Daily Archives: 23 Feb 2012

The Apostles Creed: In German, By Zwingli

Statue of Zwingli in Zürich where he holds the...

Zwingli’s translation of the Apostles Creed appears in the 1525 ‘Church Order‘ and goes like this:

Ich gloub in einen gott,
In den vatter, allmechtigen, den schöpffer himmels und erden.

Unnd in Jesum Christum, sinen eingebornen sun, unseren herren,
Der empfangen ist von dem heyligen geyst,
Geboren ist uß der magt Maria,
Gelitten hat under Pontio Pilato, crütziget, gestorben und vergraben.
Ist hinabgefaren zuo den hellen,
Am dritten tag widrumb uferstanden von den todten.
Ist ufgefaren in die himmel.
Sitzt zuo der grechten gottes, vatters, allmächtigen.
Dannen er künfftig ist ze richten die läbendigen und die todten.

Ich gloub in den heiligen geyst.
Ein heylige, allgemeyne christenlich kilchen, gemeinsame der heiligen.
Verzyhung der sünden.
Urstende des lybs.
Und ewigs läben.

Tweet for Youcef

It seems that the execution warrant has been issued for Pastor Youcef- so it is absolutely critical that we all lift our voices in solidarity with him.  I encourage you to visit this site and if you use twitter, please sign up to ‘tweet for Youcef’.

The Vatican Wants its Bible Back… From Turkey

Because it contains secret teachings….???

The Bible reportedly contains early teachings of Jesus Christ and is written in gold lettering on animal hide in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, which was the native tongue of Jesus.  According to a report by National Turk, the Bible was seized from a gang of smugglers in a Mediterranean-area operation. The report states the gang was charged with smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations, and the possession of explosives.  Today’s Zaman reports that the Bible is under high security and that a Turkish daily newspaper, the Star, claims the book could be a copy of the Gospel of Barnahas — a controversial text which Muslims claim is an addition to the original gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — that was suppressed.  In it, Jesus is said to have predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad.

Rubbish.  Silly people and their silly absurd idiotic conspiracy theories.

Gallows Humor and the Bible

Ok right up front, I’m a big fan of gallows humor.  So when I spotted this post by Tim Bulkeley I knew I had to read it.  I’m glad I did.  You’ll be glad to read it too.  (And with Tim, I’m a big fan of Robert Carroll too!)

Clash of the Titans, Or Just Not Much of Anything at All…

Roll up, roll up for the heavyweight shadow-boxing championship of the world! A grand contest between Oxford’s undisputed champions of atheism and Christianity, Professor Richard Dawkins, and Archbishop Rowan Williams! In the blue corner, the charismatic preacher who has made thousands of converts around the world; in the red corner – Rowan Williams.

Personally I wouldn’t give a plug nickel to cross the street to hear either of them.  Angry atheists are a predictable and boring lot and Williams looks like a guy who needs to trim his eyebrows: who can listen to him with those things waving in the air?

Anyway, if I want to be bored, I’ll just watch YouTube videos of cats falling.

[These ‘debates’ are more debacle than useful exchange of ideas.  They’re pointless and mere publicity seeking].

More Political Dirtbaggery: The Repub ‘Voter ID’ Proponent Who Casts Votes in Other People’s Names…

Yesterday in Wisconsin, a hidden camera caught a certain Republican voter ID law advocate violating the assembly rules to cheat and vote for colleagues who were not present. This is also referred to as vote fraud.  Rep. Kleefisch is among the gleeful cheaters. Assembly Rule 76.(5) states that only the members present in the assembly chamber may vote.

Look at the clown behind the fraudster, laughing up a storm:

Politicians… the most depraved of the totally depraved: making rules for others they ignore for themselves.  (Via Thomas Bolin on FB).


The easy roads are crowded,
And the level roads are jammed;
The pleasant little rivers
With the drifting folks are crammed,
But off yonder where its rocky
Where you get a better view,
You will find the ranks are thinning
And the travelers are few.

Where the going’s smooth and pleasant
You will always find the throng,
For the many, more’s the pity,
Seem to like to drift along;
But the steps that call for courage,
And that task that’s hard to do.
In the end results in glory
For the never-wavering few. — Author Unknown

Total Depravity: The Murderous Granny Edition

On Friday, Joyce Hardin Garrard found out her 9-year-old granddaughter Savannah Hardin had eaten a candy bar on the school bus, and allegedly punished her by making her run around the house, without stopping, for three hours. Savannah, who had a bladder condition that could have been aggravated by the candy, began having seizures and was rushed to the hospital, where she died Monday. Garrard and Savannah’s stepmother, Jessica Mae Hardin, are charged with the girl’s murder, MyFox Alabama reports.

What senselessness.

