Daily Archives: 8 Sep 2016

Enter to Win a Copy of “This Changed Everything”

This fantastic video produced by the Christian History Institute can be yours if you’re the lucky winner.  To win, you simply need to enter by

  1. ThisChangedEverything_Rev.inddSharing this post on your twitter feed, Facebook page, or blog (and you have to let me know you have done so). The more places you share it, the better your chances of winning.
  2. Writing, in comments below, a paragraph expressing your appreciation for either Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Philipp Melanchthon, Johannes Oecolampadius, or Theodore Beza.

That’s it.  The best essay in combination with the most shares will decide the winner.  Contest ends on 30 September.  Tell your friends.  Let the games begin!

About the film-

2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. On October 31, 1517, an obscure German monk named Martin Luther published 95 theses for debate in Wittenberg, Germany. Little did he know that this act would ignite a revolution that would reshape the Christian church and change Western civilization forever.

In anticipation of this important anniversary, Christian History Institute is producing a groundbreaking three-hour documentary series called This Changed Everything. Narrated by the renowned British actor David Suchet, the program tells the dynamic story of the people, places, and events that shaped the Reformation. It features expert commentary from Dr. Michael Horton, Dr. Frank James, Shane ClaiborneBishop Robert Barron, and over twenty other scholars and clergy who bring new insight into how the church came to be where it is today and where it may go in the future.

This Changed Everything celebrates the fruits of the Reformation while grappling with difficult questions about the legacy of division. Clearly, the medieval church was in dire need of reform, but could complete schism have been avoided? Why does the Protestant movement continue to splinter into ever increasing factions? How should we think about our divisions in light of Jesus’ passionate prayer that his followers be “one”?

Emil Brunner – ein missverstandener Pionier: Tagung zu seinem 50. Todestag am 12. September.

I wish more than anything I had known about this in advance so I could have made arrangements to attend.  Because I would have.  No question.

brunnerDer Zürcher Professor Emil Brunner (1889-1966) war einer der grossen Theologen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Er wirkte weit über den Schweizerischen Protestantismus hinaus in den USA, Skandinavien und Japan. Sein Plädoyer für eine missionarische Kirche war schon zu Lebezeiten provokativ. Manche Kritiker warfen Brunner vor, er sei rückständig. Vielleicht war er seiner Zeit voraus und in gewisser Hinsicht ein missverstandener Pionier!?

Am 12. September 2016 wird eine Tagung im Neumünster in Zürich zum Anlass seines 50. Todesjahres sein Werk und sein Wirken als Lehrer der Kirche vergegenwärtigen. Die Referate von Alister McGrath (Oxford), Frank Jehle (St. Gallen) und Konrad Schmid (Zürich) laden dazu ein, sich von Emil Brunner inspirieren und irritieren zu lassen.

An der Tagung soll nicht nur über Brunner geredet werden. Es soll auch Gelegenheit sein, die theologischen Impulse Brunners vertieft zu diskutieren, vor allem im Hinblick auf seine Relevanz für die aktuelle Kirchenreform-Diskussion. Verschiedene Workshops behandeln pastoraltheologische, sozialethische und ekklesiologische Konsequenzen aus dem Denken von Emil Brunner.

Organisiert wird die Tagung von der Theologischen Fakultät der Universität Zürich, dem Studienzentrum Glaube und Gesellschaft der Universität Fribourg, der Arbeitsstelle A+W – Aus- und Weiterbildung der reformierten Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrer und der Abteilung Kirchenentwicklung der Evangelisch-reformierten Landeskirche des Kantons Zürich.

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Weitere Informationen und Anmeldung: www.glaubeundgesellschaft.ch/emilbrunner

Oh man…  I want to go.

Incest… First Mom Married the Son, then the Daughter…

Ick.  And sick.

43-year-old woman and her 23-year-old daughter have been arrested and charged with incest after authorities in Oklahoma discovered they were married. Patricia Spann, the mother, had lost custody of her three children some years ago. The daughter, Misty, and her two brother were raised by a grandparent. Ms Spann was reunited with daughter Misty two years ago, and records show that the two women got married in March this year.

The relationship was discovered last month during an investigation by the state’s department of human services into the welfare of children living at the older woman’s house. According to a KFOR report, Patricia said she didn’t believe that she would be breaking the law by marrying Misty as her name does not appear on her daughter’s birth certificate. Patricia had previously married her son, Jody, in 2008, with the marriage annulled two years later.

Both women are being held at Stephens County Jail, with bail set at $10,000 (£7,500). If found guilty they could face sentences of up to 10 years. Marrying a close relative is considered incest in Oklahoma, regardless of whether or not a sexual relationship exists.  Speaking to KSWO, Patricia’s son, Cody, said of his mother: “I think she’s worthless. She put my sister into this.  “She forced my sister into this, there’s a lot of people that know it. For you to want to put your own daughter through this, what kind of person are you?  “If that’s what you want that’s on you, but none of us kids want that, and now you got my sister behind bars because of your choices. Why don’t you let that sit on you as a mum?”

