Web Notables (Feb. 5, 2015)

The exodus actually happened, Unemployment is higher than the government says, etc.

By The Editors Published on February 5, 2015

“Web Notables” is a daily feature that highlights articles readers may want to see but might have missed. It is compiled by senior editor David Mills.

Why It Matters That the Exodus Really Happened, from Christianity Today. Responding to scholars and a new documentary (Patterns of Evidence) that deny the events described as the Exodus happened, Gregory Thornbury argues that “Christian faith rest squarely on the historicity of the Moses account.” Thornbury, the president of King’s College in New York City, notes that “Jesus refers to Moses and his commandments as though Moses really wrote them.”

At the Last Supper, Jesus connected his physical deathblood and bodywith that of Moses’ Passover Lamb sparing the life of the Israelites during the Plague of the Firstborn. Did Jesus predicate his own sacrificial death on the cross upon an event that never occurred? If that is the case, the entire covenantal nature of the biblical narrative falls apart. Jesus of Nazareth cannot be “the new Moses” if Moses never existed.

See also his How I Almost Lost the Bible.

The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment, from Gallup. “The official unemployment rate . . . amounts to a Big Lie,” notes the chairman and CEO of Gallup.

If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. . . . If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn—you’re not officially counted as unemployed. . . . If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%.

Why does Pope Francis keep dropping hints about a century-old dystopian novel? from the Catholic website Mercator.net. The Catholic priest’s 1907 novel Lord of the World was one of the first of the “dystopian” novels, preceding books like Brave New World and 1984, and is one Francis keeps mentioning. “Pope Francis has fully grasped why Benson chose to use all his gifts as a writer to show his readers what lay beneath the surface of their seemingly peaceable and genteel Edwardian lives: the mortal battle, as long as human life on earth exists, between good and evil, God and Satan,” explains Francis Phillips.

How Hasidism Bridges Boundary Between Christianity and Judaism, from the Jewish website the Jewish Daily Forward. In a discussion of several scholarly books, Jay Michaelson traces the history of “notions of an incarnated divine figure” in Judaism.

Police Killings & Divine Duties, from the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s blog Juicy Ecumenism. Discussing the controversies over police killings, Mark Tooley writes that “Christian teaching understands police, when performing properly for justice and order, as agents of God to restrain evil.” Tooley, the president of IRD, explains:

This teaching entails both high expectations of them and also high respect for their authority. Police should not have to cavalierly risk their lives to satisfy unrealistic public expectations. Upon their safety depends not just the happiness and livelihoods of their own families but also the safety of many millions aspiring to live in relative security.

And also:

Baptist theologian Owen Strachan on two pastors’ approval of “polyamory” and their belief in the “polyamorous Trinity.”

Catholic writer Dawn Eden, author of The Thrill of the Chaste, on dealing with temptation.

Air Force Academy professor Paul Carrese on “America’s Neglected Ideal of Moderation.”

And from The Atlantic, a history of the soy sauce packet (approved by NASA).

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