Friday, October 10, 2008

Bible Trivia - 10/10/2008

Question: Against which people did the book of Obadiah prophesy?

Answer: Edomites. (Obadiah 1:1)

Comments: Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, comprised of only 21 verses over one chapter. The entire book prophesies the destruction of Edom. Verses 1-9 predict the humbling of Edom, verses 10-14 explain the reason, and verses 15-21 tell of the restoration of Israel and elimination of the Edomites on the forthcoming day of the Lord.

The vision of Obadiah.
Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom--
We have heard a report from the LORD,
And an envoy has been sent among the nations saying,
"Arise and let us go against her for battle"-- (Obadiah 1:1, NASB)

Note: This miniature on vellum of Obadiah was done by an unknown Flemish master in the fifteenth century.

Word of the Day - 10/10/2008


Opprobrium is the disgrace or the reproach incurred by conduct considered outrageously shameful; infamy.

Hanun, king of Ammon, subjected David's emissaries to great opprobrium by shaving only half of their beards and bisecting their clothing. (II Samuel 10)

So Hanun took David's servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their hips, and sent them away. (II Samuel 10:4, NASB)

The two nations had previously been allies.

Note: This image of Hanun's mistreatment of the David's messengers was created by the unknown illustrator of "Speculum humanae salvationis" in the fifteenth century.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 10/10/2008

On Thursday, I took a beautiful woman to a play. She was, however, married...

My Thursday began with a meeting with TWC at church. He graciously took time out of his schedule to help me research a paper as part of an adult education agency visit report for my class at UT. I will be analyzing the Faith Formations program of which TWC heads. We discussed educational philosophy and ministry for some time. It was a lot of fun.

On Thursday night, I took LBG to see the play “Chicago” at the Tennessee Theatre. Before seeing the musical, we ate at the Panera Bread location on campus. I had not eaten there in some time, though I often did while at the McAfee School of Theology. BHJ taught me what to order there. Unfortunately, I cannot remember what I did. I still had a good meal and enjoyed catching up with LBG.

I really enjoyed Chicago. It is the first in a series of Broadway plays coming to the Tennessee Theatre. A complete listing can be found on their web site or in this brochure. LBG was quite familar with the play, having seen both the 2002 movie and the play several years ago in Knoxville. The play she saw starred, among others Alan Thicke as Billy Flynn!

Though I had not seen the movie or play, I had seen Curtain by the same authors in New York on April 11th. (See the April 14th edition of "In Eckleburg's Eyes" for details.) I really liked the play but I preferred Curtains. My favorite line came from the Flynn, the lawyer:

”I don't mean to toot my own horn, but if Jesus Christ lived in Chicago today, and he had come to me and he had five thousand dollars, let's just say things would have turned out differently. “

Finally, Thursday marked the 30th birthday of my friend RWW. Happy birthday, Woody!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Associated Baptist Press - 10/9/2008

Associated Baptist Press
October 9, 2008 · (08-97)

David Wilkinson, Executive Director
Robert Marus, Acting Managing Editor/Washington Bureau Chief
Bob Allen, Senior Writer

In this issue
Study: Younger evangelicals less conservative than elders (909 words)
Book says Southern Baptist women stronger than confession suggets (964 words)
Little framed in moral terms during presidential debate (627 words)
Opinion: Toward a more mature Christian vote (711 words)

Study: Younger evangelicals less conservative than elders (909 words)
By Robert Marus

WASHINGTON (ABP) -- A large study of religious Americans suggests that white evangelicals' views on gay rights may be shifting, rapidly, to the left.

The survey, which includes one of the largest samples of younger voters' political and religious views ever taken, indicates gay rights are quickly gaining ground among even the most religious of Americans -- and especially among the youngest voters.

It also suggests that contentious issues such as abortion and homosexuality will not be nearly as important in voting decisions this year as they were in the last presidential election. And it concludes that the Democratic presidential nominee, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, has made little headway in wooing white evangelical voters compared to his predecessor from 2004, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

"Younger Americans, including younger Americans of faith, are not the culture-war generation," Robert Jones, head of the firm that conducted the poll, said in an Oct. 8 conference call with reporters. "On issues from gay and lesbian rights to the role of government at home and around the world, young Catholics, mainline Protestants and evangelicals are bridging the divides that entrenched their elders and [are] ushering in an era of consensus in which the common good trumps the clash of ideologies."

Jones is president of Public Religion Research, which was commissioned by the left-leaning policy group Faith in Public Life to conduct the study. It included a sample of 2,000 voting-age Americans, with an oversample of 974 respondents age 18-34.

Echoing the results from a similar, but smaller, poll released the week before, the survey found that younger white evangelicals oppose abortion rights in numbers comparable to their elders.

However, they also are far more supportive of legal recognition for same-sex relationships -- whether through marriage rights or "civil unions" with rights and responsibilities virtually identical to marriage.

A slight majority -- 52 percent -- of white evangelical respondents aged 34 and under favor same-sex marriage or civil unions, compared to only 37 percent of all white evangelicals. Both figures are significantly higher than in 2004.

The generation gap is particularly striking on the issue of full same-sex marriage rights. Younger evangelicals are nearly 2 1/2 times more likely (24 percent to 10 percent) than the overall white evangelical population to support legalizing gay marriage.

That may be due, in part, to higher exposure among younger evangelicals to openly gay people. While just 16 percent of older evangelicals say they have a close friend or family member who is gay or lesbian, 37 percent of their younger counterparts do. That figure is very similar to the 38 percent of all 18-to-34-year-old respondents who say they have a close relationship with an open homosexual.

Younger white evangelicals are also far less likely than their elders to consider themselves "conservative." Just under half identify themselves that way, compared to nearly two-thirds of older evangelicals.

Nonetheless, support for Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP nominee, seems to be only slightly lower among younger white evangelicals than their elders. The survey showed that 68 percent of older white evangelicals support McCain to Obama's 25 percent. For younger evangelicals, the figures were 65 percent for McCain and 29 percent for Obama.

Both figures are similar to the support that President Bush garnered among white evangelicals as the GOP nominee in 2004.

