Monthly Archives: October 2016

Look Who Joined the Twitter!

Jonathan!untitled

Jesus’s Guidance for Pastors

sad_jesus_messina_cropIhr sollt das Heilige nicht den Hunden geben, und eure Perlen sollt ihr nicht vor die Säue werfen, damit die sie nicht zertreten mit ihren Füßen und sich umwenden und euch zerreißen.

Words to live by, friends.  Words to live by.

Fun Facts From Church History: What is a ‘Nation’ in the 16th Century?

9783788730321In der Frühen Neuzeit und damit auch im Zeitalter der Reformation ist unter »Nation« – analog zu dem Lateinischen »natio« und im Unterschied zu dem modernen Nationsverständnis – eine Gruppe von Menschen zu verstehen, die durch Herkunft, Sprache und Kultur ein Kollektiv bilden.  –  Irene Dingel

Quote of the Day

Doch darüber freut euch nicht, dass euch die Geister untertan sind. Freut euch aber, dass eure Namen im Himmel geschrieben sind. (Lk 10:20, Lutherbibel 2017)

One Last Reminder: Luther Was Late to the Game and the Reformation Started Before October 31, 1517

‘Reformation Day’  Nope!’

‘The Reformation’ is a misnomer if ever there were one, for in fact there was no ‘one’ Reformation any more than there was just one Reformer. ‘The Reformation’, when used by students and the general public, usually refers to the Reformation of Martin Luther which commenced at the end of October in the year of our Lord, 1517.

Even then, though, Luther’s intent wasn’t as earth-shattering as later ages took it to be. For Luther, the placement of a series of theses in Latin on the Church Door at Wittenberg Castle was nothing more than an invitation to debate. In other words, Luther didn’t see his act as the commencement of a revolution; he saw it as an academic exercise.

‘The Reformation’ is, then, little more than a label derived from historical hindsight gazing mono-focularly at a series of events over a period of time across a wide geographical landscape. Each Reformer had roots sunk in fertile ground and their work was simply the coming to fruition of generations of shift in the Roman Catholic Church.

Hence, it would be more appropriate to speak of ‘Reformations’ in the same way that we now speak of ‘Judaisms’ and ‘Christianities’. The Reformation was no monolith.

Who, then were the Reformers who gave birth to the Reformations most closely associated with them? They were Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, in just that order.

In 1515 while he was Pastor of the village Church in Glarus, Huldrych Zwingli began to call into question the dependence of the Church on the teachings of the Scholastics. He also questioned the value of the Vulgate for preaching and began earnest study of the Greek New Testament. There, memorizing the letters of Paul (in Greek) he discovered the Gospel which would come to feature so prominently in his Reforming efforts: Salvation is by grace, through faith, and not through works as proclaimed by the Scholastic theologians. By 1519, when he moved to Zurich to become the Pastor of the Great Minster, Zwingli was already well on his way to Reforming the worship of the Church and the administration of the ‘Sacraments’. In short order, within a few years, the Mass was abandoned and replaced by the ‘Lord’s Supper’ and the fixation of the Church on images was denounced and those images removed in due course.

Zwingli’s Reformation was carried out with the cooperation of the City government, which is why Zwingli, along with Luther and Calvin, were to be known to history as ‘Magisterial Reformers’. Not because they were ‘Magisterial’ but because each had the support of their city’s magistrates.

North of Zurich, in Wittenberg, Luther’s Reformatory efforts were coming to full steam around the same time. In 1520 he broke with Rome irrevocably with the publication of his stunning ‘On The Babylonian Captivity of the Church’. From there, there was to be no turning back. And here we must remind ourselves that at this juncture Luther was not dependent on the work of Zwingli, nor was Zwingli dependent on the work of Luther. Both were pursuing reform along parallel tracks, separately.

Further to the West of Switzerland a decade later John Calvin, an exile from France, a lawyer by training and a theologian by training and desire, began his own efforts at Reform. Several years after Zwingli’s death and long after Luther’s demise Calvin plodded away in Geneva attempting manfully to bring that raucous city to heel under the power of the Gospel.

