Daily Archives: 4 Oct 2016

Quote of the Day

luther

How Donald Trump Bought the Christian ‘Right’ Including CPAC and Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham, CPAC, and other right fringe groups benefited from donations from Trump’s bogus foundation.  And that, to put it plainly is why they support him.  Proving once again that the love of money is the root of all evil.

From 2011 through 2014, Trump harnessed his eponymous foundation to send at least $286,000 to influential conservative or policy groups, a RealClearPolitics review of the foundation’s tax filings found. In many cases, this flow of money corresponded to prime speaking slots or endorsements that aided Trump as he sought to recast himself as a plausible Republican candidate for president.

Although sources familiar with the thinking behind the donations cautioned that Trump did not explicitly ask for favors in return for the money, they said the contributions were part of a deliberate effort by Trump to ingratiate himself with influential conservatives and brighten his political prospects.

“He was politically active starting in 2011,” said one source with ties to Trump, and at that point he “started to make strategic donations.”

The Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, for example, might have seemed an unusual political ally for the brash mogul from New York — but in April 2011, Graham began to publicly express support for the celebrity businessman as Trump weighed a bid for president.

“When I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, ‘Well, this has got to be a joke,’” Graham told ABC News at the time. “But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, ‘You know, maybe the guy’s right.’”

Sometime in 2012, Trump used his foundation to send $100,000 to Graham’s association — one of the largest donations the foundation would make to any group that year.

In 2013, Trump took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, outside of Washington, D.C., where he touted his business record, railed against President Obama’s policies, and declared: “We have to make America great again.”

That same year, Trump used his foundation to donate $50,000 to the American Conservative Union Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the group that organizes CPAC and sets its program. He did not ask for a speaking slot in return, but he did not need to.

“Everyone’s too smart to say, ‘Donate and we’ll let you speak,’” said one source familiar with the donation. “It was kind of understood.”

Trump was also listed as a CPAC sponsor in 2015, in the immediate lead-up to his presidential campaign. ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp did not respond to an email from RCP asking whether Trump’s foundation footed the bill or he did.

Just When You Think Trump Can’t Appear More Mentally Ill Than He Already Does…

He surprises you and lo and behold, he manages it.

A parade float depicting Hillary Clinton in an electric chair with Donald Trump throwing the switch has sparked a controversy in Eastern Indiana.

The float, which also featured a depiction of President Obama as an Easter Island head painted black, was part of a parade Sunday for the Aurora Farmers Fair, Cincinnati station WCPO-TV reported on their website.

“Who thinks this is something to laugh at or be proud of?” Aurora resident Penny Britton wrote on Facebook. “This is disgusting. This makes me embarrassed to say I live here.”

That’s the behavior of a mentally unhinged, mentally ill man.

It is A Fair Point…

But it also means that if you’re going to complain about Trump, you also have to complain about gaming welfare recipients.

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The Bee Stings Pentebabbleist Heretic Sarah Young

New devotional Jesus Always, in which—as she did in her bestseller Jesus Calling—author Sarah Young dictates words spoken through her by Jesus Himself, debuted to strong sales during its Tuesday release.

But according to multiple reports, at least part of its initial sales spike was due to the book’s promotional website being ominously unclear about whether the “BUY NOW” button was a direct command from Jesus, written with the same power as the book—or perhaps just the words of the site’s developer.

“We know the words Sarah writes in her books are directly from the Savior—but does that authority extend also to advertising and promotional materials?” one reader wondered to reporters, before adding that she had purchase “numerous” copies earlier in the day, “just to be safe.”

“Even if Sarah herself didn’t write the words ‘BUY NOW’—they were written in her name, so don’t they carry the same authority?” she added.

One popular blogger and book reviewer was convinced. “The ‘BUY NOW’ button on the website is an imperative command from the King of Kings to purchase Jesus Always so we can experience His presence more fully,” he wrote in a Tuesday morning blog post. “The sheep know the voice of the Shepherd, and I feel a stirring in my soul telling me it is definitely Jesus through Sarah Young informing us of His will for us to buy this inspired book.”

She doesn’t speak Jesus’s words.  She speaks her own.  Only the unhinged pentebabbleist thinks Jesus dictates books to people.  So good on the Bee for stinging her.

