Daily Archives: 6 Apr 2019

What An Evil Monster

What inhuman cruelty.

A one-year-old child’s body was found in a washing machine after a mobile home burned down in Kentucky and now the child’s father is charged with murder.

Vaughn Brock appeared before a judge Friday morning.

Police say Brock told detectives he smoked a joint Saturday night fell asleep and woke up to the home on fire. Police say Brock ran out of the home and left Joseph Brock, 1, inside.

The child’s body was later found in the washing machine.

Brock’s arrest citation says he was unaware the child was in the appliance.

That poor child. That vile pothead demon of a father. I would die trying to save my daughter. So would any decent human being.

But these drug users care only for themselves. Murder is the perfect charge because he murdered his own son.

The Best Bio of Brunner Yet Written

Anhand der Quellen, vor allem von Briefen, Tagebüchern und nicht publizierten Manuskripten, gibt Frank Jehle Einblick in Leben, Werk und Wirken Emil Brunners. Das theologische Werk des Schweizer Theologen steht im Zentrum dieser umfassenden Biographie: Mit «Der Mittler» hatte Brunner die erste ausgebaute Christologie der dialektischen Theologie vorgelegt. Seine Auseinandersetzung mit Karl Barth über die natürliche Theologie ist in die Theologiegeschichte eingegangen. Vor allem aber ragt Brunner als Ethiker hervor: «Das Gebot und die Ordnungen» von 1932 ist ein Meilenstein in der Geschichte der Sozialethik. Bestimmend war auch sein Einfluss auf die Weltkirchenkonferenz in Oxford 1937. Brunner wirkte mehrfach als Gastprofessor in den USA, nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg wagte er den Schritt nach Asien, u.a. nach Japan. – Erstmals dargestellt wird Brunners intensive Beziehung zu Leonhard Ragaz.Die hier vorliegende Biographie ist zugleich ein wichtiger Beitrag zur Theologiegeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts und zur Geschichte der Schweiz im und nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg.

Read it.  It is the perfect antidote for the Barthian misinformation about Brunner that too many gullible and silly people accept without question.

More Than Luther: The Reformation and the Rise of Pluralism in Europe

This volume contains the plenary papers and a selection of shortpapers from the Seventh Annual RefoRC conference, which was held May 10–12th 2017 in Wittenberg. The contributions concentrate on the effects of Luther´s new theology and draw the lines from Luther´s contemporaries into the early seventeenth century. Developments in art, catholic responses and Calvinistic reception are only some of the topics. The volume reflects the interdisciplinarity and interconfessionality that characterizes present research on the 16th century reformations and underlines the fact that this research has not come to a conclusion in 2017. The papers in this conference volume point to lacunae and will certainly stimulate further research.

Contributors: Wim François, Antonio Gerace, Siegrid Westphal, Edit Szegedi, Maria Lucia Weigel, Graeme Chatfield, Jane Schatkin Hettrick, Marta Quatrale, Aurelio A. García, Jeannette Kreijkes, Csilla Gábor, Gábor Ittzés, Balázs Dávid Magyar, Tomoji Odori, Gregory Soderberg, Herman A. Speelman, Izabela Winiarska-Górska, Erik A. de Boer, Donald Sinnema, Dolf te Velde.

The editors describe the volume as follows:

The Seventh Annnual RefoRC conference, which was held May 10–12th 2017 in Wittenberg, focused on the topic More than Luther: The Reformation and the Rise of Pluralism in Europe. Close to ninety papers on this topic were presented and a selection of these is presented in this volume. Yet this selection reflects the broadness of the conference as well as the interdisciplinarity and interconfessionality that characterizes the Reformation Research Consortium. The conference underlined, once again, the fact that research on the reformations of the sixteenth century has not come to a conclusion in 2017. Quite the contrary, the 500th anniversary of Luther′s decisive action has demonstrated how wide a field of research is still open. The papers in this conference volume point to lacunae and will certainly stimulate further research.

The link above allows access to the table of contents, which do read.  As described above, the collection here published is comprised of papers presented at a conference concerning the Reformation and its intention was to examine the varieties of reformations which sprang up in the 16th century.  These papers do a very good job of precisely that, and their breadth and scope is the great strength of the volume.  So, for instance, in a discussion of the Reformation and marriage we read

It is one of the recognised core statements arising from the historical research done on the Reformation, that the Reformation had a lasting influence on gender relationship (cf. Westphal: 2016; Conrad: 2016). The topic of marriage is a particular focus of interest in this case because it is assumed that the structure it took was altered or renewed completely. Although a clearly defined doctrine on marriage is not actually being spoken about in this case, yet there are – according to the common consensus – topics in relation to numerous individual aspects in reaction to concrete problem areas that have been broached.

