Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not-So-Old Lutheran Quote of the Month (?)

I know David has been waiting for this...

"'Faith, however, is a divine work within us which changes us and makes us to be born anew of God, John 1 [:12-13]. It kills the old Adam and makes us altogether different men, in heart, spirit and mind and powers.' (LW 35:370) Faith is wholly and entirely God's work. It is not our own decision, interpretive activity, or construction of meaning. This is the first and most important thing that we have to say about faith. In its significance for people of modernity we cannot rate it too highly. In this regard that Enlightenment is opposed to the Reformation. Reaching a climax in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, the Enlightenment claimed that with the faculties of pure recollection and pure constuction it could evaluate even the faith. Or there is at least the claim to discover faith in the self, for example as the feeling of absolute dependence. We humans want to make things by ourselves, including faith, or at least we want to assure ourselves of faith. For Luther, however, faith is soley the work of God. Faith encounters us by coming to us. (Gal. 3:23 and 25) We experience it in that we suffer it.

The experience of faith is painful. When Luther spoke about the death of the old Adam, this was no mere metaphor.

He who has not been brought low, reduced to nothing through the cross and suffering, takes credit for works and wisdom and does not give credit to God....He, however, who has emptied himself [cf. Phil. 2:7] through suffering no longer does works but knows that God works and does all things in him...It is this that Christ says in John 3[:7], "You must be born anew." To be born anew, one must consequently first die. (Luther, "Heidelberg Disputation" (1518), LW 31:55
The passive righteousness of faith takes place when justifying thinking (metaphysics) and justifying doing (morality), together with the unity of both that some seek, are all radically destroyed. In other words, both metaphysics and morality with their claim to justify our being are brought to nothing by the work of God. God slays, but he does so only to make alive. "The Lord kills and brings to life; He brings down to Sheol and raises up."

-Oswald Bayer, Living by Faith - Justification and Sanctification

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ice Storm '08 (TM)

The Thursday before classes let out for Christmas, Fort Wayne had a terrible ice storm. The citizens of the Fort did not, however, react with the same terror and dread that the good folks of Austin did in '07.

A shot of the frozen pond:

Two willow trees:

The tree (in frozen form) from my previous post:

My poor Honda:


Friday, December 26, 2008

Sorry for the delay.

This is one of our first snowfalls, from early December:

Out my front door, every morning:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

"Thus, faith teaches us to despair of ourselves and to choose something outside of ourselves as the foundation that will make a new life possible. Luther calls it: extra nos, that is, in Christo (outside us, i.e., in Christ). Whereas morality seeks willingly to put new patches on the old clothes, grace means eternally much more. It means that God intends that we be clothed anew, wholly and completely, with the clothing of a better righteousness woven from God's hands which we have in Jesus Christ."

-Hans Iwand (The Righteousness of Faith According to Luther)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fort Rain Windy-ana.

Yesterday it was 75`, and today it feels like 30` with the wind-chill factor.

It looks like it will be in the 70s the whole time I am in Austin.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Greatest way to waste time:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quote from Class

Sorry about not posting for such a long time. I have some photos of the leaves changing colors that I will put up soon. For now:

"There is nothing salvific about being irrational and stupid."

-Prof. J. Pless

He, of course, does not imply the opposite (namely, that rationality and intelligence save).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tagteam Old Lutheran quote of the Day

"The effect of such a view of scripture [a divine/human nature] in our day has been devastating. No longer can anyone claim that it is a mere petty strife over words. God's truth and His church are threatened as to their very life and existence, although we can rest on His promise that none of these forces of evil shall finally destroy either of them. But for the sake of blood-bought souls clinging to God's Word in Holy Scripture concerning their Savior, the church must recognize the gravity of the attack on Scripture. When Scripture is described as a medley or composite of divine and human elements, of truth and error, then the Good News Itself, the Gospel, is no longer safe."

Eugene Klug
The Springfielder, XXXIX, 209

"Beware, beware, I say, of this "divine-human" Scripture! It is a devil's mask; for at last it manufactures such a Bible after which I certainly would not care to be a Bible Christian, namely, that Bible should henceforth be no more than any other good book, a book which I would have to read with constant sharp discrimination in order not to be lead into error. For if I believe this, that the Bible contains errors, it is to me no longer a touchstone but itself stands in need of one."

