Saturday, December 25, 2010

What I expect this year shall yield.

"All of the LORD's carts overflow with abundance." (Ps.65)

Without doubt, I expect a very Zinzendorfian walk with the good Lord this year. No more muck and mire of the mind, no more repugnant thoughts and words and deeds. A peaceful, pietistic disposition and charity towards all. No longer the crude, stubborn and arrogant tongue-lashing. No Humean snideness, no Feurbachian theological projections, no incurvedness. Just a steady, bountiful and endless beholding of the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ. I expect music, and to grow in the talent of singing, yet not for the praise of man but the pure joy of God. I expect very confidently and eagerly the infusion of the Spirit of Adoption, so that I may cry "Abba!" more and "Judge!" less. My hunch is that the Lord's perfect and invincible love will spill forth from the heavens out of nowhere and with suddenness, blasting away every last trace of fear my being has held on to. Before me the future will only say," Eternal Life!". The past and all of its gruesome shame and guilt will be obliterated and blotted out before my very eyes, and the present will be ecstatic goodness.

Somehow, in the LORD's unfathomable wisdom, all of this will no doubt take place in a manner which smoothly avoids Karl Barth's charges of natural theology and works-righteousness. There will be more laughter, deeper love for enemies, and a true delight in my fellow man...even the least of men.

And to take the cake, the Lord may just have it in mind to return on some summer evening with a soft breeze, a gentle glow, a tranquil lakeside walk and the company of a few good friends. Nor will his return surprise and shock us in the least. Like the faithful virgins our lamps will be perfectly trimmed and overflowing with oil, and with bright faces we shall lift our heads to the heavens and say to the Christ," At long last friend! What...indeed WHAT took you so long?"

Then the year will be assumed into the everlasting kingdom of righteousness, and through the infinite grace rendered to us unworthy folk we shall hear our Christ say," I know you! come! WHAT has taken you so long?" And then we will embrace and laugh, and Jesus will make me a cup of coffee that doesn't suck...and after that who knows what. It will just be awesome.

Yes, my friends, the future is quite bright. Jesus has risen from the agony of death, and on that count alone we are invincible.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dilettante theology (and history) from Robert Cargill

"If (“Elohim“) does preserve an early plurality, it is from Canaan’s polytheistic past, and not due to any notion of a Trinity, which was a theological construct hypothesized in the first few centuries of Christianity to deal with the Arian-Nicene controversy." Via:

Robert Cargill attempts to school Mark Driscoll in this post (and does a good job of it). But in the end, irony wins out in the revelation of Cargill's own apalling ignorance of church history and Christian theology. First of all, calling the doctrine of the Trinity a "hypothesis" is a value-judgment rather than a fact. It is Cargill's personal (naive) opinion about the Patristic doctrine of God. Since Cargill prefers to treat the canonical texts as a panoply of contradicting theologies and ideologies developing over a slipshod span of Hegelian dialectical phases of history, he gets a little vicious when he sees people trying to teach a theology of the scriptures per se. But then, why not call his own rather bovine view of God (actually, the question remains on the table whether Cargill even believes in God) a hypothesis?

The word "construct" seems to imply that a bunch of men with bad consciences came up with the idea out of thin air and proceeded to inculcate it in their respective Alexandrian, Antiochene and Roman schools. The doctrine was actually stamped out over centuries of careful reflection and meditation on the scripture texts, debate, prayer and experience in worship (for a scholarly treatment of the matter cf. Thomas Oden, ST v.1, p.181-225).

Nor was the Trinity "constructed" to deal with the Arian-Nicene controversy. Tertullian (160-220 AD) already had a fully developed trinitarian theology in his day. It should be noted that he died roughly a century before there was such a thing as an Arian or a Nicene Christian. Earlier than Tertullian, we have all the basic materials of Trinitarian thinking in Irenaeus' Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, the letters of Ignatius, Clement of Rome (cf. To Corinth, 58-59) and so on. Athenagoras is particularly intriguing when he says," while men who reckon the present life of very small worth indeed, and who are conducted to the future life by this one thing alone, that they know God and His Logos, what is the oneness of the Son with the Father, what the communion of the Father with the Son, what is the Spirit, what is the unity of these three, the Spirit, the Son, the Father, and their distinction in unity..." A noteworthy article dealing with this matter can be found at Cargill is off in his estimations by about 150 years. As a distinguished archaeologist, Cargill shouldn't have to be reminded that making careless dates and estimations is a big no no.

All of this rather lamentable and childish pseudo-babble against the doctrine of the Trinity serves to furnish my thesis that archaeologists have absolutely zero credentials to deal with theological matters. They are pure dilettantes, and as such must either be ignored or rebuked. Or both.

Jesus and Paul.

Those who try to pit Jesus against Paul are scriptural newbs. They usually say things like,"Jesus' message was the Kingdom of God, and Paul's was all about Jesus." Silly, silly, silly!!!!

Paul says,"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?" (1 Cor.6:9)

Jesus says," Some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in HIS KINGDOM." (Mt.16:28)

Paul says,"I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal.5:21)

Jesus says," The son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of HIS KINGDOM everything that causes sin and all who do evil." (Mt.13:41)

Paul says,"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Rom.14:17)

Jesus says," All things have been committed to ME by my Father." (Lk.10:22a)

By these verses you may see that Paul often spoke of the kingdom of God, and Jesus often spoke of Himself. There is no either/or rule here. Those who say otherwise are eisegetes.

No, Bishop Robinson, the earlier 'mythological ascriptions' of God are not offensive to modern ears.

"For in place of a God who is literally or physically 'up there' we have accepted, as part of our mental furniture, a God who is spiritually or metaphysically 'out there'." (Honest to God, p.13)

The entire first chapter of Robinsons book goes into detail on this so-called modern stumbling block. Robinson thinks that modern man has no time for viewing God as a Person who exists above the earth or beyond the earth, and that terms like these are more of a theological hindrance than help.

Who cares what modern man thinks?!!! These terms are AWESOME!!!!

I know my modern man better than Robinson does, cuz I'm still alive. We aren't awfly grizzled about picturing God up in space. It doesn't grind our gears much. And if it did, we would need to smarten up.

When we send an astronout up into space, the rest of us down here say things like," He's up there somewhere." The referential language is not only symbolical....from a relative standpoint it bears literal meaning. That darned astronaut is really above us. Where's the offense? Where's the stumbling block?

And if God is omnipresent (ie. fully present in regions of space beyond the earth) why the heck are we in the wrong for saying," God is up there somewhere." He is up there, silly! He always will be. Astronauts are not the only modern entities that get the luxury of our spatial prepositions.

Moving beyond the doctrine of omnipresence, the symbolic importance of God's upness and beyondness remains in tact and necessary for today.

You have set your glory above the heavens. Ps.8:1

I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit. Is.57:15

"Am I only a God nearby," declares the LORD, "and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the LORD. "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD.

All of these scriptural verses need no de-mythologising. They are easily understood and vastly important. They signify the sovereignty of God. To this day we still erect parliamental buildings on a slope higher than the surrounding buildings. Canada's government offices are situated on the bluffs of the Ottawa River, standing erect and high over Gatineau and Ottawa to the south. We all know what this means. No blockhead ever ponders the prominance of parliament and says," Gee, why the heck are those buildings on a higher plane than the rest?" The meaning is clear and immanent!

So too with God. I LOVE the thought of God standing transcendant over this pale blue dot, with the sons of God shouting for joy over his marvelous creation. The clouds are the dust of his feet.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A psalm to have continually in view when reading modern blasphemers (biblical scholars).

"They know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I said, 'You are gods;
you are all sons of the Most High.'
But you will die like mere men;
you will fall like every other ruler." (Ps.82:5-7)

And for kicks: "He who is pregant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment." (Ps.7:14)

And possibly: "He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD." (Is.32:6)

More scholarly blasphemy.

"So our central question can indeed be answered negatively, and perhaps it should be. But not if the result is a far less adequate worship of God. For the worship that really constitutes Christianity and forms its distinctive contribution to the dialogue of the religions, is the worship of God as enabled by Jesus, the worship of God as revealed in and through Jesus. Christianity remains a monotheistic faith. The only one to be worshipped is the one God. But how can Christians fail to honor the one through whom it believes the only God has most fully revealed himself, the one through whom the only God has come closest to the condition of humankind? Jesus cannot fail to feature in their worship, their hymns of praise, their petitions to God. But such worship is always, should always be offered to the glory of God the Father. Such worship is always, should always be offered in the recognition that God is all in all, and that the majesty of the Lord Jesus in the end of the day expresses and affirms the majesty of the one God more clearly than anything else in the world." -James D.G. Dunn (via, bottom quotation of James McGrath's review

I don't even really know what to say in the face of this puerility. Not even John AT Robinson stooped this low in his remarkably low christology. I take it that James McGrath agrees with Dunn's basic conclusions, which also means that James McGrath cannot be taken seriously as a theologian or as a teacher of the word. Here are your gods, oh modern Protestants, here are your saviors. They can't even get their christ right. They present to you a savior who is mere physis and not the logos who became physis. There is no "I AM" here, to whom Abraham looked ahead and rejoiced. There is no Jesus who stood at the beginning with God, and who in very nature was God. Just a plain, old, home-grown human being. Oh men! Oh you men! How long will you spread this error with your endless and arrogant self-confidence? Do the creeds mean nothing to you you feckless heretics? You tout your Bible and shout "sola scriptura!" before going on to say: "John clearly felt free to attribute to Jesus words and sentiments that Jesus himself probably never uttered while on earth." In other words, the christology of John is a stumbling block to you and so you neglect it altogether. You don't have scripture, you have a truncated scripture which has been nicely cut up to shape your wretched sub-Arian theology.

