Quote of the Week

160307_EVA_Biographie_Luther_Cover_rz.inddWer noch nicht vernichtet ist und durch Kreuz und Leiden zu einem Nichts gemacht ist, der schreibt Werke und Weisheit sich selbst zu. – Martin Luther

That truth has never been needed more than it is today.

A Challenge to Those Christians Who Decry America’s Reception of Refugees

Tell me, you who wish the refugees, from wherever, to be denied safe harbor on our shores, which of the two groups below Jesus says your belong in (and to help you I’ve highlighted the important bits so you can find them):

‘When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory.  All nations will be assembled before him and he will separate people one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats.  He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.  Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.”

Then the upright will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you?  When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?”  And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

Then he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink,  I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, lacking clothes and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.”

Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?”  Then he will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.’  (Matt. 25:31-46)

Which group do you belong in, according to Christ himself.  Go ahead, render an answer.  Do you really think you can escape?  Oh sure, you can for now, but when Christ asks you the question, you won’t be able to avoid answering, nor the punishment your answer demands.

I Wish Christmas Fell on Sunday Every Year

When Christmas falls on a Sunday as it does this year it’s the perfect opportunity for parents to teach their children that even their favorite things are not as important as God.  It’s one of life’s most important lessons.  Indeed, if parents don’t teach their children this lesson, then the chances are pretty good that God will never be very important to them at all.

Monsters in the Bible

4000392Playing with Leviathan: Interpretation and Reception of Monsters from the Biblical World.

Edited by Koert van Bekkum, Kampen Theological University, Jaap Dekker, Apeldoorn Theological University, Henk van de Kamp, minister of Apeldoorn Reformed Church (liberated), Eric Peels, Apeldoorn Theological University.
Since ancient times Leviathan and other monsters from the biblical world symbolize the life-threatening powers in nature and history. They represent the dark aspects of human nature and political entities and reveal the supernatural dimensions of evil. Ancient texts and pictures regarding these monsters reflect an environment of polytheism and religious pluralism. Remarkably, however, the biblical writings and post-biblical traditions use these venerated symbols in portraying God as being sovereign over the entire universe, a theme that is also prominent in the reception of these texts in subsequent contexts.

This volume explores this tension and elucidates the theological and cultural meaning of ‘Leviathan’ by studying its ancient Near Eastern background and its attestation in biblical texts, early and rabbinic Judaism, Christian theology, Early Modern art, and film.

I appreciate Koert telling me about this. It looks fun.