Reflections at Blue Point

Christ and His Bride-Luther!

A beautiful quotation from Luther on the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church, his treatise on The Freedom of a Christian

The third incomparable benefit of faith is that it unites the soul with Christ as a bride is united with her bridegroom. By this mystery, as the Apostle teaches, Christ and the soul become one flesh [Eph. 5:31–32]. And if they are one flesh and there is between them a true marriage—indeed the most perfect of all marriages, since human marriages are but poor examples of this one true marriage—it follows that everything they have they hold in common, the good as well as the evil. Accordingly the believing soul can boast of and glory in whatever Christ has as though it were its own, and whatever the soul has Christ claims as his own. Let us compare these and we shall see inestimable benefits. Christ is full of grace, life, and salvation. The soul is full of sins, death, and damnation. Now let faith come between them and sins, death, and damnation will be Christ’s, while grace, life, and salvation will be the soul’s; for if Christ is a bridegroom, he must take upon himself the things which are his bride’s and bestow upon her the things that are his. If he gives her his body and very self, how shall he not give her all that is his? And if he takes the body of the bride, how shall he not take all that is hers?

Luther, M. (1999). Vol. 31: Luther's works, vol. 31 : Career of the Reformer I (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther's Works (351). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

Watching the News makes us DUMB?

Many folk consider themselves well-informed because they watch or read the news. T David Gordon, in his book Why Johnny Cant Sing Hymns, pgs 111-112, [Pand R Publishing, New Jersey, 2010] writes the following, which should make us think a bit about what we spend our time and energy on today.

“This Lippmann-Boorstin discussion reached a fairly current moment with the 1999 appearance of Professor C. John Sommerville’s How the News Makes Us Dumb: The Death of Wisdom in an Information Age. A historian, Sommerville has a predictable thesis: there is wisdom to be gained from giving our attention to things that happened some time ago (say, thirty years or more). The consequences of such events can be observed, and a chorus of interpreters of those consequences can place their thoughts before the public, which can judge whether the interpreters of those consequences are right, whether lessons can be learned. But this cannot be done with what happened yesterday. We do not and cannot know the consequences of a recent event, nor is there time for competent interpreters to develop their interpretations. The news “makes us dumb” because we give our attention to what can never make us wiser.

“Sommerville joined his voice to those of Lippmann and Boorstin in reminding us that commercial forces, and commercial forces alone, have cultivated the appetite for “the news”. There is no other way to account for it, since there is no other reason to give attention to whatever has happened, simply because it has happened, and happened recently. But in giving so much attention to what is recent, Sommerville argues, we become contemporaneists, people who intuitively believe that giving attention to what is recent is more important than giving attention to what is not recent. Otherwise, why would I care to read a newspaper account of someone robbing a convenience store yesterday rather than read an account of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency? And again, it is entirely understandable that commercial forces will benefit from this; the question is why we permit those commercial interests to dictate our choices and our values.”

Perhaps we just do not understand where to find wisdom. If not on Fox, CNN, talk-radio, etc ad infinitum ad nauseum, then where? Perhaps a liberal arts education? That is the what the fathers of the LCMS thought when they developed the system of schools/colleges and seminaries. It was liberalism which said that the preacher should enter the pulpit with the newspaper and the bible and seek to be relevant. Perhaps the fathers of the LCMS and those confessional Lutherans before, understood what Solomon meant when he said in Proverbs

Prov. 4:5 Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Prov. 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Prov. 16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

Education and Technology

Here is a great quotation from T David Gordon on Education and Technology/Tools. We often think that the matter, education, will be accomplished by technique or a tool, when education is a matter that requires more than a machine...

Here is the quote from T David Gordon's Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns-

"As an academic, for instance, I am frequently exposed to pamphlets, seminars, or 'special' presentations about some product or another that is touted as 'The Future of Education,' as one mechanical messiah after another is paraded before a dubious faculty on the ostensible ground that it will make our students more learned, but on the actual (albeit unstated) ground that it will make the manufacturer more wealthy.

"Not one of these ingenious gewgaws addresses the fundamental reality that many educators since Socrates have recognized: namely, that the barrier to education is the student himself-his parochialism, his laziness, his reluctance to abandon his current viewpoints, his resistance to disciplined intellectual effort, his complacent self-satisfaction with his present attainment and understanding. Nearly every capable educator in the history of the human race has realized that the least important thing we educators do is disseminate information, which is (especially now) widely available in less expensive formats. What capable educators have always attempted to do is to infect their students with a love of learning and a hatred of parochialism. The goal of every good educator is, and always has been, for our students to rediscover what they all knew intuitively as young children: the innocent and thrilling joy of discovery and understanding (a joy ordinarily crushed by compulsory education). As best, tools can assist those who already possess this love of learning, but no inanimate tool can or ever will infect a human with such love." [P &R Publishing, New Jersey, 2010, pgs 108-109]