Here's a task for you scholars. Go and read the middle recension of Ignatius' letters again. That's right, read Ignatius since what matters for you is history as opposed to scripture. Note how often he refers to Jesus as "God". I'll give you a reference to start with: To Polycarp, 3.2. Note how in all of his letters the controversies of the church's of Asia Minor have to do with Judaism, the flesh of Jesus, obedience or disobedience to the bishop's and presbyters, the relationship between the prophets and the gospels. In his letters the deity of Christ is assumed, not disputed. The virgin birth may have an element of controversy in the environs surrounding each church (cf. Smyrnaeans 1.1), but Christ's godhead goes uncontested and can be stated quite casually by Ignatius to all of the mixed congregations he writes to (many of which were founded by Paul or other apostles). Ephesus, Rome, Tralles, Magnesia, Smyrna, Antioch, Philadelphia...all of these congregations are the direct products of the apostolic missionary activity. And by the very start of the 2nd century they all have not one ax to grind with the divinity of Jesus. It floods their confessions. The Romans call Christ "Our God" (1.1) and the Ephesians "God come in flesh" (7.2) and the Smyrnaeans "the Eternal, the Invisible, who for our sake became visible" (3.2) and so on.

Christology of this fervor, "Jesus-olatry" of this intensity does not just arise in a vacuum. But where then, is the controversy? Where are you going to fix it? Earlier than 100 A.D? Sheesh, we're getting right back into the time of the apostles. So where are you going to place it? Some sweet spot in between the deaths of the final apostles and their fellow-workers (presbyters, deacons, elders, overseers etc..) and the beginning of the ministries of Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp? All the best to you. I wish you luck. Your theory would be completely without foundation and would be based on a lack of evidence.

Nor will it do these perverted arians any good to claim that the middle recension of Ignatius' letters are corrupted. Not even the likes of Adolf von Harnack said such things. Moreover, the longer recension which includes all of his spurious epistles has the lower christology! One would think it would be exactly the opposite if MR were brought up for dispute in this case.

If Jesus is God, as the church in Asia Minor along with its bishops, its writers and its confessions stated by 100 AD, heck, my best bet is concluding that the early church worshipped Jesus.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Et tu Barth?

'A mistake which is not justified by its respectable antiquity, and which Luther himself had a share in confirming, is that of regarding the Old Testament as a document, and, where possible, as the classical document, of a religion of works, and therefore, because all religion as such is a religion of works, of religion in general.' (KD 1.2; 310)

The ax I want to grind here is not Barth's comment on Luther (in the same excursus Barth goes on to speak of a corresponding strand in Luther's thought which finds infinite monuments of grace in the Old Testament), but his refusal to see genuine works-righteousness in Old Testament Judaism.

Paul states: 'So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.' (Rom.11:6)

I find Paul's "no longer" to be extremely intriguing. If I am reading him correctly, he seems to be presenting a time in theological history where works were THE normative modicum by which God credited men with righteousness.

An example of this would be the well-known verse about Phinehas in Psalm 106:30-31. 'But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked. This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come.'

Or perhaps the "because you have done this" in which the angel of the LORD blesses Abraham in Genesis 22:16.

Or the meaty saying of Jesus in the Synoptic gospels: "If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."

Or Paul's now-famous dictum: "but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous."

I think these verses amply support my view that Judaism was a religion of works-righteousness. The people under this covenant were expected to fulfill certain obligations if they wished to receive blessing, life, favor, deliverance, forgiveness, inheritance, land, healing etc....David could confidently say: "The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight." (2 Samuel 22:25).

The testimonies in the scriptures abound.

Anyways, Barth deserves an extremely respectful hearing. I look forward to reading every last page of exegesis he has on Romans and learning more about what he has to say on the matter. He certainly was not anticipating Sanders' theory of a linear pattern of grace throughout the scriptural history.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Challenge.

If it can be demonstrated that Constantine did something more gruesome than culling a nation's population down to a third of its size and authorizing a genocidal campaign against another nation, then I will consider calling him a tyrant.

Israel Finkelstein said," David for me is the David reflected in the later king Hezekiah, the David of Zacharias in the eschatological prophesies in which Jerusalem is burned but David is alive, the David who is the connection with the beginning of Christianity. In this sense, David is everything. If you want me to say it simplistically, I'm proud that this nobody from nowhere became the center of Western tradition." (National Geographic, December 2010, p.90)

If Finkelstein can say such things of the biblical David, I feel no guilt in a few high accolades for Rome's first Christian emperor.

Monday, December 13, 2010

King David is more controversial than Constantine.

And yet you don't see anyone whining about him, do you? All the codswallop hoopla is continually directed at Constantine and all of his so-called tyrannies. Christians today gripe and grumble about his legalization of Christianity before waxing eloquent about the beautious condition of the church prior to his political ascendancy. Those ungrateful folk are more than welcome to get fuzzy, nostalgic feelings about the days when Roman Emperors scarcely batted their eyelids at setting up Christians as human torches for their garden festivals.

Anyways, in honor of their ungratefulness I would like to remind them of the political exploits of King David. No one seems to bear a grudge against David, even though he:

-had intercourse with another mans wife (2 Sam.11:4)
-killed said man to cover it up (2 Sam.11:15)
-Attacked and decimated unsuspecting towns, killing both men and women and taking their goods (1 Sam.27:9)
-Culled the population of Moab down to a third of its size in one bloody sweep (2 Sam.8:2)
-Nearly wiped out the entire male population of Edomites (2 Kgs.11:15-16)
-Commanded a census which was directly responsible for the death of 70,000 people (2 Sam.24:15)

There is, of course, much more. But I think these suffice to balance the scales a little.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Many and the Few

I used to think that the tension between many being saved and few being saved was a tension between the gospels and Paul. I was wrong (it feels great to be wrong sometimes!)

"But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Mt.7:14)

"I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." (Mt.8:11)

Scarcely a chapters distance between these two pericopes! Again:

"For many are invited, but few are chosen." (22:14). And: "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold..." (24:12)

"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (26:28)

Interesting. Very interesting.

Friday, December 10, 2010


"A friend loves at all times...." -Solomon

Friendship is quite a tedious thing. It begins with the honeymoon phase. During this time there is no difficulty in conversation, interaction, laughter, intellectual banter....the person across from you is sheer delight. In these memorable moments your spirit fills with the tantalizing thought," Perhaps this is the friend I've been looking for." The honeymoon phase is like a fine cigar, a chilled white wine, or that aromatic and balmy breeze that occasionally touches the face in August. It is a decadence that takes flight after a few weeks.

Beyond this comes the cold, malicious drudgery of truly getting to know someone. As they are. All of their sinfulness, weakness, all begins to pop up to the surface as the exterior delights peel back. Whatever qualities and virtues they possessed have become a stench to the nostrils...sin and folly has this corrupting power.

Friendship blows. It means "associating with sinners". It means opening yourself up to be responsible and dutiful to a person who is sick. It also implies the risk of your own failure. What if you cannot live up to their needy expectations? What if your own folly gets the better of you...a sense of duty fades and selfishness sets in? What if you become degraded in their eyes?

The only truthful friendship is one which rests on the power of grace. Abstracted from this alien quality and all friendships are abominations.

More archaeologist lunacy.

Raphael Greenberg on using the bible as an authority for archaeological research: "It's bad for archaeology. What we're supposed to contribute is a point of view that isn't available from texts or preconceived notions of history...." (National Geographic, King David, p.90; Dec.2010)

This is all well and good. But then archaeologists have no right to whine and snivel when theologians and biblical exegetes pursue their method without making recourse to archaeology as a noteworthy authority. In other words, stop griping and groaning when a theologian discusses the covenantal implications of the conquest or the sinaitic treaty without paying heed to your endless demands for evidence in and amongst your beloved rock layers and potsherds. Truth is, theologians don't care. Nor should they. For the method of investigating the biblical testimonies of Israel's God has no time for naturalism. It cannot even be constrained by naturalism. The Word simply remains unfettered and unbounded by the so-called "neutral" observations of scientific man.

Archaeologists can have at it with their own field of study. But as soon as they wish to have their cake and eat it, someone's gotta speak up.

Why I am Opposed to Body Worlds 2

Alright, enough with the pseudo-philosophizing of the previous post. I disagree with Body Worlds because it assumes that the human body can, at a certain stage of its development or deterioration, become an object purely divorced from its spiritual referent and made to become a mechanism for entertainment. That the person who subjects herself to such a metamorphosis of purposes concedes to this means absolutely nothing to me. Women or men who concede to display the ins and outs of their bodies in pornographic films are no less culpable. They have internalized the objectification of their bodies for the procurement of cash on the basis of the sexual gratification of a stranger, who doesn't even know their first name. It is damnable behavior, all the more so given its concession by the acting subject.

People who tout the Name of God as Creator and claim a renewed appreciation for His handiwork as a result of attending a Body Worlds display miss the point entirely. You see, why not gratefully claim similar spiritually enriching moments in the close and aesthetic viewing of a womans fully exposed vagina or breasts? Is the act of a male penis entering beneath the labia majora any less a work of God's creation? It is more so, given its demonstration of the confluence of actualitas and feeling and psyche and physis and will and telos. These metaphysical components cannot be viewed or properly understood in the inspection of a dead body. Yet the church rightly criticises the modern libertines who invade the privacy of the forementioned putative act so they can get a boner. I launch similar critiques against the Ancient Near Eastern phenomenon of the shrine prostitute which, it may be said defensively, was a pure stimulant for cultic piety. All of this, including body worlds, is pure Eudaemonism. A distortion of the handiwork of God, a de-humanisation of the humanity, and, in the case of those who walk out of the show with the Name of Jesus on their lips, a blasphemy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why I am opposed to Body Worlds.

