Michael Bird: Jesus had multiple erections throughout his life

Theologian Michael Bird (Ridley College) appeared on Australian national television last night, talking about Jesus’ erections.

Here’s the rush transcript of Michael Bird discussing the rigidity of Our Lord’s penis with ABC interviewer, Tom Ballard:

Michael Bird: I’ll tell you a real funny story. I taught religious education to some students … and I asked them a very provocative question. I said to them, ‘Did Jesus ever have an erection?’

Tom Ballard: ‘Did Jesus ever have an erection?’?

Michael Bird: I believe he did.

Tom Ballard: Multiple erections.

Michael Bird: Throughout the course of his life.

Tom Ballard: Would he have had an orgasm?

Michael Bird: I don’t know. He may have had, he probably had a nocturnal emission as a teenager.

Tom Ballard: OK.

Michael Bird: We all have…

Tom Ballard: Would he have… helped that along, if he was a red-blooded, normal man?

Michael Bird: What do you mean by ‘helped it along’? You mean like…

Tom Ballard: Would he have…

Michael Bird: … choked the chicken?

Tom Ballard: Yeah.

Michael Bird: Ah. I don’t know about that.

Tom Ballard: Just to be clear, you brought up Jesus and erections. I wanna make that very clear. I know I’m from the godless ABC, but that was your call, Sir.

So Michael Bird has made the daring theological proposition that Jesus Christ had erections, even orgasms, while refraining from commenting on whether the Son of God ever had a wank.

On national television.

If you watch the video above, you will see that Michael Bird goes on to sing a few songs from Jesus Christ Superstar with Tom Ballard. But let’s try to put that to the side, to concentrate on the weightier theological ramifications of the alleged tumescence of Jesus’ penis.

As it so happens, one of my varied fields of expertise is the erections of Jesus, as the New Adam. I can confirm that it is theological Orthodoxy that a Perfect Man, as was Adam before the Fall, and as was Our Lord throughout his earthly life, would only have had an erection if he had willed it with his mind. Yes, the prelapsarian Adam and Jesus had perfect control over the stiffness of their penises. They could control their penises with their minds! The penis, in this respect was just like any other part of the body, say the hand.

As I documented in my recent article, “The Perfect Penis of Eden“, St. Augustine considered that penises today are mere shadows of the perfect penis of Eden, ‘neither arising nor subsiding at the bidding of the mind’ (De pec. mer. 1.57). Jesus came to Earth for the purpose, among other things, to restore a perfect penis to man.

So for Michael Bird to suggest that Jesus himself would have unwanted erections and unwanted nocturnal emissions is blatant Heresy. It may be classified as neo-phallo-Ebionitism, a variation on what was a dangerous early Heresy. Christian Orthodoxy, with St. Augustine, rightly holds that Jesus exercised perfect control over his penis, having the mind of the prelapsarian Adam. Michael Bird makes the gravest theological error in thinking that it is ‘fully human’ for Christ to have unwanted erections and wet dreams. For Jesus was made incarnate in the body of the unfallen Adam, not the fallen Adam whose mind no longer had perfect control over his penis. And as Our Lord had no use for an erect phallus, he willed it not.

With the utmost sincerity, I call upon Michael Bird to recant his heretical neo-phallo-Ebionitism, and affirm Jesus’ perfect control over his penis.

 

 

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Larry Hurtado versus Richard Carrier on Jesus Mythicism

There is a curious exchange going on at the moment between New Testament scholar Larry Hurtado and Jesus mythicist and historian Richard Carrier. “Jesus Mythicism”, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, is the position that there was no historical Jesus. Jesus never existed! Instead, Jesus was only ever a mythical figure.

The current exchange began with Hurtado’s largely positive review (27 Nov 2017) of Tim O’Neill’s site, History for Atheists. Hurtado drew attention to O’Neill’s post on Jesus Mythicism, “The Jesus Myth: The Jesus Myth Theory, Again” (31 May 2017).

In that post, Hurtado also mentioned his own earlier discussions of Jesus Mythicism, which he wrote following Bart Ehrman’s book-length response to Jesus mythicism, Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (HarperOne, 2012). Hurtado’s posts at that time were as follows:

The ‘Did Jesus Exist’ Controversy and Its Precedents” (23 July 2012)

The ‘Did Jesus Exist’ Controversy–Encore” (27 July 2012)

On Competence, Scholarly Authority, and Open Discussion” (2 August 2012)

The Jesus-Discussion: Let’s Move On” (9 August 2012)

There were also some responses to Hurtado from Neil Godfrey (Vridar): “Larry Hurtado’s Wearying Historical Jesus Question” (26 July 2012), “Larry Hurtado’s Wearying (and Irresponsible?) Encore” (29 July 2012). Hurtado later posted on the same subject, in “Talking Sense about Jesus’ Historicity” (28 Jan 2014).

