December 21, 2015
Robert J. Hutchinson is the author of "Searching for Jesus: New Discoveries in the Quest for Jesus of Nazareth - And How They Confirm the Gospel Accounts" (Thomas Nelson) In the midst of the annual battles over how a pluralistic society should properly recognize an important Christian holiday celebrated by 70 percent of the population, there is one question rarely asked at this time of year: Just who was Jesus of Nazareth, anyway? Some claim that Jesus didn't exist at all, and that Christianity evolved out of pagan Gnostic redeemer myths or Greek stories about "dying and rising gods.
December 11, 2015 |
TIME TO SAY what everyone's thinking: The three prosecutors involved in the Porngate email scandal must have something on D.A. Seth Williams. Maybe just geeky high school pictures. But it's hard not to wonder if something beyond sheer arrogance is driving Williams to protect his boys at all costs. Why else would a guy with unapologetic political aspirations continue to protect the jokers bringing him and his office down? Even Williams' own Democratic cohorts are finally speaking out. And for a group who overlook all kinds of nonsense from their own - Here's looking at you, MIA City Commissioner Anthony Clark!
September 25, 2015 |
In November 1985, sibling sons of Glasgow Jim and William Reid - then the centerpieces of the metronomic Jesus and Mary Chain - released their first and best album, Psychocandy . It's an album that remains definitive and influential for its meeting of early Beach Boys-like melodies and slowed-down Velvet Undergroundish noise. With shadowy guitar feedback as fuzzy as their hair, the sunglass-wearing brothers' seminal surging sound and dry, minimalistic rhythm was a sonic primal scream topped by lip-licking romanticized lyrics that were alternately syrup-sweet (literally, as in "Just Like Honey" and sinister, "In a Hole")
September 14, 2015 |
IN A LETTER to a judge, former youth-football coach Leon Watson said he emulates Jesus and denied allegations that he sexually abused boys. "It hurts me to hear them lie about something like this. I try my best to be like Jesus Christ. I even got some of them baptized," Watson, of North Philadelphia, wrote to Common Pleas Judge Timika Lane. Parts of the letter were read during Watson's sentencing hearing yesterday by Assistant District Attorney Branwen McNabb, who prosecuted the case with Assistant D.A. Brandon Jaycox.
July 17, 2015
"WHO AM I to judge?" I've heard that a lot lately, from my recent lunch companion who didn't even blink at the waiter with the pierced nipple (visible through his uniform) all the way up to Pope Francis, who makes it a point of speaking off the cuff on airplanes, balconies and the other end of a telephone. In between those two extremes are the rank and file Americans who think that tolerance means not expressing an opinion about moral standards, or lack thereof. In this "don't bully" society, etiquette trumps authenticity.
June 24, 2015 |
IT'S A THURSDAY night in Kensington, and a hectic boxing practice is winding down. "Butts down!" a coach yells at the 20 boxers, and the 10-to-15-year-olds all drop to the floor for push-ups. As the clock ticks closer to 6 p.m., they hang up their gloves, grab some water and towels and follow their coaches into a large auditorium off the training room. Everyone waits silently. Suddenly a bald man wearing an open-collared white shirt strides into the room from the rear. They know Buddy Osborn.
June 10, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - Marlon Byrd suffered a fractured wrist last Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park, which prompted a promotion for another player with Phillies ties. The Cincinnati Reds summoned Ivan De Jesus Jr., the son of the shortstop the Phillies acquired in the infamous 1982 trade that sent Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa to the Chicago Cubs. It wasn't until the series opener Monday night that the younger De Jesus, a 28-year-old infielder, earned a start. With Sandberg, the Phillies' manager, and Bowa, their bench coach, looking on from the opposing dugout at Great American Ball Park, De Jesus hit his first major-league home run, off of Cole Hamels no less, to send the Phillies to a 6-4 loss.
June 5, 2015 |
PHILLY JESUS has started a digital collection plate for his ministries on GoFundMe.com, with a goal of raising $70,000. "We chose 70 because the number seven is God's number," said Philly Jesus, whose real name is Michael Grant. Grant, a 29-year-old recovering heroin addict, has been dressing as Jesus and hanging out at LOVE Park since April 2014. He has a large following on Twitter and Instagram and said he dresses as Jesus as a way to get others to approach him so he can share the story of Christ.
March 30, 2015
* CALL THE MIDWIFE. 8 p.m. Sunday, WHYY12. Season 4 of the popular series continues without Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine), but with a new face (Charlotte Ritchie) at Nonnatus House. Missing Raine? "Wolf Hall," which premieres on "Masterpiece" April 5, will have you seeing her in a whole new light. * GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF. 8 p.m. Sunday, HBO. This eye-opening documentary from Oscar winner Alex Gibney traces the history of the Church of Scientology, including interviews with several disenchanted former members and more about Tom Cruise than you may want to know.
December 8, 2014 |
AND ON THE second day, the city said, "Thou shalt not go to trial. " Yesterday, the District Attorney's Office dropped the charges against local icon Philly Jesus, his attorney said. Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the DA's Office, confirmed that prosecutors decided not to pursue the two summary offenses lobbied against the roving preacher. The announcement came two days after Philly Jesus - a/k/a Michael Grant, 28, a recovering heroin addict who now lives to spread the Gospel - pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and failure to disperse, charges stemming from his arrest in LOVE Park on Nov. 14. Charles Gibbs, Grant's attorney, said his client was "ecstatic" at hearing the DA's decision.