We live in a culture where truth has been reduced to a faciendum. Or in the words of Joseph Ratzinger: "The truth with which man is concerned is neither the truth of being, nor even in the last resort that of his accomplished deeds, but the truth of changing the world, molding the world- a truth centred on future and action." (Introduction to Christianity, p.63)

Concerns of metaphysical being and existence and body are not our concerns. To this day I personally fellowship with not a handful of atheists who consider the concept of metaphysics in general to be a jejune monument of the past.

But, as Jean-Paul Sartre diligently says: "If every metaphysics in fact presupposes a theory of knowledge, every theory of knowledge in turn presupposes a metaphysics." (L'etre et le neant, p.10). Our culture deceives itself when it thinks that it lives without a concrete metaphysic of being and existence and body. In the following I shall attempt to humbly disclose what this metaphysic is.

My observation is that the metaphysical ontology of our culture delegates the human body to what I will provisionally call a being-as-pure-object. We no longer believe that the body across from us inhabits any other region of being than pure unconscious usefulness. It is no longer an object wreathed in subjectivity, but merely a synthesis of materials set before us as potential tools. In order to prove this one need only observe the disposition of selfishness acted out in oneself or in others. Daily we choose to determine our relations to others depending on the degree to which they are useful to us. Our eyes fixate on the human standing to the side, and immediately we ask ourselves,"What shall this person render unto me". This questioning procedure can be done almost instantaneously, as one may note in a school girl who glances over the sea of faces in the cafeteria, whose eyes will only rest momentarily on the fellow with acne before formulating a foundation of judicative rejection and swiftly moving on to the next face. This whole structure of high school rejection depends on an immanent ontology of pure-object or pure-resource for its sustenance. Confirmation of the fact occurs three months later when the schoolgirl turns to the fellow with acne and mimics a display of affection and interest in order for her to obtain mathematical help from him.

I have much more to build on this, and will carry on the post tomorrow if the Lord wills it. We still haven't arrived at the coupe de grace.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How long is ineptitude like this going to go on?

Hi James: You seem to have missed my point, if I am reading you write [sic]. I most certainly am saying that the Christian's deeds, recorded in the book, do indeed matter to their final salvation, hence the warning their names can be erased from the book. -Ben Witherington

Via Cf. comment number 12.

Maybe that anonymous comment was falsely said in the name of Ben Witherington. You can find comments like these all over Witherington's writings anyway.

There is a word for saying that a Christians deeds matter to their final salvation: heresy. Plain and simple. I dare say you cannot be a true Protestant and think that "He saved us, on account of righteous things we have done." That is a distortion of the movement of scripture and thus a blasphemy.

Today in neo-protestant circles the so-called "shibolleth" is "judgment according to works". There are precious few times when I actually want to use the F word. Reading the writings of those who think like this is one of them.

To say that ones deeds matter to final salvation is like saying that the first justification wasn't good enough. There needs to be more. We need to touch up the work a little with our "responses" and our "faithful obedience", the latter two being a condition of entrance into the kingdom of heaven and thus a legitimate work that merits or even earns the eschatological kingdom (all with the help of the Spirit, of course, which still provides no firm guarentee of the final outcome). This is exactly what works-righteousness is. There is no getting around it. God apparently no longer justifies the wicked but the righteous. We have ourselves a new God (and thus an idol). We have ourselves a God who promises us Heaven on the basis, not only of faith, but of the obedience produced by faith, which btw, better be a pretty fricking spotless obedience if it is to at all impress God.

Have at it, you sons of Pelagius!

"Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

There is your judgment, oh you righteous men who think that your final outcome will be weighed by your deeds. Good luck! Fan your faith into flame and quit stumbling, because if you do, you won't have any part of the law of Christ backing you. "If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker." Don't stop now! Are you certain that you are keeping all of the commands? Even the least of these? If you aren't, you are a feckless lawbreaker, and according to your own writings, lawbreakers will not inherit eternal life.

Friday, December 3, 2010

James Dunn and the Reformation

‘… we are now in a position … to restate a more rounded and richer and more biblical doctrine of justification. In doing so there is no call to set aside the often penetrating insights of Reformation and Protestant restatements of the doctrine. But we do need to complement them with a firm reassertion of the corporate and social implications of the full doctrine … ‘ Extract taken from cf. footnote no.2

Well said, Mr. Dunn. The question I put to you and the other so-called "NPP" folk is this: what historical evidence do you have to support your assertion that the "corporate and social implications" of Paul's justification doctrine have been neglected or left un-discovered in the history of the church? Where are you gleaning this from? How are you certain that your social interpretations of Paul are new?

It may do us little good to find the answer to these questions in Dunn, who admits at the beginning of the above-linked post that he is "no expert on Luther and that my direct familiarity with his writings is limited– his commentaries on Romans and Galatians, John Dillenberger’s Martin Luther: Selections from his Writings (Anchor Books; New York: Doubleday, 1961), and a little volume on his Table Talkedited [sic] by Henry Morley. Otherwise my knowledge consists of quotations and references in biographies, histories and theological studies referring to Luther in greater or less detail."

Really? Are you so certain, then, that Luther has neglected the social aspects of justification? How do you know? And is this the norm of your readings of earlier theologians? Luther is obviously only one Reformer among many. How much of Melanchthon have you read? Martin Chemnitz? Martin Bucer? John Calvin? Zwingli? Balthasar Hubmaier? Menno Simons? John Agricola? Melchior Hoffman? David Joris? Pilgram Marpeck? Hans Denck? Erasmus? Conrad Grebel? Hans Hut?

Has he made inroads into the Medieval theologians? Aquinas and Anselm? St. Bernard? What about the fore-runners of the reformation like Jan Hus, Waldo, and Jean Gerson?

Have you studied the Patristic writers? The Desert Fathers? The Papal bulls throughout the ages? How about Enlightenment theology? Have you read Karl Barth? Have you studied the sermons of the Puritans? Have you read fundamentalist writings on Paul? What about Protestant orthodox writers of the 17th and 18th centuries? Counter-reformation literature? Mystics? Liberals? Heretics?

Goodness. I doubt it. Which is also why I'm highly skeptical about the "newness" of the social dimensions spoken of by Dunn.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Eight things Judaizing is NOT

1. One who believes and teaches that all Old Testament scriptures are God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness unto the completion of the Christian man of God is not a Judaizer (2 Tim.3:16)

2. One who believes that the Law of God- in a certain, decisively continuous sense with the Old Testament- is still normative, at least with respect to revealing guilt and demonstrating the perfect standard of right behavior (not to mention testifying about the righteousness of faith) is not a Judaizer (Jas 2:8-12; Mt.5:17-19; 3:20).

3. One who believes that everything written in the past was put down by God's will for the instruction of the Church is not a Judaizer (Rom.15:4).

4. One who believes that certain men of the Old Testament were truly given faith and thus serve as examples and witnesses to the Christian community (including their conquering of kingdoms, administering public justice, routing foreign armies and becoming powerful in battle...all of which occurred through faith) is not a Judaizer (Heb.11:33-34).*

5. One who believes that proper ethical systems can indeed be developed from the Old Testament scriptures, in certain cases even normatively, is not a Judaizer (1 Cor.10:1-11; Mk.2:25-26; 1 Tim.5:18-20).

6. One who believes that the whole of the work of God as recorded in the Old Testament is perfect, blameless and holy is not a Judaizer (cf. the New Testament).

7. One who believes that the rulers and magistrates of today are appointed by God with the administration of justice and the sword is not a Judaizer (Rom.13:1-7; Mt.5:21-22, 25-26; Ac.25:11).

8. One who believes that this work of God is good, holy, blameless, and in total agreement with the will of Jesus is not a Judaizer (Jn 6:38; Rev.15:3-4).

* I publish no.4 with some reserve and hesitancy. It may be that the scripture in Hebrews 11 is not meant to establish these acts of salvation history as repeatable. Nevertheless, they are certainly commendable.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hector Avalos proposes a secular approach to Biblical Studies.

If the secularists wish to have it this way, then let it be this way. What is it to the church or God if the whole world sells itself out to treating the bible in the manner proposed by Avalos? Christians must constantly have in view that the content of the Bible ("Jesus is Lord") is not a basic truth given to man. According to Mt.16:17 this content is only conferred by Revelation from the Father. In 1 Cor.12:3 Paul expressly declares that the possibility of true faith and confession is a possibility given by the Holy Spirit alone. Even in the Old Testament scriptures the Presence of God is never given in such a way as to evade revelation and faith. The Temple of the Lord was thus destroyed by the Chaldeans in their ignorance, the ark of the covenant of the LORD of all the earth disappeared, the Tabernacle was dismantled....Zion fell again and again into the hands of pagans. Jesus was crucified, and when He rose again only a few found out.

All of these scriptural facts make it perfectly clear that secular man may trample the Bible to his hearts content. He may impose his unbelief on every page and tear the Sacred Writ to shreds if God permits. It is no threat to God and it is no threat to His church that this should occur. It is the doom of the man who does it (2 Pet.3:16). Why tear up the weeds among the the wheat?

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Jewish-Christian Dialogue.

