Daily Archives: 10 Aug 2011

Martin Luther: On Reading and Books

Luther advised all who proposed to study, in what art soever, to read some sure and certain books over and over again; for to read many sorts of books produces rather confusion than any distinct result; just as those who dwell everywhere, and remain in no place, dwell nowhere, and have no home. As we use not daily the community of all our friends, but of a select few, even so we ought to accustom ourselves to the best books, and to make them familiar unto us, so as to have them, as we say, at our fingers end.

A fine talented student fell into a frenzy; the cause of his disease was, that he laid himself out too much upon books, and was in love with a girl. Luther dealt very mildly and friendly with him, expecting amendment, and said: Love is the cause of his sickness; study brought upon him but little of his disorder.  In the beginning of the Gospel it went so with myself.

Martin Luther: On Discord

When two goats meet upon a narrow bridge over deep water, how do they behave? neither of them can turn back again, neither can pass the other, because the bridge is too narrow; if they should thrust one another, they might both fall into the water and be drowned; nature, then, has taught them, that if the one lays himself down and permits the other to go over him, both remain without hurt. Even so people should rather endure to be trod upon, than to fall into debate and discord one with another.  — Martin Luther

Martin Luther: On Lawyers

Every lawyer is sorely vexed at me because I preach so harshly against the craft; but I say I, as a preacher, must reprove what is wrong and evil. If I reproved them, as Martin Luther, they need not regard me, but forasmuch as I do it as a servant of Christ, and speak by God’s command, they ought to hearken unto me; for if they repent not, they shall everlastingly be damned; but I, when I have declared their sins, shall be excused. If I were not constrained to give an account for their souls, I would leave them unreproved. — Martin Luther

NT Wright’s Distortion of Paul (And Luther)

In joining »faith« to »faithfulness« Wright construes faith as fundamentally active. For this reason, »faith« for him serves as a »sign,« »emblem,« or »badge,« a visible mark of the Christian. Precisely here Wright sets himself at odds with the apostle, for whom faith remains fundamentally passive and hidden, even though it is operative in the whole of life.

God alone sees the hidden Jew and the circumcision of the heart (Rom 2:29). The obedience of faith is an obedience of reeeption that no longer seeks to secure life and righteousness by Performance, but simply grasps the divine word that announces the Christ who is present in the Gospel. All distance between God and the human being, between our present state and final justification, has been spanned by the crucified and risen Lord. Ironically, in his active conception of faith that sets distance between the human being and God, Wright meets his bete noire, Rudolf Bultmann. While Bultmann internalizes faith in existential decision, Wright externalizes it in the outward badge of faith(fulness). For Paul, faith is God’s creation. Both Wright and Bultmann turn faith into a moral demand that must be actualized, and thereby lose God’s absolute, unqualified gift of himself to us in Christ. Consequently, neither of them has a taste for the cross as a »great pleasure of our existence.«

Nicely put.  There’s more.  Here.

Well FINALLY, Some Good News!

I’ve been invited to move to Italy for a ‘new and exciting job opportunity‘!!!!  Yeehaw!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I’ll definitely let you know how it goes.

Why’d That Maryland Psychiatrist Kill Her Son and Then Her Self?

Money.  (What else).

Although family members said they were stunned by the killings, they also said [Margaret] Jensvold had become increasingly strained by financial pressure and by anguished fights with the county public school system over the special-needs education of her son, who had an autism spectrum disorder. They said the school district — apparently believing it could adequately educate Ben — had refused to cover tuition costs for the boy to attend a private school for special-needs students. Jensvold didn’t have the money herself and didn’t want to return her son to public school, where relatives said she felt harshly judged and marginalized and where Ben had struggled.

So rather than him struggling her solution was butchery.  Well that makes sense…  Dear God what a country.

The New London 2012 Olympic Logo

Via

Good – Gridlock Ensured and The Economy Soon to be Completely Decimated

Thanks Congress.  This is the best thing that could ever happen to the Democratic party, and the Republicans don’t have the foresight or sense to see it.

In a move that could deadlock the 12-member panel over taxes, but perhaps set the stage for changes later, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell named Tea Party ally Patrick Toomey to the panel with Jon Kyl and Rob Portman. The panel is known as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and was established to find $1.5 trillion in additional budget savings over 10 years, but markets have been looking for signs that it may be able to do more. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, appointed Dave Camp, who chairs the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee, along with conservative “young gun” Jeb Hensarling and Fred Upton. The committee also will have six Democratic members.

