This tale makes the timeless point that if you don’t use it, you lose it. Literally.
A Chinese murder suspect has been apprehended after evading police for 12 years partly by pretending to be mute – leading to the genuine loss of his ability to speak . The man, identified by his surname Zeng, has been charged with murdering his wife’s uncle, identified as Mr Chai,in 2005, after a dispute over a 500 yuan (£57) rent payment. The disagreement escalated, and Mr Zeng allegedly stabbed Mr Chai to death.
Let the reader understand… if you don’t use what you’re given, you soon have nothing to use at all.
We invent more crises in our minds than we ever experience in our lives.
The natural person has no room for the gifts of God’s Spirit; to him they are folly; he cannot recognise them, because their value can be assessed only in the Spirit. The spiritual person, on the other hand, can assess the value of everything, and that person’s value cannot be assessed by anybody else. (1 Cor. 2:14-15)
The resounding question of the last century was: can a scholar [Forschender] believe? Today we must ask: can scholarship survive without faith? The catastrophe of western culture and humanity, of which we are witnesses today, compels us to ask questions about this disintegration – and that also means about the most profound assumptions of our culture. — Emil Brunner
I usually read Barth’s Dogmatics every few years and since it’s been since 2013 that I’ve done it I decided that 2018 is the ideal time. I’ve generally just read a volume each month, and the shorter few (!) in less time. But this year I’m going to adopt this kid’s clever schedule. You’re welcome to read along with me and if any issues come up you want to discuss, we can. It will be fun.
Joseph minds the baby while Mary reads in bed. 15th century, in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge –
… Christmas day, Friday, December 25, 1523, [in Zurich] the Lord’s Supper would be administered under both forms, and daily thereafter there would be a brief Bible exposition in place of the daily mass.*
This was the day on which the authentic celebration of the Lord’s Supper was reborn, after laying dormant under the dusty liturgy of the Roman papacy for a thousand years and more. The Supper of the Lord regained its rightful place and form in Christian practice in Zurich on Christmas day in the year 1523.
S. Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (p. 209).
Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν. πάντα δι᾽ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν. ὃ γέγονεν ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων· καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.
Ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος, ἀπεσταλμένος παρὰ θεοῦ, ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἰωάννης· οὗτος ἦλθεν εἰς μαρτυρίαν ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός, ἵνα πάντες πιστεύσωσιν δι᾽ αὐτοῦ. οὐκ ἦν ἐκεῖνος τὸ φῶς, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός.
Ἦν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν, ὃ φωτίζει πάντα ἄνθρωπον, ἐρχόμενον εἰς τὸν κόσμον. ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἦν, καὶ ὁ κόσμος δι᾽ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ ὁ κόσμος αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔγνω. εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν, καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον. ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, οἳ οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς ἀλλ᾽ ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν. Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας. (Jn. 1:1-14)
Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις. ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ, ὃν ἔθηκεν κληρονόμον πάντων, δι᾽ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας· (Heb. 1:1-2)
When you regularly skip church (as many do), you forfeit any right to complain about anything about church or about what the church does or about anyone in the church concerning what they do or do not do. It’s the same as not voting, but complaining about politicians. In both cases you lose the privilege of complaint through your indifference and failure to participate fully.
Available till Christmas Day at a special price- you can get the PDF edition of the entire series for a shockingly low $75. Normally it’s $199. The books are all available by clicking my PayPal Link. When you send your payment include your email address please and the books will be sent along quite quickly.
I have already read the Pastoral Epistles portion entirely. I read the same way as I eat; first portions I just worry about satiating my hunger; then the following portions I really savor the food, and slowly digest it taking the most of its nutritious benefits. Right now, reading Jim’s commentary, I am at the second phase of “my eating habits”. I am loving the new information, not the run-of-the mill type of commentary, not the customary supporting material, but every point is perfectly didactically placed and scholarly supported.
As one of the demonstrations of God’s sense of humor and “uncommon management” skills, He made me a pastor (now temporarily in modern terms, without a flock, other than only a few people who seek me for guidance) and I think Jim’s commentary will be most valuable as I take this interval as a unique opportunity for further preparation for when God places me back in full pastoral ministry.
– Milton Almeida, Oklahoma, USA.
I love his work. Such a spectacular artist. The very best. My very favorite.
2-R42-D11-1503 Duerer, Die Geburt Christi Duerer, Albrecht 1471-1528. ‘Die Geburt Christi’, um 1503. Holzschnitt, 296 x 209 mm. Aus der Folge: Das Marienleben (er- schienen 1511). E: D}rer / The Birth of Christ D}rer, Albrecht 1471-1528. ‘The Birth of Christ’, c. 1503. Woodcut, 296 x 209mm. From the series: The Life of Mary (published 1511).
Now it happened that at this time Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be made of the whole inhabited world. This census — the first — took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee for Judaea, to David’s town called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. Now it happened that, while they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the living-space. (Lk. 2:1-7)
Merry Christmas, and God bless us, every one.