What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Recent Comments

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 19, 15:59:

I thought Paul's hypothesis was a law or regulation that was not on the face of it in conflict with un-overturned SCOTUS ruling: that such law was revised with the latest ruling in mind, with a prima facie claim that "hey, we took the recent ruling into account and changed the law". Admittedly, federal district and appellate courts can say that the revision was fakery or whatever, but if you happen to run up against an appellate court that wants to restrict Roe because it was bad jurisprudence, maybe they ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 18, 13:13:

Usually some level of federal court will enjoin the enforcement of laws while they are in litigation, especially if the law is on the face of it in conflict with an un-overturned SCOTUS ruling. ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Jul 18, 09:19:

Here one of Lincoln's earliest speeches on the Dred Scott case: http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/speech-on-the-dred-scott-decision/ (All kinds of interesting stuff in there, by the way.) Tony, I'm not sure how it would work either. But let's just say that, in light of Hellerstedt, Texas (or Utah, or Alabama, whatever) were to slightly revise the regulations struck down in that ruling. Sure, an immediate lawsuit to block them would follow, but who can say for sure how that would go? The ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 18, 09:16:

The Lincoln response doesn't really help much, I'm afraid, because it doesn't say anything about the courts. Until the decision is, in fact, overturned by the relevant court, as Tony says the courts will just continue to order the officials to release abortionists and probably to pay ruinous damages as well for false arrest under laws that they deem to have been nullified, in which case of course the officials will just stop arresting abortionists. Roe must be overturned. If Roberts, Kavanaugh, or any other ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 17, 20:29:

Great point, Paul. I love that. Not sure how it works in practice, though. Won't gov. officials trying not to apply Roe to other cases be hauled up in federal courts, with the district and appellate courts "following" Roe anyway? ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Jul 17, 13:11:

The other thing here is that, between, say, the end of the Second World War and the Roe-era, the only serious attempts to defy the Court came from segregationists. In light of that, the more fruitful line of argument may be the one laid out by Lincoln in response to the indefensible Dred Scott ruling: yes, the Court's ruling binds other officers of the government on that case; but they are not obliged to embrace the precedent as binding for all other cases. It would take a very shrewd and agile nominee, but ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by The Masked Chicken on Jul 15, 19:16:

It was 6R and 3D appointed judges on the bench for Scotus in 1973, but 4 R were put there by Nixon. Before 1969, the court was more even - 5R and 4D in 1971. A really good podcast is from the creators of Radiolab. The second installment of season one, The Political Thicket, explains how a single Supreme Court case changed the course of judicial activism. I recommend it. The podcast site is here: wnycstudios.org/shows/radiolabmoreperfect The Chicken ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 15, 12:53:

Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt that such talk would have gotten any nominee very far even prior to Roe If anything, talk about the states ignoring the court would have been even more shocking in a pre-Roe world, precisely because there was somewhat less reason to think the court would really do something utterly insane in a pre-Roe world. All of those "gentlemen's agreements" to trust the court, not ask candidates too many questions, rubber-stamp the President's nominees, etc., were more plausible prior to R ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Sage McLaughlin on Jul 15, 10:41:

But of course a nominee can't go around saying these things. No he can't, and I don't think that's just an artifact of the post-Roe world. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt that such talk would have gotten any nominee very far even prior to Roe, because the idea of judicial supremacy (and related judicial inventions such as the Incorporation Doctrine) have been with us for so long that people can't understand how it's possible to uphold the rule of law precisely by defying the lawless dictates of an out-of-con ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 14, 21:10:

This is one of the reasons why Moore's turning out not to be a good guy was a bummer on a wider scale. (Aside from the objective facts of the matter concerning his past actions.) He was one of the only people willing to say such "lawless" things. Even people for whom I otherwise have a lot of respect, like David French, though of him as a kook for doing so, entirely aside from anything else. That's a shame. The only possible way for the judicial branch to be "the weakest branch," indeed, for it not to have ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 14, 18:12:

