Daily Archives: 19 Jul 2018

Afternoon Motivational Poster of the Week Today

Why Won’t The Shroud of Turin Just Go Away?

In spite of the fact that every sensible, informed, intelligent person knows it’s garbage, it’s still having to be proven to be garbage.  Why???

There’s Plenty of Outrage to Go Around

There’s a lot of things messed up in America right now.  Racism, inequality, pay gaps, abusive medical doctors, abusive priests, abusive pastors, etc. all are justifiable objects of disgust and outrage.

But there’s more.  The way churches treat pastors is often extraordinarily inappropriate.  The way some church leaders treat others is also at times absolutely evil.

But there’s more.  There are kids who are bullied at school. There are workers who are tormented by power hungry bosses.  There are women whose husbands or ‘partners’ treat them like punching bags- both physically and verbally.

But there’s more.  Wives can be found who cheat on their husbands, beat their children, or even kill them.

But there’s more.  Government officials lie without regard to any semblance of decency.  The steal, cheat, and accept donations from the wealthy with the express purpose of doing the bidding of their donors.

But there’s more.  Greed and selfishness are found everywhere among institutions and individuals.

But there’s more.  (fill in the blank with your pet peeve  __________________________________________________________).

The one thing all of these outrageous acts have in common is that they are only outrageous to the people not doing them.  To racists, racism is perfectly fine.  To the greedy, greed is good.   To the bully, bullying is ok.  To the abusive priest, abuse is satisfaction.  In sum, we are never outraged by our own sins but we are always outraged by the sins of others.

Why is that?  Because we give ourselves permission to sin and since we enjoy our sins, we give ourselves openended permission to continue them.

Truth told, we’re not really all that outraged at evil and injustice.  We’re outraged when other people do them.  But if we want to fix society we need to be as outraged at our own wickedness as we are at everyone else’s.  But of course that will never happen.  Because – no matter how much we’re taught to deny it – we are all totally depraved.  We are all utterly unconcerned with really being good until the grace of God intervenes and we are exposed for the monsters we are.

Then redemption can happen.  Then things can change.

The effects of sin are all around us and within us.  And so they shall remain until we ourselves are different.


Just because.


Signs of the Times

Volumes of Interest to Biblical Studies/ Theology

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Rohls, Jan Protestantische Theologie der NeuzeitBand I: Die Voraussetzungen und das 19. Jahrhundert

[Modern Protestant Theology. Volume I: The Premises and the 19th Century. Published in German.]

Jan Rohls deals with Protestant theology from 1789 on and gives the reader a comprehensive survey of the theological tendencies, schools and systems.

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Rohls, Jan Protestantische Theologie der NeuzeitBand II: Das 20. Jahrhundert

[Modern Protestant Theology. Volume II: The 20th Century. Published in German.]

Jan Rohls deals with Protestant theology from 1789 on and gives the reader a comprehensive survey of the theological tendencies, schools and systems.

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Das Letzte – der ErsteGott denken. Festschrift für Ingolf U. Dalferth zum 70. Geburtstag. Hrsg. v. Hans-Peter Großhans, Michael Moxter u. Philipp Stoellger

[The Last – The First. Thinking God. Festschrift on the Occasion of Ingolf U. Dalferth’s 70th Birthday. Published in German.]

This Festschrift’s twenty-four studies pick up from Dalferth’s work by thinking about God in their own way. The richness of the questions they pose, the plurality of the answers, and the diversity of the religious-philosophical and theological perspectives affirm the worthiness of thinking God.

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Die Septuaginta4.-6. Internationale Fachtagung veranstaltet von Septuaginta Deutsch (LXX.D), Wuppertal 2012, 2014, 2016-PAKET-. Hrsg. v. Martin Karrer u. Wolfgang Kraus, Siegfried Kreuzer, Martin Meiser u. Marcus Sigismund

[The Septuagint – History, Impact, Relevance. 6th International Conference held by the Septuaginta Deutsch Project (LXX.D), Wuppertal July 21–24, 2016. Published in German.]

