What’s Wrong with the World

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

About

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

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Dec 14, 22:29:

But in point of actual fact, it is not simply common for honest people to go around telling detailed stories in which they knowingly pretend that someone talked to them personally when in fact he was not personally present. If someone told you a sober-sounding, detailed story in which he chatted personally with someone, and if you considered this person honest, you wouldn't constantly keep at the back of your mind the live possibility that he was making it up and simply chatted with someone else who was a f ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Dec 14, 21:59:

It's all a classic motte and bailey strategy: Make a controversial claim. When challenged, retreat to a claim so boring and uncontroversial that no one can possibly challenge it--People sometimes leave out details. Not everybody cares about all the details, etc. But continue to leave a little door open for going back to the more controversial claim by slipping that in about *altering* details. Then when the coast is clear, go back to the more controversial claim. But in point of actual fact, it is not simp ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Dec 14, 17:39:

Licona's claim is so general at best and sloppy at worst. There's "locker room talk" and guy banter where men are engaging in some (usually friendly) banter and trash-talking. There, some points may be exaggerated for dramatic effect and nobody takes those exaggerated points as a matter-of-fact accounting of truth. Somebody tells me I hit my forehand 150mph at them is really saying that I hit a hard, heavy forehand at them, not that if you took a radar gun it would say 150mph. (Nobody can hit a 150mph fore ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Dec 14, 12:11:

[Lydia McGrew's work] doesn’t impress me because she has this black and white thinking that’s an all or nothing. It’s troublesome. Because I don’t understand how people think that way, to be honest with you, because we just don’t communicate this way in our everyday conversations. I mean she might. She and her husband might. Sometimes I describe it in my lectures as the guy version vs. the girl version of the story. Just about every married couple can understand what I mean by that. Girls like lots of detai ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Dec 14, 12:08:

By the way, Joe and Tony, you might want to know this: In the same paper at ETS, Dr. Licona stated that "guys" understand that other guys may *alter* (not just omit) facts in what they say to each other, because "guys" don't care. So if you think it unlikely that Matthew *deliberately* made the centurion come personally while *knowing* that he did not, you are apparently not in touch with the insider "guy" manner of speaking. You should be informed that it is just normal for people, especially "guys," to m ... [More]

“Just throw my bones in a hole in the ground” -- Lord Huron's spectral harmonies

Comment posted by MarlCarx on Dec 14, 06:30:

I'd like to thank you for this recommendation. I'd never heard of Lord Huron, but "Meet Me in the Woods" has a wonderfully organic and murky sound which somehow reminds me of Twin Peaks. ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Dec 12, 00:06:

The most egregious instance of that thus far was with a scholar who is dead--Norm Geisler. Who, in fact, just died this summer. And his co-author is in poor health and unlikely to respond for that reason. I don't know if anyone will find D. A. Carson to ask him whether he was advocating fictionalizing or non-fictionalizing transferral concerning the centurion. He is (as numerous people can attest) notoriously difficult to reach by e-mail. But his other work definitely pulls against Licona's interpretation. ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Tony on Dec 11, 13:49:

The thing that gets me is that this seems to indicate Licona is being decidedly unprofessional in his account of others' positions. It is one thing to say that Author A might appear to be ambiguous about how he holds forth on issue X, "but in essence he really agrees with me about X because N1, N2, and N3 reasons". It is quite another to say "Author A agrees with me" (without qualification or delimitation) not because I have thought through the ambiguities and rationally concluded with support that he rea ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Dec 11, 09:05:

I don't get the phenomenon you describe; it strikes me as most emphatically NOT being a "yeah whatever" sort of thing if St Matthew deliberately changed things. I don't get it either. But it's a real psychological phenomenon. It reminds me of a thing people used to do when they tripped or dropped something. They'd say, "I meant to do that!" It was a joke, but the idea (I guess) was that it was less embarrassing if the person meant to do it than if he tripped just because he tripped. I think for many peop ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Dec 10, 20:03:

What's really interesting is the number of people who think that if he deliberately changed it it's a "yeah, whatever" *even more than* if he made a small mistake. I'm baffled by that. It seems so obvious that deliberate change makes a much bigger difference to our view of other parts of Matthew's Gospel. I don't get the phenomenon you describe; it strikes me as most emphatically NOT being a "yeah whatever" sort of thing if St Matthew deliberately changed things. I think this is due to a very minor error i ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Dec 10, 12:19:

