Daily Archives: 27 Feb 2017

Why Does America Have Such Terrible Politicians?

Simple- immoral politicians are elected by immoral voters.  The former cannot succeed without the latter.

She’s A Boy- Until It’s Inconvenient And then She’s A Girl

The Texas state wrestling championships aren’t usually national news. But they made headlines this weekend when a 17-year-old transgender boy — barred by state rules from competing in the boys’ league — won his weight class, against girls.

Mack Beggs, the teenage boy in question, hasn’t sought the spotlight. By all accounts he just wants to wrestle.

But media attention found him anyway. In part, that’s because some parents of female wrestlers have vocally objected to the fact that Beggs, who has been taking testosterone as part of his gender transition, is wrestling girls. One parent even filed a lawsuit against the league that organizes public school sports.

Etc.

Look, it is an absurdity to insist that (her/his) transgenderism be recognized (she’s now a boy) and then negate that insistence (she’s a girl so she should wrestle girls) simply for the sake of, and in the name of, sport. The hypocrisy of transgenderism is stunning in this case as it wants to be seen as legitimate until it is inconvenient. Were she serious about her identity, she would refuse to wrestle a girl.  If she (he) sees herself as a male, what business does she (he) have abandoning that insistence simply to compete in a sport?

We’ve entered the Twilight Zone.

Coffee With Calvin

At Southeastern Seminary:

calvin

This year is the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses. Dr. Bruce Gordon from Yale divinity school will be talking with our own Dr. Stephen Eccher about how we can read theologians so far removed from our time. It will be a great time to reflect on a key time in the history of the Protestant Church! Come and join us for great discussion and snacks. Where: Library Commons Area, Sign-up: Eventbrite. Organization: Library. Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM.Library – Commons Area.

The National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion Executive Board Statement

February 27, 2017

From the undersigned members of the Executive Committee of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion:

As scholars who are committed to studying and understanding texts, religious groups and faith commitments, which take many forms, it seems worthy and right to respond to recent actions, which have such important implications for religion and the study of religion. We believe it is crucial to be on record stating our concern and opposition to actions taken recently by executive orders from the office of the president of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump. We express our concern and urge membership of the NABPR to consider the following statements offered by the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Biblical Literature. These statements demonstrate the seriousness of the recent restrictions and exclusion of people from visiting, living or traveling in the U.S. based on their religious commitments.

As professors of religion we recognize, acknowledge and uphold the benefits of the longstanding Baptist commitment to religious freedom and toleration of other faith groups. Our religious freedom depends on the religious freedom of all individuals of faith groups.

Eileen Campbell-Reed
Doug Weaver
Mikeal C. Parsons
Philip E. Thompson
R. Scott Nash
Adam D.J. Brett

AAR Board Statement on U.S. Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”

Statement Issued by the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion on January 30, 2017

President Trump’s recent executive order limiting and banning Muslim immigration to the United States from seven countries strikes at the heart of the mission and values of the American Academy of Religion, a learned society of some 8,500 members.

Our organization is committed to excellence in the academic study of religion and to making our scholarship freely available in order to foster the larger public understanding of religion.

The ban impedes that mission. Faculty members, students, and independent scholars who study religion depend on the freedom of travel to pursue their work. Already we have received reports of scholars who have been prevented from returning home to the United States from research trips abroad. The ban will also impede international students who hope to study in the United States and to American students who plan to study abroad.

At a more fundamental level, the ban conflicts with our values. We hold dear diversity, mutual respect, inclusion, and free inquiry, all of which the immigration ban jeopardizes. The ban erodes our hope that these values will serve as the foundation for all governmental decisions regarding our members as well as our colleagues around the globe.

Finally, the ban poisons the public’s understanding of Islam in particular and religion in general. It blatantly and explicitly discriminates against Islam and Muslims, and appears to provide special treatment of Christianity. It violates our national commitment to welcome persons of all religions.

With learned societies, colleges and universities, and educational leaders across the nation, we call on the President and Congress to retract the Muslim immigration ban and to denounce religious intolerance in all its forms.

***

Statement on the 27 January 2017 U.S. Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”

The Society of Biblical Literature’s mission is to foster biblical scholarship in accordance with our core values, which include scholarly integrity, critical inquiry, respect for diversity, inclusivity, and tolerance. This mission of fostering biblical scholarship rests on the firm belief that the study of sacred texts and traditions involves unhindered intellectual exchange among scholars. Such open, scholarly exchange serves the common good by contributing to a broad public understanding of religious texts, traditions, and practices in the modern world. It is for these reasons, for example, that SBL does not endorse academic boycotts.

In 2012, SBL received a grant to explore the establishment of an international and independent network of scholars of the Qur’an. That grant led to the formation of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) in 2014, now an independent affiliate of the SBL and an invaluable partner in the study of sacred texts. As a learned society, IQSA, like SBL, seeks to promote peace through understanding. We thereby stand with our colleagues in Qur’anic and Islamic studies to protest the ban on immigrants and refugees from Muslim countries.

Moreover, the ban encourages discrimination and promotes misleading and sometimes dangerous caricatures of religious people, practices, and texts. It also places obstacles to the travel of Muslim scholars in and out of the United States, and threatens the free exchange of ideas among the Society and partnering and affiliating organizations that advance learning and help make peace and understanding possible. Thus, the Society strongly opposes the ban and its implementation.

