Daily Archives: 16 Oct 2018

The Fate of All Godless (Politicians)

“They are the most exquisite pains of soul and body (for both had sinned), arising from the fear and sense of the most just wrath and vengeance of God against sins, the most sad consciousness of which they carry about with them, the baseness of which is manifest, and of which, likewise, no remission afterwards, and, therefore, no mitigation or end can be hoped for. Whence, in misery, they will execrate, with horrible lamentation and wailing, their former impiety, by which they carelessly neglected the admonitions of their brethren and all the means of attaining salvation; but in vain.

For in perpetual anguish, with dreadful trembling, in shame, confusion, and ignominy, in inextinguishable fire, in weeping and gnashing of teeth, amidst that which is eternal and terrible, torn away from the grace and favor of God, they must quake among devils, and will be tortured without end to eternity.

These future torments of the damned far surpass all the penetration of the human mind, so that we are not sufficient to ever comprehend in thought their greatness; therefore, what they will be, or of what nature, cannot be at all expressed in words. Scripture, nevertheless, in order to show that these tortures are the greatest and most exquisite, likens them to those things by which, in this life, pain both of soul and body is accustomed to be excited. For this reason they are compared now to the gnashing of teeth, now to worms, now to the most sorrowful darkness, and whatever other matters of sadness and of the most complete pain can be mentioned.*

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*Heinrich Schmid, The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, pp. 659–660.

Now Go And Apply This Sage Advice, mutatis mutandis, to Every Bible Themed ‘Discovery’

Because what she says her, applies there.  Especially when you read reports in the media and in BAR, where sensationalizing always trumps scholarship.

If They Don’t Act Like Christians, They Aren’t Christians

And they should be denounced as the wolves in sheep’s clothing that they are.  The silence of too many Christians simply to be ‘polite’ has led to a situation where any heretic and false teacher can claim to be a Christian and collect a following of Christians.  It’s time to crack down on them.  It’s time to tell people that Joel Osteen isn’t a Christian.  That TD Jakes isn’t a Christian.  That Paula White isn’t a Christian.  That Benny Hinn isn’t a Christian.  That Pat Robertson isn’t a Christian.

And that’s not ‘judging’ them.  That’s simply pointing out that the rotten theological fruit they produce proves that they are rotten trees and no true Christian.

It’s time, in sum, to take Scripture seriously.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me,`Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  (Matt. 7:15-21)

Could Jesus be any clearer?  The why don’t Christians today act like it?

Zeal For Your House? Or Something Else?

I have become a stranger to my brothers, And an alien to my mother’s children; Because zeal for Your house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.” (Ps. 69:8-9)

The Psalmist means of course that his love for God has set him apart from even his family and caused him to literally identify the cause of God with his own life’s work. God, the worship of God, and serving God are all consuming for him. How many people who call themselves Christians today can say that? And is that inability to confess an all consuming love for God the reason so many take their Christianity so lightly? Is it the reason so few bother with Sunday School and worship? Is it the reason so few support the critical financial needs of their Churches and their ministries? Is it the reason that God just isn’t that important to even His own people?

Today there are a lot, an awful lot, of Christians who if they are honest can easily confess ‘zeal for the ball game has consumed me’. But can they with equal honesty say ‘zeal for your house has consumed me? As Jesus said, ‘you will know a tree by the fruit which it produces’. Whatever we are most zealous for is what we love most. There’s just no escaping that simple truth. And the world knows it too. And is watching.

Self Love Rules the World

Because Christ’s teachings contradict the interests of selfish men, that’s why the world so generally rises up against it with indignation, even as a country will rise against an invading enemy: for he comes to take away that which is dearest to them; as it is said of Luther, that he meddled with the pope’s crown, and the friars’ bellies; and therefore no wonder if they swarmed all about his ears. Selfishness is so general and deeply rooted in our world that (except with a few self-denying saints) self-love and self-interest rule the world. — Richard Baxter

You Evangelicals Are Heretics

Kindly stop calling yourselves Christians. You aren’t.

Millennials Don’t Want To Vote?

Millennials will pay for it. Literally.

You guys and gals might want to start voting the politicians out who are screwing you.

