Book Review: Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion

A bit like a mystery, a bit like a thriller, a bit like the notes from a theological conclave: John Chaplick’s Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion offers all kinds of readers an interesting trip into the search for the various forms of truth religious texts offer us….

Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion by John Chaplick (image courtesy Southern Yellow Pine Publishing)

A Roman centurion who knew the Apostle Paul sends his son an original version of the New Testament. Twenty centuries or so later, the letter he sent along with the manuscript is discovered by an archaeologist and brought to the attention of a museum curator, a couple of theologians, a history professor, and a graduate student writing on material related to the discovery. These five enlist the archaeologist, they split into two groups of three, and each group goes in search of that important – and likely controversial – document.

That, in a nutshell is the plot of Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion, a book that explores some profound ideas even as it veers between being a mystery, a thriller, and a theological symposium. What Chaplick seeks to do is almost as elusive and difficult as what his characters attempt to do in his novel: explore a profound religious question while at the same time keep readers entertained.

He comes close to pulling off this near impossible feat.

What will make Forbidden Chronicles a challenge to the reader attracted to its Da Vinci Code like narrative is that author Chaplick peppers the novel with at times almost dauntingly philosophical and theological discussions among his main characters. Continue reading

Tony Perkins of Family Research Council strikes again

Bearing false witness is Perkins’ anti-Christian stock in trade

From Raw Story: Tony Perkins: The Constitution protects Christianity but not Islam because it’s not just a religion

Judging all Muslims for the violent behavior of the relative few (as a percentage of total population) makes as much sense as judging Christians on the behavior of Anders Breivik, the George Tiller Killer, the violent clashes in Ireland not so long ago, the Inquisition, and the Crusades. Continue reading


Why can’t Ben Carson address the ramifications of his bigotry?

Maybe because it would be awkward?

Caricature by Paul Szep

Caricature by Paul Szep

From PolitiFact: Ben Carson: Do any Muslim countries have women’s rights, gay rights or religious freedom?

Spoiler: mostly false, with caveats. Ironically, while busily lambasting nations where a different religion holds the majority and calls the shots, he rather fails in addressing those inequalities and the political extremes evidenced here.

What do I mean? He feels that being Muslim should exclude a person from the presidency, because heaven forbid a single Muslim should be the head of state. Maybe if America were to become a majority Muslim nation we’d have to worry about being one of the worst Muslim-dominant nations according to the data in the fact-check. Maybe we’d be one of the best. We will probably never know. Continue reading

Trump: no obligation to decency


From The Guardian: Trump: I was not obligated to correct questioner who called Obama Muslim

On Twitter, the Republican presidential frontrunner said: “Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!”

Let’s reframe.

Jackass stands up and, based on zero evidence, Continue reading

Donald Trump

RIP Yogi Berra, anchor baby

Would the GOP have deported Yogi Berra?

Item 1: Yogi died last week. He was an American icon of the first order and a legendary practitioner of the national pastime. Wikipedia sums his career up nicely.

An 18-time All-Star and 10-time World Series champion as a player, Berra had a career batting average of .285, while compiling 358 home runs and 1,430 runs batted in. He is one of only five players to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times. Widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

He probably became an even greater figure after he retired. In sum, Yogi Berra was as American as apple pie. Continue reading

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina’s lie that wouldn’t die

Carly either can’t distinguish between evidence or doesn’t know what it is

Last Saturday I posted this on social media with my own comment:

If anyone has the footage she describes, please post. Otherwise, I’ll go with the existing evidence and conclude that this is just another pernicious lie.

Continue reading

When a capella met metal: Saturday Video Roundup

So, I wake up this morning to find that Frank Balsinger has uncovered an a capella take on Rammstein’s “Du Hast.” Because of course somebody would have to do that, and of course Frank would find it. So for SVR today, let’s enjoy some a capella abomination. I guess that would be a bomination, huh?

First, Viva Vox, and if you don’t get why this is so great, by all means click the link above and review the original.

Continue reading


“All of us have, at some point, wondered, ‘what’s it like to have your hands on backwards? What if my own hands were on backwards?’ Hi, I’m Ira Glass and today on This American Life, we talk to three people whose hands are, indeed, on backwards. First Act, ‘My Hands Are On Backwards’ … ”
Your Daily Devotional is a lightly-edited entry from my Twitter feed. Follow me at @jefftiedrich

Your Daily Devotional for September 23, 2015