Daily Archives: 26 Dec 2017

Yankee Candle’s Newest Scent is By Far My Favorite

My Current Mood Is…

The Real ‘Right Side’ and ‘Wrong Side’ of History

People like to talk about being on the ‘right side of history’ these days.  Here’s the real right side, and wrong side, of history:

First, the right side-

‘When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All nations will be assembled before him and he will separate people one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.  Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the upright will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you?  When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?”  And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

And now, the wrong side-

Then he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink, I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, lacking clothes and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.”  Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?”  Then he will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”  And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.’ (Matt. 25:32-46)

Decide which side you’ll occupy.

The ‘Age of Accountability’ is Now 30- For the Millennials…

A national task force of Bible scholars has voted to raise the biblical age of accountability to 30 for late-blooming millennials. According to this decision, millennials who die before age 30 will receive automatic entry into the kingdom of heaven along with complimentary participation trophies.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson wrote the majority decision for the task force, explaining that it was “no longer practical to assume that the traditional age of accountability—usually around 12 years old—would be the age by which God held millennials responsible for their eternal destiny.”

“Case studies revealed chronic immaturity, lack of rational decision-making skills, embrace of socialism revealing serious mental abnormalities, and a strong desire to spend each pay check on craft beer, artisan coffee beverages, and slouchy beanies,” Dobson added.

The decision was praised by millennials worldwide, who said “Since our circumstances are not our own fault at all, we totally deserve this decision, obviously.”

Perfectly sensible for the snowflake generation.

A Certain Judgment on Those Who Would Show Indifference

Then he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink” (Matt. 25:41-42).

Signs of the Times

Via Classical Art Memes-

The First Martyr

Today the Church remembers St. Stephen, the first Christian put to death for his faith-

‘You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears. You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Can you name a single prophet your ancestors never persecuted? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Upright One, and now you have become his betrayers, his murderers. In spite of being given the Law through angels, you have not kept it.’

They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him. But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand.  ‘Look! I can see heaven thrown open,’ he said, ‘and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.’

All the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they made a concerted rush at him, thrust him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul.  As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and said aloud, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And with these words he fell asleep. (Acts 7:51-60)

People aren’t fond of the truth.  Generally, they kill you for speaking it.

Quote of the Day

Certain people have infiltrated among you, who were long ago marked down for condemnation on this account; without any reverence they pervert the grace of our God to debauchery and deny all religion, rejecting our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4)

Let the reader understand.

Bultmann Handbuch

bultmann

This gem has been published by Mohr

Rudolf Bultmann (1884–1976) prägte durch seinen hermeneutischen Ansatz die exegetischen und systematisch-theologischen sowie kirchlichen Diskurse des 20. Jahrhunderts wesentlich mit. Als Mitbegründer der formgeschichtlichen Schule und früher Vertreter der Dialektischen Theologie setzte er sich in den 1920er Jahren kritisch mit Positionen der liberalen Theologie auseinander und rückte die hermeneutische Frage nach den Verstehensbedingungen der biblischen Texte sowie deren Bedeutung für die Leserinnen und Leser in der Moderne in den Fokus seiner wissenschaftlichen Arbeit. Seine Theologie entwickelte Bultmann im Gespräch und in der Auseinandersetzung; so pflegte er einen intensiven Austausch mit Kolleginnen und Kollegen auch anderer wissenschaftlicher Disziplinen, mit Studentinnen und Studenten, mit Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrern.

Dieses Handbuch bietet neben einem ersten Orientierungsabschnitt über Bultmanns Werke und den gegenwärtigen Forschungsstand, in einem zweiten Abschnitt einen Zugang zur Person. Darin werden die Biographie, die theologischen Prägungen, die Beziehungen zu wichtigen Gesprächspartnern und seine politisch-gesellschaftlichen Kontexte in den Blick genommen. Eine Beschäftigung mit dem Werk Bultmanns findet im dritten Abschnitt statt. In diesem Abschnitt werden die vielfältigen Gattungen und Themen seines Œuvres behandelt sowie die sein Gesamtwerk prägenden Strukturen. Schließlich wird die Wirkung und Rezeption seiner Theologie insbesondere im deutschsprachigen Raum dargestellt und diskutiert. Das Handbuch eignet sich für eine erste Orientierung in der Beschäftigung mit Bultmann; es ist darüber hinaus auch ein Nachschlagewerk für Fachleute und Bultmann-Kenner.

The publisher has sent along a review copy.

