Highlights from Tel Azekah 2012

Azekah alum Benjamin Sitzmann has put together a number of wonderful videos that captured daily life on the archaeological dig at Azekah last summer (2012).

If your German is up to speed, watch the video below:

Or, you can watch this shorter version, with brilliant stop-motion cinematography of Azekah and the many other holy, natural, and archaeological sites we visit on our weekend trips:

Of course, if you want evidence that this is truly an international experience, you can check out the video I made for my son MacLaren’s first birthday, which shows Azekah excavators wishing Mac happy birthday in 14 different languages:

If you or someone you know is interested in digging at Azekah this summer as part of a team of students from the University of Iowa, please feel free to contact me at robert-cargill@uiowa.edu.

I’m a MAN! I’m FORTY!

Doing my best Mike Gundy impersonation on my 40th birthday.

Doing my best Mike Gundy impression on my 40th birthday.

Skip to the 2:24 mark for the line:

I'm a man. I'm 40.

Thanx to mom and dad for the last 40 years of raising me, educating me, and teaching me to think for myself. Thanx to Tali for 13 years of sharing love that knows no bounds. Thanx to Ros for being a true partner and making my most recent years get better every day. And thanx to MacLaren for making me feel young again.

Westboro Baptist Church to Protest 3 Churches in Malibu…but NOT Pepperdine, Church of Christ

Westboro Baptist Church will picket Malibu, CA, but is NOT picketing Christian Pepperdine University, nor the Church of Christ that meets on its campus.

Westboro Baptist Church will picket Malibu, CA, but is NOT picketing Christian Pepperdine University, nor the Church of Christ that meets on its campus.

I have been embarrassed on a few separate occasions to be associated with Pepperdine University, where I received my Master of Divinity.

But I have never been as embarrassed, nay, as ashamed as I was when I learned that Westboro Baptist Church, the überfundamentalist, homophobic, inbred family hate group church in Topeka, Kansas, notorious for picketing the funerals of fallen US soldiers while carrying signs that read “God hates fags”, is picketing three, count them, THREE different churches in Malibu this weekend, but NOT Pepperdine University and NOT the University Church of Christ that meets on its campus!

How humiliating must it be for anyone associated with Pepperdine when Westboro Baptist comes to picket in Malibu, and neither Pepperdine, nor the Church of Christ on campus warrant picketing.

How socially irrelevant and theologically impotent must you be in a community when Westboro Baptist comes to town and chooses to picket 3 other churches.

Then again, this shouldn’t surprise us: A Pepperdine Law School faculty member, Richard Peterson, was the poster child for the “Yes on Prop 8″ campaign, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in California. After an understandable public outcry against the school, Pepperdine’s President, Andy Benton, issued a number of press statements attempting to convince the public and the Pepperdine community that it was officially “neutral” on the issue of same-sex marriage. He stated:

“As a matter of established policy, the university does not take positions on partisan political issues, including ballot initiatives.”

But no sooner had he issued this statement, than Pepperdine’s Law School Dean, Ken Starr, agreed to argue on behalf of the Yes on 8 campaign to overturn and nullify those same-sex marriage that were performed legally between the time the court struck down Prop 8 and its announcement of a stay on same-sex marriages until the courts come to a conclusion on the matter.

Thus, it should be no surprise that Westboro Baptist isn’t going to picket Pepperdine or the University Church of Christ: they agree about same-sex marriage and gays!!

This isn’t difficult math: Pepperdine has become the banner institution in Los Angeles for the suppression of the rights of LGTBQ individuals, and this must please Westboro Baptist to no end!

In fact, Pepperdine still won’t allow LGBTQ students to have a club on campus. Pepperdine’s Dean of Students, Mark Davis, said the following:

“Pepperdine seeks to be faithful to this teaching because we believe it is God’s will…and therefore we cannot endorse another view or take a neutral position on sexual morality…we do not believe it is possible for a LGBT student organization to maintain a neutral position.”

What a tremendously sad commentary on Pepperdine and the Church of Christ in Malibu when Westboro Baptist comes to town and says, “Nah, they’re cool.”

A trusted mentor once told me, “You must live so that the right people praise you, and the right people curse you.”  I put it this way:

“We should always seek to live our lives in such a manner that Westboro Baptist Church would rush to picket our funeral.”

And yet, Westboro Baptist Church is coming to the small, seaside town of Malibu, and according to it’s “picketing schedule“, will be picketing Malibu Presbyterian ChurchWaveside Church, and Our Lady of Malibu Catholic Church, before heading to Santa Monica High School and the Academy Awards to picket the “Hollywood elite.”

But I’ll ask again: What does it say about the conservative Christian Pepperdine University that WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH looks at them and says, “Nah, they’re cool.”

How culturally inert does a university have to be to not get protested by Westboro Baptist?