Barth Handbuch

5923_00_detailKarl Barth (1886–1968) war einer der großen prägenden Theologen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Mit seinen theologischen Arbeiten erreichte er weltweiten Einfluss. Nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg formierte sich mit der von ihm inspirierten »dialektischen Theologie« die damals bedeutendste Aufbruchsbewegung der evangelischen Theologie. Sein Denken erlangte in den dramatischen Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Kirche und Nationalsozialismus kirchenpolitische Orientierungskraft von historischer Dimension. Als theologischer Lehrer der evangelischen Kirche hat Barth in seiner Kirchlichen Dogmatik zentrale Grundeinsichten der reformatorischen Theologie aufgenommen und weiterentwickelt. Er muss als ein problemsensibler theologischer Autor gelesen werden, der sich den Herausforderungen der Moderne nicht verweigerte, sondern sich in einem häufig unterschätzten Ausmaß auf ihre Herausforderungen eingelassen hat.

In der Reihe der Theologen Handbücher bietet das Karl Barth Handbuch übersichtliche und instruktive Zugänge zur Biografie, zur Werk- und Wirkungsgeschichte und zu den profilbildenden theologischen Entscheidungen und Themen im Denken dieses großen Theologen. Es wendet sich in gleicher Weise an allgemein Interessierte und an Fachleute. Die einzelnen Artikel können sowohl als Hinführung als auch als Bündelung und Fokussierung gelesen werden. Das Barth Handbuch ist ein unentbehrliches Hilfsmittel für jeden, der sich mit dem Werk Karl Barths und seiner Interpretation beschäftigt.

Go here for the full table of contents.

Karl Barth has been an influential theologian for over 90 years.  Indeed, in 3 years we will observe the 100th anniversary of the first edition of his ‘Romans’, published in 1919 and ‘falling like a bomb on the playground of the theologians’.  His significance has waxed and waned over the decades and presently his popularity has surpassed past appreciation.  To call the early 20th century a ‘Barth Revival’ would not be inappropriate.

Enter, then, Michael Beintker and his merry band of Barthian scholars to offer the public not merely a handbook (oh those Germans and their understated titles) but a virtual encyclopedia of Karl Barth’s life and thought.

The first segment of the book provides something of an ‘orientation’ to Karl Barth and his importance.  This is followed by segment B- Barth’s Person.  Under this heading readers can discover the highlights of Barth’s biography and his interactions with theologians and theological movements current to his milieu including but not limited to pietism, Brunner, Bultmann, the Reformed, the Catholics, the Lutherans, the Jews, and politics (along with a couple dozen others).

Segment C provides overviews into Barth’s various works (sermons, lectures, books, etc.) and theological themes (the trinity, Jesus, creation, sacraments,  etc.).

Segment D is the final section and here Barth gets the ‘Reception History’ treatment.  This discussion is subdivided into the pre-Nazi, Nazi, post-Nazi, and modern periods.  The end of the volume is comprised of a chronological table of Barth’s life and work and the usual indices of Scripture, authors, subjects, and the like.

The magnificent achievement of the volume is that nothing, literally nothing is left out.  Charlotte von Kirschbaum even has a section of her own and her and Barth’s relationship is unflinchingly examined as are her own contributions to Barth’s theological work.  Everything, and anything, that can be known of Karl Barth can be found within these brilliantly written thoughtfully presented pages.  It is a masterpiece.

My only regret in reading the volume is that something similar hasn’t been done (yet?) for Emil Brunner and Rudolf Bultmann.  This work is, and this is no fluffing exaggeration, a volume which no one interested in the life and theology of Karl Barth can afford to do without.

Persons bereft of German should petition the publisher to provide an English translation as soon as possible, and sooner.  Not only is this work indispensable, it is literally invaluable.  The 130 Euro being asked for it is too small a price to pay for the learning here assembled.  The volume is worth two to three times as much and belongs on the shelves of every research library in the theological world and on the personal bookshelves of every student of the theology of Karl Barth around the globe.  And that is no exaggeration.  In the least.

Allow me one brief summary, from the discussion by the learned Hinrich Stoevesandt, on CvK-

Towards the end of her life Lotte was ill and unable to speak.  Karl visited her every Sunday and sang to her hymns from the Hymnal.  He did this every week as long as he was able, from 1966 till his own death in 1968.  Lotte lived on until 24 July, 1975.

Dear reader, you will learn things from this collection of encyclopedic essays about Barth that you will never learn anywhere else.  That’s sufficient reason to heartily commend it to your attention.

No, Westminster Seminary, It Most Definitely is NOT

We need to set the record straight, Westminster-

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Hold up- the production isn’t by PBS. It’s by the Christian History Institute. PBS is airing the program in various markets around the country, but to call it a production by PBS is totally inaccurate. And misrepresents the facts.

Pat Robertson Has Committed the Sin of Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

Televangelist Pat Robertson has come to the defense of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who had a disastrous performance at Monday night’s debate. Apart from lying repeatedly and interrupting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton several times, Trump was also seen to be sniffing.