Not to mention the fact that a "Matthew" who makes deliberate changes is not ipso facto a "Matthew" who never makes mistakes! You could have both! Of course, in practice, what people do is just call all or virtually all the places that they would otherwise think of as mistakes "literary devices," so some who consider themselves inerrantists and are listening to Licona may think this way they *never* have to think that he made a small error. But that isn't really principled. I mean, it's not like there's so ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Dec 10, 12:11:

What's really interesting is the number of people who think that if he deliberately changed it it's a "yeah, whatever" *even more than* if he made a small mistake. I'm baffled by that. It seems so obvious that deliberate change makes a much bigger difference to our view of other parts of Matthew's Gospel. I get the feeling that people don't have a firm grasp of the fact that deliberate, invisible change is a wild card. It's far more likely, if Matthew was *that kind of author*, that there are a bunch of ot ... [More]

Keeping clear about "transferral" and centurions

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Dec 9, 20:13:

Again, if the idea that Matthew made a good-faith error here is unwelcome, that's fine, but please remember that you gain nothing by saying that Matthew inserted a deliberate, willful, invisible, realistic falsehood into the narration. At that point, you should probably go with an available harmonization such as non-fact-changing transferral involving some sort of accidental ambiguity on Matthew's part. Yup, yup, yup. It seems much more likely that St Matthew either erred here or there is a harmonization ... [More]

Thanksgiving, 2019 Edition

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Dec 2, 15:47:

Thus life organized under a unifying theme of the virtues, in their proper hierarchy, is the context in which men have any true and fruitful hope of living out a wholesome and satisfying political life, living in the community of the polity in a flourishing way. In that context, “freedom” means the life of a man of virtue directing his life in a manner well conformed to the flourishing of the polity (which constitutes the highest of the secondary ends of life). Just great stuff, Tony. Thanks for this wise ... [More]

Thanksgiving, 2019 Edition

Comment posted by Tony on Dec 2, 01:02:

Callum, I am sorry, but I cannot seem to locate the details. I was thinking specifically of Augustine, whom (I feel sure) was quite clear in support of the duty of reverent loyalty to the state. Perhaps in the City of God. But I cannot locate it. The same with Doctors. I seem to recall looking up this specific issue quite some time ago, and finding passages that gave such clear support, but I don't recall the particulars. I should have saved them in a file somewhere. ... [More]

Thanksgiving, 2019 Edition

Comment posted by Callum on Nov 29, 18:21:

Tony, You said "St. Thomas confirmed what the earlier Fathers and Doctors taught, that we owe filial reverence to the patria". Could you name some of these fathers? I'm interested in how early church fathers struggled with issues like patriotism. I'm familiar with Aquinas and the Thomistic tradition, I'd love to see what was said earlier in the tradition especially when Christianity hadnt been accepted by the Roman emperor. ... [More]

Thanksgiving, 2019 Edition

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Nov 29, 13:05:

Excellent post, Tony, thank you! It's definitely a sign of "what's wrong with the world" that freedoms are so reversed, and this is a sign in turn of the loss of virtue. Hence, in California, it is illegal for a restaurant spontaneously to offer plastic straws to its customers. But it is perfectly legal to kill an unborn infant right up until birth. Similarly, it is illegal in all states to take your child for a ride in a car without a highly specific and expensive type of child restraint system installed. ... [More]

“Just throw my bones in a hole in the ground” -- Lord Huron's spectral harmonies

Comment posted by Scott Waddell on Nov 26, 14:29:

Off-topic: I thought Lydia et al would be interested in this article on private Christian colleges worshipping the rainbow calf: https://reason.com/2019/11/26/indiana-wesleyan-micah-sample-cultural-appropriation/ ... [More]

Licona gospel examples V: Making things complicated

Comment posted by Joseph on Nov 20, 10:07:

I believe I've commented this before, but I find it strange that these kinds of over-the-top, highly implausible and unrealistic explanations come from a school of thought which purports to be more "rational" and less "superstitious". They seem to favor the strange over the common, like someone hearing a sound and immediately thinking, "It must be the ghost of my ancestors" instead of "It was probably the cat," and then if there's no cat, then systematically exhausting the more common kinds of events before ... [More]

Licona gospel examples V: Making things complicated

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Nov 16, 09:24:

