Daily Archives: 4 Jul 2016

Celebrating July 4th: An Observation

Why don’t we celebrate July 4th by writing something like the founders did…

Satan Has A Face, Or Two

An Elyria day-care worker pleaded guilty Friday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court to sexually assaulting children as young as 1 years old in the fall of 2013.  Prosecutors said that Heather Koon who worked at ABC Kidz Child Care was charged with rape and kidnapping. Koon’s boyfriend,James Osbourne, was also charged in the case.

Prosecutors said Osbourne, a registered sex offender, impelled Koon to rape the children.  In addition to the attacks, Koon also videotaped the molestations at the day care on North Abbe Road, officials said.  Sentencing will take place at a later date by Judge James Miraldo.

The death penalty is appropriate in the case of child rapists.

An Open Letter to the Trinitarian Speculators

Dear trinitarian speculators,

It is not theology’s task to dissolve mysteries, but to witness to the divine self revelation.  #TakeNote.

You’re welcome.


The Bee Stings the Church Sports League


Grace Baptist Church’s evangelism team faithfully reaches out to their community and preaches the gospel to anyone and everyone who will listen—but the team’s members say they felt a particular, specific burden to pursue local softball prodigy Grayson Ellis, 27. After persistent outreach efforts, Ellis finally responded to the gospel call and was baptized last week. Ellis, who played minor league baseball for Kansas City’s farm system and coached a girls softball team to a state championship, told sources that he’s “really excited” about getting to know Jesus—but he is starting to see signs that the church only wanted him for his exceptional softball skills.

“Grace has some excellent discipleship programs that are helping me to understand more about the Bible,” the 6’4″, 200-pound clean-up hitter reporters. “But they highly recommended I skip out on them in order to make it to the weekly softball practice. Plus, the minute I was baptized, the pastor gave me a big hug and immediately put a Grace Softball jersey and hat on me.” Ellis further stated that while the church rejoiced over his conversion, they didn’t even try to present the gospel to his wife. The church claimed to reporters that it was unaware Ellis had a wife, as she is not eligible for the men’s softball team.

“Then over the weekend I tried to sign up to help with a home remodeling job for a local family in need, but the pastor sat me down and told me I couldn’t do that kind of work because he couldn’t risk me getting injured,” the slugger added. While he plans to stick things out for a while, Ellis said if the church is unable to support both his spiritual growth as well as his affinity for softball, he may have to consider taking his talents to Hill Street Methodist next season.

So true.  So.  True.

In Which Eric Metaxas Shows He Knows Nothing About History

He really should just stop writing.  Anything.  Throckmorton has it spot on when he concludes his discussion of Metaxas’ new book-

May God help us not to create myths and instead tell the whole story.

Metaxas has proven, again, that he’s incapable of doing anything BUT construct myth.  It’s what he does with every subject he touches.

The Logos Free Book of the Month for July

Is this one by Bloomsbury


Entwicklungslinien im Corpus Paulinum und weitere Studien zu Paulustexten

9783525540510New from V&R, a collection of essays on Paul and the corpus associated with his name by, I confess, a scholar with whom I previously was thoroughly unfamiliar: Hans Klein and edited by Tobias Nicklas.

The volume consists of 20 major studies:

