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Posts tagged "Rudolf Bultmann"


The Way to God Is the Way Into Darkness: Bultmann on Hope and the Cross

Another appropriate Easter quote comes from a sermon on Lamentations 3:22-41, found in Rudolf Bultmann’s sermon collection, This World and Beyond:

imageThe way to God leads not to hell but through hell, or, in Christian terms through the cross. It leads us not to hopelessness but to a hope which transcends all human hope; and we must silence all human hope, if that divine hope is to dawn for us.

We must make this clear to ourselves: for man as he is, laden with wishes and plans, with longings and hope — and this means for us all, we who form our dream pictures as to how our life should go according to our desire and will — for all of us the way to God is the way into that darkness which for us means hell…. the breath of the Lord can sweep away everything of ours in a second and for our eyes there is nothing left but comfortless waste. That is the meaning of God: His majesty annihilates whatever stands independently. His word is a word that slays.

This hell we must traverse; before the life of the resurrection stands the cross. “It is the essence of God” says Luther, “first to destroy what is in us before He bestows on us His gifts.” (p 233)

Virtual Reality and the Attempt at Limitlessness

Virtual Reality and the Attempt at Limitlessness

If you have yet to see it, The Verge has a phenomenal (and gorgeous!) article on virtual reality that is really worth your time. With Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR earlier this year and Sony’s attempt to bring virtual gaming to PlayStation, dubbed “Project Morpheus”, we might begin to see virtual reality making headway into the mainstream—and I have a feeling it might be a bit more sophisticated than the Virtual Boy I had growing up. In any case, Matthew Schnipper has some comments that are on point in the introduction. He writes,

The promise of virtual reality has always been enormous….

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Anxious About Grace: Some Thoughts on Max Weber

Anxious About Grace: Some Thoughts on Max Weber

Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) has been immensely influential, with the “Weber thesis” being one of the most well-known Interesting Ideas around.  The idea, basically, is that Protestantism, especially in Calvinist and Wesleyan and Baptist and ‘Pietistic’ forms, has been a major contributor to the ‘Spirit’ behind capitalism.

But there’s so much more. In looking at religious ideas not strictly in terms of their truth or doxological value, but also in terms of emphases and influence, Weber helped map out a distinctly modern way of doing and evaluating theology.

When I read his book, I hear…

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The Self-Abandonment of Love, According to Rudolf Bultmann

The Self-Abandonment of Love, According to Rudolf Bultmann

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here are a few choice quotes on love from the great Lutheran New Testament scholar, Rudolf Bultmann:

“An act of friendship or love is genuine only if I am really in the doing of it, and do not stand alongside it: only when I do not think of myself and my achievement, only when the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing: only when I think of absolutely nothing bu the person on whom I am bestowing it. A Work of love is fundamentally easy even when I exhort it from myself…

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The Top Theology Books of 2012

The Top Theology Books of 2012

The following is a list of my top Mockingbird theology books of 2012 (in no particular order).

– Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian

Tchividjian does it again. Thoughtful, provocative, and deeply encouraging, “Glorious Ruin” places suffering at the heart of the Christian life and what we understand about God, but probably the biggest virtue of this book is its personal and accessible tone. Suffering is never spoken of in cold abstraction from its down-to-earth reality. It’s no wonder this book has gotten so much attention on this site.

– Justification Is for Preaching edited by Virgil Thompson

A much needed book for preachers and…

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Freedom and Control According to Rudolf Bultmann

Freedom and Control According to Rudolf Bultmann

It is my contention that the ever-contentious 20th century theologian, Rudolf Bultmann, was nothing less than a committed Lutheran. To those somewhat familiar with him, this statement will come as a bit of a surprise. Especially within the English-speaking world, Bultmann is famous for being the father of de-mythologizing and form criticism! But it was one of the chief accomplishments in his career that he placed the present preaching of the Word at the heart of theology. While this took many different (and controversial!) forms within his scholarly life, this also indicates that it is within his sermons that Bultmann’s…

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Rudolf Bultmann on Honesty, Grace and Self-Regard

Rudolf Bultmann on Honesty, Grace and Self-Regard

In honor of the 125th anniversary of much-debated Lutheran theologian Rudolf Bultmann’s birthday, the following are excepts from a sermon he preached on August 4th, 1940.

“Psychology has shown us how the natural need for recognition, if suppressed, can assume morbid developments, and how a human life may be ruined and brought to disaster if this desire for recognition is repressed so that it results in a so-called inferiority complex… In fact the need for recognition for one’s value is something implanted in the very nature of man. We can only live and breathe freely in a circle where we are…

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