Zwinglius Redivivus

Christianity, Mental Illness, And Responsible Speech

Posted in Theology by Jim on August 12, 2014

I find myself in 100% agreement with David Congdon, who has written (on FB)

Self-described “Christians” who appeal to the doctrine of the soul as a way of claiming (a) that mental health issues are actually a “spiritual” matter (for which they are, of course, personally at fault) and (b) that all actions are “choices” based on a rational act of the will are putting forth a position that, in its casual indifference to the knowledge gained through the sciences, is as intellectually and theologically bankrupt as six-day creationism.

But it’s far worse than that, because actual human lives are at stake. In that sense, it is much more like the faith-healing superstition of First Century Gospel Church. The problem is not, finally, that it completely misunderstands the biblical concept of the soul and puts forward a dualist anthropology that has no theological basis, nor is the real problem that it dismisses medical science.

The fundamental issue here is the adherence to a particular doctrine at the expense of human life, at the expense of genuine empathy and love. No one can so blithely disregard 1 Cor 13 and identify themselves with the Christian faith. If your doctrine of the soul leads you to make statements that might lead to the furtherance of another person’s suffering, and possible death, then that doctrine is a lie and must be destroyed.

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Reformation Heute

Posted in Theology by Jim on August 12, 2014

Via their facebook page-

Die Sommerferien sind gerettet! Die Sommerausgabe der RH liegt in der Druckerei. Auf www.reformationheute.defindet ihr die aktuelle Ausgabe zum Download.

Contents:

  • Nachfolge Jesu heute (Sebastian Heck)
  • Nachfolge und das Gebet: Perspektiven aus den Abschiedsreden Jesu (Jörg Wehrenberg)
  • Nachfolge als Bekenntnis: Paul Schneider (1897–1939) und der Heidelberger Katechismus (Raphael Schuster)
  • Gäste und Pilger auf Erden: Kirche in der Nachfolge Christi (Sebastian Heck)
  • Nachfolge im Leid: Zwischen der Souveränität und der Güte Gottes (Martin Emmrich)
  • Impressum
  • Das Reformatorisch-Theologische Seminar

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America’s Pastors… Ugh. Small Wonder Christianity is So Despised

Posted in Modern Culture, Theology by Jim on August 12, 2014

This is sadder than sad-

Most pastors believe that the Bible addresses the current issues of the day, but few speak about them from behind the pulpit, according to a recent study from a prominent research organization.

George Barna was a guest on the American Family Radio program “Today’s Issues” on Thursday, where he explained a research project that he has been working on for the past two years. In his study, Barna’s organization asked pastors across the country about their beliefs regarding the relevancy of Scripture to societal, moral and political issues, and the content of their sermons in light of their beliefs.

“‘What we’re finding is that when we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, ‘Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues,” he explained. “Then we ask them: ‘Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues?’ and the numbers drop…to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.”

Cowardliness.  Sadder still the metrics by which America’s pastors measure their work:

“There are five factors that the vast majority of pastors turn to,” he outlined. “Attendance, giving, number of programs, number of staff, and square footage.”

Rubbish.  The only meaningful measure of ‘success’ is faithfulness to God and fidelity to the teachings of Scripture.  None of the stuff above has anything at all to do with real ministry.

America’s pastors… the problem, not the solution.

Language Studies: An Observation

Posted in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources, Theology by Jim on August 11, 2014

Exegetes of the biblical text who do a minimum of linguistic studies are minimal expositors.

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Antonio Lombatti on Clerical Celibacy and Pedophilia

Posted in Modern Culture, Theology by Jim on August 8, 2014

lombatti-altra-fotoA.L. has uploaded his essay, Pedofilia clericale e celibato obbligatorio.