And at the conclusion of a very engaging discussion of Calvinism and the rise of pluralism in Europe, which focused especially on the Huguenots, we find these lines:

From 1559 on, the Huguenots began more and more consciously to distance themselves from the ecclesiastical unity in France. Such a situation, in which a church established itself without the involvement of the government, was entirely unique, so that the Huguenots had achieved a point of no return. The familiar, age-old notion of a European Christendom guided by the church, whose pastoral care and rituals structured and disciplined the whole life, as well as the notion of the corpus christianum – all of this was more or less changed in Reformation times, although it had already begun in the time leading up to that.

And of Dort-

The Synod of Dordt, which met for six and a half months from mid-November 1618 to the end of May 1619, was convened primarily to settle the Arminian controversy that had agitated the Netherlands for about twenty years. The synod also considered other discipline cases and made decisions on a variety of other ecclesiastical matters.

After which the author goes into deep detail about the topic.

Each essay contains a very fine bibliography and each is festooned with footnotes pointing to both primary and secondary sources.

This conference volume is very useful and will expand the knowledge of all who read it.

A Country that Tolerates Racism Will Destroy Itself

Three historically black churches have burned in less than two weeks in one south Louisiana parish, where officials said they had found “suspicious elements” in each case. The officials have not ruled out the possibility of arson, or the possibility that the fires are related.

“There is clearly something happening in this community,” State Fire Marshal H. Browning said in a statement on Thursday. “That is why it is imperative that the citizens of this community be part of our effort to figure out what it is.”

The three fires occurred on March 26, Tuesday and Thursday in St. Landry Parish, north of Lafayette. A fourth fire, a small blaze that officials said was “intentionally set,” was reported on Sunday at a predominantly black church in Caddo Parish, about a three-hour drive north.

Vile.

Stingy Giving and Stingy Givers

On Galatians 6:7, while discussing 6:6-10, which says,  “When someone is under instruction in doctrine, he should give his teacher a share in all his possessions.  Don’t delude yourself: God is not to be fooled; whatever someone sows, that is what he will reap.  If his sowing is in the field of self-indulgence, then his harvest from it will be corruption; if his sowing is in the Spirit, then his harvest from the Spirit will be eternal life.  And let us never slacken in doing good; for if we do not give up, we shall have our harvest in due time.  So then, as long as we have the opportunity let all our actions be for the good of everybody, and especially of those who belong to the household of the faith.”  (Gal. 6:6-10)

Calvin writes

The design of this observation is to reply to the dishonest excuses which are frequently pleaded. One alleges that he has a family to support, and another asserts that he has no superfluity of wealth to spend in liberality or profusion. The consequence is, that, while such multitudes withhold their aid, the few persons who do their duty are generally unable to contribute the necessary support. These apologies Paul utterly rejects, for a reason which the world little considers, that this transaction is with God. The supply of a man’s bodily wants is not the sole question, but involves the degree of our regard for Christ and his gospel. This passage contains evidence that the custom of treating faithful ministers with scorn did not originate in the present day; but their wicked taunts will not pass unpunished.

Calvin couldn’t be clearer and neither could Paul: you should support, without being stingy, those who teach you the Word.  People may not like it, and they may not do it, but Scripture is here quite unmistakably clear- it should be done.

Barth’s Last Word to Brunner

brunner5“Barth’s letter arrived on the morning of 5 April. Vogelsanger cycled to the clinic at Zollikerberg, and informed Brunner that “Karl Barth sends his greetings!” He then read Brunner this letter by his bedside. Brunner smiled, pressed his hand, and shortly afterwards lapsed into an uncon­sciousness from which he never reawakened. He died at noon on Wednesday, 6 April 1966 at the Neumünsterspital at Zollikerberg, near Zurich. His funeral at the Fraumünster in Zurich on 12 April 1966 was led by Vogelsanger. ” – Alister McGrath

Aww, When Your Attempt to Be ‘Accurate’ Is Just Plain Wrong

Except the first to announce the risen Lord were – from Mark, ‘a young man’ (and in fact the women ran from the tomb and said nothing!) and from the other gospels it was ‘angels’.   It wasn’t the women who said ‘he is not here, he is risen’, in any of the gospels.

Maybe actually read the bible before you tell people to do something in the interests of biblical accuracy.

The Death of Albrecht

Albrecht Dürer died on April 6, 1528. Dürer is considered the greatest of the northern European Renaissance artists, having spent the majority of his career in Nuremberg, Germany. Although he never met Martin Luther, he and his work were greatly influenced by the writings of Luther and other reformers. His work, in turn, influenced the next generation of artists including, presumably, Lucas Cranach and his son who were dear friends of Martin and Katie Luther.

The painting is “The Four Apostles”, and depicts John, Peter, Mark, and Paul. It was done by Dürer in 1526 and now hangs in the Alte Pinakothek Museum in Munich.  Rebecca DeGarmeaux

In Memoriam Emil Brunner

April 6th, 1966 was the day the world lost the greatest theologian it had seen since Calvin:  Emil Brunner.  Brunner’s importance can’t be overstated and neither can his contributions to Christian theological inquiry.

I’ll be posting snippets from his works throughout the day.  In the meanwhile, here’s a slideshow of remembrance:

Preaching at the Fraumunster