The third-grader “was caused to undergo physical exertion to the point in time where she just got dehydrated and her electrolyte levels got to the point where she couldn’t survive life,” the district attorney says.

Unfortunately, this horrid woman is bringing another child into the world.  One wonders how she will manage to murder it.

Hardin, 26, gave birth yesterday afternoon while sheriff’s deputies guarded her.

One wonders what the victim’s father will want to do to this wicked step-mother.  And to the wicked granny.

Are People ‘Hard Wired’ For Certain Behavior? Nope

And those who suggest we are oversimplify the complexities of human behavior.

In the middle of the essay this nugget-

Anthropological studies show that humans respond with incredible plasticity to the social and environmental forces around us. As biological anthropologist and blogger Patrick Clarkin aptly puts it, our abilities for cooperation and conflict, love and hate are “triggered under given circumstances, facilitated or hampered by social conditions and structures.”  In a beautiful piece from 2006 for the magazine Foreign Affairs,neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky meshes Clarkin’s point with an evolutionary perspective. He argues that even our primate heritage is one of plasticity; small shifts in social dynamics may tip the scales toward violence or peace.

We are, in other words, highly adaptable.  Hard-wired?  Nope.  Conditioned?  Yup.  And our default condition is totally depraved.  Unless and until rescued by the grace of God from that miserable estate.

The Lautenschläger Azekah Archaeological Project Field School

Via the goodly Oded Lipschits

Supervised by Prof. Oded Lipschits, Tel Aviv University  — The Lautenschläger Azekah Archaeological Project has initiated a field school designed to provide students with their first taste of archaeological fieldwork and to expand their theoretical knowledge. The field school will focus its efforts on unearthing the various parts of the biblical city of Azekah and on discovering the caves used as hideouts during the Bar Kochba revolt against the Roman Empire.

Field work will include intensive guidance by the field supervisors, including detailed explanations and instruction. This field training will include discussion of methods of stratigraphic excavation, recording and documentation. Furthermore, our staff specialists will hold special workshops focusing on subjects such as site survey and mapping, pottery typology, landscape archaeology, geology, etc.

Associated coursework will be divided into three sections: Introduction to Archaeology, History and Archaeology of the Judean Lowland, and History and Archaeology of the Land of the Bible. Students will receive readings materials six weeks before the beginning of the excavations (end of May 2012). At the end of each course, students will be graded on the basis of their participation in class, their engagement with the assigned reading and a final paper.

Go to the link above for much more.

SBL Annual Meeting Registration is Open

From the SBL

Online registration for Annual Meetings 2012 in Chicago is now open. We hope you will plan to participate. Super Saver rates are in effect through April 15, so register now to save money and reserve your favorite hotel. The conference hotels are primarily located in the downtown “Loop” area, and many restaurants and attractions are within walking distance. Evening events such as receptions and the Presidential Address will take place in the downtown hotels. Daytime program sessions will be held at the McCormick Place convention center. Shuttle buses will be available for transportation between the conference hotels and McCormick Place convention center. Before you register, you may want to preview the Chicago hotel locator map and hotel descriptions. You may select from the hotels currently available when you register.

Thy Word Is Truth: Barth on Scripture by George Hunsinger

Over at Eerdword there’s an excerpt from Hunsinger’s new book.

It was once suggested by Calvin that the main reason for studying theology is to make us better readers of Holy Scripture. No one took this proposition more seriously than Karl Barth. The 150-page Scripture Index to his massive Church Dogmatics testifies impressively to his biblical engagement. Using the Scripture Index can be a good way of gaining access to his theology.

Barth’s scriptural interpretation was strongly christocentric. He believed that Jesus Christ is attested, directly or indirectly, by virtually any biblical passage, whether in the Old Testament or the New. He therefore read all of Scripture from a center in Jesus Christ. Scripture was to be interpreted with an eye toward Christ as the one who had become incarnate, was crucified, and was raised again for our sakes. Barth ingeniously discerned parallels in Scripture — both literary and theological — to the narrative of this saving history. Other biblical events and figures could be read as “types” for which Christ served as the “antitype.” How could it be otherwise if the entire sweep of God’s covenant, as attested in Holy Scripture, was fulfilled in him?

Etc.  Of course the problem with Barth’s exegesis is that it tends to be both prooftexting and decontextualizing. Reading his commentary on Romans, for example, one hears Barth, but not really Paul (and Barth’s book was eviscerated by New Testament scholars when it came out for precisely that reason).  Barth’s other commentaries (not that there were any- rather, his lectures on various New Testament books) were also crippled by the same shortcoming.  Barth was a good theologian (not as good as Brunner) and Barth was a terrible exegete.

But maybe Hunsinger can change my mind.

