Daily Archives: 17 Oct 2017

Preaching Notes

Using notes whilst preaching usually means

  • You aren’t very familiar with Scripture.
  • You don’t understand Scripture.
  • You can’t intepret or explain Scripture.
  • You want to say more than Scripture says, or less.

And sometimes it’s all of the above.

Eisenbraun’s:  Absorbed by the Borg

Sad face.  Penn State Uni Press has absorbed Eisenbraun’s.


The Pope, The Lunch, The Convicts, The Escape

This story makes me unnaturally happy.  I thought it was satire, it is SO absurd.  But it turns out it’s true.  What a glorious way to have a miserable day improved!

They were supposed to be having lunch with Pope Francis. During his Oct. 1 trip to Bologna, the Holy Father was scheduled to dine with 20 prisoners from a local drug rehabilitation facility, along with refugees and the poor of the area, during a “Lunch of Solidarity” at San Petronio Basilica.

Instead, two of the Italian prisoners shirked their invitation for what they saw as a prime opportunity for escape. According to Bologna newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, the prisoners escaped sometime during the hour, though it is unclear whether they first ate lunch. They have yet to be found. The newspaper quoted an official saying the two men are not “unaccustomed to such acts.”

I hope they ate first.

If You Want People to Attend Your Church, The Secret is the Coffee….

Pretty much, Bee.  Pretty. Much.

Local believers Austin and Paige Henderson have announced their decision to join the Axis Church after several months spent sampling pre-service coffee offerings in churches throughout the city, reports confirmed.

According to the couple, the decision became simple when they realized what they truly valued in their church worship experience. “We sat down and made a list of priorities. Every time, coffee came in as our number one.” When pressed regarding the decision, the Hendersons responded that although “sound doctrine is cool, pour overs are cooler.”

The Hendersons reportedly visited dozens of churches before they landed at the Axis. “The Anchor Fellowship, Ethos Church, Oasis, and Cross Point all had great teaching and theology, but only brewed Folgers Breakfast Blend. When we saw that the Axis invested in responsibly sourced coffees and teas, we knew this was where God was calling us.”

“Believe it or not, some churches don’t even allow coffee in the sanctuary,” they added.

At publishing time, the Hendersons were attempting to select a small group strictly on the basis of the group’s quality of refreshments.

So Obviously Jerusalem Should Be Controlled by the Italians…

So, here’s the thing, every time an Israeli archaeologist finds some trinket or bauble or inscribed piece of garbage great hay is made of the fact and cries screech across the world of ‘see, here’s proof that this is our land, because our ancestors were here’.

Now they’ve found a Roman theater in Jerusalem, adjacent to the Western Wall and obviously quite ancient.  So, following the logic already demonstrated by Israeli archaeologists, shouldn’t the Italians now lay claim to Jerusalem?  There’s Roman stuff there, and if Jewish stuff = Jewish ownership then by rights, and to be logically consistent, Roman stuff = Italian ownership.

Congratulations, Roman descendants!  This is YOUR City!  Enjoy it…

Words You Can Use

‘Soul Winning’ – An Observation

You don’t ‘win souls’, the Holy Spirit does.   Likewise, you can’t ‘lose souls’ because they aren’t yours to begin with.

You’re merely a pointer- like John the Baptist, saying ‘he must increase and I must decrease’.  That’s your job.  Period.

A New Scent from Christian Dior for the Theologian in Your Family: “Dogmatics”

You Can Get Barth’s ‘Church Dogmatics’ For $75

From Logos, for Logos.  And you get to flirt with Karl for free, just like CvK did!

Just don’t let your wife see your secretary looking at you the way Lotte is looking at Karl… and if you’re smart, you’ll keep your feet under the table on your own side….

Jim Bakker is a Fraud, a Liar, a Lunatic, and a False Teacher

I don’t know if he thinks I’m making fun of him by telling the truth, but I’m willing to take my chances.

Sorry But You Don’t Get to Invent Genders Just Because You Feel Like It

So you can sign as many pieces of paper that you wish- you can’t establish thereby the existence of a ‘third gender’.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill making California the first to widely recognize being nonbinary — neither male nor female — as a third legal gender option.

I don’t mean to sound crude, but if you are uncertain as to your gender, pull your pants down and any 5 year old can tell you.

Now whether or not you identify as that gender is a matter for psychologists.  But that you exist, in se, as that gender, is, quite frankly, indisputable.


