It Bears Repeating

October 17, 2014 1 comment

During a break in the St. Louis Conference, a few of us were in the back of the room sipping coffee and munching what I called Neutron Chip Cookies – that was because one of those monstrous chocolate chip cookies would rejuvenate you with all of the calories you had burned in a year of exercise.  I was talking about John Klotz’ book.

She had said, “I would like to read it but I don’t own a Kindle.”

“You don’t need to,” I said. “Amazon has apps for most tablets and smartphones. And you can read Kindles books on most laptops and desktop computers. I even have John’s book on my iPhone. See!”

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That picture is real. That is my hand holding my iPhone displaying John’s book. It is not photoshopped.

Categories: Books Tags: , ,

I Call Them Shrolls

October 17, 2014 1 comment

imageAnd you thought journalists were sometimes a tad bit inaccurate. This comment appeared two days ago in a Christian News Service report: Son of Tony Campolo Comes Out as Agnostic, Hired as Humanist Chaplain at California University. The story has absolutely nothing to do with the Shroud of Turin. In the comments section no one thought to  mention the shroud.  No one even thought about it. Why would they? Then . . . out of nowhere . . . I call them Shrolls:

How did NASA going to Mars with the Mariner 10 satellite in the 1973 lead to the formation of the Shroud of Turin Research Project later in 1978? This project in 1978 would attract 38 skeptical American scientists on the team of 40 (with only two Christians), who thought they’d prove it a hoax within a week’s time, but leading to all the scientists, even a Jewish man on the team, all coming to faith in Jesus after 5 days studying the Shroud of Turin.

Categories: News & Views Tags:

Speaking of Shroud Encounter

October 16, 2014 Leave a comment

imageThe Ragin’ Cajun Catholics website, a TV station and a newspaper are reporting that Russ Breault will also be doing his big presentation at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette:

SHROUD ENCOUNTER will be coming to the Catholic Student Center at Our Lady of Wisdom Church on Thursday, October 23rd at 6:30 PM.  The center is located at 501 East Mary Blvd in Lafayette.  Admission is free and the event is open to the public. A museum quality life-size replica of the Shroud of Turin will be on display. National Geographic called the Shroud "One of the most perplexing enigmas of modern times."  Shroud Encounter will cover all aspects of the history, science, art and theories of how the image may have been formed.

Follow Up on the Subject of God Existing

October 16, 2014 1 comment

A few days ago we looked at Is the Shroud Evidence for God’s Existence? (46 comments as of this morning). This lead readers of this blog to spot a couple of mainstream media articles about believing in God.

imageIn yesterday’s Huffington Post we find Mick Mooney, the author of An Outsider’s Guide to the Gospel. writing,  Why I’d Still Believe In God Even if the Bible was a Fairytale.

While I agree that believing in an ancient religious narrative is irrational (by irrational, I mean it takes faith to believe a certain narrative about God based on ancient accounts told in stories, myths, and allegories. Granted, it may turn out to be true, but nonetheless the point remains that it is not a rational conclusion one would come to purely by reason.) I disagree that belief in God is irrational (as in the Higher Power who created the universe and everything within it). If anything, it is the complete opposite. Belief in an unknown Higher Power (being agnostic) seems to me to be the only truly rational option one can choose when contemplating the universe in which we abide, but for the the religious believer and the atheist, they hold to either a faith-based belief or a faith based non-belief; both positions that are fundamentally irrational and requires faith, not rationality, to hold to their position.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         There is also an Opinionater column from three days ago in the New York Times in which Gary Gutting interviews himself:

The question of whether God exists is a controversial one: there have been, and still are, lots of smart, informed and sincere people on both sides. So it would seem that philosophers, committed to rational reflection on the big questions, wouldn’t be atheists (or theists) without good reasons. But it is also obvious that the standard arguments for and against God’s existence — fIrst-cause arguments, the problem of evil, etc. — have stimulated an enormous amount of debate, leading to many complications but to no consensus. . . .

A bit off topic but interesting nonetheless.

Shroud Encounter Coming to Central Florida

October 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Russ Breault is taking Shroud Encounter to Lady Lake, Florida, this coming Sunday, October 19th. If you are in The Villages or the surrounding area, do make a point of seeing this presentation. It is, as the poster below says, an unforgettable experience.

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Thanks All Around

October 15, 2014 89 comments

imageThe St. Louis Shroud Conference of 2014 was an outstanding success. A total of 162 people attended. Most were from the United States, as one might expect. But there were attendees from Australia, Canada, England, France, Hong Kong, Italy and Spain, as well.

Whether or not we were able to attended, we all benefit from new material emerging because of the conference. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Joe Marino and his committee. It takes a lot of work, diplomacy and imagination to manage such a successful conference. Thank you.

And we need to thank the authors of so many wonderful papers and presentations. How much we learned! Thank you.

