Atheism Is On the Losing Side of History

Despite its high cultural profile, New Atheism is in decline and will lose out to faith, which makes greater sense of reality, Alister McGrath, professor of science and religion at the University of Oxford, predicted during the annual Parchman Lectures at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary.

McGrath, who earned three doctorates—in molecular biology, theology and intellectual history—from Oxford, addressed “Why Faith Makes Sense: Exploring the Rationality of Christianity.”


Reading Luther Today

Luther is sometimes a rather dense read and without some guidance it’s simply a fact that a lot of students don’t know what to make of him.

Accordingly, the Fortress Annotated Luther comes highly recommended (by me).  I’ve read the first two volumes and find them wholly useful and not terribly inaccurate.

It’s Luther’s birthday.  Buy yourself some Luther along with some really helpful guidance in terms of understanding him.  You can’t get Luther a gift- but you can get yourself the gift of Luther.

And no, Fortress didn’t ask me to say that nor did they give me any of Luther’s books to do it.  It comes from my magnanimously helpful heart.  You’re welcome.


Huldrych Zwingli On The Problem With Pseudo-Scholars

Illustration: Daniel Lienhard/Flyer Reformierte Kirche Kanton Zürich

Illustration: Daniel Lienhard/Flyer Reformierte Kirche Kanton Zürich

They are so ignorant as to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in their essence, substance, divinity, power, that they do not know what you mean when you speak of one and understand all three; and their lack of knowledge is accompanied by such recklessness that what they are extremely ignorant of they all the more violently drag under suspicion.

Or they are so willingly and knowingly impious that they assail with the depravity of a perverted heart what they see is done rightly and piously, and since they despair of accomplishing anything in open warfare, they make an underground attack, alleging a fear that we are too much inclined sometimes towards the Father, sometimes towards the Son. To all such I say, κλαίειν, “fare ill.”

Quote of the Day

We are not only permitted, but are even bound, to condemn all sins; unless we choose to rebel against God himself,—nay, to repeal his laws, to reverse his decisions, and to overturn his judgment-seat. It is his will that we should proclaim the sentence which he pronounces on the actions of men: only we must preserve such modesty towards each other, as to make it manifest that he is the only Lawgiver and Judge, (Isa. 33:22.) — John Calvin

We don’t need to condemn sin- God already has done so.  We are remiss, though, if we fail to call sin what it is, since God is the one who has declared it to be so.  That is not ‘judging’, that is repeating the sentence of God, and only a coward and a scoundrel is silent when God speaks and only a fool and a deceiver speaks when God is silent.

The Church and Physician Assisted Suicide

Beim Thema Leben ist die Kirche ein Ja-Sager und ein Gegner der Sterbehilfe. Der Münsteraner Bischof Felix Genn spricht im Interview über die Umwertung von Werten, fordert eine bessere Sterbebegleitung und erläutert die christliche “Kunst zu sterben”. Genn wird auch persönlich und berichtet von den letzten Tagen seiner Mutter.

Read the very engaging essay in its glorious fullness here.

Should Shut Ins Get the Eucharist?

When the doctor [Martin Luther] was asked whether the sacrament can be carried to the sick, he replied, “We don’t think it should be done. To be sure, one must allow it for a while. The practice will probably be dropped, if only because they have no ciborium.

What should be done about it? In our churches, too, there’s debate about whether the [elements of the] sacrament should be carried to another altar for consecration. I put up with it on account of several heretics who must be opposed, for there are some who allow that it’s a sacrament only while it’s in use; what is left over and remains they throw away. That isn’t right. We let somebody consume it. One must never be so precise [and say that the sacrament remains a sacrament when carried] four or five steps or when kept so-and-so many hours. What does it matter?

How can one bless the bread for each and every one? We also retain the practice of elevating the sacrament on account of several heretics who say it must be done so. It must not be done so, for as long as one is engaged in the action even if it extends for an hour or two or even if one carries it to another altar or, as you do” (he said this to Cordatus), “across the street, it is and remains the body of Christ.”  — Martin Luther