That One Time a Hillsong ‘Pastor’ and Justin Bieber Did Shots Together…

Fans of celebrities barely bat an eye anymore at the drunken antics of superstars. Instead the public displays of carnality of the rich and famous are celebrated. Smiled at. Wink wink. Are we seeing this same blasé attitude in the visible Church?

Celebrity Pastor Carl Lentz, who pastors Hillsong NYC and megastar Justin Bieber, a close friend whom Lentz personally shepherds, were photographed partying in a tavern. The world is now seeing the fallout of the spectacle, in which the two slammed back shots. The pictures show Lentz smiling as Bieber began removing his clothes at Blue Door Bar in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The singer started out his night fully clothed like any other patron, then stripped off his camouflage jacket and white singlet which saw some unstoppable smiles from the two female bartenders serving him. Shots and cocktails were on the menu for the US singer and his mate, Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz.

If you admire this, there’s something a bit tragic about you and your ‘faith’.

Zwingli and Politics

The latest Schattenwurf Zwinglis is up-

Zum ersten Mal wurde der 1. August  im Jahr 1891 zum nationalen Gedenktag der Schweiz, 1994 zum nationalen Freitag. Morgen debattieren Hundertausende beim Brunch auf unzähligen Bauernhöfen über Gott und die Welt. Huldrich Zwingli, der Schweizer Reformator, feierte den 1. August nicht. Wer daraus den Schluss zieht, Politik und Glauben seien zu trennen, der macht die Rechnung ohne den Wirt, ohne den Reformator, den Eidgenossen.

Huldrich Zwingli war ein scharfsinniger Theologe, umsichtiger Pfarrer, weltoffener Humanist, er war von seinem Naturell her ein grossartiger Politiker. Als Priester in Glarus exponierte er sich, inspiriert durch pazifistische Gedanken des Erasmus, gegen den Verkauf von Schweizer Soldaten an fremde Könige. Als Reformator in Zürich kämpfte er für ein neues Ehegesetz und eine neue soziale Ordnung der Gesellschaft. Als Politiker war er von der Vision einer im Glauben und Leben einheitlichen Schweiz getrieben. Er durchbrach den Widerstand der politischen Kräfte in Bern und Zürich und zog in die Schlacht von Kappel.

Zwingli dachte nicht lutherisch in zwei Reichen: Hier der Glaube, da der Staat. Reformation der Kirche ist nach ihm Transformation der Gesellschaft. Dabei galt: Keine revolutionäre Errichtung eines Gottesstaates, auch kein reaktionärer Rückzug aus der Gesellschaft. Das menschliche Recht hatte nach Zwingli in der göttlichen Gerechtigkeit ihre Richtschnur, wie sie in der Bibel entfaltet wird. Die Bibel, die Kirche wie auch das Evangelium sind politisch. Der Glaube, im stillen Kämmerlein mit frommem Gemüt praktiziert, ist immer auch politisches Gewissen im lauten Ratssaal. Die biblische Richtschnur ist dabei das Liebesgebot Christi.

„Was gadt die schnur Christi die Fürsten an?“ (Zwingli) Dreifach gezwirnt ist diese Schnur:

Der Volkswille: Der Souverän mit seiner Entscheidungsgewalt ist hoch zu halten. Die Fähigkeit zum mehrheitsfähigen Schweizerischen Kompromiss ist sprichwörtlich. Doch ebenso wahr ist: Das Volk hat nicht immer Recht, Kompromisse können faul sein. Schreit die Mehrheit des Volkes: „Kreuzige ihn!“, ist dem Volk ins Wort zu fallen, weil Recht gebogen und Unrecht absolut wird. Kein Souverän ist absolute Setzung, sondern relative Vernetzung. Kein Wille des Volkes ist heilig, sondern profane Suchbewegung. Absolut allein ist die göttliche Gerechtigkeit, und heilig ist ausschliesslich Gott. Der Souverän wird mit der Schnur Christi souverän relativiert.