I look forward to analyzing this subject very carefully in the coming years (Lord willing). There is much to learn. At the moment, however, I am profoundly hesitant about the possibility of "dialogue" between Jews and Christians. The presupposition of "dialogue" is common ground. But where is our common ground? I guarentee that it is not Jesus. Jews will not recognize Jesus as Lord, as the God of Israel. But Jesus is the Lord and the God of Israel. Since this is an objective fact, it is inconceivable to me that a Christian can dare to say," We serve the same God" when the Jews in fact do not serve Jesus. Required behind this bold feat of ecumenism is the insertion of a cleavage between Jesus and God. Correlated to this is the stunning recognition that it is possible to say "No" to Jesus while giving a full "Yes" to God in such a manner as is truly acceptable to God. Who authorized the insertion of such a cleavage? Materially, this seems like a return to Arianism, but even the Arians (I believe) refused any salvation apart from a genuine confession of Jesus the Son of God. It may have some ebionitic elements, but the ebionites were indignant about placing the inquirer before Jesus as the Lord. The Jewish-Christian dialogue does neither of these. Jesus is forced to revolve around a different center, an "image of the invisible God" that has a more convenient place for the world than He as God's own Word. Again, who authorized such an "image"?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Don't mess with me Wikipedia.

A link popped up in the center of the screen as I opened up the main page of Wikipedia, leading to the above post. A plea for money. I tried typing in an article on the search box to skip past this link, but each time I was forced back to this link. Wikipedia will not let me access their stuff until I read their plea for donations. Alright, I click on the page to see if there is a "No thanks" "skip to the main page" option. Nada. Wikipedia wants my money; and they are getting more aggressive in asking for it.

How long will it be before they up the degree of their forcefulness? Soon they'll allocate1/3 of the website priviledges to "subscribers" who pay a fee of 60$ a year. Eventually you will need a membership to view any of the material. It all starts with the simple plea for money.

There is nothing wrong with asking for donations....there is certainly nothing wrong in giving donations. But when the first activity becomes a regular matter, indeed a forceful matter, the organisation no longer deserves to bear a title like "free internet encyclopedia". Now the organisation is lying to me. I don't support organisations that lie. Moreover, the entire philosophy of Wikipedia now begins to erode, as its goal in the first place was to honor the freedom of knowledge and information.

Perhaps it is time we go back to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Throw down some cash for an organisation that has not blushed in demanding it from the beginning.

Perhaps Wikipedia's failure proves that knowledge indeed should not and cannot be free. Yay capitalism!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What you can give me for Christmas!

Yes friends,

Christmas is coming around the bend. I won't be like those selfish prats who snidely think that the Heavenly Father has no time or desire to give good gifts to His children. Did you hear that you sober teachers of the Word? God does not just supply our needs. He supplies our wants. He does this because (believe it or not!) He is actually less stuck up and un-loving than our earthly parents, who-twisted as they are- still love to sustain us with more than our simple needs. After enough pestering my dad agreed to my wishes and installed a hot tub in the backyard. What a fricking sweet hot tub! It even has a waterfall! So who am I to say that the Lord of Lords, who decks whole mountain ranges with waterfalls and all manner of good and luxurious things, would say," Yes Marc, your earthly father would do these things for you. But I am less generous. I care to vamp up clods of dust you know as the Rocky Mountains with treasures you cannot even fathom, but take heed in your requests with me. Be sure to only ask for things like bread or the healing of your neighbor's arthritis, and I may or may not answer you."


I'm no prosperity punk. Who needs a stupid leer jet or a million dollars in the bank or a few botox injections to go with ones designer clothing? This stuff is all rotten garbage. I'm after spiritual treasures like a conscience that bursts with peace and assurance, or a courage in the face of death and old age, and wisdom that would silence the wise men of the east. I want a wife of noble character who is simultaneously fricking gorgeous like Abigail the wife of David or Rachel the wife of Jacob. I want to see whole neighborhoods around me come to everlasting salvation in Christ and stand before him robed in effervescent glory and splendor, utterly blameless and full of a joy that would make the heavens tremble. But anyways, enough about me. On to the main content of my post: what you can do for me.

This Christmas, if you find it within yourself to give me a gift, save your money and your creative ideas and give me something that lasts. Give me your prayers. Seriously. They are so valuable it is not even funny. They change me. They make me into the image of Christ. They work wonders.

A few things I am really desirous for this Christmas are:

1. Assurance of salvation. I've doubted that I will go to heaven since I was a little boy. I think it is high time to send this disposition packing. I want to live my life confident that Jesus knows me, that I am not deceived, and that I will be welcomed into everlasting glory on that great day. This request trumps all of the others in the degree to which I desire it.

2. Reconciliation with all of the people who hold things against me. It is a mighty precious thing to live in peace with everyone. Since I am an irritable jerk this is often not the case. Pray for a change in my rude behavior and that all of the people who are angry with me would be able to forgive me, and I them.

3. The ability to face death without an ounce of fear or sorrow, but excitement. This promise is given to Christians for appropriation (Heb.2:14-15).

4. To emulate more of Christ's character and less of the character of evil.

5. *Yes, a wife of noble character who is simultaneously fricking gorgeous.* My name is Mark Regier, and I have a little something called a sex drive. And I am more than eager to put this sex drive to some good matrimonial use. Plug your nose and gag all you want. Rest assured that I am equally disgusted by your sexuality. There should only be one person with a sex drive on this earth: me. And the fricking gorgeous wife of noble character, that is ;)

6. Love for Jesus. Best gift ever! You have no idea how fricking rich life can be if you are in love with the Maker of heaven and earth. It brings tears to my eyes and shivers just thinking about it. Unfortunately I don't have it. My behavior leans more towards hatred of Jesus than love. I wanna love this guy like there is no tomorrow. Your prayers would accomplish this.

If you pray a selection of these for me...keep it to yourself. Don't tell anyone. Do it in private, and you will be utterly blown away by the results which most certainly will come at the very perfect moment of time, since God's timing is flawless and apt. I will also be eternally indebted to you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Benedict changed his mind. What is that to you?

It seems that North America is uber-giddy these days about the God who can change His mind. So why the deuce are you so surprised that His bishop in Rome does the same? Maybe Benedict was nescient of some of the contingencies pertaining to contraceptives? Perhaps his purposes in respect to sexual ethics were flexible in the face of the world's petitions and intercessions? Why is that of such concern to you? Do you wish that Benedict possess a mind that is more informed than your god? Is it grievous to you that he hasn't surpassed the god of the classical theists in his immutability?

Why is Katy Perry so obsessed with sex?

I don't get it.

She's a talented musician with a gorgeous face and one smokin' hot body. But why all the sex? Why all the over-the-top interest in lesbianity and homosexuality? Why the fornication and the trans-gender themes etc...?

I've always felt compassion and pity for Katy. This woman has plunged so deeply into the surface froth of cultural amorality, hedonism....whatever you wanna call it. I am hurt on her behalf because I know that she is going to wake up one day old and ugly, and embittered. The spirit of sexuality will give her a day in the sun before spitting her out into the hinterlands of the grotesque and finally the ruthless agony of death and judgment.

In this sense she represents all of us. She is the emblem of who we are as children of Adam, those harlots of pleasure whom God sells and pushes away in anger. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 2 Peter 2:21.

Who of us on our best day does not excel in the behavior of Katy Perry? Who of us has not found ourselves laid bare before the immutable penalty given to the apostates of righteousness?

I have compassion for Katy Perry because I know that Christ has died, even for her.....perhaps most especially for her. Thus Ignatius is entirely correct when he says," Pray continually for the rest of mankind as well, that they may find God, for there is in them hope for repentance." Ephesians 10.1.

The Ignatian theology finds hope for repentance nowhere else but directly "in" the unbelieving world, in the very way of its disobedience. The reason that the world possesses this hope in the very midst of its apostasy is because it has already been claimed, apart from law, apart from the sin produced by the commandment, apart from all attitudes or dispositions of has been claimed by the Man who was made sin for it, and overcame sin for it.

We must pray for Katy Perry because Jesus claims her even now, because as long as it is "Today" she stands under this claim and this hope. I for one expect to see her repent and believe the Good News long before her old age arrives, long before the ruler of this age belches her out into the rubbish heap of worthlessness and non-being. Perhaps her hour of salvation is tonight at this very hour. Well, lets use God's promises as a sword against Him and find out!

Dear heavenly Father,

Have you not promised to save sinners while they are still entirely ungodly, powerless, disobedient and dead in their transgressions and sins? Is Jesus or is He not the One who came to call this sort to repentance? Is Jesus or is He not capable of working salvation on behalf of Katy Perry to the immutable effect of her eternal life? Please make these promises good on her behalf tonight, because I for one possess the effrontery of oft disbelieving your ability or willingness to do so, and would likely find it encouraging to see your Mighty Hand at work yet again. In Jesus Name Amen.

Introducing Ortus Memoria

My dear friend Theo from Abbotsford frequently contributes to this blog. It is more than worth checking out and adding to your feed-reader. I'm not sure how many people actually read my blog, so perhaps it is a little out of place to "introduce anything". Perhaps the only readers who frequent this little narcissistic, sinful and normally pathetic blog I call my own already know of Ortus Memoria. Meh, it is worth a shot anyways!

Theo has been my schoolmate since grade seven. We have performed in various bands together, have sung in choir, have gone on a cruise trip and even tried our hand at a few Disneyland rides. Both of us are staunch Mennonites, mercilessly proud of our heritage and more than willing to demonsrate that Mennonite does not mean a "sacrificium intellectus". Naturally the tactics we utilize in doing so are materially antithetical, and to the common eye perhaps even at hostile odds with each other. Yet in terms of table talk I have found no theological companion to whom I can come more quickly into agreement with than Theo.

