Thursday, April 27, 2006

My New Nickname

Andy over at Green Underground has given me permission to use the nickname he has for me under his blogroll: I can now refer to myself as the official Ablaze! Firefighter. I about fell over laughing the first time I saw it! So I went ahead and asked for his permission to use the name in a future post. Andy said that permission was not necessary and to go ahead use it and feel free to have fun with it. What a hoot! Thanks Andy!!

Now, I know that I’ve disappointed many as it seems that I’ve fallen down on my job of putting out the fires of bad theology that is Ablaze! But it is important to remember that the district conventions are coming up. And after the districts meet, then it will be our beloved synod’s turn to convene. Heck, with the Southeastern el Presidente Rev Dr. Diefenthaler saying things already like “we need to be less church minded and more mission minded” comedy will only abound, I promise. And when it does, this mild mannered blogger will step into the metaphorical phone booth of the Unaltered Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and emerge, once again, the Ablaze! Firefighter, fighting for doctrinal truth, Divine justice, and Confessional Lutherans everywhere!

A big thanks goes to Jake who created the picture for this post. Jake is one of those little raggamuffins in my Sunday school class for the high school youth. I'm sure I've talked about them a time or two. Little is probably not the best way to describe Jake as he has been taller than me for some time now. But you get the idea...Thanks again Jake!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

An Easter Hymn

I’d like to use this post to once again explain why confessional Lutherans sing the hymns they do. As I’ve said before, hymns should proclaim the Gospel. Let’s look at the reading for the first Sunday after Easter: the Holy Gospel according to St. John, 20:19-29 :
Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,[for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Our hymn of the day was O Sons and Daughters of the King. John M Neal 1818-1866 attributes the text of the hymn to Jean Tisserand with the translation. The text is confessional. By confessional I mean that it confesses the Gospel message of Scripture. The hymn repeats back the Gospel reading for the day in beautiful words set to the tune O Filii Et Filiae and in doing so it becomes proclamation. Confessional hymns let Scripture shape the text. The alternative is to let flawed human reasoning and emotion filled text twist Scripture into what we would have it say.

I have said before in numerous posts that I very fortunate to attend a church sings and confesses the Church’s Gospel message. This past Sunday’s hymn of the day is evidence of this. The text for this beautiful hymn is as follows:

O sons and daughters of the King, Whom heavenly hosts in glory sing,
Today the grave has lost its sting:Alleluia!
That night the Apostles met in fear, Among them came their master dear And said:
"My peace be with you here":Alleluia!
When Thomas first the tidings heard That they had seen the risen Lord,
He doubted the disciples word:Alleluia!
“My pierced side, O Thomas see, And look upon My hands, My feet;
Not faithless but believing be":Alleluia!
No longer Thomas then denied; He saw the feet, the hands, the side;
"You are my Lord and God," he cried:Alleluia!
“Blessed are they who have not seen And yet whose faith has constant been,
For they eternal life they shall”:Alleluia!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XXII

Lutheran Carnival XXII is up at Pastor Walter Snyder's blog: Ask The Pastor. Ask The Pastor is one of my daily reads and all who visit are sure to enjoy as well! So, go for a visit and see what a great job he's doing with the Carnival.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

"We only believe in the Bible"

I’ve been having a discussion offline with a Calvinist family member. The argument or discussion if you will, seems to always center on the fact that I keep referencing the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. As I’ve stated in previous posts, the confessions are what Lutherans teach and confess. The confessions will always, always, always point to the Bible as the source of our doctrine. Confessional Lutherans believe that the confessions should be accepted quia (“because”), not quatenus (“insofar as”), they agree with Scripture. As St. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” I’m sorry, but it is not possible for a person to be a Christian and not confess doctrine. The only question is this: is the doctrine that you confess, agree or disagree with Scripture. See an excellent post here by Pastor Scott Stiegmeyer on doctrine and God's Word.

