The Cities Strike Back

In the mid 1520’s, when the Catabaptistic cult had wreaked havoc across the Confederation, three of the Swiss cities were fed up with the Catabaptists (literally, ‘drowners’) and spelled out their reasons in an edict of 9 Sept., 1527 (via S. Jackson) –

“They seduce men from the congregations of the orthodox teachers and assail the public preachers with abuse; they babble in corners, woods, and fields; contract spiritual marriages, thereby giving occasion for adulteries; even command crime in the name of the Lord, e. g., the parricide at St. Gall; glory in divine revelations and miracles; teach that the Devil will be saved, and that in their church one could indulge lust without crime; had other signs of the covenant aside from catabaptism; would not carry swords; pronounced usury and the lot wicked; would have all external goods common and deposited in the midst of them, so that no one could use them as his own peculiar right; forbade Christians to accept the magistracy or to say an oath was proper.

In order that this growth, dangerous to Christianity, wicked, harmful, turbulent, seditious, may be eradicated, we have thus decreed: if any one is suspected of catabaptism he is to be warned by the magistracy to leave off, under penalty of the designated punishment.

Individuals as the civil contract obliges should inform upon those favourable to catabaptism. Whoever shall not fit his conduct to this dissuasion is liable to punishment according to the sentence of the magistracy and as special business; teachers, baptising preachers, itinerants and leaders of conventicles, or those previously released from prison and who have sworn to desist from such things, are to be drowned.  [The ‘drowners’ are to be ‘drowned’.  The irony was intentional].

Foreigners, their faith being pledged, are to be driven out, if they return are to be drowned. No one is allowed to secede from the Church and absent himself from the Holy Supper. Men led into the error by fraud may receive a mitigation of their punishment in proportion to their property and standing. Whoever flees from one jurisdiction to another shall be banished or given up on demand.”

They felt strongly about these ‘drowners’

Peter Enns Has Proven that Westminster Was Right to Sack Him

Daniel Stoddart pointed this post out on G+ and I enjoyed it so much and found it so true and theologically insightful that I wanted to pass it along to you.  I’ve added its author to the blogroll.  He’s one to watch.

Since his dismissal, Enns has so quickly evolved in his views that he now denies the historicity of Adam and Eve, denies that the Bible says anything about human origins, embraces theistic evolution, and denies the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture.​ What happened to the “Enns is perfectly Reformed and orthodox” defense? One can still argue (wrongly, in my view) than he was right; one cannot argue that his views are compatible with the Reformed confessions.

Rarely has history so quickly vindicated a controversial decision by a seminary. No one can objectively examine those events and conclude anything other than that Enns and his acolytes were speaking with forked tongues or at least crossed fingers.​

There’s a good deal more of equally impressive insight.  I commend it to you.  Unreservedly.

More Gay Hate

Thanks to Milton for pointing this out:

People on both sides of the Chick-fil-A debate seemed to agree that a Tucson man who made a viral video belittling a patient restaurant worker acted like a sanctimonious jerk, even his boss – make that ex-boss.Adam Smith, who posted an online video of himself going through a Chick-fil-A drive-thru and ordering only the free water, was canned from his gig as chief financial officer of Vante, a Tucson medical manufacturing company, after the video made the rounds. “Chick-fil-A is a hateful company,” Smith tells the employee. “I don’t know how you sleep at night,” Smith adds at another point. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values.” After the employee, who never loses her composure, wishes Smith a nice day, he responds “I will. I just did something really good. I feel purposeful.”

Good? Purposeful? Fool.

Smith pulled the video from YouTube, but by then, it had already gone viral. People on both sides of the debate blasted him for his treatment of the woman in thousands of posts online. On Thursday, Smith’s boss at Vante, CEO Roger Vogel, cashiered Smith. “Vante regrets the unfortunate events that transpired yesterday in Tucson between our former CFO/Treasurer Adam Smith and an employee at Chick-fil-A,” the company said in a statement. “Effective immediately, Mr. Smith is no longer an employee of our company.

I applaud his boss.

Gay Hate

Because whenever anyone disagrees with homosexual ethics, said persons are demonized.  Go ahead, gay activists, defend this:

If such a thing were found on a gay bar or bath-house the homosexual community (whatever that is) would be up in arms decrying, rightly, the outrageous behavior of whatever hate-monger did it.

Let’s see just how quiet it is now when someone else is a target of hatred and the perpetrator is a gay sympathizer.

Voluntary Martyrdom: Ancient and Modern

There’s a new essay by Candida Moss in the Journal Church History which looks really interesting (as one would expect) – The Discourse of Voluntary Martyrdom: Ancient and Modern.

