And Now For Something Completely Different

From Chiara Peri

For the second year, on January 31st bloggers will cook together, just for fun, swapping recipes and letting friendship spread on the net.

A Few simple rules if you’d like to join in:

1. Publish a post on your blog on January 31st (around 11am EST if you can, but that’s not prescriptive). Title your post “Free a recipe: [add name of your recipe]”. Then write your recipe. At the end of your post, write this sentence: “Stories are for those who listen to them, recipes are for those who eat them. I give out this recipe as a gift to those who’ll read it. It’s not my copyright, it’s just part of my life: so I let it go freely on the web”. Then, add the link to your post to a webpage (instructions to follow).

2. Those with a Facebook account may want to use the logo of the event as profile picture for that day, that is a “Keep calm…” on a red background with a personalised slogan you are free to choose, but please make it relevant to cooking or to the event.

3. We would like as many people as possible to join in, so publicise the event on your blog, Facebook, twitter etc. Hashtags: #liberericette, #freearecipe

4. Don’t disclose your recipe until January 31st: keep it a surprise!

5. Have fun.

FAQ:

– What if I haven’t got a blog?
Kitchens are open: a blogger will host your recipe, just ask the organisers if you do can’t find one. Also, even if you do have a blog, feel free to go and cook in somebody else’s kitchen, or to host a friend yourself.

– What should the post look like?
Recipes can be of pretty much anything: main course, dessert, drink, jam, starter… If you can, add a picture of your finished dish, but that’s not essential.

Fun huh!

Sermons on the Heidelberg Catechism

Via Reformiert-Info

Persconferentie_Heidelberg_31032010_foto_1Das “Pfälzer Predigt Podium” stellt in der Reformationsdekade zum Jubiläumsjahr des Heidelberger Katechismus auf Anregung von Kirchenpräsident Christian Schad eine profilierte Predigtreihe zur Verfügung.  Von Neujahr bis Silvester 2013 werden von den insgesamt 129 Fragen des Katechismus 85 entlang dem Kirchenjahr homiletisch aufgearbeitet.  Die Autorinnen und Autoren stellen ihre Predigten kostenlos für die Verkündigungsarbeit zur Verfügung.  >>> Zu den Predigten des Pfälzer Predigt Podiums

It’s worth your time.

If It Had Been a Crazy Christian, The Biblioblogosphere Would Have Been All Over It

I can see it now- plenty of posts by bibliobloggers denouncing the lunacy and wickedness of a Christian mom who beat her child to death because he didn’t memorize Scripture.  But, alas, since it’s about a Muslim mom there’s just not the same sense of moral outrage, is there…

A woman who beat her 7-year-old son to death for failing to memorize Koran passages today was sentenced to life in a UK court, the BBC reports. Sara Ege, 33, had initially admitted to killing son Yaseen in 2010, but later retracted her confession and accused her husband of the murder. The couple had enrolled the boy in advanced classes at their mosque in the hopes that he would become Hafiz (a person who memorizes the Koran), but she was frustrated when Yaseen couldn’t learn the passages.

There’s an oddity in blogdom and it’s best called ‘moral correctness only when it comes to Christian behavior’ (or rather, bad behavior parading as Christian) but the bad deeds of other religious adherents are virtually ignored.   The same is true of the twitter too.

There’s no ‘best bits of the Quran’ on the twitter, but there is a ‘best bits of the Bible’ highlighting what are taken to be bizarre things bizarrely done.  Wonder why the latter but not the former….  And wonder why it’s Christianity aimed at in such things and not Judaism.  Or Islam.  Or Tao. Or Hinduism.  Or secularism.  Or atheism.

It’s a biased world we inhabit and the bias is exercised mostly by the very people who would wish us to believe that they are the least biased, most accepting, and most tolerant.

It’s ‘Take an Anabaptist to the Lake’ Day…

Ok not really and it’s right mischievous of me to say so- but it was, in fact, on this day in 1527 that the notorious Felix Manz was taken to the lake, in Zurich, and dropped to the bottom.  It was the government’s way of saying ‘alright, if you want water, we’ll give you water Felix’.  The deed was recorded in art-

Felix_Manz_drowning1

That’s Mr Manz, being put in the boat- chained.  The decision of the Council was reached after a good deal of debate, and a good deal of pleading from Zwingli to Manz that he amend his ways before the government took matters into its own hands.

There’s an interesting historical footnote to the affair here, which you ought to read.  It has to do with an apology by the authorities of Zurich in 2004 given to the descendants of the Anabaptists for their poor treatment.

There’s also a very fine essay by Gottfried Locher in Zwingliana titled Felix Manz’ Abschiedsworte an seine Mitbrüder vor der Hinrichtung 1527: Spiritualität und Theologie. Die Echtheit des Liedes «Bey Christo will ich bleiben».‘  Enjoy.