Convert and Die, in Iran

Fox News (words you won’t see very often at all) reports

A trial court in Iran has issued its final verdict, ordering a Christian pastor to be put to death for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity, according to sources close to the pastor and his legal team.  Supporters fear Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old father of two who was arrested over two years ago on charges of apostasy, may now be executed at any time without prior warning, as death sentences in Iran may be carried out immediately or dragged out for years.  It is unclear whether Nadarkhani can appeal the execution order.

Welcome to Iran (in the 12th century).

“The world needs to stand up and say that a man cannot be put to death because of his faith,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).  “This one case is not just about one execution. We have been able to expose the system instead of just letting one man disappear, like so many other Christians have in the past.”

To the leaders of Iran- you MUST NOT murder this man.  You may not.

Sebastian Moll: The Reverend Timothy Lovejoy

New over at Bible and Interpretation, Sebastian’s really interesting piece on Lovejoy.  He begins

A few years ago, The Times stated that Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons was “the most instantly recognizable Scot in the world.” Perhaps the same could be said about Reverend Lovejoy as the world’s best known minister. As such, I feel his exegetical and theological wisdom deserves a closer look here as an attempt to assign him his place in the history of theology. So let us take a look at three classic statements by this pastor of the “Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism.”

Not being a watcher of the Simpsons (never have felt the need to be, actually) I’m not in any respect familiar with Lovejoy but Moll makes him at least seem relatively interesting.

The Republican Candidates Are All Talk and No Action When it Comes to Budget Woes

The national debt is likely to balloon under tax policies championed by three of the four major Republican candidates for president, according to an independent analysis of tax and spending proposals so far offered by the candidates.  The lone exception is Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who would pair a big reduction in tax rates with even bigger cuts in government services, slicing about $2 trillion from future borrowing.

According to the report — set for release Thursday by U.S. Budget Watch, a project of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget — former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former House speaker Newt Gingrich would do the most damage to the nation’s finances, offering tax and spending policies likely to require trillions of dollars in fresh borrowing.

So reports the Washington Post.

Vote for whomsoever you wish- Republican or Democrat.  It just doesn’t matter because they are all just the same: they’ll say anything to get elected and then they’ll do what the deep pockets want them to do.  Deceive yourself into believing otherwise if you must, if it helps you sleep at night.

Illegal Abortions Based on the Sex of the Baby

The Telegraph has a report today which demonstrates that abortions are performed simply on the basis of the sex of the baby:

Women are being granted illegal abortions by doctors based on the sex of their unborn baby, an undercover investigation by The Daily Telegraph reveals. … Doctors at British clinics have been secretly filmed agreeing to terminate foetuses purely because they are either male or female. Clinicians admitted they were prepared to falsify paperwork to arrange the abortions even though it is illegal to conduct such “sex-selection” procedures. Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said: “I’m extremely concerned to hear about these allegations. Sex selection is illegal and is morally wrong. I’ve asked my officials to investigate this as a matter of urgency.”

Morally wrong…. there’s an understatement.  So, if you want a boy but you’re carrying a girl, just kill her.  That’s simply evil, it isn’t just immoral.

Give Beggars Nothing: A Provocative Essay

Philippe Welti writes a brief essay which is stirring considerable debate:  his thesis- give beggars nothing.  Is this harsh or actually helpful?  His reasoning is actually quite sound-

Mit der Reformation mussten Behinderte und Arbeitsunfähige nicht mehr betteln, sondern wurden unterstützt von denjenigen, die arbeiten konnten. Und für die Krankenfürsorge war nun der Staat zuständig. Dem christlichen Gebot, den Armen zu helfen, wurde in Zwinglis Almosenordnung aus dem Jahr 1525 entsprochen. Wer aber gesund war, der wurde, statt seine Talente im Müssiggang zu vergeuden, zur Arbeit angehalten. Kommt Ihnen dies bekannt vor?

And more centrally

Wir Reformierten haben die Grundlage unserer modernen Sozial- und Wirtschaftsordnung gelegt und waren Wegbereiter des Kapitalismus und des Wohlstandes der Schweiz. Ohne protestantisches Arbeitsethos gäbe es auch die Finanzmetropolen Zürich und Genf, wo das Betteln verboten ist, nicht.

He concludes, after pointing out that there is aid-aplenty for those genuinely in need-

Was auf den ersten Blick einem Aussenstehenden hartherzig vorkommen mag, ist in Tat und Wahrheit Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe – ganz in reformiertem Sinne. Ich habe ein reines Gewissen.

Here in the South we say ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’.

Quote of the Day

Paul said “I am crucified with Christ.” I say “I think I’ll give up Diet Coke for Lent.” That’s why he was an apostle and I’m a tourist. — Lawson Stone