Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Sydney Herald (AUSTRALIA): A study published in the March issue of Psychological Science may shed some light on the relationship between scripture and violence. Brad Bushman and his colleagues from the University of Michigan "hypothesized that exposure to a biblical description of violence would increase aggression more than a secular description of the same violence. We also predicted that aggression would be greater when the violence was sanctioned by God." In a two part study, undergraduate students discussed a violent section from the Book of Judges, half of whom were told the section was from the Bible while the other half were told it was from an ancient scroll. The participants were then asked to complete a task in which the winner could blast the loser with noise up to 105 decibels. "What we found is that people who believed the passage was from the Bible were more aggressive, and when God said it is OK to retaliate they were even more aggressive," said Bushman. Read more about the study here.

Hutchington Herald Dispatch (WV): Grizzly Adams Productions Inc. has produced "The Case for Resurrection," a TV/DVD documentary that discusses what purports to be solid evidence of Christ's resurrection and life after death. "The world has long demanded solid proof of the existence of Christ, his death and resurrection," says David Balsiger, the documentary's senior producer. "Now the evidence is here -- including the ability to view the world's first scientific three-dimensional holographic image of the face of Christ."

The Washington Post (DC): Reviews three books that explore the Bible's verisimilitude:
  • DAVID AND SOLOMON "In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition" By Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher: Finkelstein and Silberman argue that it is "highly unlikely that David ever conquered territories of people more than a day or two's march from the heartland of Judah. . . . Solomon's Jerusalem was neither extensive nor impressive, but rather the rough hilltop stronghold of a local dynasty of rustic tribal chiefs."
  • JESUS AND YAHWEH "The Names Divine" By Harold Bloom:
    Bloom sets out to separate the identities of "a more-or-less historical person, Yeshua [or Jesus] of Nazareth; a theological God, Jesus Christ; and a human, all-too-human God, Yahweh." He finds the three "totally incompatible," which indicates to him the "irreconcilability of Christianity and Judaism,"
  • MURDER AT GOLGOTHA "A Scientific Investigation Into the Last Days of Jesus' Life, His Death, and His Resurrection" By Ian Wilson
    Wilson embarks on "a searching revisit to the original events" in which he examines, among many other things, the gospels "as 'witness' statements" and researches "how the Romans conducted their executions by crucifixion, how they fastened the victims to their crosses, and how long these might endure such an ordeal."
The Conservative Voice (NC): "Lacking a biblical worldview and an understanding of Scripture is the main reason Christians are dipping into the forbidden waters of Eastern meditation to 'know the unknowable.'"

Manila Times
(PHILIPPIANS): A Canadian judge, who was recently conferred with an honorary doctorate from Philippine universities, in criticized for invoking "religious spirituality as the basis for her opinions" appearing to favor patria potestas (supreme parental authority). The judge is reportedly a member of No Greater Joy, a ministry founded by Debi and Michael Peale who believe that "the Bible and common sense are the foundations for effective parenting." NGJ advocates corporal punishment when "training" children. The ministry is controversial for offering pieces of advise such as Debi's suggestion on what to tell a child caught lying: “You are a liar, and lying is an ugly, hateful thing. In order that your soul shall be spared, I’m going to whip you.”

Tuscaloosa News (AL): "A recent poll suggesting that Alabamians are more Bible-literate than people in other parts of the country doesn’t surprise me. If you grew up Southern, chances are good that you grew up with the Bible."
Jerusalem Post (ISRAEL): "The Exodus has also become a prototype of redemption for all nations of the world, a model against which other redemptions are measured and assessed. The coming of the Messiah is a momentous event - not only for the Jewish people, but for the entire world. It is not simply a matter of national deliverance, nor even of a Jewish renaissance, but of an intrinsic change in world history. In a certain way, the Final Redemption, as its name implies, marks the "end of history," or, at least, the end of history as it has been for the last several millennia."

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