Daily Archives: 19 Oct 2012

Truth

For so many ‘Christians’ this is a fact-

via Brian Kelley on G+

Billy Graham Doesn’t Think You Should Vote For Either of the Major Party Candidates

He writes

I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.

Ok that’s what he thinks- so let’s see how the candidates stack up:

I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles

Ok- that means we certainly can’t vote for Romney because, as a faithful, practicing Mormon he does not, I repeat he does NOT base his decisions on biblical principles, nor on biblical teaching, nor on biblical theology.  His Mormonism informs his understanding of biblical texts and he supplements the Bible with the Book of Mormon, thus violating a prime Christian principle- Scripture ALONE is authoritative for faith and practice.

and support the nation of Israel.

The nation of Israel doesn’t exist.  The modern State of Israel is not the modern equivalent of the ancient people of Israel (in spite of the wish of the Christian Zionists that it is) and thus neither candidate can fulfill this requirement.

I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life

Obama is out then because he supports abortion rights- and so does Romney.  See their many statements to that effect delivered over the years.  Further, both support the death penalty.  The death penalty too is a violation of the principle of the sanctity of life.

and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.

Again, both are out.  Obama supports gay marriage and as a Mormon, Romney supports ‘eternal’ marriage (whether or not he admits it is another issue altogether.  The fact is, classical Mormon theology even now insists on marriage being ‘eternal’).  However, the Bible teaches that in heaven ‘they neither marry nor are given in marriage’.

Who, then, does Billy wish us to vote for, since neither major party candidate will do?

More on the Collected Essays of James Barr

Mentioned previously, word now from Eisenbrauns that they will have the 3 volumes available (at a somewhat reduced price) when they’re published.

And, I know, the three volumes are expensive.  But look at it this way- how much would you pay to sit in a classroom and listen to lectures by one of the leading biblical scholars of the 20th and 21st centuries?  Because that’s what you are, in essence, doing when you read his fantastic work.

Skip purchasing just a couple of video games and you’ll have enough to pay for all three volumes.  Having read a LOT of Barr’s work and wishing I had access to more, I’m very keen to finally have them all.

Some Essays from Frank Moore Cross

Is there a better way to remember a scholar than to read his work? Methinks not. And the folk at Eisenbrauns seem to be of the same opinion. James Spinti writes

Those of us at Eisenbrauns thought the best way to memorialize F.M. Cross was to offer this collection at a savings. As Jack Sasson said, “It is the end of an era.” His work will be referred to and footnoted for many years to come.

Leaves from an Epigrapher’s Notebook: Collected Papers in Hebrew and West Semitic Palaeography and Epigraphy, By Frank Moore Cross, Jr. Edited by John Huehnergard and Jo Ann Hackett.

Your Price: $34.98

May his memory be blessed,
James

Dinesh D’Souza is Out

From CNN

Conservative writer and activist Dinesh D’Souza, who attracted wide attention with his recent anti-Obama film “2016: Obama’s America,” resigned Thursday as president of a Christian college in New York after questions were raised about his marriage.  D’Souza had led The King’s College, a small but prestigious evangelical school in Manhattan, for the past two years.  His departure appeared to be set in motion by an article on the website of the evangelical magazine World that accused D’Souza, who is married, of sharing a hotel room with a woman whom he allegedly referred to as his “fiancé” at a Christian conference.  D’Souza has denied the allegations in the article, published Tuesday, and said he has been separated from his wife for two years and is in the process of getting a divorce.

He is not an honorable man in any event.  He only resigned because forced to do so.  If he were an honest man he would have 1) been upfront with his divorce proceedings; 2) never had a fling, or put himself in a compromising situation.  The truth is – he isn’t sorry.  He’s just sorry he got caught.  Like so many.

Irrefutable Proof That America is Doomed

Doomed, doomed, doomed.  For now it seems that not only do we allow professional clowns (actors and actresses) to pretend that their opinions matter in academic and political arenas, we now seemingly care what celebrity impersonators think about all kinds of things!!!!!!

DOOMED…

Celeb-olotry reaches a new low.

Naming a School ‘Christian’ Doesn’t Mean It’s So

Bob Cargill observes

The scandal at Emmanuel Christian Seminary involving the attempt to (wrongfully) terminate Professor Chris Rollston appears to be much uglier and more mishandled than we first thought.

Thomas Stark, who first broke much of this story on the Religion @ the Margins blog, has posted a new story that at first seems too unlikely to be true. But after reading the story, and more amazingly, viewing the screen shots, it unfortunately appears to be all too real.

Emmanuel President Michael Sweeney apparently asked Thomas Stark to issue a press release for Emmanuel that addressed the Chris Rollston disciplinary action presently underway at Emmanuel. This is, quite frankly, insane! (With all due respect to Thomas Stark and the Religion @ the Margins blog.) Since when does a university president ask a blogger to issue a press statement on the blogger’s blog?  Does the Emmanuel President not own a computer and a website? And how is it that we STILL haven’t heard a single thing from Emmanuel on this issue (outside of Paul Blowers divulging the confidential business of a disciplinary action to the public on Facebook, and then writing an entire article to the B&I website discussing the situation publicly)?

