Twitter Theology that Makes me Sigh

twits

This is an example of the modern penchant for reducing theology to a slogan.  But slogans never work and you can’t summarize Christian dogma on a bumper sticker.  First, we have to ‘get on our donkeys’ to get to where the people are.  Second, as a pilgrim people, we must always be on the move, mobile, and so in need of our donkeys.  And, most importantly, it is Jesus himself who tells us to move along when the Gospel of the Kingdom is rejected by a place or a people.  ‘Shake the dust off your feet and the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah will befall that place’, etc.

But most importantly of all, we don’t keep the covenant of what it means to be the people of God by helping others.  We keep the covenant of what it means to be the people of God by being OURSELVES in relationship to God, through Christ, who is our savior.  We aren’t saved by works (philanthropic though they may be) we are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.

Jingoistic theology never works.  But it makes me sigh.

Bibi Netanyahu: Warmonger

Israeli forces attacked a target on the Syrian-Lebanese border overnight, Western diplomats and regional security sources said on Wednesday, at a time of growing concern over the fate of Syrian chemical and conventional weapons.  The Israel Defense Forces refused to confirm or deny the report. “We do not comment on reports of this kind,” an IDF spokeswoman said.  The reported attack came soon after the Lebanese media said that Israel Air Force jets had flown over Lebanon’s airspace in three separate missions late Tuesday and early Wednesday. There was no confirmation of that report from Israel, either.

Bibi’s happy to bomb Syria.  He’s happy to be warlike.  He’s just not willing to wage real peace.  And as always the excuse is ‘we have to keep our enemies from getting weapons’.  Evidently he is incapable of noticing the irony of his warmongering- for what he fears his enemies ‘may’ do, he does!  He’s afraid of being attacked, so he kills.  His actions are never defensive (in spite of his claims to the contrary), they are always offensive (in the name of preserving his people) whilst he offensively slaughters.

Hypocrite.

Twitter Theology That Makes me Sigh…

sevenI wondered, like you, what those seven things must be

Here is the list of my “Seven Summits.” I look forward to exploring them further, Lord willing, in this space in the days ahead.

1. Augustine
2. Martin Luther
3. John Calvin
4. Balthasar Hubmaier
5. Jonathan Edwards
6. William Carey
7. Carl F. H. Henry

Sigh.  How is it possible to mention Luther and then Calvin without mentioning Zwingli?  How?  Zwingli was Luther’s superior theologically and Calvin’s predecessor.  Furthermore, in comparison to his contributions to Christian theology, Hubmaier, Edwards, Carey, and Henry are inconsequential.  Sigh.  Sighhhhhh……..

The Blackest Day in Modern European History

Niels Peter reminded me that today marks the anniversary of Hitler’s ascendancy to the Chancellor-ship.  It’s what I call the blackest day in modern European history.

Angela Merkel has some sage things to say about it here.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that Adolf Hitler’s rise to power 80 years ago should go on reminding Germans that democracy and freedom cannot be taken for granted.  Merkel was speaking at the inauguration of an exhibition in Berlin to commemorate eight decades since Hitler became chancellor on January 30, 1933 — an anniversary which has aroused much interest in Germany.  “Human rights don’t assert themselves. Freedom doesn’t preserve itself all alone and democracy doesn’t succeed by itself,” Merkel said.

“That must be a constant warning for us, Germans,” she added referring to Hitler’s arrival at the chancellery.  The exhibition, “Berlin 1933. On the Path to Dictatorship”, is on a site charged with history as the former headquarters of the Gestapo, the secret police of the Nazi regime.  It now houses The Topography of Terror, an open-air documentation centre whose exhibition traces Hitler’s first months in power through photos, newspapers and posters.  Merkel noted that it only took six months for the dictator to “wipe out all the diversity” of German society.  But she also underscored that a large part of society had supported “or at least acquiesced” to Hitler’s regime.

Hitler came to power because the Germans were willing to sacrifice freedom for ‘security’ and economic stability.  Sound familiar?  Shouldn’t we learn the lessons history has to teach, or must we stupidly repeat the errors perpetrated by our ancestors?  Make no mistake- there is always a Hitler in the wings just waiting for his chance.  Always.

Missouri Wants to Mandate NRA Gun Courses… For… First Graders…

Good grief.

baby20gun-1Students in Missouri have no sexual education requirement, so there’s a good chance they don’t know how to properly protect themselves from STIs or unintended pregnancy. Soon, though, they may be able to protect themselves from guns.  Missouri state Senate is considering a bill that would require all first graders in the state to take a gun safety training course. Using a grant provided by the National Rifle Association, it would put a “National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program” instructor in every first grade classroom.  The irony that there’s no requirement for students to learn about their bodies — but that there is one for deadly weapons — seems lost on the legislators proposing the measure, one of whom lamented, “I hate mandates as much as anyone, but some concerns and conditions rise to the level of needing a mandate”.

There’s something seriously wrong with people in this country.  Something seriously, seriously wrong.

Sometimes YouTube is Actually Useful

For more than watching silly videos.  For instance, my car headlights were getting that dingy yellow glaze on them and looking pretty faded and nasty.  So I looked around at the local auto zone for a fix and was told to get a certain kit (for $24) and use it to clean the lens.  The problem, though, was twofold.  First, I own no drill (which was needed to run the circular cleaning attachment) and second, I’m far too cheap to spend $24 on anything but a book.

So I looked around on YouTube for a video on how to clean a headlamp lens.  And I found one- recommending toothpaste and a towel.  So I figured, what have I got to lose but a little toothpaste, right?  And boy, did it work.  I didn’t snap a before photo but here’s the after-

photo

I expect now I’ll actually be able to see victims of nighttime drive by baptisms!  Thanks YouTube, for having something on besides cats.

Reason Is a Good Thing, Unless it Becomes an Idol

luther2And to make sure that it doesn’t, Luther advises us to

“…see to it that you hold reason in check and do not follow her beautiful cogitations. Throw dirt in her face and make her ugly.”

Reason, as good, beautiful, and useful as she is, can become, again in Luther’s words, a ‘whore’ which leads astray.  Trust God, not self and certainly not the idols created by your own mind.  Trusting something your mind invents is the most foolhardy of all the follies.  After all, reason isn’t God, God is.  Reason isn’t infallible and can only be trusted so far.