The volume consists of

  • A. – Orientation
  • B. – Person
  • C. – Works
  • D. – Reception

The Orientation takes readers through a very extensive listing of Bultmann’s works and works about Bultmann.  Section B. introduces readers to the biography of Bultmann and then to those scholars and theologians who influenced him and with whom he interacted (including, but not limited to Rade, Gunkel, Barth, Heidegger, his Marburg colleagues and Fuchs.  This section also includes descriptions of Bultmann’s relation to the Jews, Politics, the Church, and Culture.  Section C. focuses on the works of Bultmann and is comprised of descriptions of the genres of his books and essays, the structures of his thought, and the chief themes he works with (including but not limited to Hellenism and Judaism, The New Testament, the Old Testament, eschatology, faith, ethics and hermeneutics.  Finally the volume concludes in section D. with the various debates provoked by Bultmann’s work (like demythologizing, Jesus research, Johannine research, and Pauline studies).

The work also includes a list of contributors and a general bibliography along with the usual indices.

The aim of the work is described by its editor in the opening pages: it’s goal is to deepen our understanding of Bultmann’s work, and more importantly, to provoke us to read Bultmann himself.  Each chapter is brief but utterly packed to the brim with important and useful information.  Each includes a bibliography and each is festooned with indicators of further information to be found in other parts of the volume.  So, for instance, if one is reading the subsection about Bultmann’s biography and is intrigued by details concerning his time at Marburg, parenthetical references direct readers to other places in the work where that information is expanded upon or described more fully.

This is an authentic handbook (in that typically understated German sense of actually describing an encyclopedia).  The learning on display is encyclopedic and this could easily be called a Bultmann encyclopedia.  And should.  Its one shortcoming is a lack of images and portraits of the great teacher in and amidst his environment.  The only photo graces the cover, and it is of Bultmann mid career.

The highlights of the volume are numerous.  The discussion of Bultmann’s connection to Luther is sublime, as are the discussions of Bultmann’s politics and his interactions with Judaism.  When it comes to Section C., III (Themes) the material is a primer in Bultmannian theology the likes of which have never been produced before.  If readers wish to know what Bultmann taught concerning Jesus, Michael Theobald’s treatment is perfection.  Similarly, Christof Landmesser’s treatment of Bultmann’s theology of Paul is so far superior to anything in the genre that it is worthy of special notice.

Andreas Lindemann’s discussion of the ‘Bultmann School’ in D. I. is superb, as is Francis Watson’s description of Bultmann’s reception in the English speaking world in D. VIII.

It’s no secret, at least to people who know me, that Bultmann has been and remains one of the most important theological influences in my own life.  Among the greatest-  Zwingli, Brunner, Luther, Calvin, Barth, von Rad, and Kierkegaard, Bultmann is among the top three.  It was Bultmann who convinced me, as a Grad Student, that Faith and Understanding were two sides of the same coin.  It was he who taught me the folly of attempting to read the Gospels as biography.  It was he who introduced me to the profundinty of Paul’s theology.  It was he who taught me to look at the Gospels through redaction-critical eyes.  Among New Testament scholars he is and will always be the most influential.

That’s why, primarily, I welcome this brilliant and useful volume, and recommend it to you so enthusiastically.  If you think you know Bultmann- his life, his works, his influence- then you will still learn much from this book.  If you don’t know much about Bultmann at all, this is the book to read.  And if you’re a serious New Testament scholar you already know that at some point or other you will have to interact with Bultmann’s scholarship- no matter which aspect of New Testament studies interests you.  Bultmann is the Himalaya over which every scholar must traverse in their intellectual and theological pilgrimage in order to be a real scholar.  This book will help you understand him far better than you ever have.

The Future of Christianity: An Observation

#Handwringing Christianity is Spiritless Christianity.  Stop pretending the fate of the church is in your hands, or power.  Christ is the Lord of the Church, it is his body.  If he wants to go on a diet and lose the useless fat, that’s his business.

And Again…

The historical Jesus of modern authors veils from us the living Christ. The Jesus of the “Life of Jesus” movement is only a variant of the productions of human inventive art, and it is no better than the notorious Christ of Byzantine Christology. Both of them are equally remote from the real Christ.

It’s as true of NT Wright’s Jesus as it is of David Friedrich Strauss’s.

Precisely Why the ‘Quest for the Historical Jesus’ is a Complete Waste of Time

We do not possess any sources for a ‘Life of Jesus’ which an historian can accept as reliable and adequate. I stress: we have no sources for a biography of Jesus of Nazareth which measure up to the standards of contemporary historical science. A trustworthy picture of the Savior for believers is a very different thing. – Martin Kähler

Jesus in 2017

‪’Not everyone who says to me, ‘Merry Christmas’, will enter the kingdom of heaven – but rather the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.’ – Jesus in 2017.‬