There is no better anecdote I can give to explain our friendship than that of the 17th and 18th century Mennonite's who would yell at each other in fierce debate for hours before finally sitting down to communion and a few german hymns. Indeed friendship cannot be friendship without yelling and a little seasonable hatred. The wise man knows how to hold on to the one without letting go of the other.

Bring on the Patriarchy!

But most Christians continue to participate, enthusiastically or reluctantly, in expressions of church that have been inherited from the Christendom era. Indeed, the largest and most vibrant churches are traditional in style, conservative in doctrine, autocratic or managerial in leadership style, patriarchal, and institutional. - Stuart Murray (The Naked Anabaptist, p.94)

Why, Mr. Murray, is a church committed to "patriarchal" values something to be lamented? Hasn't the whole thrust of your book been an emphasis on the Anabaptists uncanny ability to submit to scriptural rather than cultural values? But where, pray tell, will you find "egalitarianism" decreed in scripture? Moreover, where in the history of your beloved Anabaptists will you find a group who agreed on good conscience to appoint women as bishops, elders and ministers of the Word? Is this naked Anabaptism or is this naked emerging church jumping into bed with the so-called "post-modern" sexual construct?

Since I would like to be trained in the footsteps of my Mennonite forefather's in preferring the whole of scripture rather than bits and pieces, allow me to belt out a hearty "bring it on!" for a restoration of patriarchal values.

In keeping with the scriptural model, and thus the model given to us by the infallible Lord of heaven and earth (who does not change like shifting shadows), I welcome a church and a society which can freely say:

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands....For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. 1 Peter 3:1a, 5-6a.

It is the example of the infallible scriptures that the wife call her husband "Master". I welcome this, and I thoroughly condemn any so-called "Anabaptist" model which would critique it (and thus scripture, and thus God).

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:23-24

I welcome with rejoicing a church and a society which teaches women to submit to their husbands as the church (supposedly) submits to Christ as Lord. This goes far beyond mere complementarianism to a direct hierarchy. The church will never issue commands to Jesus or compel Jesus to submit to the same way the wife will never find herself in a position of lordship over the husband, nor will she ever take on his role of being the head and the one who issues commands.

Both the complementarian model and the egalitarian heresy mirror a church which thinks that it is on equal footing with Jesus and can do all of the things He does to the point where terms like "Lord" and "head" and "Master" become absolutely worthless and empty ways of describing Jesus. If Anabaptism prefers Jesus to culture, it can only oppose these two models with the most fierce and vicious hatred as movements of the devil, finding their source in the pits of Hell and perdition rather than from God, who does not issue doctrines willy-nilly.

Anyways, I want to digress at this point into a subsidiary rant. Insomuch as modern day "Anabaptists" stumble on these very clear scriptural points and teach others to do the same, they have forfeited all right to critique and to judge the church's of "Christendom" which have supposedly relatavised the teachings of Jesus in favor of a cultural ethos. How are they any less guilty of doing this? "Christendom" locates the ethical system of the Sermon on the Mount in some distant eschatological kingdom, and Anabaptists point the scriptural teachings on women to an aberrant infiltration of Jewish culture.

Believe it or not, the Sermon on the Mount has something to say about this:

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

Here then is your "Anabaptist" commitment to the Sermon on the Mount. They disown clear christic teachings on the relations between men and women, and the position of women in the church, as being "cultural" rather than "scriptural"....moreover they boast in doing so. And then they cast fierce judgment on "Christendom" for disowning the Sermon on the Mount as ethical mandates for a future era rather than principles which are binding on all Christians today. This is precisely the hypocrisy which the Sermon on the Mount condemns....thus the Anabaptists of today can only emphasize the Sermon on the Mount in a nominal way which, biblically speaking, is a fallacious and excrescent way.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bring on the Christendom!

I do not believe there is any way back to Christendom, nor do I want to see this flawed system restored.

The Christendom era has left the body of Christ with toxins in its bloodstream- practices, instincts, commitments, structures, attitudes, biases, compromises, and reactions that damage our health and disfigure our witness. We need to purge these toxins from our system.

-Stuart Murray (The Naked Anabaptist)

I'm inclined to disagree with Stuart- entirely. The more I read into what Murray describes as "Christendom" the more I lament its loss and the more I hope that it will be radically restored to us. Indeed, the last thing we need kicking around is another form of "Emergent" theology which stands under the guise of the now trendy term "Anabaptism". Let it be said that those who today call themselves Anabaptists are actually not Anabaptists at all.....they haven't been re-baptized and I have not yet come into contact with a single one of them who advocates the practice of re-baptism.

Anyways, back to the point. Here is what Murray describes as Christendom:

.Christendom was a geographical region in which almost everyone was at least nominally Christian.
.Christendom was a historical era resulting from the fourth-century conversion of Constantine and lasting into the late twentieth century.
.Christendom was a civilization decisevly shaped by the story, language, symbols, and rhythms of Christianity.
.Christendom was a political arrangement in which church and state provided mutual, if often uneasy, support and legitimation.
.Christendom was an ideology, a mindset, a way of thinking about God's activity in the world. (Taken from p.73)

Oh bring it back!!!!! Please!!!!! Anything but this wretchedly banal thing called the "pluralistic era" or the "post-colonial" phase of communist laziness.

Seriously, who would ever have a beef or an ax to grind with the societal criterion described by Murray? It sounds remarkably awesome!

I for one always beam from ear to ear when I read of Constantine's conversion and his programs towards making Christianity the state religion. Christianity should be the state religion because Jesus (not Allah, not Karma, not a positive force field previously known as the aether, and most certainly not a secular principle of human self-consciousness which sets itself over and against God) is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (cf. the entire book of Revelation, and after that...the rest of the bible). I highly doubt that it is the task of Christians to usher in this blessed necessity...but man if it comes, I soooo welcome it.

Check out the words of Paul: " that all nations might believe and obey him." Rom.16:26. Did you hear that? That's the goal of the revealed gospel: the subjection of all nations on this planet to belief in Jesus and obedience to His Name.

Pluralism is a sham, and politicians must be made aware that they have obligations to Jesus their Lord....they must be made aware that they must render account for the theological stance they represent in the political sphere. It may be the duty of the Christians to remind politicians of this...I don't know. One thing I do know is that God is not a secularist, and He is certainly not content with any civilization that attempts to cooly distance itself from His concrete and Jealous commandment to faith and baptism.

A society which promotes religious freedom and plurality is not God's society, nor does it stand in the bee-line of His blessing. It just doesn't. Idolatry is a crime that stinks to the high is an adultery and a pernicious theft that far exceeds the petty things our society contemns....the bible knows of no other response to political toleration of this crime than fierce judgment from the Hand of God. This is why rulers like Josiah, Hezekiah or the older Manasseh who fear God and purge the land of religious syncretism receive such high accolades in scripture, and rulers like Nebuchadnezzar (who sacrificed to his own strength, so Hab.) and Sennacherib and Antiochus Epiphanes get destruction. I'm not advocating that the church take up arms and resist public idolatry.....what I am suggesting is that politicians should, and the degree to which they do not will determine the severity of the judgment due them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Ignatius of Antioch has to say about the Philistinic Perspective on Paul

'For if we continue to live in accordance with Judaism, we admit that we have not received grace.' (Magnesians, 8).

Ignatius is entirely correct. Judaism was not, is not, and cannot ever be a religion of grace. The law came from Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Before the time of Jesus Christ grace was essentially hidden from man, who was subject to a Law that demanded perfection but could not give it, who could only keep it in a "legalistic sense", in a sense deemed by God to be "rubbish" on account of the sin nature, in a sense that did not allow for the true cleansing of the conscience from sin, but rather perpetuated transgression and guilt.

And yes, the ST Jews were all given to works-righteousness, for this is the natural condition of man, to which there is no escape apart from the revelation of faith and of grace through the atonement of Jesus.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Questions that haunt me tonight.

Is it possible to believe that the Word would have become flesh even if man had never sinned, and still maintain the freedom of the Word to do so?

Is it available to man to live out the Sermon on the Mount in such a way as to actually live it out and simultaneously boast solely in Jesus Christ?

Is it available to man to practise the Sermon on the Mount without immediately creating a new law of righteousness and thus marginalizing Christ?

Why is the Sermon on the Mount situated where it is in the Gospel, after the Virgin Birth narrative, baptism and temptation of Jesus, and before the Passion, Descent into Hell, Resurrection of Jesus and His Great Commission?

Is the Sermon on the Mount lived out by a student of Jesus unconsciously or consciously? In other words, is he to expect that he will actually live it out or must he continuously keep its precepts in view as rules which must be attempted?

Does the Sermon on the Mount possess the same texture as the killing letter, or the law that brings death spoken of by Jesus Christ in 2 Corinthians?

If not, how do we explain Mt.5:17?

If no one knows the Son but the Father (so Mt.11:27) in what sense can it be said that Christians have a personal relationship with Jesus?

Why the "historical Jesus" movement is a bunch of rubbish.

The revealing power of the predicate "flesh" stands or falls with the free action of the Subject Logos. The Word is Jesus Christ. With this the "historical Jesus" of modern Protestantism falls to the ground as the object of faith and proclamation. It was purposely discovered, or invented, in order to indicate an approach to Jesus Christ which circumvents His divinity, the approach to a revelation which is generally understandable and possible in the form of human judgment and experience. Karl Barth (KD 1.2 p.136)

Karl Barth is absolutely correct here. But of course, the miserable and pernicious sophists today clap their ears shut at this "sound and fury" and carry on with their history. It is no wonder to me that they have discovered with their human methods a merely human Jesus, who can be dispensed with immediately in favor of an abstract moral principle that he may or may not have inculcated. Or better yet, his importance may be dispensed with or overshadowed by the infinitely more important "story of Israel" or "salvation history". Once again I am left speechless and dumbfounded at the infinite banality of today's theological spectrum. Alas, a PHD and a routine knowledge of the biblical languages cannot guarentee that you will not be a depraved, vile heretic.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jesus Christ in the Old Testament.

