My Christmas Program, which I submitted on September 16 to an unnamed church body to review the doctrine, is still pending. I am sure there are a lot of things to be doctrinally reviewed in any given church body, but three and half months for four pages of bible verses and hymns from the hymnal seems like a little much to me. I recall a person who used to serve on the board of an unnamed Corporate Entity saying that the system was long overdue for overhauling. It looks like that work may be unfinished.
Archive for December, 2010
I’m not sure why everyone who reads or heard me speak on this misunderstands me. I thought I was clear. Let me be clearer :
John didn’t doubt. It is theologically and exegetically indefensible. I do not see this as an arguable point. To say John doubted is to destroy the entire decalogue. If you don’t believe that John was sending his disciples to Jesus so that they would believe, read the Early church and choose an interpretation that suits you. There are several. But “doubting John” is not an option.
John not doubt.
Don’t say he did in a sermon.
That is all.
One of my favorite readings of the entire year is the one about the tramping boot battle tumult rolled in blood fire thing.
I just think it sounds cool.
Merry Christmas, Mister Potter!
I know, We’re less than 48 hours from Christmas, and now I post on Advent 3.
I’ve been chewing on this for a week or two, and I’m finally ready to comment.
Advent 3, (John sends his disciples to Jesus) is often interpreted as John, languishing in prison, beginning to doubt that Jesus is the promised one, so he sends his disciples to ask if Jesus is truly the Christ.
I have looked, and I am unable to find where this interpretation begins. It is not, in my (admittedly limited) research, in the early church fathers.
Nor is it in Luther, or for that matter Walther. However, it does appear (in subtle form) in Lenski.
But if John doubts, we have a problem.
Jesus does not condemn John’s doubt. He praises John’s steadfastness.
This takes an axe to the first Commandment. In the Large Catechism, Luther goes to great pains to point out that trust is what makes a thing a god, whether it be the True God, or a false god. Whatever we trust in, that is our God.
If John doubts, Jesus praising his steadfastness not only leaves us with no law for this Gospel reading, it totally decimates the entire concept of the law.
This is a fundamental problem.
Indeed, sermons that take the view that John doubted generally have some sort of generic law, but they all leave you with the impression that it is OK to doubt. Now, exegesis is certainly not my strong suit, but I am pretty sure that the Scriptures can be interpreted in no other way than to condemn unbelief. Jesus says, “O ye of little faith” to the disciples, and it is not an endearing term.
Yet, for some reason, Jesus here praises John for his steadfastness in the face of his (supposed) unbelief.
Indeed, Jesus words (no reed broken by the wind) almost necessitate rejecting the “doubting John” theory out of hand.
My recommendation? Go with the traditional explanation : John sent the disciples to Jesus so that they would believe. His has one last chance to point to Jesus, and he takes it.
It turns out that socialized education works about as well as any other form of socialism.
I knew a girl in Chicago who graduated from the CPS, and, after tiring of failing the Army Entrance exam, decided to go to college. For nursing.
I think that, if states want to “guarantee” an education, they should simply offer a grant of $XXXX per child of school age, which the parents can then use to purchase education at the school of their choice.
For about the next decade, there would be a mad scramble for the money. But the bad schools would dry up. The good schools would rise up. Students would learn. And the state could raise money by renting out the now-vacant public school buildings to private schools. Of course, some parents would still send their children to public schools. Which they would be free to do. And faced with competition, maybe the public schools would actually teach something.
The tree-huggers are running out of places to turn.
First Paper bags were bad. Now plastic plastic bags are destroying the earth.
First nuclear power was an abomination. Now Coal is belching hated greenhouse gasses. So, they turn to wind.
Until they realize that thousands of propellers spinning at 200+ MPH are killing a lot of flying things. Endangered flying things.
So now, wind farm=bad.
Inca descent bulbs are currently on the hit list. Until someone points out all the mercury leeching into the groundwater from the CF bulbs.
WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Christmas. Busy. You know.
But I had to share with you the following headline/blog post title from “The Other McCain.”
Click HERE. WARNING : Not for those with delicate sensibilities. (And if hat doesn’t get you to click on it, nothing will.)