Well That’s It Then

Free remission of sins is preached to all countries and kingdoms. All the faithful in every nation under heaven are through Christ received into the grace and favour of God the Father. All have received in great abundance the gift of the Holy Ghost. All have prophesied. All have known the Lord. — Heinrich Bullinger

Lawn Darts: A Reminder

After a recent serious injury caused by a lawn dart, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reissued its warning that lawn darts are banned and should be destroyed. Effective on December 19, 1988, CPSC banned the sale of all lawn darts in the United States.

Let the reader understand.

‘Thoughts and Prayers’ and Another School Shooting

Politicians love sending ‘thoughts and prayers’ to people who are suffering.  But does it make any sense?  Frankly, no.

First, if thoughts don’t lead to acts, then they are not only pointless they are worthless.  Thoughts which are followed by deeds are thoroughly sensible but bare thoughts, alone, are the Eunuchs of intellectual life.  And as Kierkegaard reminded us Eunuchs may know what needs to be done, but they can’t ever manage to do it.

And second, the prayers of politicians (and most people, let’s just be honest with ourselves for a moment) are similarly useless.  Why?  Because God doesn’t hear the prayers of the godless-  We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. (Jn. 9:31).  To be sure, the ‘fervent effectual prayer of a righteous person avails much’ (Epistle of James) but no one with any good sense at all would describe any American politician as ‘righteous’.  They are all corrupt, self seeking, evil.

So, thoughts and prayers?  Keep them to yourself.  They are useless when they come from the godless.

Lent With Minimal Effort; Or, Lent for People Who are Only Committed Christians For About a Month

Amateurs give up things for Lent that are near and dear to their hearts.

Professionals give up meaningless things in order to look holy with the smallest possible effort.

See the difference? Pick something off this list that you either hate or don’t use anyway, and now you can brag that you got a little more sanctified this Lenten season, but you didn’t even lift a finger! Nice!

1.) Google Plus – Want to give up social media, but hooked to your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts? Just give up Google Plus! You’re not missing a thing!

2.) Decaf coffee – Give up decaf coffee for Lent. Now you can post pictures of yourself drinking actual coffee and remind people how holy you are for giving up the decaf version!

3.) Hillsong – We know it’s going to be difficult, but try turning off Christian radio for the duration of Lent, so you can keep your vow not to hear any Hillsong tunes. Now you can listen to good music for a full 40 days!

4.) Pineapple pizza – This one’s easy—just eat pizza that actually tastes good for 40 days, and you’re holier in no time.

5.) Rewatching 1983’s Krull on DVD – This one might be hard for some of you, but why not give up rewatching classic sci-fi/fantasy film Krull on DVD this year? (LOOPHOLE ALERT: find the movie on a streaming service and you can still watch it, technically!)

6.) Winning a gold medal in the Olympics – When people ask why you didn’t win gold in the men’s snowboarding competition in this year’s Winter Olympics, you can tell them that you gave it up for Lent. Now you can veg out on your couch and play 1080 Snowboarding on your Nintendo 64 instead of getting some exercise. LENT STATUS: PRO.

7.) Reading your Bible – Give up reading your Bible for Lent, and you don’t even have to wake up 15 minutes early for daily devos anymore! Genius!

8.) Dating supermodels – This will make you more chaste and free up time for more sanctified activities. Make sure not to date any supermodels during Lent.

9.) Lent – Give up Lent for Lent, and you won’t even have to celebrate Lent! This option gives you the additional bonus of getting to reply “Lent!” whenever someone asks you what you’re giving up for Lent—a hilarious joke no one’s ever made before!

Now go get some ashes smeared on your face and give up something completely meaningless. Godspeed on your Lenten journey!


Enacting Measures Against Usury

On the 14th of February, in the year 1568, Heinrich Bullinger stood before the assembled legislators and denounced the extreme poverty resulting in Zurich and the surrounding villages in the Canton because of excessive interest rates being charged the poorest of the poor.

The Massnahmen Gegen den Wucher addressed the pressing issues of high unemployment and high interest rates- and Bullinger demanded that the government do something to reign in the usurers.

Theologians today, incredibly silent on the issues which troubled Bullinger and his colleagues in Zurich, would do well to read this tractate.    It’s perfectly applicable, theologically, to today and to our corrupt bankers and weak, cowering, fearful government.

Book Giveaway: “What did Jesus Look Like”, By Joan Taylor

UPDATE:  And the winner is- BEN BROWN!   Send me your address, Ben.  And thanks to all who entered.

I’ve an extra copy of this new volume sent along by the publisher and I’m giving it to the person who

1- Tells me in comments why they deserve it.

2- Lives in the continental US.

3- And is randomly selected from all those who describe their worthiness to have it in comments (see 1 above).

You have only hours to enter.  So get your entry in by midnight Eastern time.

Luther Wasn’t A Fan of St Valentine’s Day

So, while he lectured on Deuteronomy, he said

The papists have represented God as a very swift Avenger if anyone, at the impulse of the devil, had harmed a cleric. Thus they also made out of St. Anthony, Sebastian, Valentine, and Roch a sort of Baal Peor for the nurturing of their stomachs.

You Won’t be getting a card from Luther on Valentine’s Day.  Don’t expect one.  He’s not interested in celebrating your Baal.