Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Here I sit at my computer drinking port and eating chocolate, waiting for the new year so I can blog!  No, just joking. The chocolate and the port go well together, though.

I did not get to go to a New Year's Eve service, which bothers me, because it's one of my favorite services of the year. I love it.  It's still Christmas and the tree is up, yet, we think about our year past and ahead, such a profound and pensive time.

I could blow my trumpet out the front door with a hymn like we did in Germany.  I am not sure what the neighbors would say.

Alsot, at the moment, I am looking at some things Howard said and sent:

Is this the Luther biography he likes?
Comments say that the print is really small but the book is fantastic.  I'm tempted but small print turns me off these days advancing age.

Here are some other things Howard sent me that I want to deal with:

Back in the 90′s, I had the privilege of attending the CURE debate in Pasadena on this, which you can still get hold of:
I also was honored to attend a two-part lecture around a year later in Cambridge, England, by the late Dr Robert Preus:
Much of the key material in these papers and debates is also covered well in the book, “Roman Catholicism – Evangelical Protestants analyze what divides and unites us:
Luther’s stand against Rome, especially on matters of faith and salvation, are, sadly, just as key today to the whole issue as they have always been.Hope that helps.

And then he wrote this for me, quoting Pope Benedict, Ratzinger:

“For nearly half a century, the church was split into two or three obedience’s that ex-communicated one another, so that every catholic lived under ex-communication by one pope or another and in the last analysis, no one could say with certainty which one had right on his side. The church no longer offered certainty of salvation. She had become questionable in her whole objective form. The true church, the true pledge of salvation HAD TO BE SOUGHT OUTSIDE the institution.It is against this back-drop of a profoundly shaken ecclesiastical consciousness that we are to understand that Luther, in the conflict between his search for salvation and the tradition of the church ultimately came to experience the church not as the guarantor but as the adversary of salvation”.
Historical assessment of the reason for the reformation by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
(now Pope Benedict XVI!).

That's a pretty cool quote!  Sad for the church but kind of insightful of the pope.

He wrote this to me because I wanted to discuss this link of a lecture at Concordia College with RC Bishop Bolen of Saskatoon.

That's enough links for one evening.

I am going to sing and pray something because I did not get to go to church.  The Lord bless us and keep us in the new year.  I look forward to seeing him some day face to face.  Come Lord Jesus come and you, gentle reader be there, too.  He is our entire salvation.  Here is a prayer snitched from Larry at "The Sacrament is the Gospel"-blog.

“Oh Lord even though I were John the Baptist, I could not give you an account of my life and deeds. I consider that I am devout and your servant, not because of my life and works but because you have promised to be and you continually are merciful to me through Jesus Christ. For when I am unholy he is holy, when I am not a servant of God he is God’s servant, when I have cares and fears he is free of all cares and fear. Therefore I will come in his stead and be glad that in and through him I am holy. O’ my God, I am sure that I am holy in your sight and a servant of yours, not through myself, for I feel the guilt of my sin, but through Jesus Christ who has pardoned all my sin and who has settled all for me.”
–Prayer by Martin Luther

Wonderful!  So it is.  Thanks be to God!

Monday, December 27, 2010

current state of non-blogging/ Christian History Project

On Facebook I mentioned my grave disappointment with the handling of Luther in the latest installment of the Christian History Project, Volume 9, "A Century of Giants".  I am still reading the book, but find that throughout we are getting something of a character assassination which I find deeply disturbing on many levels. I have protested to Ted Byfield in my payment for the book and alerted him to my intention to critique what has been done in the book.  I could probably use help and anyone who is interested could give a hand. 

Current state of non-blogging/ Immaculate Conception of Mary continued

There has been some commenting on James Swan's blog on the sermon on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.  In this last post he quotes me quite a bit.  If anyone has any corrections or feedback, I would welcome your comments.  There are now several posts along those lines.  The discussion could be more fruitful.  The entire sermon by Luther really needs to be read with some measure of intelligence.