Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me This Before?

I have been reading Kenneth Scott Latourette's A History of Christianity: Beginnings to 1500 and read that King Herod was not even Jewish. I had always assumed that he was not only of Jewish stock, but also a descendant, albeit distant, of David. Poor assumption on my part. Apparently he got lucky and married into the Maccabeean family. There he set up a deal with the Romans and appointed himself King of Israel. Of course we all know he rebuilt the temple and everyone lived happily ever after. Well, actually he killed his wife and at least two of his children, his brother in-law, another wife, the other wife's mother, and possible several others just to stay in power, and everyone pretty much hated him, so really no one lived happily ever after.

Anyway, I write all this because I didn't know it before. I didn't know Herod was a Maccabeean wannabe with no real right to the throne. No one told me and it really would have made a lot more sense with the whole scared of Jesus thing. No wonder he killed all those babies in Bethlehem.

Very interesting nonetheless. Here is Giotto's "Massacre of the Innocents."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Want to Direct Your Attention to . . .

I want to just direct your attention to another blog. Please take the time to look at Real Live Preacher's short 6 minute videos "Read the Bible." They are very thoughtful and he has a lot of good stuff to say for the beginner and scholar alike.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Evan's Most Favored 2006 Awards

Okay, it's been a couple of weeks and it's time for Evan's Most Favored 2006 Awards. As you may or may not know, the eligibility is based on my reading, seeing, hearing, etc. in that given year. For instance this years fiction award goes to a book that was published June 1, 2004. However, I read the book in 2006, therefore it is eligible. Remember, these are very fun favorites that you could feel relatively good about supporting. So, without further explanation, Evan's Most Favored 2006 Awards.

Most Favored Movie 2006

This was not particularly a difficult decision as 2006 was a year of mostly unmemorable movies. There were a few that stood out, even a made for TV movie (Sometimes in April about genocide in Rwanda in 1994). But the film selected for this category impacted me on several levels. It deals with some of the same issues as last years Most Favored Movie, death of a parent, juvenile main character, non US setting. And the Most Favored Movie 2006 is . . . Duma, directed by Caroll Ballard.

Most Favored Printed Work of Fiction 2006

As I said earlier, this book was released in 2004, but I didn't read it until 2006. It's author is relatively unknown, but anyone who writes a murder mystery involving rockabilly, taxidermy, and communism isn't sane enough to go wrong. And the Most Favored Printed Work of Fiction 2006 is . . . Pipsqueak by Brian Wiprud.

Most Favored Printed Work of Nonfiction 2006

This is always a difficult choice as there are so many great books out there. This year, though, I read three that should be given particular attention: Myth of a Christian Nation by Gregory Boyd, Most Moved Mover by Clark Pinnock, For All the Saints? by N. T. Wright. And the Most Favored Printed Work of Nonfiction 2006 is . . . For All the Saints?: Remembering the Christian Departed by N. T. Wright.

Most Favored Television Show 2006
This is a new show for me. It was chosen for its simple complexities. Not merely because it's another mystery police procedural, but for its nod to Sherlock Holmes in a institutionalized sort of way. And the Most Favored Television Show 2006 is . . . Monk.

Most Favored Magician 2006

This is always a difficult category for me because it's such a limited field. Ricky Jay stole the title from Penn and Teller last year who held it for two years before that. They took it away in 2003 from Lance Burton. This year they take it back because of their hit Showtime show. And the Most Favored Magician 2006 is . . . Penn and Teller.

Most Favored Band/Musician 2006

This is another difficult category because I am so particular about what I listen to. I demand quality writing and overall sound. Julia calls me a music snob. I am a huge fan of Punk Rock and the Blues, but eventually we grow up. This year the award is based on his Songs for Silverman album as well as his soundtrack to Hoodwinked. And the Most Favored Band/Musician 2006 is . . . again . . . Ben Folds.

Most Favored Talk Show Host 2006

This is chosen not based on political views (I feel like I need to make that very clear). It is based on entertainment value. And the Most Favored Talk Show Host 2006 is . . . again . . . Glenn Beck