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An innate interest in arguing over Lists appears present in most, and pronounced in many male members of our peculiar creature called man. kansas gas service bill pay Men will throw themselves into animated discourse over such matters as The Best NFL Quarterback (Elway), or The Greatest Basketball Player (LeBron), or Greatest English Prose Stylist (Wodehouse), laying out Top Threes and Top Fives and Top Tens with notable vigor and persistence. Frequently the females of the species can be observed on the fringes, bedecked with wry smiles or affecting harried cynicism.

The book under review here, an absorbing study composed by Prof. Paul Kengor of Grove City College, is part of the growing body of historical assessment which is making that mischief no longer effective as such. Because, it turns out, there surely is no mischief in adding to the list of the Greatest Presidents, our Republic’s greatest peacemaker. Lincoln and Washington both fought and won wars — just wars, I think — but still cruel and awful confrontations that left indelible scars, bitterness, and many other evils in their wake.

Upon diving in, the reader of A Pope and a President will immediately find himself riding the splendid narrative currents of something extraordinary: A Catholic-Protestant alliance without historical parallel. Aspects of this tale have been related in many fine historical works over the past two decades; and we might say that the general lineaments of it are well known in a hazy kind of way.

Millennials who came of age after these men’s deaths — at least those possessed of any sense — do know that Reagan won the Cold War, that John Paul II was a great pope, and that both were lifelong and courageous anti-Communists. Most, likewise, understand dimly that all this implies considerable honor to both men, honor that is even granted, however grudgingly, by folks who admire them little in other matters.

About a month ago I mentioned briefly in a post that I’m open to the idea that the Sermon on the Mount might be, at least in part, a composite discourse, but that I lean slightly in the direction of thinking the material in it was all uttered on that occasion. No, this doesn’t even mean I lean slightly in the direction of thinking it was "recorded verbatim." That straw man is getting very old and tattered. arkansas gas association Jesus may have been speaking in Aramaic in any event, and moderate, normal, recognizable paraphrase is quite likely when writing down what someone said, either from notes, human or written sources, or one’s own memory.

Speaking of that straw man, I posted recently on Facebook (public post) about the fact that Craig A. Evans was dragging out old Mr. Straw again in a recent interview. He even said this: My critics, and there aren’t too many, but there are a few out there, they say, "If it’s not tape-recorded, word-for-word, what Jesus said, then John is being false. gas prices going up or down You’re saying John isn’t true. John is misrepresenting Jesus." And that’s the kind of, I don’t know if you want to call it fundamentalism, or rigidity, that’s the part that I find problematic.

My name came up a few minutes later, and I was the only "critic" discussed in the entire interview. I told Dr. Evans four times in my debate with him in April (see transcript here) that I was not asking him about nor advocating a "verbatim tape recording" version of Jesus’ words in the Gospels. h gas l gas Nor are there any other "critics" that I know of who "say" such a thing. This was pure straw manning. But I guess it’s a useful trope to portray anyone as a rigid fundamentalist who criticizes you in a way that might be deemed "from the right."

Anyway, I mention that to clarify that even when I said that I "am more inclined" toward the view that the Sermon on the Mount is not a composite discourse, that didn’t mean that I was inclined toward the view that it has been recorded verbatim. Indeed, the nearest parallel for much of its material in Luke (the "Sermon on a Level Place" in Luke 6:17-49) does not have the material that it does include right next to each other as it appears in Matthew, and does not have all of the Beatitudes.

My overall approach, which one might say is the idea that the gospels are "reportage," also does not mean that a reliable, reporting author could not have combined material topically in a reported sermon, some of which Jesus in fact uttered at a different time. Dr. Evans also tried to imply in the debate that I must have a problem with this (a point he brought up out of the blue), even though I had already in that debate repeatedly said that I did not. I had to remind him of this.

What I would say is that, if an author consciously compiled, and if he was a reliable reporter, he was not consciously attempting to give the impression (even in the "story world" of his document) that Jesus uttered that material at that time. He would have had to expect readers to know to expect some degree of "composite-ness" or "gathered-ness" in sermons. What I shall call below a "knowingly composite" discourse is not necessarily a "fictionalized composite discourse," though every fictionalized composite discourse is, of course, knowingly composed. electricity outage Moreover, if a reliable, reporting author gives some sort of recognizable setting for the discourse, there should have been some discourse given at that time containing some of the material related; otherwise the entire incident is ahistorical. Further constraints would depend upon other indicators or time stamps that might occur in the particular text. If there were questions recorded from the crowd, these should be historical. electricity merit badge requirements If a saying of Jesus is said to be in response to some particular incident that happened at that time, that should be historical, if the author is not fictionalizing.

Nor would a reliably reporting author have been inventing the material based merely upon general theological extrapolation from Jesus’ other teaching–an idea sometimes misleadingly characterized as "paraphrase," which it emphatically is not. The author would have had to have good reason to believe that Jesus taught these very teachings in an historically recognizable fashion at some time.

All that being said, the question does arise: Why, in a given case, should we think that a given discourse is a composite? What is the evidence? And if so, how much of a composite is it? The evidence shouldn’t just be, "The vast majority of scholars believe that the discourses in Matthew’s Gospel are composite." This should go without saying: Scholars are supposed to be using evidence, and they sometimes don’t evaluate it correctly or with sufficient nuance. Other people can look at that evidence for themselves. Even the term "composite" admits of a whole range of possibilities, as I’ll discuss below.

What happened on this day seventeen years ago may be stated simply: The Jihad delivered against America a most grievous and staggering blow. Conceived in blind bitter hatred, plotted in treachery and skulking malice, it remains a spiritually impotent blow. To achieve a great symbol of resistance to the power of the infidels, these heroic operatives made their emasculated war on the defenseless and unwitting. Honorable battle was not for them.

We demean the word by calling what happened on September 11th a battle. It was treachery against men and women the great majority of whom never had even a moment to contemplate self-defense. That some Americans — who we venerate today where their mortal remains lie, in the wide fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania — gave battle to these brigands, in the end conquered them by thwarting their conspiracy, shows indeed common American valor, but does not grant the murderers the honor of the title Soldier.

And so honor, innocence, charity, kindness, courage, nobility, valor — all must kneel at the feet of the obligation of the Jihad to make war on the powers of Infidelity. electricity rates el paso America is the greatest of those powers. Whatever our foreign policy, whatever the interventions of our military, whatever the skill of our diplomats, whatever the character of our statesmen – still we shall attract, at least for the time being, the boldest stratagems, the cleverest sedition, the cruelest bloodlust of the Jihad. Even now its agents and operatives are maneuvering against us. Even now they plot terror and mayhem and torture.