Since then, Carrier has published a book on mythicism with Sheffield Academic Press: On the Historicity of Jesus: Why we might have reason for doubt (2014). The book relies for its methodology on the discussion of Bayes’s Theorem in Carrier’s earlier publication, Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus (Prometheus Books, 2012). Sheffield Academic Press was a mainstream publisher of biblical studies, before its acquisition by Bloomsbury. Given the frequent mentions of Carrier’s book in published reviews and internet discussions, I imagine it sells very well.

So when Hurtado began his recent series of replies to Carrier, I was surprised to see this admission:

You don’t have to read the 700+ pages of Carrier’s book, however, to see if it’s persuasive.  To cite an ancient saying, you don’t have to drink the whole of the ocean to judge that it’s salty.

Yes, Hurtado has not in fact read Carrier’s book. And yet, Hurtado has now written an extensive series of posts in reply to Carrier:

The ‘Mythic’ Jesus’ Last Hurrah” (30 Nov 2017)

Why the “Mythical Jesus” Claim Has No Traction with Scholars” (2 Dec 2017)

“Mythical Jesus”: The Fatal Flaws” (4 Dec 2017)

Focus, Focus, Focus!” (6 Dec 2017)

Gee, Dr. Carrier, You’re Really Upset!” (7 Dec 2017)

The last of these posts was in reply to Carrier’s response to Hurtado, “The Bizarre Fugue of Larry Hurtado” (7 Dec 2017).

[Since then, Carrier replied with “The Difference Between a Historian and an Apologist” (9 December 2017), and Hurtado with “Greek Prepositions and Careful Exegesis” 11 December 2017), ““The Real Jesus”in National Geographic” (11 December 2017), and “On Accurate Representation of Texts” (11 December 2017).]

In addition, Neil Godfrey (Vridar) has posted comments on the exchange in “Reply to Larry Hurtado: ‘Why the “Mythical Jesus” Claim Has No Traction with Scholars’” (2 Dec 2017); “Thinking through the “James, the brother of the Lord” passage in Galatians 1:19” (3 Dec 2017); “On Larry Hurtado’s Response” (5 Dec 2017); “Focus, Focus, Focus — but Not Blinkered” (6 Dec 2017) [, and “The Hurtado-Carrier debate has become unpleasant” (11 December 2017], as has Nicholas Covington (Hume’s Apprentice), with full points for alliteration: “Hurtado’s Horrible Happening” (5 Dec 2017) [, James McGrath, “Richard Carrier as False Prophet” (10 December 2017), with a reply from Nicholas Covington, “McGrath’s Mythicist Gaffes” (12 December 2017)].

Hurtado makes many good points in reply to Jesus mythicism. But it is never responsible to comment in respect of a book which one has not even read. I can understand simply ignoring Jesus mythicism as an unfeasible position, and not deigning to comment on it. But to engage a specific author, and a specific book, without having read it, is indefensible practice. It can only lead to the response of ‘aha – I told you so!’ among Jesus mythicists. The error in judgment can be rectified though – by making a more informed reply after reading the book.

Lastly, Daniel Gullotta has just published an extensive critique of Richard Carrier’s book, “On Richard Carrier’s Doubts: A Response to Richard Carrier’s On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt,” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 15, no. 2 (2017): 310 – 346. Here is the abstract:

The Jesus Myth theory is the view that the person known as Jesus of Nazareth had no historical existence. Throughout the centuries this view has had a few but notable adherents such as Bruno Bauer, Arthur Drews, G.A. Wells, and Robert M. Price. Recently, Richard Carrier’s work On the Historicity of Jesus (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014) has attempted to reexamine the question in a rigorous academic fashion. According to Carrier, within the earliest days of Christianity, Jesus was not understood as a historic-human figure, but rather as a celestial-angelic being, akin to Gabriel in Islam or to Moroni in Mormonism, and only came to be understood as a historical person later. While Carrier’s hypothesis is problematic and unpersuasive, there are several key points related to his work that this article specifically challenges and critiques.