McCain also enjoys a significant advantage over Obama among all voters who attend worship services weekly or more often. That lead is similar to the one that Bush held over Kerry in 2004.

But a significant shift has occurred in religious voters who attend religious services once or twice a month. Those voters narrowly preferred Bush over Kerry in 2004, but now 60 percent of them favor Obama.

Younger evangelicals also show far more openness to religious pluralism than their older counterparts. While only 30 percent of evangelicals over 34 say a person can be moral without believing in God, 44 percent of younger evangelicals agree with that statement.

Culture-war issues that were at the top of many conservative voters' agendas in 2004 also take a back seat in the latest survey.

Economic issues far outrank concerns over abortion and same-sex marriage as chief concerns in the election. That holds true even for white evangelicals, who did not rank abortion or gay marriage among the top five most important issues.
The survey also shows that younger voters across religious groups are far more supportive of diplomatic efforts over military efforts than their elders. Younger voters -- and especially younger Catholics -- are also more open to government solutions to social problems.

"Younger believers -- including Catholics and white evangelicals -- are significantly more supportive of bigger government and expanding diplomatic efforts abroad," said Rice University sociology professor Michael Lindsay, a Baptist. "It's not surprising, therefore, that they are supporting some of the ideas put forward by the Democrats in 2008. It may very well be that in this election, the conventional wisdom about the 'values voters' -- who they are and what they want -- gets turned on its head."

The survey was conducted between Aug. 28 and Sept. 19. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent for the overall sample, and 3 percent for the oversample of younger voters.

The poll's sponsors said it may be more accurate than many other surveys because it included mobile-phone numbers, which younger voters rely on as their main residential number in numbers disproportionate to their elders.


Book says Southern Baptist women stronger than confession suggests (964 words)
By Bob Allen

CORVALLIS, Ore. (ABP) -- While professing to believe the Bible teaches them to submit to their husbands, Southern Baptist women tend to function as equal partners when it comes to most decision-making in the home, according to a new book by an author familiar with Southern Baptist women.

That is due in large part, says author Susan Shaw, to the fact that Southern Baptist girls are taught from a young age to believe they have direct access to God -- without any need for an intermediary like a husband or a minister.

Shaw, director of women's studies at Oregon State University, wrote God Speaks to Us, Too: Southern Baptist Women on Church, Home & Society, from the perspective of both an insider and outsider. She grew up Southern Baptist but now attends a United Church of Christ congregation.

She weaves her own experience with more than 150 interviews of current and former Southern Baptist women from various traditions and backgrounds.
"For years I had been intrigued by the contradictions in Southern Baptist women's lives," Shaw said in an e-mail interview. "They professed to be submissive, but they ran their families and churches. They were Southern women with all of that cultural baggage, and yet they were strong leaders, some even challenging cultural and denominational norms by being ordained and becoming pastors. So I wanted to explore those contradictions and complexities."

She concluded that while the Southern Baptist Convention's official positions might seem to make women subordinate, Southern Baptist women are, in fact, a rebellious bunch. The level of rebellion varies from ordained women -- who defy the decades-old Southern Baptist tradition that girls can aspire to be missionaries but only boys can be called to preach -- to stay-at-home moms who view their husbands as head of the home, yet exert significant influence on the direction of their families and churches.

Shaw said Southern Baptist women are a diverse lot, but one thing they share across the spectrum is belief in the Baptist distinctive often termed "soul competency" or "priesthood of the believer." Because of that belief, Shaw says in the book, whether or not a woman views herself as a complete equal to her husband or is assigned to a helper role, she answers only to God in matters of faith.

"The doctrine of the priesthood of the believer has significantly and essentially shaped the identity of Southern Baptist women," Shaw said. "Each woman I interviewed, without reservation, claims that God speaks to her, and, for many women, that belief has empowered them to challenge gender norms in Southern Baptist life. For all of them, that belief has allowed them to negotiate a very strong sense of [moral] agency, even among women who espouse submission" to their husbands or other male leaders.

Shaw said a lot of people would be surprised to learn that Southern Baptist women are stronger and more independent that their popular image might suggest. They know they have power, but they exercise it in different ways -- some through traditional ways and some in more feminist fashion.

"The bottom line, though, is if they feel like God is telling them something, then that's the way they're going to go," she said. "'God speaks to us, too' -- that's what they kept telling me."

In the book, Shaw profiles her mother as a typical Southern Baptist woman of her generation. She would say her husband is head of the house, but he would never make a family decision without discussing it with her first.

Shaw turns to her mother's Bible study group, nicknamed "the Clique," as an important focus group representing the older generation of Baptist women.
While they accept the language of male headship, they do not view themselves as powerless in the home. "Man is the head," one member of the Clique comments, "but woman is the neck that turns him."

They aren't afraid to disagree with their pastor and to tell him so. They may believe that only males should be pastors and deacons, but it is common knowledge that without women, the average Baptist church could not function.

Shaw said women who espouse submission still view themselves as equal to men in God's eyes. They see submission based on role, not value, and as a choice they make, not a requirement imposed on them. And they don't see male authority as all-encompassing.

"It's a recognition that at some point in a marriage relationship wives and husbands are going to disagree, and at that point, they believe, the wife's role is to give in to the husband's authority," she said. "But on the whole, what they really practice is a partnership, with give-and-take."

Shaw grew up attending a Southern Baptist church in Rome, Ga. She earned master's and doctoral degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was ordained as a minister and taught eight years at California Baptist University. She left the Southern Baptist Convention about 13 years ago, following significant controversy between moderates and fundamentalists over issues such as women's ordination and the proper role of pastors.

Conservatives ultimately won, and by 2000 they had changed the confessional document of the nation's largest Protestant faith group to discourage women pastors and teach that each wife should "submit herself graciously" to her husband's "servant leadership."

Shaw said Southern Baptist women's views are shaped as much by generation as anything else.

"Older women are much more progressive than most people might think," she said. "Women who came of age during the women's movement are more likely to identify as feminist, or at least see feminism as an important development of the '60s and '70s. Some younger women are more conservative than their mothers and grandmothers, but other younger women are on the forefront of progressive social and theological change."