Voters won’t blame Obama and the Democrats for the impasse coming- they will blame the Tea people and the Republicans.  And rightly so.  Because even though a vast majority of Americans want reasoned measures, tax increases for the rich, and consensus, the Republicans have chosen members of the ‘super committee’ who won’t deliver any of those, triggering automatic cuts that will absolutely destroy whatever’s left of the economy.  When hundreds of thousands lose their jobs because of Republican intransigence, those angry folk won’t be voting Republican in 2o12.

A blind bat can see that. It’s just a shame that the entire country will have to suffer for the stupidity of Congress. But that’s no different than things are now.

The British Priest Who Encouraged Looters

What the heck?

In Toxteth, a Catholic priest has been arrested for giving directions to looting youths telling them that, “there is a massive range of hi-tech goods and trainers a mile down the road at the local abortion clinic, now go get them.”

As if the ends justify the means.  Do they not teach ethics in Catholic Seminaries??????

Via Stuart on the google +

‘Be Sure, Your Sins Will Make you Known’

The Dougherty gang’s time on the lam is over. Police in Colorado arrested 20-something siblings Ryan, Dylan, and Lee Grace after a high-speed car chase in which shots were fired, reports NBC 9. No injuries have been reported.

They doubtless thought their actions were ‘fun’ but just like the hooligans in Britain, the only thing they will see in the future is condemnation and well deserved punishment.  No one, no ONE escapes the recompence of their deeds.

Our Breast Obsessed Culture

The ‘big breast’ syndrome isn’t just affecting 20 and 30 somethings (and preteens) – even the elderly are smitten of it. And they ought to know better!

Marie Kolstad, an energetic property manager from Orange County, Calif., needed a lift in her busy life, but kept it secret from her four children, 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, fearing they would disapprove. At the age of 83, after being widowed for more than a decade, Kolstad spent $8,000 on three-hour breast implant surgery on July 22. “I never gave a thought to meeting someone different,” she said. “It was more about looking in the mirror and liking who I am.”

How does having artificial breasts make one like oneself better? I. Just. Don’t. Get. It. Our society is so obsessed with appearances, no wonder nothing of substance matters.

Congratulations to Eric Cline!

Winner of the BAS Book Award (for the third time!!!!)

Congrats, Eric, well deserved!

Guns Are Too Easy to Get In America

And I can’t say I’m a fan of it.  But every now and then, I reconsider my position.  After all, if some gun owners are self-sterilizing, it can’t be all that bad can it?  The gene pool surely does need some thinning.  If they can’t reproduce, maybe there will eventually be smarter people all throughout the land.

A suburban Phoenix man is recovering after police say he accidentally shot himself in the penis while putting his girlfriend’s gun in the waistband of his pants. Chandler police say 27-year-old Joshua Seto and his fiancée, Cara Christopher, were walking toward a grocery store when the shooting happened last week. The gun fired, striking Seto’s penis and continuing through his left thigh.

Dimwittery- and a Darwin Award nominee for sure.  (Via Tom Verenna on FB)

Cowardly Politicians

Utterly unsurprising, Congress folk who have gone home to raise funds for themselves (that’s what they’re always doing) aren’t at all interested in facing the music for their incompetence.

The town hall season is upon us and members of congress will undoubtedly face questions about the nation’s economic problems, the recent debt ceiling battle, and job creation.

That’s on the minds of many employed and out of work Americans and it wasn’t a town hall, but constituents in Speaker John Boehner’s district tried to talk to the Republican House leader on Monday about the lack of jobs in the Speaker’s district. Protestors showed up at his district office in West Chester, Ohio as well as outside a fundraiser at a golf club in Dublin, Ohio.

Protestors tried to go into the office to speak to staff, but staffers locked the door. The group then traveled to the country club where, according to protest organizers, police asked them to leave, and told them Boehner “doesn’t choose to come out.”

He doesn’t want to face the voters, so the voters should ignore him when elections roll around again.

Scott’s Mad at Me

Though he’s too polite to say so. I’m used to people being mad at me- for a lot of reasons. And it’s ok. I’m not going to be a different person just to make folk happy.