We only believe in the Bible. You’re just like the Catholics, you don’t believe just in the Bible. Who are you to say what the Bible says? ” is something I hear often. Ok, the nasty little swipe of comparing me to a Roman Catholic aside, I do often refer to myself as a small “c” catholic, as in the ancient use of the word meaning universal. But that’s about as close as I get to being Roman. Now sure the Romans are just plain wrong on a huge number of matters, but I will say this much, at least they have retained the Sacraments, something the Calvinist have thrown out because they thought that it would be a good idea just to start all over again from scratch. The enthusiasts thought (and I would argue still think) that the Lutherans of the Reformation just didn’t go far enough because they (once again, it was the Lutherans who) retained the Mass and even held it in higher esteem than Rome (AC XXIV} , continued to baptize infants as well as other serious theological issues. For the radical reformers, the enthusiasts, it was really about throwing the baby out with the bath water. To me this is like saying I’m not going to eat French food because the French are a bunch of cheese eating surrender monkeys. That may be true, but they have some damn good cuisine that I happen to enjoy cooking and eating. And don’t get me started on French wines… But let’s get back to the original reason for the post.

How about this one “We don’t use the word Trinity in our church. We talk about the Father, Son and the Spirit. That trinity “thing”, that’s something that the Catholics teach. We don’t do that in our church. Our church believes in the Bible.” So by this confession one is left to wonder, does this family member of mine reject the ancient, historical, and Scriptural teaching of the Trinity? Apparently, insofar as their understanding of Scripture takes them. But one can only guess where that is.

Or one of my favorites from a previous post. I've been arguing with family members who say we should confess our sins only to God, but our faults, well, those we need to confess to one another. I've tried to point to John 20:23 with no success. As a Lutheran I confess that Christ really means what he says. If Christ says His servants of Word and Sacrament have the authority to forgive sins, then that is what I believe. He isn't starting off this command like He would with a parable"the kingdom of heaven is like this or that." He is not using metaphorical or symbolic language here. I was informed, by said family member that a commentary they had on hand stated that this is one of the misunderstood passages of Scripture. I'm sorry but Scripture trumps a commentary. Of course, oh lucky me, Calvin was quoted as saying Jesus didn't really mean what he said.

So when Jesus proclaims in Matthew 28:18 that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” does he really mean to tell the apostles to baptize or teach? Does He really mean what he says this time? Where else is it possible that the Bible might be misunderstood? Does Christ redeem us from the curse of the Law or is Galatians 3:13 misunderstood? Is there really a hope of a resurrection or is 1 Peter 2:24 misunderstood? I could go on like this forever!

Here’s an example of how playing a guessing game as to what a particular church’s confession is has personally affected me: I wouldn’t commune at a church in my hometown because the pastor reworded the Nicene Creed. Why is this a big deal you ask? This pastor had so butchered the creed that I no longer could tell if this church, which I had visited many times in the past and communed there as well, shared the same confession of faith. And since I didn’t hear said pastor preach Christ crucified in his sermon, it was as if I was in a church that just liked to make it up as they go. There are no words for how angry I was when I left after the service. I was not fed by either Word or Sacrament in the very place that I know I should’ve been fed. Was I making too big of a deal out of a little matter? No I was not! In his epistle to the Romans 10:9,10 St. Paul wrote “That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” This is why people like me cling to the confessions, because it ensures we are all on the same sheet of music. If you like your music to be of the Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant variety that’s fine, just don’t interrupt my Bach Chorale and tell me we’re listening to the same thing!

My point is this: it is the Calvinist that can’t accept Scripture for what it is. Whether because of human reason or something else, it is the Calvinist who looks inward to understand his or her faith. It is the confessional Lutheran, who by faith looks to Scripture, and in spite of human reason, believes the Word of God because it is the Word of God! It is the confessions that are used to defend against those who say the Bible says this but means that. This is what answers the question “Who are you to say what the Bible says?” Scripture alone determines what Scripture teaches. It is not up to each individual church, or each individual for that matter, to decide which part of the Bible they like or dislike and create doctrines around those likes or dislikes. As I believe a Lutheran once said, “this is most certainly true!”

Friday, April 21, 2006

Board Of Education Nomination

Unless there are nominations from the floor (not that this ever happens) of our May voters meeting it looks like I'll be the new chair for the Board of Education at church. I've been teaching the little ragamuffins in the high school class for four years now and have absolutely loved it! In my class we have taught everything from the Augustana to Revelation( the book of the Bible, not the kind of revelations that the head of the 600 Club: Pat Robertson says he gets from Jesus saying it would be a good idea to assassinate heads of state ). Heading the Board of Ed. should be fun even though I'm not the most organized individual on the planet.
Heck, maybe I can convince the parents to allow the opening to done in Latin like it should be. Oh, the possibilities...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Looking For Miracles

Wouldn’t it be nice to see a miracle or two? I know I’ve thought that every now and then. I’ve thought to myself; self, wouldn’t it be nice if God did the whole writing on stone tablets or burning bush thingy? How about a pillar of fire? A couple jars of water turned to wine would be nice. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a miracle or two to help with those little moments of unbelief? Wouldn’t it be nice to actually see a real live miracle?

