Upcoming Events

From the Dean

News items, published articles, and reading recommendations from Dean Timothy George




The Dean Recommends: Jordanian Prince and Jewish Scholar Say Christianity is Intrinsic to Arab Culture

By John Burger
August 26, 2016

If a goal of the Islamic State group and other jihadists was attained—the expulsion of Christianity from its birthplace in the Near East—it would “destroy the richness of the tapestry of the Middle East and [be] a hammer blow to our shared heritage,” said a Muslim Jordanian prince and a Jewish proponent of interfaith relations.

Writing in The Telegraph, Prince Hassan of Jordan, founder and president of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, and Ed Kessler, director of the Woolf Institute for relations among Christians, Jews and Muslims, said that Christian communities have been “intrinsic to the development of Arab culture and civilization.”

“This central role in our region and civilization is why it is abhorrent to us, as a Muslim and a Jew, to see Christianity and Christians under such savage assault across our region,” Hassan said.

The two men called ISIS’ attacks on Christians, which the US State Department has classified as genocide, “sickening.” They said ISIS’ vision is an “apocalyptic” one that “harks back to a mythic Golden Age” of Islam. It is “solely the creation of the warped minds of today’s jihadists,” they charged. “Daesh want to take us to a new Dark Age, an age made even darker by the dangers that the gifts of science and technology pose in their hands,” they said, using an Arabic nickname for the jihadist group. Read the rest at Aleteia.

If a goal of the Islamic State group and other jihadists was attained—the expulsion of Christianity from its birthplace in the Near East—it would “destroy the richness of the tapestry of the Middle East and [be] a hammer blow to our shared heritage,” said a Muslim Jordanian prince and a Jewish proponent of interfaith relations.

Writing in The Telegraph, Prince Hassan of Jordan, founder and president of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, and Ed Kessler, director of the Woolf Institute for relations among Christians, Jews and Muslims, said that Christian communities have been “intrinsic to the development of Arab culture and civilization.”

- See more at: http://aleteia.org/2016/08/26/jordanian-prince-and-jewish-scholar-say-christianity-is-intrinsic-to-arab-culture/?utm_campaign=NL_en&utm_source=daily_newsletter&utm_medium=mail&utm_content=NL_en#sthash.zCVIklBB.dpuf

Posted by Hunter Upton at Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Share |

The Dean Recommends: 6 Things Spurgeon Didn’t Say

By Christian George
August 24, 2016

Charles Spurgeon is one of the most popular preachers to tweet, meme, quote . . . and misquote. Here are six sayings falsely attributed to the “Prince of Preachers.”

Spurgeon Misquote #1:  When you can’t trace his hand, trust his heart.”

This quote was popularized in 1989 by Christian singer-songwriter Babbie Mason who wrote “Trust His Heart” with Eddie Carswell. The chorus goes like this:

So when you don’t understand / When you don’t see his plan / When you can’t trace his hand  / Trust His heart

In an interview, Mason said the song was influenced by a North Atlanta pastor who became inspired by the words that Charles Haddon Spurgeon had coined in his writings, ‘God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. And, when you can’t trace His hand, you can always trust His heart.’

Similar quotes are found in The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible.

Spurgeon’s actual wording is found in his sermon “A Happy Christian”:

The worldling blesses God while he gives him plenty, but the Christian blesses him when he smites him: he believes him to be too wise to err and too good to be unkind; he trusts him where he cannot trace him, looks up to him in the darkest hour, and believes that all is well (MTP 13:103).

Read the rest at The Spurgeon Center's blog.

Posted by Hunter Upton at Monday, August 29, 2016
Share |

The Dean Recommends: No, God Isn't Transgender

By Robert A. J. Gagnon
August 15, 2016

In what has to be a new low for the New York Times, the Gray Lady (or should we now say the Bearded Lady?) has published an op-ed piece titled “Is God Transgender?” by a New York rabbi named Mark Sameth. Cousin to a man who “transitioned to a woman” in the 1970s, Sameth contends that “the Hebrew Bible, when read in its original language, offers a highly elastic view of gender.” He marshals many purported examples of gender fluidity in the Hebrew scriptures, in order to argue that religion should not be put in service of “social prejudices” against transgendering. But his treatment of the Bible amounts to propaganda, not scholarship.

Proposing that the God of Israel was worshipped originally as “a dual-gendered deity,” the rabbi asserts, untenably, that the etymological derivation of Yahweh is “He/She” (HUHI). His argument requires that the Tetragrammaton be read, not from right to left (as Hebrew always is), but from left to right:

The four-Hebrew-letter name of God, which scholars refer to as the Tetragrammaton, YHWH, was probably not pronounced “Jehovah” or “Yahweh,” as some have guessed. The Israelite priests would have read the letters in reverse as Hu/Hi—in other words, the hidden name of God was Hebrew for “He/She.”

But biblical scholars are in general agreement that “Yahweh” is derived from the third-person singular of the verb “to be” (hayah), whether a qal imperfect (“he is” or “he will be”) or the causative hiphil imperfect (“he causes to come into being, he creates”). This view is confirmed by numerous lines of evidence: the interpretation given in Exod 3:14 (“Say to the sons of Israel, ‘ehyeh [‘I am’ or ‘I will be’ (who I am/will be)] sent me to you”); the use of shortened forms of Yahweh at the end (“Yah” or “Yahu”) or beginning (“Yeho” or “Yo”) of Hebrew names; the spelling “Yabe” known to the Samaritans; and transliterations “Yao,” “Ya-ou-e,” and “Ya-ou-ai” in some Greek texts. No historical evidence supports Sameth’s reading—only his own sex ideology. Read the rest at First Things.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Thursday, August 25, 2016
Share |