"How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Lk 24:25-27

This gospel teaching gives authority and instruction for Christians to boldly find and proclaim Jesus Christ through the law and the prophets in good faith. Those who do not do so are not worthy of being called "theologians", but according to Christ "fools" and dimwits. In a binding sense that is all of us, for all of us may observe our own daily disobedience in this precise regard. Look at how many Christian scholars today snidely omit to mention Jesus of Nazareth as the goal of Old Testament material, much less proclaim it? I need not mention names. You know who you are.

For us Christians, this is no trifle. It is a commandment from the eternal God to which we either obey or disobey (Rom.16:26). And, as a matter of God's command it is only ever a matter of obedience or disobedience. The consequence of this fact is that we cannot go the way of biblical scholars who find no Jesus in the pages of the Torah and the Psalms and the Prophets, lest our allegiance shift to mere men rather than the power and commandment of our God.

Evolutionary theory....learn your place.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an evolutionist. I like evolution. I like the theory, like the interpretation and am warmly receptive to its being taught in school.

But don't teach evolution in seminaries and theological schools. It isn't theology. It has nothing to say about Creation, Providence, God's immanence and transcendence, and His time. NOTHING. Those who think that evolutionary theory (or any scientific theory of origins or anthropology) can constrain, guide, or contribute to the discussion of Creation are wrong. They have told themselves and the world that God can be apprehended in a manner other than faith in Christ. They have told us that nature, and the act of a human being interpreting nature, can normatively make bee-lines into the Sacred things of God. To this damnable and reprehensible, I am so disgusted right now I can hardly speak.

Who the deuce do we think we are anyway? There is no "dialogue" between faith and science because faith belongs to, comes from, and exists within a world that is eternally divided from this one. This whole temporal order, along with its principalities powers, investigations, labors, endeavors at truth is passing away as we speak. Why are we daring to mix the temporal with the eternal? Oh let me guess. The fact of Christ's incarnation establishes that humanity and its world is essentially good. Christ came to bless our humanistic endeavors and pat us all on the back for them. The manhood of Christ essentially means that God is immanent within all human endeavors. Oh my gosh. You wretched pelagian, heretical, idolatrous, blasphemers. Stick with your heathen religion.

Oh my goodness, I can hardly contain my rage at human arrogance.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stay away from SBL.

It's some society in the states where a bunch of puffed up, liberal scholars get together and discuss how much the bible got wrong and how you should worship their own bovine rendition of God. Granted, there seem to be a few conservative brothers that linger there (Jim West, Mike Bird etc...), and I offer them my forgiveness for it.

Anyways, I've heard reports that the up-coming SBL meeting is charging its speakers for use of projection equipment. Interesting. In the ancient near eastern world hospitality was taken a little more seriously. It was considered an honor to house a guest from a distant land for up to three days, offering him food, shelter, refreshment and even protection if necessary (Cf. John Walton, IVP BBC OT p.273). America could learn a thing or two from this mindset. Instead we charge our teachers for the use of a projection system, because we are too uncouth and stingy to foot the costs ourselves. Why the devil would anyone want to go to an SBL meeting which purports to tell us a thing or two about the scriptures and their divers life settings, when the organisation can't even get its hospitality right? There is a word for this in the english vernacular: hypocrisy. Or if you prefer: Romans 2:17-24.

And so to Jim West, Robert Cargill, and anyone else who dares to set foot in such a meeting, I can give you no better advice than this:

Do not eat the food of a stingy man, do not crave his delicacies; for he is always thinking about the cost. "Eat and drink" he says to you, but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the little you have eaten, and will have wasted your compliments. -Proverbs 23:6-8.

Enjoy your time there, friends!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Damn history.

That the Word was made flesh does not render one ounce of authority to the historical method for determining whether Jesus was or was not Lord. Neither does the fact that Jesus was a Jew give an ounce of authority for the scribes and the teachers of the law to determine whether he was the Son of David. This is where the fundamentalist apologists and the historical critics are plain wrong. The darkness will never apprehend the light, and will literally refuse to step into the light because its deeds are from hell. Humans do not possess truth. They are not qualified to proclaim truth or determine truth or critique truth. Thus their historical meanderings and their apologetic endeavors are entirely worthless and useless. They will only end up crucifying the Lord of glory and thus denying him rather than affirming his rightful kingship over man.

It's time for Christians to stop fornicating with every stump and tree of human principles and proclaim their Lord in the freeness and self-authenticating power with which He is Lord.

The proper take on the Gospel of John.

That the dialogues, events and teachings recorded there actually occurred, in history. It baffles me that modern man, who is separated from the time of Jesus by two freaking thousand years, and divorced from his culture as the east is divorced from the west, can be the arbiter of what Jesus did and didn't say, of what he did and didn't do. Get behind me Satan.

And the problems of difference of tone and content between the so-called "Synoptics" and John mean squat. SQUAT. One might as well expect that a human being must only adopt one manner of speech and one topic for his speech, for his whole freaking life if he is to be deemed human. These historians need to get outside and observe real humans doing real living (As was proposed by Martin Hengel and with him, Henri Blocher). They should observe how a businessman speaks when he is at work and when he is at the bar and when he is at home and when he is on vacation and when his best friend just got hit by a car etc....and see how radically his idiolect can alter from situation to situation! In a manner of hours!

Oh these damnable humans. Get over yourselves and subject yourself to the Gospels which know more about what Jesus did and didn't do than you EVER will. And if you find a contradiction, embrace it rather than devising some silly synthesis, or favoring one document over the other etc...

Modern Hatred of Luther

It is nearly ubiquitous. Scarcely a day goes by where I am not forced to endure some college lecture where Martin Luther is not only scoffed at (in the most infantile theological ignorance), but literally maligned and mis-represented. I would dare say (and this is much thanks to the idle scholarship of the NPP folk, who should-with the exception of Dunn- be disbarred from all universities and sent back to school) that he has become a bit of a scapegoat for all of our theological problems. Anti-nomianism in your church? Forget John Agricola, lets blame it on Luther! Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany? Forget about John Eck or Wagner or the medieval superstitions centering around the bubonic's Luther's fault! Individualism in the West? Lets not mention that Luther damned mysticism and solitude and ardently demanded the gathering and fellowship of Christians....lets not mention it because we are ignorant of it....lets blame the individualistic, self-absorbed conscience of the west on Luther! And by all means, the under-appreciation of James is most certainly Luther's fault (as opposed to Eusebius and the vast majority of church fathers before him who neglected to place it in the canon). And so on and so forth...
I think this hatred of Luther is un-qualified for two reasons.
First of all, those who criticize Luther usually end up admitting that they have read very little of him. This simply will not do. Irenaeus in the 2nd century censured the weakness of earlier Christian polemics against the gnostic movement, which did not consider it a necessity to read gnostic literature. A more modern example in contradistinction to this behavior would be Karl Barth, who frequently held colloquium's, lecture courses and summer reading classes on Schleiermacher...for the express purpose of studying him! In his preface to Protestant Theology in the 19th Century, one of the chief reasons that Barth listed for publishing the work was the snide attitudes of his students, who refused to acknowledge the genuine value of the contributions made by theologians who lived in the period before them.
Secondly, but very much in line with the content of the first, Luther's contribution to the theological sphere and the church was Justification through Faith in Christ, Alone. That little word "Alone" stands over and against a whole aeon of-literally miserable- works-righteousness, uncertainty before God, lack of joy, and the exultation of human traditions and orders as a means for acquiring grace. Forget about determining whether the ST Jews were pelagian.....the Catholic church materially WAS.
The fact that modern sophists and dillettantes haven't a smack of gratitude for Luther's teaching on the eternal liberation wrought by faith in Christ, apart from all works....tells me that they consider the preciousness of this truth to be a mere trifle. But when Paul brought the message of justification by faith apart from works to the Galatians, they thought they were visited by God Himself! They were so overjoyed at Paul they could have torn out their eyes for him.
The fact of the matter is, if we persist in this ingratitude God may very well strip Luther's or Paul's teaching from us entirely. We may lose the message of faith in Christ entirely and be delivered over to works-righteousness. I already see the latter glorified in not a few self-styled evangelical writers and teachers, to the effect that one might find more consolation in Tridentine Catholicism than in their wretched, miserable and abominable representations of the Christian message. The devil can speak against the gospel through the lips of those teachers called of Christ, as he did twice through Peter. Protestantism may abandon its birthright under the wrath of God and have to be told a thing about grace and faith from catholicism, or from another sector altogether.

Why women should not preach.

"For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." 1 Timothy 2:13

I cannot think of better reasons. I think this verse also nicely bludgeons the view that Paul was speaking to a local problem only. Obviously it was a local problem. But it was a local problem conditioned and actualized by a universal problem: here being the particular depravity of women ("it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner"). Obviously, any woman or man who has bought in to the modern egalitarian construct will be emotionally upset and outraged at me saying this. If they are, they should sincerely question whether they have allowed their emotions to get in the way of an honest exegesis of this text.