I will continue to assert that ‘scientists’ who blather on about theology have no business doing so. But so far as the second statement of Scott, that I try to tell science what it should think- I must insist that he’s wrong. I’ve never told science what it has to think. I merely mock it from time to time for its ridiculous claims and its ever so swiftly changing nature. ‘Scientific certainty’ is a joke and those sciency folks (or theologians parading as scientists) who continue to peddle the lie that science is a firm source of knowledge well deserve derision.

But if Scott, or anyone else for that matter, wants to ‘know where I’m coming from’ he (or they) can pick up a copy of Adolf Schlatter’s exceptionally insightful book:

And then, if Scott (or anyone else) decides not to be mad about this topic, I’m sure I’ll make them mad about something else quite soon.

Some theologians, and many apologists, argue that Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, and other secular scientists have no right whatsoever to speak of God, theology, or religion because they have no formal training for commenting on these subjects. However, some of these ‘theologians’, at the same time, hypocritically feel quite free to dictate what science is to these persons: a subject in which they have neither formal training nor familiarity! … Read More

via

Today With Zwingli

At the commencement of his sermon on ‘Freedom of Choice Concerning Foods’ Huldrych Zwingli insists

Read and understand!  Open your eyes and the ears of your heart and listen perceptively to what the Spirit of God says to us!

Indeed.  Sage advice anytime any of us read or hear a sermon.

Gov. Perry, ‘Faith Without Works is Dead’

As James rightly notes-

Whoever acts without mercy will be judged without mercy but mercy can afford to laugh at judgement. How does it help, my brothers, when someone who has never done a single good act claims to have faith? Will that faith bring salvation? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,’ without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that? In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead (Jam 2:13-17 NJB).

Benevolent charity has long been a cornerstone of conservative social policy, whether in the form of a religious group organizing large-scale relief programs or a quiet donor giving a helping hand to an individual man or woman. But how well conservative politicians might practice what they preach varies dramatically. Rick Perry has had steady work as a politician since the mid-1980s, and his income increased dramatically when he became governor of Texas in 2000. Between 2000 and 2009, he has earned $2.68 million, according to the Houston Chronicle. That’s a lot of means and opportunity to give back to all those who have lost their jobs, suffered through a harrowing addiction or endured a housing foreclosure.

That’s a lot of money. But Perry’s not much of a giver, and he’s absolutely no Tither!

A review of his tax records from the mid-1990s through 2009 show the governor has contributed very little to charity. When he has, Perry has given mainly to charities connected to his family, and even then, his donations have sometimes been slight. An analysis by the San Antonio Express-News in mid-June reported that of his $2.68 million, Perry “gave half a percent to churches and religious organizations, or $14,243.”

But, bless him, he’s just too poor to give more than he does…

When asked about the governor’s contributions, a senior Perry adviser told The Huffington Post that Perry is not wealthy and never has been.

In 10 years he earned more than 2.5 million and he’s not rich???? Anyone who earns more than a quarter of a million a year is rich in my book. Probably in yours too.

But that’s how it goes. We ALL know that the wealthier a person is, the less of a percentage of their income is given to charities and churches.

Still, faith without works is, well, dead.

Atheism’s Inconvenient Truth

Much of Arthur Schopenhauer's writing is focus...

Schopenhauer

No one disbelieves the existence of God except the person to whom God’s existence is not convenient. — A. Schopenhauer

And

Atheism is abnormal and unnatural, based not on intuitions but on inferential proofs and fallible reasoning, it is never sure of its causes. – H. Bavinck

The inconvenient truth which atheism seeks to ignore is that it only exists in opposition to that which it CLAIMS it denies.

Today’s Book Recommendation

Pakistan Will Do Anything for Money

Including but not limited to sheltering Osama bin Laden.  According to the Telegraph

Osama bin Laden was protected by elements of Pakistan’s security apparatus in return for millions of dollars of Saudi cash, according to a controversial new account of the operation to kill the world’s most wanted man.

So while the government was taking American dollars to ‘fight terrorism’ it was also taking Saudi money to shelter bin Laden. What a despicable and corrupt government.

I hope American tax payers are happy with our own policy makers, who funnel money to such corrupt people while American roads and schools and hospitals crumble.

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