Fun Facts From Church History: Luther’s Candid Thoughts on the Papacy

English: woodcut of the pope selling indulgenc...

On 6 February 1539 Luther shared these thoughts with his dinner-companions:

“These arrogant and unlearned papists can’t govern the church because they write nothing, they read nothing, but, firmly saddled in the pride of possession, they cry out that the decrees of the fathers are not to be questioned and decisions made are not to be disputed, otherwise one would have to dance to the tune of every little brother.

For this reason the pope, possessed by demons, defends his tryranny with the canon ‘Si papa.’ This canon states dearly: If the pope should lead the whole world into the control of hell, he is nevertheless not to be contradicted. It’s a terrible thing that on account of the authority of this man we must lose our souls, which Christ redeemed with his precious blood.

Christ says, ‘I will not cast out anybody who comes to me’ [John 6:37]. On the other hand, the pope says, ‘As I will it, so I command it; you must perish rather than resist me.’ Therefore the pope, whom our princes adore, is full of devils. He must be exterminated by the Word and by prayer.”

And there you have it.  Don’t hold back, Martin.  Tell us what you think.

Conference Announcement: Reformed Majorities in Early Modern Calvinism

lascoIm Rahmen des Forschungsprojektes ‘Doctrina et Tolerantia in der reformierten Tradition’ organisiert die Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek in Emden vom 10.-12. April eine internationale Tagung zum Thema `Reformed Majorities in Early Modern Calvinism‘.

Die Tagung wird sich mit der Frage beschäftigen, wie reformierte politische und kirchliche Obrigkeiten mit dem Verhältnis zwischen dem Wahrheitsanspruch der Doctrina einerseits und dem Erfordernis theologischer, kirchlicher und politischer Toleranz andererseits umgegangen sind.

Für mehr Informationen, sehe den Flyer.

Via the good folk at Refo500.

More Stupid Atheist Tricks: The ‘Atheist’ Church in London

If you don’t believe atheism is a religion, here’s your proof.  Atheists need to stop pretending their views aren’t religious in nature.  Face the facts, atheist folk: you’ve replaced belief in God with belief in humanity.  You worship the creature instead of the creator.

Not many sermons include the message that we are all going to die and there is no afterlife.  But the Sunday Assembly is no ordinary church service.  Launched last month, as a gathering for non-believers, it is, in the words of master of ceremonies Sanderson Jones, “part foot-stomping show, part atheist church, all celebration of life”.  A congregation of more than 300 crowded into the shell of a deconsecrated church to join the celebration on Sunday morning.  Instead of hymns, the non-faithful get to their feet to sing along to Stevie Wonder and Queen songs.

They don’t even have the sense to sing decent music.  Buffoonery.  There’s absolutely nothing sillier in all the universe than a religion (atheism) doing it’s best to look religious (this ‘service’) while screaming at the top of its lungs at every opportunity that it isn’t a religion at all.  Buffoonery.

“When God Spoke Greek” : The Publication Details


Oxford University Press has the details about TM Law’s forthcoming book up online.  I’ve linked to the paperback info but there’s also a hardback.


Most readers of religious literature have no knowledge of the Bible that was used almost universally by early Christians, or of how that Bible was birthed, how it grew to prominence, and how it differs from the one used as the basis for most modern translations. Although it was one of the most important events in the history of our civilization, the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek in the third century BCE is an event almost unknown outside of academia. Timothy Michael Law offers the first book to make this topic accessible to a wider audience.


It sounds like a fun work.  We’ll see.  I know it contains some great stuff- including this about Jerome (the only Father of the Church I have any use for) :


One cannot help but wonder if he was always looking to score a point, and it would not be entirely unfounded to speculate whether Jerome had been driven to his revolutionary new translation of the Bible at least in part because he enjoyed having a corner on the world of knowledge that most of his Christian contemporaries could not claim. He was unparalleled as a biblical scholar in the Latin West, and his skill was dangerously combined with an outsized ego and an indefatigable ambition to be the architect of his own legacy.*


Brilliant!  I must read this book.  And really keen to do it.


*From TML’s FB page.


The Cast of Monty Python is Reuniting

Group shot of the Monty Python crew in 1969

Monty Python’s Flying Circus stars John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones are set to work together again on Absolutely Anything, a sci-fi farce that will blend live action and CGI footage. Jones is directing the project, which will begin filming in the UK this spring, and tells Variety “It’s not a Monty Python picture, but it certainly has that sensibility.” Robin Williams is also on board to voice a talking dog. The plot centers around a group of aliens — voiced by the Python crew — that grant a human power to do “absolutely anything” in order to find out how much he’ll abuse it..

Fantastic!  No better film-making team ever.

J. Gresham Machen

machen1Logos has (have- for the Brits) sent along for review the 7 volumes which comprise their ‘J. Gresham Machen Collection‘.

The works included in the J. Gresham Machen Collection (7 vols.) reflect his Calvinist views and reveal the depth and complexity of his thought. Included are Christianity and Liberalism and The Origin of Paul’s Religion, two important critiques of theological liberalism. God Transcendent and Other Sermons, edited by Ned Stonehouse, contains twenty of Machen’s best sermons. In What is Faith? Machen equates liberal theology with anti-intellectualism while illuminating the Bible’s teachings on the foundational tenets of the Christian faith.


I confess that ‘What is Faith’ grabbed my attention straightaway-

In this classic treatise first published in 1925, J. Gresham Machen explores biblical answers to this pivotal question. Lamenting the “false and disastrous opposition which has been set up between knowledge and faith” and continuing what was his long-running polemic against liberalism, Machen speaks out against halfhearted, watered-down attempts at faith that seek to engage the heart and the soul yet disregard the mind. He illuminates the Bible’s teaching on the foundational tenets of Christian faith, clearly demonstrating that it is knowledge—the intellectual pursuit and embrace of God the Father and Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture—that forms the foundation of all true belief.

My review is posted here.

Dan Wallace on The Reliability of the Text of the New Testament

46 is the earliest (nearly) complete manuscrip...

Dan is holding a seminar in Texas this month. It’s described as

A fun, informative, interactive, and challenging seminar on the reliability of the New Testament text with Daniel B. Wallace.


There is a game that demonstrates the effectiveness of textual criticism. Wallace himself has conducted seminars called “The Gospel According to Snoopy” for the past 30 years at universities and other settings. His goal is to demonstrate in a practical way how textual criticism can succeed in reconstructing a missing text.

This may be of interest to inhabitants of Plano, Tx. and the surrounding environs.