Over at Zwinglius Redivivus Jim has written to my mother to explain what he feels I am doing.

Dear Mrs. Boer,

While I can certainly sympathize with some of your feelings about Roland’s blog, I must insist that he is performing a dreadfully important service for the whole of Biblical scholarship.  His rapier wit and his insightful ability to gouge out the rubbish of so much biblical studies nonsense is really necessary these days when journals are filled with absolute tripe and PhD students are writing dissertations that examine minutiae but which for that very reason are utterly worthless to anyone but themselves and their own mothers, maybe.

Roland’s program may seem counter productive but I assure you, he is calling many back to core issues and central questions- even if unknowingly (though I suspect, having met him, he knows exactly what he’s doing).

He may not admit it, and he may not even like it, but he is 100% Calvinist.  And that may be the reason that he has no ‘academic’ position- for God has predestined him to something better and higher than simply occupying some staid ivory tower where the only person aggrandized is himself.

So, Mrs. Boer, you can be proud of your son.  He’s doing God’s work.

Yours Most Humbly,


Jim West is a friendly bugger, even if I have a go at him sometimes (for perfectly justifiable reasons, I might add). He’s noted and even recommended my article on idolatry published just in time for Christmas by Bible and Interpretation. Take note all you Christmas idol worshippers!

In response to Jim West’s criticisms of the recognition of gay marriages, here is a very well argued and considerate article by a former colleague of mine from Monash, Mark Peel. Note in particular:

But if churches or synagogues or mosques don’t wish to sanction or carry out the marriage of same-sex couples, or other kinds of people they don’t want to recognise, then so be it. I am personally offended by the fact that they can evade one of the most fundamental obligations of citizenship: to treat all as equally as possible. I will continue to argue that faith should not sanction prejudices that have no basis in evidence and should be long gone.


I am particularly aware of the dilemmas this creates for gay and lesbian people of faith. I can only imagine how galling it must be to know that heterosexual people with little or no evidence of professed faith can marry in your churches, when you are denied that ceremony.

Jim Linville is in town (New Orleans), so is Jim West, as is James Crossley, but I haven’t seen any of the buggers! So is Stephanie Fisher, or so says Jim West. Actually, I think Steph was in my session on Burton Mack, sitting at the front in bright clothes. I had to run, since it was a mad, mad day. A paper on Bloodthirsty Little brats first, a paper on Burton Mack second, Ideology and Translation Steering Committee third, eating some food I’ll probably never eat again (but fart out for the next day or three) and then indulging in the free titbits and drink at the De Gruyter reception. Wonder if I’ll ever meet them

Michael Carden has a long and considered response to Jim West and raycol has also responded with a more evangelical argument in favour of homosexuality. You’ll find a link to more on that line at Gays and Slaves.