I’ve been accused, on more than one occasion, of being hard headed. And for the most part it’s true, really. My thick skull is the reason that for nearly twenty years I was a proud, card carrying atheist. If I couldn’t see it, then I wasn’t going to believe it. I wanted proof of everything. I wanted to see proof of everything. And everybody knows that miracles just don’t happen nowadays, that was just something that happened in Old Testament times. Sure Jesus and the apostles did a miracle or two some two thousand years ago. But that was then and this is now. Miracles are just something we teach kids in our Sunday school classes. Aren’t they?

Saturday at my church we observed the Great Easter Vigil. Here’s my vicar’s write up in the newsletter on the history of the ancient service: "At the conclusion of the Good Friday service, the congregation again exits silently, in order to gather anew outside of the church on Saturday at sunset, since sundown was considered the beginning of the next day in Jewish calendars. The participants congregate around a bonfire, and the Easter Vigil begins. The Christ candle is lit from the fire, and the light of Christ is distributed to all by individual candles. The congregants process into the darkened sanctuary, where they move into the Service of Readings, recounting God s gracious acts to save His people (The Flood, The Deliverance at the Red Sea, etc.). The Vigil continues in the Service of Baptism, the traditional time for baptisms in the early church. Adult converts would be instructed throughout the period of Lent and would be baptized along with their families at the Easter Vigil. This was done in a baptistery separate from the sanctuary. The newly baptized would then march into the sanctuary Easter morning joining the corporate Body of Christ in the celebration of the Lord s Supper, a practice mirrored in the Vigil liturgy, which concludes with the Easter Acclamation (Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!), along with the celebration of the Lord supper." We started observing the Great Easter Vigil three years ago and I believe it one of the most beautiful services of the Church year!

One of the things that made this particular service special was the baptism of Wesley Patton. His parents decided to follow the ancient tradition that many adult catechumens of early Church got to experience centuries ago. Through the ordinary element of water combined with extraordinary word and promise of our Lord, Wesley Patton was sealed with the mark of Christ and welcomed into the kingdom of all believers. To quote the Augsburg Confession IX: “that through Baptism is offered the grace of God, and that children are to be baptized who, being offered to God through Baptism are received into God's grace.”

And my point is this: at the Great Easter Vigil I got to see several miracles. I was able to witness a child baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. By witnessing Wesley Patton's baptism, I saw a real live miracle. Through the eyes of faith, I witnessed an infant saint sealed with the cross of Christ forever. Later in the service I heard the words of Christ Himself that took the ordinary elements of bread and wine and made them into forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation for the faithful. By faith I saw real miracles Saturday night.

So, as it turns out, I see miracles happen all the time. Through the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments, our Lord performs miracles wherever two or three are gathered in his name. I just wish that sometimes I always saw things as I should.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

More On The "Gospel" Of Judas

I've heard two people in three days say that "the Bible was just written by men so who can really say what's the truth." I knew this would happen as soon as I heard the first news story reporting someone had found the"lost" "gospel of Judas. This is to be expected I guess in today's post modern society where all things are true except that which is true.

There are several good posts on this subject in the Lutheran blogosphere. Pastor McCain over at Cyberbrethern has another entry with this post. Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer at Burr in the Burgh has two more posts here and here. Robert Hunter over at The Heresy Hunter has two of his own here and here. But my favorite entry is still "The gospel of ignorance" by Mollie Ziegler at Get Religion.

And if you really want to read the Gnostic text itself and find out why the Church fathers spoke against this ancient heresy go to this link to read the "gospel" of Judas.

Lenten Hymns

Boy, I’m going to miss Lent. I say this every single year. And I mean it, every single year after year after year. Lent is really my favorite time of the Church year.

