Daily Archives: 17 Aug 2012

Calvin the Guard Dog

In Letter 130 (to the Queen of Navarre), John Calvin famously wrote on 28 April, 1545

A dog barks and stands at bay if he sees any one assault his master. I should be indeed remiss, if, seeing the truth of God thus attacked, I should remain dumb, without giving one note of warning…

Indeed.  One is worse than a lazy dog if one allows the truth to be attacked and sits silent.

Why It is Unalterably and Eternally Imperative that Heresy Be Opposed

When a faithful minister, who has the misfortune to be a steward of the Lord at such an ill-fated time and amid such a mass of evils, sees the one and only bride of Christ smitten not in one place only but on all sides within and without, and wounded with a mortal wound, with what pain is he not wrung, with what anxieties torn, knowing not, meanwhile, what he ought to do? For if he speaks as love of the bride and the bitterness of a mother’s pain suggest, he has to fear wranglings and strife, nay the savage bites of hatred and contumely, and to expose himself to these not from one or the other party, but from both.

But if he prefer to follow the advice of the prophet Amos who saith, “Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time” [Amos 5:13], and, as the vision of Ezekiel has it, to mourn and groan over all the abominations that are done; or, with the royal prophet, to keep quiet in the wilderness while there is contention in the city; the truth of the Gospel stands in his way: “The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, … and fleeth” [John 10:11, 12].

Since, therefore, we are of those ministers whose lot has fallen upon these dangerous times, and we see the evils constantly increasing, and the peace disturbed, and offences multiplied in the fold of the Lord, with the introduction of new errors not less dangerous than the earlier ones, and meanwhile the peace, that we have long been waiting for with great longings, cometh not, but confusion, we are forced to act by “the zeal of the house of God” [Ps. 69:9; John 2:17], in one part of which at least there is a watchful guardian.

Led by zeal for the faith which at baptism we swore to defend, by zeal against the present schism under which our holy Mother Church is suffering so severely, we have determined to shut our eyes and delay no longer, but to toil in season and out of season, to preserve as far as possible the unity handed down by the Lord through his Apostles to us their successors, and to gather into the Church the wandering and erring sheep which, by factious perversity and heretical tampering with the faith, certain persons are separating from our mother.

More Evidence Rob Bell is a Charlatan

CT reports

English: Rob Bell at the 2011 Time 100 gala.

As fans and critics wait to see what Rob Bell does next after leaving Mars Hill Bible Church last October in the wake of all the hubbub over Love Wins, his website gives a fresh glimpse of what the pastor and author is up to now: offering fellow pastors (and others) the chance to pay $500 to pick his brain.  Bell is inviting 90 people (at a time) to join him in October for two days of teaching and discussion in Laguna Beach. Surfing included.  Topics will include the creative process, how to handle criticism, and — perhaps most reflective of Bell’s Love Wins experience — “What do we do with doubts/questions we have that if we shared them with the people we lead they’d head for the doors? (Or they’d send us for the door?)”

Also included, doubtless, is a session on how to fleece the gullible in the flock and how to laugh all the way to the bank at the foolishness of the people brainless enough to 1) buy his filth book and 2) pay to ‘pick his’ empty evil brain as well as one titled ‘Being a Heretic and Still Having Authentic Christian Lap up Your Bile Like Dogs Lapping up Vomit’.

The Real Reason Joel Watts is Moving to Montana…

He’s decided to pursue his true life’s calling and become a hair stylist.  And he’s going to this school to do it.  But as you might expect, there’s a problem with the school

A lawsuit filed by former students and employees alleges a beauty school in Montana used federal dollars to enroll students in education programs with unqualified instructors that subjected the students to sexual harassment, including pubic waxing.  According to the lawsuit filed on Aug. 14,  students paid nearly $10,000 for instruction at Dahl’s College of Beauty in Great Falls and were subjected to instructors who were “sleeping, surfing the Internet, conducting business, failing to properly teach the curriculum, and improperly delegating their teaching and supervision duties to unqualified, unlicensed students.”

