Daily Archives: 23 Dec 2011

Christmas, Under Attack…

Me, that is, under attack by the great-nephews at the family get-together today.  They’re great kids and they had a lot of fun beating me to near-death.

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Hold On, You May Not Have Any Right to Talk About God

Psalm 50:16ff lays it on the table-

16 But to the wicked God says, “ Why do you talk about my laws? Why do you even mention my covenant? 17 You hate discipline, and you toss my words behind your back. 18 You make friends with thieves whenever you see one; you spend your time with adulterers. 19 You set your mouth free to do evil, then harness your tongue to tell lies.

If you aren’t going to do what God says, shut up about what God says! And then in 21ff

21 You’ve done these things and I’ve kept quiet. You thought I was just like you! But now I’m punishing you; I’m laying it all out, right in front of your face. 22 So consider this carefully, all you who forget God, or I’ll rip you to pieces with no one to deliver you: 23 The one who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving is the one who honors me. And it is to the one who charts the correct path that I will show divine salvation. ” (CEB)

To paraphrase James- ‘be doers of the word and not hearers only; deceiving yourselves. And if you aren’t a doer, don’t be a talker. If you aren’t offering sacrifices of thanksgiving to God, don’t talk about God at all.’

Comfort Ye My People

Quote of the Day

Preaching at the Fraumunster

Evil has crept into this good creation because, and in so far as, man has faithlessly forgotten and denied the existence of his Creator and Lord.  Here there is no ‘intrinsic’ good.  What God does and wills is good; all that opposes the will of God is bad. — Emil Brunner

A Brunner Gallery

The Twentieth Century’s Greatest Systematic Theologian, Emil Brunner

Was born on the 23rd of December in 1889.  His breadth of knowledge was astonishing and his theological significance simply cannot be overstated or even exaggerated.  As Kelly van Andel puts it so nicely

[Brunner] studied at both Zurich and Berlin universities and received his doctorate in theology from Zurich in 1913. His doctoral dissertation was entitled ‘The Symbolic Element in Religious Knowledge’. In 1916–1917. Brunner served as pastor in the mountain village of Obstalden in the Canton of Glarus. In 1919–1920, he spent a year in New York studying at Union Theological Seminary.

In 1921, Brunner wrote what he considered his second dissertation, Experience, Knowledge and Faith. Another book soon followed, Mysticism and the Word, a critique of the liberal theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher. Such work enhanced his academic reputation, and he was rewarded in 1924 with an appointment as professor of systematic and practical theology at the University of Zurich, which he retained until 1955. In the late 1920s, his reputation continued to increase with the publication of two more books, The Philosophy of Religion from the Standpoint of Protestant Theology and The Mediator.

In 1932, having fulfilled invitations to visit and lecture across Europe and the United States, Brunner wrote God and Man and The Divine Imperative. Later, in 1937, he published Man in Revolt and Truth as Encounter. In 1938, he again returned to the United States to accept a visiting professorship at Princeton Theological Seminary.

He returned to Europe prior to World War II. Following the war, Brunner was invited to give the Gifford Lectures at the University of St Andrews in 1947–1948. His lecture series, ‘Christianity and Civilization’, was divided into two parts, ‘Foundations’ and ‘Specific Problems’.

Brunner’s teaching career concluded in 1953–1955 at what was then the new International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. In the meantime, he published his three-volume dogmatics, including The Christian Doctrine of GodThe Christian Doctrine of Creation and Redemption and The Christian Doctrine of the Church, Faith, and Consummation. On the return journey from Europe to Japan, Brunner suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was subsequently physically impaired, which weakened his ability to work productively. For the next nine years, Brunner suffered from further strokes. He died on 6 April 1966.

Other books by Brunner include: Theology of Crisis (1929); Word and the World (1931);Divine-Human Encounter (1943); Justice and the Social Order (1945), Revelation and Reason: The Christian Doctrine of Faith and Knowledge (1946); Scandal of Christianity (1951);Misunderstanding the Church (1952); Eternal Hope (1954); Great Invitation: Zurich Sermons(1955); Letter to Romans: A Commentary (1959); I Believe in the Living God: Sermons on the Apostle’s Creed (1961).

