Daily Archives: 8 Jun 2014

Guest Review: Neues Testament und christliche Existenz

A really fantastic book. It’s nice to see it getting a mention. Very much worth reading.

Theological Musings

downloadBultmann, Rudolf
Neues Testament und christliche Existenz
Mohr Siebeck, 2002. Pp. 340. Paperback
ISBN: 9783825223168

Reviewed by: Drew Davis, Münster

Neues Testament und christliche Existenz was graciously made available to me by UTB and Mohr Siebeck in Germany.  The 2002 book gathers 18 important essays from Bultmann in one easily accessible and handy volume. For the American audience the book is still not so easily accessible at around 30 dollars on Amazon, but it is astonishingly well-priced at 7 euros through the German media.

Though the volume is primarily concerned with exemplifying Bultmann’s theological approach (the book is found in the systematic theology section of the library at my German university), it does not lack substance of interest to the New Testament exegete. It contains essays on the Christology of the NT, the concept of the word of God in the NT, and the famous, “Ist voraussetzungslose Exegese möglich?”

For those…

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Dear Johannes Oecolampadius…

You were awesome.  That is all.




One of My Favorite Scholars has a Piece in the Beast on Nicea III

Candida Moss writes

Meeting the head of the Eastern Orthodox church, the pope set a date for a third historic meeting of Christian factions—a savvy move to control how his successors lead.  After all the speculation surrounding Pope Francis’s ability to engineer peace on his big Middle East trip, the biggest news from the visit came from his visit with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the primary leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Not to gloat, but we totally called it.  Following the meeting, Bartholomew gave aninterview in which he said that he and Francis are planning a gathering in 2025 in Nicea. The purpose of this meeting? “To celebrate together, after 17centuries, the first truly ecumenical synod.” That’s right: another historic meeting in Nicea, the place known as the birthplace of Christianity as we know it today.
Etc.  Do read it.
I sure hope this signals a return to the good old days when we could burn heretics.

Bibliobloggers and their Piercings

Lament with me-

Cast the Immoral Out…

In another one of those pesky passages that people love to discount (like some segments of the Church like to discount Romans 1:18ff), Paul pulls no punches, writing to the Corinthians

5:1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; 10 not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.11 But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.”

What do you want to wager that ‘Pastor’ Cortez and his group of merry makers ignores this text with the same vigor that they ignore the rest of scripture…

Total Depravity: The Phone Call Scam

The latest scam. Don’t fall for it.

Apparently people have now taken to showing up at houses, saying that they’ve broken down, and asking the resident either to use the phone or make a call for them telling their ‘friends’ that they are going to be late because they’ve had car trouble.

This isn’t the case, however. In fact, the call goes to a person with whom the visitor plans to meet for a drug sale and notifies the other party that the time and place for the meeting are a go.

The problem- if the police are surveilling the buyers or sellers, now you’re involved because the call has come from your number.

A person I know of had a police squad descend on his house and he was questioned for a very long time about the call he made. That’s when the police informed him of what had happened.

Quote of the Day

From Lutheran Satire on the fb-

Next week, Frank the Hippie Pope invites the prophets of Baal to the Vatican for a tickle fight. http://t.co/V6jQyVhxEN

Now that’s funny.

The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem: Taught by Oded Lipschits and Ido Koch

All the details of the course are here.  And it’s free.  You can’t pass up such a stellar opportunity.


Twitter Theology That Makes Me Sigh

An example of the shallowness of the prosperity ‘gospel’ in its ‘God won’t let bad stuff happen to you if you just believe hard enough’ manifestation.


Christianity isn’t a bed of roses.  It was never intended to be.  Jesus wasn’t fooling around when he said ‘take up your cross’.

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday: the day those who have forgotten about the presence of the Spirit in their lives suddenly remember. But just for a day.

Zwingli’s Correspondence

I thought it might be fun to post various letters from Zwingli and to Zwingli from time to time- just for the pure joy of highlighting an often overlooked primary source for the Swiss Reformation.  Here’s the first.

Marginal Notes Contra Faber

On 8 June 1526 Zwingli published an annotated version of remarks made at the Baden disputation.  Below are the titles and links to the texts:

Nr. 88 Randbemerkungen auf einem Entwurf Fabers nach der Badener Disputation für Unterwerfung eines Anhängers Zwinglis, Nach 8. Juni 1526
Nr. 89 Randbemerkungen auf einem Entwurf Fabers nach der Badener Disputation für Unterwerfung eines Anhängers Zwinglis, Nach 8. Juni 1526

They look exactly the same but they are in fact two very different pieces.  His assessment of Faber’s work is summed up in one tiny Latin sentence:

Cerne quanta nequitia!

Give them both a read.  The first won’t take long and the second not much longer.

Images Too Often are Nothing Less than Idols

hottingerZwingli’s reforming efforts were in full swing in June of 1524 and the images which besotted the city’s churches were removed at the order of the Magistrates. As Philip Schaff notes

In the presence of a deputation from the authorities of Church and State, accompanied by architects, masons and carpenters, the churches of the city were purged of pictures, relics, crucifixes, altars, candles, and all ornaments, the frescoes effaced, and the walls whitewashed, so that nothing remained but the bare building to be filled by a worshiping congregation. The pictures were broken and burnt, some given to those who had a claim, a few preserved as antiquities. The bones of the saints were buried. Even the organs were removed, and the Latin singing of the choir abolished, but fortunately afterwards replaced by congregational singing of psalms and hymns in the vernacular (in Basle as early as 1526, in St. Gall 1527, in Zurich in 1598). “Within thirteen days,” says Bullinger, “all the churches of the city were cleared; costly works of painting and sculpture, especially a beautiful table in the Waterchurch, were destroyed. The superstitious lamented; but the true believers rejoiced in it as a great and joyous worship of God.”

Schaff also remarks

The same work of destruction took place in the village churches in a less orderly way. Nothing was left but the bare buildings, empty, cold and forbidding.

Though ‘cold and forbidding’ is a bit of an overstatement.  Bullinger’s Reformationsgeschichte contains a couple of engravings – reproduced here for your viewing pleasure:

The ‘good’ people of Zurich weren’t too happy with Zwingli about it all and in the middle of the month of June, 1524, they organized a demonstration, marched to his house, surrounded it, tossed eggs and stones at it, and chanted ‘down with the great devil!’  The Magistrates sent soldiers to disperse the crowds and that was essentially the end of the ‘Drive Zwingli Out of Town’ movement.

Schaff observes concerning Zwingli’s attitude towards images

It should be remarked also that he was not opposed to images as such any more than to poetry and music, but only to their idolatrous use in churches. In his reply to Valentin Compar of Uri (1525), he says, “The controversy is not about images which do not offend the faith and the honor of God, but about idols to which divine honors are paid. Where there is no danger of idolatry, the images may remain; but idols should not be tolerated. All the papists tell us that images are the books for the unlearned. But where has God commanded us to learn from such books?” He thought that the absence of images in churches would tend to increase the hunger for the Word of God.

This is patently correct.