Daily Archives: 19 Apr 2015

Quote of the Day

“If you are godly you will never suffer, except in this world.” – Jeremiah Burroughs

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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Sad News: Menahem Haran Died on Thursday

Menahem_HaranA brief notice in today’s Jerusalem Post <> gave this sad news:  Israel Prize laureate Menahem Haran died Thursday afternoon at the age of 91, said sources close to his family.  Haran won the state’s acclaimed award in 2000 in the field of Biblical studies.
I first encountered his scholarship via his book on Temples and Temple Service.  A very influential volume that one.  May he rest in peace eternal.
(Via Jack Sasson)
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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Melanchthon Gets the Last Word

On God-

Den ersten Artikel unsers Bekenntnisses lassen ihnen die Widersacher gefallen, in welchem angezeigt wird, wie wir glauben und lehren, daß da sei ein ewiges, einiges, unzerteiltes göttliches Wesen und doch drei unterschiedene Personen in einem göttlichen Wesen, gleich mächtig, gleich ewig, Gott Vater, Gott Sohn, Gott Heiliger Geist.

Diesen Artikel haben wir allzeit also rein gelehrt und verfochten, halten auch und sind gewiß, daß derselbe so starken, guten, gewissen Grund in der Heiligen Schrift hat, daß es niemand möglich sei, den zu tadeln oder umzustoßen. Darum schließen wir frei, daß alle diejenigen abgöttisch, Gotteslästerer und außerhalb der Kirche Christi seien, die da anders halten oder lehren.

Thank you P., for being a theologian who actually knows what he’s talking about most of the time and not a dilettante as we find in the various historians of today who know theology as well as do journalists- and who nonetheless like to vaunt themselves as competent commentators on theological issues.

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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


DVD’s Are Available of Zeke Piestrup’s Brilliant Film, ‘Apocalypse Later’

It really is worth seeing. and showing to your students/ schools.  Very much so.

Harold Camping sounded the alarm. May 21, 2011 was to be Judgment Day, God’s intervention into our worldly affairs. The Bible guaranteed it! For most Americans, these are the Last Days. Fully 79% of Americans believe Jesus will return to earth someday. Forty percent believe Jesus will return before 2050! Apocalypse Later traces the roots of end times proclamations back to the Book of Daniel, on to the historical Jesus, and lastly Paul, the greatest of the Apostles. The same excitement that Harold tapped into for his May 21st prediction, is the same excitement that helped birth a new religion 2000 years ago.

There’s an interview here with RNS.  Give it a gander.

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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture



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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Kristen Lindsey- If She Had Shot Someone or Performed an Abortion No One Would Even Blink

But she didn’t.  She committed the cardinal sin in America: she shot a cat.  In the head.  With an arrow.  A vile enough deed to be sure and she deserves to be fired for it.

The Brenham veterinarian out of a job after she posted a graphic photo to social media is not going to face animal cruelty charges in the case.  Dr. Kristen Lindsey was fired from her job at the Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham after a photo was posted on her Facebook page. It shows her holding a cat with an arrow through its head. The text reads, “my first bow kill. lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it’s (sic) head. Vet of the year award…gladly accepted.”

Clinic workers say they received hundreds of calls from people outraged about the post. Eyewitness News has learned they’ve even gotten a bomb threat. “Our goal now is to go on and try to fix our black eye and hope that people are reasonable and understand that those actions don’t any way portray what we’re for here at Washington Animal Clinic,” said Dr. Bruce Buenger with the Washington Animal Clinic.  Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes says his department has received calls and comments from around the world. The Austin County Sheriff says he cannot arrest and charge Lindsey unless the photo can be proven as genuine.   While the post claims the dead cat was feral, Amy Hemsell believes otherwise. She cat-sits an orange and white tabby cat on a property on the same road as where Lindsey lives. He went missing shortly before the picture was posted. “Disgust. Deplorable that anybody, not just a vet, that anybody can do that to a cat,” said Hemsell who also volunteers for a local animal rescue group.

My point isn’t that killing a cat is a smart, good, decent, acceptable thing.  It isn’t.  And I’m allergic to the little beasts and don’t like them.  But killing just for the joy of it?  That’s sick.  My point is that in this country we have so upended our ethical compass that for many what she has done is MORE outrageous and more worthy of public condemnation than shooting a person who has stolen a dvd player or murdering an unborn child.

That’s messed up.  She’s messed up.  But also messed up are the people who kill others over property and those who kill children because they don’t want to bother raising them.

Killing a cat is a bad thing.  Killing a person is worse.  Except today.  In America.

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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Melanchthon- On Sin

melAlles Vermögen unseres Fleisches ist Feindschaft gegen Gott und kann sich dem Gesetz Gottes nicht unterwerfen. (…) Außerdem betont (Paulus, Röm 8,7) daß (das Vermögen des Fleisches) sich nicht nur nicht dem Gesetz Gottes unterwirft, sondern daß es sich nicht einmal dem Gesetz unterwerfen kann. Hieraus folgt daher: Alle Werke der Menschen sind, mögen sie dem äußeren Anschein nach noch so lobenswert sein, gänzlich lasterhaft und todeswürdige Sünden.