Each of these Reformers were ‘Fathers’ of their own Reformation. Each was, originally, independent of the other and in many ways they tried very hard to retain that independence even when their common foe, the Church of Rome, was the target as their common enemy. Each contributed to ‘The Reformation’ in their own unique way.

If, then, we wish to honor their memory and their efforts, it behooves us to set aside our preconceptions or our beliefs that ‘The Reformation’ began on October 31, 1517. It didn’t. It began in 1515 in Glarus. And it began in 1517 in Wittenberg. And it began in Geneva in 1536.

Happy Reformations Days.

The IAA Is Defending the Authenticity of the ‘Jerusalem Papyrus’

Jim Davila has the details here.  He remarks (in part)

The burden of proving an unprovenanced object to be an ancient artifact is on those arguing it to be an ancient artifact. I think we need more than has been offered so far to say that that has been done. The conference paper has been released, apparently in a formal publication. That’s good. (Has it been peer-reviewed? It would speed up dissemination if an English translation were made available.) But the lab reports on the carbon dating and other tests need to be released. More details need to be released on how the object was acquired and the state it was acquired in. A full paleographical analysis also needs to be published. Then substantive objections and alternate interpretations will need to be evaluated in the peer-review literature.

Right on the money.

Lifting the Moratorium Once More, To Answer a Question: Luther at His Very Worst

Liz Fried (a long time friend.  Gosh, I guess we’ve known each other since the late 90’s) asked concerning Luther

Did Luther advocate herding all the Jews into their synagogues and burning them down?

I checked.  Here’s what I’ve found:  Luther clearly advocated the destruction of Synagogues and the forced exile of the Jews.  But so far as I can discover, he never suggested Jews be murdered.  Though, to be fair to the times in which he lived, it isn’t hard to understand how many of his followers would think killing Jews a thing of which Luther would approve.

Here’s Luther, in his own words, at his very worst.  His very worst and most reprehensible:

But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews’ synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God’s name? They will still keep doing it in secret. If we know that they are doing this in secret, it is the same as if they were doing it publicly. For our knowledge of their secret doings and our toleration of them implies that they are not secret after all, and thus our conscience is encumbered with it before God. So let us beware. In my opinion the problem must be resolved thus: If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews’ blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country. Let them think of their fatherland; then they need no longer wail and lie before God against us that we are holding them captive, nor need we then any longer complain that they are burdening us with their blasphemy and their usury. This is the most natural and the best course of action, which will safeguard the interest of both parties.

And then a few pages later

I wish and I ask that our rulers who have Jewish subjects exercise a sharp mercy toward these wretched people, as suggested above, to see whether this might not help (though it is doubtful). They must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in, proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did in the wilderness, slaying three thousand lest the whole people perish. They surely do not know what they are doing; moreover, as people possessed, they do not wish to know it, hear it, or learn it. Therefore it would be wrong to be merciful and confirm them in their conduct. If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs, so that we do not become partakers of their abominable blasphemy and all their other vices and thus merit God’s wrath and be damned with them. I have done my duty. Now let everyone see to his. I am exonerated.

This so disgusted Melanchthon, and the other Reformers, that they lashed Luther in their writings.  Luther was better than this.  Unfortunately, he didn’t show it.

A Reformation Timeline

From our friends over at CHI-

timeline

Check it out here and order copies here.

When You Celebrate ‘Halloween’ But Not Reformation Day…

This is my face-

giphy

Actually, More Reformed, But You Get the Idea

nohall

Luther’s Reformation Was 2 Years Late

‘Reformation Day’  Nope!’

‘The Reformation’ is a misnomer if ever there were one, for in fact there was no ‘one’ Reformation any more than there was just one Reformer. ‘The Reformation’, when used by students and the general public, usually refers to the Reformation of Martin Luther which commenced at the end of October in the year of our Lord, 1517.

