Daily Archives: 7 Nov 2016

The Christian’s Highest Duty is not the Duty of the Citizen

For Christians the only absolute duty is duty to God. Accordingly, there is no such thing as a ‘duty to vote’. #WeAreNotPagans.  The duty we owe to the State is not the duty we owe God.  When the claim of the State and the claim of God are in conflict there is for the Christian no need to make a choice: the choice has already been made.  The Christian’s highest duty is not the duty of the citizen but the duty of the Christian.

How Millennials See The Bible

The Bible says– ‘Don’t forsake the assembly’.

Millennials see – ‘Forsake the church completely’.

The Bible says – ‘Repent or you will also perish’.

Millennials see – ‘You’re fine.  Everyone goes to heaven’.

The Bible says ‘If they don’t work let them starve’.

Millennials see – ‘Take whatever you want, everything belongs to you’.

The Bible says – ‘Let no corrupt word come out of your mouth’.

Millennials see – ‘Use profanity- it gets you attention’.

In sum, if it’s in the Bible it isn’t in the Millennial’s mind. They don’t see the Bible- they see a reflection of themselves because the Bible, like everything else, is merely a mirror for them- selfie fodder.

There are Fires all Around

fires

An Outline of the Church Dogmatics by Karl Barth

This is actually pretty neat.  It took its doer (Catherine Tobey) a lot of time and I think a lot of Barth’s minions will benefit from it.  So enjoy.

The Bee Stings the Emergents and their Preference for a Christianity Without Commitment

Hymnal publishers from around the nation confirmed Monday the release of new, updated hymnals containing a new version of “I Surrender All” among other refreshes and enhancements.

The new version of the tune, entitled “I Surrender Some,” was written to refresh outdated language and theology in the 1896 song, according to hymnal authorities.

“Singing words like ‘All to Jesus I surrender’ just isn’t in line with modern Christianity,” a spokesperson for Hymnal Publishing, LLC told reporters. “Now, Christians can sincerely belt out lines like ‘Some to Jesus I surrender, some to Him I conditionally give’ without worrying if their hearts really line up with the lyrics.”

“It was our desire to preserve these time-honored hymns, while also making the lyrics so much more singable for the modern audience,” the spokesperson added.

Other changes were confirmed, with new hymn titles like “In Christ For The Most Part,” “Be Thou My Homeboy,” and “How Great I Art.”

Spot on.

Sad News from the Zwingliverein

img_0374

Pretend to be Shocked: The Insurance Companies are Making BILLIONS While Still Pretending the ACA is Driving up Costs

Aetna, whose CEO Mark Bertolini reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission a $27.9 million compensation in 2015, has similarly celebrated sky-high profits. “In 2015, we reported annual operating revenue of over $60.3 billion, a record for the Company,” Aetna recently told investors.

Aetna spokesman T.J. Crawford wrote a brief statement to ConsumerAffairs describing the company’s losses under Obamacare: “As updated on our Q3 earnings call last week, we now expect a 2016 pretax loss in our individual products (on- and off-exchange) of approximately $350 million,” he said via email, otherwise directing questions to a company press release.

Thanks to the insurance industry’s combination of record profits in recent years and increasing premiums, people on both sides of the political aisle have criticized the Affordable Care Act as being more beneficial to the insurance industry than consumers, though politicians remain deeply divided on what a good, viable alternative would entail.

“Given this dysfunctional reality under the ACA, it’s remarkable that neither major political party has a plan to truly fix the situation,” wrote Dr. John Geyman, a professor and past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, a nonprofit advocating for a single-payer national health insurance program, in a recent column.

These thieves are making a fortune and Congress is letting them do it because the Insurance industry owns your elected officials.

America needs to grow up and adopt a single payer healthcare system and the Insurance industry can rot in oblivion.

Total Depravity: Yet Another Criminal ‘Pastor’ Edition

An East Tennessee preacher is heading to prison after admitting he operated fraudulent investment ventures.

