With All Due Respect to the Fine Folk At Fortress…

Luther would go postal on you for publishing new age rubbish.

“At one of our early gatherings, one of our members received a phone call in the midst of an evening session informing her that her husband had had a major stroke. . . . the group crowded into her room to send her healing energy. The energy was so palpable and powerful that we could practically see and touch it.” Read the story by Judith Plaskow, from the new book written with Carol P. Christ, ‘Goddess and God in the World’!  (via FB).

Postal.  In fact, here he is with the book-


cracks in the dam(?)

Good stuff from Ashley’s dad-

Peripatetic Learning

Dedicated readers of this blog will know at two things: 1) I am poor at posting consistently, and 2) a number of posts have dealt with the problems of plagiarism. Many of the instances of plagiarism I highlight tend to come from students who either fail to abide by the rules of proper citation or are ill-informed about such rules, or from (more or less) popular writers/authors–and often for similar reasons. In the main, I can excuse such things because they can be seen as rookie mistakes. Thus, I tend to get over those instances rather quickly. I see it. I gripe about it (usually to myself, sometimes here). And then I move on.

But there are times when I don’t move on as quickly. And these times are related to when I discover plagiarism in scholarly work–either personally or I hear/read about it from others. Recently, two seasoned scholars…

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If You Weren’t Very Well Educated…

Luther’s sermons would have been meaningless to you.  Here’s an example of Luther’s preaching:


Luther’s sermons were mixtures of Latin, German, and sometimes Greek and Hebrew.  They weren’t intended for the masses, they were intended for University students and extremely well educated layfolk.

The myth that Luther was a man of the people is simply a fantasy.  Luther was an academic who spoke like one to his peers.  What the common people knew of Luther’s sermons would have been second hand rumor and gossip.  It’s little wonder, then, that Luther’s preaching had little effect on the daily lives of the people of Wittenberg.

Geneva is A Moral Mess, So Calvin Is Invited to Return…

In 1540…

Geneva was falling into more and more of disorder. Discipline was nil and immorality ran riot. The political freedom of the country was in danger. Bern, outwitting the Genevese commission, acquired treaty sovereignty, which the Great Council would not acknowledge.
The Genevese themselves were divided into three parties, the Bernese, Roman Catholic parties and Reformers. The Bernese party was decimated by political execution. Both that party and the Roman Catholic made blunders. The party of the Reformers began again to grow in relative power and numbers.

Thus the way was prepared for the recall of Calvin. This was discussed in the council early in 1539, again in February, 1540, and decided upon September 21, 1540. From that time on increasingly earnest measures were taken to get him. The syndics’ letter bearing date of October 22d concludes, “On behalf of our Little, Great and General Councils (all of which have strongly urged us to take this step), we pray you very affectionately that you will be pleased to come over to us, and to return to your former post and ministry; and we hope that by God’s help this course will be a great advantage for the furtherance of the holy gospel, seeing that our people very much desire you, and we will so deal with you that you shall have reason to be satisfied.”* The seal of the letter bore the legend, “After darkness I hope for light.”*

*Thomas Cary Johnson, John Calvin and The Genevan Reformation: A Sketch. (Richmond, VA: The Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1900), 45–46.

It’s True of Biblical Dilettantes as Well…

Mutatis mutandis, this also applies to those who always have a ‘strong opinion’ about theological matters or biblical interpretation in spite of the fact that they actually know virtually nothing about it-

“Studies have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a cognitive bias that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an op-ed for Politico, “The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task — and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment. Essentially, they’re not smart enough to realize they’re dumb.”