Little framed in moral terms during presidential debate (627 words)
By Vicki Brown

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (ABP) -- Economic woes and national security dominated a second presidential debate that offered little new information for undecided voters, including those looking for a values-based hook on which to hang their presidential choice.

Democratic candidate Barack Obama hammered for reform on Capitol Hill, while Republican John McCain emphasized his record throughout the town hall-style debate, held at Belmont University Oct. 7.

The questions posed, drawn from the group of 80 undecided voters assembled for the live debate and from thousands of queries submitted via the Internet, provided few opportunities to offer faith-influenced responses. Of the two candidates, Obama more frequently framed his responses in moral terminology.
When asked if health care should be treated as a commodity, Obama emphasized the federal government's "moral" responsibility. "Health care is breaking budgets," he said. "We have a moral commitment and economic imperative to repair" the current system.

If elected, the Illinois senator has proposed to work with employers to cut workers' health-care costs by 25 percent. He insisted that individuals would be able to keep their plans or buy the plan they wish. Part of his plan would allow the government to act as the "group" to make it easier for those without health insurance to get lower rates on private plans.

McCain said Obama's proposal amounts to "government mandates," setting limits on the insurance plan individuals could choose and taxing employers who do not provide health coverage for employees.

The Arizona senator's plan calls for a $5,000 tax credit that McCain said will provide increased funds for 95 percent of Americans to "shop for the best plan," including shopping across state lines.

The two differed sharply on health care's place in the economy. Health care is a "responsibility," McCain said, while Obama declared it a "right" for all American citizens.

McCain said Americans should have affordable, available health care. A federal tax credit would give them the economic power to make responsible insurance decisions, he said.

Obama declared that in a country as wealthy as the United States, individuals should not face bankruptcy because of rising health-care costs. "There are no mandates" in his proposal, he said. "But it's true that you are going to have to make sure your child has insurance. It's true that I think it's important for the government to crack down on insurance companies."

The call for morality also surfaced when questions turned to defense and military issues. "We have moral issues at stake," Obama responded when asked whether the United States should step into foreign conflicts that do not directly affect U.S. security.

"If genocide and ethnic cleansing is happening and we stand idly by, that diminishes us," he said. "But there is a lot of cruelty in the world."

Calling America the "greatest force for good in the world," McCain -- like Obama -- acknowledged that the nation doesn't have the capacity to right every international wrong. U.S. leaders need the ability to determine where resources would make the most impact on improving human-rights conditions, he said.
"It's best to know when we can make a difference," he said. "We must do whatever we can ... but we must recognize our limits."

Both senators agreed that the United States should halt Iran's effort to develop nuclear weapons. They also agreed that, should Iran attack Israel, they would deploy U.S. troops to the region without first securing U.N. Security Council approval.

The televised debate focused a national spotlight on Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. With 4,800 students, it is one of America's fastest-growing Christian institutions of higher learning. For 56 years the university was affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, but that relationship ended last November with settlement of a lawsuit over who gets to elect Belmont's board of trustees.


Opinion: Toward a more mature Christian vote (711 words)
By David Gushee

(ABP) -- The United States is in trouble. Even our presidential candidates, trained to project confidence and strength, now admit that we face profound challenges.

Everyone agrees that we are in the worst financial crisis since the Depression. Our problems are dragging other nations down with us this in this globalized economy. There is no more pretending. We are really hurting.

Those defined as evangelical Christians make up about one-fourth of the electorate. For many of the most devout evangelicals, this election -- like every election -- is about abortion.

For some, it is about their comfort and sense of identification with the conservative evangelical faith of Sarah Palin.

That's not good enough. We need a more mature Christian vote.

For almost 40 years, evangelical leaders have been organizing their troops to vote on the basis of faith-and-values considerations.

Conservative evangelical leaders wanted political candidates who sent signals of their Christian devotion and who promised to advance the cause of family values, understood primarily as opposition to abortion and homosexuality.

Politically liberal evangelical leaders wanted political candidates who sent signals of their Christian devotion and promised to advance the cause of peace, social justice and environmental activism.

Right now, what all Americans should want is a president (and a Congress) that can save America from collapse. As both presidential candidates conceded in Tuesday night's debate, our current crisis imperils not only the economic well-being of every American but also our standing in the world as a great power.

Voting primarily based on religious comfort levels or stalemated culture-wars issues is a luxury that we simply cannot afford right now. In retrospect, it was a luxury we never could afford. We've been rocking along while our nation's economic foundations were slowly rotting, and our national leadership was proving singularly inattentive.

Both candidates during the Oct. 7 presidential debate articulated a mainstream American perspective. Their goals are to fix the economy and to continue to project American power around the world in a way that advances our national interests and ideals. They realize that the latter depends on the former.

They appear focused mainly on these two problems and are not spending much time on religious or cultural issues. Most people will probably vote based on which candidate they think has the better approach and the better skill set for addressing these economic and foreign policy challenges.

This seems sensible right now. If the sun is about to set on the American superpower, let it not be because we were too busy debating gay marriage or the relative merits of Barack Obama's and Sarah Palin's pastors.

I hope that most Christians have not forgotten that God has purposes that transcend those of any nation, that great powers have forever risen and fallen in human history, and that the fate of Christ's church is not dependent on that of any nation.

It may be that America is in for a painful season of suffering and retreat. We may have to turn inward to recover our economic footing. We simply may not be able to afford such a massive military. We may have to leave the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Iranians, and everyone else to their fate as we try to avoid national bankruptcy. We may end up with our power eclipsed by China, or with multiple equals in a multi-polar world. This may happen despite the best efforts of whomever gets elected as our next president.

Wouldn't it be a fitting irony if we are forced to become the more humble nation that George W. Bush said so long ago we should be? A nation more like other nations, unable to rely on its massive military to throw its weight around, forced to depend on international structures of cooperation and mutual security, forced to talk to its adversaries rather than threaten them, with most of its attention fixed on trying to meet the basic needs of its own citizens?