We don't have such examples, and certainly *nothing* to do with "compensating." The only example Licona brings that someone might even think was relevant (though Licona himself does not make this particular connection) is that in one Life Plutarch mentions that Cato's wife and sister were displeased about something and in another Life he mentions that Cato's wife and sisters were displeased about something. Licona implies that this might be what he calls "inflection" (by which he means making up extra peop ... [More]

Licona gospel examples V: Making things complicated

Comment posted by Clark Coleman on Nov 14, 18:15:

What examples do we have from ancient authors of the "doubling up" technique? If no ancient Greco-Roman authors did such a thing, should scholars such as Licona conjecture an entirely unknown literary technique? ... [More]

The Recent Zoo Synod and the Infallibility of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

Comment posted by Tony on Nov 11, 18:03:

If it could have been both, surely Ratzinger wouldn't have hesitated to say so; it would in no way stop him from emphasising the perennial nature of the claim I suggested a possible reason above: This is only a guess on my part: JPII may well have been led to imagine that he could issue a letter that addresses the topic in a way that “settles all doubt” by clarifying and distinguishing the truth so that he put it beyond doubt, especially, in clarifying how overwhelmingly strong the evidence was for the ... [More]

The Recent Zoo Synod and the Infallibility of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

Comment posted by Tony on Nov 11, 01:55:

Thank you for an interesting and worthwhile objection, Mr. Green. I think (if I understand you correctly) that I can't quite agree with you, but I see room for developing both sides more thoroughly. I will try to develop my own POV with enough clarity to advance the dispute. First, when you use the expression "always and everywhere" I assume you mean to refer to a teaching that is an infallible teaching of the Church in virtue of its being taught infallibly by the Ordinary Magisterium, and NOT having be ... [More]

“Just throw my bones in a hole in the ground” -- Lord Huron's spectral harmonies

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Nov 10, 04:19:

Fair enough, Tony. Pedantry is always welcome among my friends. ... [More]

The Recent Zoo Synod and the Infallibility of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

Comment posted by Mr. Green on Nov 8, 20:18:

Tony, this is a good presentation of the issues. However, I’m not persuaded of your conclusion that the point of OS mandated a declaration ex cathedra. I agree that Councils and ex cathedra statements can be pinned to a specific place and time; this is indeed what distinguishes them from claims that are true “always and everywhere”. Therefore, however clarifying and infallible OS might be, it couldn’t be ex cathedra for the very reason that it was an always-and-everywhere teaching. If it could have been bot ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Nov 5, 08:39:

On the Kindle question, my publisher currently doesn't have concrete plans for a Kindle version, but we hope to have one eventually. My contract for the book covers both paper and Kindle. With Hidden in Plain View, I believe it was about a year between paper and Kindle. I have a hope that when eventually TMOM is in Kindle we will be able to get it done in such a way that the page numbers correspond to the paper page numbers. I've seen a couple of books now that have that, and it's a tremendous convenience f ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Scott on Nov 5, 05:01:

Will this book be available on Kindle or an electronic format? That would be most convenient for me, but either way I plan on reading it. It should be really good! I went to the pre-order site (on Amazon) and it did not have a Kindle format available (yet). You can do as I did and scroll down just a bit and on the right-hand side will be a link to "Tell the Publisher 'I'd like to read this book on Kindle.'" The more requests they get, perhaps the more quickly it will happen. ?? ... [More]

“Just throw my bones in a hole in the ground” -- Lord Huron's spectral harmonies

Comment posted by Tony on Nov 4, 21:35:

Third largest? Affirmative. It turns out that Lake Huron is nothing less than the world’s third largest lake; and given its extraordinary proliferation of tangled inlets and islands, by some measures this inland monster has more freshwater shoreline than any body of water on earth. Exceeded only in water volume by its siblings Superior and Michigan, Old Man Huron is a lord of waters indeed. I am going to be pendantic for just a moment, and point out that the Great Caspian Lake (err, let's call it the "Casp ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Tony on Nov 4, 21:00:

So getting back to scripture, and the gospels in particular, I'm totally fine with just letting a difficulty stand and thinking there is a good chance that there is some missing fact that when conjoined with the two apparently conflicting facts fixes things. Maybe not. Actually, it occurs to me that we should press the argument a step farther. Scientism-types are confident that our resorting to God as an explanation of certain things is nothing more than wishful thinking, and that science "will eventuall ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Paul on Nov 4, 18:03:

