Daily Archives: 14 Jul 2015

Oh Look, the Defenders of Murder Are Beginning to Arise

And the shape shifting ‘they didn’t mean it, they meant something else’ diversionary tactics defending #PlannedParenthood have commenced.  Murder is ok, as long as it’s an innocent unborn.  That, at least, is what a segment of our society would have us to believe.

But they’re on the wrong side of history as well as being on the wrong side of morality.  And no song and dance can change that unhappy truth.

Hans Wildberger (1910-1986) : Eine Theologische Biographie

9783290177928TVZ have published a new biography of Wildberger by Frank Jehle who rightly gained fame for his stunning and thorough biography of Emil Brunner:

Hans Wildberger war Professor für alttestamentliche Wissenschaft und allgemeine Religionsgeschichte an der Universität Zürich. International bekannt wurde er durch seinen monumentalen Jesajakommentar, der zwischen 1965 und 1982 erschien. Frank Jehle erzählt von Leben und Wirken Hans Wildbergers, seiner Herkunft als Bauernsohn aus Neunkirch (SH) bis hin zu seinem Tod in Zürich. Bemerkenswert ist seine Zeit im Gemeindepfarramt (1933–1951) – seine Predigten sind Zeitdokumente ersten Ranges.

Die Biographie ist die erste, für die Wildbergers Nachlass aufgearbeitet wurde, und zeichnet sich durch eine Konzentration auf das Theologische aus. Von besonderem Interesse ist etwa Wildbergers Werdegang als Schüler Karl Barths, Rudolf Bultmanns und Emil Brunners sowie seine Beschäftigung mit nichtchristlichen Religionen.

The volume consists of an Introduction, a short overview of Wildberger’s family background and childhood, his theological studies, his service as a Vicar, his work in Lucerne, his call to Zurich where he was a Professor of Old Testament, his academic career, his theology of the Old Testament, his work in the field of biblical archaeology, his massive and amazingly significant commentary on Isaiah, his contributions to Religion History, and the end of his career.  It also includes a timeline and bibliography of Professor Wildberger’s works and finally it concludes with an index of Persons.

It also includes a number of photographs both in color and in black and white (and they are exquisitely illustrative).

One of the points Jehle makes over and over again is that Wildberger was involved in explicating the Old Testament not just as a historical critical scholar but as a man of faith.  He was a believer and he operated and worked as such.

Among the points Jehle makes, it is my view that this is the most important, because by highlighting Wildberger’s attitude towards belief and his exceedingly thorough historical-critical work Jehle makes the proper point that faith seeking understanding is just as viable a hermeneutical approach as the sometimes ballyhooed ‘detached and disinterested outside observer who simply sees the text for what is there and not for what it can contribute to faith’ approach so beloved by those who wrongly assert that they are neutral observers and nothing more.

Widlberger was a brilliant scholar and faith didn’t get in the way of that, it enhanced it.  Jehle makes the point I take as key on the very first page of the volume in the very first paragraph of the introduction:  After the first world war and the rise of Dialectical theology…

… wollte Wildberger die Bibel nicht nur als historisches Dokument und philologisch lesen… sondern darüber hinaus und besonders als Offenbarungszeugnis (p. 9).

And that is precisely how Wildberger operated his entire career, from the earliest days of his Dissertation on Jeremiah through his later work, he never strayed from the path he set himself at the beginning.

Herein one doesn’t simply learn about a man’s academic career; one also learns about his family (which was fortunate to contain a number of excellent artists, and whose work is peppered throughout the volume) and his travels and his encounters and his relationships with a number of Christians and non-Christians.  In short, one has at hand in this volume a true biography which while focusing on the theological interests of its subject also and of necessity deals with every aspect of his life.

The only way that this volume might be improved is if it were longer.  At roughly 210 pages of text the reader, this reader especially, is left wondering what could have been related but wasn’t because of the constrictions of space and time.  Surely there was more to tell.  Surely a life such as Wildberger’s was comprised of many aspects which we are not yet privy to because they haven’t been divulged.

