Daily Archives: 26 Apr 2019

Luther’s Contempt for Mystical Theology

“The speculative learning of the theologians is altogether worthless. I have read Bonaventure on this, and he almost drove me mad because I desired to experience the union of God with my soul (about which he babbles) through a union of intellect and will.

Such theologians are nothing but fanatics.

This is the true speculative theology (and it’s practical too): Believe in Christ and do what you ought.

Likewise, the mystical theology of Dionysius is nothing but trumpery, and Plato prattles that everything is non-being and everything is being, and he leaves it at that.

This is what mystical theology declares: Abandon your intellect and senses and rise up above being and non-being. “Is being in such shadows? God is everything,” etc.

Amen and Amen.

The Best News of the Week

The 5-year-old who was thrown off a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in Minnesota earlier this month is ‘alert and conscious,’ his family said. “All praise, glory and honor to Jesus! He saved our son’s life and is healing him in the most miraculous ways. We are so elated to let you know that our son is now alert and conscious and is no longer in critical condition!,” the family said in a statement. The boy, who has not been publicly identified, was in critical condition immediately after the incident on April 12. His family said last week that he was still in intensive care. The family is hoping the boy will be released from the hospital by June, the statement said, as they will now focus on additional surgeries, healing, and rehabilitation.

Thank God.

The Future of the Church

We needn’t worry that the Church will die nor need we worry that Christianity will fade from history, as some are presently supposing (and some even hoping). Jesus is now and has always been the Lord of the Church. It is his body. And he promises that the Gates of Hell will never prevail against it. The future of Christianity is as secure as God’s own will.

We do, though, need to be concerned with the sorts of Christians we are presently forming and the sorts of Churches which will be left when we depart this life. What I mean, and I don’t mean to offend or upset anyone, but rather to warn and encourage, is that many Christian families are not developing Christian disciples. Children are being raised by people nominally Christian, who inhabit the fringes of faithfulness and the outskirts of commitment.

To be perfectly straightforward, many Christian parents are teaching their children to be devoted to virtually anything and everything more than to be devoted to Christ and his Church. Parents whose own parents would have never considered absenting themselves from Sunday morning worship are going to a whole range of activities outside of Church and they are doing it in droves. From sporting events to amusement parks to shopping trips to lake outings and to anything one can imagine, parents are slowly but surely teaching their children, unintentionally, that God can be second in life.

The consequences of this learned behavior are not hard to see, because they can be seen now. Many churches have seen a decline in attendance on Sunday morning and many more have seen an absolutely catastrophic abandonment of Sunday evening and Mid Week worship services. Indeed, many churches have discontinued either Sunday evening services or Mid Week services for lack of interest and participation.

It is not at all hard to see that many of the young people who do attend youth groups are happy enough to be there when an activity is ongoing but they are strangely (not really strangely at all, sadly) absent from worship services. This they learned from parents who thought it more important to chase the activities of the world rather than pursuing righteousness.

This portends poorly for the future of the local church, for it is not at all difficult to imagine that the young people today participating in nearly nothing but ‘activities’ will one day be adults who continue the absenting of self from the service of Worship. It is not at all hard to imagine a day, in the not too distant future, when marginally committed people raised by marginally committed parents, see it proper to dispense with worship every week and decide that once every two weeks or once a month is enough. It is not at all hard to imagine a future wherein real authentic discipleship is upheld by very few. We are already not far from it.

What’s the fix? Parents who take their commitment to Christ more seriously than they take any other commitment; be it to the ball team or the lake house visit or the multitude of things with which they fill their lives and the lives of their children. The Church can’t ‘fix’ the problem of disinterest in the things of God in an hour a week (or less) when parents have their child’s every non-school hour to teach something else. Help the Church you attend raise a generation of disciples. It really is up to you.

The Fundamentalists Destroyed SEBTS

How are Barth and Brunner your enemies? When I was a student at @SEBTS in the mid 80’s we were taught, not ‘indictrinated’. But their now fundamentalist President is all for indoctrination. The fundamentalists destroyed Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Edward Cadbury Lecture Series

If you’re in Hong Kong, or anywhere in the Asia, you should attend these lectures.

HKSKH Ming Hua Theological College eNews

With What Kind
of Bodies Will They Come? Disability and the Resurrection in the New Testament

Professor Candida Moss, Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology
Tuesday May 14, 7.15pm

Christians
believe passionately in the Resurrection: that they will rise from the dead
with Jesus and have eternal life because Christ has saved them from their sins.
But what will happen to our bodies: will they rise from the dead with us, or
only our souls or spirits? And for those who are disabled, physically or
mentally: will they be physically or mentally disabled forever, in eternal
life, or will their bodies and minds be miraculously healed as part of our
resurrection?


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The 501st Anniversary of the Heidelberg Disputation

Am 26. April 1518 war Martin Luther zu Gast in Heidelberg. In der dortigen Universität leitete der Reformator eine wissenschaftliche Disputation. Anlass war das Generalkapitel – die höchste beschlussfassende Instanz – der deutschen Augustiner-Eremiten strenger Observanz, das 1518 in Heidelberg stattfand. Zunächst waren also die Ordensangelegenheiten geklärt worden, bevor es zur Disputation kam.

Die Disputation selbst kann schon als Teil des Vorgehens der römischen Kirche gegen Luther im Streit um den Ablasshandel verstanden werden. Der Augustinerorden war von Rom beauftragt worden, eine Disputation durchzuführen, in der Luther seine Thesen zum Ablass erläutern sollte. Dies geschah jedoch nicht, denn Luther ging schlicht nicht auf die Problematik ein. Stattdessen befasste er sich – im Hörsaal der Artistenfakultät – mit den Themen der Werkgerechtigkeit und der theologia crucis.

Etc.