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Catherine Kroeger, the Ranked Adjunct Professor of Classical and Ministry Studies and pioneer in advancing women’s contributions to the church, died February 14th after succumbing to an illness. May she rest in the peace of her beloved Lord.

In honor of Catherine’s contribution to the church and the world, we’re offering links to various pieces of work she has contributed over the years.

First, read Catherine’s testimony, in which you can get a sense of her sprightly spirit.

Second, check out the series “Africa and the Bible” in which Kroeger is featured prominently:

Part I: The Myth of a Cursed Race

Part II: White Man’s Religion?

Part III: The River of Faith

Third, read about her work of reconciliation among the abused and those who abuse.  Catherine fought hard to prevent abuse within the Christian home.

Finally, read one of her academic papers entitled “The Apostle Paul and the Greco-Roman Cults of Women,” published in the March 1987 edition of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS).


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“Before the causa sui, man can neither fall to his knees in awe nor can he play music and dance before this God.” ~ Martin Heidegger, Identity and Difference

Martin Heidegger rejected the God of the theologians, the one whose sheer Deity explains all that exists, especially as the Creator. Why Heidegger rejected the God of theology is too complex to explore here. But we will simply question his statement that humanity, in the presence of the infinite God, can’t dance. In front of a God who causes all things, it makes little sense to sing or pray either.

Can one dance in front of a God who is uncaused, both in reference to his existence and his acts? What sense does it make to dance in the presence of his immutability, his sheer unchangingness (Mal 3:6)? Though we might be reading Heidegger inaccurately, we still want to answer this question.

That God is immutable ensures that we can dance in his presence. Human beings, filled with all manner of shame and regret, could never be completely vulnerable in front of a changing God, before a God whose disposition could be caused from outside. The steadfast character of God, his zeal to love us in all our shame: these ensure that we will dance “naked without shame” (Gen 2:25). Because we see only “through a dim mirror” (1 Cor 13:12), none of us, at this point, can dance in front of God without shame. Fearful as we are, these mortal bodies preclude us from escaping our shame in totality. Yet when we see him for who he is, beholding unbridled love, nothing at that point will prevent our dancing.

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Theologians must depend upon each other, because we are all insufficient in numerous ways. At times, it is tempting to resent the gifts of others, but the Lord has provided us with each other, not so that we might struggle in competition, but because we are deficient in ourselves.

Some examples: Athanasius and Basil, in their treatments of the Holy Spirit, provide far more extensive treatments than did Augustine. Yet, without Augustine, our understanding of nature and grace would be impoverished, replete with all the contours which make Augustine’s theology so special.

With Calvin, we find an apex of pious exegetical theology, yet Calvin often misunderstands crucial distinctions made by his interlocutors, distinctions which the likes of Aquinas and Duns Scotus were readily familiar. The point is that the great theologians of yesteryear, who were used mightily of God, were deficient in themselves to provide all that the church needs.

With all the blogs, books, speakers, and coffee table discussions, it is tempting to think that we should abstain from theology, that others are doing a better job of it. But if we humble our hearts, God can use our meager thoughts. Christ, the only one worthy to be called our sufficient teacher, has made it so that we must us rely upon each other – His body – wherein our deficiencies are mutually supplied by each other’s gifts (1 Corinthians 12:25).

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“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy” (Colossians 2:8a; NIV)

                The apostle warns about the grave danger lurking in the world’s wisdom, a danger which springs from the deceptive environment of sin. Though various philosophies often appear fruitful, time reveals them as vacant of God’s power. Like a hollow beam, offering the appearance of stability, the contrivances of fallen man often prove to be worthless.

                Though Paul often read the pagan poets with great reward, he realized that God’s wisdom is revealed in Christ. In like manner, though Aristotle and Wittgenstein advance our knowledge greatly, they are unable, on their own, to lay a foundation for our souls.

“which depends on human tradition” (Colossians 2:8b)

                This is because man’s wisdom, penetrating as it might be, is caught in a web of human tradition, a web spun with a myriad of lusts and ignorance. If the history of philosophy demonstrates anything, it surely demonstrates how the philosophers were entrapped in whatever rebellions and hindrances attended their times.

“and the elemental spiritual forces of this world” (Colossians 2:8c)

                Yet attending to finite human limitations, behind the scenes, there is another power at work in philosophy: the power of Satan. The elemental Spiritual forces, these demonic influences, sway the opinion of men away from Christ. Though philosophy is necessary, in that it helps us clarify language, relate science and faith, and understand our historical place, nevertheless philosophy has been commandeered by Satan. The one who therefore trusts in philosophy, without the enframing support of the Gospel, opens himself to following demonic doctrines.

“…rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8d)

                Instead, Christians are to be people whose law is Christ, our only wisdom in the midst of this ungodly age. It is through him that we, though feeble and frail,  are strong. It is in him that we, though ignorant and confused, are wise.  Study philosophy. Read the canon of human literature. But have no other rock on which you stand than Christ and his word.

