Daily Archives: 25 Jun 2019

Liberty University, The Time Has Come For Your Trustees to Act

If not, then the righteous scorn of every decent person will come crashing down on the University, the Trustees, and the supporters of Mr Falwell.  As it should.

Trustees are assigned the task of seeing to the oversight of Administration and President.  Do. Your. Job.

The Bee Nails the US / Iran Debacle

A potentially deadly conflict appears to be looming between an unstable, rogue, warmongering nation and Iran.

The nation that seems to be teetering on the brink of war with Iran is the only one on the planet that has nuclear weapons and has used them on civilians. The country has aggressively intervened in foreign conflicts for decades and seems not to respect the sovereignty of any nation.

“We’re dealing with a country that sees itself as a kind of world police force,” warned one commentator. “They seem to be willing to go to frightening lengths to accomplish their foreign policy objectives, no matter the cost in materials, money, or human lives.”

“There’s simply no negotiating with a rogue nation like this. When they decide they want war, they’ll lie, cheat, and steal until they make it happen.”

Indeed.  Remember Iraq’s WMD?

The Evangelical ‘Flat Earth Society’ Founder Who Has Been Arrested- For Child Porn

Fundamentalist Christian and self-proclaimed founder of the “Biblical Flat Earth Society,” Phillip Stephen Stallings, was arrested this week and charged with 56 counts of child sexual exploitation, as reported by local news station WTDV.

The 40-year-old Durham, North Carolina resident is facing dozens of charges for sexually exploiting minors for allegedly downloading media that involved minors engaged in sexual situations and sharing this illegal media on social platforms.

He was arrested on Wednesday morning at his home by Durham County deputies as a part of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigation, according to WRAL.com.

“It’s part of an investigation across the nation right now for possession of child pornography and creation of child pornography,” said Durham County Assistant District Attorney Kendra Montgomery-Blinn during a short court hearing on Thursday morning. “They had information that Mr. Stallings was sharing his materials on a social media platform.”

Stallings faces 28 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and 28 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor after being caught with child pornography. He has also been served with a warrant related to both cyberstalking and financial card theft.

His personal website, on which he refers to himself as a “reformed Christian Apologist, Theonomist, Kinist and a former seminary student,” is largely dedicated to his belief that the earth is flat, which uses the Bible to support his opinion. His website also espouses that there is an Illuminati conspiracy to cover up the truth about the flat earth, which relates to ancient sun-worshipping cults.

Stallings is an ebook author and also has a YouTube channel where he covers topics such as feminism, transvestites, and women in the military.

He has been taken to the Durham County Detention Center. On Thursday, the judge raised his secured bond from $341,000 to $500, 000. More charges are possible depending on that the ongoing investigation uncovers. If Stallings posts bond, he will be prohibited from any contact with children, as well as from using any computers or smart devices that could allow him access to any photos or videos.

Etc.

The depravity is unending for the pretend Christians.

Quote of the Day

“Untouched by the breath of God, unrestricted by human conscience, both capitalism and socialism are repulsive.” —  #Solzhenitsyn

Signs of the Times

It’s Funny Because It’s True

Theology as Freedom: On Martin Luther’s »De servo arbitrio«

Veröffentlicht auf Englisch. Andrea Vestrucci präsentiert eine Analyse von Martin Luthers »De servo arbitrio«, einem der anspruchsvollsten Werke christlicher Theologie. Von Gottes Verborgenheit zur Vorherbestimmung, von der Rechtfertigung zur Ontologie, von der Logik zur Ästhetik erforscht Vestrucci Perspektiven der theologischen Sprache, die einen Paradigmenwechsel auslösen.

Visitors to this link will be able to download a PDF of the front matter and table of Contents.  Please do so before proceeding as that will serve as our point of departure for the present review.

The purpose of the present volume is to prove one simple point:  theology is freedom.  To prove that point, Vestrucci does a thorough deconstruction of Luther’s important work on Free Will.  Or perhaps dissection.  Or perhaps dismemberment.  All of those metaphors point in the direction of what is here accomplished.

Beginning, then, with a description of the conceptual framework that will serve as the skeleton of the argument, V. turns to a consideration of Erasmus’s work and ideas.  Paradox is next on the menu and then philosophical notions which are at play in Luther’s rejoinder to Erasmus.  We are then led down the path of the reception of Luther’s notion of freedom as it is understood by Barth, Ebeling, and others.