Brilliant. Just Brilliant

When AC Milan’s midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng hears some vulgar and racist chants from the crowd, he decides enough is enough. He punts the ball toward the racist fans, and in a display of sportsmanship that will surely be talked about for some time, he proceeds to leave the field followed by his teammates and the ENTIRE opposing team. As all the players left the field together, the message to the fan community couldn’t be clearer: It doesn’t matter if you’re a supporter, we will not play for racists.

With thanks to Rachel for pointing it out.

Evidence of the Destruction of Shiloh?

From Joseph Lauer-

A new archeological find at ancient Shilo fits in with the Biblical narrative regarding the war at Even Ha’ezer, and could confirm scholars’ conjectures as to how Shilo was destroyed.

Fair enough.  But then the turn from reporting to meddling in uncertainties and unsubstantiated claims (as is the custom for Arutz Sheva)

img396088The First Book of Samuel does not say when and how Shilo, which served as the Israelite capital for 369 years, was destroyed. The latest archeological find at the Shilo site – a broken vase and remains of ashes from a fire – indicate large scale destruction. The remains are from the same period in which the War of Even Ha’ezer against the Philistines was waged.  Israel suffered a crushing defeat in that war, which is believed to have been waged near present-day Afek. The two sons of Eli the High Priest were killed, and Eli himself died upon hearing the news. Worst of all, the Holy Ark, which the Israelites had brought to the battleground, was taken by the Philistines.

In other words, archaeology is again hogtied to texts and texts are ‘proven’ by the hogtied archaeological evidence. It’s called circular reasoning, for which A.S. is notorious.

Archeologists and scholars now have more evidence to back the assumption that after defeating the Israelites at Even Ha’ezer, the Philistines advanced upon Shilo and sacked it.

Not really, but it makes a fantastic story, doesn’t it?

Other Biblical passages, in Psalms and Jeremiah, confirm that Shilo was destroyed by Philistines.

Again, hogtied texts and archaeological evidence.  The now abandoned ‘bible and spade’ archaeology of ages past.

But You See, The Thing Is, You Just DON’T!

Jesus said something very peculiar to his disciples, didn’t he, when he opined ‘if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, be removed into the sea, and it will obey you’.  Ever since then, people have made the mistake of believing that Jesus wanted them to have ‘more faith’ (as though managing to have more of something ephemeral were at all possible, like having more ‘love’ or more ‘patience’).

It has not occurred to most, it seems, that having ‘more’ faith is something of which we are just not at all capable.  Just how does one have ‘more faith’?  Has anyone ever explained that sufficiently, or even carefully?  Not to my satisfaction and if you’re honest, probably not to yours either.

So I would like to suggest that many have read Jesus wrong.  He is not at all encouraging MORE faith- he is pointing out very sensibly that IF we had so much as a speck of faith, we COULD command mountains, etc.  The fact that we DON’T command mountains means that we have even LESS faith than a speck, and THAT is exactly what he wants us to know.

Quite plainly, he’s telling folk ‘you don’t have any faith to speak of.’  And that’s the real truth.  We don’t.  And when we try to ‘have’ more we just fail.  And then we feel faithless (because we are) and then we feel even worse (which we should) until, finally, we come to our senses and realize that he has faith aplenty for us and on our behalf.

And before you get all fired up in disagreement, you silly thing, realize that Paul understood things JUST this way.  Do recall his (and yes, Ephesians is Paul’s) – ‘For by grace are you saved, through faith.  And that not of your selves, it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one has anything to boast about.’

Faith is a gift which Another holds in trust for us.  Whew.  That, frankly, is quite a relief.  It means that faith is given to us and we neither manufacture it nor muster it up.  Faith is the gift of God.  And gifts are given to whomsoever the giver wishes.

If one has faith (which none of us do in and of ourselves) then that very faith is God’s magnanimous act of kindness.  We don’t need to have it in the volume of a seed.  Christ has it in plenitude and it is operative in us by virtue of him.  Anyway, the truth is, you see, you just don’t have any at all.  Stop worrying, then, about getting more- and trust the one who has enough already, for you.

Why I Cannot Endure John Piper

His view of women is reprehensible and his beliefs concerning their abuse is disgusting.  I have to agree with Sarah Moon who writes on the twitter-

John Piper’s notion that his telling women to “endure abuse for a season” needs only “clarification” is insulting to women’s intelligence.

I would only add that John Piper’s advice that women endure abuse is both sub Christian and anti-theological.  It is itself abuse and it empowers abusers to continue treating women badly.  Not only should he be ashamed of his views, he should be denounced for them.