One of the reasons is that we seem to sing more of my favorite hymns during Lent. Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed by Isaac Watts and O Dearest Jesus, What Law Have You Broken by Johann Heermann are two hymns I could sing throughout the year over and over. And if there is a better hymn to sing during Lent than Paul Gerhard’s translation of Bernard of Clairvaux’s O Sacred Head Now Wounded, then I’m just not aware of it.

The reason I love these hymns so much is that they are confessional. By confessional I mean that these hymns repeat back the very Scripture that God gives to feed us. And by confessing God’s Word, the hymns become the proclamation of God’s Word. During the season of Lent we focus on our Lord as he turns His face towards Jerusalem to complete His ministry. Our Lenten hymnody reflects these portions of Scripture. Put to music are the very doctrines and teachings of the Church catholic for us to sing.

This is not to say that there is any lack of good hymnody throughout the rest of the Church year. It’s just that I appreciate the Lenten hymns a little more.

Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed by Isaac Watts
1.Alas! and did my Savior bleed, and did my Sovereign die!
Would he devote that sacred head for sinners such as I?
2. Was it for crimes that I have done, he groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown! And love beyond degree!
3. Well might the sun in darkness hide, and shut its glories in,
when God, the mighty maker, died for his own creature's sin.
4. Thus might I hide my blushing face while his dear cross appears;
dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt mine eyes to tears.
5. But drops of tears can ne'er repay the debt of love I owe.
Here, Lord, I give myself away; 'tis all that I can do.

O Dearest Jesus, What Law Have You Broken by Johann Heermann
1.O dearest Jesus, what law have you broken
That such sharp sentence should on you be spoken?
Of what great crime have you to make confession,
What dark transgression?
2.They crown your head with thorns, they smite, they scourge you;
With cruel mockings to the cross they urge you;
The give you gall to drink, they still decry you;
They crucify you.
3.What is the source of all your mortal anguish?
It is my sins for which you, Lord, must languish;
Yes, all the wrath, the woe that you inherit,
This I do merit.
4.How strange is this great paradox to ponder:
The shepherd dies for sheep who love to wander;
The master pays the debt his servants owe him,
Who would not know him.
5.The sinless Son of God must die in sadness;
The sinful child of man may live in gladness;
We forfeited our lives yet are acquitted;
God is committed!
6.O wondrous love, whose depth no heart has sounded,
That brought you here, by foes and thieves surrounded,
Conquer my heart, make love its sole endeavor
Henceforth forever!
7.When, dearest Jesus, at your throne in heaven
To me the crown of joy at last is given,
Where sweetest hymns your saints forever raise you,
I too shall praise you!

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Cool Email, From A Fan Of Putting Out The Fire

I got a really cool email on Friday. Here's the entire email with the exception of the name of it's author. (and used with permission of course, of course)

> Frank, WHAT HAPPENED???? Did you finally do it????? Put out the fires, I mean! Got my April Lutheran Witness, and there is not one, single, solitary mention, logo, or reference to Ablaze!. And most of the list of contributing authors is enough to make any Confessional smile. Just sign me, Twice Burned in ********.

Here is my response to said email:

******, I wish! If only I had that kind of power....hmm, world domination...hmm, but sadly I do not. I really am not as pessimistic as I sometimes sound. I really do believe that there is hope that the LCMS can be turned around. The problem is that it will take time. We didn't get to the place we're at overnight. I look to the younger generation who see their parents miserably failed post modern feel good theology for what it is and want to go back to being confessional Lutherans again! As long as there are good pastors out there who can properly catechize the laity, there is hope. That's for the email and feel free to keep in touch. It's good to hear from like minded folks where ever they are. Especially in Twice Burned ********. Pax, Frank

Now I know that sometimes my sarcasm comes across as doom and gloom. This is really more of a quirk of my personality than my outlook on life. To have an outlook on matters of the Church that is negative is really a lack of or an unwillingness to trust that God is God. If Scripture says that Christ will be with us wherever His Word is preached purely and His sacraments are administered rightly, than He will be! This in spite of what we, myself included, poor and miserable sinners try to do to pervert the Gospel.

My problem, and boy do I wish it was everybody's problem, with the Ablaze! program is that it has all its focus on us and what we do instead of what Christ has done for us and continues to do for us every time we hear the Word preached and receive the Eurchrist. This idea that we need to do something for God's Church is exactly why American evangelicalism is so screwed up right now. And I for one do not understand how a supposedly confessing church that has confessions that state exactly what we believe and teach can get it so wrong.