Perhaps a second volume is coming?  Or perhaps a volume which focuses more strictly on Wildberger’s exegetical work is in the works?  We can hope.

Rare is the biographer who leaves readers wanting far more.  Yet that is what Jehle manages to do.  More.  What is wanted from this volume, and of this author? More.

For example, on Thursday, 17 October, 1951, from 2-3 PM, Wildberger held his first academic lecture (or so we are informed on page 93).  He then commenced courses on Genesis and Isaiah (as recommended in telephone conversations by Emil Brunner and Victor Maag).  But what did Brunner say to him and what did he say to Brunner?  Who made the suggestion and how was it received?  What discussions followed?

If we only knew.  I am hopeful that one day we will.

This is a grand and engaging book. I recommend it, as I must, because to fail to do so would be to hide an extraordinary light under a bushel of silence and that is never appropriate.


Maybe it’s time to stop exploring…

Via the twitter.

True Fact

via the face book

via the face book

Planned Parenthood: Making Nazi Death Camps Look Like Friendly Nurseries

This is absolutely VILE.  These criminals, these peddlers of human flesh, need to be in prison.

A video released Tuesday by the Center for Medical Progress shows a top Planned Parenthood director explaining in graphic detail how the abortion giant harvests and sells baby body parts and organs nationwide—a practice that is a felony under federal law.

The Center for Medical Progress released the video as the next in its “Human Capital” investigative series, as it researches the organization’s illegal sales of fetal body parts in America.

“Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization,” director David Daleiden remarked in a statement. “Elected officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law and for our tax dollars to stop underwriting this barbaric abortion business.”

The video features abortionist Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s senior director of medical services, who oversees the practices of all the 700-plus Planned Parenthood locations nationwide. Nucatola thinks she’s having a business dinner with representatives of a fetal tissue procurement company, but what she doesn’t know is that the man and woman that she is speaking with are undercover investigators and are recording her conversation.

Etc.  But don’t expect the left leaners to complain.  As long as Planned Parenthood is willing to support the wholesale slaughter of the unborn inconveniences so many these days shoot out with reckless abandon, there will be no outcry.  What a contemptible lot.  The whole report is infuriating.  It concludes

The Center for Medical Progress notes that it is a federal crime–a felony punishable up to 10 years in prison—to buy or sell fetal body parts in America. It also stated that turning the baby breech—as Nucatola explained—to remove the child’s head intact is the same as a partial-birth abortion and is likewise a federal felony.  Nucatola remarked in passing during her dinner that the law “is up to interpretation.”  Some are now calling for Planned Parenthood to be investigated by Congress following the bombshell video release.

I Like these Guys

They do good work. You won’t find any nonsense by new age pretend theologians in their catalogs. HarperCollins is the place to go for that stuff.

Irony: ‘Ministry Matters’ Interview Rob Bell

I’m not sure how I get on these crackpot pseudo-theological mailing lists.  It’s like Joel Watts is signing me up just to torture me.  Here’s an example of a mailing arriving today:


No.  Everything is not spiritual.  No, Rob Bell is no pastor.  And no, whatever he thinks about Jesus, science, faith, heaven, hell, marriage, sexuality and Christianity matters not at all.  Whatever sort of organization Ministry Matters is, ministry doesn’t matter to it.


A new essay at Reformiert-Info is worth a read. It’s titled BILDERSTURM IST EBENSO SCHÖPFERISCH WIE BILDERPRODUKTION.

14546_orgVor 40 Jahren erschien in der Edition Suhrkamp eine Studie über „Kunst als Medium sozialer Konflikte“, die „Bilderkämpfe von der Spätantike bis zur Hussitenrevolution“ behandelte. Ihr Autor war Horst Bredekamp, einer der bis heute renommiertesten Kunsthistoriker der Welt. Er setzte sich in seinem Buch mit dem Phänomen des Ikonoklasmus, also des Bildersturms auseinander. Man war und ist es ja gewohnt, beim Bildersturm immer gleich etwas Böses oder Verwerfliches zu unterstellen, für das man sich quasi zu schämen habe. Horst Bredekamps Verdienst war es nun, mit diesem – übrigens bis heute fortwirkenden – Vorurteil aufgeräumt zu haben.