Even then, though, Luther’s intent wasn’t as earth-shattering as later ages took it to be. For Luther, the placement of a series of theses in Latin on the Church Door at Wittenberg Castle was nothing more than an invitation to debate. In other words, Luther didn’t see his act as the commencement of a revolution; he saw it as an academic exercise.

‘The Reformation’ is, then, little more than a label derived from historical hindsight gazing mono-focularly at a series of events over a period of time across a wide geographical landscape. Each Reformer had roots sunk in fertile ground and their work was simply the coming to fruition of generations of shift in the Roman Catholic Church.

Hence, it would be more appropriate to speak of ‘Reformations’ in the same way that we now speak of ‘Judaisms’ and ‘Christianities’. The Reformation was no monolith.

Who, then were the Reformers who gave birth to the Reformations most closely associated with them? They were Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, in just that order.

In 1515 while he was Pastor of the village Church in Glarus, Huldrych Zwingli began to call into question the dependence of the Church on the teachings of the Scholastics. He also questioned the value of the Vulgate for preaching and began earnest study of the Greek New Testament. There, memorizing the letters of Paul (in Greek) he discovered the Gospel which would come to feature so prominently in his Reforming efforts: Salvation is by grace, through faith, and not through works as proclaimed by the Scholastic theologians. By 1519, when he moved to Zurich to become the Pastor of the Great Minster, Zwingli was already well on his way to Reforming the worship of the Church and the administration of the ‘Sacraments’. In short order, within a few years, the Mass was abandoned and replaced by the ‘Lord’s Supper’ and the fixation of the Church on images was denounced and those images removed in due course.

Zwingli’s Reformation was carried out with the cooperation of the City government, which is why Zwingli, along with Luther and Calvin, were to be known to history as ‘Magisterial Reformers’. Not because they were ‘Magisterial’ but because each had the support of their city’s magistrates.

North of Zurich, in Wittenberg, Luther’s Reformatory efforts were coming to full steam around the same time. In 1520 he broke with Rome irrevocably with the publication of his stunning ‘On The Babylonian Captivity of the Church’. From there, there was to be no turning back. And here we must remind ourselves that at this juncture Luther was not dependent on the work of Zwingli, nor was Zwingli dependent on the work of Luther. Both were pursuing reform along parallel tracks, separately.

Further to the West of Switzerland a decade later John Calvin, an exile from France, a lawyer by training and a theologian by training and desire, began his own efforts at Reform. Several years after Zwingli’s death and long after Luther’s demise Calvin plodded away in Geneva attempting manfully to bring that raucous city to heel under the power of the Gospel.

Each of these Reformers were ‘Fathers’ of their own Reformation. Each was, originally, independent of the other and in many ways they tried very hard to retain that independence even when their common foe, the Church of Rome, was the target as their common enemy. Each contributed to ‘The Reformation’ in their own unique way.

If, then, we wish to honor their memory and their efforts, it behooves us to set aside our preconceptions or our beliefs that ‘The Reformation’ began on October 31, 1517. It didn’t. It began in 1515 in Glarus. And it began in 1517 in Wittenberg. And it began in Geneva in 1536.

Happy Reformations Days.

Otto Eckart has Completed his Deuteronomy 12:1-23:15 (Part 3) Commentary

bd3From the foreword:

Es ist Aufgabe des Kommentators des Buches Deuteronomium, das philologische, historische, speziell das literatur- und religionshistorische Wissen der Zeit über das Deuteronomium als Teil der Tora in kontinuierlicher Auslegung des Textes zusammenzufassen und so zu bündeln, dass der Text mit wissenschaftlicher Vermittlung in der Lebenspraxis kerygmatische Wirkung entfalten kann. Dieser Kommentar des Deuteronomiums vereinigt dazu eine diachrone, an der Entstehung des Textes, und eine synchrone, an der Interpretation seiner Endgestalt orientierte Auslegung.