What a reprehensible creature this mother is.  Never mind though, before too long the #LoveIsLove people will be marching on her behalf.  How could they refuse?  They are required to do it for the sake of consistency.  And if her lawyer has any sense at all he’ll appeal to the Supreme Court and that lot will overturn the incest laws on the books, again, for the sake of consistency.  Because they’ve gutted traditional marriage and its understanding and now they have no legal leg to stand on against any distortion of marriage anyone wishes to proffer.

Bloggers and Their First Serious Relationships…

So as not to embarrass anyone I’ll just share the photos of these young ladies who were, interestingly, the first serious relationships of bloggers you know well, without telling you who those bloggers are.  Though you’re free to guess.  You’ll probably be right.  Bless their hearts…

Quote of the Day

God has work to do in this world, and to desert it because of its difficulties and entanglements is to cast off his authority. Universal holiness is required of us, that we may do the will of God in our generation. It is not enough that we be just, that we be righteous, and walk with God in holiness, but we must also serve our generation as David did before he fell asleep. God has a work to do, and not to help him is to oppose him. — John Owen

Gary Johnson: Evidence of Long Term Weed Use, Exhibit One

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson asked a television interviewer today, “What is Aleppo?” betraying a lack of interest or even superficial knowledge of the civil war in Syria that’s been raging for more than five years.

The question came during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Panelist Mike Barnicle asked the two-time libertarian nominee and former governor of New Mexico, “What would you do if you were elected, about Aleppo?”

At first, Barnicle thought Johnson was joking — replying with “you’re kidding” — when Johnson didn’t recognize the city.

Johnson admits to being a user of marijuana.  Apparently it has made him utterly senseless.  And embarrassing to anyone who thought of voting for him.

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An Interview with Matthias Freudenberg: 30 Jahre Bekenntnis von Belhar

Im September 1986 hat die Synode der damaligen „Dutch Reformed Mission Church“ in Südafrika das Bekenntnis von Belhar beschlossen. Vor welchem Hintergrund entstand das Bekenntnis und was sind die Kernaussagen?

Das Bekenntnis von Belhar ist in einer Situation entstanden, die von einer tiefgreifenden gesellschaftlichen und innerkirchlichen Zerrüttung geprägt war. Es setzt sich mit der damals vorherrschenden Rassentrennung („Apartheid“) auseinander, die wir auch aus dem fernen Deutschland mit großer Sorge verfolgt haben. Rassentrennung und die mit ihr verbundene Diskriminierung und Ausgrenzung der Schwarzen reicht ins 19. Jahrhundert zurück und wurde schließlich 1948 in der Verfassung festgeschrieben.

Was das Bestürzende war: Die Apartheid war tief in die Kirche eingedrungen. Es entstanden nach Hautfarbe getrennte Gemeinden und Kirchen für Weiße und Schwarze. In der Niederländisch-reformierten Kirche (NGK) wurde die Apartheit theologisch dadurch legitimiert, dass die Lehre von der Erwählung und Verwerfung Gottes und von den Schöpfungsordnungen für die eigene Situation gewaltsam instrumentalisiert wurde – nach dem Motto: Gott hat die Weißen erwählt und die Schwarzen verworfen.

Gegen eine solche Irrlehre und kirchliche Praxis ist eine Gruppe von Pfarrern – sie nannten sich „Broederkring“ (Brüderkreis) und kamen aus Kirchen mit überwiegend schwarzen, farbigen und indischen Mitgliedern – aufgestanden. Als „Beleydende Kring“ (Bekennender Kreis) haben sie im Bekenntnis drei biblische Begriffe mit neuem Leben erfüllt: Einheit, Versöhnung und Gerechtigkeit. Dieser Dreiklang soll das Leben in der Kirche bestimmen: Statt Trennung, Feindschaft und Hass sind die Christen zur Einheit, Versöhnung untereinander und einem Leben in Gerechtigkeit berufen.

Eine besondere Stärke des Bekenntnisses sehe ich darin, dass Einheit, Versöhnung und Gerechtigkeit zuerst als Handeln Gottes am Menschen und von da her auch als ein von Gott gebotenes menschliches Verhalten beschrieben werden.

Etc- to the Q&A.  Give it a read.

Scriptureless Theology and the ‘Theologians’ Who Practice It

meyerAny theology lacking a text isn’t theology at all.  It’s fantasy.  The invention of the so called theologian’s imagination and never more.

People… And their Drugs…

A woman in Columbia is facing charges after police say she tried to take a remove a body from a casket during a funeral service.

Cynthia Frierson, 36, was charged with disrupting funeral or memorial service, public intoxication, driving on revoked or suspended license, immediate notice of accident and unlawful drug paraphernalia. Police said they originally responded to a report that Frierson had sideswiped several cars. Later, they received a call about a disturbance at Roundtree, Napier & Ogilvie Funeral Home.

Etc…  People… and their drugs…