Daily Archives: 1 Jan 2012

For the King, From Gibeon

With thanks to Gershon Galil for pointing the story out. It begins

בולה מימי בית ראשון נמצאה בבור אשפה הממצא אותר במהלך חיפוש ארכיאולוגי בהר הבית, והוא מעיד על כך שמלכי יהודה נהגו לגבות מיסים מתושבי הממלכה לפני כ-2600 שנה

Jack Sasson remarks on Agade

At http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/320/949.html is a Ha’aretz article (in Hebrew, with pix) about the recovery of a bulla with the inscription “גבעון למלך” (“Gibeon, for the king”). It comes from a refuse pit of the First Temple period, on the eastern slope of the Temple Mount. The suggestion is that it is evidence for the collection of taxes in Judah from Gibeon.

George Athas has a nice post on it worth a look.

Zwingli: On Election

Jacques Courvoisier writes

In the absence of definite proof to the contrary the Christian must consider his neighbors in principle as elected, even if they have not yet responded to their election with faith.  “As long as I do not find unbelief in someone (i.e., deliberate refusal to believe God’s promises when they have been clearly heard), I have no reason to condemn him” (writes Zwingli).

Nicely put.  It’s a deliberate refusal to believe God’s promises which demarcates the non-elect, not passive ignorance.

[By the way, if you can find a copy of Courvoisier’s little volume, Zwingli: A Reformed Theologian, you should get it.  Fantastically useful].

Standing up to the Taliban

Hundreds of men and women boarded gender-segregated buses in Jerusalem and Ramat Gan on Sunday, in protest of the exclusion of women from the public sphere and against the segregation of men and women in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.  Despite the friction between the two communities, the protest on board the buses went over relatively quietly. An ultra-Orthodox passenger on one of the buses in Bnei Brak said, “We suffer from exclusion more than secular people, but once the media creates a fight between secular people and Haredim, then we have no choice – we have to pick a side.”

I don’t think it’s the media that caused the fight.  The media has exposed what needs to be exposed: injustice and prejudice.

“Extremists from both sides do not allow a discussion to take place on this subject,” he said, blaming the media and ultra-Orthodox extremists of anti-Semitism.

Of course.  Anyone who ever raises any question about something, anything, in Israel is tarred an anti-semite – even if they’re Jewish!  This can only mean that the phrase has been emptied of any meaning.  When a Nazi is an anti-semite and a person who opposes radicalism among the ultra orthodox is an anti-semite, who isn’t?

It’s Only Because Nothing says ‘Christmas’ In America Like Guns…

Americans bought record numbers of guns last month amid an apparent surge in popularity for weapons as Christmas presents.

Remember when Bibles used to be popular as Christmas gifts…?

According to the FBI, over 1.5 million background checks on customers were requested by gun dealers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in December. Nearly 500,000 of those were in the six days before Christmas.  It was the highest number ever in a single month, surpassing the previous record set in November. On Dec 23 alone there were 102,222 background checks, making it the second busiest single day for buying guns in history. The actual number of guns bought may have been even higher if individual customers took home more than one each.

Americans seem to be afraid. Very afraid. Of course it’s natural that fear reside where love is absent- especially given the fact that ‘perfect love casts out fear’. Should we love God as we ought, we would trust him. And were we to trust him, we wouldn’t be so bloody paranoid.

Instead of trust, though, fear is our master; our tyrant.

Reading Calvin for Today

Today’s day 1 of the ‘read through the Institutes this year‘ challenge.  Have you read your Calvin today?  If not, it’s time.  And it’s not an at all long section- it’s just the Preface.

A Fantastic New (I Wish) iPhone Game App

Oh that there were this gem of delight:

Angry Pastors!  A fun new app that allows players to be pastors and to hurl unrepentant and recalcitrant church members into the waiting arms of demons who drag them to a fiery pit where they meet their eternal blis(tering).

Users will be allowed not only to name themselves but any and every church member!

And, most excitingly, once Pastors reach level 2 and beyond, they can even hurl angry atheists, dilettantes, heretics, and other bespotted and befouled pagans into even lower levels of hell where their torment is more pronounced and more intensive!