I will be voting this November primarily based on the main issues facing our staggering nation. I will leave the cultural issues to our families, churches, and civil society. And I will find peace in the thought that God's redemptive mission on the planet does not depend on the preservation of American wealth and power.


-- David P. Gushee is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University.

Prayer Blog - 10/9/2008

Tomorrow SMA learns whether or not he passed the bar. Please keep him in your prayers during this stressful time.

Bible Trivia - 10/9/2008

Question: Who was the first person in the Bible to name a city after a person?

Answer: Cain. (Genesis 4:17)

Comments: Though best remembered for being the world's first murderer, Cain also built the first city. He named the city after his son, Enoch.

Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son. (Genesis 4:17, NASB)

Note: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872) engraved this image of Cain building the city of Enoch.

Word of the Day - 10/9/2008


An eclogue is a pastoral poem, often in dialogue form.

The Song of Solomon features several eclogues. Regarding Song of Solomon 2:8, Methodist theologian Adam Clarke (1760-1832) commented: “It is supposed that the second day's eclogue begins at this verse.”

This representation of the Song of Solomon was painted by Macha Chmakoff.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 10/9/2008

The weather in Knoxville was dreary on Wednesday. It sprinkled, poured, or was just plain gloomy throughout the day.

My day began with an early morning Bible Study. We decided to meet on Wednesday as it was the only time we could meet with MLM before he embarks on another mission trip to the gulf coast. We discussed Romans 5:6-19, which I will be teaching in the young married Sunday School class on Sunday (October 12th).

On Wednesday night, my class at UT met as scheduled. The campus was completely dead and my class was as sparse as the campus. We had only five stay the entire class. Unfortunately one of my classmates, Pat, dropped the course as her husband’s health is failing. Please keep her in your prayers.

We had a guest speaker, David Bush. Bush has his master’s in adult education from the university and presently educates prisoners in conjunction with the sheriff’s department. He debriefed us on his program and then asked for volunteers. (I guess he thought the UT campus was a good place to find Vols. Get it? Sorry...) You would be surprised how few people wish to educate criminals. Or maybe you wouldn’t. If you would be interested in volunteering, let me know and I can put you into contact with Dave.

After class, I walked to Thompson-Boling Arena. I joined JTH, ALK, PCR and Amber to watch a volleyball game. The Lady Vols defeated Louisville 25-17, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23. I caught the last two sets. With their win on Friday, Coach Rob Patrick now has more wins than any volleyball coach in school history.

I must note that yet again, the Lady Vols publicity team did a version of Deal or No Deal in which thy did not show what the contestant would have one had they selected the other item. Why?

After volleyball, the five of us, ate at the Silver Spoon Café. Amber told the following joke, which amused JTH to no end: What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bible Trivia - 10/8/2008

Question: According to church tradition, what is the apostolic symbol for Matthew?

Answer: Three money bags.

Comments: The apostolic symbol of the disciple Matthew is three money bags. The money bags are indicative of Matthew's occupation of tax collector prior to hearing the call of Jesus.

As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector's booth; and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and followed Him. (Matthew 9:9, NASB)

Despite Matthew's fiscal experience, it was Judas, not he, who handled the disciples' finances. (John 12:6)

Word of the Day - 10/8/2008


To abjure is to renounce, repudiate, or retract, especially with formal solemnity; recant.

After being confronted by God, Job abjured his complaints. (Job 42:6)

"Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:6, NASB)

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 10/8/2008

On Tuesday, I gave one college lecture and listened to another.

On Tuesday morning I taught an Old Testament course at Carson-Newman College. I guest lectured in CBP’s 10:30 am survey class. The class met in 211 of the Henderson Humanities Building, as it was when I lectured on Acts on February 28th. (The building’s interior feels like a hospital to me.) In her class’s last session (on Thursday), she dismissed the students early in protest of the fact that none of her 26 students had completed the reading for the course. Their reading was only Genesis 3-11!

I covered the patriarchs and matriarchs, Genesis 12-50. The class ended at 11:45 so out of necessity I spoke exceedingly fast, even for me. I am fairly certain I gave one avid note taker carpal tunnel syndrome. The class was very respectful. CBP asked me back as she has two New Testaments sections next semester. Thanks again, Cheryl!

I enjoyed talking to CBP. I also got to catch up with HBT, who shares an office with CBP. HBT and I have so much in common. If you substitute his enjoyment of Nascar for my love of classic pro wrestling, we have all of the same interests.

Most importantly, I used the word “basically” only nine times and caught myself on six of those occasions. You may remember that this was the biggest critique of my last teaching performance.

On Tuesday night, I attended a seminar at the University Center on the University of Tennessee campus. Donald P. Kommers (DPK) delivered the Notre Dame Hesburgh Lecture on “Religion and the Constitution”. Yes, I know I am a nerd.

The lecture was the seventh in a series offered by the Notre Dame Club of Knoxville – East Tennessee. The lecture was free to the public as it was co-sponsored by the University of Tennessee Department of Religious Studies and the John XXIII Catholic Center at UT. Unfortunately, the big lecture hall looked empty as few students attended. Those interested most likely watched the presidential debate. I guess the religion department did not offer extra credit for attending.

DPK is quite the authority on the matter of religion and the law. He is the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science and Professor of Law at Notre Dame where he has been on staff since 1963. He specializes in the area of public law and has published ten books, 23 major book chapters, and 67 articles. He teaches a class on Religion and the Constitution which features 62 cases on the matter. Suffice it to say, we received an abbreviated version.

The lecture was fascinating, though DPK had forgotten his zip drive at the hotel and was unable to use the PowerPoint presentation he had planned. DPK explained the history of the establishment clause and the free exercise clause in the first amendment. In two seismic shifts in the last twenty years the interpretation of the former has expanded while the latter has narrowed. DPK then analyzed each of the present nine supreme court judges and gaged the future of these clauses based upon their age and leanings.

There was one example I took issue with. Regarding the free exercise clause, he brought up the issue of the Amish not wishing to have their picture on driver’s licenses as it might constitute a graven image. Why would an Amish person need a driver’s license?