It gets worse

The suit alleges the instructor’s unwelcomed conduct includes “publicly exposing her genitals, exposing her buttocks and requesting that students examine a boil to see if it could be extracted, and requiring students to wax her pubic hair.”

And worse

The suit alleges that a student’s trimmers and wax stick was used to wax an instructor’s pubic hair, which was then used to give hair cuts to customers.  “None of this conduct was a legitimate part of the curriculum…,” the suit continues.

No matter… it’s an ‘accredited’ school.

Nevertheless, Joel, please reconsider.  We’d hate to imagine you reduced to such depraved behavior just to pass a course…

Sad News: Marvin Meyer Has Died

Stephan Huller announces that Marvin Meyer died yesterday. His wife, Bonnie, posted the following message on Marvin’s Facebook wall: “Hello, Facebook friends of Dr. Marvin Meyer: This is Marv’s wife Bonnie writing the sad news that Marv passed away yesterday, Aug. 16, after a battle with melanoma. His passing was peaceful, surrounded by our family. Our hearts are broken.”

This is really quite a shame.    He was a very fine scholar indeed.  With thanks to James Waddell on Facebook directing our attention to this source, which includes the following biographical sketch:

Dr. Marvin Meyer (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University; M.Div., Calvin Theological Seminary) is Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies and Co-Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, Chapman University. He is also Director of the Chapman University Albert Schweitzer Institute. Recently he has served as Chair of the Chapman University Faculty and President of the Faculty Senate. He is Director of the Coptic Magical Texts Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University, Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, and a past President of the Society of Biblical Literature (Pacific Coast).

Dr. Meyer is the author of numerous books and articles on Greco-Roman and Christian religions in antiquity and late antiquity, and on Albert Schweitzer’s ethic of reverence for life. Among his most recent books are The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus (HarperCollins, 2005), The Gospels of Mary (HarperCollins, 2004), Secret Gospels: Essays on Thomas and the Secret Gospel of Mark (Trinity Press International, 2003), The Ancient Mysteries: A Sourcebook of Sacred Texts (Pennsylvania, 1999), The Unknown Sayings of Jesus (HarperCollins, 1998), The Magical Book of Mary and the Angels (P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 685): Text, Translation, and Commentary(Heidelberg, 1996), and The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus (HarperCollins, 1992). He has also edited or co-edited The Gnostic Bible (Shambhala, 2003), Reverence for Life: Albert Schweitzer for the 21st Century (Syracuse, 2002), Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World (Brill, 2002), Jesus Then and Now: Images of Jesus in History and Christology (Trinity Press International, 2001), From Quest to Q (Peeters, 2000), and Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power (Princeton, 1999).

May he rest in peace.

God, Israel, Iran, and Baywatch…

Nina Burleigh binds them all together in a new essay at the HuffPo which you’ll wish to read.

Donna D'Errico and Jeremy Jackson. Baywatch Re...

In the news, two apparently unrelated stories:  The first is that Baywatch “babe” Donna D’Errico got badly bruised climbing Mount Ararat looking for Noah’s Ark. The second is a leaked document of Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s first-strike plan for Iran.  Many people have a hard time seeing the connection between a Hollywood TV bunny looking for proof of God on a hilltop in Turkey and Israeli national security state calmly planning to trigger World War 3.  Look again.  After a month visiting Biblical sites in the Middle East, the connection between God and conflict in the Middle East becomes inescapable. Israel is filled with sites holy to all three major religions, and religious Jews regard the entire nation as a sacred site. It’s not just a country with a flag, and a bureaucracy, and a budget, it’s actually God’s country. It’s the spiritual made real.