In Knoxville Monday, Roger Williams plead guilty to money laundering, mail fraud and obstruction of federal taxes. It estimated he cost investors over a million dollars in what the federal government is calling a ponzi scheme.

WATE 6 On Your Side investigator Don Dare first reported on Williams in the summer of 2014. Williams was preacher at a church near Gatlinburg for 11 years and has been the soul operator of investment ventures for 15 years.

In July 2014, Jimmy Vineyard told WATE 6 On Your Side he had put money into Williams’ Dash Holdings and Open Door Investment. With a lure of 15 percent growth yearly promised by Williams.

Vineyard had over $400,000 invested in the ventures. However, when his wife, Ellen, became ill, Vineyard said he asked Williams for the money he had invested and was told there was not any to withdraw and his entire life’s savings were gone.

Two things: ‘preachers’ who also run investment groups can’t be trusted.  And second, if someone tells you they will get you 15% return, they’re lying and you buy into it because you’re greedy.

Were it not for greed, financial scammers would be out of business.

Sounds Legit

Roughly half of the churchgoers at First Baptist Church Russellville died of starvation Sunday after the pastor tragically went 15 minutes over his standard sermon time, local sources confirmed.

“We don’t know if the pastor simply lost track of time due to passion while preaching the word of God, or if something more nefarious was going on,” police chief Dwayne Carroll told reporters Monday morning.

“It’s hard to imagine that Pastor Frank did not notice the panicked glances at phones and watches, along with the thunderous stomach growls and moans of agony reverberating throughout the sanctuary within minutes after he began to breach his normal closing time,” the chief continued. “Whatever the case, he went well over his standard allotted time for delivering his message, and roughly 75 people in attendance simply could not hold out, succumbing to their hunger before the the end of the church service.”

Thankfully, the other half of the congregation was able to make a speedy exit as soon as they were dismissed, frantically rushing out the doors and flooding all local restaurants for emergency sustenance.

“Pastor Frank should have known the dire consequences of a church service going even a minute past its normal ending time,” one survivor noted to reporters. “I mean, people have to eat.”

Police Chief Carroll confirmed that the investigation is ongoing.

People do prefer getting to lunch before the Methodists.  Ballgames, on the other hand, can go on forever without a whimper of complaint.

Election Day Commentary Sale

Good news, friends, to help get your mind off of electioneering and on to things of a weightier subject, The Commentary is on sale from now through Wednesday for half price.  Acquire the PDF’s from yours truly for a paltry $100 by clicking my PayPal Link.  It’s that simple.

the-person-the-pew-commentary-series

You’ll learn from them.  Here’s what other’s have said:

***

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

***

Jim has a way of wording his explanations of the scripture in such a way that it makes you want to read deeper and then just watch and see what God can do! Jim is a gifted person and I am glad that God has blessed his life so that he could in turn bless mine.

Sherry Liles
Knoxville, TN

***

… you will find them a superb companion to your own reading of the Bible and, as importantly, a great reminder of just how much the early Church struggled with some of the same problems we face now.

Gareth Jones, Principal
Ming Hua Theological College
Hong Kong

John Collins on ‘Biblical Values’

Here’s a lecture by John Collins you’ll want to give a listen to (or download to listen to later).

How to be? How to act? What are Biblical values? What does the Bible really say about how to live our lives? What does the Bible say about justice and welcome… and for whom? For people of faith, these are pressing questions. They are all the more pressing in light of current events and the many conflicting claims about how the Bible speaks to these questions.

A salient and incisive voice on this topic is Dr. John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School. A renowned scholar, prolific writer, and beloved teacher.

According to Dr. Collins, “Biblical values are more complex than they are often made out to be. But there are some clear principles nonetheless. They are not the issues that have been lifted up most frequently either by church people or by politicians in recent years. Biblical values are primarily concerned with how we treat our fellow human beings.”

A native of Ireland, Dr. Collins brings a unique, engaging blend of world-class academic insight, wisdom, and wit(!) to his lectures. His ability to distill intricate concepts and to speak across scripture’s deeply detailed sweep consistently impresses both audiences and students, alike, and ensures that his remarks are as accessible and relevant as they are challenging.

