Saturday, January 28, 2006

Why Talking About the Church Starts with Christ

Found this essay:
http://www.ptsem.edu/grow/barth/church_as_witness.htm

Another cool blog

It's called For God's Sake, Shut Up!
http://forgodssakeshutup.blogspot.com/

Cool Hunsinger quote

In a post entitled Meaning of Life? Caring for All Creation, Mischievous writes the following:

"My best teacher of theology in seminary was George Hunsinger. I thought I might start today’s blog with a quote from him: 'Because there is more grace in God than sin in us, we need not give up hope for anyone, not even for ourselves.'"

You can read more at http://misfitchristian.blogspot.com/

CPT'ers still alive

While you can call it pure speculation, I believe that the fact these guys are still kickin' is a sign that something incredible is happening between them and their captives, and I dare to speculate that as Christians they are witnessing their own personal peace with Jesus Christ. If they are ever released, they will pardon their captors. They will not enable any retribution by our military because they do not want it. Thank God they do not desire retribution, as tempting as it may be. Pray for their strength, especially Norman who's 74 (although I somehow envision this man as a Ron Loescher type).

Great Barth site

If I actually had HTML skills (along with my bo staff skills and nunchuk skills), then I would have some neat list of cool barth sites on the right hand side of the screen. But since that is not the case, make due with whatcha got.

Here's a 3rd year MDIV student at Pittsburgh Seminary:

http://wallybarthman.blogspot.com

Cool cat!

Hunsinger to the rescue of Chalcedon

Just read this post from another Princeton student:

http://dbcoleman.blogspot.com/2005/09/thoughts-on-theology-today.html

Friday, January 27, 2006

Creationsim British Style

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4648598.stm

The Painful and Rewarding Process of Writing

Hilja came over last night and managed to totally transformed this application essay writing experience, even after a hellish day at work. She's such a good coach! And there was my wife, cheering me on from the couch, making hilarious comments along the way.

We got the white board out and brainstormed my experiences to fit into three categories that princeton wants to know about: 1. My commitment to Jesus Christ and His Church. 2. My gifts, previous education, and experience that indicate potential for leadership. 3. My capacity to undertake serious academic preparation for the ministries of the Church.

We looked around for a theme, a foil, a guiding metaphor or narrative to hang all this stuff on. Then she had me look over everything that was on the board and take a half hour to walk outside and process. Then I came back, set the timer for an hour, and wrote whatever I could get down. Unfortunately, I only got through half of the material, with a 1 1/2 pages single-spaced. It needs to be three pages, and for all the things I have to say it needs to be single-spaced. So I stayed up an additional hour to finish it. I'll show the final product to you when it's done. Frankly, as much of a pain as it has been to reflect on myself, yielding mixed and ambiguous results, it has been good on many levels - both in terms of thinking of future goals but also realizing that my commitment toward Jesus Christ remains the center of my life. And Hilja's helped me to say it in way that is tactful and not just this given reality, i.e. "I converted at age __, and from then on I was committed to Jesus Christ." Instead it's taken the form of a crisis that has made me realize how incapacitated I am to solve, rescue, or save myself and the church from its sins.
Perhaps there shall be a public reading of this someday.

What A Full Plate at Princeton Can Look Like

Here's a post I found from a princeton seminary student that gets me excited:

Saturday, September 17, 2005

A Full Plate

Those of you who know me know that during the last few days I've been a tad stressed out. My mind is about as still as a three year old after four candy bars; and my back is already beginning to give, it seems, due to a very heavy workload. What's on tap?

Systematic Theology II with Ellen Charry and George Hunsinger
So far it looks to be promising. We'll be reading Karl Barth via Hunsinger on Christology. Then in the second half of the course, Dr. Charry will lead us through the pitfalls of pneumatology and the third article of the Nicene Creed into the doctrine of the Church (ecclesiology) and issues in world religions.
The Doctrine of Election with Bruce McCormack
Dr. McCormack will guide us from the early church's conception of election/original sin into that concept's development by reformed theologians Calvin and Zwingli and into the theology of Karl Barth. **Salivating**
Foundations of Missional Theology with Darrell Guder
As Nick said to me last week, when the Pope (of missional theology) teaches a class, you sign up. Dr. Guder, now the newly appointed Dean of Academic Affairs, is teaching a class on something he wrote the book on. This class will help me get what I learn in Systematic II out into the real world of 21st century culture...er....I hope. Should be amazing.
Exegesis of Romans with Beverly Gaventa
Now this is the class that you all know I'm most excited about. Reading Romans with Dr. Gaventa, who just finished a 15 month sabbatical during which all she did was study this classic New Testament work, will be, as Paul might say, beneficial.
Introduction to Islam with Mr. Ibrahim (Pass/Fail)
This is what it says it is: an introduction to the history of the religion of Islam. Fairly pertinent, I think....
Introduction to Preaching with Sally Brown
That'll preach.
Now. All of the above constitutes a pretty full workload -- 17 hours to be exact. In addition to this during the week, I'll be working at Old Pine Presbyterian church in the heart of Philadelphia. Today I did what I'm going to be doing every Saturday: pastoring a Saturday for Seniors lunch program at the community center sponsored by Old Pine. I'm there from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m. every Saturday to listen to the stories of the elderly, to help them cope with old age, to pray for and with them, and to be their counselor. I'm twenty three. It's daunting.