Das Eigentum: Privates Eigentum hat sein relatives Recht innerhalb von menschlichen Ordnungen und rechtmässigen Setzungen. Wer privates oder gemeines Eigentum absolut setzt, vergisst, dass über jedem relativen Eigentum ein anderer, absoluter Eigentümer steht. Daraus entsteht nach dem Zürcher Sozialethiker Arthur Rich eine „für das menschliche Recht grundlegende Eigentumsthese“ Zwinglis: „Du solt din zytlich gut nit für din haben; du bist nur ein schaffner darüber.“ Eigentum ist Teil von Allmend, eigenes Privates schafft soziales Allgemeines, der Freisinn ist das Gegenstück des Gemeinsinns. Das sind politische Grundsätze höchster Tragweite, gewonnen aus dem Anspruch der Schnur Christi.

Das Milizsystem: Die Miliz-Armee webt mit dem Faden der Einheit von Bürger und Soldat, das Miliz-Parlament mit dem der Einheit zwischen Beruf und Politik, der Zivildienst mit dem der Einheit von privatem Leben und allgemeinem Einsatz für die Hege und Pflege. In diesen politischen Stoff Schweizerischer Eigenart gilt es, neu das Muster sozialethischer Verantwortung zu entdecken. Christen mit ihren Kirchen, andere Glaubende mit ihren Synagogen, Moscheen und Tempeln weben daran, unermüdlich. Statt vom Gottesstaat zu träumen oder aufs Jenseits zu vertrösten, versuchen sie, neue Formen von Gerechtigkeit zu wagen und andere Gesichter von Menschlichkeit zu zeigen. Sie arbeiten dabei mit dem Faden göttlicher Liebe.

Die Relativität menschlicher Entscheide und privaten Eigentums verbindet sich mit dem sozialen Engagement für und mit allen zur Politik, die sich an der Schnur Christi orientiert. Was nun, wenn sich die Fürsten absolut setzen? Für Zwingli absolut klar: „So sy aber (die Obrigkeit) untrülich und usser der schnur Christ faren wurdind, mögen sie mit got entsetzt (abgesetzt) werden.“

The White House Is Burning, but Trump Thinks Everything’s Fine

As staffers and cabinet members fled the White House while spontaneous fires broke out all over the crumbling building Monday, President Donald Trump reportedly reclined at the Oval Office desk and took to Twitter to confirm that “everything is fine.”

“This is fine. Everything is fine here. MSM pretending my administration is imploding. Wrong!” he posted to his Twitter account shortly after the firing of communications director Anthony Scaramucci after only ten days on the job.

“Sad that media makes up lies about my administration to pump up ratings – total disaster!” he added, putting his feet up on the desk as a piece of flaming wreckage dropped just inches from his head.

According to White House insiders, Trump continued calmly working on several pending executive orders and other open items even as the foundations of the building cracked and several administration aides lept out windows with their hair on fire as the administration continued to implode at a rapid pace.

Thus the Bee– stinging quite close to home.

An Oldie, But a Goodie: Huldreich Zwingli- Geschichte seiner Bildung zum Reformator des Vaterlandes

One of the most engaging books on Zwingli was written by the eminent, no, the pre-eminent scholar of Zwingli, Johann Melchior Schuler titled Huldreich Zwingli: Geschichte seiner Bildung zum Reformator des Vaterlandes and published January 1, 1818, on Zwingli’s birth anniversary. You can get it free from Google books. So do.

It’s got some great artwork, including this drawing of Zwingli’s home in Wildhaus, where he was born:

zwinglihaus

Canon, Codex, and Biblical Theory

No, but read it anyway. 😉

LXX Studies

Codex SinaiticusCanon and Codex. Surely, the alliteration indicates that these ideas are co-extensive, right? Depends on whom one asks. Armin Lange in the same article referenced here says:

I have also referred repeatedly to the invention of the mega-codices as a catalyst in the development of the Christian canon. It was only the mega-codex [full collection of Old and New Testament books] format that made it possible to combine all biblical Scriptures (Old and New Testament) into one book. Consequently, the question of which books should be included in such a mega-codex as the one Bible will have brought the issue of canon to the attention of Christian thinkers and officials…. It is all the more interesting that none of the three preserved mega-codices [Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus] corresponds precisely in its table of contents with any of the canon lists of the fourth century (pp. 74–5).