After the lecture, I visited with JTH, TK, and ALK at MoFoS. We not only got to see KL and MPW but the incomparable Mark De La Rosa! (I am beginning to think De La Rosa may be his actual last name because regardless of how many times I call him that, he does not correct me. Then again, there is always the possibility that he does not know his last name.)

Afterwards, I joined JTH, TK and his girlfriend EA (aka “Sarah”, pictured mid-laugh), ALK and JBT at Applebees. Our server, AFH, informed us that she would soon be taking a two-week vacation. I think it is a sign that you eat at a restaurant too often when your server feels compelled to let you in on her travel plans.

ALK was a little melancholy. (I do not think I have ever used that word. I can remember laughing at a line from Billy Zane in Titanic which used it and offending theatre goers. But I digress...) Not only was it ALK's last day working at a daycare, but she also got into an argument with her mother. I did my best to uplift the mood. I wrote her a letter or recommendation on the spot. It worked...a little.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bible Trivia - 10/7/2008

Question: Fill in the blank with a name: “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall be no sign be given it but the sign of the prophet _____.”

Answer: Jonah. (Matthew 12:39)

Comments: When some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked for a miracle to substantiate Jesus' identity, he responded that no sign would be given save for the sign of Jonah. He added that as Jonah emerged from the depths of the belly of a fish after three days, so would he resurface from the heart of the earth.

But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;" (Matthew 12:39, NASB)

Jesus is asserting that despite the fact that his accusers had rejected every sign to date, they would have another opportunity in the form of His death and resurrection.

Note: This would cut of "The Jews ask for a sign from Jesus" was created in 1593.

Word of the Day - 10/7/2008


Overweening means presumptuously conceited, overconfident, or proud.

Proverbs 21:24 asserts that the proud man engages in overweening acts.

"Proud," "Haughty," "Scoffer," are his names,
Who acts with insolent pride. (Proverbs 21:24, NASB)

Note: I realize this illustration is lame, but in my defense this verse is difficult to depict.

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 10/7/2008

I spent Monday morning at the orthopedist’s offices at Baptist Hospital West. Not for me, though after Sunday’s football game I might have needed it. I escorted KL (aka “Sunshine”) to her first day of physical therapy. She damaged the cartilage in her knee on a recent trip to Chattanooga. The plus side of having to wake up early was that I got to watch Saved By the Bell. It takes so little to make me happy these days.

We spent the morning in Room 211, which houses the Active Life Physical Therapy, part of the Hovis Orthopaedic Clinic. KL has learned to uses her crutches well. When going up stairs, one must lead with her good foot, but while descending one is to lead with the injured foot. Her therapist called this the “stairway to heaven”. On this day, KL was shuffled between three therapists: Dena, Jason, and Mike. They gave her six exercises to practice at home. They asked her to return three days a week for three months in hopes that rehabilitation will eliminate the need for surgery. Please keep Sunshine in your prayers.

On Monday night, my church league basketball team played arguably its best game of the season. Unfortunately, we still lost to GLO’s stellar squad. We are 1-4 but have yet to lose a game by more than six points.

My team played severely short-handed. Due to scheduling conflicts we had only five players. MPW played with a bad cold and JTL played with an injured foot during the second half. I contemplated inserting myself into the game but felt that any one of my guys fatigued or injured was a better option than myself. We did use our full compliment of timeouts.

The turning point in the game came with fourteen seconds left in the first half. We called timeout with the ball and the game tied at 27. After two quick turnovers, we were trailing 32-27 at the half. GLO’s team also scored the first five of the second half to leave us a 37-27 deficit to chip away at. When we called time out with 7:15 remaining the score was tied again. We could not close out the win, losing 57-51. Maybe the moral of the story is that I should not be calling timeouts...

PCR was unbelievably good, leading the team with 27 points. He suffered an injury in the game’s final minutes and we questioned whether his legs might have given out due to carrying us throughout the game. I got PCR some ice and he seemed to be in good spirits as he left. I was wearing my prized Fantastic 4 t-shirt (bought for 50¢ at a thrift store) and his fiancé suggested I wear it to their wedding as four is her lucky number. I will be officiating the wedding on October 27th!

JDM, ANS and I stayed and watched the second game. For the second week in a row, DED and WDS pulled double duty. DED hit a remarkable three-point shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime tied at 39. His team ultimately lost 45-39 due to some highly questionable calls. We all love DED and struggled with the choice of who to cheer for. If his team won, then we would be forced to play him in the first round of the tournament.

After the game, JDM, ANS, and I ate at Applebees. The news of the day was that ANS’s dog Hemi (short for Hemingway) got into a fight with her mother’s dog earlier in the day. The other dog started the battle but Hemi finished it. It’s always nice when the person who instigates the fight loses it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Associated Baptist Press 10/6/2008

Associated Baptist Press
October 6, 2008 · (08-96)

David Wilkinson, Executive Director
Robert Marus, News Editor/Washington Bureau Chief
Bob Allen, Senior Writer

In this issue
Support for 'two-state' solution troubles some Palin backers
Men's recovery home possible through CBF grant in Illinois
CBF partners recall 9/11 with community service

Support for 'two-state' solution troubles some Palin backers
By Bob Allen

(ABP) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's answer during her Oct. 2 vice-presidential debate expressing support for a "two-state" solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is drawing criticism from some of her strongest supporters -- pro-Israel conservative Christians.

"A two-state solution is the solution," the GOP vice-presidential candidate said, expressing support for President Bush's plan.

That answer put her at odds with some Christian Zionists -- like San Antonio-based pastor and evangelist John Hagee, who is on record as opposing the Bush administration's proposed "roadmap for peace" or any other solution that causes Israel to cede land. Based on his reading of Bible prophecy, Hagee has predicted that God would punish the United States for asking Israel to exchange land for peace. Such punishment, Hagee has asserted, would come through terrorist attacks.

Hagee was one of the earliest Religious Right supporters of Palin's running mate, Sen. John McCain, in his presidential bid. McCain later rejected Hagee's endorsement after controversy erupted over previous references the TV preacher had made to Hitler and the Holocaust.