On Sundays at Old Pine I will lead worship -- read prayers, read Scripture, and preach. I'm looking forward to all the challenges, triumphs, failures, and glories that come with this. But please, you who read this, pray for me. It's not going to be easy for me, and your thoughts and prayers are most needed.

Oh, and I almost forgot. In addition to all of that, I'm precepting introductory Greek at the Seminary! It's a job, so I get compensated (and handsomely!), but it will involve four more hours of class time a week plus grading quizzes and preparation. And did I mention I'm getting married in June? Yeah, it's going to be a full year....

....But our Lord is the one who gives us life, and life abundantly. I'd be a fool to lament the burden I bear for the sake of my calling, when only by the grace of God I'm not there.

Peace be with you all....

(taken from http://plax.typepad.com/fear_trembling/2005/09/a_full_plate.html)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Did you hear the one about the Communist Ducks ?

So Anneli's reading this book on water resource management in the West of the U.S., and the factors which contributed to them having a severe crisis. One funny example she just shared with me was that apparently the Army Corp of Engineers and Internal Affairs (both pseudo-government) were competing for congressional money and would often start projects (especially dams) just so that the other wouldn't get the job first. Apparently one army engineer proposed building a dam in Alaska. The dam had no justification that would constitute as normal. It would harm the salmon population and provide no help to the people since no one lives there. But this engineer defended his theory, citing the building of a dam on the other side of the peninsula in the Soviet Union as reason enough! "Surely we cannot let the Reds get the upper hand on us. Our dam would be much larger than theirs. As for the effect on wildlife, it appears that the harm would mostly be done to ducks. However, these ducks have migrated from the Soviet Union and settled at the site. We might as well kill 'em Commie ducks!"

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

this kids got pop


need i say more?

Monday, January 23, 2006

New Addition to the Rubero Family


Hey everyone,
So this is Fred. He is an 8 foot tall armless abominable snow monster.
Have a good day
-Josh

Princeton Seminar on Torture and Law

Hey guys,
George Hunsinger recently convened a seminar at Princeton on torture and religion from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim perspectives. Here's a few quotes:

"Danner said the often cited "ticking time bomb theory" (the scenario that a terrorist holds the key to an imminent plot to unleash a nuclear attack on New York City and torturing the terrorist could theoretically avert the attack and thus save millions of lives) is not only unrealistic but also situated "in an utterly bleak world of utilitarian ethics which I think has very little relation to the world we live in." But the utilitarian argument against torture -- that it has not been proven to extract useful intelligence -- concerns Danner as well. Rather than argue about torture's usefulness, he urges those opposed to the practice to argue that it reduces human beings to mere means, which is exactly the point of the terrorism that coercive interrogation techniques are meant to prevent."

"Torture's degradation of the torturers, who are stripped of their capacity both for sympathy and for empathy, and the way torture encourages the broader culture, through self-deception and rationalization, to think the unjustifiable is justified troubles ethicists, philosophers, and religious thinkers. Based on his study of the Holocaust, David Gushee, professor of moral philosophy at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, said he is convinced that torture morally destroys the perpetrators. "Some people feel so guilty and ashamed of what they've done, it's very hard to recover. Even worse, some end up succumbing to sadism that is almost inevitably a byproduct of routinely inflicting that misery on someone else. The idea is to break down the morality of the captive, but it ends up breaking down the morality of the torturer."

"Gary Haugen, president of the human rights agency International Justice Mission, said that evangelicals are largely unaware of the problem and trust the president's good faith. "They are not scared of their government. They are scared of the terrorists," he said. They are also wary of arguments against torture that appear politically motivated. To convince evangelicals to oppose torture, said Haugen, "clear, unadorned, precise facts" uncovered by journalists and human rights organizations linked to theological reflection will work better than broader critiques of the Iraq war, the Bush administration, or presidential power. "The factual stuff -- it is building a huge case" against torture, Haugen suggested, and "it is undermining the confidence" of torture proponents. "The administration is trying to hold a precise policy position that has zero support in Christian ethics," he added, saying that the Bush administration is itself divided over pursuing a policy of torture. "What we don't need is new theology or new metaphors," said Haugen. For evangelicals under 30, "it's just 'Jesus doesn't torture.'"


"The Princeton conference's final statement, endorsed so far by 35 members of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities, condemns torture as violating the "basic dignity of the human person that all religions hold dear. ... It contradicts our nation's most cherished ideals. Any policies that permit torture and inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable." It declares that "nothing less is at stake in the torture abuse crisis than the soul of our nation. What does it signify if torture is condemned in word but allowed in deed? Let America abolish torture now -- without exceptions." Organizers of the religious campaign against torture hope to get 100,000 signatures by the end of 2006."
Read more at:
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week921/exclusive.html

Sunday, January 22, 2006

worship and food (Scott says "why call it refreshments, when its really just food?") at the flywheel tommorow at four. check out ubicaritas.blogspot.com for more info.