Parlare di pedofilia clericale oggi, a più di dieci anni dallo scandalo scoppiato a Boston e di usosi in numerose diocesi cattoliche anche negli altri continenti, sembra un argomento di scarsa attualità. Ma non è così. Non solo perché una commissione dell’ONU a difesa dei diritti dei bambini, lo scorso febbraio, ha censurato il comportamento del Vaticano avuto nel corso degli anni. Ma, soprattutto, perché anche una parte dei vertici della Chiesa cattolica – in particolare, il cardinale australiano George Pell – ha identificato nel celibato obbligatorio la causa della pedofilia clericale. È così? Cerchiamo di analizzare i fatti.

And his very wise insights and analysis follow. Do give it a read.

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Quote of the Day

Posted in Theology by Jim on August 7, 2014

Hans Hübner – “Der glaubende Christ ist der denkende Theologe.”

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On Beliefs: An Observation

Posted in Theology by Jim on August 4, 2014

Believe whatever you want but understand that those familiar with Christian theology are under no obligation to deem your view Christian.

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The Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism

Posted in Theology by Jim on July 31, 2014

Is worth re-reading in these troubled times:

THE JERUSALEM DECLARATION ON CHRISTIAN ZIONISM

Statement by the Patriarch and Local Heads of Churches In Jerusalem

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel. The Christian Zionist programme provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it places an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ’s love and justice today.

We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.

We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the United States that are presently imposing their unilateral pre-emptive borders and domination over Palestine. This inevitably leads to unending cycles of violence that undermine the security of all peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world.

We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war rather than the gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation taught by Jesus Christ. Rather than condemn the world to the doom of Armageddon we call upon everyone to liberate themselves from the ideologies of militarism and occupation. Instead, let them pursue the healing of the nations!

We call upon Christians in Churches on every continent to pray for the Palestinian and Israeli people, both of whom are suffering as victims of occupation and militarism. These discriminative actions are turning Palestine into impoverished ghettos surrounded by exclusive Israeli settlements. The establishment of the illegal settlements and the construction of the Separation Wall on confiscated Palestinian land undermines the viability of a Palestinian state as well as peace and security in the entire region.

We call upon all Churches that remain silent, to break their silence and speak for reconciliation with justice in the Holy Land.

Therefore, we commit ourselves to the following principles as an alternative way:

We affirm that all people are created in the image of God. In turn they are called to honor the dignity of every human being and to respect their inalienable rights.

We affirm that Israelis and Palestinians are capable of living together within peace, justice and security.

We affirm that Palestinians are one people, both Muslim and Christian. We reject all attempts to subvert and fragment their unity.

We call upon all people to reject the narrow world view of Christian Zionism and other ideologies that privilege one people at the expense of others.

We are committed to non-violent resistance as the most effective means to end the illegal occupation in order to attain a just and lasting peace.

With urgency we warn that Christian Zionism and its alliances are justifying colonization, apartheid and empire-building.

God demands that justice be done. No enduring peace, security or reconciliation is possible without the foundation of justice. The demands of justice will not disappear. The struggle for justice must be pursued diligently and persistently but non-violently.

“What does the Lord require of you, to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

This is where we take our stand. We stand for justice. We can do no other. Justice alone guarantees a peace that will lead to reconciliation with a life of security and prosperity for all the peoples of our Land. By standing on the side of justice, we open ourselves to the work of peace – and working for peace makes us children of God.

“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:19)

His Beattitude Patriarch Michel Sabbah
Latin Patriarchate, Jerusalem

Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad,
Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem

Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal,
Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Bishop Munib Younan,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

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Irony

Posted in Theology by Jim on July 29, 2014

Ironic isnt it that the first people to accuse God of unrighteous deeds are the very people who don’t think God even exists.

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Flacius… I’m Loving This Guy

Posted in Church History, Flacius, Modern Culture, Theology by Jim on July 29, 2014

»Illa vero vel maxima pernicies totius verae pietatis studijogue sacri fuit, quod plerioque recentiores Theologi aut Monachi, primum fuerunt ita corrupta quadam Philosophia & Logica, atque adeo etiam barbarissima Grammatica corrupti et veluti dementati, ut inde male praeconceptas opiniones, corruptumque iudicium, etiam in ipsam Theologiam Sacrasque literas intulerint …« M. Flacius

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