To The Silly People Complaining About Mike Pence’s Eating Habits

The fact that you are pretending moral superiority because married men choose a policy of avoiding tenuous situations is the height of hypocritical posturing.  Evidently a segment of society wants men to respect women. Unless they’re married to one. And then it’s a situational free for all.

In sum, you’re ridiculous.  If Pence wants to avoid every hint of impropriety that’s his bloody business.  Who do you think you are and who in the name of God appointed you the morality police?

A Better Poster

I Was Too Sick to Do it In January, So We’ve Rescheduled It To September…

And I’ve corrected the date on the poster…  but my photoshop skills leave much to be desired…

The topic of my lecture is actually quite serious- On The Intersection of Academic Biblical Scholarship and the Life of the Church.  So if you’re in Birmingham or vicinity, come on out.  (Time TBA).

Reformation Thursday- Erasmus or Luther?

I put up with this church, in the hope that one day it will become better, just as it is constrained to put up with me in the hope that I will become better.—Desiderius Erasmus

Give it a read.

Bruce Gordon – Reflections on Prison and Exile in John Calvin

Watch the lecture Prof Gordon delivered at SEBTS here.

The Birth-iversary of Biblical Theology

You may not know this, but today’s an important day in the history of Biblical scholarship.  It’s the ‘birthday’ of Biblical Theology.  Yes, it was on the 30th of March, 1787, that Gabler delivered his epoch making speech „De iusto discrimine theologiae biblicae et dogmaticae regundisque recte utriusque finibus“!

De iusto discrimine theologiae biblicae et dogmaticae regundisque recte utriusque finibus“ („Von der rechten Unterscheidung der biblischen und der dogmatischen Theologie und der rechten Bestimmung ihrer beider Ziele“; lat. Text und deutsche Übersetzung bei Niebuhr / Böttrich 2003, 15-41; Letztere aus Merk 1972, 273-284; engl. Übersetzung bei Sandys-Wunsch / Eldredge 1980, 134-144). Darin beschrieb er die Biblische Theologie als eine von der Dogmatik unabhängige, aber zugleich auf diese ausgerichtete Wissenschaftsdisziplin. Ihre Aufgabe als eine historisch orientierte Wissenschaft sei es, die normativen Grundwahrheiten oder allgemeinen Vorstellungen (notiones universae; notiones purae) der Bibel von ihren zeitbedingten Einkleidungen abhzuheben. Dagegen müsse die Dogmatik die christliche Glaubenslehre in eine sich immerzu wandelnde Gesellschaft hinein vermitteln.

The central theme of the lecture-

„Die biblische Theologie besitzt historischen Charakter, überliefernd, was die heiligen Schriftsteller über die göttlichen Dinge gedacht haben; die dogmatische Theologie dagegen besitzt didaktischen Charakter, lehrend, was jeder Theologe kraft seiner Fähigkeit oder gemäß dem Zeitumstand, dem Zeitalter, dem Orte, der Sekte, der Schule und anderen ähnlichen Dingen dieser Art über die göttlichen Dinge philosophierte. … und [dass wir] nach Ausscheidung von dem, was in den heiligen Schriften allernächst an jene Zeiten und jene Menschen gerichtet ist, nur diese reinen Vorstellungen unserer philosophischen Betrachtung über die Religion zugrundelegen, welche die göttliche Vorsehung für alle Orte und Zeiten gelten lassen wollte“.

It’s virtually impossible to underestimate the importance of this lecture or its aftermath.  It changed the way biblical studies was done as no other single event has.

So, happy birthday Biblical Theology!

Ming Hua News

The ‘Christian Century’ Sure Isn’t What It Used To Be

1- You don’t receive anyone’s prayers unless you’re God.

2- If you don’t know you’re going to die, you’ve not been paying attention.  At all.

A Unique Portrait of Calvin

Albert ANKER (1831-1910), Portrait de Calvin, 1859. © Musée historique de la Réformation, Genève. Exposé au MIR, Genève.

Read about it here.

This Is Why I Don’t Observe Lent…

Those people can’t spell…

That Makes No Sense

A Book You Might Want to Read

Paul’s Triumph:
Reassessing 2 Corinthians 2:14 in Its Literary and Historical Context​

by C. Heilig

Regular Price: $108.00 / Special Offer Price: $87.00 
Publisher: Peeters Publishers
Series: Biblical Tools and Studies, 27
Description:

Paul’s metaphorical language in Second Corinthians 2:14 has troubled exegetes for a long time. Does the verb ‘thriambeuein’ indicate that Paul imagines himself as being led to execution in the Roman triumphal procession? Or is, by contrast, the victory in view that the apostles receive themselves? Maybe the Roman ritual does not constitute the background of this metaphor at all? Clarity with regard to these questions is a pressing issue in Pauline studies, given the fact that this metaphor introduces a central passage in the Pauline corpus that is of crucial importance for reconstructing the apostle’s self-understanding. Heilig demonstrates that, if all the relevant data are taken into account, a coherent interpretation of Paul’s statement is possible indeed. Moreover, Heilig brings the resulting meaning of Paul’s statement into dialogue with the political discourse of the time, thus presenting a detailed argument for the complex critical interaction of Paul with the ideology of the Roman Empire.​

For more information, please click here.

