Posts

Deathworks

Image
  The Church Among the Deathworks | Carl R. Trueman Long ago, Nietzsche’s Madman asked the rhetorical question, “What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?” Sadly, it seems that too many of the gravediggers these days are members of the clergy. "Deathworks" is a term which Carl Trueman introduces in his book " The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self ." The term was coined by sociologist Philip Rieff as "the act of using the sacred symbols of a previous era in order to subvert, then destroy, their original significance and purpose." While there are many deathworks among us none are as vibrant or forceful as those of the LGBTQ and the inroads they have made into the Church. This article is a quick introduction to the idea with application; if you enjoy his writing, I do recommend his book as an expansive discussion of what is wrong with modern man.

(pri)DEMON(th): The WELS statement on transgenderism

Image
The WELS Conference of Presidents published a Statement on Human Sexuality, Personhood, Identity, and the Historic Christian Faith in October of 2019. It's quite good; I encourage you to read the whole thing and I'll make a few observations here. First, this statement is not held to the same standards as a doctrinal statement, so while it is considered pure doctrine and provides guidance for pastors and laity it is not "enforceable" per see.  Second, the document references similar statements by the ELS and the  LCMS . The ELS document is a single paragraph with fourteen Scripture references. It is incredibly concise but provides no specific guidance. The LCMS document spends its first third discussing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defining terms and getting a secular perspective and noting the changes from release IV to 5, where the views on transgenderism started to liberalize. The next third bring Scripture to bear, noting that Jesus

Truth and Love

Image
  "No Christian churchman should dream of complaining when Truth is given precedence over Love, or, more accurately, love for God and His Word over love for man." -Kurt Marquart, The Question of Procedure in Theological Controversies (note the obvious application to affirming pronouns, etc.)

(pri)DEMON(th): is upon us

Image
  Pride month is upon us, and it is a doctrine of demons. Many of us will not hear anything of it from our pulpits this month. Some might get vague references curbed by the caveats that "all sins are equal" and "look at the plank in your own eye before the spec in theirs." Very few will have a Pastor willing to speak against these sins as being distinctively evil and damaging to both body and soul.  This month I intend to be being laser-focused on the cultural sins of our age because I fall in the former camp - my pastor will not touch these things with a ten-foot pole even when he is given encouragement to do so.  To start - let us make it abundantly clear that pride month is a doctrine of demons. Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:9 calls out both the "active" and "passive" participants in homosexual relationships, using the sexual slang of his day. A chapter earlier he tells the Corinthian congregation to "deliver over to Satan" a man in the co

Amazing

Image
  Hat tip to OldLuth (worth a follow!) With some commentary:

God of the Gaps

Image
Following up on The Devil put Dinosaurs Here , permit me a thought experiment. What if oil is not really a fossil fuel? It isn't a terribly far-fetched idea. We know methane in particular can be generated abiotically and can be detected on planets where scientists have no reason to believe life exists or ever existed. There is evidence for the abiogenesis of methane  on planet earth. If oil is somehow found out to renewable, then the link between oil and fossils is broken. The problem would be that Dr. Eggert's explanation is now nonsensical. The argument that God made fossils because fossils go along with oil longer makes sense. Dr. Eggert is left holding the bag. Again, this is a hypothetical, but this demonstrates a broader problem: using the framework of science to explain difficulties in our theology is liable to backfire because science has no concrete basis in eternal Truth. Science is based on observations which can be invalidated and replaced by new observations. Newto

The Theology of the Cross: not a theology of loserdom

Image

Woke in the WELS: Mike Novotny's pronouns are mark/avoid

Image
Yes, Mike, it is. I wish I could say that Pastor Novotny spends ten minutes beating around the bush to get to the correct answer, but if that were the case I wouldn't be posting it as Woke in the WELS. Pastor Novotny ultimately says somewhere around the seven minute mark that you can't transition your gender. It is a sin to choose your own gender. This is correct. However, Pastor Novotny equivocates on the question of using a chosen pronoun. Around 2:25 he says "Preferred pronouns, attending [gay] weddings like that, these are issues where I really think the Christians who love the truth of the Bible and love of Jesus might end up in different places." Not right places, not wrong places, different places. He frames this in terms of the supposed quandary "[H]ow do we decide whether this is the time to be bold with the truth or to patiently love someone and deepen a relationship?" which is repeated more verbosely to close out the video. Pastor Novotny makes a

Big, if true!

Image
I'm behind on my BHoP but I just listened to Episode 222 - wherein they answered a listener question submitted by a Pastor Mark Schroeder who identifies himself as 70 years old ... does the WELS synod president listen to BHoP? Big, if true!

The devil put dinosaurs here

Image
   (* there is no Alice in Chains without Layne Staley. Don't do drugs, kids.) This post is going to investigate one of the arguments made by Dr. Arthur A. Eggert in an article entitled "Genesis 1 and Science" published in the Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Vol 117, No. 4 (Fall 2020). As this article is subject to copyright, I will not reproduce it in full, but I'll excerpt a few paragraphs under fair-use. Overall the article is a fair articulation of the Lutheran young-earth-creationist (but I repeat myself) position with a number of "Science Background Notes" which pull in information regarding radiation, tectonic plates and such. The only thing I quibble with (well, ok there's two things, the other being that he doesn't capitalize pronouns referring to God) is his explanation of the fossil record. Quoting his "Science Background Note 11":  " To scientists , soil and fossils are closely related. Each of them is the product of the deat