The Bee Stings RHE and the Doubt Peddlers

In case you weren’t sure, here’s how you can tell the Bee is a satire site:  Rachel Held Evans, Peter Enns, Rob Bell and the rest of the ‘doubt sellers’ are making far too much money from their books to harbor any sense of Christian faith.  Doubt sells.  They aren’t about to give that up.  Anyway

”Horrifying.” That’s how author Rachel Held Evans described a recent moment of absolute clarity, in which she found herself believing God’s Word without a twinge of doubt.

The brief event reportedly occurred as she was lounging at her favorite coffee shop Wednesday morning. When she spotted a tweet on her phone containing a Bible verse, she suddenly realized she wholeheartedly believed what she was reading and did not feel the need to cast doubt upon the text at all.

“It was really unnerving to believe what God revealed about Himself all of a sudden,” she told reporters gathered outside her home. “I was sort of paralyzed for a few seconds.”

Calling the experience “strange and uncomfortable,” Held Evans further reported that the sudden inner peace that came with taking God at His Word disappeared as quickly as it had come upon her, as she prayed that the Lord would restore her former level of skepticism toward God and the Bible.

“I just thank God that He or She was faithful to bring me back to a firm foundation of persistent doubt,” she tweeted later on after a flurry of retweets of articles questioning orthodox Christian teachings.

“If God really does exist, that is,” she added.

Luther Exhibitions in the United States

New York City: “Word and Image”
October 7, 2016 to January 22, 2017

The Morgan Library & Museum will present an exhibition called ‘Word and Image,’ which displays rare paper samples and also selected art works about Martin Luther’s life. As a highlight, the exhibition features one of only five still existing printed copies of the 95 theses Luther posted onto the church in Wittenberg. Also on view is the letter Luther wrote to Pope Karl V., which was later bought by American entrepreneur John P. Morgan, who gifted it to German Emperor Wilhelm II in 1911. In 2015, it was accepted into the index of the UNESCO Memory of the World program and is ordinarily shown at the Luther House in Wittenberg.  For more information see: http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/word-and-image

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Minneapolis: “Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation”
October 30, 2016 to January 15, 2017

The most comprehensive exhibition will take place at the Minneapolis Institute of Art: ‘Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation’ will show major original samples such as books, graphics and paintings (including some by Lucas Cranach) to give visitors a detailed overview of Martin Luther’s role in the Reformation. Moreover, the exhibition paints a picture of the cultural and historical environment of the Reformation in the 16th century as well as Martin Luther’s family life by archaeological findings at his parental home and the Luther house in Wittenberg.  More information can be found at: http://new.artsmia.org/luther/

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Atlanta: “Martin Luther, Lucas Cranach and the Promise of Salvation”
October 11, 2016 to January 16, 2017

The cabinet exhibition ‘Law and Grace: Martin Luther, Lucas Cranach and the Promise of Salvation’ will focus on Lucas Cranach’s painting “Gesetz und Gnade“(Law and Grace). This painting displays the main concern of Martin Luther’s reform: The perception of the salvation of humans only through the mercy of God. Also part of the exhibition will be many printed works from the Kessler Reformation Collection as well as selected exhibits from the four cooperating German museums. More information can be found here: http://pitts.emory.edu/exhibits/luther2016/index.cfm

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Los Angeles
“Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach”
November 20, 2016 – March 26, 2017

The LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) will be displaying great objects from the period between 1460 and 1580, which was marked by immense changes in not only thought and philosophy but also science and religion, in a special exhibition named “Renaissance and Reformation.” Approximately 100 objects from this period of conflicts and civil wars by Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach and many more will be shown to highlight how these events influenced the artists of the time and their works. More information can be found here: http://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/renaissance-and-reformation-german-art-age-d%C3%BCrer-and-cranach

Via Christian History Institute.

Should Christians Support The Exclusion of Muslims Who Accept Sharia Law?

Remembering, of course, that for many Christians the notion that ‘it is more important to obey God than man’ is not only central but critical, is it proper for Christians to condemn Muslims to exclusion from this Country (as Trump and others are suggesting) based on the fact that they assert that Islamic law takes precedence over American law?

There are a number of laws which, as a Christian, I cannot support.  Does that mean I should be excluded from the United States?  After all, I have no intention of either marrying a gay couple nor participating in their marriage ceremony with my presence or my permission.  The law of the United States, however, insists that gay couples are free to marry.

Doesn’t my refusal to accept and practice that law mean I am exalting religion over Constitutional interpretation?  Indeed it does.  And I have no intention of doing otherwise.

So why should Muslims?  After all, the founding principle of American democracy is the free expression and practice of religion.  If the State can’t tell me to marry someone I don’t wish to, then the State can’t tell a Muslim to eat pork or abandon the burqa.

Dr Fox (whoever he is) isn’t a doctor of Scripture.  Or American history.

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Total Depravity: The Murderers of a Good Samaritan

frazier-tyler_1471365873357_5361535_ver1.0Two suspects have been charged with killing a Good Samaritan who’d stop to help them on the side of the road. Multiple media outlets report 17-year-old Deon Frasier and 19-year-old Michael Dupree-Taylor were arrested on murder charges. Frazier also faces a count of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

According to North Charleston police, on Monday night the victim had stopped to help a Dodge Durango out of a ditch on North Jimtown Drive. After the vehicle was pulled out of the ditch, officers say the suspects robbed and shot the man.  Police later arrested the two at an apartment complex.

Unsurprising.  Sadly.

Demon Possession in John

“You Have a Demon!” – An Anthropological Reading of the Notion of Possession in the Gospel of John

In this article, the passages about demon-possession in John (7:20; 8:44, 48; 10:19-21) are considered from an anthropological perspective. Scholars often interpret these passages by referring to Johannine theology. Yet, the anthropological theories of possession show that the notion of possession has sociological aspects as well. To be possessed by a demon and be filled with a spirit can be regarded as two dimensions of possession, and they serve to enhance social status. Viewed in this light, by accusing Jesus of being demon-possessed, Jesus’ opponents reinforce their established status. On the other hand, John depicts Jesus as being possessed by the Holy Spirit. Similarly, Jesus’ followers have enhanced their social status by claiming to be possessed by the same spirit and identifying themselves as a spirit-possessed community. The article concludes that the Johannine notion of possession is not simply a description but much more than that, it is a language of identification.

Read the essay free here.

Sad News: Jane Barr Has Died

She was a lovely person whom I had the honor of meeting and chatting with several times-

Dear SOTS member,

Sadly, news of another death, Jane Barr in Claremont (CA) earlier this month. I believe I passed on news of her a few months ago to say that she had moved to a slightly higher level of care in the home she was in but was in good spirits, which I think indicates that she was able to live well almost to the end, for which we are thankful.

Viv