Monthly Archives: October 2011

An Invaluable Resource for Students of the History of Israel

The History of Ancient Palestine, by Gösta Werner Ahlström is available on Google Books.

With thanks to Marc Cooper on ANE-2 for pointing it out.

The Post Reformation Digital Library- Revised, Updated, and Expanded

Check it out at their new permanent URL.  It’s sharp!  And loaded with a lifetime of theological materials.

Scouting Samford

Where the Reformation Spirituality Conference is being held beginning at 8 in the morning.  It’s a really beautiful campus- it will be a wonderful setting for the lectures and discussions.

Here are some photos:

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Ensconced in Birmingham

I’ve arrived safely and am at the hotel, checked in and resting up a bit before I go exploring later. The Reformation Conference begins at 8 in the morning so it will be an early night for me tonight.

Here are the required room photos-

Reformation Spirituality Conference

I’m on my way (having posted this previously and just scheduled it for now) to Samford University in Birmingham for the Reformation Spirituality Conference.

More anon… with pictures!

Benjamin Mayes: Counsel and Conscience

In the recently launched Refo500 series the first volume is Counsel and Conscience by Benjamin Mayes.  In this brief video clip he explains the purpose of the book.

Martin Luther Didn’t Teach Huldrych Zwingli the Gospel

Portrait of Ulrich Zwingli after his death 1531

The Lutherans are celebrating what they call ‘Reformation Day’.  They like to delude themselves with the unfounded belief that were it not for Luther, there would have been no Reformation.

Alas, poor things, they seem totally unaware that Reform had already commenced further south, in Switzerland, where Zwingli and his colleagues had been lurching towards true Reform since 1515.

To be sure, Luther matters.  But he doesn’t matter as much as his followers would like the world to believe.   Here’s Zwingli’s own testimony on the matter:

Also wil ich nit, das mich die Bäpstler luterisch nennind; denn ich die leer Christi nit vom Luter gelernt hab, sunder uß dem selbswort gottes. Predget Luter Christum, tuot er eben als ich thuon, wiewol, got sye lob, durch inn ein unzalbarliche welt me denn durch mich und ander (denen got ir maß macht grösser oder minder, wie er wil) zuo got gefuert werdend. Noch wil ich dheinen namen tragen denn mines houptmans Christi; des reyser bin ich; der würt mir ampt und sold geben, so vil inn duncken wirt guot sin. Ietz hoff ich, das mengklich verstand, warumb ich nit welle luterisch gescholten sin, so ich doch den Luter als hoch halt als ein lebender. Demnach bezüg ich vor got und allen menschen, das ich dheinen buochstaben alle mine tag ie zuo im geschriben habe, noch er zuo mir, noch geschaffet gschriben werden, als aber etlich frommen xellen von minetwegen uflegen gedörend. Und hab sölichs nit underlassen, das ich iemans darumb gefürcht hab, sunder das ich damit hab wellen allen menschen offnen, wie einhellig der geist gottes sye, daß wir, so wyt von einandren, doch so einhelliklich die leer Christi lerend on allen anschlag, wiewol ich im nit zuozezellen bin; dann ieder thuot, so vil inn got wyßt. Iedoch, damit wir widrumb zuo unserem fürnemmen kerind, hab ich das essen und trincken des fronlychnams unnd bluotes Christi genent ein widergedächtnus des lydens Christi, ee ich den Luter ie hab ghört nennen. Und hat der Luter den fronlychnam und bluot Christi ein testament genennet. Sind bede recht und uß dem mund Christi kummen. Das ein ist der wesenlich nam, das ander ein nam des bruchs und der uebung. Der fronlychnam und bluot Christi sind ein ewig gmächt, erb oder testament; so man den ißt und trinckt, opffert man nit, sunder man widergedenckt und ernüweret das, so Christus einest gethon hat.

Luther didn’t teach Zwingli either the Gospel or the proper understanding of the Supper of the Lord.  Zwingli knew and taught both before anyone had ever heard of Luther.

So, dear Lutherans, enjoy your awakening day.  It’s ok with the rest of us if you were a bit late to the party.

Herman Cain Sounds Like Bill Clinton

Herman Cain, who is leading the polls in the race to become the Republican party’s presidential nominee, was allegedly accused of sexually suggestive behaviour by two female employees while he headed the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. The women ultimately left the trade group after signing agreements that gave them financial payouts and barred them from talking about their departures, a report on website Politco said. Mr Cain’s campaign has called the allegations “unsubstantiated personal attacks.”

Hey that’s just what Bill Clinton said too! And Clarence Thomas! And, well just name some politician like Newt Gingrich or that greasy governor of Virginia. Politicians are politicians regardless of their affiliation.

The Dumbest ‘Deification of Steve Jobs’ Comment Yet

From CNN’s twitter feed-

Steve Jobs’ sister: ‘Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it.’

No, he didn’t ‘achieve’ death.  Death conquered him.

Quote of the Day: Happy Lutheran Reformation Day

“Glaube nicht alles, was Du hörst, sage nicht alles, was Du willst, tue nicht alles, was Du magst.” – Martin Luther

And yes, it’s just Lutheran Reformation Day.  Luther was 2 years late as the initiator of Reformation- Zwingli having begun work in that direction in 1515.  So, congrats, Lutherans- just as was true at Barmen- while the Lutherans slept, the Reformed worked.

Throwing Down the Guantlet to New Testament Scholarship

On the Enoch Seminar Gabriele Boccaccini writes (or more accurately, throws down the gauntlet)

The Hermeneia commentary of the Book of Parables of Enoch (by George Nickelsburg) and the Book of the Luminaries (by James VanderKam) has just being published. Now that it is clear that the Book of Parables is a Second Temple Jewish document, what will our NT colleagues say? Will they take it seriously for the understanding of the historical Jesus? Could Enochic Judaism be the answer to Christian origins?