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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


The Problem With Fraudulent ‘Faith Healers’



Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Angry Atheists Be All Like…



Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


The 21st Century Scientist Who Sounds Like a 19th Century Bishop

Neil deGrasse Tyson dislikes politicians who deny science.  As a consequence, he sounds very much like a 19th century Bishop inveighing against those who were beginning to deny God. But it’s not odd, given that for him, science is his god.  Luther was right (in his exposition of the First Commandment in the Large Catechism) –

Wiederum, hangt es auf etwas anderes, dazu sich’s mehr Gutes und Hilfe vertröstet, denn zu Gott, und nicht zu ihm läuft, sondern vor ihm flieht, wenn es ihm übel geht, so hast du einen andern Abgott.

A lot of folk hang out by that campfire.  They aren’t ‘Scientologists’ but they are ‘Scienceologists’.



Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Please Don’t Pretend to Be a Theologian When You Aren’t: A Guest Post by Esteban Vazquez

In response to the HuffPo piece by Avalos et al-

What a curious claim–that the Bible does, or does not, define marriage in one way or another! It is certainly, as you say, a meaningless claim either way, and claimants from either side seem unable to operate outside a rank fundamentalist hermeneutic.

Also, it is a matter of continued interest to me that historians seem to feel themselves qualified to render theological judgments. Perhaps it is time to remind them that their training does not render them competent to do so, just as stridently as some of them tend to tell “theologians” (a term of opprobrium) that they are not competent historians or even biblical scholars.


Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Melancthon’s Funeral Oration for Martin Luther

optimi adolescentes!

pmelanchthonscitis nos suscepisse enarrare grammaticam explicationem epistolae ad Romanos, in qua continetur vera doctrina de filio Dei, quam Deus singulari beneficio hoc tempore nobis per reverendum patrem et praeceptorem nostrum amantissimum, doctorem Martinum Lutherum patefecit.

verum hodierno die tam tristia huc sunt scripta, quae ita auxerunt dolorem meum, ut nesciam, an possim posthac in hisce scholasticalibus pergere. haec autem consilio aliorum dominorum ideo volo vobis commemorare, ut sciatis, quo modo res vere se habeat, ne vel ipsi falsa de hoc casu spargatis, neve aliis fabellis hinc inde – ut solet fieri – sparsis fidem habeatis.

die Mercurii, qui fuit XVII. Februarii, dominus doctor paulo ante coenam coepit laborare morbo usitato, nempe oppressione humorum in orificio ventriculi, – quo memini hic quoque eum aliquoties laborare -. hic morbus post cenam recurrit, quo cum conflictaretur, petivit secessum in cubiculum proximum, atque ibi duas prope horas decubuit, donec dolores crescerent. et cum doctor Ionas in eodem cubiculo una dormiret, dominus D. Martinus eum vocavit et excitavit, iussitque, ut surgeret et curaret, ut paedagogus liberorum Ambrosius calefaceret conclave; in quod cum ingressus esset, mox eo venit illustris comes Albertus de Mansfeld una cum coniuge et multi alii, quorum nomina hisce litteris propter festinationem non sunt expressa. tandem, ubi finem vitae adesse sensit, ante horam quartam sequentis .XVIII. Februarii, commendavit sese Deo hac precatione:

luther«Mein himlischer vater! Ewiger barmherziger Gott! Du hast mir deinen lieben sohn, unsern herrn Jhesum Christum offenbart; den hab ich gelert, den hab ich bekannt, den liebe ich und den ere ich für meinen lieben heiland und erlöser, welchen die gottlosen verfolgen, schenden und schelten. Nimm meine seele zu dir!»

In dem reth er die drey mal: «in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum. redemisti me, Deus veritatis. Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt» etc.

his precibus aliquoties ingeminatis a Deo in aeternam scholam et in aeterna gaudia evocatus est, in qua fruitur consuetudine patris, filii, spiritus sancti, omnium prophetarum et apostolorum.

ah, obiit auriga et currus Israel, qui rexit ecclesiam in hac ultima senecta mundi! neque enim humana sagacitate deprehensa est doctrina de remissione peccatorum et de fiducia filii Dei, sed a Deo per hunc virum patefacta, quem etiam a Deo excitatum vidimus fuisse.

amemus igitur huius viri memoriam et genus doctrinae ab ipso traditum et simus modestiores, et consideremus ingentes calamitates et mutationes magnas, quae hunc casum sunt secuturae.

te, fili Dei, crucifixe pro nobis et resuscitate Emmanuel, oro, ut ecclesiam tuam regas, serves et defendas!