There are two consequences in effect from the creation epic, both of which are binding on the church community. The first is revelatory: Adam was created first, then Eve. The second is hamartiological: It was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. Because this is so....because the Pauline and Jamesian anthropology does not alter the basic sinfulness of man in the community of Christ but underscores it ("Through the law we become conscious of sin..") there are consequences to ecclesiological ordinances which continue to stand under this situation. Eve was created to be a helper, not a leader of Adam. For Paul, placing a woman as the leader or "Father" over the church through the gospel is to essentially deny that the Work of God in the beginning was "Very Good". It can thus only be a testimony of blasphemy rather than of Christ. Secondly, placing a woman as a leader over the church will have disastrous effects on the community because the woman is essentialy "deceived" and the quintessential sinner. She was so quickly led astray by the devil into disobedience of the Word much more in the age of sin will she fail at keeping the community safe from the devil? Indeed she will not, because she stands over and against the Very Good work of God by taking on the position of a leader as opposed to a helper, and because she is in and of herself deceived and a sinner.

Monday, November 1, 2010


The Argument: Language is a dynamic art. I am committed to the perpetual discipline of honoring its archaisms and traditions just as I am committed to adapting and even creating some forms of my own. In particular, the creation of words expresses my belief in the glorious liberty of the children of God. Our Father in Heaven, He who has redeemed us from all sin and death through Jesus Christ, continues to present this world and its divers objects to us anew to "see what name we would give to them" (cf. Gen.2:19). The art of contributing to the development of language is available to all, as can be seen in the simple phenomena of "anti-language"; or the usage of familiar terms and phrases in a new manner so as to hide the meaning from the public. This is naturally one simple aspect of language development among many. One may note that among friends, family units, townships or even most especially broad social networks the adaptation of human speech is constantly underway. My cousins on the farm in Manitoba refer to the inner skeleton of the haybale as the "carcasse". This term has no linguistic recognition in the formal agricultural lexicon, and is thus entirely private. But if you get the opportunity to open up a haybale with a pitch fork you may find that no word more aptly expresses the texture of a freshly exposed core. In a more professional dimension, you might pick up any work by the psychologist Viktor Frankl and see that in every chapter, he is un-ashamedly coining terms and phrases to better understand and inculcate the sundry issues and concepts encountered in his profession. Words that have forever stuck with me that derive from his work are: logotherapy, the will to meaning, noological, paradoxical intention, and existential vacuum. The following are my contributions to this blessed art, no doubt with many infantile stammerings and first tries. Some were made in spontaneous collaboration with friends and co-workers (as shall be noted) and others solely by me. I already have intended, and do intend to continue using them in my common speech without apology or sheepishness. Feel free to take them up and adopt them in your speech as well, if you so desire.

Barnacious: An adjective pertaining to: 1.The study of agriculture. 2. The study of barn culture and architecture. 3. The study of agricultural terms. 4. Any object or phenomena which is proper to a barn. 5. A person who delights in farming.

Clamastruous: An adjective pertaining to the devastation of ones social reputation and status in toto.

Malgabrious: Mal-Gab-rious. Adj. Describing a person given to the habit of gossiping maliciously about others. Vrb. Malgab-ing. Nn. Malgaber-s. Variant, plural: Malgabracity. Cf. Jim West.

Modarrogant: Mod-arrogant. Adj. 1.Describing a person who is moderately arrogant. 2. Describing a person who demonstrates his arrogance via false modesty. Modarrogance. (I am indebted to friend Matt Peters for contributing to the development of this word).

revelatio ab perditio: A personal and existential unveiling of ones own pernicious and damnable character. Not to be confused with Revelatio ab Perditio which is a work of God's revelation in faith alone.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Of course Obadiah speaks of Christ.

Very clearly in the final verse: "Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the Mountains of Esau, and the Kingship will belong to YHWH."

Talk like this, of course, would make the pernicious historical critics sneer. Their god Reason is incapable of ascribing lordship to Christ in the law and the prophets.

Since Jesus is indeed YHWH (so Jn 8:58), it follows that the above verse is speaking about none other than Jesus.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What to have in view when talking to or reading a feminist.

"Look," says the Teacher,"this is what I have discovered: Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things- while I was searching but not finding- I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all." (Ecc.7:27-28).

Ecclesiastes.....never lacking in true wisdom. And this is indeed the case. 'Upright woman' is about as oxymoronic as Fast Ferry or Microsoft Works. The two are at odds with each other.

A quote to share with your renewal-eco-theologist friends.

"In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded." Psalm 102:25-26 (NIV).

They probably don't have this verse in their bibles, but that doesn't matter. Quote it to them anyways and watch them squirm.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


So I was shaving my face this morning with Occam500 triple-blade, and I realized that I'm mighty fed up with all of these endless theories centering around JDEP. I'm gonna do something innovative, rash, and daring: I'm going to read the Torah with the assumption that it is speaking about events which actually happened in history. I'm going to assume that Moses had a hand in writing most of Deuteronomy, parts of Leviticus, Exodus and numbers. I'm going to assume that there really was an Exodus out of Egypt with next to 1 million people coming up out of Goshen, and I'm going to assume that there was a cosmic flood.

Why all these bizarre assumptions? Because I think that humans today are a bunch of idiots....half of these scholars can hardly tie their shoes in the morning much less appropriately handle antiquated documents..much less tell us a thing or two about scripture. To be sure, I am an idiot myself. But for that matter I'm not going to start publishing papers on Bible and Interpretation or pop up on CNN in the evening or write a commentary for Anchor Bible. In the words of Micah from Paranormal Activity: "I'm does with this shit."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Some naive observations about James.

I'm not a James scholar. I'm a sinner, a wicked, feckless, depraved, evil person. I do not have wisdom from God. There's my prolegomena to this discussion.

I'm wondering why no one really reads the infamous justification passage in James in consequence, or possibly with the consequences of the passage directly behind it? In 2:1-13, specifically verses eight through thirteen, James gives us one of the most brilliant expositions of the nature of God's Law. First, and this is what the modern quasi-Pelagians love to fixate on, the Law of God is in effect for the Christian community. It is the royal law of liberty whose summative and binding principle is the flawless love of ones neighbor (2:8). Those who do not keep this principle in the Christian community are evildoers (2:9). But the very next statement is of particular interest for us here: For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (2:10). Did you hear that? Stumbling at just one point does not mean for James (and in this case God) stumbling at just one point.....the nature of the law and its concrete demand is that one mere, trifling stumble means the whole of it is broken. The whole of it. Or in the words of James,' For he who said "Do not commit adultery" also said," Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.' Hear that? It is a strong either/or. It is God's All or Nothing. Insomuch as you stumble at any point of the Liberating Law which is certainly in effect and binding on all Christians, you have become a worthless lawbreaker in the eyes of God. He will not praise you because on Tuesday you had emotion A which prompted you to perform charity B to homeless person C. Why not? Because the day before you slandered, and the day before that you failed to obey your parents in every matter, and the day before that you failed to make the most of every opportunity afforded to you by the gracious God. These other points of stumbling have rendered your service of charity on Tuesday entirely worthless before God (guilty of breaking all of it).

Taking these words seriously, read through the passage on justification. Do you honestly believe that James is now suddenly reversing all of his thoughts, contradicting everything he just said? Do you now believe God has changed his mind and said," Hmf, I know I just said that I would judge the Christian's actions and speech based on my Law, and I know that I expressly declared that if he stumbles at any point of my commandments I will hold him as being a complete lawbreaker.....but man, that one deed he did really completes his faith. It really pleases me. I'm going to call this fella righteous by what he has done (cf. Jas 2:24)." No!

If our actions receive judgment from God's law, they are always lawless. We do not have any righteous deeds to complete our faith because all of them are worthless on account of our other stumblings. We have broken the whole law on account of a few trifles. James affirms this by saying in the following passage: "We all stumble in many ways." I take this to mean that for James, we..the Christians, are concrete law-breakers, TOTAL lawbreakers, and that none of our deeds nor our faith (2:19), which is really a satanic faith since it produces no act of law-fulfillment, can justify us. We cannot be justified by our deeds nor our faith. And the horrific thing is that we must be justified by our deeds and by our faith. WE MUST.

I think that what James is doing here (with 2:1-13 ever before us) is presenting the true condition of the Christian: As one who simultaneously MUST complete the whole of God's law (faith, speech and action) WITHOUT a single spot of sin, and CANNOT render the faith, speech and action that would ONLY EVER justify him.

Righteous deeds are the life force that sustain faith (2:26). They give life to faith like the spirit of man gives life to his body. And yet if the law of God be true (and it certainly is cf. Rom.2:20), if it be the litmus test of our justice as Christians before God (and it is cf. Rom. 2:13), and if it judges ALL of our righteous deeds as worthless on account of the other points of the law in which we have stumbled (which we have in many ways cf. Jas.3:2) then the situation of the Christian before God, today, is that HE HAS NO DEEDS WHICH GIVE LIFE TO HIS FAITH. And he will never have deeds that perform this work of justifying faith so long as he continues to stumble.

The perfect dialectic of James can be stated thus: It is by faith and deeds alone that man must be justified. Man cannot be justified by faith and deeds because God's holy and binding law shows that he has neither.

If this does not open up a vast and beautiful doorway to the work of Christ on the cross, His resurrection and the procession of his Spirit for ALL talk of justification (both Jamesian and Pauline), I know not what would.

The only consequence of reading James' talk on justification is that the truly saved man is a "believer in our glorious Lord Jesus Messiah" (2:1). He is saved because the righteous deeds of Christ are HIS. He is justified by what he does because what he has done and what he does is what Christ has done and does (1 Cor.1:29-31). Christ says to this man," This is my body given for you...this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you." And the man takes and eats, and in the face of this righteousness can only ever say Amen, Maranatha!

