Daily Archives: 17 Nov 2017

Against ‘Cultural Christianity’

As evangelicals, we ridiculed ‘cultural Christianity’ privately (conferences, seminary) while accepting it publicly (church membership). It grew our churches, our buildings, our influence…and we are paying the price.  We let ‘cultural Christians’ feel at home with us so it’s hard for outsiders to believe us now when we claim we aren’t with them. Obviously, we can point to exceptions but unfortunately not enough of them. – Chad Chambers

Sunday Is Almost Here…

And it’s a good time to remember that if God matters to you, worship matters to you.  On the other hand, if worship doesn’t matter to you, it’s fairly safe to say that God doesn’t matter that much to you either.  ‘Do not fail to assemble with one another, as has become the custom of some’ – Hebrews 10:25.

GOP Hypocrisy: The Fake Christian Politician

An Ohio lawmaker who routinely touted his Christian faith and anti-LGBT views has resigned after being caught having sex with a man in his office.  Wes Goodman, who is the Republican state legislator for Ohio, is married to a woman who is assistant director of an annual anti-abortion rally known as March for Life.

The right-wing legislator, who pushed “family values”, was reportedly witnessed having sex with a man inside his office who was not employed by the legislator.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, the observer told Ohio House Chief of Staff Mike Dittoe what had happened on Tuesday afternoon. Mr Dittoe responded by telling House Speaker Republican Cliff Rosenberger who in turn met with Mr Goodman.

The 33-year-old, who has been branded the “conscience of the conservative movement”, resigned for “inappropriate conduct” shortly after the meeting took place.  Mr Goodman, whose Twitter biography describes him as “Christian. American. Conservative. Republican. Husband to @Beth1027”, has regularly claimed “natural marriage” occurs between a man and a woman.

“Healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio’s proud history and the key to Ohio’s future greatness,” reads his campaign website which has now been taken offline.  “The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting.”

Mr Goodman was elected to represent the 87th District, in north-central Ohio, just last year. Prior to that, he worked as an aide to US Representative Jim Jordan, a highly conservative, anti-LGBT Republican. The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT advocacy group in the US, named Mr Jordan in their Hall of Shame in 2014 for attempting to block marriage equality in the District of Columbia.

Mr Goodman, whose Twitter is now private and whose Facebook page has been taken offline, expressed his commitment to so-called family values in a statement back in 2013. “Faith, family, service, stewardship, strong education, and investment in our local communities are what Ohioans value. My wife Bethany and I value those same things and are ready to get to work to serve you,” he said.

The lawmaker acknowledged he was stepping down in a statement. “We all bring our own struggles and our own trials into public life,” he said.  “That has been true for me, and I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service,” he continued. “For those whom I have let down, I’m sorry. As I move onto the next chapter of my life, I sincerely ask for privacy for myself, my family, and my friends.”

“I was alerted to details yesterday afternoon regarding his involvement in inappropriate behaviour related to his state office,” Mr Rosenberger said in a statement. “I met with him later in the day where he acknowledged and confirmed the allegations. It became clear that his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and this institution.”

Good grief.  Fake Christian and fake husband and fake politician and fake, fake, fake.

UPDATE:  Wes Goodman also molested a kid. at a Tony Perkins event:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-a-conservative-group-dealt-with-a-fondling-charge-against-a-rising-gop-star/2017/11/17/b3b4b8da-c956-11e7-b0cf-7689a9f2d84e_story.html

Confession Concerning SBL

Disloyal man with his girlfriend looking at another girl

A Site that has A Great Variety of Biblical Studies and Reformation Replicas

Is the Biblical Heritage Exhibit.  It’s definitely worth a look.  And the happy news- they’re producing a bust of Zwingli that I understand should be available in early 2018.

Quote of the Day

I would say that in theology, as well as anywhere else, one cannot think enough, think intensively enough, courageously enough, and precisely enough. – Karl Rahner

Christian Hypocrisy

Once again, friends, if you are calling for Al Franken to resign, if you have not already called for Trump to resign, for Moore to get out of the race, and for Bill O’Reilly and all the rest of the GOP people who have been in the news to suffer the consequences of their perversity, you are a hypocrite.

And if you want the GOP reprobates to go, but you’re defending Franken and Weinstein and whoever else will show themselves in the not too distant future to be a woman abusing piece of human garbage, then you too are a hypocrite.

If your morality doesn’t transcend politics, you, my dear, are a hypocrite.  No matter how Christian you think yourself.

If You’re in Bern in a few Days, Go to This Book Presentation

Buchvernissage «Die schweizerische Reformation. Ein Handbuch», Montag, 20. November 2017, 18 Uhr, Polit-Forum, Bern.