I’m going to spend the next weeks enjoying it.  Do note, the Publisher, Herder Verlag, at this point only has Bd 1 of the 3 Bdn commentary on Dt 12:1ff available.  Bd 2 and 3 are forthcoming.  So, if you’re keeping score, Dt 1-11 is covered in 2 volumes, 12:1-23:15 in 3 volumes, and 23:16ff in who knows yet how many.

The Luther Moratorium

onnoticeWith Reformation Day hitting tomorrow you’ll be hearing nothing but non stop Luther blather from every corner of the world. Social media, news, websites, blogs. The chatter about Martin will be never ending for the next year.

Accordingly, I won’t be mentioning Luther at all. Not for the next year. I’ll be spending my Reformer dollars in the other Reformers stores.  Zwingli, Calvin, Melanchthon, Oecolampadius… these are a few of the names you’ll hear.  The names of real Reformers, not besotted male versions of Joan of Arc…

I’m already weary of hearing about Luther. By the 31st of October next year, the entire world will be.

So, farewell Martin. See you November 1, 2017. If then.

1d92ym

Lutheran Satire And Luther’s Attempt at Reformation

Or, this is what happens when Lutherans try to claim the Reformation is actually their invention.

Donald Trump Has Made Being Vulgar Acceptable

And that’s why things like this are happening.

A Nashville gas station that’s received national attention for a pro-Trump sign is now getting major backlash. According to the owners of Lewis Country Store on Ashland City Highway, Shell Corporation ended its contract with them because of the sign. The sign in question said “The only p**** Trump ever grabbed was Paul Ryan. Trump that b****.”  As of Midnight Friday, Shell allegedly ended its contract with the store.

Since when did that kind of vulgarity become the sort of thing we’d see on gas station signs?  Since Donald Trump became the nominee of the GOP.  Not before.

I don’t care what your politics are and frankly who you vote for is between you and God.  But if you find this kind of language, this kind of public discourse, acceptable, you yourself need a course in ethics because you have none.  And neither does Trump.

An Ethics Violation Complaint has Been Filed against James Comey, By A Republican

In a terse Op-Ed published in today’s New York Times, Richard Painter, the chief White House Ethics Lawyer in the Bush Administration from 2005-2007, explains why he filed a Complaint yesterday against FBI Director James Comey with the FBI’s Office Of Special Counsel, which investigates possible ethical violations within the Bureau. In particular, Painter explains why Comey’s inexplicable actions this week may warrant prosecution for abuse of power under the Hatch Act:

“I have spent much of my career working on government ethics and lawyers’ ethics, including two and a half years as the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, and I never thought that the F.B.I. could be dragged into a political circus surrounding one of its investigations. Until this week.”

Painter, a former George W. Bush, Marco Rubio and John Kasich supporter, explains that had the Bureau made a similar public disclosure in its connection with the ongoing investigation ties between a certain presidential candidate and hacking of Americans’ emails by the Russian government, it would have equally constituted a breach of longstanding policy and an abuse of power. Specifically, the Hatch Act bars the use by a government official of his position to influence an election.

Etc.  And again, Comey needs to be fired.

The Pure Hypocrisy of James Dobson and ‘Evangelical’ Supporters of Donald Trump

hypocrisy

The Greatest of the Reformers: Zwingli and Calvin

And they get their due in Debrecen.

Das Themenjahr “Reformation und die eine Welt” hat aufgezeigt, dass sich Reformation weder linear noch lokal, sondern gleichzeitig, vielfältig und weltweit abgespielt hat – und das auch weiterhin tut. Im Vorfeld der EKD-Synode unter dem Schwerpunktthema “Europa in Solidarität – Evangelische Impulse” fokussieren wir den Blick noch mal auf Europa. Zum Beispiel Debrecen: Die Reformationsstadt Europas öffnete sich früh den neuen Ideen und übernahm als Verwaltungszentrum und Schulstandort eine wichtige Schlüsselrolle.

zwingli_calvin

Anthony Weiner is Absolute Proof…

That your sins don’t just affect you- they affect everyone around you.  The nonsense notion that our sins only affect us and that, accordingly, they are only our business, is an idiot’s lie only believed by such.