The consequence of taking James seriously can be put in the form of a conversation.

Joe: "How are you saved by God?"

Darcy: "By faith and good deeds working together. But mainly by doing good deeds."

Joe: "Really? You have to do good works to be saved?"

Darcy: "Absolutely. And they have to be truly good. They have to be backed by a complete fulfillment of everything which is commanded to be good, without stumbling on any point."

Joe: "How then can anyone be saved?"

Darcy: "With man this is always impossible. But not with God. He sent His Son onto this earth, who poured out His life as a fragrant offering to God on our behalf. And through this righteous act, faith was discharged to us from the hand of the Father, and this righteous act became ours. I am saved by faith and good deeds because Christ's faith and Christ's deeds are truly and forever MINE."

Halloween is almost here, and what's Jim West up to?

No good apparently. Keep your kids out of the fields for a few days.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Background Commentary? Yeah Right.

Sitting before me is the hefty IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by the respected Bible scholar Craig Keener. I took it out from the library yesterday, and was fairly excited about reading some of it. If it's anything like the Old Testament volume by Walton & co. then I'm in! So where do I flip to? Romans chapter nine. Is it possible to give some solid background info on this controversial passage? Can we get a glimpse into Paul's theological worldview without immediately jumping into the calvinist/arminian debate of the last few centuries? The mic is yours Craig:

"Most Jewish people believed that their people as a whole had been chosen for salvation; they viewed predestination in corporate, ethnic terms." False. The first volume of the Justification and Variegated Nomism series has sent that sweeping generalisation into the depths of Sheol. Nevertheless, Keener wrote this volume before JVN's (elementary) investigations into Second Temple Judaism and its various ideological threads. Besides, this still kind of qualifies as background knowledge, even if it's bad background knowledge. Moving on...

"God can sovereignly choose to elect whom he wills, and that need not be on the basis of descent from Abraham. God's sovereignty means that he is free to choose on another basis than his covenant with ethnic Israel (3:1-8); he can choose on the basis of (foreknown) faith in Christ (4:11-13; 8:29-30)." p.433.

Tricky move there Keener. Very shrewd. But the text doesn't say that. The text says," It does not, therefore, depend on mans desire or effort, but on God's mercy." That is the statement which holds together the rest of the passage. Or is faith in Christ something entirely different than the desire or effort to come to God? Keener answers this a page over: "...trusting God, who transforms the heart. Although the term "faith" is rare in translations of the Old Testament...Paul believes that the idea permeates the Old Testament, where God's people must respond to his grace from their hearts." p.434. Oopsies. That sounds alot like desire.

I find it interesting that Keener uses the name of "Background Commentary", not only to not exegete Romans 9, nor to give us any sound background knowledge of why God does not consider desire or effort, good or bad in his electing purposes, but also to give us an aside into his own arminian soteriology. Comb through the text of Romans 9 yourself and tell me where it says that God elects people based on an advanced knowledge of whether or not they will put their faith in Christ. Find anything? Didn't think so.

I get a kick out of reading all these modern sophists who blabber on and on about "fresh perspectives on Paul" that avoid the pitfalls of "anachronistic" readings of his Romans such as those performed through the lens of a calvinist/armian polemic.....before proceeding to give us a very basic arminian or calvinistic exposition.

Look, I'm not asking you scholars to go all calvinist on me in your reading of Romans 9. But if you are going to claim "background" insight into this text, will you please make the effort to say something that hasn't already been said by arminian exegetes for the last 300 years? And can you please try to make it remotely ST Judaistic? Please?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Alister McGrath gets bitten by a feminist zombie.

'"God reveals himself. He reveals himself through himself. He reveals himself." With these words (which I have found to be impossible to translate into inclusive language), Barth sets up the revelational framework which leads to the formation of the doctrine of the Trinity.'
-Alister McGrath. Christian Theology (260).
No need to apologize Mr. Mcgrath. Karl Barth didn't feel the need to apologize, and his books will be floating around alot longer than any of the garbage feminist theology being published today. Or should I speak of Barth in inclusive language to be fair to all of you insecure, wretched women? When Barth spoke of Barthself to the ladies, Barth referred to the Barth-head as if Barth were a neuter. Does that make you feel better? I mean, you obviously have no qualms giving God a gender change, so what is a little human being?

No you evil demon women...I'm not going to neuter God to make you happy.

I'm not going to apologize for speaking about God in a way scripture feels perfectly vindicated in speaking. I'll let Jesus answer this one for me:
When you pray, say: 'Father....' Lk 11:2.
Get over it. God is masculine. God is a He. Not a she. A He. God is our Father. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of the Son. I recognize that these words are mere trifles for our feminist-zombified culture, but to be perfectly frank...I don't give a shit.
Did you hear that feminists? I don't.....give....a.......shit.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A history of theology in the context of lawn-mowing.

So I was cutting the grass this evening and pondering what various theologians would say if they were faced with the task of snipping the glumes. Here is the product of my discoveries:

Benny Hinn: I speak to this lawn now and I claim the promises and I tell it to be mowed! (With credit to Acidri for developing the concept of Word-Faith lawn-mowing)

Ben Witherington III: I know that God has justified me by grace and all that, but He actually expects me now to mow this lawn and to do a good job, or I'll pay for it on judgment day.

John Agricola: Christ is the end of the law, so I'll skip this job and do something fun!

Martin Luther: No matter how cheerfully and skillfully I mow this lawn, it is still a damnable and unworthy work!

John Calvin: I will mow this lawn, but I can never really be sure that I was the man for the job.

Menno Simons: Whose the freak that let this sward grow so long? Excommunication time.

Irenaeus: The whole process; trimming, bagging, dumping, weed-wacking...the whole of it will recapitulate the general situation of all lawn-mowers out there.

Ben Myers: Isn't Karl Barth just fantastic?!!!

Jim West: Take care of it yourself Doris! I'm malgabbing on my blog!

Thomas Aquinas: Aut viam inveniam aut faciam! Causa latet, vis est notissima.

Reginald of Piperno: You're right Thomas. All of your work thus far really has been straw.

Marcion: The previous lawn-mower was an evil s.o.b. Fortunately we can now justify a replacement.

Velentinus: From the mystery of the Ogdoad and Duodecad comes an aeon who can rescue us from the material evil of this chore!

Gerhard Von Rad: There is both 'eine Wiese mähen' and 'Heil-eine Wiese mähen'!

Rudolf Bultmann: This grass made such a profound impression on the neighborhood. I admit that it was ripped up and burned, but what really matters is that it lives on in the witness of those who first beheld it.

Karl Barth: Nelly, there is no talk of must here. You may mow the lawn.

Renate Kobler: Hold on, aren't you forgetting Charlotte Kirschbaum? She submitted to this patriarchal swinery as well.

Suzanne Selinger: To be honest, the only realistic response I can make to the subject of any woman having to do this sheit is anger.

Tom Wright: Forget the way it's been done for the past 2,000 years. What we really need is a fresh perspective on lawn care. All of us can take part in putting the world to rights if we keep the grass trimmed my way. Not Luther's way. MY WAY.

Pelagius: I'm sure thankful all those fella's from the New Perspective on Paul are here to help me. Even though I don't need their help. Really. I don't.

Kierkegaard: Through the crisis of my subjective existential sweating I can perceive the objectivity of my work!

Danish peasant: Your mow-job objectively sucks!

Kierkegaard: Leap of faith bro. Blind. Leap. Of. Faith.

Richard Foster: If I center myself appropriately, even cutting the grass can become a sacrament!

Hans Kung: Infallible Lawn-mowing? A Critique.

Schleiermacher: When I smell the grass and hear the humming of the motor and see the beauty of the shrubberies, my feeling of absolute despondence transforms into an experience of inner connection to the nexus of yardwork that unites us all.

Melchior Hoffman: I'd like to. Really, I would. But I'm in prison on charges of blasphemy and sedition.

Arius: Lawn-trimmers simply cannot be the Master of the house. They are lesser beings.

Emil Brunner: I'm really starting to think there's a point of contact here somewhere.

Karl Barth: Nein! From Italy with love (p.s. enjoy the chores suckaaa!)

Pope Leo: Exsurge Lawne Mowere!

Yoder: Don't get the idea that this job has no ramifications for the rest of the world!

John Piper: Even this pathetically menial, wretched, jejune, banal, fetid task can become a discipline of joy!

Scofield: Sure I'll mow the a million years! AHAHAHAHA.

Jack Van Impe: Screw that, its gonna be today!!! Its gonna be today!!!!

Immanuel Kant: I will not replace that divet unless I can also will that my maxim become a universal law of divet-replacement.

Sartre: The Being-For-Itself has been confronted by the hell of the existence of another being-for-itself (ahem....Simone) which has given the Look that signifies its concrete demand that the lawn be mowed. The Being-For-Itself is confronted by the facticity of its being, plunged into the nausea of the knowledge of its powerlessness to say whether or not it shall will to obey this demand in the future.

Heidegger: Being-in-the-midst-of-the-world blows chunks. Where's a good Jew when you need one?!

Richard Dawkins: Unless I have scientific proof that there is someone behind this job, I won't do it. I'll even write whole books against doing it.

Christopher Hitchins: All lawn-mowers are noisy and violent. Therefore God does not exist.

Sam Harris: [Insert random, mind-numbing pseudo-intellectual balbutiations]

Edit: With thanks to Kim Fabricius for alerting me as to what Bill Clinton has to say: That was one fine mow-job.

An excellant addition, Mr. Fabricius.