The book then turns a corner and moves away from the notions of the major players to a discussion and exposition of the main ideas: the possibility of freedom, forgiveness, justification, nature, grace, and virtually every other branch of theological enquiry.

A chapter devoted to Kant’s relationship to Luther concludes the second major division and frankly seems out of place.  To be sure, Kant and his notion of freedom is philosophically important, bust as one of the sections in the chapter recognizes, Kant was no theologian.  He, it seems to me at least, does not belong here.

The third division (and again, see the linked pdf above for the TOC) is the highlight of the book and everything leads to this fantastic crescendo (except for the sour note of Kant).  Here readers are exposed to the meat of the issue: Election, Salvation, Predestination, and Grace.  Here Vestrucci does the best work.  Here the issues are explained in clear, precise, intelligible, forceful, and helpful language.

The conclusion is the end of the matter and summarizes the aims and achievements of the volume in concise language.  It is a brief 4 pages and it should be read first and last.  A decent bibliography along with indices of the usual sort round out the volume.

Vestrucci is to be thanked for this good work.  My one criticism is of the inclusion of Kant.  The chapter interrupts the flow of the volume and annoys more than it enlightens.  Aside from that, this tome is a joyful experience.  Joyful and informative.

Today With Zwingli

bucerOn the 23rd of June, 1530 Martin Bucer wrote Zwingli a letter which contained this line:

“Nothing more intolerant can be imagined than the hatred which the Lutherans have against us.”

Zwingli received the letter on June 25.  Bucer managed to sum up the situation in the Holy Roman Empire and its environs nearly perfectly.

The 2019 Karl Barth Conference in Geneva- Online

You can listen to or watch many of the papers presented in Geneva.  With thanks to Hywel Clifford for the heads up.

CONFÉRENCES ENREGISTRÉES DU COLLOQUE

Jackson’s Description of Zwingli’s First Days in Zurich, and of the Man Himself

On Saturday, January 1, 1519, he presented himself to the assembled canons [of Zurich], and was formally inducted into his office as people’s priest. … Zwingli thanked them for electing him, requested their prayers and the prayers of the congregation, and then announced that he would begin the next day the continuous exposition of the Gospel of Matthew, not according to the Fathers, but according to the Scriptures themselves. This announcement made a decided sensation, as it was a marked deviation from the practice of following the pericopes and interpreting them patristically, and awakened some adverse criticism.

Of stalwart frame, above middle height, of a ruddy countenance and pleasing expression, he made a good impression upon spectators, and when he spoke he soon showed that he was an orator who could enchain the attention. All Zurich, and indeed all Switzerland, rang with his praise. And not only town people but the country folk also listened to him with delight. For the benefit of the latter he preached every Friday, which was market-day, in the market-place, and took the Psalms for continuous exposition. On Sundays in the cathedral he expounded during his first four years, and in this order, Matthew, Acts, I. Timothy, Galatians, II. Timothy, I. and II. Peter, and Hebrews. — S.M. Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531).

Kappel. June 25. 1529.

The First Kappel War ended on this day in 1529.

After several negotiations, a treaty of Peace was concluded June 25, 1529, between Zuerich, Bern, Basel, St. Gall, and the cities of Muehlhausen and Biel on the one hand, and the five Catholic Cantons on the other. The deputies of Glarus, Solothurn, Schaffhausen, Appenzell, Graubuenden, Sargans, Strassburg, and Constanz acted as mediators.

The treaty was not all that Zwingli desired, especially as regards the abolition of the pensions and the punishment of the dispensers of pensions (wherein he was not supported by Bern), but upon the whole it was favorable to the cause of the Reformation.

The first and most important of the Eighteen Articles of the treaty recognizes, for the first time in Europe, the principle of parity or legal equality of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches,—a principle which twenty-six years afterwards was recognized also in Germany (by the Augsburger Religionsfriede of 1555), but which was not finally settled there till after the bloody baptism of the Thirty Years’ War, in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), against which the Pope of Rome still protests in vain. (Schaff)

Regrettably the peace would not hold, and just over 2 years later the disastrous Second Kappel War would see the end of Zwingli’s life.  But not the end of his influence nor the end of his Reform.

Melanchthon: On What Pleases God

melanchnullum Deo gratius est officium, quam veritatis et iustitiae studium et propagatio. nam haec sunt praecipua Dei dona, in quibus Dei praesentia maxime cerni potest. – Philipp Melanchthon

Happy Anniversary

To the best wife of all-  36 years ago today we married.