After Zwingli’s Death… Bullinger Was Called to Zurich to Take his Place on 9 December, 1531

And he was the ideal replacement.

bullinger54After the disaster at Cappel, [Bullinger left Bremgarten and] removed to Zuerich, and was unanimously elected by the Council and the citizens preacher of the Great Minster, Dec. 9, 1531. It was rumored that Zwingli himself, in the presentiment of his death, had designated him as his successor. No better man could have been selected. It was of vital importance for the Swiss churches that the place of the Reformer should be filled by a man of the same spirit, but of greater moderation and self-restraint.

Bullinger now assumed the task of saving, purifying, and consolidating the life-work of Zwingli; and faithfully and successfully did he carry out this task. When he ascended the pulpit of the Great Minster in Dec. 23, 1531, many hearers thought that Zwingli had risen from the grave.  He took a firm stand for the Reformation, which was in danger of being abandoned by timid men in the Council. He kept free from interference with politics, which had proved ruinous to Zwingli. He established a more independent, though friendly relation between Church and State. He confined himself to his proper vocation as preacher and teacher.

In the first years he preached six or seven times a week; after 1542 only twice, on Sundays and Fridays. He followed the plan of Zwingli in explaining whole books of the Scriptures from the pulpit. His sermons were simple, clear, and practical, and served as models for young preachers.

He was a most devoted pastor, dispensing counsel and comfort in every direction, and exposing even his life during the pestilence which several times visited Zuerich. His house was open from morning till night to all who desired his help. He freely dispensed food, clothing, and money from his scanty income and contributions of friends, to widows and orphans, to strangers and exiles, not excluding persons of other creeds. He secured a decent pension for the widow of Zwingli, and educated two of his children with his own. He entertained persecuted brethren for weeks and months in his own house, or procured them places and means of travel.

He paid great attention to education, as superintendent of the schools in Zuerich. He filled the professorships in the Carolinum with able theologians, as Pellican, Bibliander, Peter Martyr. He secured a well-educated ministry. He prepared, in connection with Leo Judae, a book of church order, which was adopted by the Synod, Oct. 22, 1532, issued by authority of the burgomaster, the Small and the Great Council, and continued in force for nearly three hundred years. It provides the necessary rules for the examination, election, and duties of ministers (Predicanten) and deans (Decani), for semi-annual meetings of synods with clerical and lay representatives, and the power of discipline. The charges were divided into eight districts or chapters.*

And much, much more.  And it all began on the 9th of December, 1531.

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* P. Schaff, History of the Christian Church.

Today’s Advent Thought: A Poem

Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold
Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within and make me holy
Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin, deep within
Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
I want to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will

Revd Dr James Robson

His 7 Year Old Son is Dead, Because Dad Was Holding a Gun When He Got in the Truck…

A man’s handgun went off while he was holding it as he got into his truck in the parking lot of a western Pennsylvania gun store Saturday and the shot killed his 7-year-old son, authorities said.  Joseph V. Loughrey, 44, was getting into the truck when the 9 mm handgun discharged, wounding Craig Allen Loughrey in the chest, according to state police. The boy died at the scene at Twigs Reloading Den in East Lackawannock Township, 60 miles north of Pittsburgh. Store owner Leonard Mohney said the boy was shot in the parking lot, but that he didn’t see what happened.

When shall we have had enough?  And why did he have a gun in his hand while he was getting in his truck?  What sort of thinking was he doing?

Investigators said Loughrey told them he didn’t realize there was a bullet still in the chamber. “This happens all too often where people think the gun was empty,” Lt. Eric Hermick told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The first rule of gun safety, there’s always a round in the chamber and you had better act like that’s the case.  But things like this will continue to happen as long as guns are more accessible in our country than healthcare.  Misery is unending when sense is lacking.

And, sure, he’s distraught.  But his son is DEAD.  I’d say that’s worse.

No, Pat Robertson Does Not…

So, apparently, the ‘Science Guy’ is all excited about Pat Robertson’s latest blatherings (though why anyone is loony enough to think Pat Robertson a hero of any sort is a mystery to me).  This led Mr Science, for whatever reason, to tweet his joy, suggesting Robertson’s followers should join him.  Naturally the HuffPo wet itself in delight and retweeted the Science person’s misguided opinion.

I replied to both that the fact is, Pat Robertson’s ‘followers’ should be following Jesus, not him.

And now, the wry twist.  It seems that Pat Robertson has followers who blindly align themselves to whatever views he holds, as the penultimate tweet in the series from the screenshot below shows:

worst

If Mr Baugh is right, then Pat Robertson’s ‘followers’ are worse off than I thought and in fact they should be much more concerned with their souls than with creationism or anything else.