Now onto the original email... I'm about a month behind on my reading. The last thing Lutheran that I read was the March issue of the Lutheran Witness where our synodical president Rev Jerry Kieschnick said that St. Patrick was Ablaze! Once my convulsions stopped and the nauseous feeling subsided I took a little break from things Lutheran and went on to reading comic books. At least when Spider-Man talks trash about Captain America it's just make believe. So with my little sabbatical I didn't even catch that there was nothing in this month's Lutheran Witness about the Ablaze! program. And as I stated in my response above, I just don't command that much power to make Ablaze! go away. I just don't! Sorry ******.

The "Gospel" Of Judas

Last week it was reported that the long lost "gospel" of Judas Iscariot was found. Oh joy, as if we didn't have to hear enough garbage about secret gospel texts that the church catholic has been keeping hidden with that stupid DaVinci Code movie coming out soon. Now, we get to listen to people who pretend to be theologians, go on diatribes about how the Gnostics were right all along. And now we all get to hear all about how Judas was the only disciple that actually got it, he was the only one that Jesus actually trusted with the "real" mission. No, I'm not looking forward to this at all. All weekend long I was reading in the paper and on the internet about how the "Lost Gospel Has Been Found". Of course this completely ignores 2000 years of real Church history! The only valid argument I could see was the statement that early Christianity was an exclusive little club that didn't allow differing opinions. Well duh, when these Gnostic ideas directly conflict with Scripture and Christ himself, what do these so called historians expect? Allowing every opinion to be valid is for the local philosophy club and for the French for crying out loud!

There are several good post on this matter already out there in the blogosphere already. The first I came across is at Burr In The Burgh by Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer here. Cyberbrethern has two excellent posts here and here. And finally, Get Religion has her entry here entitled "The gospel of ignorance". All three sites are favorite reads of mine and I'm sure you'll enjoy them as well.

Putting Out The Fire Wins Prestigious Award

It has just been announced that Putting Out The Fire has just won a prestigious award, the Golden Ardie. The most honorable Orycteropus Afer at Aardvark Alley had this to say about A. Blaise's guest post: "‡ After reading A Modest Proposal for a New Book of Concord Translation, a number of people came away marveling at Frank's grasp of Confessional scholarship and the nuances of hermeneutics and translation. As you read the rest of the blog, you'll see that Putting Out the Fire was no flash in the pan but a steady flame of Lutheran light in the South."

Putting Out The Fire is honored to have even been concidered for such an award. The site has gotten alot of great feedback because of the now honored post. Perhaps we can convince A. Blaise to write another post. That is as long as not too many people object to someone writing a post at this site who has such a French sounding name!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Beast's Lair Added To Blogroll

I first became aware of Philip Meade's blog The Beast's Lair with this post over at Burr in the Burgh. Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer introduced the Beast this way " A Baptist youth minister with a penchant for gruesome horror movies." How cool is that? Very! This guy is right up my alley.

Then a few days later the Beast wrote a post on the importance of including both Law and Gospel in a sermon. The Beast writes " what most people are getting these days is one half of the Gospel message. They receive the meek, gentle, welcoming, healing, providing, sustaining Jesus who is ready to serve their needs whenever the time is right for the believer. What they aren't receiving is the other half of the Gospel, that needs to come before what I have just mentioned. The problem causing, sin convicting, revolutionary Jesus who is willing to forgive your sin, but not willing to let you get a free pass from recognizing your sin. Matthew 10:34 has Jesus speaking and telling those listening that "I did not come to bring peace, but I have brought a sword."

WOW! This guy gets it! There can be no Gospel without Law because without the law to condemn us we have no need for a savior. How many people leave the pews on Sunday and think that their purpose in life is to do good works for God based on what they've heard in the sermon. It's not all about us, it's all about Christ. The Beast rightfully states "Jesus repeatedly asks people to do things He knows perfectly well they can't do, and he does this to point out their sin to them. In John 4, Jesus asks the Samaritan woman to go get her husband, knowing full well that she did not have one. It kind of destroys the evangelical cliche that "Christ will never ask you to do anything you can't do." His honest confrontation forced her to admit her condition, and then Jesus takes over for her. "

A Baptist youth minister with a penchant for gruesome horror movies understands and articulates better than most Lutherans about what they should expect every time they hear a sermon. That is too cool! And the best part, he's teaching youth. While the Beast and I are going to differ on a couple of theological issues that I think are importain and should not be glossed over, his confession of the Gospel is clear. Did I mention he likes horror movies? Go visit the The Beast's Lair and show your support for a Baptist "Law and Gospel" brother in the holy catholic faith.

