Tag Archives: bird

How a Hipster Atheist Rejected Hipster Atheism While Studying the New Testament

The former hipster atheist is the now well-known New Testament scholar Michael Bird. He writes about his turnabout in Christianity Today, but this blog post has some worthwhile excerpts. Here’s the subtitle of the CT article: “Bart Ehrman’s narrative suggests the more educated you are, the less likely you are to believe. My life proves otherwise.”

Though I didn’t start as an atheist (is there a “nothing” category?) I agree. I’ve found the the high-browed educational elite are often the most close-minded. I don’t wonder about what they fear. When I was a grad student at Penn (that’s the ivy league for you non-hipsters), I once had an afternoon to kill. I went to the Semitics reading room (Penn has one of the oldest Semitics programs in the country). My objective was simple: How many books published by an evangelical press can I find? I looked at every title in the reading room. I found one book (count it – one). It was R. K. Harrison’s Old Testament Introduction. Now, things may have changed since the 90s. I don’t know. What I do know is how I feel like laughing every time I hear an atheist or critical scholar spout nonsense about how evangelicals are afraid to test their ideas. Pure BS. The evangelical institutions I’d gone to or visited had hundreds (probably thousands) of books written by critical scholars, regardless of their theological persuasion (if any). There was no sense of fear. No censorship of material that someone (gasp) might find a contrarian perspective in (of all places) a library. And then there’s the Zeitgeist buffoonery. Good grief.

For the record, the UW-Madison was much more open to having books by evangelical presses. I did the same thing there after I arrived as at Penn. Must be that ivy-league thing.

Here’s Bird’s conclusion — you have to appreciate how it mimes Paul’s testimony in Philippians:

Some have great confidence in skeptical scholarship, and I once did, perhaps more than anyone else. If anyone thinks they are assured in their unbelief, I was more committed: born of unbelieving parents, never baptized or dedicated; on scholarly credentials, a PhD from a secular university; as to zeal, mocking the church; as to ideological righteousness, totally radicalized. But whatever intellectual superiority I thought I had over Christians, I now count it as sheer ignorance. Indeed, I count everything in my former life as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing the historical Jesus who is also the risen Lord. For his sake, I have given up trying to be a hipster atheist. I consider that old chestnut pure filth, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a CV that will gain me tenure at an Ivy League school, but knowing that I’ve bound myself to Jesus—and where he is, there I shall also be.



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UFO video shows object hovering over an iceberg

A UFO appears to be hovering over an iceberg in eastern Canada in a video that was recently uploaded to the Internet.

The individual who shot the video describes:

So I really don’t know what to say about this, while driving around Salvage, Newfoundland and Labrador looking at all the icebergs, I noticed what appeared to be a chunk of ice just barely attached to an iceberg, hoping to catch it collapse I took out the camera and zoomed in. What you can see is a white object not attached to the iceberg, but rather spinning around and changing shape?

Some have suggested that the mysterious UFO is just the upper portion of the iceberg, and the witness’s view of the iceberg’s mid-section is simply obstructed. According to the witness, however, the weather was perfectly clear that day, eliminating the possibility that fog was simply covering part of the iceberg. But one YouTube commenter believes something extraterrestrial was obstructing the witness’s view. User ethanr432 suggests, “It’s a UFO with its cloaking device on. It’s blocking the middle part of the iceberg.”

iceberg UFO

UFO over an iceberg? (Credit: 235FireFly/YouTube)

Focusing on the hovering object, the Daily Mirror points out that some believe it to be an alien spacecraft, while others believe it to be a flag. The object’s shape-shifting would make sense if it is simply a flag. But this identification would not explain the witness’s assertion that he observed the object spinning. And the witness confidently states, “I can assure that it is not a flag, that iceberg was probably 5, 6 stories tall . . . and they tend to collapse, break and roll over all the time . . . not something that people do around here.”

One possible and likely explanation for this strange hovering UFO is a type of mirage known as a Fata Morgana. The National Snow and Ice Data Center explains that this type of superior mirage appears

because of the weather condition known as a temperature inversion, where cold air lies close to the ground with warmer air above it. Since cold air is denser than warm air, it bends light towards the eyes of someone standing on the ground, changing how a distant object appears. Superior mirages can produce a few different types of images: Distant objects can appear to float high above their actual position, for example a boat can look like it is floating in the sky, or an object below the horizon can become visible.

Superior Mirage

A superior mirage. (Credit: Nick N/Australian Government)

Some who have watched the UFO video are more interested in an unidentified object that appears to the right of the iceberg at the 0:45 mark and splashes into the water. But this object’s appearance and behavior do not suggest anything to indicate that it is anything but a diving bird like a Northern Gannett, which is common in that area.

Some have criticized the witness for only shooting forty eight seconds of video. But he explains that he was in his car, using the window to stabilize the camera when another car drove up, and someone got out to take photos of the icebergs, which obstructed his view. He claims that he resumed filming approximately one minute later, but the object was no longer visible.

The witness states that he is “open to all opinions, ufo, illusion or what?” He also admits that “This is easily the strangest thing I have ever witnessed in my life.”

What do you think about the two UFOs in this video? Share your opinions by leaving a comment below, or by posting on the Open Minds Facebook page.

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