So yes, I can understand why Westboro Baptist, while putting together a list of churches, schools, and organizations to protest, might look at Pepperdine University and the University Church of Christ that meets on its campus and say, “Nah, let’s not protest them. They’re with us on this issue.”

In the mean time, Pepperdine has invited Rick Warren, who recently announced that he regrets supporting the California ban on on same-sex marriage, to host a ministry pre-conference just prior to its annual Bible Lectures.

So for Pepperdine, Rick Warren is an invited guest, and Westboro Baptist doesn’t see any need to picket them.

I am equal parts saddened and appalled by this, but in the end, I am really just sad for my friends back at Pepperdine.

I would shake my head, but what good would it do? All I can do is shine a light on a place that not even Westboro Baptist Church finds worthy enough to picket.

Discovered on my U Iowa office door this morning, the day before my 40th birthday

I arrived at my University of Iowa Jefferson Building (JB) office this morning (the day before my 40th birthday), and discovered this taped to my door.

It is supposedly the text of “1JB40Car (the Tye-Dye Scroll)”, a newly-discovered Dead Sea Scroll.  It purports to be a list of things I’ve said during various classes at Iowa (with the most incriminating words conveniently lost to lacunae :).

Much of it appears to be corroborated by a textual congruency with a particular Twitter site, which I’m guessing was authored by the same students.

Anyways, I can neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of the statements below.

But I CAN say that I love teaching, I love my students, I love the University of Iowa!

Thanks guys!

(And NO, I shan’t be supplying the missing words…)

The text of 1JB40Car (the Tye-Dye Scroll), discovered posted on my University of Iowa Jefferson Building (JB) office door the day before my 40th birthday. It is a list of things I've apparently said during class (with the most incriminating words conveniently lost to lacunae :)

The text of 1JB40Car (the Tye-Dye Scroll), discovered posted on my University of Iowa Jefferson Building (JB) office door the day before my 40th birthday. It is a list of things I’ve apparently said during class (with the most incriminating words conveniently lost to lacunae :)

The text of 1JB40Car (the Tye-Dye Scroll), discovered posted on my University of Iowa Jefferson Building (JB) office door the day before my 40th birthday. It is a list of things I've apparently said during class (with the most incriminating words conveniently lost to lacunae :)

The text of 1JB40Car (the Tye-Dye Scroll), discovered posted on my University of Iowa Jefferson Building (JB) office door the day before my 40th birthday. It is a list of things I’ve apparently said during class (with the most incriminating words conveniently lost to lacunae :)

The top half of 1JB40Car (the Tye-Dye Scroll), discovered posted on my U Iowa Jefferson Building (JB) office door the day before my 40th birthday. It is a list of things I've apparently said during class (with the most incriminating words conveniently lost to lacunae :)

The top half of 1JB40Car (the Tye-Dye Scroll).

The top half of 1JB40Car (the Tye-Dye Scroll), discovered posted on my U Iowa Jefferson Building (JB) office door the day before my 40th birthday. It is a list of things I've apparently said during class (with the most incriminating words conveniently lost to lacunae :)

The bottom half of 1JB40Car (the Tye-Dye Scroll).

Hurt Puppy is Actually a Jedi

Hurt Puppy uses Jedi mind tricks to manipulate the criminal justice system. "These aren't the verdicts you're looking for."

via.

hurt puppy

lol.

hurt_puppy_meme

Happy Valentine’s Day, Roslyn

I love you with all my heart, more every day.

Thank you for saying yes.

Here’s to fifty-eleven years and fifty-eleven kids.

Neil deGrasse Tyson to Speak at the University of Iowa

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.

I am pleased to report that Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson will give the Distinguished Lecture at the University of Iowa IMU Main Lounge at 7:30pm on Monday April 15, 2013 as part of the University Lecture Committee’s Spring lecture schedule.

Dr. Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He is one of the world’s best public lecturers on the importance of science and science education, particularly on the topic of astrophysics and the origin of the universe.

He’s also very funny. For more, watch the video with Stephen Colbert.

BWAHAHAHA! How to write a praise song (in 5 minutes or less)

This is such a perfect (and unfortunately, true) satire of what passes today for Christian praise music, it must be viewed by all.

The beauty (and power) of this brilliant and clever video is that it’s dead on the money. The unimaginative, grammatically ignorant, theologically defunct tripe that passes for “worship music” today is parodied perfectly by Garrett Vandenberg.

Watch it and lament what has become of contemporary worship music.

Philosophy, Metaphysics, Theology, and Science All Summed Up with the Black Cat Analogy

The Black Cat Analogy of Philosophy, Metaphysics, Theology, and Science
(With a HT and thanks to Spreading Science.)

Philosophy is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat.
Metaphysics is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn’t there.
Theology is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn’t there and shouting, “I’ve found it!”
Science is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat using a flashlight.

The Black Cat Analogy of Philosophy, Metaphysics, Theology, and Science

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