May 30, 2013
If you ever need a fresh reminder for the urgency of real theology, I give you this:
Here is the opening:
It is impossible that Christianity is not God’s revelation of truth to man. Simply impossible. The math proves it beyond question. It doesn’t take faith to believe that one plus one equals two, and it doesn’t take faith to identify the religion which has mathematical certainty in its corner.
This is from the same guy who gave us:
In both articles, Pastor Delzell happily informs us that reason alone — uninformed by faith — can prove Christianity. So, I’m not exactly clear on what faith does, since faith is not necessary to get us to the divinity and authority of Christ.
I am also curious as to whether Delzell has actually talked to a non-Christian and tried this stuff? Or to a Jew? I also see that he is a Lutheran pastor. I am not a Lutheran, but I am doubtful that Luther would be impressed by these brazen declarations that faith is not necessary to affirm the Christian faith.
May 22, 2013
What has most impressed me about Tim Keller’s ministry (Redeemer Pres, NYC) is expressed in this quote:
Early in Redeemer’s ministry, we discovered it was misguided for Christians to feel pity for the city, and it was harmful to think of ourselves as its “savior.” We had to humbly learn from and respect our city and its people. Our relationship with them had to be a consciously reciprocal one. We had to be willing to see God’s common grace in their lives. We had to learn that we needed them to fill out our own understanding of God and his grace, just as they needed us.
I believe many Christians in the West avoid the city because it is filled with “the other.” Because cities are filled with people who are completely unlike us, many Christians find this disorienting. Deep down, we know we don’t like these people or don’t feel safe around them. But see how easily we forget the gospel! After all, in the gospel we learn of a God who came and lived among us, became one of us, and loved us to the death, even though we were wholly other from him. The city humbles us, showing us how little we are actually shaped by the story and pattern of the gospel.
Emphasis mine. Timothy Keller, Center Church (Zondervan, 2012), 168-169.
Image: “Praskie Ulice” by Muszka
May 19, 2013
I am in the process of doing a Hebrew intensive course at seminary. That’s not exactly providing inspiration for doing theology posts. So, in the meantime, here is some excellent music from the granddaughter of Hank Williams:
From The Highway (Georgiana Records, 2013).
This is her best album so far.
May 12, 2013
Here is Karl Barth, writing after the first session of Vatican II, comparing the council to the (mainline Protestant) World Council of Churches:
But why is it that the voice of Rome made such a far greater impression than the voice of Geneva on the world…? Was it only because of the obviously greater historical and political halo which Rome possesses? Is the reason not also the fact that in the encyclical the same things were not only talked about but also proclaimed, that Christianity and the world were not only taught but also summoned unreservedly and bindingly with an appeal to the highest authority, that they received not only advice and admonition but also directives, in short, that the encyclical had more the character of a message than our previous ecumenical proclamations, in spite of its extensive use of terms and concepts taken from natural law? I think that our side, lacking this degree of natural law, could actually speak in this manner much more clearly. But at the present I do not yet see that we have done so. And therefore I am afraid that with respect to the external world, precisely in this decisive present of ours, we might be left far behind by a papal church that is making dynamic recovery.
“Thoughts on the Second Vatican Council,” in New Theology no. 1, eds. Martin Marty and Dean Peerman (New York: Macmillan, 1964), 118. Emphases original.
Originally published in the WCC’s Ecumenical Review, July 1963.