Daily Archives: 23 Dec 2013

Quote of 2013

Totalitarianism is something much more momentous than any form of government. It is the “state-izing” of the whole of human existence, the lordship of the state over man, body and soul, whatever its governmental form. The totalitarian state is essentially irreconcilable to the nature of man as understood from the Christian point of view. – Emil Brunner

There’s Something About Mary… And Zwingli and the Fathers Were Wrong About It

Michael Barber has assembled a stunning array of non-biblical sources in his assertion that ‘virgin birth’ is the proper term rather than ‘virginal conception’ in describing the arrival of the Savior.  He even brings Zwingli to the witness stand.

Insofar as he quotes all those he does quote, he does so fairly and accurately.  Zwingli did in fact say what Michael says he did.  And Zwingli (and the others arrayed) were wrong.  There’s something about Mary, but she wasn’t a perpetual virgin in spite of what our Catholic brothers and sisters believe.

And I needn’t bother citing extra-biblical sources because I need only one: Scripture itself (which trumps all others).  And Scripture asserts that

οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τέκτων, ὁ υἱὸς τῆς Μαρίας καὶ ἀδελφὸς Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσῆτος καὶ Ἰούδα καὶ Σίμωνος; καὶ οὐκ εἰσὶν αἱ ἀδελφαὶ αὐτοῦ ὧδε πρὸς ἡμᾶς; καὶ ἐσκανδαλίζοντο ἐν αὐτῷ. (Mar 6:3)

With apologies to those who wish to read ‘cousins’ here, I can’t help but reject that eisegetical effort.  I love ya Michael, but I just can’t agree with the belief that Mary bore Jesus as a virgin (what would that even mean?) and remained perpetually a virgin- in spite of Luther and Calvin and Zwingli’s inability to see the truth.


And Merry Christmas to you, brother!

This Made Me Laugh

Via our local weather guy on the twitter-


Very Sad News: Ernest Nicholson Has Died

Chatting with him at SOTS in Cambridge

Chatting with him at SOTS in Cambridge

Viv Rowett writes

Sadly, I have been told of the death of Ernest Nicholson on Sunday 22nd December after some time being ill.

This is quite sad as he was a lovely man and a gracious soul and a fine scholar.  Rest in peace, Prof. Nicholson.

What is the Bible?

047067055XHoly Scripture is not the object of faith, but the means by which God creates faith – not a faith in the Bible, but a faith in the God who is revealed in the Bible. – Alister McGrath summarizing the view of Emil Brunner

No, Phil Robertson is Not John the Baptist


No.  Just no.

Psalm 2 From the Genevan Psalter

Merry Christmas to you!

Remembering Emil Brunner on His Birth-iversary

The lovely Barbara Schenck has the remembrance. Give it a look.

Quote of the Day

Darwin’s evolutionary theory is notoriously prone to metaphysical inflation, thus ceasing to be a provisional scientific theory and becoming instead a worldview. Brunner’s approach to theology was well adapted to engaging Darwinism in this more developed sense, exposing its metaphysical pretensions and philosophical underpinnings. – Alister McGrath

Fox News…. Home of the Blondes


And The Angels Told The Shepherds…


Happy ‘Bolsec, Get out of Geneva’ Day!

John Calvin

In consequence of his unwillingness to see things properly, i.e., Calvin’s way (the biblically and theologically correct way), Jerome Bolsec was ordered out of town. But to be fair, the man was a lunatic, and a bit of a pervert. Schaff writes

Hieronymus (Hierosme) Hermes Bolsec, a native of Paris, was a Carmelite monk, but left the Roman Church, about 1545, and fled for protection to the Duchess of Ferrara, who admitted him to her house under the title of an almoner. There he married, and adopted the medical profession as a means of livelihood. Ever afterwards he called himself “Doctor of Medicine.” He made himself odious by his turbulent character and conduct, and was expelled by the Duchess for some deception (as Beza reports).

In 1550 he settled at Geneva with his wife and a servant, and practised his profession. But he meddled in theology, and began to question Calvin’s doctrine of predestination. He denounced Calvin’s God as a hypocrite and liar, as a patron of criminals, and as worse than Satan. He was admonished, March 8, 1551, by the Venerable Company, and privately instructed by Calvin in that mystery, but without success.

On a second offence he was summoned before the Consistory, and openly reprehended in the presence of fifteen ministers and other competent persons. He acknowledged that a certain number were elected by God to salvation, but he denied predestination to destruction; and, on closer examination, he extended election to all mankind, maintaining that grace efficacious to salvation is equally offered to all, and that the cause, why some receive and others reject it, lies in the free-will, with which all men were endowed.

At the same time he abhorred the name of merits. This, in the eyes of Calvin, was a logical contradiction and an absurdity; for, he says, “if some were elected, it surely follows that others are not elected and left to perish. Unless we confess that those who come to Christ are drawn by the Father through the peculiar operation of the Holy Spirit on the elect, it follows either that all must be promiscuously elected, or that the cause of election lies in each man’s merit.”^

After a lengthy trial (brilliantly documented in this fantastic two volume work),

…the Genevese council found it necessary to pronounce sentence of banishment upon Bolsec, December 23, 1551, because he had obstinately resisted the judgment of the church, to which he had promised to submit.*

Happy Get out of Geneva, Bolsec, Day to one and All!!!!!

^P. Schaff, History of the Christian church (Vol. 8, pp. 615–616).
*P. Henry, The Life and Times of John Calvin, the Great Reformer (Vol. 2, p. 136).

The Paradox of Christmas

Our friends at reformiert-info note…

Ein paar der Paradoxien seien kurz genannt:

– Die Geburt Jesu Christi ist wahrlich nicht das höchste Fest im Kirchenjahr, aber wir machen das größte Brimborium darum. Im Deutschen können wir sogar sagen: es weihnachtet. “Es ostert” kennt der Duden nicht.

– Aus der kirchlichen Fastenzeit im Advent wurde die vierwöchige Weihnachtsbäckerei.

And the list continues… which do read.