beginning a theological alphabet. Some brief ruminations on some
important theological realities. Help me by adding your own. I've
listed three words (two German, one English) under "A."
Anfectung – Luther’s wrenching daily experience of Satan’s unbridled,
vicious assault on him. At times, it seemed as if the whole world was
against him, as well as the flesh and the devil. It was prayer that
sustained him: “We know that our defense lies in prayer. We are too
weak to resist the devil and his vassals. Let us hold fast to the
weapons of the Christian; they enable us to combat the devil… our
enemies may mock at us. But we shall oppose both men and the devil if we
maintain ourselves in prayer and if we persist in it.” (Larger
Auferstehung – German for “resurrection.” Thomas
Torrance relates the Barth once ended a conversation they had about
Jesus’ resurrection saying, “Wohl verstanden, leibliche Auferstehung!” –
“Mark well, bodily resurrection!” Nothing more important than this, no
Christianity without it.
Awe – A bit more than the “wonder”
that drives philosophy; this more derives from magnificent presence we
encounter in theology, a personal presence to whom we owe existence,
allegiance, and love. Kenneth Grahame captures this beautifully in his
wonderful children’s story The Wind and the Willows: 'This is the
place of my song- dream, the place the music played to me,' whispered
the Rat, as if in a trance. 'Here, in this holy place, here if anywhere,
surely we shall find Him!' Then suddenly the Mole felt a great Awe
fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head,
and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror, indeed he
felt wonderfully at peace and happy, but it was an awe that smote and
held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some
august Presence was very, very near. With difficulty he turned to look
for his friend and saw him at his side cowed, stricken, and trembling
violently. And still there was utter silence in the populous bird-
haunted branches around them; and still the light grew and grew . . .
'Rat!' he found breath to whisper, shaking. 'Are you afraid?'
'Afraid?' murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
'Afraid! Of him? O, never, never! And yet, and yet, O, Mole, I am
afraid!' Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
by Columbia Lutherans on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 11:55am •
“I am enchanted by the Sermon on the Mount. Being merciful, it seems to me, is the only good idea we have received so far. Perhaps we will get another idea that good by and by-and then we will have two good ideas. What might that second good idea be? I don’t know. How could I know? I will make a wild guess that it will come from music somehow. I have often wondered what music is and why we love it so. It may be that music is that second good idea’s being born.
“I choose as my text the first eight verses of John twelve, which deal not with Palm Sunday but with the night before-with Palm Sunday Eve, with what we might call ‘Spikenard Saturday.’ I hope that will be close enough to Palm Sunday to leave you more or less satisfied. I asked an Episcopalian priest the other day what I should say to you about PalmSunday itself. She told me to say that it was a brilliant satire on pomp and circumstance …
Share this with A year ago
Donald Trump produced the biggest political upset in modern-day America, but
were there historical clues that pointed to his unexpected victory? Flying into
Los Angeles, a descent that takes you from the desert, over the mountains, to
the outer suburbs dotted with swimming pools shaped like kidneys, always brings
on a near narcotic surge of nostalgia. This was the
flight path I followed more than 30 years ago, as I fulfilled a boyhood dream
to make my first trip to the United States. America had always fired my
imagination, both as a place and as an idea. So as I entered the immigration
hall, under the winsome smile of America's movie star president, it was hardly
a case of love at first sight. My
infatuation had started long before, with Westerns, cop shows, superhero comic
strips, and m…
http://mediarostra.com/2012/09/11/idolatry-of-the-family/ September 11, 2012 By Ben Ponder, Editor-at-LargeLeave a Comment Jesus
didn’t die on a God-forsaken cross to preserve your horn-rimmed vision
of 1950s Americana. He did not go through hell and back to secure the
keys to an exclusive gated community. And he didn’t suffer lacerations
so that your nuclear family could be photographed beside the tulips in
matching shiny egg-white shoes.
Jesus had a family. They were his scraggly followers. Yes, he had
flesh-and-blood siblings, but they thought big brother was a fake and
that mom must have been crazy for buying into all of his religious
ranting. They told him to shut up, so Jesus ignored and disregarded
them. As he was gurgling his last bloody breath at Golgotha, he wheezed
to John—“the disciple whom Jesus loved”—that Mary was to be his mother
and he, her son.
Jesus never married. He liked weddings, though, and he even tended
bar at a reception once. But getting hitched …