While the social and intellectual basis of voluntary martyrdom is fiercely debated, scholarship on Christian martyrdom has unanimously distinguished between “martyrdom” and “voluntary martyrdom” as separate phenomena, practices, and categories from the second century onward. Yet there is a startling dearth of evidence for the existence of the category of the “voluntary martyr” prior to the writings of Clement of Alexandria. This paper has two interrelated aims: to review the evidence for the category of the voluntary martyr in ancient martyrological discourse and to trace the emergence of the category of the voluntary martyr in modern scholarship on martyrdom. It will argue both that the category began to emerge only in the third century in the context of efforts to justify flight from persecution, and also that the assumption of Clement’s taxonomy of approaches to martyrdom by scholars is rooted in modern constructions of the natural. –  Candida R. Moss is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame.

Yes, it sounds intriguing.

Another Fairly Active Day

According to WordPress’s stats, there have been on average over 1400 visitors to the blog per hour for the last 48.  That’s a surge from the usual 250 per hour.  The surge is coming from Russia and Ukraine.  Odd.  They must love Zwingli there or have just discovered biblioblogs.

Lochte, Phelps and Leyva: Golden Girls!

That’s how GMA labeled them this morning…  bahahahaha

The Anniversary of Martin Noth’s Birth

Martin Noth, famed (and rightly so) Old Testament scholar was born on the 3rd of August, 1902.  Probably best known for his work on the history of Israel, Noth also wrote widely and extensively on nearly every aspect of OT studies.  His commentaries are very good and his study of Israelite names has never, ever been surpassed or supplanted.

As Brittanica notes

In his book Das System der zwölf Stämme Israels (1930; “The Scheme of the Twelve Tribes of Israel”), written when he was just 28, Noth proposed the theory that the unity called Israel did not exist prior to the covenant assembly at Shechem in Canaan (Joshua 24), where, in his view, the tribes, theretofore loosely related through customs and traditions, accepted the worship and the covenant of Yahweh imposed by Joshua. Oral traditions from the various tribes were combined in the Pentateuch after the covenant union, and it was only at the time of Ezra that the traditions were finally written down, often combining different narrative elements into a single tale. Thus, the story of the Passover and that of the Exodus, once separate traditions, were linked in the written books of Moses. The two major narrative traditions, the Jehovistic and Elohistic (so called from the name used for God in each), formed a framework around the other traditional elements. Noth served as professor of theology at the University of Bonn from 1945 to 1965, continuing his studies after his retirement.

Lest we forget…

Lochte Tweets Piety But Lives Promiscuously

Here’s another of the far too many examples in modern ‘Christianity’ of a high profile ‘Christian’ talking the talk but not ‘walking the walk’.  Ryan Lochte tweeted a few days ago

‘Plain’ must mean ‘plan’.  And yes, God does have a plan.  Promiscuity isn’t part of it.  But his mom was on the Today Show boasting about his promiscuity

Ryan Lochte is all about the one-night stands … says his mom, Ike Lochte.  “He goes out on one-night stands. He’s not able to give fully to a relationship because he’s always on the go,” the elder Lochte told on July 31st.

He’s not able to give himself to moral behavior either.  Is he.

I really wish people who talk about God would live like they actually took that relationship seriously.  It reminds me of the people on Facebook who constantly talk pious talk but who do so while posting pictures of themselves and their besties out boozing it up and giving the world the bird.

The old timers had a word for what Lochte and the Facebook pic posters are: hypocrites.

A Tiny Seed And The Tremendous Information it Can Provide: Megiddo

With thanks to Eric Cline for sending along word of this report:

Archaeologist Israel Finkelstein is leading his sweating guests to a corner of Tel Megiddo. He points to a black stain on a rock, which on closer inspection turn out to be charred seeds. “This,” he says, “is the most important find at Tel Megiddo.”

Further on

In one of the four excavation areas on the mound, each marked by its own flag, we come back to the charred crumbs Finkelstein says were the mound’s most important find. Here, under a rainbow flag, we are told they are tiny seeds that Megiddo’s inhabitants collected around 3,000 years ago. They went up in flames when the city was destroyed.  They are important because of their location in relation to finds above and below them. Organic material like this is especially valuable because it can undergo carbon-14 testing, allowing the level where it was found to be dated.

And this very interesting segment-

One of the black layers indicates destruction in the 10th century. Finkelstein’s detractors say David destroyed this city – an idea that Finkelstein rejects because he says the carbon-14 dating rules out the possibility that the city was destroyed suddenly. It shows a gradual process.  Finkelstein now believes that the 10th century destruction came at the hands of “mountain Israelites” from the region of Samaria, which led to the rise of the northern kingdom.

There’s a lot more to the report, and I’m hopeful to have photos of the flags mentioned in the report very soon.