Silence is Sin

[When sin abounds] we must not be silent, lest we disgrace religion and the church, simply in order to curry favor with sinners. — Richard Baxter

Dogmatik

Dogmatik als gedankliche Rechenschaft des christlichen Glaubens ist eine soteriologische Interpretation der Wirklichkeit. Sie analysiert ihre Erlösungsbedürftigkeit unter der Voraussetzung der biblisch bezeugten Erlösungswirklichkeit. Das ist der Grundgedanke des renommierten Wiener Systematikers Ulrich H. J. Körtner in seinem umfassenden Lehrbuch, das fünf Hauptteile ­umfasst.

Anhand der Leitbegriffe Gott, Welt und Mensch bietet es eine kompakte Darstellung aller Hauptthemen christlicher Dogmatik, ihrer problemgeschichtlichen Zusammenhänge und der gegenwärtigen Diskussion. Leitsätze bündeln den Gedankengang. Das dem lutherischen und dem reformierten Erbe reformatorischer Theologie verpflichtete Lehrbuch berücksichtigt in besonderer Weise die Leuenberger Konkordie (1973) und die Lehrgespräche der Gemeinschaft Evangelischer Kirchen in Europa (GEKE).

A review copy has been graciously provided by the publisher.  It’s now on my to do list, so look for it soon (because procrastination is of the Devil).

Sometimes There Are Stupid Questions

You say no, without hesitation. A robot has no soul, it needs no redemption, it cannot receive redemption, it takes no part in the sacraments, it has no part in the community of faith, and it does not know God.

Vanity Publishing* and Vanity Conferencing

We all know the academic guy or gal who poo poos the folk who pay to have their stuff published by vanity presses.  ‘Oh, so and so published their work at Smyth and Stock and of course it can’t be taken seriously’ they chortle amongst themselves as they sip their craft beer at the watering hole whilst attending the latest academic conference.

Meanwhile the sad hypocrites have paid airfare or train fare and hotel charges** to present their paper at the academic conference at which they deride the ‘vanity publishers’.  In short, they have paid to read their paper at a conference and simultaneously denounce and denigrate someone else who has paid to have their work published.

Do you see, gentle reader, the utter hypocrisy of such attitudes?  The one pays a publisher, the other pays a hotel and an airline.  So how are they different?  Both are paying in order to spread their views.

Those who attend academic conferences have no business and no right to denigrate those who choose to pay to have their stuff published.  They’re both doing the same thing. They’re both paying to have their ideas put ‘out there’.

If folk want to pay to publish, so what. If folk want to pay to attend conferences and present papers, so what. Just don’t be hypocritical about it all and say that one is somehow ‘less scholarly’ than the other. Because that’s nonsense.

And, by the way, don’t even try to bring in the vaunted ‘peer review’ process and how it guarantees that peer reviewed publications are somehow ‘superior’ to self published stuff, or I’ll be forced to point out to you that peer review is often a joke.

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* Note: I have never paid to have anything published, though I have received payment for many of my published essays and books. So I am not ‘defending’ myself (just in case the academic poo pooers of vanity publishing, as they call it, wish to spread rumors to the contrary. You know how vindictive and spiteful some who fancy themselves learned can be).

**I know in advance that some of the poo pooers will object that their department pays for their airfare and hotel stay, to which I reply, so what. So instead of paying your own way to conferences you’re taking advantage of department generosity and using funds that could be used to provide better pay to Adjunct faculty or buy books for the library or pay the janitor a fair wage. Yay you… Not only are you a hypocrite, you’re a greedy selfish hypocrite.

What Are You Supposed to Do If You Have an Ignorant Pastor?

If he be intolerable, through ignorance, heresy, disability, or malignity, forsake him utterly: but if he be tolerable, though weak and cold, and if you cannot remove your dwelling, then public order and your soul’s edification must both be joined as well as you can. In London, or other cities where it is usual, you may go ordinarily to another parish church: but in the country, and where it would be a great offence, you may one part of the day hear in your own parish, and the other at the next, if there be a man much fitter within your reach: but communicating with the church you dwell with. — Richard Baxter