In this section…

View original post 977 more words

Today With Zwingli: His Refutation of Catabaptist Tricks

In catabaptistarum strophas elenchus was published by Zwingli on 31 July, 1527 and was translated into English in the early 20th century by S.M. Jackson and published in a very lovely little edition which, fortunately, is now in the public domain and accessible here in pdf (Chapter 5).

You’ll enjoy it.  In fact, you’ll enjoy all of the books in the collection.

That One Time When Martin Luther Was in a Bad Mood…

And wrote, in a preface to a book by another that was being published,

The Papists despair of their cause and have decided, in spite and in defiance of God, with full knowledge and intent, to do everything that is dear to the devil. They have chosen him as their god, lord, protection, and comfort. Very well, let them go their own way. “The cattle [suit the] stall,” the devil said and drove flies up his mother’s rump. Such a god deserves to have such creatures. Such trees, as Jotham says in Judges 9 [:14–15], deserve to have such a ramnus (thornbush) as king.*

__________
*Preface to Urbanus Rhegius’, “Exposition of Psalm 52, against the Godless, Bloodthirsty Sauls and Doegs of These Last, Perilous Times” (LW Vol. 60, p. 243).

Grace… It’s Interesting Who Doesn’t Use the Word

Mark doesn’t, Matthew doesn’t, James doesn’t.  The other Gospels use it very few times, the Catholic epistles as few.  Paul uses it most.

The interesting thing, as I think about it, is the fact that the worse a person is, the more they want to trade on grace.

Among New Testament authors Paul was, morally speaking, the most challenged.  So he trades on grace more than the rest.  Among the Reformers it’s Luther who talks most of grace because he is most in need of it.

And in our own time the people with the worst track records in terms of ethics are the ones who like to remind everyone how important grace is.

And, of course, to be sure, it is important.  It’s just intriguing to me to note the sort of people who find it necessary to remind themselves of it most frequently.  That’s not a criticism, it’s just an observation.

Remembering the Death of Rudolf Bultmann: His Most Influential Commentary

bultmannPersonally, I’ll admit, I love his commentary on 2 Corinthians most, but I suppose it’s fair to say that his greatest commentary is the one on the Gospel of John.  In many ways it has been surpassed but it continues to exert grand influence on the area of Johannine studies.  I can’t think of a single commentary since that hasn’t made reference to his.  Not one.  It has even been republished numerous times- as recently as last year-

As the first volume in the Johannine Monograph Series, The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Rudolf Bultmann well deserves this place of pride. Indeed, this provocative commentary is arguably the most important New Testament monograph in the twentieth century, perhaps second only to The Quest of the Historical Jesus by Albert Schweitzer. In contrasting Bultmann’s and Schweitzer’s paradigms, however, we find that Bultmann’s is far more technically argued and original, commanding hegemony among other early-Christianity paradigms. Ernst Haenchen has described Bultmann’s commentary as a giant oak tree in whose shade nothing could grow, and indeed, this reference accurately describes its dominance among Continental Protestant scholarship over the course of several decades.

Indeed.

Remembering Rudolf Bultmann on the Anniversary of his Death: The Marburg Sermons

Bultmann was never ordained but he was frequently asked to preach and he was always active in the life of the Lutheran parish in Marburg.  It was his task to stand at the door with the poor box and receive offerings as congregants left the service on Sunday morning.  And he took this job seriously and performed it every Sunday he was in attendance (which was every Sunday he wasn’t elsewhere lecturing or preaching).

He was, to put it bluntly, a better Church member than the Fundamentalists who assail him without cause.

If you have never read any of his sermons, find a copy of this book and read them.  You won’t regret it.  You will regret it if you don’t, though.

188240

In Memoriam Rudolf Karl Bultmann

Rudolf Bultmann, the most important New Testament scholar in the history of Christianity, died on the 30th of July, 1976.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fundamentalists and the ignorant have demonized Bultmann as some sort of heretic but nothing could be further from the truth, as anyone who has bothered to read Bultmann’s bio or even his sermons knows.

Take a little time to read Bultmann, instead of reading about Bultmann, and you’ll come to appreciate the great man for yourself.

Lest we forget…