At a time when scripture can often feel muddled both by world events and by the myriad voices declaring what the Bible means, to host someone of Dr. Collins’ caliber is a gift. And a treat! John Collins is one of those singular individuals who can speak to intricate, often charged Biblical questions in a way that clarifies rather than confuses, and in a way that sparks rather than snubs conversation. What’s more, he has a sense of humor that rivals his deep heart and his encyclopedic mind!

Last Chance for SOTS Earlybird Registration

Dear SOTS member,

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is the deadline for booking attendance at the Winter Meeting at the cheaper rate. If you haven’t booked yet and wish to catch it at the lower price, email the hospitality secretary James Patrick on sotshospitality@gmail.com. I was checking for my own purposes, and thought that I’m probably not the only one who hasn’t yet booked and intends to. A trial is being made of offering financial help to carers, and that has to be applied for by tomorrow at the latest, so again, contact James for that. Final bookings at the regular price have to be made by Dec 6th.

With best wishes,
Viv Rowett
SOTS retiring membership secretary

I’ll see you there in Nottingham.  And if not there, perhaps in Birmingham on 5 January.

Call For Papers

Call for papers: The Tenth Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament

The tenth Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament will be held in Birmingham from Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd March 2017. The title of the colloquium is “Lives of the Text”, with a double focus:

1) the significance of liturgy in the textual transmission of the New Testament (e.g. lectionary manuscripts, canticles);
2) reflections on D.C. Parker’s “The Living Text of the Gospels” twenty years after its publication.

As in previous years, accommodation has been reserved at Woodbrooke Quaker Studies Centre; a booking form will be issued shortly.

Proposals are invited for papers related to the above topics to be delivered at the colloquium. The standard slot will be 30 minutes (to include questions). Proposals should be submitted to H.A.G.H…@bham.ac.uk by Tuesday 3rd January 2017 at the latest; all submissions will be acknowledged by email and a programme released in the early New Year.

Further information about the Birmingham Colloquium may be found at http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/colloquium

The proceedings of the ninth colloquium, held in conjunction with the ERC-funded COMPAUL project, are available from Gorgias Press: https://www.gorgiaspress.com/commentaries-catenae-and-biblical-tradition.

Via Paul Middleton

Signs of the Times

comey

What is War? Karl Barth’s Answer

barth

via

Or, more thoroughly,

Unterdessen hat gerade die überhandnehmende kalte Sachlichkeit des militärischen Tötens, das Raffinement und die massenhafte Wirkung, zum Teil auch die Abscheulichkeit seiner Methoden, Instrumente und Maschinen und seine Ausdehnung auf die feindliche Zivilbevölkerung dafür gesorgt, daß, wer Krieg sagt, wissen müßte, daß er damit schlicht und eindeutig töten sagt: töten ohne Glanz, ohne Würde, ohne Ritterlichkeit, ohne Schranke und Rücksicht nach irgendeiner Seite. Der Ruhm des sogenannten «Soldatenhandwerkes», das eben heute beiläufig zum direkt oder indirekt ausgeübten «Handwerk» eines Jeden geworden ist, kann in unseren Tagen nur noch von den Resten jener alten, schon damals fadenscheinigen Illusionen leben. Es wäre schon viel gewonnen, wenn man sich angesichts der Tatsachen endlich ganz nüchtern dazu bekennen würde, daß, was auch der Zweck und allenfalls das Recht des Krieges sein mag, sein Mittel heute jedenfalls ohne Hülle und Scham dies ist, daß nicht nur Einzelne, nicht nur irgendwelche «Heere», sondern die ganzen Völker als solche sich gegenseitig mit allen Mitteln ans Leben wollen. Die Möglichkeit der Atom- oder Wasserstoffbombe hat eigentlich nur noch gefehlt, um die Selbstenthüllung des Krieges in dieser Hinsicht vollständig zu machen.  — Karl Barth, KD III/4, 518f