Daily Archives: 21 Oct 2017

Could Things Get Worse?

Yes- they just have-

Signs of the Times: The ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ Hoax

Signs of the Times: Cats Are Evil

Special Offer: “Christ Our Captain: An Introduction to Huldrych Zwingli”, and “Through The Year With Zwingli and Bullinger”

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What the Church is Not

The Church is not designed to be ‘Julie, your cruise director’, but many Christians seem to think that it is.  But that’s because they are pastored by guys who are business majors and not theologians.

The GOP Is Sick From its Head to its Heels

I hope it is a sickness unto death.  The GOP needs to die as a party.

Can we Please Stop Acting Like Recent American Recognition of Barth’s Adultery is an American Discovery?

People have known about the lurid details of Barth’s adulterous affair with Charlotte von Kirschbaum for DECADES.  The fact that American Evangelicals

  • Can’t read German
  • Have never read Barth’s Correspondence
  • Are blind to any critique of Barth

Doesn’t mean that others have not known.  ‘Recent revelations’?   NEIN!

Barth remains one of the most important theologians of the 20th century. That fact can’t be changed. What can and should be changed are the following:

  • Americans need to learn a language or two.
  • Americans need to stop viewing the world of theology through their parochial lens.
  • Americans need to dive into the deep end of the theological pool and realize there’s more to life than Barth.

Luther, Who Condemned Indulgences, Was the Recipient of an Indulgence!

Oh sweet irony: when preparing a Luther exhibition, a German museum director discovered that the Wittenberg monk was himself the recipient of an indulgence. Kept in the National Library of Spain, Luther’s name is listed among his 51 brethren at the Augustine monastery in Erfurt.  (Via Brill on FB)

This is a sensational find:

Die Direktorin des Weserrenaissance-Museums in Lemgo hat einen bislang unbekannten Ablassbrief entdeckt, auf dem auch der Name Martin Luthers aufgeführt ist. Bei ihren Vorbereitungen zur aktuellen Luther-Ausstellung fand Vera Lüpkes den Brief in der Nationalbibliothek in Madrid.

Mittels der damals weit verbreiteten Ablassbriefe konnten sich die Menschen von ihren Sünden regelrecht freikaufen. Durch den Handel finanzierte die Kirche zum Beispiel den Bau des Petersdoms, aber auch Feldzüge gegen Ungläubige. Eine Praxis, die Luther in späteren Jahren entschieden ablehnte. Daher ist es auf den ersten Blick verwunderlich, dass sich sein Name auf einem Ablassbrief findet.

Einer von 52 Ordensbrüdern

Die Erklärung ist allerdings einfach: Luther war als Novize im Augustiner-Eremitenkloster Erfurt. Und wie damals üblich, sollte für das gesamte Kloster so ein Ablassbrief erworben werden. Den geltenden Vorschriften gemäß mussten die Namen aller Klosterbrüder in dem Brief genannt sein. Also findet sich unter ihnen auch ein “Martinus Luder“, Martin Luther.

Nach Einschätzung der Lemgoer Wissenschaftlerin zeigt der Brief, dass Luther damals noch eng mit der alten Katholischen Kirche verbunden war und seine reformatorischen Ideen erst später in ihm reiften.

Anmerkung: In einer ersten Fassung dieses Textes hatten wir berichtet, Luther habe den Ablassbrief “unterschrieben”. Fakt ist, sein Name findet sich lediglich auf dem vom bekannten Ablassprediger Johann Tetzel ausgestellten Brief.

This is akin to Mike Pence being found in possession of a copy of ‘The Advocate’.  Oh Martin…. Martin…. Martin….

UPDATE:  The Frankfurter Allgemeine has it now.  So it will soon spread everywhere.

The Birth-iversary of Gerhard von Rad

vonradThose who are wise learn from their forebears- even if what they learn is to leave them to the side.  Von Rad, however, can never be left aside.  He stands – even now – as the greatest Everest to grace the theological landscape.

Gerhard von Rad was a prominent German Old Testament scholar whose work brought back focus to the Old Testament. He was educated at the University of Erlangen and at the University of Tübingen and later received honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Lund, Wales, Leipzig and Glasgow. He also taught at the University of Jena, University of Gottingen, Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg. The Encyclopedia of World Biography notes him as having “developed the ‘tradition history’ approach to the Old Testament that has dominated the study of the Bible for the last 40 years.” His dissertation was on “Das Gottesvolk im Deuteronomium” (The People of God in Deuteronomy).

“The historical events of his lifetime, including the two World Wars, left their mark on him, and it was not least his detestation for the nazis’s treatment of the Jews, which called his interest for OT forth, and he became a member of the academic world in stead of the clergy. Two fields of research are in a special way connected to his name. He was one of the founders of the traditio-historical method. Being one of A. Alt’s doctoral students, history and the development of traditions always played an important part in his research. The historical credo (Deut 26) and its importance for the making of the Hexateuch has made a great impact on the scholarly world. The other field is OT theology, in which he stressed the theology in the transmission of the biblical traditions, in Vol. I the historical tradition and in Vol II the prophetic tradition. His way of doing Theologie was quite different from the traditional German Old Testament Theology.”

“Von Rad’s views were highly controversial, evoking considerable heat. Many of his theories have not stood the test of time, but it would be difficult to find another person who has contributed so much to the understanding of the Old Testament. It may be that in truth he wrote a history of Israelite religion rather than an Old Testament theology, but he insisted that the Hebrew Bible be understood in the context of the religious life of ancient Israel. That is surely a correct insight.”

Lest we forget…

Truth- Personal Space Matters

Tyranny is At Hand

Any time someone is said to be above reproach or questioning, tyranny is at hand.

Neither Presidents nor Generals nor Popes are above the rule of Truth and when they violate the Truth, they deserve reproach and correction.

If you ever believe otherwise expect a Tyrant to take advantage of you.