Daily Archives: 16 Nov 2019

Marketing Your ‘Christian’ Book

There’s only one rule to know if you wish to gain fame and fortune as a ‘Christian’ author:  heresy sells.  The more heretical you are the more books you’ll sell and the more famous you’ll become.  Just ask Rob Bell, Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, Paula White, Nadia Bolz-Weber and the other best-selling heretics.

The more you deface Christian orthodoxy and befoul yourself with the dung of heresy, the better off you’ll be (in terms of book sales, not eternity).

Defecating on the truth is the path to fame and fortune.

Reminder

The minute your political ideology becomes more important to you than your Christian faith and practice, you have become an idolater.

American Politicians: An Observation

Our politicians are God’s punishment for our national sins.  They are the plague upon the land, the locust swarm, the flies, the mildew, the stench of the swamp, the darkness, the sickness, the malignancy which will being this country to ruination.

They are the lash of God.  There is simply no other explanation for their perverse ignorance than that God has given us, in them, just exactly what we deserve.

If you don’t think God is fed up, look at our politicians and their politics.  You have to be blind not to see it.

Archaeology, Heritage and Ethics in the Western Wall Plaza, Jerusalem: Darkness at the End of the Tunnel

Raz Kletter’s new work in the Copenhagen International Seminar series is out.

This volume is a critical study of recent archaeology in the Western Wall Plaza area, Jerusalem. Considered one of the holiest places on Earth for Jews and Muslims, it is also a place of controversy, where the State marks ‘our’ remains for preservation and adoration and ‘theirs’ for silencing.

Based on thousands of documents from the Israel Antiquities Authority and other sources, such as protocols of planning committees, readers can explore for the first time this archaeological ‘heart of darkness’ in East Jerusalem. The book follows a series of unique discoveries, reviewing the approval and execution of development plans and excavations, and the use of the areas once excavation has finished. Who decides what and how to excavate, what to preserve – or ‘remove’? Who pays for the archaeology, for what aims? The professional, scientific archaeology of the past happens now: it modifies the present and is modified by it. This book ‘excavates’ the archaeology of East Jerusalem to reveal its social and political contexts, power structures and ethics.

Readers interested in the history, archaeology and politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will find this book useful, as well as scholars and students of the history and ethics of Archaeology, Jerusalem, conservation, nationalism, and heritage.

Divine Sovereignty: An Observation

All the handwringing among Christians of late only means one thing: the notion of divine sovereignty is dead in many quarters of the Christian Church.

Sad News: Sallie McFague Has Died

Vancouver School of Theology announces with deep sadness the passing of Dr. Sallie McFague today [November 15] in Vancouver, BC. Sallie was Distinguished Theologian in Residence at VST since 2000 and the author of many books and articles in theology. She was the Carpenter Professor of Theology at Vanderbilt Divinity School from 1980-2000. Her theological work in metaphorical theology earned her an esteemed place in the theology of the 20th century, especially in her 1982 book, Metaphorical Theology: Models of God in Religious Language. In recent years, her research focused on ecological theology; her recent books included Blessed Are The Consumers (2013) and A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming (2008). VST extends our sincere condolences to Rev. Janet Cawley, Sallie’s partner. Arrangements for a service celebrating and commemorating her life will be forthcoming.

Her work is astonishing.  May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

The Top 10 Reasons Christians Should Be At Worship On Sunday

1- Scripture admonishes us not to ‘forsake the assembly’ (Heb 10:25)

2- No other reason is necessary, is it?

3- No other reason is necessary, is it?

4- No other reason is necessary, is it?

5- No other reason is necessary, is it?

6- No other reason is necessary, is it?

7- No other reason is necessary, is it?

8- No other reason is necessary, is it?

9- No other reason is necessary, is it?

10- No other reason is necessary, is it?

Zwingli on the Source of War: Atheism

In 1522, on May 16th to be precise, Zwingli published his ‘anti-war’ book Ein göttlich vermanung an die ersamen, wysen, eerenvesten, eltisten Eydgnossen zü Schwytz, das sy sich vor frömden herren hütind und entladind, Huldrichi Zwinglii, einvaltigen verkünders des euangelii Christi Jhesu and in it he writes, towards the beginning while describing the source of conflict-

How does it happen that we Christians who are united by such powerful agencies have much greater quarrels than unbelievers? And how does it happen that in a Confederacy in which until now a fraternal love prevailed, for the sake of foreign lords violent quarrel has arisen? Answer: Real piety, by which is meant true worship and prayer to God, has disappeared among us, as St. Paul writes to the Romans [Rom. 1:28–31]: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.” From these words of Paul we learn that all these evils which he enumerates arise when we desert God, do not fully recognise Him, do not look up to Him, do not place our whole trust in him, but on the contrary despise Him and regard him somewhat as we would an old sleeping dog.

War comes when God is forgotten!  That’s Zwingli’s stunning observation.  I recommend that you get hold of the book and read it.  It’s fantastic and indeed the editor of the English edition of Zwingli’s works writes in the introductory preface

… what [Zwingli] says about war is worthy of republication by our Peace Societies, and they are entirely at liberty to use this translation.*

The combatants in Israel and Gaza (and in other conflicts around the world) may think that they are doing something grand and good and great and helpful but war is never any of those things.  War is atheism and those who perpetrate it are, practically speaking, atheists because war is rejection of and denial of God.

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*The Latin Works and The Correspondence of Huldreich Zwingli: Together with Selections from His German Works, Volume 1 (S. M. Jackson, Ed.), p.130.

Today With Zwingli

zwingliThere have come forward in our day those who have said that a symbolical meaning is to be found in the word “This.” I commend their faith, if only it is not counterfeit. For God seeth the heart, we poor wretches judge from the face [1 Sam. 16:7]. I greatly commend, therefore, not the faith which makes them venture thoughtlessly to treat these words, but that through which they see that it is untenable for us to understand bodily flesh here. I will not, however, speak now of the Charybdis the fear of which drove them upon this Scylla, for it has no bearing upon this matter.*

Those who have come forward to whom Zwingli refers are, among others, Matt Alber. On 16 November of 1524 Zwingli addressed him thusly:

Gratia et pax a domino! Aspersit nos rumor de certamine, quod tibi futurum est cum quodam fratre, ut aiunt, ingenue etiam Christo favente, qui ut facie mihi notus est, ita nomine ignotus, contra tu nomine nobis et euangelii gloria notissimus es, facie ignotus. Certamen autem Michael noster audivit περὶ τῆς εὐχαριστίας esse indictum, in qua vereor multos vehementer errare, nisi ego magis quam omnes errem. Ac nisi me fallit omnis scripturae tum proprietas, tum sensus, imo pietas ipsa, longe hactenus a scopo iecimus. Quisquis autem peccati huius tandem sit autor, nunc non est ut dicam per epistolam, quam esse brevem oportet.

And then he rips into Carlstadt. Good times, good times.
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*H. Zwingli, The Latin works of Huldreich Zwingli, (Vol. 3, p. 221).