Daily Archives: 4 Aug 2012

Outside the Church, There is No Salvation

John Calvin

Calvin writes

THAT by the faith of the Gospel Christ becomes ours, and we become partakers of the salvation procured by him, and of eternal happiness, has been explained in the preceding Book. But as our ignorance and slothfulness, and, I may add, the vanity of our minds, require external aids, in order to the production of faith in our hearts, and its increase and progressive advance even to its completion, God hath provided such aids in compassion to our infirmity: and that the preaching of the Gospel might be maintained, he hath deposited this treasure with the Church. He hath appointed pastors and teachers, that his people might be taught by their lips; he hath invested them with authority; in short, he hath omitted nothing that could contribute to a holy unity of faith, and to the establishment of good order.

Just something to chew on while you ponder whether or not you’ll get up in the morning and make your way to worship.

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Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Theology



A Gay Activist Describes The Aim of ‘Marriage Equality’

It’s a no-brainer that we should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist [cheers from the audience].

That causes my brain some trouble. And part of why it causes me trouble is because fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there—because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago. I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally….

[After my divorce,] I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three…. And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality. And I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.

It’s not marriage equality this activist wants, it’s the end of marriage.  I wonder how many supporters of ‘marriage equality’ really want exactly the same thing.    Via.

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Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity



Sometimes The Truth is Hard to Hear…

But hear it we must. And boy did the author of this book hear it from Mario Liverani in his review of it-

Politik und Kriegskunst der Assyrer, By WALTER MAYER. Abhandlungen zur Literatur Alt-Syrien-Palastinas und Mesopotamiens, vol. 9. Miinster: UGARIT-VERLAG, 1995. Pp. xv + 545, 2 maps.

Liverani writes, long ago now (but in a review I just learned of today, thanks to Emanuel Pfoh), in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 118, No. 3 (Jul. – Sep., 1998), pp. 445-446

The author’s ignorance of existing studies is exacerbated by his systematic (and rather “ritual”) reference to the most obvious repertories and dictionaries: AHw and CAD are always quoted whenever an Akkadian term is mentioned; RIA, RGTC and Parpola’s NAT are always quoted whenever a toponym is met (even if outdated or inaccurate). Frankly speaking, the entire book is useless, and is likely to meet the fate it reserves for the works of others: never to be read, never to be quoted.

I’ve read some useless books that should never be read or quoted too. Fortunately, though, I tend to toss them into the garbage before they get the best of me.  It’s nice nonetheless to see the truth told in these troubled times when people seem to be really allergic to it.

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Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Books



The Best Olympic Picture in 2012

Via Stan Collymore

the true spirit of the Games, no?

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Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Modern Culture


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Zwingli’s Broken Window

In the middle of September, 1525, a couple of drunk Catabaptists decided it would be fun to break a few windows in Zwingli’s house.  So they did.  Zwingli is sanguine about the event but the city authorities, and Zwingli’s friends, saw it as a threat to do Zwingli bodily harm and they reacted accordingly.  S. Jackson wryly notes

In September, 1525, Zwingli’s windows were broken by two drunken fellows; but the offence was magnified until it seemed as if Zwingli’s life were in danger, because underneath the drunken conduct was deep hatred of Zwingli’s teaching. But that so trivial an offence should have caused such a stir is a plain indication that Zwingli lived a very quiet and secure life.

Zwingli obliquely related the event in a letter to his friend Vadian on 22 September.  His friend Binder was more forthright (in the appendix to the letter linked to just now).  He writes to Vadian as well

Non immerito quidem tam adversis rumoribus rerum nostratium vos perculsos esse scribis, Vadiane optime. Sunt enim, qui, quum crudeliter agere non possint, quod ab aliis crudeliter actum aut dictum est, crudelius atque maiore attrocitate [!] referant, ut verbum dei eiusque precones et assectatores omnibus odiosos faciant. At nos. contra decet semper imperterritos esse, ut qui soli deo  confidimus atque, utcunque ille nobiscum agat, semper recte agi. Verum plane  noctuas Athenas, ut dicitur, ferre viderer, si te, qui et verbo et spiritu doctior  es, docere velim; hortari tamen licuit. Nunc itaque tragoediam omnem, utut acta est, nostris verbis prosequar.