  1. Die Gegenwart des neuen Lebens in der Sicht des Apostels Paulus und das christlich geprägte Leben in den Deuteropaulinen
  2. Das Gottesbild im Corpus Paulinum
  3. Die Christologie im Corpus Paulinum
  4. Die Kraft des Evangeliums und sein Inhalt im Corpus Paulinum
  5. Aspekte des Glaubens im paulinischen Schrifttum
  6. Gerechtigkeit (Rechtfertigung) und Heil im Corpus Paulinum
  7. Zur Ekklesiologie im Corpus Paulinum
  8. Die Gleichwertigkeit aller Glaubenden (Gal 3,28) im Corpus Paulinum
  9. Das Verständnis des Gottesgeistes im Corpus Paulinum
  10. Das Gewissen im Corpus Paulinum
  11. Gottes Wille im Corpus Paulinum als Ansatzpunkt paulinischer Ethik
  12. Aussage und Zusage, Verkündigung und Bekenntnis. Zum Wechsel des Personalpronomens im Corpus Paulinum
  13. Paulus als Apostel, Prophet und Lehrer in seinen unumstrittenen Briefen
  14. Paulus als Verkündiger, Apostel und Lehrer in den Pastoralbriefen
  15. Auf dem Grund der Apostel und Propheten. Bemerkungen zu Epheserbrief 2,20
  16. Handwerkliche Voraussetzungen der paulinischen Theologie
  17. Die Selbstverteidigung des Paulus im zweiten Korintherbrief und die Selbstverteidigung Jesu im Johannesevangelium
  18. Die Apologie des apostolischen Amtes innerhalb des zweiten Korintherbriefes
  19. Das Angebot der Versöhnung in 2 Kor 5 und die Krise in Korinth
  20. Die Begründung für den Spendenaufruf für die Heiligen Jerusalems in 2 Kor 8 und 9

Who is Hans Klein?

Im Jahr 1940 in Hermannstadt/Sibiu geboren, wurde Hans Klein im Jahr 1972 bei Hermann Binder promoviert. Seit dieser Zeit unterrichtete er, ab 1982 als Professor für Neues Testament, ab 1998 zudem Dekan an der Lutherischen Theologischen Fakultät in Hermannstadt. Bis heute versteht er sich nie nur als akademisch wirkender Theologie, sondern als Mann der Kirche, dem die sehr konkreten Nöte des menschlichen Lebens vertraut und nahe sind. Hans Klein ist ökumenisch und politisch engagiert, ein alle Kraft für eine junge Generation von Exegeten und Exegetinnen seines Landes einsetzender Lehrer, in bewundernswerter Weise mutig und – verheiratet und Vater von vier Kindern – mit beiden Beinen im Leben stehend. Neben seinen wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten veröffentlicht er auch Tiefsinniges zur Meditation und Reflexion (S. 7).

He also happens to be a fantastically insightful scholar who here provides readers with what can confidently be called one of the finest well rounded treatments of Pauline theological themes since Ernst Käsemann.

For instance, note his concluding remarks in chapter two- on the Image of God in Paul-

Die Theologie des Paulus kann Gottes Wirken in Christus Jesus mit jenem in der Geschichte und am Ende der Tage zusammen sehen. Das Großartige an seinem Konzept dürfte darin zu sehen sein, dass er von seinem Bekehrungserlebnis her nicht alles bis dahin von Gott Gewusste über Bord warf, sondern in sorgfältiger Reflexion Erfahrung und Tradition verband. Ähnlich geschieht es dann, wenn auch in umgekehrter Weise, in den Pastoralbriefen, wo das Schöpfungshandeln aus der gegenwärtigen Erfahrung mit der Tradition des Erlösungshandelns Gottes aufeinander abgestimmt wird. Die Eigenart des Kolosser- und des Epheserbriefes besteht darin, dass sich dort die Tradition der Verkündigung mit der gegenwärtigen Heilserfahrung ganz deckt (S. 79).

And his final observation concerning Paul’s Christology (a topic much discussed of late, thanks to Chris Tilling’s astonishing volume):

Der Apostel Paulus baut die frühchristliche Christologie aus, die sich in den von ihm zitierten Formeln und Hymnen niedergeschlagen hat. Für ihn ist Christus der wiederkommende Retter vom Zorn Gottes (1,9 f), auf den die Christen hoffen dürfen. Er ist der Gottessohn von Ewigkeit her und nun der Herr der Seinen (Röm 1,4). Als Christus schließt er die Christen in seinem Leib zusammen (Gal 3,27; 1 Kor 12) und prägt als κύριος Ἰησοῦς χριστός durch sein Vorbild den christlichen Wandel (Phil 2,6–11).