Quote of the Day

datenus„Visibilis Ecclesia Christi, est congregatio eorum omnium, tam vere fidelium, quam hypocritarum qui profitentur purum Euangelium, fugientum impuram doctrinam, agnoscentum Christum unicum Summum caput Servatorum, Pontificem & Mediatorem, rite utentiu Sacramentis & clavibus Christo traditits.“ – Petrus Dathenus

The Most Accurate Representation of Luther to Date

luther

Total Depravity: More Pastoral Misconduct

One question- why did he have to be a Baptist?

The Aleppo Codex Online

Here.

aleppo

Lent Commences Wednesday- So Celebrate with Sausage

 

What Zwingli Thinks of Lent

zwingli1011.jpgNo one shall reject you or consider you good on account of any food, or holyday, whether you rest or not (always excepting Sundays, after God’s Word has been heard and communion administered). Let the new moon fast and the Sabbath go; for these things have become only symbolical of a Christian holiday, when one is to cease and leave off sinning, also that we, repenting such works, become happy only in the mercy of God; and, as Christ has come, the shadows and symbols are without doubt done away with.

One thing more, notice as to the time: It surely seems to me (I cannot help thinking so) that to keep certain times with timidity is an injury and harm to unchanging and everlasting justice, thus: simple people think that everything is right, if only they confess the fasts, fast, enjoy God (i.e., take the sacrament), and let the whole year pass away thus; whereas one should at all times confess God, live piously, and do no more than we think is necessary in the fast. And Christ says again, Matthew 25:13: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.”

My Gift To You This Lent: Zwingli’s “Sermon on the Free Choice of Food”- Zurich, 1522

From the brilliant collection of Zwingli’s Works which also counts among its constituent parts this utterly fantastic introduction to the life and work of Zwingli– which is described thusly by Peter Opitz-

Jim West’s book on Zwingli can be highly recommended to everyone who wants to learn more about the faith and thought of the man whose works contain the seed of Reformed theology. It bears all the traits of a good introduction to the subject: short, easy to read, and true to its title pointing out what was most important to Zwingli himself, not leaving the darker sides of Zwingli’s biography unattended, and last but not least, letting the Reformer’s own voice be heard. — Peter Opitz, Professor of Church History, Universität Zürich

Happy Anti-Lent! You’re welcome!

Books Multitask Too

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The Cold Hard Facts

The core problem of modern American Christianity is that too many of its members are satisfied with utter mediocrity and have no intention of excelling at faith.  Aspiration to authentic discipleship is as rare as real commitment.

Augustine Infected Even Luther With His Ridiculous Views of Sex

lutherstampIn one of his sermons Luther remarked

The flesh hangs around my neck together with the old Adam, who fell in Paradise ‹and is inborn in us›, whom we lug about in this life and cannot be rid of until we are buried. While the flesh, which we bear around our necks, lives and eats and drinks here, evil desire does not cease. It stirs itself and is eager to commit sin, [such as] lewdness [and] evil desire. Carnal desire is resisted with matrimony, virginity, [and] widowhood, so that it does not become fornication. And yet ‹even marriage› is not completely pure. ‹For› husband [and] wife cannot sleep with each other without shameful, evil desire.

The notion that even marital sexual relations are wicked comes straight from Augustine- who lived his early life as such a reprobate that when he converted to Christianity the pendulum swung completely to the other extreme.  From doing everything sexually, Augustine came to believe that every sexual act- even between married folk! – was evil.

Poor Luther.  And poor Augustinians.  To be robbed of a good gift of God by poor theology based on personal experience rather than informed by Scripture concerning the goodness and godliness of marital relations in all their fullness.

The oddest thing in all this is Luther’s blindness to Scripture on the issue.  Augustine’s view has nil support.  Consequently, neither does Luther’s.

More Pentebabbleist Misconduct

From all over the world, they flocked to this tiny town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lured by promises of inner peace and eternal life. What many found instead: years of terror — waged in the name of the Lord.

Congregants of the Word of Faith Fellowship were regularly punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor or thrown through walls in a violent form of deliverance meant to “purify” sinners by beating out devils, 43 former members told The Associated Press in separate, exclusive interviews.

Victims of the violence included pre-teens and toddlers — even crying babies, who were vigorously shaken, screamed at and sometimes smacked to banish demons.

“I saw so many people beaten over the years. Little kids punched in the face, called Satanists,” said Katherine Fetachu, 27, who spent nearly 17 years in the church.

Word of Faith also subjected members to a practice called “blasting” — an ear-piercing verbal onslaught often conducted in hours-long sessions meant to cast out devils.

Read the rest here at the AP.  And take note- when you join a Montanist movement, you have to expect Montanist insanity.  Behold, what a-theological movements do to people.

Dear America…

‪Dear America, you have never been a democracy. You have always been an oligarchy. Trump, Ryan, and McConnell are just peeling the mask off‬.  I wish you were a democracy because then the people would be represented and not merely the monied interests of the wealthy.  But you aren’t and you never will be until your people rise up.