Mitt Romney, There’s No Way I Would Vote For You

During the Iowa stops, he tested an update of his standard campaign speech, incorporating the new economic policy he proposed last week. In it, Romney pledges to cut $500 billion from the federal deficit in his first four years in office.  In Davenport, he listed the National Endowment of the Arts, National Endowment for Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Amtrak as programs that may be cut or eliminated under a Romney administration.  “I think it’s time for programs that we like but we simply can’t afford to be stopped or to be cut back and make it on their own,” he said, prompting applause. “And I’m going to do that.”

Cut defense spending instead of nickel and dime programs and we’ll talk.

Answering Your Letters


I notice that you seem to have an opinion about everything.  Why is that?


Will, thanks for asking.  It’s not that I have an opinion about everything as much as it is the fact that theology has an opinion about everything.

My first seminar in grad school was with Richard Spencer.  We were discussing the parables of Jesus and he asked our group a question.  We all just sat there, blank faced.  He got a funny look on his face and said something I’ve never forgotten:

Theology addresses every aspect of life.  You need to learn to think, theologically.

He was right.  Hence, in my estimation, Bill, everything, and I mean everything, is fair game for theological observation.  That’s why I observe widely on every topic that interests me: all of them have theological relevance.

Rick Santorum Speaks for Many…

Sadly, who care more about the ‘reputation’ of Penn State than they do the victims of Sandusky’s perversity and the University’s failure to deal with him.

Hey Rick, what about Sandusky’s victims?  Oh, I forgot, you don’t care about them.  They don’t matter.  Only the school and the football program do.

Joe Paterno: Disappointment

Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Joe Patern...

Say it ain't so, Joe. Say you didn't know...

It’s tragic that Paterno is going to end his days at Penn State under the shadow of a scandal that he should have handled at its first appearance.

Roughly 30 minutes before it was to begin, the weekly press conference of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has been canceled.  “Due to the on-going legal circumstances centered around the recent allegations and charges,” the university said in a statement, “we have determined that today’s press conference cannot be held and will not be re-scheduled.”  Paterno had been scheduled to speak to the media for the first time since his former assistant, Jerry Sandusky, was charged with multiple counts of child sexual abuse over the weekend. In addition, two Penn State officials — Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, vice-president for business and finance — have stepped down in the wake of the scandal.  The press conference was canceled by Penn State President Graham Spanier, who’s also under fire in the wake of the scandal, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News’ Sara Ganim.

It all reeks of Cover-Up.  ‘Protect the reputation of the school no matter what’ is turning into ‘the school is losing its reputation along with Paterno BECAUSE it isn’t speaking out’.

Not only should Paterno hold a press conference, he should answer any and every question posed concerning the scandal.  People these days, post Watergate, demand transparency.  When it isn’t forthcoming, all trust is lost.  Meanwhile- the victims continue to be ignored, forgotten, and overlooked- which is the greatest scandal of all.

Whose Reformation Is It, Anyway?

Refo500 announces

The Europäische Melanchthon-Akademie (EMA) organizes with Refo500 an international symposium on “Wem gehört die Reformation? Nationale und konfessionelle Dispositionen der Reformationsdeutung”, from 1 to 3 March 2012 in Bretten, under the leadership of Dr. Günter Frank (EMA Bretten, FU Berlin), Prof. Dr. Volker Leppin (Universität Tübingen) and Prof. Dr. Herman J. Selderhuis (Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn).  For inquiries or further information please contact Andreas Klein, employee of the EMA.   The program will follow shortly.

As I’ve suggested elsewhere, if you have a chance to attend a Refo500 event, do it!  The recent Reformation Spirituality Conference proved the worthwhile-ness of such events.

The Berleburger Bibel (1742)

You probably haven’t ever heard of the Berleburger Bibel.  You aren’t alone.  it is an extremely rare edition of the Bible produced in Switzerland in the 18th century.   Unfortunately, it’s harder to find than an honest politician.  But fortunately, someone has scanned at least the Gospel of James  (!) and posted it at  You can read it for yourself here.  You can find the Canonical Four Gospels here, and  Hebrews – Revelation here, both in Google Book format.

The edition is a mystical ‘reworking’ of Luther’s version.


You Can’t Believe Bibi, He’s a Big Ole’ Liar

This image shows Nicolas Sarkozy who is presid...

My new BFF

That’s the view of the President of France (for whom I suddenly feel strangely fond).

French President Nicolas Sarkozy branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a liar” in a private conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama that was accidentally broadcast to journalists during last week’s G20 summit in Cannes. “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation. “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.

Sarkozy has no reason to be embarrassed. He’s simply told the truth. A thing Bibi never does.

Bullinger’s First Letter to Zwingli

Heinrich Bullinger was living and working in Kappel on the 8th of November, 1528, when he wrote for the first time to Huldrych Zwingli in Zurich.  Here’s what he said

Gratia et pax a domino. Rogo te plurimum, Zuingli mi, ut paucis mihi mentem tuam adaperias atque edoceas, quid rei sit, quod Christum ad inferna descendisse confitemur. Sunt enim ex doctis hodie non pauci, qui mira hic comminiscuntur, interim ut nihilo minus ipsi sese torqueant et lectores avidos a se dimittant.

Heilrijch Bullingerus tuus.
Hulderycho Zuinglio, fratri in domino charissimo.

Bullinger had students who wanted to understand more fully the line from the Apostle’s Creed which declared that Christ had ‘descended into hell’. So he requests Zwingli’s view of the matter.

Bullinger recognized Zwingli as the leading theological mind in the land and it was only natural that he seek an answer from him. And so their all to brief relationship began.

Konrad Schmid’s Isaiah Commentary

TVZ has just announced the publication of Konrad Schmid’s latest book

Dieser erste Teilband zu Jesaja erläutert die Texte historisch und erschliesst sie theologisch. Dabei folgt der Autor den Erkenntnissen der neuesten Forschung an den Prophetenbüchern des Alten Testaments: Sie hat das Jesajabuch als langfristig gewachsene Auslegung der Botschaft Jesajas (8. Jh. v. Chr.) auf nachfolgende geschichtliche Situationen bis hin zu seinem literarischen Abschluss (3. Jh. v. Chr.) zu verstehen gelehrt.  Der Kommentar enthält eine ausführliche historische und thematische Einführung und wendet sich an Bibelleserinnen und -leser, die bereit sind, antike Literatur in ihrer Eigenart zu respektieren, und die auch schwierige biblische Texte verstehen wollen.