Yes, accent on "supposed to be." ... it would take the court's power down a peg Yes, it would also take the court down a peg if some of the states, or (especially) states in combination with the President, went all Andy Jackson on the SC and said "let them enforce it". The Executive and Legislative powers are not supposed to bow down to the SC and say "yessir, master", they are supposed to stand up against tyranny of the SC and say no. They are co-equal branches of government. If the President is sure ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 13, 18:59:

Hahahahahahahahaha! Yes, accent on "supposed to be." In fact, though, as I believe Scalia once called them, they have become "our robed masters." The saga of how that has happened is a long one and a sad one. Indeed, if some of these precedents were overturned (and I mean really overturned, not just tweaked) it would take the court's power down a peg by getting them *out* of these areas and returning them to the states and the people's legislation via their representatives. This is what Scalia always wante ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Cameron on Jul 13, 16:53:

Isn't the judicial branch suppose to be the weaker of the three branches? ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 13, 16:28:

I'd feel more resigned to that political calculus if it weren't for the fact that an appointment to SCOTUS is for a lifetime. So if Kavanaugh is weak on these things, we're stuck with him for a long, long time. But I don't want to sound too gloomy, because I don't now that he's weak on them. I just don't know, either way. And that's a sad thought. This is one of the most powerful positions in the land (which it should not be), and our elected representatives have to work hard to appoint black-box candidates ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Sage McLaughlin on Jul 13, 13:33:

It's not realistic, Lydia, but I did hear one interesting take on the problem. That is, when you look at the actual polling for someone like Collins, the voters she is most likely to lose that will cause problems for her are not liberals who will bolt for the Democrat; rather, it is the Republican primary voters who would abandon her in a primary, where because of her liberalism on such questions she routinely clings to a bare 48% plurality of her party's base. So the real threat to her political standing ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 13, 09:00:

A good nominee can certainly play sufficiently close to the vest that it is difficult even for wild-eyed pro-Roe Senators to find anything to point to in his testimony to fault him with. In a scenario where they push him too hard to answer specific questions, he can simply say that he considers those inappropriate questions and won't answer them. I believe Kavanaugh may have done than when Schumer asked in an earlier hearing what his personal opinion was of Roe. For one thing, if they answer questions that ... [More]

The voice of the Master--More evidence

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 13, 07:41:

Lydia, that was my impression also, but only based on extremely incomplete exposure to their work: minor apparent discrepancies, and differently and maybe paraphrased "quotes" (which, at least in some cases, is explainable as Jesus speaking slightly differently on different occasions, using almost the same words). I sometimes feel that in a century or two, the pathologies must be recognized as such, but being realistic I know that is not the case: there are still, after 250 years, people who think Hume a ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 12, 20:10:

since the left is going to freak out and do all they can to oppose no matter what. Perhaps the main point is to not get a nominee that the RINOs feel so worried about that they turn against him. Are there RINOs who would literally vote against approving a good judge who would be willing to overturn Roe? Probably - if the nominee were outspoken enough to make them feel his opposition to abortion might actually amount to something real, I guess. So, we'll only nominate someone who opposes abortion softly, ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 12, 18:36:

It sounded like her writings as an academic made positive statements about originalism, so that was good. My impression (though very fallible) is she would have been more worth fighting for than Kavanaugh, and it isn't clear to me that the fight would have been much harder, since the left is going to freak out and do all they can to oppose no matter what. ... [More]

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

Comment posted by Callum on Jul 12, 17:13:

What did you think of Amy.B.C ... [More]

The voice of the Master--More evidence

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 12, 08:59:

and see how much of the work is left after all that. If anything, that is Based on my research, I'd say what's left are some apparent discrepancies we don't know for sure how to resolve (usually on minor points), some places where we don't know precisely what order things happened in, some places where it looks like author A didn't know a particular fact and honestly wrote in a way that would naturally be taken to indicate the contrary, but without saying so explicitly (you can decide whether and when to i ... [More]