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Friday’s Round-up

Thinking Anglicans has a “Round-up” of its own today, focusing on articles covering the upcoming Primates meeting in Dublin, Ireland.

VirtueOnline reports that The Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina will hold the first ever theological council on human sexuality in April of this year.

Church Times reports that more and more young people are less eager to identify themselves as “Evangelical,” even if they worship at Evangelical churches. Is this just more evidence of post-modern label-hatred and category confusion, or is it something deeper?

The blog Sed Angli has a post reflecting on the purpose of liturgy.

Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, writes in Christianity Today about his experience worshipping with Haitians amidst suffering and destruction caused by the massive earthquake last year.

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Thursday’s Round-up

Take some time to read the transcript of Adam D. Rick’s sermon, “This is My Beloved Son,” preached yesterday during a major New England blizzard.

From the archives of Christianity Today comes an interesting article explaining the ministry success of Tim Keller, arguing that he is becoming an international figure because he is first a local one.

The New York Times has an article showing that even in our sexually liberal culture, there is still universal revulsion at adultery committed in the marriage bed.

Continuum has posted a heavy, theological guide to the 39 Articles.

De Cura Animarum has an article exploring what 17th century Scottish theologian Lancelot Andrewes would have thought of Pope Benedict XVI. Pay attention, because you’ll learn more from the Center about Andrewes in the Winter edition.

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The diocese of Virginia is preparing resolutions that affirm gay marriage and provide a roadmap for navigating the legal issues related to church property.

Entangled States has a brief reflection on the baptism of Jesus and how it relates to our current, violent world, especially in light of the shooting in Tucson.

A Canadian court has ruled that marriage commissioners cannot refuse to marry same-sex couples based on their religious convictions.

A priest from Truro church in Virginia (one of the breakaway churches from the Episcopal church), just fired one of their priests for repeatedly using a church computer to look at pornography.

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The blog Anglican Curmudgeon writes on the historical dating of the nativity, exploring new evidence that may change the timeline.

Lynne Hybels, wife of Bill and a ministry leader at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, has decided that many of our social Christmas rituals don’t really matter.

Evelyn Pence searches for things to do while she’s waiting for Christ during the Advent season.

Finally, Losana Boyd lists her top ten sacred Christmas songs.

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Advent 1 begins a particularly rich season in the Atrium. Naturally children excitedly anticipate Christmas , but assisting adults consistently remark on the wonderful  gift of a weekly time and place to slow down. They too enjoy what the Catechesis calls Infancy Narratives:  Gabriel’s Annunciation to Mary; The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth; The Shepherds and the Birth of Jesus; the Magi; and for the oldest, Jesus’ Presentation in the Temple.  Advent invites us to consider prophets and their role ( to hear messages from God, and tell others what they hear)  and, specifically on Advent 1,  we read Isaiah 9:2, “Now those people live in darkness, But they will see a great light. They live in a place that is very dark. But a light will shine on them.”

Advent 1 in Atrium 1 flew by this past Sunday. We worked on lessons of the Annunciation, geography and the change in liturgical season. One of our 6 year olds also busied herself with our Altar work, and when she asked me to read  1 Corinthians  4 as we lit the candles, I thought: what could this verse possibly have to do with anything pertaining to Advent?

Some background:  The Catechesis’  altar materials  teach the nomenclature for articles used in Holy Communion. Our arrangement includes a small New Testament rather than the Lectionary Book. And although this item is technically taught to second year children, all children from Day One ask the adult to “read from the Bible” when the candles are lit and we pause before the set table. Some children happily choose what page to read, and some know Jesus’ words appear in red. But all of them carry a deep desire to connect the Word of God with the preparations for the Meal.

This altar preparation was no different, except: do I honor the child and her choice, or do I steer us to more familiar ground, such as John 8: 12 or John 10: 11? I decide to go with the flow. What a surprise:

“This is what people should think about us: We are servants of Christ. We are the ones God has trusted  with his secret truths.” (verse 1) “  So do not judge before the right time: wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light things that are now hidden in darkness. “ (verse 5)

Two of the most basic Advent themes we put before the children were put right before my eyes.  One, we wait for God. Two, God’s Light of the World, Jesus, dispels all darkness.  Is there a more concise place in Scripture to find these together? I don’t know!

But I do know that once again I’ve been shown the powerful  combination of child and Holy Spirit. Their collaboration gives fruit to adults wise enough to trust them.

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Thursday’s Round-Up

The “Chronicle of Philanthropy” reports that charitable donations have increased in religious organizations.

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof, though, argues that religiously oriented people don’t give the right way–that is, in a way that alleviates poverty.

Thankfully, Jeff Cain from “Philanthropy Daily” offers some principles to guide the faithful’s charitable giving.

The Archbishop of Canterbury (a busy man) released a video message for the 2010 World Aids Day.

Christianity Today reports on the Third Lausanne Conference in South Africa, pointing out the growth of evangelicalism across the world.

Don’t forget to sign up for the email subscriptions so you can posts such as Adam D. Rick’s series on Jesus and the nature of mission every day in your email!

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