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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

UPDATE: FBC Greenvile SC's Jeff Rogers weighs in on the Ossuary

Update March 28
Here is a little jewel on same subject from the Christian Century. And you may want to click on the link for full piece. While there fans of BBTaylor will want to check her Easter Message, about the alternative Jesus, the one that got me in trouble in Collinsville, Alabama.

Century Jewel on the ossuary
An old joke has a graduate student giving the news to the great theologian Paul Tillich: "They've discovered the bones of Jesus!" To which Tillich replies, in his thick German accent, "So he really did exist!" Christianity began with reports of an empty tomb and appearances of a risen Lord. For St. Paul, if God has not raised this righteous Jew, then Christian faith is futile and its adherents are still in their sins. But over the years some Christians have decided, with Tillich, that the resurrection was more of a spiritual than a physical event.

And the link

The Bone Boxxes some claim are the bones of Christ.
Rogers is former Furman religion proff and had great lecture in the What Really Matters collection published by Smyth and Helwys. He is good friend of Charles Kimball, former colleague in the Furman Religion Department; Kimball author of When Religion becomes Evil
Here is Rogers in the March 22

Both religion and scholarly standards have been trivializedUnwillingness to bring serious intellectual scrutiny undermines the credibility of scholars.Published: Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 2:00 am
By Jeff Rogers
Now that the proverbial dust has settled on the first-century limestone ossuaries or "bone boxes" from Jerusalem that made their American debut recently at the New York Public Library, we can begin to see beyond the immediate controversy to three underlying factors that affect the academic community and the public at large: the trivialization of religion, the rise of the celebrity scholar and the eclipse of scholarly standards.
The trivialization of religion as an academic and professional discipline is clear in a statement by Hollywood producer and director James Cameron while he served as the master of ceremonies for the unveiling of the ossuaries: "I'm not a biblical scholar ... but it seemed pretty darn compelling."
Imagine an alternative scenario. Cameron announces, "I'm not an astronomer or a biologist, but this Canadian filmmaker has discovered life on Mars. It's pretty darn compelling." Would anyone but National Enquirer run the story? Or he says, "I'm not a viral epidemiologist, but this Canadian filmmaker has discovered an herbal antidote for HIV. It's pretty darn compelling." That's the stuff of Star magazine.
But because this story was allegedly about Jesus of Nazareth, the bar is set so low that tabloid claims and celebrity endorsements are all that are necessary to merit widespread attention. Unlike in most academic and professional fields, as long as a story in religion excites or tantalizes, inspires or scandalizes, it makes good copy, good video or good live talk for even serious news-media outlets, with the result that the disposition of the remains of Jesus the son of Joseph, James Brown and Anna Nicole Smith all played on the same wavelength.

A second factor in the splash the ossuaries made is the rise of the celebrity scholar. Two well-credentialed American biblical scholars participated in the debut. Neither of them questioned the adequacy of the evidence or challenged the validity of its interpretation. Their unwillingness to bring serious intellectual scrutiny to sensational claims undermined the credibility of scholars in all academic disciplines.
The American public relies on its credentialed scholars in every field to put knowledge ahead of notoriety and to distinguish between substance and sensationalism. Unfortunately, it was enough for these two scholars to share the platform with a Hollywood icon, to "begin the conversation" about the ossuaries (27 years after their discovery!) and to speak excitedly of the "possibility," when the scholarly calling is to establish plausibility and insist on verifiability. In a curious reversal of roles, several print-media and television reporters exhibited more scholarly skepticism and asked tougher historical and scientific questions than either biblical scholar on the dais.
As their behavior indicates, the rise of the celebrity scholar portends the eclipse of scholarly standards. It is already not unusual for faculty to receive more congratulations on campus for appearing on a prime-time television program than for publishing an article in a peer-reviewed journal. Marketing and public relations departments, enrollment officers, development officers and university and seminary presidents see national exposure as offering a strategic advantage for their institution in a highly competitive market.
After all, prospective students and donors as well as proud alums browse Barnes & Noble and surf They don't wade through scholarly abstracts or pore over conference proceedings. It should come as no surprise, then, that publications for popular audiences, once anathema, are now increasingly popular in the academy. Institutional reward systems being what they are, we are on the cusp of a new academic era: publicity or perish.
Retreating into academic isolationism is not an option. Instead, the best way forward is concerted and sustained attention to the scholar's vocation. Challenging unfounded claims and questioning misguided assumptions are at the heart of the scholarly calling. Bringing the hard-won knowledge and insight of scholarship that has been through the crucible of peer review to bear on issues in the public sphere is worthy of scholars' time and energy and institutional support.
New opportunities abound for credentialed and capable individuals who are willing and able (or willing to learn) to communicate effectively beyond the trenches of their respective disciplines. However, if the eclipse of standards evident in the rise of the celebrity scholar is to be only a temporary darkness, then academic departments, institutions and professional organizations must call their own to account for their behavior in the public sphere. The credibility of the entire academic community is at stake whenever the public at large is confused by credentialed sensationalists who fail to live out their scholarly calling.

