Bayern, USA, Deutschland

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bo Giertz

Paul McCain has a good blog on Bo Giertz's book ,,The Hammer of God" (in the original Swedish, ,,Stengrunden" which means ,,the stone ground" or ,,the rock foundation") and a concise summary of the book.

Lutheran Visuals offers a 50-minute DVD on chapter one of Giertz's book. The DVD was filmed in Sweden, and thus is in Swedish, but there are English subtitles. This DVD (entitled ,,The Hammer of God") is faithfully and powerfully captures part one of Giertz's book. The scene with Savonius, Katrina, and Johannes is wonderfully done and well-acted. Click here for a 12-minute preview of the movie from Lutheran Visuals.

Henric Schartau (1757-1825) features prominently in chapter six of Giertz's book, when a young pastor preaches one of Schartau's sermons on Transfiguration Sunday. Here is the entire translation of Schartau's sermon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pick Me

Here's a neat NFL reel of their fantasy league commercials. It seems to me some of it is camera tricks and fx, I mean, seriously, would you want your mega-million star doing some of these stunts? Anyway, it's fun to watch and enjoy.

My personal favorite is the bell tower.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Fortunate and the Unfortunate

I was skimming through a few pages of Wilhelm Loehe's Three Books Concerning the Church (which, btw, Concordia Fort Wayne sells an English translation). I have Edward T. Horn's 1908 translation. His profound words on pages 120-21 are just as insightful today as they were 150 years ago. Loehe writes:

"The extension of the Church is just like everything that is spoken of as either fortunate or unfortunate. What man of experience, what man who ever has read the thirty-seventh or seventy-third Psalms, what Christian who, ripening under the Cross, has learned to understand the trials of Job and the words of Ecclesiastes, would ever draw a conclusion as to the worth or unworthiness of a man, a people, or a Church from their good or bad fortune? In that way he would condemn all the children of God from the beginning of the world. The Ever-blessed One upon the Cross and the Emperor Augustus of Rome, the martyrs and their tyrants,—these would have to change places with each other in the estimation of the world! The righteousness of God goes through life, and at the end His sentence is declared concerning everyone; but what man ever makes a completely right judgment here upon earth?—To have the majority of voices is accounted fortunate; to be in the minority, is considered a misfortune but both are in the hand of the Lord;—or should we not rather say, a wide extension of the Church is a gift of God’s grace to the world,—a decrease of her numbers is a misfortune to the world? The way of the Lord is to us dark, but His judgments are at the same time just and inscrutable; it is in His power to give to His Church in our days again victory and hosts of evangelists and confessors; He can lift up His lonely and lowly followers whom He has chastened and humbled, so that they can join in the song of the Mother of God. “Who is like unto the Lord our God Who dwells on high, Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth? He raises up the poor out of the dust and lifts the needy out of the dunghill; that He may set him with princes, even the princes of His people; He makes the barren woman to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children. Hallelujah!” (Psalm 113:5 ss.) “He is a God Who sets the solitary in families: He brings out those who are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” (Psalm 68:6) Who knows whether He has not already girded His sword upon His thigh with His glory and majesty? In His majesty will He ride prosperously, because of truth and meekness and righteousness, and His right hand shall teach us terrible things.” (Psalm 45:3,4.)"

Here are a few Loehe links you might find interesting:



Project Wittenberg

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Wintry Scene

This photo was taken in Germany's Black Forest at the beginning of February. It looks very peaceful ... I am just glad I don't have to shovel that snow.

My high school German teacher used to tell us about the Black Forest. She said her family used to take picnics there, and those cuckoo birds that thrived there were very noisy and agressive fowl. She had all kinds of stories to tell about Berlin, too. Great times those many years ago in high school German class.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Video of a recent German-Norway friendly on Feb. 12

The German and Norwegian national teams recently played a friendly. Norway shocked the Germans (who were jeered off their home pitch at half-time!).

Bayern takes one on the chin

Recap from the pitch.

Ouch! Tough loss for Bayern, but it allows Hertha Berlin to take the top spot in the Bundesliga.

Global warming is a real threat for these little guys!

More than 32,000 scientists have signed a formal statement, prepared by a past president of the National Academy of Sciences and co-authored by an atmospheric scientist at Harvard University, saying there is no global warming crisis.

Check Global Warming Facts to read more about a less-hyped global warming outlook.

$400 MILLION dollars is scheduled to go to a Global Warming research in the new Economic Stimulus Package. Is this supposed to stimulate our economy or add more fatty pork to it?

Here's what the Germans and the Norwegians are currently doing about global warming research.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Korskirken Panorama View

Here is a neat Panorama view inside Korskiren in Bergen, Norway. Just use the Quicktime controls to pan up, down, and around the church. There's lots of Christian artwork and symbolism throughout the church. Very cool.

Btw, does anyone in Norway have any information about the life of The Rev. Alf Andersen? He was a pastor at Korskirken for many years; I believed he died in the mid-1980s.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Merkel criticizes Benedict XVI

When German and Vatican politics collide, normally stoic Germans speak out. That's what happened yesterday when the pope removed the excommunication of four bishops from the Society of St. Pius X. Unfortunately, one of these bishops denies that the Holocaust happened, and that is against the law in Germany.

One person asked, ,,How could the pope do this, knowing the bishop's denial of the Holocaust"? Simple answer: Benedict XVI, like his predecessor John Paul II, is an avowed ecumenist. One of his primary goals is to bring all the small fractioned groups estranged in the Roman Catholic Church back under the papal umbrella. A few years ago the pope was willing to drop one of the many papal titles to ease the way for closer ecumenism with the Orthodox Church. Bringing all Christian churches back under the papal banner is the goal of the popes.

Check out today's article about the flap at Deutsche Welle.

DW also has two concise videos:

Catholics React

Concerns Grow

Here's a recent commentary by German journalist Felix Steiner.