Er schreibt: „Die bilderstürmerischen Theorien gehören zu den großen geistigen Hervorbringungen ihrer Zeit, und die Formen ihrer praktischen Übersetzung waren so vielfältig und originell wie die Impulse, die zur Herstellung der Bilder nötig waren: Bildersturm konnte ebenso schöpferisch sein wie Bildproduktion“ (H. Bredekamp, Kunst als Medium sozialer Konflikte, Frankfurt 1975, S. 113).

Und er belegt dies nicht zuletzt mit Untersuchungen des byzantinischen Bilderstreits und der Hussitenrevolution. Es gehört zu den Charakteristika der vorreformatorischen und der reformatorischen Bewegungen, die Irrwege der christlichen Religion im Blick auf die Bilder kritisch begleitet und die Geltung des 2. Gebots wieder in Kraft gesetzt zu haben. Ja, dabei haben sie auch Gewalt angewandt.

Aber ganz anders, als dies in heutiger Perspektive oft erscheint. Zum einen verlief dieser Bildersturm oft „gesitteter“ als die Überlieferung es darstellt. Für Zürich wissen wir, dass zunächst alle Stifter gebeten wurden, ihre Werke aus den Kirchen abzuholen. Dann wurden die Gemeindeältesten gebeten, über jene Bilder, die von der Gemeinde angeschafft wurden, einen Gemeindebeschluss herbeizuführen.

Und erst in einem dritten Schritt wurden dann tatsächlich noch verbliebene Bilder zerstört. Warum erfolgte diese Zerstörung? Sie erfolgte, weil die Bilder ein entscheidendes Argument auf einem theologischen Irrweg waren: nämlich, dass man sich durch Stiftung von Bildern eine Abkürzung zum Himmel erkaufen kann.

(Sorry I excerpted so much. I couldn’t stop myself). Read it all.

Chicago ‘Theological Seminary’? Nope

Much false teaching and false representation of Christianity exists in America today.  One recent example is the distribution of free condoms by Chicago Theological Seminary, an affiliate of the United Church of Christ (UCC). At last week’s 2015 Wild Goose Festival attendees received condom packages designed with a colored image of a rainbow flame, an LGBT variation of the UCC’s logo.

Printed above the flame were instructions: “Chicago Theological Seminary, Take Two (For the second coming!)”. The text blatantly suggests Jesus Christ’s second coming relates to one needing two condoms for multiple partners or multiple orgasms.

In other words, a “Christian” seminary is likening the Second Coming of Christ to gay sex. Nothing could be further from Biblical truth. But such claims are inherent to blasphemy, heresy, and obvious hatred of God and his Word.

I suppose the ‘Seminary’ thought it would try to be clever and include the – always popular among the millennials – sexual innuendo and debased thought.  What they achieved, however, is a distortion of Scripture, a distortion of theology, and a distortion of decency.  It’s difficult to imagine anyone wishing to attend a ‘Seminary’ 1) so inept at theological practice, and 2) so willing to applaud indecency and sexual immorality wherever it can be found.

That a UCC ‘Seminary’ would behave in such a way is, however, not at all a surprise.  Such ‘schools’ have been around since the beginning and have been comprised of the very people Paul describes in Romans 1-

Since they didn’t think it was worthwhile to acknowledge God, God abandoned them to a defective mind to do inappropriate things.  So they were filled with all injustice, wicked behavior, greed, and evil behavior. They are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, deception, and malice. They are gossips, they slander people, and they hate God. They are rude and proud, and they brag. They invent ways to be evil, and they are disobedient to their parents. They are without understanding, disloyal, without affection, and without mercy. Though they know God’s decision that those who persist in such practices deserve death, they not only keep doing these things but also approve others who practice them. (Rom. 1:28-32).