Klein’s greatest gift, is, however, his ability to say a lot with very few words.  Unlike those overly verbose sorts who spend 500 words leading up to their main point and wearing readers out in the process, Klein knows what needs to be said and he knows how to say it.

I’m grateful to V&R for publishing this collection of studies- not only because I’ve been better informed on Pauline theology, but because I’ve also been introduced to a scholar who I enjoy reading tremendously and from whom I think most everyone will learn if they simply avail themselves of the opportunity.

Signs of the Times: Those Fiendish Trinitarian Speculators

May God one day soon deliver us from them.


New Jersey’s Mafia-esque Student Loan Program (aka Loan Sharks)

Amid a haze of grief after her son’s murder last year, Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti faced an endless list of tasks — helping the police access Kevin’s phone and email, canceling his subscriptions, credit cards and bank accounts, and arranging his burial in New Jersey.  And then there were his college loans. When DeOliveira-Longinetti called about his federal loans, an administrator offered condolences and assured her the remaining balance would be written off. But she got a far different response from a New Jersey state agency that had also lent her son money.

“Please accept our condolences on your loss,” said a letter from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to DeOliveira-Longinetti, who had co-signed the loans. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the Authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.”  DeOliveira-Longinetti was shocked and confused. After all, the agency features a photo of Governor Chris Christie on its website, and boasts in its brochures that its “singular focus has always been to benefit the students we serve.” But her experience with the authority, which runs by far the largest state-based student loan program in the country, is hardly an isolated one, an investigation by ProPublica, in collaboration with the New York Times, found.

I used to think Chris Christie was a pretty good guy.  Alas, I was wrong.  He’s a disgusting wretch just like every other politician.

Celebrate Independence Day- Get the Commentary For 50% Off

To celebrate Independence Day we’re offering the Commentary for 50% off!  That’s right, you can own a commentary on the entire Bible for $100 (offer ends at Midnight on July 4).  Be free of biblical illiteracy and independent of misinformation: get the Commentary in PDF’s from yours truly for a paltry $100 by clicking my PayPal Link.  It’s that simple.


It’s a good commentary. But don’t take my word for it:

Several weeks ago, Jim West sent me a copy of his commentary on Deuteronomy, part of his series entitled “For the Person in the Pew“. Dr. West is well known among biblical scholars and those interested in the role of the Bible in modern intellectual history and culture, and his blog “Zwinglius Redivivus” is among the most widely read of those dealing with the history, reception, and PER-ception of the biblical materials. It was thus with great excitement that I set about reading his commentary on a book that has been so central to my own research as an historian and, I should add, to my own self-understanding as a Jew and my place in the long history of Judaism.

West’s commentary is not meant to be a “Critical Commentary” insofar as that genre of commentary is primarily geared for the critical, academic study of biblical texts. Rather, as the title of the series implies, his commentary is meant for someone who encounters the text in a devotional setting. The orientation of the work is primarily for Christian audiences, but West takes the ancient Jewish dimensions of the text seriously. He also gives the reader great intellectual credit, and assumes that he or she will approach the biblical text carefully…including aspects of the text in its ancient context.

For West, the ancient meaning, effects and understandings of the text among its original audiences have lasting importance for contemporary audiences. One’s obligation to the text as a defining feature of identity — both as an individual person of faith and as a member of a larger and dynamic community — is intimately connected to the past, the intricacies of ancient cultures, their suppositions and conceptual horizons.

Deuteronomy is a particular important text in this regard, for many scholars over the last several decades have drawn attention to its complex relationship to its own past. Deuteronomy negotiates the history of Israel’s covenantal traditions, countenancing different ideas but clearing the way for definitive and comprehensive attitudes that could endure and bind communities together. West’s careful explication of Deuteronomy’s verses show a deep awareness of this, and his commentary regularly delves into linguistic, geographical, and ritual details that, for many contemporary readers, remain hidden in the text’s sometimes hermetic rhetoric.