Fascinating. Any NT specialists willing to answer the challenge?

Here’s a Student Who Deserves an F-

Because he wrote-

“If I had been asked to explain my views on the rapture, I would have the traditional views that Jenkins and LaHaye left behind for us.”

(Via the twitter of a colleague who will remain unnamed here).  If any sentence in any paper has ever rendered the whole worthy of complete failure and then some, it’s that one.

Occupy Wall Street and Put a Republican in the White House

As an insight-filled essay cited in the Washington Post truthfully observes, the only way the Occupy crowd wins is if Obama loses.

If the Occupy Wall Street movement truly believes in its platform, they would be doing everything they can to make sure President Obama loses his re-election bid in 2012, writes American Enterprise Institute visiting fellow Jonah Goldberg at National Review. Why? As Goldberg sees it, President Obama is “the most divisive figure in America today.”

More to the point-

That should only make sense, right? If Occupy Wall Street is a sincere, organic, grassroots movement for radical change and overturning the status quo, it can’t be 100 percent behind the guy who’s been running the country for the last three years.


One needn’t call the full roll of speakers at Zuccotti Park and its sister protests to know that I am right. But when Francis Fox Piven, the American Communist Party, Slavoj Zizek, et al are being greeted with cheers or at least open arms or when surveys of actual protesters show that a third advocate violence to advance their cause, I for one do not find much solace in the fact that they’ve done yeoman work creating a water filtration system.

1/3rd advocate violence to achieve their goals… But what goals would those be? The movement doesn’t have any goals, it only has a ‘We want more’ mentality.

Read the whole piece and be informed.

Agree to A Truce, and then Attack…

That’s just what Israel did- they agreed to a truce and then launched an air strike against Gaza.

An Israeli aircraft struck a pair of Palestinian militants on Sunday, killing one man and wounding a second after Egypt said it had brokered a truce to end attacks that have killed 10 Palestinian gunmen and an Israeli civilian in the past five days. A ceasefire had appeared to be taking hold, with the frontier quiet for eight hours, until Israeli aircraft attacked Palestinian militants who the military said were about to fire rockets from the southern Gaza Strip.

They were ‘about’ to fire rockets… Yeah, sure they were. ‘But mom, he was about to punch me so I pulled out a gun and shot him. That’s ok, right?’….

Peace? There?  Don’t hold your breath.  Dawkins will be a televangelist before there will be peace in the Middle East.  Hell will freeze over first.

If You Ever Need to Send a Letter of Recommendation…

Before you do, take a look at the letter Zwingli wrote on the 30th of October, 1517 in which he commends his friend to enquirers:

Ulrich Zwingli

Bitt ich, ir wellind disen mann hören; weiß ich wol, daß ir demnach gheinem andren nachfragen werdend, hindan gesetzt, daß diß nit ist als ein sengery, ouch daß es nit licht lüt, sunder hochgeachtet reitzt, und mag nun einer die gaab erlouffen, wurden die andren all zuo unwillen gereitzt. Gnädigen, lieben herren: diß min schriben wellend ir imm besten annemen, betrachten, ermessen; dann ich byshar allso gewonheit hab, ioch denen, so es wider wäre, umm der fürdrung wegen deß frommen das best zuo tuon, daß sich an vil orten bewysen sol. Hie mit bevilch ich mich üch, deren guoten willens ich nit vergessen wil, die wil ich läb. Gott walt ü. wyßheit zuo allen zyten.

Now that’s a recommendation!  But this letter isn’t interesting just because of that.  It’s also interesting because Zwingli writes

So nun üwer stand deß evangelisierens oder predicatur us abfart m. Iohansen Löwen (dem gott genad)  ledig, billich mit aller wyßheit versehen werden sol, …

Luther had never been heard of outside Wittenberg yet Zwingli is already talking about their faithfulness to the Gospel as preached by Iohansen Löwen (one of Zwingli’s colleagues).  Zwingli’s ‘turn’ to ‘Reformation’ theology preceded Luther’s by 2 years (with Zwingli already moved in that direction in 1515).

Aren Maeir’s Lecture on Gath

Via Jack Sasson, word of this public lecture at the Bible Lands Museum-

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem –Wednesday Evenings Lectures at 19:30
Free with Museum Admission

2.11.11 – New Discoveries from Tell es-Safi/Gath Excavations – Prof. Aren Meir [sic!], Bar Ilan Univ. (Hebrew).  25 Avraham Granot St., Museum Row, Jerusalem, 972-(0)2-5611066 | |

If you’re in Jerusalem you should go.

Many Churches are Like the Indianapolis Colts

How?  Because they’re missing the ‘difference maker’, Christ, just like the Colts are missing their difference maker, Manning.

You can’t win if the best member of your team is left out of the game.

Bolsec in Brief

Bolsec was banished from Geneva on pain of being whipped if he should ever return, for his seditious conduct and Pelagian doctrine, and some add also for the scandals of his life: and, as he still caused much disturbance in the country, Berne soon after pronounced a like sentence against him.  – John Scott

How rotten must Mr Jerome Bolsec have been to be banished as well from Berne?

What Has to be America’s Most Annoying Neighbor

This guy and I wouldn’t get along too well…

I’d be sure to set up a massive speaker system and blast Mozart’s operas from them non-stop for the entire month of October, since Jesus advised us to ‘do to others as you would have them do to you’ and I’d rather hear Mozart than rubbish accompanied by flashing neon.

Punctuation Matters

via George Athas on FB