«500 Jahre Reformation – 600 Jahre Niklaus von Flüe»

An interview:

Bruder Klaus verbindet die Konfessionen. Beim ökumenischen Gedenk- und Feiertag «500 Jahre Reformation – 600 Jahre Niklaus von Flüe» in Zug am 1. April bildet der Heilige die Klammer, um katholische und reformierte Christen zusammenzubringen. Ein Gespräch mit Fritz Gloor, dem Projektleiter des Events.

Herr Gloor, Sie sind in Kriens bei Luzern aufgewachsen. Wie haben Sie als Schüler Bruder Klaus wahrgenommen?
Ganz klar: Damals war das für mich ein katholischer Heiliger. Und das ist er letztlich auch heute noch.

Aber heute sagen Katholiken wie Reformierte unisono: «Sogar die Reformierten zollen Bruder Klaus ihre Hochachtung.»
Dieses «sogar» ist mir sehr verleidet. Und es ist auch falsch. Denn Niklaus von Flüe lebte vor der Glaubensspaltung. Vor allem war es für die Reformatoren Zwingli und Bullinger ganz selbstverständlich, sich auf Bruder Klaus zu beziehen, genauso wie für die Katholiken auch.

Etc.

It’s Not Really Odd That…

  • A man who never visits anyone else has no one ever visit him.
  • A woman who never prays for anyone else has no one who prays for her.
  • A man who never contributes to the church is surprised that the church doesn’t have the money to aid his family members in distress.
  • A woman who never attends worship has no one at church who knows her needs.

To benefit spiritually from the community of faith, you have to be a part of the community of faith.  If you cut yourself off from it, you can’t be surprised that it doesn’t know who you are or what your spiritual needs might be.  Posting memes on facebook doesn’t make you a member of the Church.

Twitter Theology That Makes Me Sigh: Or, The Hand Wringers Are So Annoying, Aren’t They?

Why Are there ‘Lutherans’ and ‘Calvinists’ and ‘Wesleyans’ But Not ‘Zwinglians’?

Because Zwingli taught his followers to exalt God alone.  A lesson the Lutherans and Calvinists and Wesleyans must have missed.

This is the fountainhead of my religion, to recognize God as the uncreated Creator of all things, who solely and alone has all things in His power and freely giveth us all things. They, therefore, overthrow this first foundation of faith, who attribute to the creature what is the Creator’s alone. For we confess in the creed that it is the Creator in whom we believe. It cannot, therefore, be the creature in whom we should put our trust. – Zwingli

Nor, it should be added, after whom we name ourselves.

Martin Luther’s PR Man- Lucas Cranach

Ohne Lucas Cranach könnten wir uns heute kaum ein Bild von Luther machen. Der Maler war einer der besten PR-Manager in Sachen Reformation.

Indeed!

Jeder würde Martin Luther auf einem Bild erkennen. Das Porträt des Reformators hat sich tief im historischen Bewusstsein der Deutschen verankert. Zu verdanken ist das Lucas Cranach dem Älteren (1472 bis 1553). Niemand hat Luther (1483 bis 1546) zu dessen Lebzeiten so häufig porträtiert wie sein enger und geschäftstüchtiger Maler-Freund in Wittenberg. Massenweise verbreitete Cranachs äußerst effiziente Werkstatt Luther-Porträts im deutschen Sprachraum – und trug damit auch den Reformationsgedanken in die Welt.

„Cranach hat am Image Luthers gefeilt“, sagt Gunnar Heydenreich, Leiter des Forschungsprojekts „Cranach Digital Archive“. „Da lag sicherlich auch eine klare Medienstrategie hinter.“ Bedeutende Luther-Bilder Cranachs sind auch Teil einer Ausstellung von rund 230 Arbeiten zum Gesamtwerk von Lucas Cranach, die ab 8. April im Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf zu sehen ist.

Read the remainder.

JUDEANS OF EGYPT IN THE PERSIAN PERIOD (539-332 BCE) IN LIGHT OF THE ARAMAIC DOCUMENTS

Esko Siljanen, TM will defend the doctoral dissertation entitled “Judeans of Egypt in the Persian period (539-332 BCE) in light of the Aramaic Documents” (Egyptin juudealaiset persialaisaikana (539-332 e.Kr.) arameankielisten dokumenttien valossa) in the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, on 31 March 2017 at 10:00. The public examination will take place at the following address: Yliopiston päärakennus, auditorio XIV, senaatintorin puoleinen sisäänkäynti.

professori Antti Laato, Åbo Akademie, will serve as the opponent, and Professor Martti Nissinen as the custos.

The dissertation is also available in electronic form through the E-thesis service.

Via.

Atheist Snowflakes in Religious Societies

Nonreligious People in Religious Societies:  Although secularism is on the rise, with fewer people identifying with a specific religion, atheists still face a significant degree of prejudice. This chapter discusses that social phenomenon and research efforts to reveal its causes and potential ways to reduce antipathy toward atheists. Social psychology can inquire into causes for prejudice and discrimination against the nonreligious, covering related matters such as origins of unbelief, how others respond to it, and how nonreligious people cope with these and other issues. This chapter also considers specific social movements within and around religious disbelief and offers some speculation on the impact of vocal atheist movements on the current state of interfaith (and nonfaith) relations.

Enjoy.

Happy 68th Birthday, Israel Finkelstein!

Today is Israel’s birthday. He’s an incredibly influential Israeli archaeologist and he has overseen the excavation of most of Israel’s most important sites. Over the years he’s been a great friend and I appreciate his great work. Check out a plethora of posts in celebration of his birth-iversary and a gallery of images:

Happy birthday!