And even better

Israel religious-nationalist politicians’ sense of entitlement, inherent in plans for unilateral pre-emptive bombing, always provokes an “end of days” resignation among Americans. That passivity is just one end of a spectrum related to belief in the “history” contained in the Bible.   On the other end of the spectrum, one finds people like World of Bible Ministries “archaeologist” Randall Price taking money from donors to search for Noah’s Ark, and it’s not cheap. One also finds documentary filmmakers and writers cashing in handsomely. One of them was backed by no less a Hollywood patriarch than James Cameron. The producers have claimed to find things like Christ’s DNA in a Jerusalem cave, or the actual nails that nailed the Messiah top the cross, or John the Baptist’s Cave. They “find” them and then as reliably as the Little Drummer Boy tooting through every Rite Aid on the day after Thanksgiving, they get their “new evidence” in front of millions of Americans around Easter-time on Discovery Channel or National Geographic TV.  For the same reason that James Cameron would back such a documentary — gulled and moneyed blind American faith in Biblical truth — our government will tacitly go along with many of Israel’s craziest, maddest schemes.

Nail on the head, Nina.  See it all.

Poor Norwegian: Or, Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now

In case you’ve been wondering where Tilling has got off too…

An unlucky Norwegian man [called Chris Tilling] driving on a country road at night swerved around a moose in the road only to hit an even unluckier bear. Wildlife officials say the bear, one of only around 150 in the country, was injured in the crash, Reuters reports.

Poor guy.  Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire…

The Newest Issue of Zwingliana Has Appeared


“Wider die unsinnigen Wiedertäufer”: Ein unbekanntes Briefgedicht von Jörg Syz an Hans Brennwald (um 1527) — Christian Scheidegger

Zur Führungsrolle des Grauen Bundes und der Stadt Ilanz in der frühen Reformbewegung Graubündens — Martin Bundi

Reformationsmandat für den Thurgau 1530 — Philipp Wälchli

Die Reformation in Schaffhausen und ihre Besonderheiten — Erich Bryner

“Von dem Amt eines verordneten Decani”: Einblicke in die Geschichte des Dekanenamtes in der Evangelischreformierten Landeskirche des Kantons Zürich — Michael Mente

Fritz Blanke – Lehrer und Forscher: Vortrag an der Mitgliederversammlung des Zwinglivereins 2012 – Frank Jehle

Plus loads of reviews including

Schweizer Kirchengeschichte – neu reflektiert, hg. von Ulrich Gäbler et al., 2010 — Jim West

The print edition of Zwingliana is always sent to members of the Zwingliverein and then after a bit of a delay they are archived online (3 years later) and freely accessible to everyone.

Today With Zwingli

On 17 August, 1525 (a very, very busy year for Zwingli) he published his Subsidium sive coronis de eucharistia which he dedicated thusly:

Clarissimis viris Bartolemaeo a Madiis, Bernensium a soenatu, Volfgango et Claudio filiis, Jacobo et Benedicto nepotibus ac pronepotibus eius totique genti Huldrychus Zuinglius, gratiam et pacem a deo.

The book came to life, according to Zwingli, as a result of a dream he had in which in a moment of inspiration, he saw clearly, for the first time, the true meaning of the Supper.   Specifically, he remarks that Exodus 12 came to mind while he was lying in bed and that he sprang to his feet, opened his Septuagint (which he apparently kept right at his bedside) and read it.  The next day, they discussed it at the Prophezei and that discussion became the outline of the present book.

What, you may be wondering, has Ex 12 to do with the Eucharist?  Zwingli noted in explaining his discovery that just as the events of the Passover were ‘memorialized’ in the passover meal, so too the death of Jesus was ‘memorialized’ in the Supper.

Rowan Atkinson, Bishop and the Python-Worshipers

With thanks to James Crossley for pointing this gem out.

Why Does Robert Cargill Look So Sad?

Two words-  the shirt!

via Oded Lipschits on FB

Calvin Quiz

It breaks my heart that I missed one

More about John Calvin at Calvin 500

The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary on James

Logos is about to release the EEC commentary on James.  It’s an exceptional commentary, far superior, for a variety of reasons, to McKnight’s.  I can say that because I’ve reviewed Varner’s volume.  I give it two thumbs up so if you’re in the market for a tremendously useful commentary, this is it.

Republicans Have a Decision to Make

It’s Not Just a False Scholar That Takes Folk There…

It’s dilettantes of all shapes and sizes- but ESPECIALLY dilettantish ‘interpreters’ of Scripture-

via Ref.ch on the facebook

There’s just NOTHING more dangerous than an exegetical dilettante.