Yeah, Martin, I Know Where You’re Coming From…

I would like to arrange matters in such a way that I do not have to return to Wittenberg. My heart has become cold, so that I do not like to be there any longer. I wish you would sell the garden and field, house and all.  Also I would like to return the big house to my Most Gracious Lord. It would be best for you to move to Zölsdorf as long as I am still living and able to help you to improve the little property with my salary.

For I hope that my Most Gracious Lord would let my salary be continued at least for one [year], that is, the last year of my life.  After my death the four elements at Wittenberg certainly will not tolerate you [there]. Therefore it would be better to do while I am alive what certainly would have to be done then.

As things are run in Wittenberg, perhaps the people there will acquire not only the dance of St. Vitus or St. John, but the dance of the beggars or the dance of Beelzebub, since they have started to bare women and maidens in front and back, and there is no one who punishes or objects.  In addition the Word of God is being mocked [there]. Away from this Sodom!  — Martin Luther

I hear ya.  More than you know, Martin.  More than you know.

If You Don’t Pay Your Mom Sufficient Attention, She Gets Cranky…

“[Hikane] to Isidoros [her son, greetings. First of all] I thought it necessary, since the packet boat was putting out to sea, to write . . . me. I am in Berenike. I wrote you a letter [?but did not receive a] letter. Was it for this that I carried you for ten months and nursed you for three years, so that you would be incapable of remembering me by letter? And similarly you dimissed me though the Oasites . . . I didn’t do this to you, but I left your brothers in Arabia . . . so that . . . Egypt I might see your face and . . . my breath. I only ask and beg and adjure you by the one whom you . . . and by the memory of the one who begot you, to sail away if you are well.”

And that was written in the First Century.  Cranky moms have been around millennia.

Via.

Donald Trump is a Racketeer

A Dutch TV documentary alleges that President Trump has large scale connections to Russia and it’s ruling oligarchs, as well as a extensive history of racketeering illegally.

The documentary spans 45 minutes and was produced by Zembla TV. It looked farther into Trump’s alleged relationship with the Russian mobster Felix Sater. Apparently Trump took lengthy measures to hide from regulators.

The documentary also takes a look at Trump’s arrangements with rich Russians that will apparently allow the Russians to move their money to places outside of their own country. It details farther the elaborate financial networks that these families have in place, which they use as a “pyramid scheme for money laundering,” according to Rosenfeld.

Zembla has also released a part two in the series, titled “The King of Diamonds” which takes an in depth look at the relationship that Trump may have with Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, who has been suspected in the past of being involved in the trading of blood diamonds.

This ‘President’ belongs in prison.

Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

Ohio!

Police in suburban Cleveland say a half-naked man intentionally crashed his car into a closed convenience store to get beer, injuring himself and a store employee.  Rocky River police say the 45-year-old driver was wearing nothing from the waist down when he crashed through a store wall early Sunday and told the worker he needed beer.  Police say the man barricaded himself in a beer cooler and told police to shoot him, but they subdued him with a stun device.

The driver was taken to a hospital, as was the store employee, who suffered leg and chest injuries that weren’t considered critical.  The driver has been charged with impaired driving.  Police say the worker was fortunate that a deli counter was between him and the car, preventing more serious injuries.

Come on, Chris, buy your beverages like everyone else.

Ben Sira’s Advice on Friendship

Some smart stuff from ben Sira-

6:7-10 If thou wouldst get a friend, try him before thou takest him, and do not credit him easily. For there is a friend for his own occasion, and he will not abide in the day of thy trouble. And there is a friend that turneth to enmity; and there is a friend that will disclose hatred and strife and reproaches. And there is a friend a companion at the table, and he will not abide in the day of distress.

Yup. All true.

6:14-16 A faithful friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found him, hath found a treasure. Nothing can be compared to a faithful friend, and no weight of gold and silver is able to countervail the goodness of his fidelity. A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality: and they that fear the Lord, shall find him.

Yup, again, all true.

12:8-9 A friend shall not be known in prosperity, and an enemy shall not be hidden in adversity. In the prosperity of a man, his enemies are grieved: and a friend is known in his adversity.

Word, Sirach, word.

37:1-2, 4-6 Every friend will say: I also am his friend: but there is a friend, that is only a friend in name. Is not this a grief even to death? But a companion and a friend shall be turned to an enemy. … There is a companion who rejoiceth with his friend in his joys, but in the time of trouble, he will be against him. There is a companion who condoleth with his friend for his belly’s sake, and he will take up a shield against enemy. Forget not thy friend in thy mind, and be not unmindful of him in thy riches.

It sure happens sure enough.

True friends are hard to find. Friends for the moment are Legion.

Karl Barth Couldn’t Do It But Emil Brunner Did- Brilliantly

‘It’ is complete a systematic theology. Barth couldn’t manage it (probably because he spent too much time at the Bergli and its ‘distractions’) but Brunner can, could, and did.

It was on the 14th of May, 1960 that Emil Brunner published the third volume of his fantastic Dogmatics. With the publication of that impressive volume, again, Brunner achieved what Barth never managed- the completion of a systematic theology.

Brunner was the most insightful of the 20th century theologians.  His work is still very much worth reading, even 50 years after its first appearance.

And he did it all in the old fashioned way- by actually reading books and typing on paper.  With that ancient technology he accomplished more than 99% of our modern theologians with all their tools and means.  Because, it has to be said, he was a thinker and a Churchman.  Far too many modern theologians are neither.

So do yourself a favor and read a bit of Brunner’s Third today.