Will this book be available on Kindle or an electronic format? That would be most convenient for me, but either way I plan on reading it. It should be really good! ... [More]

“Just throw my bones in a hole in the ground” -- Lord Huron's spectral harmonies

Comment posted by James on Nov 4, 17:26:

I was at that same performance in August 2018. I've seen LH live two or three times, and they always sounded brilliant. Nothing sounded out of balance, unlike most shows I go to where either the vocalist is drowned out by the drums or the bass is drowned out by everything else. One of my favorites, "Meet Me in the Woods", was the only one that I didn't think was that great during live performances due to lack of the female backup (Jessica Maros) that is on the album version. Ben has definitely improved on ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Nov 4, 12:55:

Andrew, there is another option, though, and it's been the option that traditional inerrantists have taken since time out of mind: They can just say that they don't know and that there is probably some factual harmonization that depends on facts we don't have. That is what traditional inerrantists had *always* done with recalcitrant apparent discrepancies, right up until these literary theories got popular. They were willing to live with not knowing. That seems to me consistent. And it involves recogniz ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Nov 4, 10:25:

As I've mentioned elsewhere, probably my most controversial view is my enormous hesitation to agree that God actually ordered the slaughter of infants in the Canaanite populations. Paul Copan's theories simply are not an answer to my concerns here, if for no other reason than that he is interested only in the narrow question of God's ordering full genocide, not God's ordering the slaughter of infants per se. (Many people don't know that.) This would be a fairly large error or at least apparent error in seve ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Nov 4, 10:09:

I'm inclined to affirm the historicity of a "local" (but extremely widespread) flood that wiped out the majority of humanity but not aboriginal populations in far distant locations. I'm quite unsatisfied with WLC's "mytho-history" approach. I suppose that, if we take the flood story historically even to this extent, then, yes, there would be animals on board and so forth. (I'm OEC, not YEC, though.) In that sense it would bear some resemblance to the "Ark Encounter," though somewhat looser. E.g. There would ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Andrew on Nov 4, 09:54:

Thank you for that generous multi-faceted response Lydia! You are a real gem in the body of Christ. I understand that in one sense you’re latest work is narrowly concerned with how we exegetically handle the Gospels and understand them to be reliable. However, I am curious as to how your perspective relates to larger issues of Inspiration and Inerrancy that continue to fester among evangelicals, which are not confined to the Gospels (and whether they can be fully harmonized) but leach out into other parts ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Nov 3, 12:30:

The reason that I first focused on the scholarly trends was because I was asked about why evangelical *scholars* read the Gospels in these ways. How exactly that filters down through various other layers--scholar/apologists whose primary credentials are in other fields, lay apologists, pastors, laymen--is a little more complicated. ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Nov 2, 16:27:

Socially, Andrew, I think you are right though in your analysis of the appeal that this has to many who identify themselves as inerrantists. I'm just pointing out that the academic bias fits into that, directly or indirectly. And here there is just an enormous, overwhelming irony: Licona has said that he is an historian and cannot bring in his theological presuppositions about inspiration, that he has accepted these conclusions because of academic integrity as a matter of neutral argument. He said this in ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Nov 2, 15:17:

I do think, too, that even those not directly subject to the stresses and forces of academic culture are indirectly influenced by them. Take the sheer question of the *number* of allegedly intractable contradictions in the Bible and the *size* of them. Suppose you're a layman in the pews and you are listening to Licona or some other scholar who implies (whether or not he comes out and says it) that there are a lot of these. That's when it starts seeming psychologically burdensome, too hard, to take the tr ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Nov 2, 15:09:

Andrew, there is another option, though, and it's been the option that traditional inerrantists have taken since time out of mind: They can just say that they don't know and that there is probably some factual harmonization that depends on facts we don't have. That is what traditional inerrantists had *always* done with recalcitrant apparent discrepancies, right up until these literary theories got popular. They were willing to live with not knowing. That seems to me consistent. And it involves recogni ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is available for pre-order

Comment posted by Andrew on Nov 2, 10:49:

Thank you for pointing me to that interview, Lydia. And I freely acknowledge that these tendencies among certain evangelical scholars can at least partially be explained in terms of an academic loss of perspective, and other cultural forces that discourage harmonization. But I also noticed that you made the following point elsewhere in the interview: The idea is that if there isn’t a harmonization they think is plausible, and if they are speaking to an audience that isn’t likely to want to say there is an ... [More]