And then he shifts into a brilliant mixing of German and Latin – describing the scoundrel’s vandalism and their intoxicated arguing with Zwingli himself along with the abuse they heaped on him –

Es sind zwen zellen, einer ein wäber, der ander ein metzger, bym wynn eins worden (also hatt der ein am seil veriähen) unnd einandren bracht, sy wellind dem Zwingli die fenster inwerfen, nimirum gratificaturi quibusdam, quibus Zuinglius semper adversus est. Unnd nach der 9. stund sind sy an die Kilchgasß kommenn unnd habend angefangen, dem custor Heinrico Utingero heruß rueffen, sprächende: wo bist? gang heruß, du langer ketzer! du bist ein zwölfpot wie Iudas etc.

Darnach eim andren, gotlosen pfaffen ein ägersten im keffy gestreyt unnd zerrissen. Demnach an Zwinglis thür gestossen unnd geruefft: gang heruß, du rotten Uoly! das dich gotz ertrich schend als ketzers, du dieb, chuegehyer, Glarner chuegehyer, weltverfuerer! das dich gotz  schend etc.; tam crudeliter omnia, ut Erynnes ac Furias ab inferis excitatas esse credideris, immo crudelius: wo ist din kleiner huff? Es gat dir wie den teufferen; wir wend die ketzer all töden Omnia autem simulata voce, ita ut omnino agnosci non possent, etc.

In dem stuond Zwingli uff zuo sim schwert, luogt, ob man im nit inß huß gestigen wer. Als er aber nieman fand, hatt er nieman wellen weken; gedacht wol, was für ein uffruorworden were, wo er oder ieman geschrüwen hett. Also wurdend im die fenster alle zerworffen. Do sprach er zuo inen: ir mörderschen böswicht, habend ir etwas an mir zuo sprechen, worumb suochend ir mich nit tags?

Sprach einer: ich wand, du furchtist dir nit. Sprach er: ich fürcht dich ja nit, wen ich by dir in eim finstern wald were. Sprach diser: so kum herab! Sprach Zwingli: wenn du frumm werist, ich wolt zuo dir. Also wurffend sy für und für mit großen schwueren unnd unmenschlichen worten: o we, we, der dieb hatt nut gantzes me, etc. – das nit müglich ist, ze schryben. In dem was kein nachpur, der ützid sprech; dann es sind fast all pfaffen und eins teils krank lüt, also das niemans herfür wolt. Ich hatt ouch min harnasch unnd schwin spieß an, gedorfft aber allein ouch nit heruß; daran mir fast we gschach; denn sy sprachend: wo hast din kleinen huffen?

Also schiedend sy by langem mit irem gschrey unnd ungestuemy hinweck, das niemans ander gedacht hett, es were ein hinderhuot vorhanden. Es was ouch der prior von Torberg in siner kamer; der hatt nüt, das er werfen könd, denn houptküssy. Zuo dem kam Zwyngli unnd trost inn: er solt nit erschrecken, man mueßty deß gwonenn.

In summa: Zwingli was wol besind unnd unerschrocken. Am andren tag fand man den einen in eim kleinen fesslin; den hatt man in mörderthurn gelegt. Der ander ist durch die schnelly hinuß geschwummen. Reliqua, quę maioris ponderis erunt, in literis Zinglii reperies. Ego occupatissimus sum in transferendo “Subsidio Zinglii”. Volui tamen tibi gratificari, quantum licuit. 

Vale in Χριστῷ Iesu, domino nostro, cum coniuge ac liberis. Saluta meo nomine fratrem tuum Hieronymum sororem Otiliam etc. Huettend üch vor den secteren. Georgius Binderus tuus. An her doctor von Watt zuo Sanct Gallen, minen günstigen unnd sunders lieben fründ.

What fun!   Two drunks facing down the Reformer and receiving in themselves the just recompense for their foolhardy lunacy.  Those were the days I tell you, those were the days.

