Daily Archives: 19 Jul 2012

Purgatory? No

Zwingli’s Statue at the Wasserkirche

Paul forbids us to be anxious concerning them that fall asleep, 1 Thess. 4:13, as if we had no hope of a future life, just as the heathen have no hope. But if there were a purgatory, undoubtedly he would have taught us to sorrow for those who we knew were being sadly afflicted with torments. Therefore, since he had occasion to mention the dead, and, more than that, to discuss the anxiety of the living in regard to them, and yet gave not the slightest hint of purgatory, it is quite evident that Paul knew nothing about purgatory. He realized that it was sufficient for him to know Christ and Him crucified [1 Cor. 2:2]. But what need of many words, when we see that purgatory has the support only of human fiction and not of God’s word? For all the passages of Holy Scripture used in its defence have been violently twisted to serve that purpose. — Huldrych Zwingli

Fun Facts About the Punishments of Hell

Fun Fact: In the Apocalypse of Paul, a forged story in which the Apostle Paul tours hell with an angelic guide, the punishment for adultery is to be suspended by one’s hair and eyebrows over a river of fire. The punishment for not paying attention in church to the word of God is to sit eating one’s own tongue in an enclosed place of fire. – Candida Moss

Isn’t that awesome?  I sure hope it’s true.

Who Were the Earliest Anabaptists?

A rather colorful (read weird) bunch really. Samuel Simpson remarks

English: German Anabaptist Balthasar Hubmaier ...

Luther on his return to Wittenberg had practically succeeded in suppressing the Anabaptist movement in Germany. Thomas Münzer, the leader, was compelled to leave Saxony, and when driven out he sought an asylum in Switzerland. Here he fell in with Conrad Grebel, a young man descended from one of the best families of Zurich, brother-in-law of Vadian, and a former friend of Zwingli. He was a man of fine scholarship, having studied at the universities of Paris and Vienna; morally, however, his career had been anything but creditable. At school he had led a life of such wild dissipation as to ruin his health and squander a considerable fortune.

To be precise, Grebel picked up the ‘Parisian’ disease as it was called in polite company. That is, syphilis. As to his wasting of his family’s money, he was finally cut off from the family funds because they grew tired of him and his continuous purchase of prostitutes.

Felix Manz, the son of a canon, and a fair Hebrew scholar, also became one of the number. These men rather expected that Zwingli would find positions for them as teachers in the cathedral schools, but this Zwingli could not honorably do, nor had he such confidence in them as to be inclined to help them had the way been open.

Zwingli didn’t trust them- and rightly. They were the sort of people who were friends so long as they had a use for Zwingli. As soon as he wasn’t willing to do as they wished, they turned on him, proving true the words of Jesus – ‘do not give pearls to swine for they will only take it and turn to tear you to shreds’.

Defeated in one quarter, they sought to gratify their ambition in another. Several others joined their number, prominent among them Simon Stumpf, of Honegg, and George Blaurock, a monk, of Coire. In November of this year (1524), Andrew Carlstadt, Luther’s quarrelsome and erratic opponent at Wittenberg, came to Zurich. Münzer and he visited Balthasar Hubmaier, pastor of Waldshut, and in the course of the interview completely won him over to their views. Together they set to work to effect some sort of organization. It was decided to make rebaptism the distinguishing mark of the new society. … “It surprised us much,” remarks Zwingli, “that they were so zealous against [infant baptism], but at length we observed that it was for the reason that, on infant baptism being rejected, they might have a pretext for organizing their church under the banner of rebaptization.”

In other words, and Simpson is correct in this: the Anabaptists used baptism as nothing more than a reason to dissent because they were angry that they weren’t granted academic positions. They could just as easily have chosen cowls or the church calendar. They were looking for any reason to play the dissidents. That they latched on to baptism is simply incidental. So much, then, for real theological differences- their fragmenting themselves from the Reformation was only about power and their quest for control.

The Cargill’s: Out To Reframe Azekah

And not just in terms of excellent archaeological work. Oh no. They want all Azekah-ites to adopt the horrifying tie dye shirt! That’s right. Yesterday I remarked about Bob’s dreadful fashion choice and today Ros has joined his tie dye cult! Who next? Oded Lipschits? Ido Koch? Some hapless student?

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Sign the petition- say no to tie dye at Azekah! (sign below in comments).

Galatians: Mentor Expository Commentary

The nice folk at Christian Focus Publications have sent along this new commentary.   Here’s my review:

The Types of Calvinists

This is pretty amusing.  With thanks to Dan Stoddart on G+ for pointing it out.

Calvinism must be one of the most overused and abused terms going around in church circles. Much of what I say below I really mean, but it is rather tongue-in-cheek. Also, the way I box people into categories is very fluid, as I will explain later. Finally, I should also apologise to anyone who goes by the name Schmalvin; any confusion is completely unintended.

There are quite a number of streams of Calvinism. Each of the groups I describe below all locate themselves in the theological heritage of the French Protestant reformer, John Calvin. It is very confusing. I hope this helps.

You have the New Calvinists: John Piper is like the grandfather, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler and co. are the hipsters who tow the line behind him and a few other grandfather figures. They are the world’s biggest fans of the TULIP acronym. You may have heard the phrase “5 Point Calvinism” thrown around. Most of these people say they are Calvinists, and then you usually discover that they are “4 points Calvinists,” or “4-and-a-half-point Calvinists.” John Piper is a 17 point Calvinist, I think. I suppose that the MacArthur-peddling boys at Team Pyro would fit into this category as well. They tend to be Baptists. Their books get endorsed by D. A. Carson, J. I. Packer and Albert Mohler.

And then the rest.  Oh, and anyone who endorses anything by Mark Driscoll is guilty of participating in heretical perversion of the faith, just like him.

Christian Moser’s New Book- Umstrittene Prophetie Die exegetisch-theologische Diskussion um die Inhomogenität des Jesajabuches von 1780 bis 1900

Das Buch zeichnet die Stationen der Diskussion um die Inhomogenität des Jesajabuches von den Anfängen der historisch-kritischen Exegese in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts bis zu Bernhard Duhms epochemachendem Jesajakommentar von 1892 nach. Neben den aus heutiger Sicht innovativen Ansätzen werden auch die oppositionellen Stimmen gegen diese exegetischen Neuerungen in den Blick genommen, die aufzuzeigen vermögen, welche theologiegeschichtlichen Implikationen mit den neuen Forschungsansätzen zur alttestamentlichen Prophetie verbunden waren.

Eine solche Betrachtungsweise vermag nicht nur Einblicke wissenschaftsgeschichtlichen Chrakters in eine spezifische Phase der Jesajaforschung zu geben, sondern hebt darüber hinaus durch die kombinierte Erfassung der Argumentationsstrategien der Befürworter wie auch der Gegner der neuen exegetischen Ansätze paradigmatisch wichtige Aspekte der Entwicklung der historisch-kritischen Bibelwissenschaft im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert insgesamt vor.

Christian Moser, the author, informs me that he’s sent along a copy.  I hope it arrives soon, it looks to be a great volume!  And, Christian, thanks!