There’s a lot more which deserves a reading.  My take-away from this whole sordid sorry affair is that plopping the name ‘Christian’ down in your institutional title doesn’t guarantee that the folk there actually are.  And if actions speak louder than words (and they do) then… well… draw your own conclusions.  Or, in biblical terminology, take heed to the warning of Jesus that ‘you shall know them by their fruits’.

Calvin’s Scathing and Withering Denunciation of the ‘Spiritualists’

Some Anabaptists [i.e., the ‘spiritualists’ who abandoned Scripture and claimed ‘inner light’] in the present age mistake some indescribable sort of frenzied excess for the regeneration of the Spirit, holding that the children of God are restored to a state of innocence, and, therefore, need give themselves no anxiety about curbing the lust of the flesh; that they have the Spirit for their guide, and under his agency never err.

It would be incredible that the human mind could proceed to such insanity, did they not openly and exultingly give utterance to their dogma. It is indeed monstrous, and yet it is just, that those who have resolved to turn the word of God into a lie, should thus be punished for their blasphemous audacity. Is it indeed true, that all distinction between base and honorable, just and unjust, good and evil, virtue and vice, is abolished? The distinction, they say, is from the curse of the old Adam, and from this we are exempted by Christ. There will be no difference, then, between whoredom and chastity, sincerity and craft, truth and falsehood, justice and robbery. Away with vain fear! (they say), the Spirit will not bid you do any thing that is wrong, provided you sincerely and boldly leave yourself to his agency. Who is not amazed at such monstrous doctrines? And yet this philosophy is popular with those who, blinded by insane lusts, have thrown off common sense. But what kind of Christ, pray, do they fabricate? what kind of Spirit do they belch forth?

We acknowledge one Christ, and his one Spirit, whom the prophets foretold and the Gospel proclaims as actually manifested, but we hear nothing of this kind respecting him. That Spirit is not the patron of murder, adultery, drunkenness, pride, contention, avarice, and fraud, but the author of love, chastity, sobriety, modesty, peace, moderation, and truth. He is not a Spirit of giddiness, rushing rashly and precipitately, without regard to right and wrong, but full of wisdom and understanding, by which he can duly distinguish between justice and injustice. He instigates not to lawless and unrestrained licentiousness, but, discriminating between lawful and unlawful, teaches temperance and moderation. But why dwell longer in refuting that brutish frenzy?

To Christians the Spirit of the Lord is not a turbulent phantom, which they themselves have produced by dreaming, or received ready-made by others; but they religiously seek the knowledge of him from Scripture, where two things are taught concerning him; first, that he is given to us for sanctification, that he may purge us from all iniquity and defilement, and bring us to the obedience of divine righteousness, an obedience which cannot exist unless the lusts to which these men would give loose reins are tamed and subdued; secondly that though purged by his sanctification, we are still beset by many vices and much weakness, so long as we are enclosed in the prison of the body. Thus it is, that placed at a great distance from perfection, we must always be endeavoring to make some progress, and daily struggling with the evil by which we are entangled. Hence, too, it follows, that, shaking off sloth and security, we must be intently vigilant, so as not to be taken unawares in the snares of our flesh; unless, indeed, we presume to think that we have made greater progress than the Apostle, who was buffeted by a messenger of Satan, in order that his strength might be perfected in weakness, and who gives in his own person a true, not a fictitious representation, of the strife between the Spirit and the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7, 9; Rom. 7:6). — John Calvin

It’s a bad idea to get on Calvin’s bad side.

Another Pretty Good Week

Week commencing Oct 11 and concluding Oct 18-

others may have their ‘hundreds’ or even – as some say – ‘thousands’ of readers, but weekly there are 10’s of thousands here…

😉

The Beginning of an Era: The Appearance of Volume One of Emil Brunner’s Systematic Theology

Volume One of the Three Volume Dogmatics was published on the 19th of October, 1946.  And though it has been well over 60 years since it’s appearance, it remains the greatest systematic theology produced in the period.  Worth repeating in full is the biography of Brunner published by the Gifford Lectures when the great man delivered them many years back-

Emil Brunner was born near Zurich on 23 December 1889. He 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 God, The 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).

He was a clearer thinker than Barth and a better theologian- as a mere reading of the first volume of his Dogmatics makes abundantly clear.

That’s. Messed. Up.

Terri Graham, a mother of two, couldn’t breastfeed her children. But, she’s now fulfilling her maternal desire in an unorthodox way — by breastfeeding her 9-year-old daughter’s dog, a pug named Spider.  In an interview published in the Oct. 20 U.K. edition of Closer magazine, Graham, 44, said that she knows some people might consider her a “freak,” but insisted that her breastfeeding nourishes the dog, and makes her feel like a better mom.  “Having Spider suckle on my boob means I finally feel complete and a better mother,” Graham told Closer.

That’s so disturbing and she’s so disturbed.  How is one ‘fulfilled’ as a mother by letting a dog feed from her…???  People.  The one constant about them is that just when you think they can’t do something dumber- they do.