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Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Church History, Zwingli



Small Wonder Students Plagiarize: Their Professors Are Teaching Them How

I find this just completely and utterly unacceptable and outrageously inappropriate and not a little unethical.  After showing, quite carefully and quite convincingly, that John Drane has for all intents and purposes lifted Goodacre without attribution, Mark writes

It is difficult to know quite how to react to this.  On one level, I am surprised that it has taken me until now to spot it given that the passage in question has been in the book since the second edition of 1999.   I suppose that I am also pleasantly surprised to see my arguments repeated in a New Testament Introduction, even if it is without acknowledgement.  At least some of the key Q sceptical arguments are getting a hearing in an introductory textbook.

Moreover, it would be fair to say also that the genre of introductory textbook does not tend to encourage citation in the same way that scholarly monographs and articles do.  However, given the difficulty that we have in universities and colleges in training students to cite their sources, and to attribute arguments to those who made them, I think on balance that I am not happy with what the author has done here.

Cite. Your. Sources.  It’s what scholars SHOULD do and it’s what reprehensible dilettantes and thieves of ideas refuse to do.  Come on, people, just how hard is it?

If I were Mr Drane, I would be ashamed of myself.  He’s shown his students that plagiarism is acceptable.  I hope that if he has marked any of his students down for lifting ideas they demand a re-evaluation, pointing out to him that they were only following his example.

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Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Total Depravity


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Azekah, the End of Week Three

What a crew

The guy on the far left with his hands up must be VERY excited!

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Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Archaeology



The New Eisenbrauns Mug!

It’s a nice one!  Very sturdy, very thick.  And oh so Ancient Near Eastern!


Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Biblical Studies Resources


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The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary: James

The next installment in the ongoing publication of commentaries in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series is James.  The author of that volume, William Varner, has granted me access to it (sending along a pdf) which I’ve spent the last days going through.  Here’s my review.


Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Bible


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It’s The Birth Anniversary of Sigmund Mowinckel

Sigmund Mowinckel, Scandinavian Old Testament scholar extraordinaire, was born on the 4th of August in 1884.  Most famous for his work on the Psalms, he authored many very useful volumes my favorite of which is The Old Testament as Word of God.  It’s what we call down here a ‘page-turner’.  Brittanica writes

Educated at the University of Oslo (then Kristiania), Mowinckel spent his life from 1917 teaching there. His greatest contribution was in cultic-religious history. He conducted substantial research into the motivation for the psalms and in the practice of worship in ancient Israel. He wrote Psalmenstudien, 6 vol. (1921–24; “Studies in the Psalms,” later popularized as The Psalms in Israel’s Worship, 1962), one of the major works of biblical commentary of the 20th century. Depicting the psalms in their concrete cultural milieu, he emphasized the cultic nature of their origin and development.

My first encounter with Mowinckel was in a grad school, in OT Introduction.  His ‘Psalms in Israel’s Worship’ amazed me.  It still does.  And so do his other works.  Give him a look if you’ve not heard of him.

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Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Biblical Studies Resources


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Finally! And A Pox on NBC

For the first time since the London Olympics began, a full day of football!  Thank you (finally) MSNBC for airing the beautiful game.  But curse you NBC for scheduling the Gold Medal Game on your specialty  channel which one can only get for a premium price!

Aug. 4, 2012 – Men’s Quarterfinals

7 a.m. ET – Japan vs. Egypt
NBC Soccer Channel 7-9:30 a.m. ET
MSNBC – 7-8:45 a.m. ET

9:30 a.m. ET – Mexico vs. Senegal
NBC Soccer Channel – 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. ET
MSNBC – 9:30-11:15 a.m. ET

12 p.m. ET – Brazil vs. Honduras
NBC Soccer Channel -12-2:30 p.m. ET
MSNBC – 12-1:45 p.m. ET

2:30 p.m. ET – Great Britain vs. South Korea
NBC Soccer Channel – 2:30-4:15 p.m. ET
MSNBC – 2:30-4:15 p.m. ET

The Bronze Medal Game???

Aug. 10, 2012 – Medal Game

2:45 p.m. ET – Men’s Bronze Medal Match
MSNBC – 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET

And worst of all

Aug. 11, 2012 – Medal Game

10 a.m. ET – Men’s Gold Medal Game
NBC Sports Network – 10 a.m.-12 p.m. ET
NBC Soccer Channel – 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET

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Posted by on 4 Aug 2012 in Modern Culture


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