Jeff Rogers is senior pastor of Greenville's First Baptist Church and teaches in the M.A. program in religion at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. He can be contacted at @firstbaptistgreenville. com.
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Readers' letters: March 24, 2007

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Reverend Roger's opinion on evolution.bobamick Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:52 am
First, to Mr/Rev Rogers: thanks for taking the time and making the effort to follow up on your op-ed piece by contributing to this forum. Too often, contributors do not take the time to continue the debate, when it is easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. My bone (sorry!) to pick with your piece concerns decrying the monetary emphasis in academia, and a tacit plea to reel in its maverick publicity seekers (with which I agree), while, in fact, many would like to see you 'clean your house' as well. That is, why is there no outcry from community religious leaders regarding the outrageous, for lack of a better term, 'new christianity'? Bumpkin former used car salesmen create some wildly economically successful claptrap theology like the Redemption World Outreach right under the noses of seminarians, who, likely, among themselves recognize this unctuous underbelly, yet never criticize them openly. And why is it so important to spend millions of dollars on adding to and replacing perfectly useable church buildings, with more, bigger, better? I can't imagine 'mission' contributions being more poorly spent. Every time I see a new 'cathedral' being built I think of the homeless and hungry being served by Triune Mercy Center, and how much better that construction fund could have been spent. Would you venture a comment on these points?makingitup Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:27 am
++ Not all participants (and leaders) in Greenville's various faith communities--Christian and non-Christian alike--uncritically assume that "faith" and "certainty" are synonyms ++ I've been trying to put my finger on this, and I think I finally touched on it. Despite what I said above, I don't think a discussion about faith is at all pertinent to the larger matter. I now realize that this is the problem I've had with this discussion (since it first became known in the news, I mean) all along. Cameron merely had $$ dollar signs in his eyes when he contemplated these bones, and it surprises me that anyone would have thought otherwise. For Christians such as fundamentalist Pastor Minnick to pick up this story and run with it as he did was destined to call additional attention to the factual problems with Christianity that have existed all along. You're entitled to your "faith," but there are always going to be some people who laugh at you if you try to present it as "certainty." But that's what Fundamentalists do. Christianity wouldn't be nearly as successful as it has been if no one thought it was the truth. You and I know "faith" and "certainty," or faith and "truth," are not synonyms. I can appreciate that. But maybe you should be discussing all this with Pastor Minnick himself (and others like him) over a cup of coffee, rather than taking up newspaper space making a greedy Hollywood director look more important than he really is, eh? Truthsmack Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:30 am
I'm glad I could provide a little Saturday morning amusement. However, "blind faith" and "centuries of the death threat to nonbelievers" are barking up the wrong tree in this case. Not all participants (and leaders) in Greenville's various faith communities--Christian and non-Christian alike--uncritically assume that "faith" and "certainty" are synonyms, and many of us actively champion religious liberty as freedom of religion and from religion.JRogers Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:50 am
Though somehow, Pastor Joe Blow can get up in a pulpit and say that a resurrection occurred, and people believe him without a single shred of physical evidence... just some stories he read in an old book, compiled by dead men, who wanted to assure their own power in the world while they were still in it. That's what this article should really be about. Truthsmack Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:42 am
Amusing that the religious consistantly apply such serious skepticism only when something they believe on blind faith is challenged. "Unlike in most academic and professional fields, as long as a story in religion excites or tantalizes, inspires or scandalizes, it makes good copy, good video or good live talk for even serious news-media outlets, with the result that the disposition of the remains of Jesus the son of Joseph, James Brown and Anna Nicole Smith all played on the same wavelength." Which is the very reason the cult of Jesus has become so popular in the first place. Of course centuries of the threat of death toward nonbelievers, didn't hurt either.AlanS Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:53 am
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