Before that, however, the Arizona senator appeared in at Hagee's Christians United for Israel gathering in 2007 to declare himself a Christian and "proudly pro-Israel."

Palin, an evangelical Christian who reportedly displays an Israeli flag in her governor's office in Juneau -- even though she has never been to the country -- said during the debate that brokering peace in Israel would be a "top-of-an-agenda item" under a McCain-Palin administration.

While largely overlooked by the mainstream media, that comment jumped out for the authors of some Christian Zionist blogs. The Amerisrael blog called Palin's words "deeply troubling and disturbing" and said they "could cost McCain valuable votes."

Another blog -- Jerusalem Watchman -- called Palin's proposal "nothing less than a total betrayal of Israel" and predicted that, "unless they are repented from," following through with those views "will fundamentally and detrimentally affect the national history of the United States."

Blog Amy J's Worldview, which describes itself as coming "from a conservative Christian point of view," said, "The land that the Palestinians want as their state is the land that God gave to the Israelites several thousands of years ago."
The post continued, "Sarah Palin should know this and she should know the consequences of taking away the God-given lands from Israel."

Not all pro-Israel Christians responded so harshly, however.

Michael Hines, the U.S. media director for International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, called Palin's answer "a very nuanced response" that suggested "a lot of knowledge on the issue."

Hines, who lived in Israel five years, said "everyone arrives in Israel as an expert," but when they leave they aren't so sure about easy answers. He noted that a two-state solution is also the position advocated by Israel's government.
"If you say you love Israel, you've got to give it the right to make its own sovereign decisions," he said in an interview. "You can't love Israel more than Israelis."

Hines also gave Palin high marks for repeating an earlier pledge by McCain to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv, where it has been since the creation of Israel, to Jerusalem -- a move that would likely inflame Palestinians.
A 1980 United Nations Security Council resolution called on all nations to withdraw their embassies from Jerusalem in a censure of Israel's acquisition of territory by force.

Congress enacted legislation in 1995 calling for the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem, but the president can postpone the move every six months, based on national-security interests. President Bush last exercised that waiver June 4.

Churches for Middle East Peace, a group of Orthodox, Catholic and mainline Protestant U.S. religious bodies, says the Jerusalem should remain a "final-status issue" to be determined in future negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Unilaterally moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem now, they said, would pre-empt those talks.

Hines said recent candidates in both parties have promised, while running for president, to move the embassy -- but continued to postpone the move after taking office. Based on McCain's voting record as a senator, Hines said that might change.

"I think he might actually be the president who would make a difference on that" he said.

Howard Bess, a retired American Baptist pastor in Palmer, Alaska, who has known Palin for years and battled against her churches in local culture-war issues, noted with interest that Palin described having an embassy in Jerusalem as a top priority.

"I suspect that her thinking is overly informed by Christian apocalyptic theology," Bess said in an e-mail interview. "Jerusalem is not the center of the world."
Bess, who has been interviewed about his clashes with Palin's forces by and ABC News, said he has encouraged the media to "take a hard look" at Palin's churches and how their end-times theology might influence her thinking on foreign policy.

Asked during the debate whether a nuclear Pakistan or Iran posed a greater threat, Palin said both are "extremely dangerous."

"An armed -- nuclear-armed, especially -- Iran is so extremely dangerous to consider," she said. "They cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, period. Israel is in jeopardy, of course, when we're dealing with [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad as a leader of Iran. Iran claiming that Israel [is], as he termed it, a 'stinking corpse' -- a country that should be wiped off the face of the earth."

Some evangelicals believe a nuclear war involving Israel and Iran is prophesied in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel.

Christian Broadcasting Network founder and former presidential candidate Pat Robertson says in a new letter on his Web site,, that he believes between 75 and 120 days remain before the Middle East "starts spinning out of control."

He called on supporters to pray that God would "change the hearts of the leaders of Russia and Iran" to save Israel. "Hopefully, our Lord will intervene and head off the disaster that seems to be approaching," Robertson wrote.

Hines, of the International Christian Embassy, said Palin's debate opponent, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), is "probably the most knowledgeable and experienced senator on international affairs," but "knowledge isn't everything." He said he is more interested in a candidate's "worldview" and "moral/philosophical understanding" in determining U.S. Mideast policy.

Hines' organization -- a non-governmental group -- recently delivered a petition signed by 55,000 Christians from around the world asking the U.N. to indict Iranian leaders for incitement to genocide against Israel.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution supporting the petition, but it is being held up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Biden chairs.

Hines said that while his organization is a tax-exempt non-profit agency that doesn't endorse candidates, "I take some issues with [Biden's] claim that he's Israel's best friend in the Senate."


Men's recovery home possible through CBF grant in Illinois
By Sue Poss

ATLANTA (ABP) -- Men with chemical dependency in Waukegan, Ill., now have a home to help them recover and build new lives -- thanks to a local church and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

First Baptist Church in Waukegan and CBF helped start the ministry, Blessed Above Measure (BAM), a faith-based, state-licensed facility for men.

The church began thinking about a community ministry when several nearby buildings came up for sale. Jorge Zayasbazan, an associate pastor, said the buildings' proximity to the church seemed an ideal ministry opportunity, but the congregation lacked the finances and people to move forward.

BAM House director Kevin Means, right, works with members of Trinity Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C., to renovate the house.

However, a man who had purchased one of the houses worships at First Baptist. He wanted to start a home for men recovering from chemical dependency.

"At the same time, we were completing the Fellowship's 'It's Time' study and were seeking God's will in regards to a ministry to impact our community," said Zayasbazan, who also serves as coordinator for North Central Region CBF.

"One easily identifiable stronghold in our community is the problem of alcoholism and drug addiction, and our church already hosted the largest Narcotics Anonymous meeting in the county. The opportunity presented by BAM House was a clear answer to prayer.

First Baptist received a $15,000 CBF missional ministry grant for facility improvements that would qualify BAM House to be licensed by the state, and making it possible for state agencies to refer clients. The CBF provides grants to churches that complete the "It's Time" study and that want to develop ministries that have an impact on their communities.