And there is a post in response to Gullotta’s article by Neil Godfrey (“Daniel Gullotta’s Review of Richard Carrier’s On the Historicity of Jesus“; 13 December 2017), who promises many more posts in response.

David and Goliath: The Very Scary Giant

Sunny Griffin (text) and Donna Lee Hill (illustrations),
David and The Very Scary Giant.
Ashland, OH: Landoll, 1994.

Some children’s books are quite oblique when it comes to explaining what happens to Goliath at the end of the story of David and Goliath. After a very slow build-up, with lots of background about David as a young boy and how he looked after his sheep – David and The Very Scary Giant suddenly gets to the climax:

The text explains that David’s stone killed Goliath. That is, however, the last page. There’s no actual depiction of David killing Goliath, just the expectation in Goliath’s eyes. And there is definitely no head-chopping.

David and Goliath: Toddlers Bible Library

My favourite David and Goliath children’s books are the ones aimed at very young readers. To be clear, they are my favourite. I wouldn’t let them near actual children.

Take this one, a short board book, in the series “The Toddlers Bible Library”: V. Gilbert Beers (text), David Fights a Giant. The Toddlers Bible Library (Wheaton: Paradise Press, 1993).

I dunno – something about that series title (The Toddlers Bible Library) might have perhaps provided a hint that the David & Goliath story wasn’t really suitable.

Yet the authors attempt to make it suitable for toddlers by making it obscure how exactly David killed Goliath. The two characters never appear in the same shot, but only on successive pages. So your toddler doesn’t get to see this whole scene, which I’ve spliced together for older readers (R18):

And then you get a shot of Goliath lying down. One is not quite sure why he is lying down. To sanitise it for toddlers, the authors have had to make the plot undecipherable. But they do make the reason clear for why David defeated the giant: because he asked God for help, whereas Goliath did not. (No mention that it was ‘help’ … to kill someone.)

This is either a very confusing story for toddlers, or – if their parents explain what’s happening – a very unsuitable story for toddlers. All this explains a lot about how Christians turn out, though.

New Book! Theologians and Philosophers Using Social Media

Theologians and Philosophers Using Social MediaHave you seen the #1 book on Amazon’s list of new releases in religious studies education?

Thomas Jay Oord, ed., Theologians and Philosophers Using Social Media: Advice, Tips, and Testimonials (SacraSage Press, September 2, 2017)

It includes a section by me on using social media, in which I discuss things like the Biblical Studies Online website, John Dominic Crossan’s holiday photos, online discussions that were very helpful in writing my recent article about Jesus turning into a Giant in the Gospel of Peter, a contribution to an engagement with Larry Hurtado, Sathya Sai Baba’s injunction to ‘Love all, serve all’, and some other words of sage theological advice.

The insights in these 90+ essays are nothing short of inspiring! Their tips on best practices for social engagement, time management, social media as a resource for scholarship or creativity, technology and pedagogy, etc. will help readers tremendously.

The contributors are diverse. They include….

– Public theologians like Ben Corey, Brian McLaren, and Richard Rohr

– Younger scholars like Tripp Fuller, Jorey Micah, and Alexis Waggoner

– Biblical scholars like Michael Gorman, Joel Green, and Daniel Kirk

– Philosophers like Helen De Cruz, Aaron Simmons, and Kevin Timpe

– Establish scholars like James Crossley, Kwok Pui-lan, and Amos Yong

– Scholars outside North America like Deane Galbraith, RT Mullins, Hanna Reichel, and Atle Sovik

– Pastoral theologians like Patricia Farmer, Len Sweet, and Kurt Willems

– Historical theologians like Kim Alexander and Christine Helmer

– Science and religion scholars like Ron Cole-Turner, Karl Giberson, Lea Schweitz, and Jim Stump

– Constructive theologians like Oliver Crisp, Grace Ji-Sun Kim, and Jason Lepojärvi

– Ethicists like Miguel De La Torre, David Gushee, and Michael Hardin

…and the list goes on!

Whether the reader is an armchair theologian, a professional scholar, a graduate student, or simply interested in how social media is changing religious and philosophical studies, that reader will find Theologians and Philosophers Using Social Media of great help.

 

Have a look on Amazon!

