Some bits and pieces that might be worth being aware of:
A word of explanation might be needed here. As regular readers know, I try to write a new article each day, and they tend to average some 1500 words. But as some readers also know, my wife’s cancer situation means I am now basically a 24/7 carer of her. There may come a time when it is too much for me to do, and she might have to get more specialised care. But it is manageable for now.
Obviously she is my priority, and if that means I never get to post another piece – at least for the foreseeable future – that is OK. She comes first. However, if the reader does not mind, perhaps instead of always having a single lengthy article posted each day, I can sometimes do this ‘odds and ends’ sort of article.
The format I use here may become a sort of template for any future such articles. If this potpourri is not to your liking, feel free to skip over it until a more proper piece appears. But for those who are still interested, here are a few things that might be of use or interest.
A friend emailed me recently asking about theopassionism. While perhaps 97% of you have no clue what this is about, I replied by saying it is a quite important yet complex and detailed theological discussion. A few pieces help to introduce the topic, including this: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2017/04/21/our-wounded-god/
Even though most things I speak or write about have a theological foundation, yesterday I told myself that I really should ease up on buying new theology books for three reasons:
-I am getting old.
-I no longer lecture at theological colleges.
-I already have an excellent theological library.
Move forward to today. I saw a newish theology book mentioned online, and just ordered it. OK, so maybe I need to work on my resolve a bit more!
And for those of you desperately wondering what that volume was, let me mention it with this background comment. In 2018 I wrote about a rather debated phrase found in the Apostles’ Creed: “he descended into hell”. There has been plenty of discussion about that, so I spend some time examining it in light of Scripture and theology: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/03/27/he-descended-into-hell/
I also featured a number of good books on this for further reading. Well, a year after my piece appeared a new volume came out which dealt with this in some detail. I refer to Matthew Emerson’s “He Descended to the Dead” An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday (IVP, 2019). I will speak to it further once I receive my copy.
I belong to a Club of Two. It is quite likely that no one else will join this club – EVER. I refer to every single human being on the planet who has read all 6254 articles found on my website. One person is me. The other person is Annette Nestor from Perth who has kindly and diligently proof-read every single piece. Take a bow young Annette. You are a champion, and your gallant efforts are recorded in heaven for all eternity.
New books of note
One author I always enjoy is John Piper. I have 39 of his books, and his latest is also a winner: Come, Lord Jesus (Crossway, 2023). It is not a work of systematic theology on the Second Coming of Christ, but more of a biblical and devotional look at various aspects of it. Just one quote:
Jesus’s repeated command that we be awake, ready, on guard, watchful, and vigilant is not because the second coming will take obedient disciples off guard, but because spiritual stupor results in being oblivious to what is happening in the world, and thus being surprised and trapped and ruined. The uncertainty of the time of Christ’s return functions to warn all of us to be spiritually alive and awake and sober because the alternative is a spiritual condition that will be blind to signs and will not be able to recover from satanic stupor when “the lightning . . . lights up the sky from one side to the other” (Luke 17:24). Any presumption of Christ’s delay to justify worldliness puts a heart in a position of spiritual suicide. (p. 258)
I may yet do a proper review of this volume, so stay tuned. And for those who enjoy book reviews, there are 692 to be found on this site: https://billmuehlenberg.com/category/book-reviews/
New articles of note
-The White House ‘pride’ flag shows us ideological takeover of America by an occupying force. The piece concludes:
Flags and banners are important symbols that claim and establish territory or convey an important message. When explorers set sail for new worlds, they planted their nation’s flag in the sandy soil where their ships landed, claiming the newly discovered land for their king and queen.
When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon in July 1969, one of the first things they did was plant the stars and stripes in the barren lunar landscape, declaring to all humanity back on Earth that the moon was first reached by the U.S.A. That flag dealt a crushing symbolic, humiliating blow to the Soviets: They had lost the space race.
The White House, based both on what it says and what it fails to say, has made it clear that neither Christianity, patriotism, or our heroic veterans deserve the same respect, honor, and dignity that it accords the LGBTQIA+ political machine. https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/wake-up-white-house-pride-flag-signals-ideological-takeover-of-the-us-by-an-occupying-force/
-Kevin Andrews on the champ Moira Deeming and the sad, sad state of the Liberal Party. One quote:
The expulsion of Mrs Deeming was an ideological ‘hit’. Deeming had to go because her championing of the rights of women to have safe spaces and fair sporting competition offends the latest lefty woke cause, transgenderism, which had been endorsed by sections of the Liberal party. The political virtue of toleration has been replaced by an insistence that the issues the left advocate must be supported without dissent. John Howard’s ‘broad church’ no longer exists in sections of the Victorian Liberal party. The new progressive left of the party no longer tolerates conservatives. Not only Moira Deeming, but Renee Heath and others, are being shown the departure mat. https://blog.canberradeclaration.org.au/2023/06/15/liberal-party-cleaning-out-the-augean-stables-in-victoria/
–The poor and disabled are being killed off in our post-Christian future. Here is a quote:
I find the term “medical aid in dying” (MAID) deeply pernicious. It is not only an assault on human dignity (which it implicitly claims to defend), but it also employs a rhetorical sleight of hand. The term conjures up an image of someone who is already dying of a painful and terrible disease, and the aid they receive seems good and possibly even heroic. So I will switch from the misleading term “medical aid in dying” and now speak of “physician-assisted killing,” or PAK. https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2023/06/89216/
I was tipped off to some of these articles by John Ballantyne. Thanks John.
You may have been cast off and forsaken by others – even friends and family. But Psalm 27:10 offers this good news:
“For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.”
Need help with your car? Don’t call me.
Need help tending your garden? Don’t call me.
Need help fixing your plumbing? Don’t call me.
Need a few articles written? Call me.
With over 6250 articles found on my website, I guess I can do a bit of writing!
“We all have gifts. They differ according to the grace God has given to each of us.” Romans 12:6
Personal matters and prayer requests
If you come to this site more for theological issues, or culture war matters, you may not want to keep reading here about more personal things. But for those who do…
Obviously my wife and I continue to need prayers. With cancer now in her legs, it is very hard for her to stand or walk. We got her a walking frame and other things recently, but we will soon need (to rent) an electric lifting chair, and maybe even a hospital bed. We always appreciate your prayers thanks.
As mentioned, this is a somewhat experimental piece. And I may do more. Of interest, it ended up taking about as long as a normal article to write. And it is basically the same length as well. Oh well! But with so many uncertain days ahead, you might be getting more such pieces in the near future.