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The award winning movie, The Blind Side is based on a chapter in the life of Michael Oher, offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens football team. The son of a single mother trapped in the prison of addiction, Oher was left to fend for himself as a teenager and eventually became homeless. Enter Leigh Anne Tuohy, a privileged and opinionated White southern Republican, who was so moved to compassion that she “adopted” the socially disadvantaged descendant of African slaves into her family.
Martha wanted to be a disciple of Jesus. She wanted to follow him and learn from him. But she was held back by her social conditioning that said women have their roles and their place. Theological studies were what men did. Women were to care for men’s physical needs so that men could devote their time to study. Preparing meals was important work. But Martha longed to discuss deeper spiritual matters and the things of God.
Among the few things we know about our ancient past, we know that since time immemorial sex was sacralized. Religious celebrations often included sexual activity. Evidence abounds indicating that religion centered on fertility. The oldest clay figurines most commonly found represent fertility goddesses. In the Old Testament she is known as Asherah or Astarte, the goddess also known as Ishtar. The Old Testament bears witness to the centuries-old struggle within the people of Israel against polytheism and in favor of monotheism.
Why does dogmatism correlate so naturally with rebellion against the Resurrection and the Holy Spirit?
As everyone knows, when someone proposes that a metaphorical (rather than literalistic) reading of Genesis 1 and 2 might help Adventist scientists communicate their belief in Creation, the inner Inquisitor of dogmatic traditionalists bestirs itself from slumber. “That would betray scripture,” it says. “That would deny official church teaching. That should not be allowed.”
One of the most interesting and exciting stories in the gospels is found in Luke, chapter 13. There we read that Jesus, deliberately and intentionally chose the time and the place to forcefully confront the cultural taboos surrounding women and the church.
During the Easter weekend professors, students and some of the neighbors of Andrews University in Berrien Springs gave multiple representations of scenes of the passion of Christ to large crowds which, in groups of about one hundred, were guided along a path with rest areas where dramatic representations of main events in the life and passion of the Lord could be observed. This celebration of Easter has become a yearly event for some time already, and is a significant break with the Adventist tradition which purposely ignores the Christian calendar.
My interest in archaeology was awakened by professor David Rhys at River Plate College in 1953. His subject was mathematics, but he gave classes also in astronomy and biblical archaeology for the ministerial students. Rhys was one of the best-loved and respected professors at the College, a serious, intelligent, curious and playful fellow.
I’ve heard people say, “The value of a human life is incalculable.”
No, it isn’t. We set a value on lives all the time. The valuation requires some big generalizations, is based on hard-to-pin-down factors, and differs with the context in which it’s measured. But there’s no doubt that a life has definable value.
The ancient Greeks distinguished themselves, among other things, by establishing ways of reaching reasonable conclusions. The syllogism as an instrument of reason makes it possible to advance one’s thinking with certainty. “All human beings are mortal. Socrates is a human being. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.” It is not necessary to present evidence that confirms the death of Socrates.