V&R published this volume just last year, but it seems particularly relevant these days. The link provides a flipbook showing the table of contents and other front matter.

The question of the justice or righteousness of God has tormented (or at least troubled) believers since at least as long ago as the period of the composition of Job (and doubtless much earlier).

Philosophical attempts to answer the question are set alongside theological attempts in this learned volume and readers are provided with all the major attempts to untie  this Gordian Knot, and left free to choose for themselves which is most satisfying.

Our author sets forth his aim thusly-

Ich versuche das alte Problem auf der Basis biblischer Zeugnisse neu zu bestimmen, so dass die theologische Perspektive nicht als eine Art „Krisenmanagement“ erscheint, sondern als eigenständiger Zugang sichtbar wird.

Insightfully he remarks

Nicht unser Wissen ist hier gefragt, sondern unsere Hoffnung.

And that’s certainly true.  Those who approach this issue aren’t really looking for answers to their questions, they are looking for hope, not knowledge.  The achievement of this quest follows a most sensible outline (on which, once more, see the link above and visit the table of contents).

The journey Link takes us on is one of thoughtful discovery and profound reflection as we ascend ever further, in concentric circles, visiting with philosophers and theologians along the way, towards the apex of the problem.  Towards the summit we read

Noch erfahren wir die Wirklichkeit des Bösen am eigenen Leibe, noch gibt es das „ängstliche Seufzen der Kreatur“ (Röm 8,19). Noch haben wir keine Antwort auf die Frage, warum das alles so sein muss. Auch die Kirche ist noch nicht an ihrem Ziel, sondern unterwegs. Sie kann den Grund ihrer Gewissheit nicht als Tatsache aufweisen. Sie „hat“ ihn nur in der Präsenz des Zeichens: in der Auferweckung des Gekreuzigten und in der Ausgießung des Geistes. Darum ist sie an den historischen Ort dieses Zeichens, die „Umgebung von Golgatha“ (Barth), gewiesen und blickt von dort aus in die Zukunft. Das aber tut sie schon heute in der Gewissheit, dass ihre Situation sich tatsächlich gewandelt hat gemäß dem Wort des Apostels Paulus: „Die Nacht ist vorgedrungen, der Tag aber nahe herbeigekommen“ (Röm 13,12).

Perhaps that’s the solution to be seen from the peak of this theological Himalaya: the night is passing, and day is dawning.  This volume pushes the mists of misprision aside and exposes the heart and soul of an ever abiding theological dilemma.

Link may not solve the problem, but he helps us towards it more than any of his predecessors, and that’s an amazing accomplishment itself.  Here we have a book worth reading several times.  And that’s my current plan.  I’m going to read it again.  I invite you to join me.

The Religious Right Has Destroyed Itself

And good riddance to you ‘Evangelicals’ who are really nothing more than paltry squalid silly political opportunists.

Are You Honest? The GOP is Not For You

So true.  And so tragic.

According to a new CBS News poll, almost 60 percent of the American public believes that the current Republican tax plan favors the wealthy. Some people see this number as a sign that the plan is in trouble; I see it as a sign that Republican lies are working far better than they deserve to.

For the plan does indeed favor the wealthy — overwhelmingly, undeniably. It’s shocking that as many as 40 percent of Americans don’t realize this.

Etc.  So annoying.

Sigrist on Zwingli

In der «Regionaljournal»-Herbstserie gibt Huldrych Zwingli Antworten auf die drängendsten Fragen unserer Zeit.

Anlässlich der Feierlichkeiten zum 500-Jahre-Jubiläum der Reformation sprechen wir mit Christoph Sigrist. Der Grossmünster-Pfarrer erzählt, wie Zwingli die grossen Fragen der heutigen Zeit beantworten würde.


Total Depravity: They Were in the Oven and She Turned it On

A warrant says an Atlanta woman put her two young sons in an oven and turned it on.  Local media reported Monday that the warrant charging Lamora Williams with murder in the deaths of 1-year-old son Ja’Karter Penn and 2-year-old Ke-Yaunte Penn says she put them in the oven sometime between midnight Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday.

A third boy, 3-year-old Jameel Penn Jr., was found unharmed. Williams waived a court appearance Monday and was denied bail.  The father of all three children, Jameel Penn, says Williams called him by video chat Friday night to tell him his children were dead. Penn says he called police after seeing his sons on the floor.

Evil has a face, and a name.  It’s Lamora.

Akte Zwingli