Daily Archives: 24 Nov 2017

This Will Cheer You Up

You are under the guilt of all the sins that ever you committed, and under the wrath of God, and the curse of his Law, you are Bond-slaves to the Devil, and daily imployed in his work against the Lord, your selves and others. You are Spiritually dead and Deſormed, as being void of the holy Life, and Nature, and Image of the Lord.” – Richard Baxter

Via Ralph ‘Melanchthon’ Keen

The Week

Since it’s been a while- the week from Nov 19- today.

No, the Swedish Church Has Not Disallowed Male Pronouns for God

Here are the facts:

The Swedish Church has hit out at ‘fake news’ after reports it had decided to stop calling God ‘he’ or ‘Lord’. ‘It is not true,’ a spokesperson told The Local. The Church of Sweden will only refer to God in gender-neutral terms, reported several of the world’s biggest news outlets on Friday, saying it had made the decision in an update of its 31-year-old handbook. “It’s not true,” were a spokesperson’s first words when The Local called to ask.

“It’s not true,” repeated Sofija Pedersen Videke, head of the Church’s service of worship committee, which was heavily involved in the work on the new handbook before it went before the Church Assembly. The Church Assembly, a 251-member decision-making body, voted on Thursday with a large majority to update the handbook, which includes the Church’s aim to use language that is “more inclusive”. “The old handbook is from 1986 and the new edition is much more in line with the Swedish Bible translation made in 2000,” Pedersen Videke told The Local. “God is beyond ‘she’ and ‘he’, God is so much more.”

“We want variation when it comes to how you express yourself, just like in the Bible.” Some of the updated language includes three alternatives for the words to use at the start of worship services, including one which is gender-neutral: “In the name of the Father and Son, and the Holy Spirit,” “In the name of God, the Father and Son, and the Holy Spirit”, and “In the name of the triune God”.

The Church Assembly also agreed to use the female grammatical gender for the Holy Spirit, as it the case in Hebrew as well as in the 2000 Swedish Bible translation (‘den heliga anden’ as opposed to ‘den helige ande’). “Everyone who wants to call God ‘Lord’ can remain calm. It is still there in many places in the new handbook. We have replaced ‘he’ with ‘God’ in one place, that’s all,” Pedersen Videke told The Local. She said she had been fielding calls from journalists all day, and the Swedish Church also replied to several comments on its social media accounts, emphasizing that the change is not all-encompassing.

When The Local repeats the headline “Church of Sweden to stop referring to God as ‘he’ or ‘Lord'”, which appeared in a major mainstream international newspaper on Friday, to Pedersen Videke, she sighs: “It’s not true, it’s fake news. I am aghast and wonder where it’s coming from?”

Pillaging Friday

Unable to fake contentment and thankfulness for one more second, citizens across the nation awoke Friday and immediately set out on a frenzied mission to violently pillage and strip bare all nearby retail locations, determined to acquire any discounted goods they desired, by any means necessary, numerous reports confirmed.

Pillagers beat each other with various weapons and instruments, wrestled on the floor like animals, and even exchanged gunfire in some locations, all in the name of taking hold of material goods they desired.

Sources confirmed that the unfettered violence occurred less than 24 hours after these same people sat around tables with family and friends, over large meals, and gave thanks for the many blessings in their lives.

“12 hours of gratefulness annually is way too much for the majority of humankind to stomach,” experts revealed amidst the day’s chaos. “What we see on Black Friday is just human nature’s standard, guttural reaction to the annual tradition of acting like the world does not revolve around them for one whole day.”

The only problem is the presumption that people actually spent some time yesterday being thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving from the White Kremlin

The Sordid Tale of the Aussie Looter

I’m sure this kind of thing has always been going on and probably still is-

Joan Howard, the wife of a UN diplomat, used her travel to the region to join archaeology digs in the 60s and 70s. But a recent profile in The West Australian newspaper, showcasing her extensive collection, prompted outrage. Archaeologists have called for an investigation into her collection of cultural artefacts. The Australian Associated Press reports that the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs is now looking into the matter.

Shaaban Abdel Gawad, the director-general of the Retrieved Antiquities Department at Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Egypt’s foreign ministry had requested the investigation.

“We want to investigate how these pieces made it out of Egypt illegally,” he told the newspaper. Despite the controversy, it is not clear if Mrs Howard broke any national or international laws. The original profile piece, published in early November by The West Australian, nicknamed Mrs Howard “Indiana Joan” after Harrison Ford’s fictional globetrotting archaeologist.

It called her Australia’s “real life tomb raider” who had “a mischievous twinkle” in her eye when talking about her collection – which it said is worth more than A$1m (£571,000). Objects in the collection include a funeral mask from an Egyptian mummy, Neolithic axe heads dating back 40,000 years, Roman weapons, and coins and jewellery from ancient Egypt.

If it doesn’t have provenance, don’t have anything to do with it.

Material Aspects of Letter Writing in the Graeco-Roman World c. 500 BC – c. AD 300

Available free from DeGruyter, with thanks to Roberta Mazza for mentioning it.

Conference Announcement: Luther and Anthropology


Au fil de ses écrits, Martin Luther a profondément renouvelé la compréhension théologique de l’être humain comme créature devant Dieu et comme être situé et impliqué dans le monde et la société. À l’occasion du 500e anniversaire de la Réforme initiée par Luther, ce colloque vise à comprendre et à évaluer l’apport de Luther à l’anthropologie théologique, et ce à partir de perspectives protestantes et orthodoxes. Certaines des grandes thématiques de l’anthropologie théologiques, qui embrassent l’existence humaine de son origine à son horizon, thématiques que désignent les notions d’imago Dei et de créature, de péché, de divinisation ou d’humanisation, de liberté et de serf arbitre, seront présentées et analysées par un représentant du luthéranisme (et plus largement du protestantisme) et par un représentant de l’orthodoxie. Le propos de ce colloque n’est pas tant de «revenir» à Luther que de mettre à jour certaines des intuitions du réformateur allemand et de étudier leur possible fécondité (comme aussi leur limites) pour la réflexion théologique et œcuménique aujourd’hui.