Daily Archives: 14 Apr 2017

Alan Millard Eviscerates Doug Petrovich’s Notions on Hebrew and the Oldest Alphabet

Right here.  Enjoy.

Simon Gathercole of Cambridge Eviscerates the ‘Jesus Mythicists’

Nice job, Simon.

Churches, Publicity Stunts, and Their Ignorance of Scripture

We’ve all seen the stunts churches pull for media attention; from the gas card giveaways to the helicopters dropping Easter Eggs and all the other plots and schemes to garner media publicity.  Evidently the people behind these schemes are utterly ignorant of the Sermon on the Mount- which – by the way – applies to Churches as much as to individuals:

‘Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven.  So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.  But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. — (Matt. 6:1-4)

Take note: if it’s publicity you seek, that’s just exactly all you’ll get.

He is Not Here, He is Risen!

Let the reader understand…  [This is a subtle theological point having to do with the ‘flesh profiting nothing].

A Luther Conference at Catholic University

Dear Members of the Society for Reformation Research,

On May 30th to June 1st an international conference entitled “Luther and the Shaping of the Catholic Tradition” will be held in Washington, D.C., at the Catholic University of America, with a choral presentation at the Church of the Reformation. Sponsored by the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences, the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic University of America, and the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the conference will explore late medieval Western ideas on justification, Eastern Christianity, the Eucharist/Mass, and ecclesiology; how Luther developed various strains of these idea; and how the Roman Catholic Church responded to his ideas in shaping its own tradition. The speakers, leading ecumenists and scholars of the Reformation, will come from Finland, France, Germany,the United States, and the Vatican, and from the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions. The schedule provides opportunities for discussion of the presentations. Attached please find the conference schedule and a poster with information on the conference. For more information, please consult the website cuatoday.com/MartinLuther500.Hoping that you will be able to attend this conference and wishing you a blessed Easter, we are 

Sincerely yours, Nelson H. Minnich, Michael Root 

The Death of Christ

Of the Eucharist-

They call it the body of the Lord, because in it is commemorated the fact that Christ took upon Himself flesh and died for us. They call it the remission of sins, because we return thanks for the forgiveness of our sins through the death of Christ. They call it the food of the soul, because He who alone is the sure pledge of our hope is praised in it. Not as if the material bread were the material body of Christ, or as if, when eaten and digested, it washed away the poison of sin, or as if the material bread or the material body of Christ could feed the soul, but because the Divine Goodness is so pleasant and friendly to us that It deigns to present even to our senses certain shadowy forms of internal and spiritual things, which are called by the same name as the things themselves for the reason that they are the sacraments and representations of the real things.  — Huldrych Zwingli

Just A Reminder…

Nothing has changed since the Virginia Tech massacre.   

Nothing.

United is Unbelievable: They Threatened a Seated First Class Passenger With Arrest if He Didn’t Surrender His Seat to a Higher Priority Passenger

United has lost its mind.

It’s hard to find examples of worse decision-making and customer treatment than United Airlines having a passenger dragged from an overbooked plane. But United’s shabby treatment of Geoff Fearns, including a threat to place him in handcuffs, comes close.

Fearns, 59, is president of TriPacific Capital Advisors, an Irvine investment firm that handles more than half a billion dollars in real estate holdings on behalf of public pension funds. He had to fly to Hawaii last week for a business conference.

Fearns needed to return early so he paid about $1,000 for a full-fare, first-class ticket to Los Angeles. He boarded the aircraft at Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, took his seat and enjoyed a complimentary glass of orange juice while awaiting takeoff.

Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.

Read the rest.  It’s inconceivable.

The Whininess of Reza Aslan

RNS has an interesting essay on the academic response to Reza Aslan’s CNN special series on religion (the first episode of which I watched and really disliked) titled Reza Aslan and the ‘pettiness of academia’.  In short, Aslan attributes the scholarly reaction to ‘pettiness’.  In reality, he should stick to sociology, his chosen field, because as a scholar of religion he’s been weighed in the balances and found to be very wanting.

People who don’t know anything about religion like his special, in the same way that people who don’t know anything about the Bible like ‘bible specials’ and movies like ‘Noah’ and ‘The Shack’.  What needs to be remembered is that the fact that someone likes something doesn’t mean that what they like is real or true.  Likability, in other words, isn’t a criterion of facticity.

Aslan’s upset at academics because he wants approval.  Truth and accuracy, on the other hand, are not quite within his field of vision.

Anyway, the essay linked above says it fairly well-

After a six-week run, Reza Aslan’s “spiritual adventure” series “Believer” completed its first season. Although we don’t yet know if CNN will approve a second season, one thing is certain: Scholars of religion didn’t really care for it.

Some have criticized it for sensationalizing religion for the sake of ratings (including myself over at my YouTube channel). Others have accused Aslan of conducting sloppy research and failing to cite leading experts of the religions he chose to showcase.

Still others argued he transgressed basic religious studies methodology, trading in his role as a neutral scholar of religion for the role of a “spiritual guide” or “retailer of import goods.”

Etc.

The Crucifixion

What’s So Good about Good Friday?

Our friends in Zurich give the low down on the day-

Karfreitag und Karsamstag beschliessen die Karwoche, die nach dem Palmsonntag beginnt und den Gründonnerstag einschliesst. Der Karfreitag wird seit dem 2. Jahrhundert als Trauertag begangen.

Dieser Tag ist der Überlieferung nach der Todestag von Jesus. Zudem fanden der Prozess, die Hinrichtung und die Beerdigung Jesu am Karfreitag statt. Nach dem jüdischen Kalender ist Jesus am 15. Nisan mittags um die neunte Stunde am Kreuz auf dem Kalvarienberg gestorben. Dem gregorianischen Kalender zufolge könnte dies der 7.April des Jahres 30 oder der 3. April des Jahres 33 nachmittags um drei Uhr gewesen sein.

Der Karfreitag galt früher für die evangelischen Christen als strenger Busstag und ist heute höchster kirchlicher Feiertag. Vor allem im lutherischen Protestantismus hat die Erlösung von den Sünden durch den Kreuzestod zentrale Bedeutung für den Glauben. – In katholischen Kirchen findet an diesem wie auch am folgenden Tag keine Messe statt, es wird nur ein einfacher Wortgottesdienst gehalten.

In der evangelischen Kirche werden in der Karwoche traditionell tägliche Andachten – “Passionsandachten” – abgehalten. Die Kreuzwegandacht wird – v. a. in katholischen Kirchen – während der ganzen 40-tägigen Passionszeit abgehalten, besonders feierlich jedoch am Karfreitag. In Jerusalem feierte man schon im 3. Jahrhundert die ganze Heilige Woche, indem man den Weg Jesu nachging. Vorläufer der heutigen Kreuzwegandachten sind seit dem 15. Jahrhundert bekannt, prägend war stets der Franziskanerorden. Noch heute haben die Franziskaner das Privileg der Errichtung von Kreuzwegen in der katholischen Kirche.