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Joseph G. Marino   Chairman

Joseph Marino is a leading expert on the Shroud of Turin. He has researched, written and lectured extensively on the Shroud since 1977. He currently works at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Since the mid-1980s, Joe has worked extensively with many of the top sindonologists in the world. Much of his work has been in conjunction with the late Sue Benford. Both Joe and Sue performed exceptional work on researching the Shroud, and bringing its message to the world.

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Mark Antonacci

Mark Antonacci is an attorney and author of The Resurrection of the Shroud (New York: M. Evans and Co., 2000) the most comprehensive book to date on the Shroud of Turin.
He gave the keynote address at the international conference held in Italy in conjunction with the Shroud’s last exhibition in 2010. He has written the leading scientific hypothesis that not only explains the Shroud’s body images, but also its radiocarbon dating, its blood marks and all of its other unique features.

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Laura Clark

Laura is a security professional, specializing in surveillance detection training and consulting. She is a professional speaker and author. Her publishing company, Cradle Press, offers several books about the Shroud of Turin, all available on major online bookstores.

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Chuck Neff

Chuck Neff, Executive Producer of the Salt River Production Group, has more than 35 years of experience in the television, radio, and video production industries. He has worked as a news reporter, anchorman, and producer with NBC News in Chicago, as well as TV and radio stations in St. Louis, Denver, and Terre Haute.
Chuck also currently hosts “The Inner Life,” a Catholic radio program on the Relevant Radio Network. The program focuses on spiritual direction with a national cadre of priests.

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Keith Plein

Keith Plein is a veteran sales and marketing consultant, working for nearly 40 years in a Fortune 100 company. As President of his own firm, he brings his unique contributions to the Salt River Production Group, where he also serves as the group’s Director of Sales and Marketing. His career has spanned a series of diverse industries, including automotive, commercial transportation, agriculture, housing, and aviation.

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John Schulte

John Schulte has been following the Shroud of Turin for more than three decades. A retired architect, John travels extensively throughout the Midwest to make presentations on the Shroud. He has also written comprehensively on many of the details seen on the Shroud. Most notably, John has performed broad research on the blood seen on the back of the man depicted in the Shroud image.


Note: Pictures and bios shamelessly copied from the conference website.

Categories: St Louis 2014 Tags:

Déjà vu Squared

October 14, 2014 31 comments

imageA reader of this blog who was in St. Louis on Sunday morning to hear Bob Siefker emailed me:

You didn’t provide a link to the [Critical Summary]. Nor did the conference site. I was able to find it by entering “google jackson shroud center.”

Oops! Here it is: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses – Version 2.1

This same conference attendee noted:

Dr. Siefker’s chart evaluates ten hypotheses against a short list of only seventeen image characteristics. Dr. Siefker said of his paper was a utility for all of us. No it is not. It is a biased defense of Jackson’s theory and nothing more. Do you think people will find it methodically suspicious that only Jackson’s cloth falling hypothesis matches 100% of all image characteristics and that no other hypothesis comes close?

Suspicious? No. Disappointed in the methodology? Yes! See Déjà vu or what?

The folks at Colorado Springs want feedback. The second page of the summary states: “We welcome comments, but we can only consider those that are substantive and that are emailed directly to our website (via the Shroud Data tab).” But that tab merely asks people to send comments to an email address, ShroudFacts@gmail.com.

If the goal is progress in our understanding of the shroud, whatever the truth may be, then transparency and open dialog is called for. Today, newspapers, magazines and even highly respected journals welcome online comments in the clear. Authors mix it up with readers and offer clarifications. Readers mix it up with each other and many people benefit from the opinions of others.

If, on the other hand, the objective is controlled marketing of an idea then, fine, we-welcome-comments-but-we-can-only-consider-those-that-are-substantive-and-that-are emailed-directly-to-our-website will work for the authors of this paper.

Hmmm! Someone could put up a webpage for each characteristic, each hypothesis, each historical item and so forth, with an appropriate explanation, and invite discussion; make the labels match those in the paper so people could look it up in the paper. Hmmm!

The full paper is 106 pages, with lots of tables, making it a bit unwieldy. You might want to save it to your computer or better yet put up a copy on the Google Cloud. I also loaded up a copy on my Kindle. That works pretty well but the page numbers are messed up.

The paper is a locked up PDF so you can’t easily quote from it which is not a good idea for promoting ideas in this day and age. If you want to do some fair use quoting you will need to retype the material or OCR it (Microsoft Notebook works perfectly on whole pages).

Again, see Déjà vu or what?

Note:  I have corrected the spelling of Bob Siefker’s name in the email above rather than annotate the error with (sic). I carelessly repeated the error in my own comments and have corrected that as well.

Note 2: The URL for the Critical Summary was changed on October 19, 2014. This page has been updated.

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