August 23, 2006

August 22, 2006

Washington Primary System Unconsitutional (Again)!

The Ninth Circuit has finally ruled on the case I have reported on several times in the past year regarding Washington state's 'modified blanket primary.' The court upheld the ruling of the district court that the system unduly burdened the free association rights of the political parties. I'm still not convinced. For one thing, section IIB[2] of the ruling seems to imply that all state-run partisan nominating primaries are inherently unconstitutional - a view that I, like most libertarians, tend to agree with - but then in the very next paragraph it begins talking as though it's ok as long...
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August 21, 2006

Dealing With Old Testament Quotations in New Testament Translation

One of the great difficulties in translating ancient and Medieval works is dealing with quotations. The rules and conventions of quotation we have today were developed relatively recently, so it is sometimes difficult to say what is and isn't a quote, and it is even more difficult to figure out how to mark these in a modern translation with modern punctuation. In New Testament translation, the issue gets even more complicated, because New Testament translations are generally bound together with Old Testament translations, and one must decide whether to harmonize them (that is, whether to translate quoted passages identically, even...
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August 16, 2006

Inerrancy of the Autographs: Does it Matter?

A common argument levelled against Evangelicals (most recently by Neal in the comments to my post on Jesus' witness to the Hebrew Bible) is that if, as most Evangelicals believe, it is that autographs of the Biblical books that are inerrant, then the doctrine of inerrancy is irrelevant since the autographs no longer exist ... What this amounts to is the claim that the inerrancy of the autographs is irrelevant because there is uncertainty about what the autographs in fact said. This is very similar to the claim that inerrancy is made irrelevant by the uncertainty in our interpretation. Both of these arguments are seriously flawed in precisely the same way. What I hope to do here is, by making some very simple applications of the Bayesian probability calculus...
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August 5, 2006

In Defense of Moderate Complementarianism

Peter Kirk at Speaker of Truth (also of Better Bibles Blog fame) has recently completed a fascinating six-part series on "Scholarly and Fundamentalist Approaches to the Bible." The series begins with a discussion of Al Mohler's ("fundamentalist") claim that permitting female elders and deacons contradicts the "clear teaching" of Scripture. Taking the fundamentalist approach, Peter says, we take a few verses as our standard, without seriously inquiring into their context, call the most obvious interpretation of these few verses (in English, out of context) the "clear teaching of Scripture," and then find creative ways to explain away every verse that seems to contradict this teaching. Peter goes on to compare this with a scholarly interpretation of Titus 1:6, and argues convincingly (he convinced me, at least) that in context and with proper lexicography and hermeneutics, this verse has little or nothing to do with the gender of overseers, and doesn't necessarily preclude women from taking the position. Peter rightly points out that those he calls 'fundamentalists' often refer to various doctrines as "the clear teaching of Scripture" when they are anything but clear, and I would not charge Peter, who is a gender egalitarian, with denying the authority of Scripture or ignoring its teachings. This is a complicated issue, and there is room for some disagreement. However, I do think that the teaching of Scripture is, on the whole, clear enough for the Church to base its structure on, and I will argue here that that teaching is in favor of what I will call a moderate complentarian position...
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August 3, 2006

Regulating the Internet Won't Increase Competition

Policy analyst Timothy B. Lee writes in an op-ed in today's New York Times that: It�s tempting to believe that government regulation of the Internet would be more consumer-friendly; history and economics suggest otherwise. The reason is simple: a regulated industry has a far larger stake in regulatory decisions than any other group in society. As a result, regulated companies spend lavishly on lobbyists and lawyers...
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