Inflated Egos…

And those who sport them:


Dear Mr Pope- Guns and War- Let’s Hear You On Those American Loves

Jonathan Merritt has a gem of an essay in RNS today:

Is the beloved Pope a hypocrite?

He’s gotten big billing this past week for charging through Latin America blasting capitalism. And he’s received much press for two years with his comments about drones, contraception, the big bang theory, and the role of women in the church. The Pope has proven to be a sound byte machine and he’s created plenty of fans and more than a few haters along the way.

But in last Sunday’s news conference from the papal plane, Pope Francis said he would be opening his ears — and presumably his mind — to hear his American critics. Let me suggest two places he should start if he wants to be taken seriously by the people he’s attacked: weapons and war. The Pope’s critics claim his comments don’t always align with his behavior. They’re right, and he would do well to listen.

And more, which do read.

Things You Probably Don’t Know About Academia

  • When some scholars have disagreements with others, they don’t simply debate or publish differing opinions, they campaign to silence those with whom they disagree.  They do it by back channel contacts with Journal publishers and book publishers and to organizers of academic conferences.
  • Some academics whose names appear on books put their names on them, but their grad students do all the work whilst the high profile scholar gets all the credit.  It’s plagiarism, but they don’t mind.
  • Minorities and women have a better chance of getting an academic position than white males.  It’s reverse discrimination, but they don’t mind.  The gay asian woman can write her own ticket.
  • Papers at academic conferences are generally accepted only if they represent only very minor adjustments of the status quo.
  • Too many academics stand in front of their classroom and their lecture hall and read line by line off of a paper in front of them, scarcely looking up, and dutifully unconcerned about whether or not what they say makes sense, or means anything at all.
  • Too many academics take themselves far too seriously.
  • Too many academics take their work far too seriously.
  • Much academic work is done only to impress peers and rarely has any concern for either educating students or reaching out to the wider public with findings that actually matter.

Given all these facts, and they are facts, it is little surprise that the general public has little interest in the work, or the continuing employment, of academics.  They are also the reason why someone like Scott Walker can literally gut higher education in his State and have broad support among every class except academics.

The public has funded academic enterprises for a very long time and for the most part they have almost nothing to show for it (because academics in their thousands prefer to address only one another and not the man on the street). To justify their ‘ivory tower’ focus academics love to pretend that the public is so stupid that everything has to be dumbed down and that’s just beneath their royal station.

Rubbish.  The general public is hungry for the truth.  Stop appearing on Discovery and giving them pablum and instead go out into the highways and byways and offer courses on interesting topics in Churches and community centers and watch support for the academic enterprise skyrocket.

Or not.  It really doesn’t matter to me.  It should matter to you though.  That is, if you want your academic pursuits to continue.

Sometimes Apparent Cruelty is the Only Kindness

A woman with a rare genetic condition that made her constantly hungry ate herself to death after care home staff removed locks on her fridge and cupboards, an inquest has heard. Kirsty Derry, 23, suffered from Prader-Willi syndrome, which causes a compulsive desire to eat.

She died from heart failure after putting on seven stone in nine months when she moved out of the family home and into assisted living accommodation. An inquest heard that she had persuaded staff at Victoria Mews in Stone, Staffs, to remove special alarms that had been put on the cupboards to restrict her eating. She weighted 19 stone when she died.

How tragic.  Especially since the apparent cruelty of keeping food locked away was the only real kindness that could be done this girl.  And the apparent kindness done by the staff of unlocking everything resulted in great cruelty.  Indeed, life ending cruelty.

Reading NT Wright Has Truly Changed my Life

Before Wright:

Normal, loving, compassionate me, before Wright

Normal, loving, compassionate me, before Wright


After Wright:

but after Wright, I've changed, for the worse-

but after Wright, I’ve changed, for the worse-

The moral- if you want to be normal, loving, and compassionate…