Martin Luther
quoted by C.F.W. Walther in Lehre und Wehre


On Fujiyama
Under the midsummer moon
The snow melts, and falls
Again the same night


Thursday, September 4, 2008


I should not have waited.
It would have been better
To have slept and dreamed,
Than to have watched night pass,
and this slow moon sink

-Lady Akazome Emon

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Daily-ish "Feature"

I realized as I unpacked my things and set everything in its place that I am a weird guy. On that note, I'm introducing a new daily (as much as possible) post. I have a great little book entitled "One Hundred Poems From The Japanese". The interesting thing about the anthology is that it specifically avoids haiku in order to show the breadth of Japanese poetry. Hopefully some of you will appreciate the simplicity as much as I have. With that:

I passed by the beach
At Tago and saw
The snow falling, pure white,
High on the peak of Fuji.

-Yambe no Akahito

Monday, September 1, 2008

Haircut City, America

Aubri got her hair cut:

So did I:

Lily Hemingway

She is a phenom. She simply picked up a pen and started writing...a novel:

She even help Phil cook ribs. Don't worry, he doesn't hold her like that all of the time.

It did remind me of this a bit, though:

Friday, August 29, 2008

Small town life?

If this is small town life, it is for the birds...

We (the entire village of Bancroft) were serenaded this morning by marching band practice:

This is what time it was. I would like to note that our dear friend the Sun is just getting up too:

I was thoroughly unimpressed:

Piggy Hale

The red area (hopefully) represents the enormity of the "piece" of cake Phil ate the other night:

Lily, too, was shocked:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

IIIIIIIII Love a Parade

Last week I attended my first plains state parade/fair in Rosalie, NE:

There were classic cars like this Charger:

and old corn mills:

(Final product):

Aubri playing mommy:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tool Time

I'll let you decide who is Tim and who is Al:

The idea is to cut out this window in order to insert a window air conditioning unit to cool beer:

PERFECTION (with condenser removed...):

Zion Lutheran Church, Bancroft, NE

This past week, Phil took several of us to a small, but beautiful church in rural Bancroft. You can always click on any image for a larger version:

I had never seen a church with a yellow interior, but with the sun shining in, it was very pleasant:

Notice the nice yellow pine (?) woodwork:

The pulpit is so high, Phil says you are on eye level with the balcony:

Some storage unit outside that I thought was interesting:

Senior Class, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bancroft, v2.0

I am in Bancroft for the break, hoping to do a little studying (if Phil doesn't have me doing chores for two weeks).

This is Phil's church, St. Paul's. It was packed for the Baptism.

This is what surrounds Bancroft. It looks a lot like France, so I suppose Grandma was right:

All of those years in Austin have finally turned Cecelia into a tree-hugger:

Here is the main attraction:


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The funniest video...EVER

You have to watch this until the very end (especially the "Sphinxes"):

Sunday, July 6, 2008

On a Lighter note

There are some very pretty evergreens on campus that have neat, robin's egg blue new growth:

And the grass is very green from all of the rain:

Here is my new is pretty amazing. I had the same one for 4 years, so this is quite an upgrade. Verizon had a great deal online, so this only cost $30:


Well, I've been pretty holed up in my room these past couple of days, trying to assure myself that I am solidly three or so chapters ahead in vocabulary. Here are a couple of pictures I sent to my church back in Austin. This is what my vocabulary looked like a couple of weeks ago:

Here I am bright-eyed and bushy tailed just one week into Greek:

This is what my vocabulary stack looks like tonight...I think I am about at 440-475 words. Yikes.

All of this, and we haven't even gotten to Participles or Third Declension (both will be this whole week). See you all on the other side!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lazy Daze of Summer (yeah, right)

During class today, my giant of a professor (the illustrious Dr. John Nordling) decided to challenge two unwitting students to race him in declining a phrase:

He, of course, won:

This is where I hunker down in the afternoon to study vocabulary:

Not too bad, huh:

Now playing: Composer: J.S.Bach; Pianist: Glenn Gould - 28 Variatio 27 a 2 Clav. Canone alla Nona
via FoxyTunes

Campus, round II:

Exterior of my dorm building (on the right):

Inside Kramer Chapel:
side of Walther Library:

Martin Luther Hall:

And, bizarrely, two of the five or so buzzards that perch on the side of the library:

I call these two Statler and Waldorf