Monday, February 26, 2007

The Bones of Jesus


The Bones of Jesus Have Been Discoverd! Really?

Well James Cameron says so. He has looked at the scientifially refuted evidence and determined that he, the great director of such artictic classics as The Terminator, knows better than the archeologists who worked on the site for the sake of science. Except for the one archeologist who figured out that this story had a Hollywood cool factor to it and decided to invent a line of reasoning that would lead to a sexier, more marketable and profitable conlusion - the bones of Jesus, his wife and son have been found! Yawn.

Okay, so I'm being a bit cynical. But seriously - don't drink the kool-aid on this one. In the archeological world, this is 27 year old news. And until the wave of the DiVinci Code and the Gospel of Judas rode in, no one cared about this curious but meaningless discovery behind a Jerusalem apratment house. It doesn't come close to showing a connection to the historical Jesus - or so every other archeologist working at the site has said.

Now that won't stop those who neeeeeeeed for it to be true from claiming it is. The debates have already started in the blog-o-sphere full of the predicatble name calling ("fundamentalist Bible thumping idiots" and "perverted left-wing God haters" - you know that kind of thing that is so winsome and engaging).

Oh well, the more fractured and intellectually immature our culture gets, the more we'll see of this kind of thing. In the mean time, if you want to check out a website that asks some really good questions concerning the tomb of Jesus, click this link to y-zine.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Nigeria

I've been blogging a while, but never really out in the open as myself - except on myspace and that doesn't really count. The picture is of me with a child at an orphanage in the town of Otukpo, Nigeria in November of last year.

We got there right in the middle of bath time - the oprhanage, not Nigeria. As far as I know there is no national bath time there like my parents used to tell me there was in the US. Anyway, it was bath time. You could tell because there were washtubs of soapy water outside, naked kids running around on the porch and a rooster up in the trees. Apparently roosters are so desperate to avoid a bath in Nigeria that they will actually climb trees to escape the experience. Think I'm kidding? Check out the pic. A real life tree climbing rooster!

Emily went with me and we both had a wonderful time. It was a little scary getting out of Nigeria, though. We ran into a protest that included many angry young men with clubs blocking the road in and out of town with fallen trees. After being stuck for about 45 minutes, one protestor actually talked the others into letting us pass. Since they let us go, they decided to let all of the other cars go as well. But by now the road was jammed since people traveling in both directions had taken up every lane. So you had cars spread across four lanes staring at each other in gridlock.

At this point, the protestors put down their clubs and became traffic directors. They were very good at it leading me to believe this was not the first time that a protest had ended this way. It was honetly like that:

"We will tolerate such treatment form the government no more! We demand our pension payments! Our families starve while the government officials dine on the fat of the oil companies! We will never give up! We will bring chaos to this land! . . . Oooo! My stomach is rumbling. Time for dinner . . . Okay, thanks for coming to our riot. You may all go now. Please follow the directions of the young men who were just moments ago beating on your vehicles. Thank you and drive safely."

I'm not making this up. It was the craziest thing I've ever seen.

If I go back, I hope that I can spend more time working with kids, or working on a project to create a better living environment. This time my job was to preach three different times - once at a revival, once at a pastors conference and once for a Sunday morning church service. It was a great experience and worth the trip, but there was a lot of unproductive down time. And if you know me, I love me myself some down time. So I can't believe I'm really about to say this, but . . . sometimes you can have too much down time. That still sounds soooooo wrong.