The Tennessee Ordinance of Sex Sessions

Tennessee Ordinance of Sex Sessions

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing….”
– 1 Tim 2:12-15

Preamble

In these latter days, false prophets have heinously distorted the Christian View of Sex Sessions – a view of human sexuality and sexual congress which was held by Adam and Eve before the Fall, later reaffirmed by Our Lord in the days He dwelt amongst men, and in the Early Church, and adhered to steadfastly throughout the centuries-long Epoch of Christendom by all True Christians (excluding Catholics). Now, during this twilight of Christian morality in the West, there have arisen self-proclaimed ‘Evangelical’ Christians – but in truth heretics and perverts – who would seduce, if it were possible, even the Elect. These pseudo-Evangelicals have sought to replace the eternal design of God Almighty for the Respective Roles of Men and Women and Proper Conduct for Sexual Coitus with nothing more than the concoctions of their own hearts.

Therefore, in witness to this sinful generation, and in repudiation of the Lies of Satan, we, the undersigned, declare our faithfulness to the original Christian View of Sex Sessions. We eschew the delusions of the Nashville heretics, who would reject the divine plan for sexual practice for their secularist, post-modernistic innovations. In its place we offer nothing more than the Truth given once and for all to the Saints, in the ante- post-Christian era.

To the glory of God, we offer the following affirmations and denials:

Article I

WE AFFIRM that sexual intercourse should be undertaken without joy or passion: ‘just like many a laborious work accomplished by the compliant operation of our other limbs, without any lascivious heat.’ Christian men must prayerfully seek to recover Adam’s ability to engorge their penises for coitus ‘simply by the direction of the will, not excited by the ardor of concupiscence.’

WE DENY the joy of sex, except for that sober and pious joy of achieving the only good purpose of sexual congress: the procreation of the species.

Article II

WE AFFIRM, given the nearness of the End Times, which is really very, very close now, so close it could happen any minute now, in fact, that it is better for the unmarried to remain as they are, and better for the married to abstain from any Sexual Sessions.

WE DENY that even the single man who is a chronic masturbator should seek marriage, given that the End Times is so very, very close. It’s going to happen any moment. We even doubted we’d get to the end of these articles before Our Lord came on the clouds, so to speak.

Article III

WE AFFIRM the missionary position.

WE DENY any other sexual position is acceptable in the sight of God, including, but not limited to, Doggy Style, the Cowgirl, Reverse Cowgirl, the Man Chair, the Camel Ride, the Downward Dog, anal, oral, standing, sitting, the Ballet Dancer, the Wheelbarrow, Angry Dragon, the 69er, Spooning, or Saddling.

Article IV

WE AFFIRM that God has graciously bestowed on the female sex the privilege of salvation by childbirth. Thus, womenfolk have an additional means of salvation not available to men.

WE DENY that any honors rightly given to men, whether leadership of the church, headship of the household, entitlement to the top position in Sex Sessions, or rights of discipline over women, imply any inequality between men and women. For women still have the bonus means of salvation, via childbirth. No other worldly power may compensate for this grace received by women alone.

Article V

WE AFFIRM that menstruation is the overflow of sexual build-up, evidence of the inherently excessive concupiscence of the female. Menstrual blood is damaging to the male penis, which requires strict separation during the week of flow. So too, ‘the gaze of a menstruating woman can dim and crack a mirror.’

WE DENY that menstruation can be falsely reduced to mere natural or materialist processes. Attempts to do so are the result of the atheistic scientific worldview, and is only a presupposition, so just as much a matter of faith as belief in the evil of menstrual blood.

Article VI

WE AFFIRM that women should in every way be subordinate to men in public.

WE DENY that subordination is any way to be equated with intolerance of women. Rather, it is those who claim to be ‘tolerant’ of women who are truly intolerant of those who would restrict a woman’s role in public, for if they were really tolerant, they would be able to tolerate our alleged intolerance. So it is the ‘tolerant’ who are truly intolerant, by being tolerant only of tolerance, while not being tolerant of intolerance. We have truly taken tolerance to a higher plane of toleration.

 

Signed by:

Cletus Edwards
President, South-south-east Tennessee Baptist Seminary, and Pastor

Enoch Stansfield
Professor of Apologetics, Libertarian University

Mrs Laverne Colton
Authoress of ‘Devotion: In Your Heart and On Your Back’, mother of eight

Otis Lee
Professor of New Testament, Rockwood Upper Floor Full Gospel Seminary

Denny Keller
Cotton Mather Professor of Apologetics, Scripture and Prayer and author of How to Keep Your Right Eye and Right Hand (Zondervan, 2011)

Randy Hawk
PhD: Hard Complementarianism in the Four Gospels: An Anti-Bultmannian Approach (Durham University)

Mrs Denny Keller
authoress of Button Up that Blouse! and proud homemaker