You haven’t experienced the joy of theology until you’ve experienced it through Brunner’s skillful works.  Lest we forget…

Contradicting that Fish Magnet on Your Bumper

Via 'Coffee With Jesus'

Aww… A Christmas Miracle

Let me be more specific, since some folks don’t believe in miracles.  By ‘Christmas miracle’ I here mean an example of dilettantism that soars to the heights of the miraculous.  This particular dilettante is, in fact, miraculously ignorant.

I use to be a very devout catholic, for 20+ years. Happily my eyes have been opened and know that organized religion is not the answer.

Oh you know it’s going to be a gem don’t you.  Another angry disenchanted soul who thinks that his very narrow experience of Christianity and Christian theology is THE experience of Christianity and Christian theology.  Such self-absorption and self involvement is usually reserved for newborns.

It gets more dilettantish still:

The statement, “May God forgive you your sins” is a strange parody. A loving Father cannot bring condemnation upon us. God cannot forgive sin because God does not condemn.

Alas, perhaps the little piece’s author ought to pick up a Bible and read it.  He doesn’t have to go any further into it than Genesis 3 (if he can concentrate that long that is) to discover his sentiments are based not on scripture (which must be the formative core of any theological claim) but, again, on his own narrowly simplistic self absorbed and self justifying senselessness.

In order to have forgiveness, we must first have condemnation. Condemn and we are made prisoners. Forgive and we are set free. There is no forgiveness in Heaven because it is not needed.

Well alrighty then.  I suppose that our poor thinker needs an introduction to soteriology but I have serious doubts that he is either interested or capable.  Therefore, here’s your award, Mr James.

Please, kindly never speak of Scripture, or God, again.  We thank you.

Morag Kersel: In Praise of Pots

English: Original Description: PROF. WM. F.ALB...

There’s a new essay at Bible and Interpretation which opens

In the Dead Sea region of Jordan, reports of looting began as early as the 1920s when Alexis Mallon and W. F. Albright first identified the Early Bronze Age cemetery and settlement site of Bab edh Dhra’. During their foray to the Dead Sea – undertaken to fill lacunae in our knowledge of the “land and its antiquities” – Mallon and Albright were confronted with looted tombs, which led to an unearthing of both a mortuary site and a possible large open-air settlement. The site and its environs remained largely unexplored for the next 40 years until the early 1960s when Near Eastern archaeologist Paul Lapp noticed a flood of pots in the antiquities shops in Jerusalem and Amman unmistakably from Bab edh Dhra’. The provenience (archaeological findspot) for the pots was “reported to have come from the Hebron area,” an often used euphemism for an unknown, looted or laundered artifact, still in use today.

If the issue of looted artifacts concerns you- this essay will interest you.

Just for James McGrath

Because I know he likes the sciency-fictiony stuff-

via Kyle on FB

To All of You

Merry Christmas!  (In case you’re traveling today or tomorrow and won’t check in until after the holiday).  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and for pete’s sake don’t be a feckless and vile pagan and skip worship Sunday.

If you do…. this is what awaits you!

Satan chewing those who skip worship Sunday

Oh Get Off It!

Stuffing an autistic kid in a duffel bag isn’t therapy, no matter how much his feckless school in Kentucky might think so.

A 9-year-old autistic boy who misbehaved at school was stuffed into a duffel bag and the drawstring pulled tight, according to his mother, who said she found him wiggling inside as a teacher’s aide stood by.

The mother of fourth-grader Christopher Baker said her son called out to her when she walked up to him in the bag Dec. 14. The case has spurred an online petition calling for the firing of school employees responsible.

“He was treated like trash and thrown in the hallway,” Chris’ mother, Sandra Baker, said Thursday. She did not know how [sic!  come on Fox, edit!] exactly how long he had been in the bag, but probably not more than 20 minutes.

Folk need to lose their jobs for doing this.  If the boy is causing serious problems, send him to the Principal’s office or call mom or dad and tell them he has to be picked up.  But don’t, under any circumstances, stuff him in a bag!