New Sites Added To Blogroll

I've added some new sites to my blogroll today. I've been going to these sites for a while but have just been too lazy to do the update.

First up is Father John Fenton's blog Conversi ad Dominum. Fr. Fenton is a Lutheran Pastor up in Detroit.
Second is Our Little House On The Prairie. This blog is complete with all the characters of the TV show except that they are real and better yet, Lutheran.

I added a new category to the blogroll called Other Web Sites for lack of a better idea. In this category is Biblical Art On The Web which is self explanatory, Blue Letter Bible which is great resource for looking things up in scripture, and Zhubert which is another great tool for those of us who don't read Greek or Hebrew all that well. This site helps to find out what the original Old and New testament language says and why things are translated into today's language the way they are. There is no sense at all in taking Eugene Patterson's word for it that the Bible says one thing but means another.

My final addition I'll leave for a separate post which will require a little more typing.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Two Good Joel Osteen Posts

Here are two good Joel Osteen posts that I read yesterday but didn't have time to link to. The first is at Cyberbrethren here. And the second is over at Get Religion right here.

I've decided that I probably shouldn't post on Pastor Joel after receiving hate mail and threats from those who only want their best life now. I had to remove the city of Raleigh from my profile and replace it with the huat south to go back to something resembling anonymity. I have previously posted on Pastor Joel here, here, and here. I really dont understand why everyone got upset. I thought I made it perfectly clear that I really wanted to go see him when he came to Raleigh. Oh well, I guess I can't please everyone.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Those Peaceful Mohammadians

Usually I don't post about political matters but this is, in my humble opinion, not just a political matter. The Associated Press reports this gem from Tehran:

Iran said it successfully tested another new torpedo Monday, the latest weapon unveiled during war games in the Gulf. The torpedo can target submarines at any depth and is powerful enough to "break a heavy warship" in two, a spokesman for Iran’s Revolutionary Gaurds, Gen. Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghani, told state television. He did not announce the name of the new torpedo or give details on its speed or range. On Sunday, Iran announced it had tested a different torpedo, the new high-speed "Hoot," which means "whale." It moves at up to 223 mph, and Iran said it was too fast for any enemy ship to elude. On Friday, Iran tested the Fjr-3, a missile that can avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads. The Revolutionary Guards, the elite force of Iran's military, have been holding their maneuvers — code-named "Great Prophet" — since Friday, touting what they call domestically built technological advances in their armed forces.

Ok, let me see if I'm understanding this right: naming a war game exercise where the object is to practice killing people after your "great prophet", that's good, drawing a cartoon depicting your prophet with a bomb on his head, that's bad. I just a little unclear on all of this. I thought the Mohammadians were a peaceful people. Nope, as it so happens, they are not.

A Modest Proposal Update

I got a number of emails concerning my "modest proposal" post and thought I would list two comments that I thought raised valid points

"Now, the only thing I would caution you about is not to quickly dismiss the 1584 Latin.This was in fact received by the German Lutheran church as a truly authoritative text, that is to say, an edition that was received as nearly as equal an authority as the German. In fact, the 1584 was intentionally prepared after an earlier botched job was rejected. When it was published the only thing they did NOT do was to print the over 8,000 names of people who subscribed it because they did not think it fair to all these people to put their names on something they had all not personally had a chance to read, but...the Latin text did and was an authoritative text and used as such for many, many years in the Lutheran Church."

My favorite email stated "that the 1580 German BOC and its authoritative 1584 Latin translation ARE in fact the texts to which people subscribed and pledged themselves and the form in which they accepted the Lutheran Confessions. In fact, you may want to add to your article this VERY important point. The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod Articles of Incorporate refer *pointedly* to the 1580 German Book of Concord...and...even more important...the new hymnal coming out in its Agenda, in the ordination and installation rites for all church workers, pastors and teachers, pledge them to the 1580 Book of Concord, by date. Whereas, in the previous Agenda, it just said "Lutheran Confessions" and "Book of Concord."."