Logos, A Little Help, Please

I need some assistance from the ‘folk in the know’ and I feel fairly confident that ‘where one has a question, others do too’.  So, here’s my issue:

Making a reading plan in Logos 5 is as easy as pie (and I love, love, love the program).  I select ‘reading plan’ and then I choose the book, the schedule, and click ‘generate’ and lo and behold, there it is.

What I can’t do, though, is generate a reading plan for more than one book, even if it’s in a series.  So, for instance, if I want to read all Calvin’s commentaries or all Luther’s works, or all Zwingli’s stuff, or all of Bullinger, or Robertson, or any single particular author, there doesn’t seem to be any way to select multiple volumes.

Is there a way to do it and I, being particularly ungifted in such technicalites, have overlooked it, or is there just no way it can be done?

The Book of Judges: The New International Commentary on the Old Testament

judgesToday this new, very new, fresh off the presses volume in the NICOT series came in the mail for review thanks to the good folk at Eerdmans.

Webb concentrates throughout on what the biblical text itself throws into prominence, giving space to background issues only when they cast significant light on the foreground. For those who want more, the footnotes and bibliography provide helpful guidance. The end result is a welcome resource for interpreting one of the most challenging books in the Old Testament.

Challenging indeed.  I can’t wait to see what his does with the story of the Levite who hacks his consort into pieces and sends her to the tribes of Israel.

Read Judges and Misogyny, a blog post by Webb about the book.

My review will be posted here.

Oh That Looks Interesting!

I was informed today of the existence of this book  and I have to say it looks like a lot of fun (if potentially scandalous and even wrong!)(but of course one can’t know till one reads it).

ronacreThe Bible is dynamic and powerful. But the Good Book isn’t always good. It can be confusing, disturbing, and sometimes downright ugly. So it’s been censored. It’s been robbed of its beauty and truth . . . by the church. Preachers of every ilk and denomination cook the Book, boiling away the unsightly and unpalatable passages. They never tell you that God can be a misogynistic, genocidal maniac, that Jesus encourages self-castration, that the Easter stories in the four Gospels are incompatible, that Paul was wrong about Jesus’ second coming, and that the Bible does not forbid abortion or premarital sex.

Fast-paced, hard-hitting, and entertaining, Raw Revelation calls Christians to resist the attractively packaged and processed Scripture and to dig in and deal honestly with the messy and tasteless aspects of the all natural Word of God. As Jesus himself says, believers are “to live on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” not only the words carefully selected and sanitized for Sunday sermons and sound bites. Regardless of your beliefs (or non belief), this book offers plenty of food for thought. At a time when wars are fought over religious differences, when the close association of Christianity and American politics puts the Bible in the public square, and when many people around the globe continue to believe in the Bible (even if they have not read it), everyone should know the uncensored content of the world’s all time best seller. So here it is. Real. Raw. Scripture.

And perhaps the best part?

100 percent of the proceeds from this book will be given to international Christian organizations.

What’s not to love?  A provocative book with a provocative title with proceeds going to Christian work.

The Great Isaiah Commentary That You’ve Never Read, or Probably Even Heard of… And That Church Organ

zwingli1011.jpgOn 9 December, 1529 Zwingli’s brilliant commentary on Isaiah was sent to the printer.  It’s a fantastic work but it has never been translated from Latin into any other language, not even German.    But December 9 is notable for another reason as well, as Jackson explains-

The most radical change which Zwingli made in the Church service at Zurich was to do away with both instrumental and vocal music. This action was the more strange since Zwingli himself was a very accomplished musician, being able to play upon different instruments and also to sing well; yet in the course of the year 1525 he suspended the choir-singing and on December 9, 1527, had the organ of the Great Minster broken up and insisted that similar action should be taken by the other churches in the city and canton.  His motive was twofold; first, because all this music was inseparably connected with the Roman Church worship and he desired to remove as far as possible the Reformed congregations from all association with the past; and second, because the words of the music were in Latin and therefore unintelligible to the people and he desired to have every part of the Reformed worship in the vernacular.*

Two observations here- first, commentaries were in Latin because they were intended for the Clergy who would then interpret Scripture to the congregation in the vernacular. They were ‘specialists’ literature. And second, the fact that music had become a distraction troubled Zwingli immensely. He wasn’t opposed to music per se but to music in worship as it too often simply allowed people to put on a show and promote themselves and their ‘skills’. It also took away from what mattered, really mattered, and that was the proclamation of the Word. Musical performances were no match for biblical exposition.

Interestingly, in many cases even now, musical performance in worship tends to the exaltation of the singer or the musician rather than to the glorification of God.  So perhaps Zwingli was on to something.

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*Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531), p. 290.