Nigerian girls sustained by the Word

How did they survive? The Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014. Some of 276 who were taken were killed. A few escaped. A group of 103 were ransomed last year, and they now live at American University of Nigeria. The Wall Street Journal reports:

“A year ago, most of these young women were focused on survival—eating grass to quell their hunger, sleeping on bare ground near snakes and scorpions, sharing whispered Bible passages in defiance of their captors.

 “Some spent much of their time memorizing lengthy prayers and hymns. Others composed diary entries in their heads—their thoughts, injustices they suffered—they would later log in journals they kept hidden. In secret, they retold the story of Job, the biblical figure who was punished in a test of his faith.”

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US Christianity is not shrinking – 2

Gene Veith provides further analysis of the new findings that US Christianity is not declining but moderate denominations are. Believers with “intense” faith are restless. What should churches do? Veith points to the need for churches to evangelize their own members. With which gospel? Not that of an infallible church, an inerrant scripture, or infallible feelings. Forde points the way for post-liberal Lutherans to the only “true concreteness and ‘objectivity’ in the church.”

US Christianity is not shrinking

US Christianity is growing stronger, not shrinking. But where is the Reformation concern for the pure gospel and sacraments? The ELCA has bought into relativism and yet at the same time an ecclesiastical authoritarianism. LCMC, the NALC, and the LCMS have bought into the authority of an inerrant Bible. Gerhard Forde describes the problem and points the way for “post-liberal Lutherans.”

In the News

The firing of Rev Jacob Worley – Anglican Samizda

How the exodus began. Read more here.

Rev. Jacob Worley | Anglican Samizdat

“…bishops regard obfuscation as a vocational calling…” – read more here.

In the News

Anglican and Lutheran leaders speak out against Niqab ban

Feeble minds at work, Read more here.

No one has a human right to hide from justice behind a veil – Melanie Phillips

“It is a fundamental characteristic of society that faces are visible.” Read more here.

Undoing the Dis-Education of Millennials – Adam MacLeod

This applies to seminaries, too. Read more here.

 

Catholics throw Hacker’s hatchet at Luther

For a hatchet job on Luther, see “Luther: 500 Years After,” by Russell Shaw, former information director of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Shaw praises the republication of Paul Hacker’s 1966 book, The Ego in Faith. Martin Luther and the Origin of Anthropocentric Religion.

The new 2017 edition of Hacker comes with “an informative foreword” by (ex-Lutheran, now Roman Catholic) Reinhard Hutter, who teaches at Catholic University of America.

Hacker claimed that for Luther faith is the self-work of believing. Good grief, not that again.

See Otto Herman Pesch, Roman Catholic expert on Aquinas and Luther, writing on Hacker: “At this point we note that we cannot agree with the pointed criticism of Luther by Paul Hacker in his Das Ich im Glauben bei Martin Luther [The Ego in Faith according to Martin Luther]. Hacker’s objections against Luther’s statuere salutem meam [certainty of salvation] are only tenable when one is thinking in terms of theoretical certitude and of ascertaining something objectively. But Luther’s ‘certainty of salvation’ is nothing more than the movement of faith given by God’s grace. We have reviewed Hacker’s book in Theologische Revue 64 (1968) 51-56.”

See also Oswald Bayer, world-class Lutheran expert on Luther: “Paul Hacker… has taken up the role of prosecuting attorney in his 1966 book…The Ego in Faith…. Starting on purpose with the Small Catechism, he sees Luther as the founder of the subjectivism that is advocated today, which seeks to dissolve all objective truth that stands in the way of the certainty one can achieve purely by self-assurance…. Hacker did not read carefully enough. Otherwise he would have certainly noticed that Luther in fact specifically takes into account the reference to the relationship that is established by God when he addresses me with the words of promise….”

Recall: “I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe.…“

_____________________

1. Otto H. Pesch, O.P., “Existential and Sapiential Theology – the Theological Confrontation between Luther and Thomas Aquinas,” Catholic Scholars Dialogue with Luther, Ed. Jared Wicks (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1970) 189, footnote 21

2. Oswald Bayer, Martin Luther’s Theology. A Contemporary Interpretation, Trans. Thomas H. Trapp (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008) 166-68.

 

In the News

Three Ways to Obtain an Indulgence During 100th Anniversary of Fatima – Maria Rondon

Indulgences are alive and well. Read more here.

Muslim College Takes Over Campus of Lutheran Seminary in Berkeley – John Ellis

Read it and weep.

The BIG celebration for Catholics in October 2017 is _______?

Not the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, but the 100th Anniversary of Fatima. And it’s coming next week. Read more here.

From Conflict to Communion – 12 issues

Here’s a sample:

#1: Lutherans and Catholics agree/disagree on baptism.

#4: C2C conceals the Catholic rejection of “faith alone.”

#6: Why not rescind the 1521 excommunication of Luther?

# 10: Mary, Mary, why are they hiding you?

#11: What about ordaining women?

Read more here.

From Conflict to Communion: Can We Talk? The LWF says “No.”

From Conflict to Communion (C2C) is an LWF-Vatican guide to commemorating the 500 th Anniversary of the Reformation. Unfortunately C2C wants to control the conversation so that real differences are not discussed.

Where do things really stand between Lutherans and Catholics today? Read more here.