Next time someone tells you that their sinful behavior is none of your business, remind them of Anthony Weiner and tell them everything they do affects everyone around them.

Happy Reformation Sunday Reminder- Luther Was Late to the Game

‘Reformation Day’  Nope!’

‘The Reformation’ is a misnomer if ever there were one, for in fact there was no ‘one’ Reformation any more than there was just one Reformer. ‘The Reformation’, when used by students and the general public, usually refers to the Reformation of Martin Luther which commenced at the end of October in the year of our Lord, 1517.

Even then, though, Luther’s intent wasn’t as earth-shattering as later ages took it to be. For Luther, the placement of a series of theses in Latin on the Church Door at Wittenberg Castle was nothing more than an invitation to debate. In other words, Luther didn’t see his act as the commencement of a revolution; he saw it as an academic exercise.

‘The Reformation’ is, then, little more than a label derived from historical hindsight gazing mono-focularly at a series of events over a period of time across a wide geographical landscape. Each Reformer had roots sunk in fertile ground and their work was simply the coming to fruition of generations of shift in the Roman Catholic Church.

Hence, it would be more appropriate to speak of ‘Reformations’ in the same way that we now speak of ‘Judaisms’ and ‘Christianities’. The Reformation was no monolith.

Who, then were the Reformers who gave birth to the Reformations most closely associated with them? They were Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, in just that order.

In 1515 while he was Pastor of the village Church in Glarus, Huldrych Zwingli began to call into question the dependence of the Church on the teachings of the Scholastics. He also questioned the value of the Vulgate for preaching and began earnest study of the Greek New Testament. There, memorizing the letters of Paul (in Greek) he discovered the Gospel which would come to feature so prominently in his Reforming efforts: Salvation is by grace, through faith, and not through works as proclaimed by the Scholastic theologians. By 1519, when he moved to Zurich to become the Pastor of the Great Minster, Zwingli was already well on his way to Reforming the worship of the Church and the administration of the ‘Sacraments’. In short order, within a few years, the Mass was abandoned and replaced by the ‘Lord’s Supper’ and the fixation of the Church on images was denounced and those images removed in due course.

Zwingli’s Reformation was carried out with the cooperation of the City government, which is why Zwingli, along with Luther and Calvin, were to be known to history as ‘Magisterial Reformers’. Not because they were ‘Magisterial’ but because each had the support of their city’s magistrates.

North of Zurich, in Wittenberg, Luther’s Reformatory efforts were coming to full steam around the same time. In 1520 he broke with Rome irrevocably with the publication of his stunning ‘On The Babylonian Captivity of the Church’. From there, there was to be no turning back. And here we must remind ourselves that at this juncture Luther was not dependent on the work of Zwingli, nor was Zwingli dependent on the work of Luther. Both were pursuing reform along parallel tracks, separately.

Further to the West of Switzerland a decade later John Calvin, an exile from France, a lawyer by training and a theologian by training and desire, began his own efforts at Reform. Several years after Zwingli’s death and long after Luther’s demise Calvin plodded away in Geneva attempting manfully to bring that raucous city to heel under the power of the Gospel.

Each of these Reformers were ‘Fathers’ of their own Reformation. Each was, originally, independent of the other and in many ways they tried very hard to retain that independence even when their common foe, the Church of Rome, was the target as their common enemy. Each contributed to ‘The Reformation’ in their own unique way.

If, then, we wish to honor their memory and their efforts, it behooves us to set aside our preconceptions or our beliefs that ‘The Reformation’ began on October 31, 1517. It didn’t. It began in 1515 in Glarus. And it began in 1517 in Wittenberg. And it began in Geneva in 1536.

Happy Reformations Days.