In a short time, windows were replaced, equipment purchased, repairs made, remodeling and painting completed and inspections passed. An 82-member team from Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., provided much of the labor for the renovations.

State licensure was granted in June for the facility, which can accommodate up to eight men.

"We have always been a missional church, but we were looking for something that we could focus on, one thing that we could put our energy into," Zayasbazan said. "When we listened to God, we found the BAM House."

BAM House is one of only three faith-based, state-licensed recovery homes in the north Chicago area, Zayasbazan said. It focuses on the spiritual and behavioral development of its clients and helps them become more responsible and productive members of society.

Among its services, BAM House offers substance-abuse counseling, spiritual counseling, Bible study, vocational and employment resources, 12-step recovery meetings and personal-finance education.

It is also a place where men find a Christian community. They are involved with service projects throughout the week, and often work with church members to assist the elderly and people with disabilities with yard work and home repairs. The men also deliver donated furniture to those who need it.

"In the short history of BAM House, we have already baptized two residents and had one commit his life to Christian ministry," Zayasbazan said. "Not every story ends in success, but there have already been several men who were homeless and without hope, who found jobs and permanent housing, reconciled with their children and, most important, found purpose in Christ."

"First Baptist Waukegan's story illustrates the level of missional awareness that is raised as churches engage in the 'It's Time' church-wide experience," said Rick Bennett, CBF's director of congregational life.

"Like FBC, many churches are called to a deeper awareness of what it means to be the presence of Christ in their community and around the world. The BAM House ministry is a perfect illustration."


CBF partners recall 9/11 with community service
By Sue Poss

ATLANTA (ABP) -- Young adults at Freemason Street Baptist Church in Norfolk, Va., got their hands dirty for missions at a seamen's center. Teens at Metro Baptist Church in New York City learned the value of feeding the homeless, talking with them and hearing their stories.

The two churches were among 20 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner congregations and organizations that participated in this year's 11-on-11 day of service, held on and around Sept. 11. Facilitated by Current, CBF's young-leaders' network, the local mission projects offered a constructive way for CBF supporters to make a difference in their communities and honor the memory of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States.

"Eleven-on-11 was a great event for the young adults of our congregation," said Abby Thornton, minister of spiritual formation at Freemason Street. "People in this age range are eager to be involved. They don't want just to give money to missions, but want to get their hands dirty right in their own community. This event helped speak to that passion in our congregation."

The Freemason Street group worked at the International Seamen's House in Norfolk, a hospitality ministry for merchant seafarers.

"This is a ministry that our congregation has supported for decades. But most of our group had never even seen the section of Norfolk where the house is located, let alone known anything about this ministry," Thornton said. "With a few hours of work, we were able to improve a space enjoyed as a home away from home by people from all over the world, and also have our own worldviews -- and community-views -- broadened a bit."

Metro Baptist Church, located in Manhattan just a couple of miles away from where the World Trade Center's twin towers once stood, has participated in 11-on-11 the past two years.

This year, Amanda Hambrick, director of youth programming at Metro-sponsored Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries, took a group of teens from a youth center associated with the church to work at a Madison Avenue homeless shelter.

"[It was] kind of funny that we're on Madison Avenue and there's a homeless center here," said Angelo, one of the youth. "That's like the most extreme money and the poorest in the same place. Something's not right about that."

"I was happily amazed that Angelo, a freshman in high school, was able to notice the blatant injustice present in his own city; something that some people never notice, or choose not to notice," said Hambrick, a CBF field worker.

At the center, four young people served hot lunches while the rest played games and talked with clients.

"Our teens' initial responses to the homeless were challenged," Hambrick said. "We projected that if everyone would take the time to hear people's stories, events like 9-11 could possibly be prevented.

"I loved seeing the youth from the teen center -- youth who themselves have stories that often include homelessness, economic strife and exposure to gang and domestic violence, drug abuse and other realities of urban life -- realize that the gift of their time on a Saturday morning, their willingness to listen to another's story and their ability to see the homeless as dignified and significant members of society are some of the greatest things they can offer the world."

Ashley Gill, associate pastor at University Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Miss., and Shannon Rutherford, minister to college students at University Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La., coordinated the projects.

Some additional projects completed on 11-on-11 Day include:

-- University Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La., put a tarp on a couple's roof in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav, and cleaned a room in a child development center.
-- The Oaks Baptist Church in Lyons, Ga., provided care and cleanup at a hospice house.
-- Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Va., worked with a shelter for families facing homelessness and abuse;
-- Gayton Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., worked with a non-profit organization helping families transition out of homelessness.
-- Columbus Fellowship Church in Columbus, Miss., created a community garden wall and cleaned up a local park.
-- The Cooperative Student Fellowship of Mercer University worked with HIV/AIDS patients in a housing/resource center.
-- University Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Miss., cleaned and made minor repairs at the local Christian Women's Job Corps office.

Sponsors included the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Campbell University Divinity School, CBF Church Benefits Board, CBF of Florida, CBF of Georgia, CBF of Mississippi, CBF of North Carolina, CBF Virginia, Duke Divinity School, Kentucky Baptist Fellowship, McAfee School of Theology, and PASSPORT Inc.


Prayer Blog - 10/6/2008

Tomorrow, I will be teaching CBP's Old Testament survey class at Carson-Newman College. I will be lecturing on Genesis 12-50. Yes, thirty-nine chapters! I am very grateful for this opportunity. Please pray that I perform adequately.

Bible Trivia - 10/6/2008

Question: In Saul’s first battle against the Philistines who were the only two in the Israelite army to carry swords?

Answer: Saul and Jonathan. (I Samuel 13:22)

Comments: During Saul's first campaign against the Philistines, swords were at a premium with only Saul and his son Jonathan possessing the weapons. This is significant as the Philistines were far more technologically advanced and, as is often the case, used their veritable monopoly on technology to suppress their neighbors, including the Israelites.

So it came about on the day of battle that neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, but they were found with Saul and his son Jonathan. (I Samuel 13:22, NASB)

Saul’s own sword would be the weapon that killed him. (I Samuel 31:4)

Word of the Day - 10/6/2008


Volant means engaged in or having the power of flight.

