Daily Archives: 10 Jan 2010

There’s Something Theological About Basketball…

Especially when it illustrates ‘missing the mark’ as wondrously as this little clip does…

Karl Barth on Huldrych Zwingli

Barth wrote his friend Eduard Thurneysen on October 16, 1922 complaining of the difficulties he was having in composing his lectures on his course, The Theology of Zwingli (which he delivered in the Winter semester of 1922/23).  He opined

Zwingli steht vor mir wie ein überhängende Wand.

Come on Karl, there’s nothing difficult about understanding Zwingli.  The wall is all in your mind (and your all too Luther-like attitude towards Zwingli).

Farewell, Jay

It seems NBC is taking Jay Leno off primetime and shuffling him back to late night.  That makes me a bit sad.  I get up between 4 and 4:30 every morning (except Sunday!) and there’s no way I can make it till midnight to watch half of Leno.  In fact, staying up till 11 is pretty tough (and truth told, I usually hang it up around 10:30 anyway).

So, I guess it’s goodbye Leno for me.  Bummer.  He’s funny and sarcastic and simply delightful.  I don’t know why his ratings weren’t better.  There’s no accounting for tastes (as the fame and wealth of the likes of Lady Gaga proves beyond any shadow of a doubt).

Zurich in Zwingli’s Day

These are computer generated and enhanced images of what parts of Zurich would have looked like in the early 1500’s based on architectural and literary descriptions.  They first appeared in Du magazine several years ago.  Unfortunately, that link is dead.

Reformed Texts Online

Calvin College has put together a brilliant, yes absolutely brilliant online resource called the Post Reformation Digital Library.  I’ve placed a link on the sidebar at this image-

Just click there and you’ll discover such things as

Early Modern Theology

Especially exciting is this page, which contains both primary and secondary works by and about Zwingli.  I’ve placed a link to it on the sidebar.  Just click on ‘Zwingli’s Works Online’.  I’ve also updated the link to Bullinger’s works (as they too are available at this new site).  As well, and unsurprisingly, Calvin’s works are also there.  Click on Calvin’s picture on the right sidebar and you’ll be taken to that page.

And there’s loads and loads of other useful resources. Check it out, and check back often- it’s a work in progress.

Total Depravity: The Expansion of the Flesh Trade

Most people know that prostitution is legal in certain spots in Nevada (home of ‘Sin City’, whose ridiculous motto, ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ is absurd precisely because it ignores the fact that God sees everything).  But now the flesh trade is expanding to include male prostitutes as well.

The Shady Lady Ranch, a small brothel about 150 miles from Las Vegas where about four female prostitutes now work, is accepting applications via its website for male sex workers after receiving the go-ahead from the local board that licenses prostitutes. Nevada is the only US state to allow legal prostitution, but the laws governing it specify cervical screenings for female sex workers. The Davises persuaded the Nevada Board of Health to grant a waiver creating a health-screening process for men, which involves urethral tests. Co-owner Bobbi Davis, 55, has received hundreds of applicants and hopes to hire one or two studs by the end of the month.

Selling sex. Treating oneself or others as nothing more than genitals- that’s depravity.

Malaysia’s Churches Are Attacked, Again

Firebombs were thrown at three more churches in Malaysia on Sunday and another was splashed with black paint, the latest in a series of assaults on Christian houses of worship following a court decision allowing non-Muslims to use “Allah” to refer to God. Despite the attacks, thousands of Christians nationwide attended Sunday services and prayed for national unity and an end to the violence.

Let’s face it- those Malaysian Christians seem a whole lot more devoted and faithful than most European and American ones- who won’t bother to go to Church if the weather doesn’t perfectly suit them. Hence, it’s difficult to imagine most going to worship if they feared firebombing.

Perhaps, then, rather than suggesting we ought to pray for them, maybe they should be praying for us.

Church Discipline Sure Isn’t What It Used to Be…

A Miami preacher will stay on as president of the local Baptist Minister’s Council and pastor of his church despite being convicted of theft for withdrawing more than $10,000 of a $25,000 grant for personal use from ATM’s in Orlando, Houston and Nevada — including $500 at a Las Vegas martini bar.

In the good old days (and I mean that) such misconduct would have resulted in dismissal. And rightly.

At least the media recognizes the difference between right and wrong even if the Pastoral council responsible for retaining the convicted criminal doesn’t, titling their report ‘Shady Pastor…‘. Shady indeed.

(And yes, forgiveness is a good thing. When there’s been repentance. And a process of restoration. Winking at sin, on the other hand, isn’t real forgiveness; it’s a fraudulent substitute as similar to real forgiveness as a $4 Rolex is to a real one).

It’s only a watered down religiosity that turns its back on authentic fidelity to ethical standards replacing it with the much overused name of (a by now trite concept of) forgiveness and ‘acceptance’.

Another Quote Worthy of Note

I cannot marvel enough at the corrupt and schismatic manners of certain men, who separate themselves for every light cause from the most wholesome and pleasant company or society of the Church.  For you shall find in these days captious and fantastical men not a few, which of many years have had fellowship with no church, nor as yet have fellowship with any; for in every man that is [in the church] they find some kind of fault, in themselves only they find nothing worthy of criticism.  — Heinrich Bullinger