West’s discussion of Deuteronomy is ultimately rooted in an ethical commitment not only to the contents of the text but to the larger ideological cultures it helped create. It engages theological matters clearly and boldly, but also does not hesitate to draw attention to the complicated nature of those matters and the similarly complicated task of reconciling them with evolving contemporary needs. West also does a great service to his reader by making clear (through his discussions of critical details) that a host of other issues relating to ancient Israel and the communities who preserved this material in antiquity await those given to indulging their curiosities beyond the pew. As a Jew with great regard for the role that religious scripture plays in defining various communities of faith and setting them in conversation with each other, West’s commentary proved to be a rewarding and stimulating read, and bodes well for the rest of the volumes in his series as well.

Mark Leuchter, Temple University

The Bee Stings the ‘America is in the Bible’ Loons

Again- nail on the head

“Truly inspired and deeply moved” by his church’s patriotic 4th of July service, and particularly his pastor’s message, titled “The Shining City Upon A Hill,” local man Jim Radcliffe announced Monday his intention to launch into a comprehensive study of every mention of the United States of America in the entire Bible. “From God’s covenant with America in the Old Testament, all the way through to America’s ultimate victory over our enemies in Revelation—I’m going to study every single verse about God’s chosen nation,” read his Monday announcement on Facebook. “There are a ton of them, I know. But I am committed.”

Radcliffe also announced that he hopes to complete this daunting task within one calendar year. “By this time next year I hope to have exhaustively studied the Scriptures’ entire treatment of the United States, even if it takes several hours each day,” he said in his online missive, noting his confidence that God will bless him as he endeavors to honor the U.S., quoting Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless [America].” Questioned by a commenter about his biblical interpretations and the tumultuous state of the country as possible evidence that America is not God’s chosen nation, Radcliffe stood his ground. “Just like pastor explained, God has promised to save America out of this current state of unrest. See Isaiah 43.”

Visit Kappel am Albis, Switzerland

From Zurich, take the train and then the bus to Kappel am Albis.  Then, leave the Chapel and head north to the site of the Zwinglistein (or as it’s also known, the Zwingli Denkmal).  Here’s a few maps and a portrait of Zwingli to help you get your bearings.

Everyone needs to visit this fantastic place at least once in their life.   I certainly have.  More than once. And will again, DV.


Here’s What Luther Thinks of the Pope Making Saints

lutherAMONG his other abominations, the Roman bishop (if that basilisk of the Church of God and plague of the world can be called a bishop) has also now for some three hundred years made this claim for himself: namely, that he thinks that he is permitted to appoint and create new gods daily in the Church, whichever ones he pleases, as he canonizes dead “saints” (as they are called) and orders us to worship them and to call upon them and to honor them on feast days, persons whose faith or actual deeds he could not possibly know.

With this frightening display of insanity he demonstrates that he really is that one who sits in the temple of God and presents himself as though he were God [2 Thess. 2:4], raised and exalted against and above the true God. And again, having thus ascended into the highest heaven, he descended at the same time also to the lowest depths of hell [cf. Eph. 4:10], and not only did he make himself lord of purgatory, snatching out souls at his whim—sometimes out of partiality, sometimes for money, however it seemed good to him—but he also made himself lord of hell itself, condemning the dead and deciding who was heretical, even though he did not know either their life or their teaching, except insofar as he had observed that they taught and acted in opposition to his own abominations.

What, I ask, is this, but establishing himself as judge of the living and the dead, indeed as the lord in charge of creating gods and devils, once that true Judge of the living and the dead whom the true God established has been cast out? This is what Daniel predicted about this latest monstrosity of a basileus [a king] (I wanted to say “basilisk”) that is to appear in the last times, namely, that he would build and worship his own new gods, whom his fathers did not know, made from gold, silver, gems, and precious stones, etc. [Dan. 11:38].

In the “Preface to John Hus, Some Very Godly and Erudite Letters, Sufficient of Themselves to Show That the Godliness of the Papists Is Satanic Madness [1414–16]: 1537,”

Megiddo in the News

Watch this video interview with Israel Finkelstein-


Happy Birthday America