  • Begrüssung: Dr. h.c. Peter Schmid, Vizepräsident des Rates des Schweizerischen Evangelischen Kirchenbunds
  • Vorstellung des Buches: Prof. em. Dr. Dr. h.c. Emidio Campi; Lisa Briner, Verlagsleiterin
  • Podium: Zur Aktualität der schweizerischen Reformationsgeschichte
    Teilnehmende: Prof. Dr. Christina Aus der Au, Prof. Dr. André Holenstein, Dr. Urs Leu
    Moderation: Prof. Dr. Frank Mathwig
  • Apéro riche
    Dislozieren zum Licht- und Tonspektakel
    «Rendez-vous Bundesplatz».
    Unter dem Thema: RESET wird die Reformationsgeschichte in einer künstlerischen Inszenierung dargestellt: http://www.rendezvousbundesplatz.ch
  • Polit-Forum Bern, im Käfigturm, Marktgasse 67, Bern
    Anmeldung bitte bis 13.11.2017 an: christiane.rohr(at)sek.ch

And the book itself- http://www.tvz-verlag.ch/index.php?id=72&tx_commerce_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=160711&tx_commerce_pi1%5BcatUid%5D

If You Are In Cincinnati, Go to this Exhibition

Albrecht Dürer: The Age of Reformation and Renaissance. It looks fantastic and he is my favorite artist (so take pictures and send them!)

Commemorating five hundred years since Martin Luther issued his 95 theses to a Wittenberg church, the art museum is organizing an exhibition exploring the impact of the Italian Renaissance and the Reformation through the prints of Albrecht Dürer and his contemporaries. It follows the development of Dürer’s genius from his apprenticeship through the eve of the Reformation. The exhibition offers insights into his innovative use of printmaking, his patrons, and humanistic friends.

Visitors will experience the artistic, cultural, and political changes that occurred leading up to Luther’s defiant act. The art museum will collaborate with other Cincinnati institutions in the commemoration.

Avarice is the Opposite of Trust

“God, in his providence, foreordains and provides not only the things for the soul but also those needed for the body; hence, also, we see how He feeds the ravens and how beautifully He clothes and adorns the lilies of the field. Where the human mind is rightly imbued with the teaching of the providence of God, there it can no longer be anxious about food and clothing, much less be shamefully avaricious.” – Zwingli

The ‘Short Christian Introduction’ of Zwingli

Or, the full title- “A short Christian introduction which the honourable Council of the city of Zurich has sent to the pastors and preachers living in its cities, lands, and wherever its authority extends, so that they may in unison henceforth announce and preach the true Gospel to their dependents.”

… was prepared by Zwingli in fourteen days, so it was a hasty work as usual, and read before the Council on November 9, and printed November 17, 1523.

Preceding it is the mandate of the Zurich authorities which commends the “Introduction” on the ground of its scriptural character, and repeats the requests to be corrected out of the Scriptures, if they have in any respect not advocated correct opinions. The treatise is throughout doctrinal, but far from abstruse. It begins with a brief handling of sin, then of the law. At greater length it treats of the Gospel, as God’s way of deliverance from the law; next upon the deliverance itself, the “removal of the law.” Next, but more briefly, upon images. Zwingli says, in concluding the section:

“It is clear that the images and other representations which we have in the houses of worship have caused the risk of idolatry. Therefore they should not be allowed to remain there, nor in your chambers, nor in the market-place, nor anywhere else where one does them honour. Chiefly they are not to be tolerated in the churches, for all that is in them should be worthy of our respect. If anyone desires to put historical representations on the outside of the churches, that may be allowed, so long as they do not incite to their worship. But when one begins to bow before these images and to worship them, then they are not to be tolerated anywhere in the wide world; for that is the beginning of idolatry, nay, is idolatry itself.”1

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1Samuel Macauley Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (Heroes of the Reformation; New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1901), 207–208.

If You’re At #SBLaar17 (or #aarSBL17 ) (or whatever the bloody hashtag is…)

Please do send along, for inclusion in the next Carnival, any blogposts or facebook entries which have to do with the conference, with thanks in advance.

Academic Conferences as Neo-Liberal Commodities

With thanks to Joey Dodson for pointing out this neat review of a recent book of the above title on the twitter (bold print mine):

[The author] argues that, ultimately, the neoliberalisation of the university has resulted in changes whereby in place of the traditional professional culture of open intellectual enquiry and debate, there is now an institutional stress on measurable performance. By seeing knowledge as a product that can arise from a conference, Nicolson considers such events as having a role in the ‘knowledge enterprise’ industry that by promoting a method, data set or research cause as a commodity, becomes the product and marketplace itself. The academic culture of conferences themselves may vary: a point noted by Les Back when he characterises Australian ones as ‘vicious and boozy’, US conferences as ‘status conscious and networking-obsessed’ and British equivalents as ‘polite and consensual’. While recognising that reasons for attending conferences are also variable, the book nonetheless demonstrates how the overarching function of the conference lies in its premise of promoting intellectual communication.

Whilst I have no experiences of Australian conferences I can well imagine how very true that is.  And I know it’s a correct assessment of American and British conferences.  I must read this book.

The British Library and Hebrew Manuscripts, Online

The British Library has launched its first ever fully bilingual web resource, providing free access to its spectacular collection of Hebrew manuscripts to researchers worldwide.

The Polonsky Foundation Catalogue of Digitised Hebrew Manuscripts presents scrolls, codices and charters digitised in full, along with explanatory articles, videos and digital tools, offering scholars and the wider public alike the opportunity to explore this world-class collection as never before.

Etc.  Check it out.

Signs of the Times