The end of the mystique, ctd

A Franciscan order is missing tens of millions of dollars and on the verge of bankruptcy.

One of the largest Franciscan religious orders, founded on the humble teachings of St. Francis of Assisi more than 800 years ago, announced it is on the brink of bankruptcy after admitting some of its friars embezzled funds from its accounts.

The Italian news magazine Panorama on Friday reported that tens of millions of dollars were missing from the Order of Friars Minor and had been invested in offshore companies.

Honestly, I don’t see how the scam can keep going. From financial fraud, to sexual exploitation, to garishly ridiculous metaphysics … it’s all coming apart. Religion will be here in some form or another forever, I imagine, but with nothing like the preeminence it once enjoyed.

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Dismal theology tweet for the day

Pastor Tullian prepares for the big solstice blowout by reminding one and all that they are no damn good. Unhappily, when you look at the re-tweets count, it becomes blinking-neon obvious that his cult of self-abasement is going to be around for a while.

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Dismal theology quote for the day

I see biblical teaching on election as asymmetrical; that is, I affirm election to salvation, but see condemnation as attributed to human rejection of God. I illustrate this by seeing all of humanity as willfully choosing rebellion, loving darkness and running and hiding from God. In grace, he reaches out and restrains some. He is thus the cause of the salvation of the saved, yet not the cause of the condemnation of the lost.

John Hammett, SEBTS

That’s probably the best face that can be put on it if you accept predestination, but makes unconditional election rather like indiscriminately scooping-up (death-deserving) lemmings before they tumble over the cliff.


  • Original Sin is a fiction. No Adam and Eve –> No Fall –> No Original Sin –> No ‘salvation’ required.

  • The Creator of the Whole Big Universe is not obliged to torture anybody for eternity; no chain of rationalizations changes that.

Another theology fail; it is not an intellectually serious enterprise.

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Disclosure: Years ago — like, a decade — John Hammett and I were part of the same carpool.

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“Up in the pulpit, a solemn pause …”

One of Tom Rich’s readers reworks a Christmas standard in order to help Baptist people remember their moral duty to fork over 10% to the Holy Man, lest Our Heavenly Father Who Loves Us torture them for eternity.

Up in the pulpit, a solemn pause…
“TITHE!” shouts Good Old Pastor Laws,
In the assembly the people sigh,
A Capital Project is surely nigh.

I’m no theologian, of course, but … I dunno; doesn’t seem to have that ol’ submissive spirit.

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The Will to Power

Book Two: A Criticism of the Highest Values That Have Prevailed Hitherto
I: Criticism of Religion

§161   The Kingdom of Heaven is a state of the heart (of children it is written, “for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”): it has nothing to do with super-terrestrial things. The Kingdom of God “cometh”, not chronologically or historically, not on a certain day in the calendar; it is not something which one day appears and was not previously there; it is a “change of feeling in the individual”, it is something which may come at any time and which may be absent at any time –

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