The Septuagint is the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek and originated in Egypt in the time of the Ptolemaic kings. It became the basis for the Jewish religion in the Mediterranean world in antiquity and also for the dissemination of Christianity.
For the first time the last three volumes that contain papers that were presented at the international conference in Wuppertal, Germany, organized by the Septuaginta-Deutsch project, are available as a set at a special price. The volumes contain studies into the origins, the language and the history, including the Wirkungsgeschichte.


Quote of the Day

Domine, si umquam habuero codices saeculares, si legero, te negavi. — St. Jerome (the only Church Father worth knowing or reading).

“Biblical Exegesis between the Poles of Description and Interpretation”

Via Christoph Heilig

Yesterday, our small interdisciplinary research group “Biblical Exegesis between the Poles of Description and Interpretation” (supported by a grant of the UZH Graduate Campus that was raised by Theresa Heilig and her co-applicants Andreas Mauz and Christoph Heilig) met for the last time this semester. The group explores how the praxis of exegesis relates to the distinction between descriptive and interpretive operations, which is common in the study of literature but has been almost completely neglected among biblical scholars.

This results not only in category mistakes that could have been avoided with more awareness of the scholarship that is done on this matter but also in an enormous heuristic deprivation. While we will continue to work on this issue after the summer break, it has already become clear during the previous meetings just how much the field of biblical studies would profit immensely from paying more attention to the differences between these two categories.

In particular, we’ve identified (1) the didactic confusion in the teaching of exegesis (many students express frustration when they have to write exegetical essays because they know quite a few “methodological steps” they are supposed to take but don’t know where and how these steps are supposed to lead them) and (2) the manifold aspects that are characteristic of the current crisis of the genre of the biblical commentary as areas where a stronger theoretical, methodological, and practological reflection among biblical scholars promises to be immensely fruitful.

Signs of the Times

Via @JuliaDavisNews

#Russia’s state TV host:

“It is very bizarre, you can’t bash your own country like that – especially when you’re the President.”

Female host: “When Trump says our relations are bad because of American foolishness and stupidity, he really smells like an agent of the Kremlin.” ©️

Israel the Racist State

Israel passed a law on Thursday to declare that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country, something members of the Arab minority called racist and verging on apartheid, Reuters reports.

The “nation-state” law, backed by the right-wing government, passed by a vote of 62-55 and two abstentions in the 120-member parliament after months of political argument. Some Arab lawmakers shouted and ripped up papers after the vote.

“This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset after the vote.

Largely symbolic, the law was enacted just after the 70th anniversary of the birth of the state of Israel. It stipulates that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”.

The bill also strips Arabic of its designation as an official language alongside Hebrew, downgrading it to a “special status” that enables its continued use within Israeli institutions.

Israel’s Arabs number some 1.8 million, about 20 percent of the 9 million population.

If you don’t think that’s racist, just ask yourself how you would feel if a law were passed here in the States that declared that only white people had the right of self determination…   Israel is a racist state.

Gentle Luther, Meek and Mild

Caspar Schwenckfeld sent one of his silly books to Luther and asked his opinion of it.  When the messenger dropped it off Luther didn’t let him leave until he gave his this response to pass on to his master-

The stupid fool, [Caspar Schwenckfeld], who is possessed by the devil, has no understanding, and doesn’t know what he’s mumbling about. If he won’t stop, at least let him not bother me with his books, which the devil is spitting up and spewing out of him. Let him have this as my final judgment and answer.  

The Lord rebuke you, Satan! And the spirit who called you, the course which you take, and all the sacramentarians and Eutychians who side with you in your blasphemies—to hell with you!

As it is written, ‘I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied’ [Jer. 23:21].” — Martin Luther

Luther would say the same thing to so many today.  So many.