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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


It’s A Shame They Don’t Understand that The Argument From Silence Doesn’t Work

The HuffPo declares

A trio of Iowa-based religious scholars penned an op-ed in a local paper this week, reminding readers that despite popular opinion, the Bible does not simply define marriage as between one man and one woman.

The joint editorial was written by Hector Avalos, Robert R. Cargill and Kenneth Atkinson and published in the Des Moines Register on Sunday. The men teach at Iowa State University, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa, respectively.

It’s a shame that the trio doesn’t grasp the fact that when you attempt to argue something from textual silence, your argument is false and ungrounded, without merit and baseless.

To say that the Bible doesn’t define marriage as between a man and a woman is a meaningless claim. The Bible also doesn’t define water as wet. Nor does it define the sun as shiny. So what? Water is still wet and the sun is still shiny. And marriage, in the world of the Bible, occurs between men and women. Not men and men. And not between women and women. And not between men and dogs or women and horses (in spite of what the Russian Queen thought and practiced).

The argument from silence may convince the ignorant, but it won’t convince anyone who knows how thinking works.

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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Melanchthon’s Commentary on Daniel

danIs available here. Get yourself it.

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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Remembering Philip Melanchthon on the Anniversary of his Death

Philipp Melanchthon, died on April 19, 1560.

pmelanchthonMelanchthon was a popular lecturer at the University of Wittenberg who worked tirelessly with Luther in the work of the Reformation. His home was very close to the Black Cloister in Wittenberg and the Melanchthon and Luther children played together often. He was probably the most frequent of all of the guests in Martin and Katie Luther’s house and was an active participant in the after supper Table Talks. Interestingly, he is often pictured in paintings of the Luther family in their home.

Melanchthon’s most important work was the writing of the Augsburg Confession. Although based on two of Luther’s documents, he was the chief writer since Luther was not able to obtain safe passage to the meetings.

After Luther’s death, Melanchthon aided Katie when her struggles to maintain her household become difficult. After she died, he was named guardian to Martin and Katie’s daughter Margaretha until she married.

Philipp Melanchthon married Katharina Krapp on November 25, 1520. She was the daughter of Wittenberg tailor and Mayor Hans Krapp. They had four children: Anna, Philipp, Georg, and Magdalene.

Painting: Philipp Melanchthon by Lucas Cranach the Younger

-Rebecca DeGarmeaux

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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Discussing their Latest Book- Pesce and Destro

Qual è l’attendibilità storica dei vangeli? Come si sono formati e su quali informazioni si basavano? Come si è arrivati ai diversi racconti orali e scritti della straordinaria vicenda di Gesù? Per rispondere a queste domande, nella prima parte del libro gli autori propongono una teoria critica della memoria e della tradizione; nella seconda, invece, suggeriscono una lettura antropologica dei testi, alla quale si accompagna un esame storico. L’intento è riscoprire le tracce degli eventi, incorporate ma spesso nascoste nelle testimonianze dei vangeli. Sulla figura di Gesù, subito dopo la sua morte, vi fu una molteplicità di informazioni trasmesse da gruppi che avevano conoscenze parziali ed erano dislocati in zone diverse della Terra di Israele. A partire da questo dato, gli autori ricostruiscono la mappa dei luoghi da cui provengono le fonti su cui si basa ciascun vangelo.

ascolta la conversazione



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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Biblical Studies Resources


This Is What Heaven Must Look Like

Sion, Switzerland-



Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Horrifying Tragedy: 700 Feared Dead at Sea

A major rescue operation is under way in the Mediterranean after as many as 700 migrants are feared to have drowned just outside Libyan waters, in what could prove to be the worst disaster yet involving migrants being smuggled to Europe.

Italian coastguards have retrieved 49 survivors so far and about 20 bodies, according to the interior ministry, after the boat went down overnight about 60 miles (96km) off the Libyan coast and 120 miles (193km) south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, told the Guardian that up to 700 may remain in the water, according to numbers supplied by a survivor. The accident happened after the migrants saw a merchant ship in the distance and scrambled to attract its attention, over-balancing the fishing boat in which they were travelling.

So horrific.  More details in The Guardian.


Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

Chris has been branching out a bit and has taken on a couple of new jobs (neither of which he worked very long).  First he became a sign maker.  It turned out badly.  Then, he dabbled in construction.  That didn’t work out well either.  Chris apparently doesn’t understand that those doors are supposed to provide privacy….

Chris is a good guy, a great writer, and a fantastic lecturer.  But he really stinks at other things.  Stay with what you know, buddy… stay with what you know.

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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture


Quote of the Day

Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy, or gentle strokes. He who has once smitten a serpent, if he does not follow on his blow until he be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so will he who undertakes to deal with sin and pursues it not constantly to death. Sin will after a while revive, and the man must die. It is a great and fatal mistake if we suppose this work will admit of any remissness or intermission. — JOHN OWEN

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Posted by on 19 Apr 2015 in Modern Culture