Howard Dean, a medical doctor and former Democratic presidential candidate, suggested Trump may been using cocaine, but Robertson had a more spiritual explanation.

“Trump sniffing may have been a sign of the Holy Spirit coming out of him,” said Robertson on “The 700 Club.” “The Holy Spirit affects people in strange ways. Some people go into a frenzy, some people start laughing uncontrollably, some people bark like dogs. Apparently, Trump sniffs.”

Many Evangelical Christians believe Trump, a thrice married former casino owner who appeared on the cover of Playboy, has been ordained by God.  According to Right Wing Watch, Lance Wallnau, an Evangelical Christian, told Charisma magazine, that Trump’s decision to hire Kellyanne Conway and Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon was divinely motivated.

No Pat, that isn’t the Holy Spirit in Donald Trump, and you’ve just committed the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  Congratulations, you’ve just damned yourself.

Hawarden 2017 Old Testament in the New Testament Conference

Via the undersigned-

I am writing to confirm the arrangements for the 2017 Annual Seminar on the Use of the OT in the NT. We will be meeting at Gladstone’s Library Hawarden from late afternoon on Wednesday 5th April until just after lunch on Friday 7th April 2017. We have invited two Hebrew Bible scholars (Katharine Dell and Bill Tooman) to give some input on current developments in their field which may impact on our work (e.g. inner-biblical quotation), and we will be prioritising offers of papers which relate closely to the theme of our 40th anniversary volume on Methodology and Intertextuality. Please send abstracts to me by Friday 16th December and I will let you know if we can accept your paper or not and confirm the programme by the end of January.

Please book your room direct with the Library, so you can specify your own preferences for en suite/standard rooms etc, and pay the small deposit required (£25). The costs are estimated as follows:

2 nights’ accommodation, conference expenses, all food = £210 for an ensuite room and £192 for a standard room

Please ring the Library to book, and quote the reference number 117845, as you cannot register for the conference itself or for the rooms reserved for our group on the online booking system. We are hoping that the use of this reference number will make the booking process really simple and straightforward. If you can also let me know when you have booked that would be great, so I can keep my ‘participants list’ updated.

Please feel free to pass on this information to all your networks and to invite your PhD students and so on, as all are welcome to attend and/or present a paper, but please do note that places are capped at 20, and the space for papers will be limited this year because of the invited speakers and the demands of the 40th Anniversary Volume.

Looking forward very much to seeing friends old and new in Hawarden in April.

Best wishes,

Susan

Professor Susan Docherty
Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism/Head of Theology
Newman University Birmingham

http://www.newman.ac.uk/profile/1432/dr-susan-docherty

Sure Seems Like a Hoax To Me

The story sounded fishy from the get-go.  Random thieves just happen to know where the Kardashians are and she just happens to have 10 million dollars in jewelry with her?  Seriously?  Are we really supposed to believe she traipses around with that much money dangling?  No.  Something’s up.

The whole tale raises questions mainly

…  is it possible the robbery is a hoax or some sort of stunt? Kanye has been very vocal about his money woes. Is it possible this is an elaborate plot to collect insurance money in an effort to solve her husband’s cash flow problem?The Internet seems to think so.

Some have compared Kim to Ryan Lochte, while others think the timing of her husband’s discovery of the news was fishy. Last night, Kanye West was told about the news mid-concert, prompting a dramatic walk-off from the stage.

There are plenty of reasons to doubt the tale.  Kanye isn’t exactly a paragon of virtue and neither is his bride.  So not only is fraud conceivable, it’s likely.

Pope Francis Continues his ‘Outreach’ To Marginal Groups

In an effort to strengthen their relationship and foster interfaith dialogue, Pope Francis reportedly welcomed the winged Mayan snake god Kukulkan to the Vatican this week as part of a month-long deity exchange program. “We are excited to have the War Serpent staying here with us for the next four weeks, during which time he’ll be exposed to the rituals and customs of the Catholic Church, so that when he returns home he can share the experience with his adherents in Chichén Itzá and the surrounding Yucután communities,” said Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke, noting that the pontiff had taken Kukulkan out for pizza on the first night of the exchange before showing him around some of Rome’s most famous landmarks. “Once Kukulkan gets settled in, the pope plans to let him answer some basic prayers on his own, as well as try performing a transubstantiation or two. And perhaps toward the end of his stay, if he’s feeling up to it, Kukulkan can treat us all to an authentic human sacrifice.” Vatican sources confirmed that as part of the exchange, God Almighty, Our Heavenly Father, would be spending the next month with the Taoist thunder god Lei Gong in the cloud kingdom over Tibet.

Ha!