads

Sometimes <i>The Lord of the Rings</i> Is Actually Funny

Willow’s entry for Twittering Tales was especially good. Not to mention her post encouraged my weekly participation in the meme.

And now… For the Notable post:

This last one is neither one I have followed or one that follows me, at least on this current “incarnation” of my blog. It’s also not one from the last week. But I wanted to post it because it saddened me.

See, I used to follow Tim on my previous blog and when I just went to re-follow him on this one… I found that he’d passed away in June of this year.

During the time four years ago when I was questioning my previous faith, Tim’s blog was a source of information as well as hope that I could still “follow Jesus” without the trappings of my previous positions that were quickly being proven unfounded.

I’m still questioning, still looking for answers and still “following” Jesus, or his example, even now as someone who considers himself “deconverted” and “Recovering” from Evangelical Christianity.

The point is… That Tim’s blog gave me hope, a direction of search, and people who understood at a time when I really needed all three.

I’m sad to hear he’s passed away. But I’m very pleased that his blog posts are still there. Still there for me to direct others to who may be currently in the position I was.

Well, that the Round-up. Any thoughts? Ideas? Down in the bucket. You know what to do.


Kadesh Barnea, Gaza, & The Exodus

The Exodus that Never Happened… and my personal one that did

This post bears the evidence that is sorely lacking in support of what we’ve been told of the biblical history of Israel. The lack of actual Archaeological Evidence for the Old Testament Biblical Accounts is at least reason for pause and deep consideration. The implications actually lead to conclusions that Christians such as I was are sometimes not willing to accept let alone think about.

I reblogged this post about 3yrs ago on another incarnation of the RKIA, but I coming back to it because this was the beginning of my willingness to disbelieve the biblical accounts. I suspended my Suspense of Disbelief long enough to lookk at the evidence with an Outsiders Point of View. I took the “Outsiders Test of Faith” encouraged by John Loftus and before long “mene, mene, tekel, upharsin” found the very foundations of my Faith Tradition “wanting” and utterly corrupt.

I’m not trying to convince anyone. The Bookish Recovering Know It All isn’t a “Counter Apologetics Ministry”. I believe I’m past that phase. But it is important to own and explain where I come from and how I got here. If there is a God, and I still believe there may be, it isn’t the Judeo Christian God described in the Old Testament. And if there actually was a Jesus of Nazareth, which I still believe there may in fact have been, he was not the Jesus described in the New Testament. He would have been just a simple preacher of righteousness calling his people and his nation back to their cultural God and moral base… and ended up getting killed for his efforts.

I no longer believe in a historical, actual, physical resurrection of the man Jesus, son of Joseph. If he was crucified, he would not have been laid in a “new tomb” owned by a rich man. He would have been tossed unceremoniously into a common grave after allowing the birds and dogs to pick his bones clean. That is what the Romans did. Crucification’s whole purpose was to deny proper, honorable, and decent burial.

That Jesus is and has been dead for millennia. For me, the NT Jesus has also been dead for about four years now. And in his death, I’ve gained New Life. My hope for you as well.

Peace. -mike

The Jewish origin tale recounted in the Pentateuch is a work of geopolitical fiction. This is the uncontested consensus of biblical archaeologists and bible scholars. It has been the consensus position amongst professionals for nearly three generations now, but as the Chief Archaeologist at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum, Professor Magen Broshi, explained: “Archaeologists simply do not take the trouble of bringing their discoveries to public attention.” So solid is the consensus, and so definitive the evidence supporting it, that in 1998, the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the primary American professional body for archaeologists working in the Middle East, changed the name of its professional publication from Biblical Archaeologist to Near Eastern Archaeology simply because the bible had been determined to be (beyond all doubt) an entirely unreliable historical source to direct research into the early Jews, pre-Babylonian captivity. Indeed, in that same year, even Christianity Today’s Kevin D…

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