Inspiration from the Orthodox Lutheran Hafenreffer

[The torments of hell] – “They are the most exquisite pains of soul and body (for both had sinned), arising from the fear and sense of the most just wrath and vengeance of God against sins, the most sad consciousness of which they carry about with them, the baseness of which is manifest, and of which, likewise, no remission afterwards, and, therefore, no mitigation or end can be hoped for. Whence, in misery, they will execrate, with horrible lamentation and wailing, their former impiety, by which they carelessly neglected the admonitions of their brethren and all the means of attaining salvation; but in vain.

For in perpetual anguish, with dreadful trembling, in shame, confusion, and ignominy, in inextinguishable fire, in weeping and gnashing of teeth, amidst that which is eternal and terrible, torn away from the grace and favor of God, they must quake among devils, and will be tortured without end to eternity. These future torments of the damned far surpass all the penetration of the human mind, so that we are not sufficient to ever comprehend in thought their greatness; therefore, what they will be, or of what nature, cannot be at all expressed in words.

Scripture, nevertheless, in order to show that these tortures are the greatest and most exquisite, likens them to those things by which, in this life, pain both of soul and body is accustomed to be excited. For this reason they are compared now to the gnashing of teeth, now to worms, now to the most sorrowful darkness, and whatever other matters of sadness and of the most complete pain can be mentioned, Is. 66:24; Matt. 5:22; 8:12; Rev. 19:20.” – Matthias Hafenreffer

Robert Myles Gazes into the Well of Jesus Research and Sees an Ideological Reflection

In a really fine essay over at Bible and Interpretation.  I think it grand.  Yet I can’t escape the sensation that Schweitzer’s voice still echoes and what Myles sees is own reflection at the bottom of the well.

Indeed, only Bultmann, in his book on Jesus, escapes the hypnotic power of the well’s bottom.

What Are They Saying About the Commentary?

the-person-the-pew-commentary-series“Seriously, … It is a really great commentary, and I’m enjoying and learning quite a bit from it.” – Ken Leonard.

Feel free to get a copy of said commentary by buying  the PDF’s from yours truly for a paltry $199 by clicking my PayPal Link. and see what Ken is raving about…  yes, raving.  As though he had been to a rave and experienced a Nirvana-esque effect after his first encounter

The Bee Stings the ‘Prize Awarding Bribe-Monger Publicity Questers’

That’s my description, not theirs.  Their description goes something like this:

Eric Horton, Chief Generosity Officer of the Crazy Love Foundation, a nonprofit started by popular speaker and Bible teacher Francis Chan, confirmed Wednesday that Mr. Chan had finally given away the very last of his earthly possessions. The landmark moment reportedly occurred at the Abundant Life Christian Fellowship rummage sale, which was organized to raise funds for an upcoming short term mission trip to an unnamed third-world region.

“[Chan] just started scratching his head, and throwing his hands up into the air,” reported local man Brandon Reuben, who happened to be at the rummage sale looking for a lightly used Pyrex glass measuring cup. “At one point, he shouted, ‘Are you kidding me?’ and began to weep loudly.” A destitute and despondent Chan was seen wandering the streets of San Francisco after the sale, unsure of what to do with himself. Borrowing a stranger’s phone, he sent a text to his good friend David Platt to share the news, who reportedly replied, “It is finished.”

At publishing time, Chan was racked with guilt over the shirt and pants he was wearing, praying for God to guide him to someone he could offer them to.

The Bee Stings ‘Christians’ Offended by the Gospel and its Authentic Message

While some college campuses have established safe spaces where the disenfranchised can avoid the pressures, biases, and judgement of the world, mainline Protestant denominations are taking it one step further. The entire umbrella group has now been designated a safe space for those who would otherwise be offended by the gospel, sources confirmed Wednesday.

Speaking on behalf of a plethora of denominations including the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the United Methodist Church, a spokesperson issued the following statement: “We are in agreement that there is a great need for churches to rise up and create spaces that are safe for questioning and accepting our identities, doubts, fears, failures, and blatant sins. Effective immediately, we are declaring all mainline Protestant churches safe spaces, where there are no judgments, conviction, repentance, or gospel presentations whatsoever.”

The statement listed elements that safe space churches should remove from their premises, including “crosses, Bibles, pulpits, organs, hymnals, systematic theologies, and sermons exhibiting any form of triggering micro-aggression. Be considerate.” Words like “sin,” “hell,” “death,” “wrath,” “propitiation,” and “substitutionary atonement” are also on the ban list.

On behalf of all of mainline Protestantism, the spokesperson expressed heartfelt joy that they were able to make such a major step toward accepting—and not judging—anyone who may be on a path toward God’s judgment. “Our congregations are now spaces that are safe from the freeing power of God in the gospel, where each person is free to construct their own narrative. That’s worthy of celebration.”

Brilliant.  It’s as though the Bee actually knows a bit about left leaning emergent post-modern ‘anything goes except orthodox belief’ ‘Christianity’… and its practitioners.

The Rapid Decline of Christianity in England and Wales

The number of people who say they have no religion is rapidly escalating and significantly outweighs the Christian population in England and Wales, according to new analysis.

The proportion of the population who identify as having no religion – referred to as “nones” – reached 48.5% in 2014, almost double the figure of 25% in the 2011 census. Those who define themselves as Christian – Anglicans, Catholics and other denominations – made up 43.8% of the population.

“The striking thing is the clear sense of the growth of ‘no religion’ as a proportion of the population,” said Stephen Bullivant, senior lecturer in theology and ethics at St Mary’s Catholic University in Twickenham, who analysed data collected through British Social Attitudes surveys over three decades.

“The main driver is people who were brought up with some religion now saying they have no religion. What we’re seeing is an acceleration in the numbers of people not only not practising their faith on a regular basis, but not even ticking the box. The reason for that is the big question in the sociology of religion.”

Behold, your future, America.