Dispatch from Finland

640px-Luther_Church,_Helsinki,_insideWe are in Finland, safe and sound.  We are having a good and fascinating time.  The church situation here is complicated, but don’t believe what you hear about the utter secularism of Scandinavia.  We are meeting some very vibrant and very solid Lutheran Christians who are true inspirations.  And, yes, they are reaping lots of Muslim converts to Christianity.  But I’ll tell you more when I get back.

Thanks for sticking with the blog while I’m gone.  I may be able to post more than I thought I could.

 

Photo of Luther Church, a confessional congregation attended by over 200 people each Sunday by Abc10 – Oma teos, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49178504

Hank Hanegraff, the Bible Answer Man, joins the Orthodox Church

640px-Hank_HanegraaffHank Hanegraff, who hosts the Bible Answer Man radio show and who operates the Christian Research Institute, has converted to Eastern Orthodoxy.

An apologists for evangelicalism, Hanegraff and his ministry has spoken against Baptismal regeneration and the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper.  This has put him against Lutheranism.

But now he is embracing the sacraments and other beliefs of Eastern Orthodoxy, including the doctrine of theosis.

He is foreswearing Protestantism, but he is continuing his work with the CRI and the Bible Answer Man.

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The search for Christ’s DNA

492px-DNA_Structure+Key+Labelled.pn_NoBBForensic archaeologists have been extracting the DNA that can still be found in old bones and on ancient artifacts.  Some are aiming at the big prize:  the DNA of Jesus!

We may have found the bones of John the Baptist.  He was a cousin of Jesus, so they would share some DNA patterns.  We may have found the ossuary that contained the bones of James, Jesus’ brother.  And there is genetic material on the Shroud of Turin.  And there are other relics that purport to be connected to Jesus.  Scientists are studying all of this stuff.  Read Oxford geneticist George Busby on this quest, excerpted and linked after the jump.

What would that mean if Jesus’s DNA could be extracted?  Would it have only His mother’s genetic information?  Presumably God created a Y chromosome, since Jesus male.  But could DNA data shoot down the doctrine of the Virgin Birth?  Or give evidence of Christ’s divinity?

And if we could reconstruct His DNA would there someday be an attempt to clone Him?  And what would that give us?  We might have information about His human nature, but without His divine nature, He would seem like any other ancient Jew, though of the House and Lineage of David.

First of all, this isn’t going to happen!  You can’t identify anyone from the past based on their DNA.  And attaching a name to bones and relics is itself highly speculative.  The quest to find Christ’s DNA is surely a wild goose chase.  But still, it sends the mind reeling. [Read more…]

Criminalizing pro-lifers

brutality-152819_640In France, it is illegal to attempt to disuade anyone from getting an abortion.  It is also illegal to demonstrate against abortion, to give information about alternatives to abortion, and to espouse the belief that abortion is immoral.  Pro-life expressions could result in a fine of 30,000 euros and two years in jail.

So says Denise Burke, who makes the point that those who once claimed to be “pro-choice” are now “pro-coercion” in seeking to silence and criminalize advocates for life. [Read more…]

I’m off to Finland

Helsinki_from_sea_with_Cathedral_and_Finnair_SkywheelToday my wife and I fly off to Finland.  I will be giving lectures at an apologetics conference and speaking at two universities.  I’ll also be meeting with the confessional Lutherans there, including Rev. Jujana Puhjola.

Earlier, I was in Denmark and Norway, and then Denmark again.  As I said then, the image of the secularist Scandinavians is not completely true.  I have been meeting lots of very devoted Christians.  My book Spirituality of the Cross has been translated into the Scandinavian languages and it’s getting some readers.  I am touched at the thought that I might be used in some measure to be part of a revival of Christianity–indeed, Lutheran Christianity–among the delightful people in these fascinating countries.

So what does this mean for the blog?  I am not going to take away from my Scandinavian moments by constantly monitoring the internet and blogging all the time.  I am not sure of my internet connections, seeing as how at least part of the time I’ll be in the deep woods.  But I’ll post when I can.  I probably won’t be able to post as many items every day.  There may be days when I don’t post any at all.  But I’ve got some very interesting posts scheduled to come up through the week.  I’ll be back in the states the first of May.

You might say a prayer for us from time to time.

 

Photograph of Helsinki with Lutheran Cathedral and Finnair Skywheel by Kotivalo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

WELS president on the two versions of the Luther movie

711x400-Prez-TogetherNot only did the writer/producer of the new Luther movie, Mark Trinklein, weigh in to explain why there are two versions.  So did the president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Rev. Mark Schroeder.

He explains that it had nothing to do with fellowship issues or theological concerns about the other version.

Read his comments after the jump.

I appreciate both gentlemen for participating in this blog and for setting the record straight.

Sorry that we here at this blog and on FaceBook jumped to some conclusions.  Please share these explanations in your circles.

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