The prophet Zechariah saw a massive volant scroll.

Then I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, there was a flying scroll. (Zechariah 5:1, NASB)

The scroll represented the "the curse that is going forth over the face of the whole land." (Zechariah 5:3)

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 10/6/2008, Part 2

On Sunday morning, my class met at RAW’s. I taught a crash course on Patriarchs and Matriarchs (Genesis 12-50) in preparation for my Tuesday lecture at Carson-Newman College and began the series “How Would Jesus Vote?” I am attempting to get the self out of voting and vote based solely upon the issues from a Christian perspective. Who said I was not an idealist?

For WAM’s always valuable insights, see the WAM Quote of the Day.

I also got to catch up with KJW. She had been in her cousin APC’s wedding to Aaron Fraley (AF) the previous day at Ridge Valley Farms in Maryville. She served as flower girl. She walked to her mother, grandfather, and great aunt, throwing flowers at each stop before being carried to the altar by her great aunt. She was quiet throughout the service except at one juncture when she exclaimed, “I see my mommy!” This wedding dress cost $350 with the accompanying crown tolling an additional $50. $150 of the cost of the dress was for its alteration. RAW and I have decided that we are in the wrong professions.

KJW also danced throughout the reception. She mastered the “Cha Cha Slide” and found her way to the center of the conga line. I am anxiously awaiting the video of these demonstrations.

After Sunday School, I went to eat lunch with JTH, his parents and ALK. We were eating lunch as opposed to dinner as JTH’s parents had tickets to the Annie Moses Band concert at our church later in the night.

JTH picked ALK up from her church and the duo was naturally late. This gave me time to catch up with his mother, KTH. She had been cooking since 7:30 am. She prepared a feast comprised of Italian chicken, corn (the only thing I did not eat as I am allergic), rolls, fried okra, cheesy potatoes and chocolate cake for dessert. When describing the process she told me, “Oh yeah, I’m good.” She was correct. The food was amazing. The only negative was that she did not have enough notice to prepare “Death by Chocolate”, arguably the greatest dessert on the planet.

I actually helped cook. At one point, KTH needed someone to hold a spoon while she removed the potatoes from the oven. I held the spoon for some seconds until she had both hands free. Aren't you impressed?

I left early to play flag football at Bearden Middle School. The game was organized by MBR (pictured) and flags were provided by NAH. We had thirteen players show, with KLD leaving just as JCT arrived. Thus, we played six on six.

We played for about two hours after Hayden Oakley (HAO) picked teams. I played on a team with Andrew Baker (AB), Phillip Humphries (PH), HAO, HAO’s friend Brian, and Darren Welch (DJW). We played against KLD/JCT, NAH, CEH MBR, Tuck, and an energetic guy named Dave. The teams were well matched. After scoring a touchdown on the last possession, my team trailed by one. We completed the two-point for a 27-26 victory. I was of little help. After blitzing on every play for two hours, I was spent. The fact that I was lined up against Dave most of the day accentuated me being a liability. If nothing else, my presence provided both an even number of players and enough to play the game.

After working out (yes, after the game), JTH and I picked up ALK from Bearden United Methodist Church where she was playing handbells. We picked up drinks at Denton’s. I got to drink my favorite beverage - a piña colada smoothie. Sadly I love piña coladas. I actually also like getting caught in the rain too though I have never drank a piña colada while getting caught in the rain. (Read: Lame Rupert Holmes reference.)

We then watched Another Cinderella Story. All three of us are fans of the original film starring Hilary Duff. Who isn’t? In this direct to DVD film, Selena Gomez assumes the Cinderella role. I liked it, but then again, I like cheesy romantic comedies. (Note: this photo was taken shortly after the film. It is JTH’s failed attempt to pop ALK’s back. He concluded, “You’re just to limber to pop.” I felt the need to document the moment.)

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 10/6/2008, Part 1

On Friday, I met JTH at Wishbone’s Famous Fingers & Wings. I learned that I had to get my cup of water filled behind the counter because the water from the fountain had been replaced by soda water. Who drinks that? I have never met anyone who drinks that. Why would anyone drink that? Soda water? Really?

JTH informed me that “I have a new favorite artist.” He clarified that he meant an artist of the musical variety. I was not surprised. He then added, “Picasso is so old school...Who is Picasso?”

His new beloved artist is rock musician Andrew W.K.. JTH became familiar with his work through Jackass. Need I say more?

I spent Saturday with my family. We ate breakfast at IHOP and brought in dinner from Firehouse Subs. As usual, dad and I watched the Tennessee game together. On this night, the Vols defeated Northern Illinois 13-9. I remember a day when I had so much adrenaline after watching a UT football game that I struggled to get to sleep at night. Now, I struggle to stay awake during the games. I am not sure if that has more to do with my age or the state of the program.

On the plus side, not only did we win, but for the first time I can remember UT started a redheaded quarterback - Nick Stephens. No wonder Tennessee won.

With Auburn’s 14-13 loss to undefeated Vanderbilt (you read that correctly), all three teams that have beaten Tennessee have lost the following week. We may not be winning, but we may at least be jinxing our opponents.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Prayer Blog - 10/5/2008

My mother received a call from my cousin HANW. She is pregnant and due on May 11th, Mother's Day. Please keep the mother and the unborn child in your prayers.

Prayer Blog - 10/5/2008

I ate with JTH's family today. His father CEH (aka "Homer") is still out of work due to frequent spells which cause him to fall. CEH returns to the neurologist on October 14th. Please pray for his doctors and a speedy recovery.

WAM Quote of the Day - 10/5/2008

During Sunday school, I was looking for a Bible and RAW directed me to an end table. He noted that it was an interesting translation. WAM looked at the end table, saw the two books situated there and asked:

Harry Potter or the Bible?”

For the record, there is a Hebrew edition of Harry Potter. RAW, however, does not own it.

Perhaps the best quote of the day came from me. I was rehashing Genesis 12-50 and did not notice what I had said until WAM stopped me and repeated it. Regarding Genesis 29 I actually summarized, “God sees that Leah’s getting screwed, so he blessed her with children.” That was me teaching liberation theology.