The voice of the Master--More evidence

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 11, 19:07:

Given the number of different sorts of bad kinds of arguments used (which Lydia has revealed to our eyes so well), and the wide variety of places in which they are used over and over by modernist NT scholars, one might be tempted to delve into the root causes of these various pathologies. I am not sure such an investigation would be "rewarding", as one usually would use that term, but it would probably be helpful. Even more helpful, most likely, would be taking some of the more iconic such treatments, put ... [More]

The voice of the Master--More evidence

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 11, 18:58:

Well, I don't know if the analogy is worth pursuing all that much, but I would suggest that it is more like polyphony: music in 4 parts (or more), where each part has its own full melody that is good on its own, but the composer makes the separate but related melodies gel together so that in some places they work as counterpoint, in some places as harmony, etc, so that all four together make a whole composition that is much more than any one of them independently. Each one of the gospels is a work in its ... [More]

The voice of the Master--More evidence

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 10, 20:50:

Well, I shd. just admit up front that, though I'm a musician, I'm ignorant about quadraphonic stereo, and I don't want to pretend otherwise. But if one of your speakers is playing the bass (for example) one could argue that it isn't playing the music at all. The musical composition involves the melody as well. Whereas each Gospel really is giving scenes from Jesus' life in which Jesus speaks, so it's more like each one playing a certain number of pieces by the same composer, when the composer wrote many di ... [More]

The voice of the Master--More evidence

Comment posted by Cameron Ferguson on Jul 10, 18:08:

In his debate with John Dominic Crossan, James White uses a analogy that the gospels are kinda like quadraphonic stereo. That they augment one another and complement one another. I realize the limitations of some analogies, but what do you think of that analogy Lydia? ... [More]

The voice of the Master--More evidence

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 10, 09:36:

Of course, in the case of John, specifically, I would often consider that saying John moved something or "radically reworked" something is just a part of the overall prejudice against John. And again, I think there is a lot of intramural pressure here. I read an article by David Wenham (son of John Wenham) on John that was quite good *right up until the last few paragraphs*. The article for the most part sounded a lot like Leathes, though I think Leathes's examples are even better. He was noting similariti ... [More]

The voice of the Master--More evidence

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 10, 09:21:

And, why do you think there a tendency to not chalk up quasi-parallels to Christ saying the same thing on a different occasion but to taking it as an evangelist removing it from its original context by way of some literary device? Good question. What's interesting is that you will see these acknowledgements that Jesus might have said the same thing on more than one occasion, followed by giving quite high probability to the "moving" of an event or saying! It seems often like the acknowledgement is merely pr ... [More]

The voice of the Master--More evidence

Comment posted by Sean on Jul 10, 00:00:

Another impressive post. I particularly found the suggestion that John might have merely adopted with more frequency the practice of addressing his listeners as "children" from Jesus than put the expression in Christ's mouth by way of design illustrative of the naturalness of your arguments so far. I've noticed myself picking up ways of speaking or expressions from authors I find informative or useful. (And who would be a better speaker to imitate that Christ, particularly if your the belived disciple doing ... [More]

Does John "narrate theologically"? On the perils of theological theory in history

Comment posted by Joshua Reagan on Jul 8, 19:58:

I would love to if I hadn't quit Facebook a while ago. I'll be sure to check in here at least semi-regularly, however. ... [More]

Does John "narrate theologically"? On the perils of theological theory in history

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 8, 16:19:

Thank you! Follow on Facebook (if you have not already done so) and you'll see updates when I post something new in this series. ... [More]

Does John "narrate theologically"? On the perils of theological theory in history

Comment posted by Joshua Reagan on Jul 7, 19:06:

Thanks for the post Lydia. I know it's a lot of work to wade through this sort of literature, and I appreciate you sparing the effort to do so. ... [More]

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 5, 07:02:

Right, we have to include the long history of biblical study in the conversation to have a balanced view of it. Simply starting at 1900 and going forward from there is senseless. Brilliant people for 2000 years have contributed to understanding the Bible, and cutting ourselves off from the past on this is as bad as cutting ourselves off from all scientific work before 1900. (Except in this case it is much worse, because however you cut it or slice it, it was through the apostles, evangelists, and the ear ... [More]

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 4, 22:55:

I did myself a great service by consulting and citing Leathes, without whom I would not have known quite a few of these. He and others of the dead are important parts of my community, in conversation with whom I carry out my study of Scripture. ... [More]

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

Comment posted by Kurt on Jul 4, 19:19:

I thought this was a very good post. I agree that it is good to argue in support of the eyewitness perspective of the author of the fourth Gospel, and if the author were an eyewitness, then we would expect common language to be relayed to us. Thus, you make a fine conclusion: "the portraits overlap and intersect in precisely the ways that we would expect them to do when different witnesses watch and truthfully record the actions and words of the same overwhelming one Person." A spot-on distinction at the b ... [More]

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 4, 09:26:

John--Yep, I'll be getting to the Johannine thunderbolt in the next post, along with several other places where allegedly "Johannine" terms are found in the synoptics and the converse. In this post what I decided to focus most on were topics that aren't alleged to be *particularly* one or the other, but where there are these rather startling overlaps. Perhaps the only one here that is possibly alleged to be distinctly "Johannine" would be the one about "receiving the one who sent me," which is of course al ... [More]

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

Comment posted by Patrick on Jul 4, 07:50:

Tony Most of what you write doesn’t really contradict what I wrote. As for the issue of the use of languages in 1st century Palestine, I must admit that I haven’t studied it in depth. However, there are some facts to be considered. In Jesus’ time Palestine had been part of the Greek culture area for more than 300 years. Two of the twelfe disciples of Jesus, namely Andrew and Philip, had Greek names. In Palestine there were towns with Greek or Latin names, such as Tiberias, Sepphoris, Apollonia, Antipatris, ... [More]

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

Comment posted by John on Jul 4, 07:42:

It all sounds like Jesus to me! Then there is the “Johannine thunderbolt” (Matt. 11:27 and Luke 10:22). Here, a fragment that sounds oh so Fourth Gospel (cf. John 8:19 and 14:7) which has fallen into the Synoptic tradition—and it got there through Q. This draws us into the murky world of pre-Gospel source material, which then surfaces in the suggestion of source document(s) such as Q and encourages investigation of such sourcing that may emerge in non-canonical Gospels (such as Thomas). From my perspect ... [More]

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 4, 07:15:

In order to make sure that all people listening to him would understand him it is quite reasonable to assume that Jesus would speak in the lingua franca everybody understood. When talking to his disciples or to other people who would understand Aramaic he almost certainly spoke this language. Patrick, from what I have read (several sources, but not a deep study), the lingua franca of the common people in the countryside WAS Aramaic. This was the language that the Jews brought back from Babylon, and was t ... [More]

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

Comment posted by Patrick on Jul 4, 04:49:

Tony: “But Jesus almost certainly did not speak in Greek to the crowds or to the disciples, he probably used Aramaic much of the time and perhaps used a bit of Hebrew in tussles with the Pharisees or in the synagogues (perhaps more so in Jerusalem than in the hills).” In my view it is far from certain that Jesus did not speak Greek to the crowds. In a talk about the historical reliability of the Gospels Bible scholar Peter J. Williams from Tyndale House in Cambridge points out that the Beatitudes display a ... [More]

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 4, 00:12:

Well, of course, they will make much of the fact that it was probably a translation anyway of Jesus' words in Aramaic. The idea of reading it "in the original Greek" isn't to help one get at Jesus' voice particularly. On the contrary. As I understand it, the idea is to see things like, for example, how much the diction of the "Johannine Jesus" differs from that of the "synoptic Jesus." This, in turn, is supposed to enlighten the student to come to believe that John *must* have changed Jesus' words *very muc ... [More]