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Theological Help Posts

Complete Tolerance = Contempt

“No deeply religious man is satisfied with a universal tolerance of religion, partly because, if his convictions are profound, he is so keenly aware of the terrible mistakes, intellectually as well as practically, which can be made in the name of religion. The truly religious man knows that we cannot responsibly state a faith unless we claim that it is true, and that we cannot responsibly claim that it is true unless there is some means of disproving it…. Complete tolerance, therefore, is not a mark of respect, but rather a mark of contempt.” (Trueblood)

Gospel Wares

“[The word] will … not stoop to overcome resistance with bargain counter methods. Promoters’ successes are sham victories; their crowded churches and the breathlessness of their audiences have nothing in common with the word of God. Yes, indeed, the word of God has a particular message for every individual; it addresses men quite personally, quite directly. But when a man does not lend his ear to it of his own free choice, he shall not hear the word of God at all.” (Barth)

Watch How You Build

“Our grandfathers, after all, were right when they struggled so desperately in behalf of the truth that there is revelation in the Bible and not religion only, and when they would not allow facts to be turned upside down for them even by so pious and intelligent a man as Schleiermacher. And our fathers were right when they guarded warily against being drawn out upon the shaky scaffolding of religious self-expression.” (Barth)

Gotta Get Out More

Jesus says we are to be salt and light. Salty German Lutheran pastor Helmut Thielicke declared amidst Berlin’s ruins, “… do not groan about being a solitary Christian, a small minority in a far greater pagan environment; you have been called to assault the whole godless mass… how often the power of this one grain of salt turns out to be mightily effective! [But you can’t stay in the salt cellar.] … You must get out, or else you will never find out that this is true. Your inner life grows in doing the tasks your Lord has set for you, but certainly never in the salt cellar.” (You Can Begin Again) Take the risk.

The Little Thimgs [sic]

Email from distressed student: “I am umable to access Camvas – HELP. [Canvas is our online learning system] The letter before m (om the keyboard) is mot workimg so I am workimg om it the best I cam.” Our empathic response: “We mever kmow how much we meed these thimgs umtil they are gome.” Have you expressed your gratitude for the letter before m today? Just try doimg without it.