Maybe someone will develop such an app in 2012.  God willing.

Quote of the Day

Wretched people fight simply for the sake of fighting, and not to find the truth.  —  Huldrych Zwingli

2011 Was the Worst Year On Record…

… for metal thefts from churches according to figures released by the insurance industry. Ecclesiastical, the main Church of England insurer, received 2,500 claims, 100 more than the previous record of 2,400 in 2008. Chelmsford was the country’s worst-hit diocese, with 90 incidents, followed by Lincoln and Lichfield which submitted more than 80 claims each. The dioceses of London and Southwell were in fourth and fifth positions respectively as the wave of lead and metal thefts intensified. Some churches have adopted radical measures to tackle the problem. St John the Baptist in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, is replacing lead with fibreglass after being hit seven times by thieves since May.

Disgusting really. These vile thieves ought to sell the metal from their own reprehensible hovels instead of robbing Churches where people have invested time and resources so as to have a proper House of Worship.

Doubtless they’re only stealing the metal to sell it for drug money anyway. They sure aren’t selling it to buy food for their starving children. Totally depraved perverts.

Who Broke Academia.edu?

I’m betting it was Joel.  Whatever he did, for the last week or so the news page loads about 5 recent updates and then announces, annoyingly, that no further news posts are possible.  See for yourself (at the bottom of the image) :

Why Joel, why?

The Best Psalm With Which to Begin a New Year

English: "Shiyr lamma 'aloth 'esa' eynay ...

Psalm 121-

1 I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD , the maker of heaven and earth. 3 God won’t let your foot slip. Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job. 4 No! Israel’s protector never sleeps or rests! 5 The LORD is your protector; the LORD is your shade right beside you. 6 The sun won’t strike you during the day; neither will the moon at night. 7 The LORD will protect you from all evil; God will protect your very life. 8 The LORD will protect you on your journeys— whether going or coming— from now until forever from now. (CEB)

Frankly I don’t know what you’ll do if God isn’t in your life in 2012. I imagine it will be quite empty.

Was Zwingli Actually Born Before Luther?

Reinhart Staats investigates.

Klaus Hafner von der Badischen Landesbibliothek hatte für die im Luther-Jahr 1983 in Karlsruhe gezeigte Ausstellung «Luther und die Reformation am Oberrhein» einen Lebenslauf Luthers “wiederentdeckt. Das Blatt gehört ins Melanchthon-Haus zu Bretten (Inv. Nr. 186) und gibt nun der These, daß Luther am 10. November 1484 geboren ist, eine nicht geringe Wahrscheinlichkeit. Strittig ist nur das Jahr. Der 10. November steht aufgrund der Aussage von Luthers Mutter u nd wegen mehrerer Geburtstagsfeiern im Hause Luthers am Abend vor Martini fest, ebenso der Geburtsort Eisleben. Das Brettener Blatt enthält einen kurzen tabellarischen Lebenslauf Luthers in direkter Rede, der mit der klaren Aussage beginnt: «Anno 1484 natus.» Ich bin der Sache nachgegangen und meine, den Nachweis führen zu können, daß dieser Lebenslauf auf eine Tischrede Luthers aus den frühen 30 er J ahr en zurückgeht.

Read the outcome of his inquiry in Zwingliana.

Something of Zwingli’s To Read

Schreiben des Burgermeisters Heinrich Walder und der verordneten Geheimen zu Zürich. an Burgermeister Diethelm Röist und die Zürcher Gesandten in Wil (von der Hand Zwinglis), 1. Januar 1530. Published in Huldreich Zwinglis sämtliche Werke, vol. 6.2 (Zürich: Berichthaus, 1968) (Corpus Reformatorum 93.2). And available online here.

It’s not very long and it’s in German, so it’s at least accessible. And, even better, it’s Zwingli’s birth-iversary.

It’s The Anniversary of Huldrych Zwingli’s Birth

So, to kick things off, here’s an image gallery for your enjoyment.  The day will be filled with Zwingli stuff so prepare yourselves for a joyful First of January.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.