Daily Archives: 21 Jul 2012

Calvin For the People

From the publisher of this very fine 10 volume (in 8) edition of Calvin’s works-

Die Calvin-Studienausgabe ist nun als besonders preisgünstige Gesamtausgabe in 10 Teilbänden erhältlich. Einführungspreis bis 31.12.2012: nur € 129,00. Weitere Infos: http://neukirchener-verlage.de/artikel/zeige/602.600/.

It’s tremendous and everyone doing any work in Calvin needs to acquire it.  And the price for the set is exceedingly reasonable.  Each work is introduced by a leading Calvin scholar and on facing pages there’s the Latin (or French) original and a modern (excellent) German translation.  Ad Fontes indeed!

Methodists: Heading Slowly But Surely In the Direction of Episcopalianism

Joel writes

This happened in Charleston this past week:

Meeting in Charleston, W.V., nearly two-thirds of the 227 delegates at the Northeastern Jurisdiction of United Methodism approved the resolution on Thursday.

“…while bound to the Book of Discipline, [Jurisdiction leaders] are also bound to exercise their consciences and are bound by Jesus’s commandment to stand with the marginalized and the oppressed in our midst when called upon to enforce unjust laws, policies and procedures to the detriment of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender individuals wishing to participate fully in the life of The United Methodist Church,” reads the resolution.

Jesus’s commandment to stand with the marginalized?  Seriously????  I’d be very interested in seeing the text where Jesus commands disciples to stand with ‘the marginalized’.  Further, it breaks credulity for anyone in the United States today to say that Gay’s are in any sense ‘marginalized’.  They’re the center of attention!  Nothing matters in America so much as homosexual sexuality!  It’s at the center of the national discussion every bloody day.  Marginalized.  Please.  And then, we’re supposed to believe that Jesus calls us as well

to stand with the … oppressed in our midst when called upon to enforce unjust laws, policies and procedures to the detriment of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender individuals wishing to participate fully in the life of The United Methodist Church

What Bible are they reading?????  Jesus never said any such thing!   Joel continues

I have a few structural problems with this.

I have no idea what a ‘structural problem’ is unless the emerging pro-homosexuality turn is a building and it’s bricks are cracking.  But Joel does go on to describe his problems with the turn.  And with his remark

The Book of Discipline supersedes our individual consciences and interpretations. There is a reason we covenant together in an episcopal style church. We are not Baptists – we are not individual churches in union, but a universal church under a covenant. We cannot decide to simply ignore that covenant because we disagree with it. We work with it and in it, but to suggest that because we disagree we can ignore it is dishonest in my opinion. It is dishonest to the covenant and to one another. And I remind you that the covenant is made to one another before God.

I wholly agree.  Methodists aren’t Baptists and they do enter into covenant with a larger body beyond the local congregation.  And that may well be their undoing.  Baptists are accountable to Christ and subsume their lives to the teaching of the ‘whole counsel of God’ rather than a subsidiary text (like a book of Discipline).  Or at least they’re supposed to…  most don’t.

Motive Matters

Any act performed for an evil or selfish purpose is a bad act no matter how good it may in itself seem. Any act done out of love is a good act, even if through ignorance or failure the outcome is not found to be good for the one concerned. A Christian mother, for instance, who rises in the small hours of the morning to care for a sick child only because she loves it and wishes it well is performing a good act even if in her ignorance she may actually harm the child by failing to care for it properly. And the mother who would rise in cold anger to look after a child she hated would be performing a bad act even if her superior skill enabled her to care for it well. — A.W. Tozer

Scholars You Should Know: Máire Byrne

Máire Byrne has written one of the most important books of the last decade in her The Names of God in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: A Basis for Interfaith Dialogue. I say that because, alongside the developing importance of the methodological tool of reception history, interfaith dialogue is the next ‘big thing’ in terms of biblical studies. And her study is on the cutting edge.

This book offers a welcome solution to the growing need for a common language in interfaith dialogue; particularly between the three Abrahamic faiths in our modern pluralistic society. The book suggests that the names given to God in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Qur’an, could be the very foundations and building blocks for a common language between the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths. On both a formal interfaith level, as well as between everyday followers of each doctrine, this book facilitates a more fruitful and universal understanding and respect of each sacred text; exploring both the commonalities and differences between each theology and their individual receptions.

In a practical application of the methodologies of comparative theology, Maire Byrne shows that the titles, names and epithets given to God in the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam contribute towards similar images of God in each case, and elucidates the importance of this for providing a viable starting point for interfaith dialogue.

Maire is also a blogger (though to my discomfort she has allowed her good blog to lie fallow for far too long) and a member of SOTS (one of those learned societies one must be elected to, not one where if a person simply pays dues, they can attach themselves to it whether they know anything about the field or not).

There’s more on her on Academia.edu. She’s a scholar you should know.

Gun Control, Or the Tyranny of the Maniacal?

What’s your answer, Second Amendment worshipers?

Citigroup: Corrupt to the Very Core

The HuffPo reports

So far Barclays has been the sad, British face of the Libor scandal, but there could soon come a day when an American bank could be the poster child for Libor manipulation. USA! USA!  Fortune’s Stephen Gandel wrote on Friday about not one, not two, but three different studies that use charts and math to show that, of all the many banks just stone-cold manipulatin’ Libor during the financial crisis, the champion Libor-mangler of all was apparently, drumroll please, Citigroup.

Greed is the god of this age.  Greed is all that matters- from the lowliest welfare recipient who would rather draw a check than work for an honest day’s wage to the most corrupt corporate CEO and everyone in between (with precious few exceptions), greed is the god the Americans and Europeans adore, worship, and bow to.

Quote of the Day: Why The Truth Must Be Spoken

Do not deceive yourself that you have persuaded me to [refuse to speak what’s right], you vain, loose hypocrite. I will rather take care of my soul, which I have laden with enough other misdeeds, and will not murder it outright with a suppression of the truth. — Huldrych Zwingli

Only Because It’s Amazing

via G+

Today at Azekah

They posted a very fine group photo.  See if you can spot Lipschits, Koch, or the Cargills…

Anti-Intellectualism is the Mother of the Dilettante

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” – Isaac Asimov (with thanks to Francis D on FB for the tip).

If you show me an anti-intellectual I’ll show you a dilettante, because anti-intellectualism is the mother of the dilettante.

Mr Wilson’s War

Mr Wilson has, according to Mike Bird, removed his inappropriate and unfortunate and theologically inept post referred to widely and denounced moreso.

And while Mike thinks it an act of courage I think it the act of a person who either doesn’t have the courage of his convictions or who can be persuaded to disavow his views when the pressure mounts to do so.   Either way, the removal is quite telling.

Mind you, it doesn’t matter that he removed it.  You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube and his apparent belief that women should be treated as nothing more than conquests, nothing more than semen receptacles, is both sub-Christian and anti-theological.