Daily Archives: 18 Dec 2011

Words of Wisdom

God doesn’t care who wins a ballgame- Paul Brewer, Prof. Of Systematic Theology (in class circa 1983).


You’ll not want to let the day pass before you read this gem:

The Story of the Outrage at Gibeah (Jdg. 19-21): Composition, Sources and Historical Context by Cynthia Edenburg.

Do You Feel Like God Owes You Something?

You’re mistaken.

Since all people have sinned in Adam and have come under the sentence of the curse and eternal death, God would have done no one an injustice if it had been his will to leave the entire human race in sin and under the curse, and to condemn them on account of their sin. As the apostle says: The whole world is liable to the condemnation of God (Rom. 3:19), All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).  – Canons of Dordt, 1.

Those Annoying ‘End of the Year’ Lists And the Lunatics Who Comment on Them

OK, NPR nails it with this one called

The 20 Unhappiest People You Meet In The Comments Sections Of Year-End Lists.

And then they nail all 20 of them to the wall. Mutatis mutandis, the same could be said of 90% of all blog commentators and 100% of all anonymous commentators on every website.  I especially like #2-

2. The Really Pretty Sure Person, Who Is Really Pretty Sure. “I’ve never seen Game Of Thrones, but I’m really pretty sure it’s not as good as Boardwalk Empire.”

That sounds exactly like people who never read books but who have some opinion about them.  ‘I’ve never read Bultmann but I’m really pretty sure that he was a false teacher’ or ‘I’ve never read Calvin but I know what he believed!’  Such dimwittery.

Along with ya- read the other 19.

Quote of the Day: Zwingli’s Opinion of the Baden Disputation

Excuditur disputatio Badensis, ut fama est, Lucernae cum impudentissimo praeiudicio, praefigitur enim praefatio non tantum stulta et indocta, sed etiam adeo contumeliosa in Lutherum atque nos, ut  nihil unquam sit inauspicatius ac ominosius visum.  –  Huldrych Zwingli

‘But We Need More Lebensraum!’

Bibi’s thirst for Palestinian property knows no satisfaction.

The Housing Ministry published tenders on Sunday for 1,028 homes to be built in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, part of a plan to build 6,000 housing units throughout Israel.  According to a statement by the ministry, 500 homes will be built in Har Homa in south Jerusalem, on land occupied during the 1967 Six Day War; 348 in the West Bank settlement of Betar Illit; and 180 in Givat Ze’ev, which lies between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Perhaps Bibi (and the rest who support this) need to read Isaiah 5-

For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry. Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no room, and ye be made to dwell alone in the midst of the land! In mine ears saith the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.

Bibi’s lust will be his destruction. And there’s no doubt at all that were Isaiah alive, he would excoriate the present government of Israel for its oppression and violence.

How Zionism in General and Christian Zionism in Particular Are Destroying America, and Israel

Here’s one of the best essays on the subject of the toxic nature of Christian Zionism I’ve ever read.

With people of Jewish faith making up just 2% of the potential vote, why are American politicians pandering to the whims of Israel?
The answer partly lies in the fact that there are an estimated 40 million American Christian Zionists or Christian conservatives that constitutes a sizeable portion of the US vote. So what is Christian Zionism and how is it fundamentally different from other Christian teachings?

Great questions and better answers:

It is evident that both Jewish and Christian Zionists have a significant influence on Congress and indeed on US Foreign policy. Policy that favours Israel above any other middle-east country and more importantly over American citizens.

Damningly of Obama-

From 1976 onward, Israel has been the leading country for US economic assistance. In his 2012 budget speech President Obama requested a record $3.075 billion worth of weapons for Israel, a $75 million increase from 2011. This in stark contrast to the $700 million that was earmarked for Palestine but was withdrawn after pressure from Jewish lobby groups when Palestine attempted to achieve recognition as an UN member state. Israel has one of the highest economic growth rates and mean living standards in the world whilst Palestine has one of the lowest.

It is plain to the entire world that Israel is being treated more specially than any other country in the world. And that’s immoral. Shamefully the only public figure willing to speak the truth on the subject is Ron Paul.

Refreshingly, Ron Paul, US Presidential hopeful has called for the halting of all US aid. In a debate in October of this year, Ron Paul stated, “It’s not authorized in the constitution that we can take money from you (the American people) and give it to particular countries around the world. To me, foreign aid is taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries.” He went on to say, “That foreign aid makes Israel dependent on us… It softens them for their own economy. And they should have their sovereignty back, they should be able to deal with their neighbors at their own will.”

Indeed. Unfortunately the dreadful cowards in Washington would rather pander to the heretical fringe than act in judicious righteousness.

Sick of paying taxes to the military-industrial complex?  Then tell your Congressional delegation to stop giving Israel money hand over fist.    Tired of seeing the Palestinians treated like trash while Israel is treated as if it were God himeslf?  Then tell your elected officials to get their noses out of Christian Zionism’s posterior.

SNL Does Tim Tebow

As they say, the kid has ‘made it’. SNL has mocked him.

The Groningen Hypothesis Revisited

English: Jerusalem, Shrine of the Book Deutsch...

An essay by Florentino Garcia-Martinez titled The Groningen Hypothesis Revisited, Pages 17-29 in The Dead Sea Scrolls and Contemporary Culture. Proceedings of the International Conference held at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (July 6-8, 2008). Edited by A. Roitman, L.H. Schiffman and Sh. Tzoref. STDJ 93. Leiden: Brill, 2011, is online for your enjoyment.

Per usual, it’s worth reading if it’s Garcia-Martinez.

Hey, Why Do We Need a Savior Anyway?

In a word- sin. I know people don’t like to use that word, or hear it, any longer. We prefer ‘alternative lifestyle’ or ‘personal freedom’ or ‘my rights’ or most of all ‘I’ll do what I want when I want and no one can say anything about it because it’s my life!’

We’re sadly and stupidly and famously mistaken, however to think that these lives we have are ‘ours’. What could be more foolish than such idiocy? As though we chose to be. As though we continue to choose to be. As if life itself weren’t granted us by Another who holds claim to it and so to us.

Against that One our rebelliousness screeches so loudly as to pierce mortal ears. Sin. So, in response to that disavowal of our bounden duty to His Supreme Lordship, he provides for our restoration. That’s why we need a Savior. Because we sin. Constantly. And hence we are constantly called to repentance, to realignment to the Divine Will.

So here, in the words of the Psalm, a prayer of confession you can pray in recognition of your own silly and self-destructive waywardness-

Have mercy on me, God,
according to your faithful love!
Wipe away my wrongdoings
according to your great compassion!
2 Wash me completely clean of my guilt;
purify me from my sin!
3 Because I know my wrongdoings,
my sin is always right in front of me.
4 I’ve sinned against you—you alone.
I’ve committed evil in your sight.
That’s why you are justified
when you render your verdict,
completely correct
when you issue your judgment.
5 Yes, I was born in guilt, in sin,
from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 And yes, you want truth
in the most hidden places;
you teach me wisdom
in the most secret space.r
7 Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and celebration again;
let the bones you crushed
rejoice once more.
9 Hide your face from my sins;
wipe away all my guilty deeds!
10 Create a clean heart for me, God;
put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!
11 Please don’t throw me
out of your presence;
please don’t take your holy spirit
away from me.
12 Return the joy of your salvation to me
and sustain me with a willing spirit. (CEB)