When Did Zwingli ‘Become’ A Reformer

9783788730321I have come to the conclusion that Zwingli moved bit by bit away from Rome and towards reform beginning in 1515 after the shocking horror of the Battle of Marignano.  Others date the beginning of his ‘turn’ to 1516.  Still others, wrongly believing that he was influenced by Luther, date it as late as 1520.

Irene Dingel writes

Zu welchem Zeitpunkt Zwingli aber über seine vom Humanismus geprägte Haltung hinausging und typisch reformatorische Grundsätze im Sinne der reformatorischen Rechtfertigungslehre vertrat, bleibt schwierig zu ermitteln. Er selbst äußerte einmal, er habe schon 1516 mit der reformatorischen Predigt begonnen. Nach seinem Selbstzeugnis und der sich davon inspirierenden Forschung hätte Zwingli dann schon vor Luther evangelisch gepredigt. Es bleibt aber fraglich, was Zwingli in diesem Zusammenhang unter »Reformation« bzw. »reformatorisch« verstanden haben mag. Mit der neueren Forschung ist festzuhalten, dass sich Zwingli in den Jahren 1519 bis 1520 allmählich von den humanistischen Grundsätzen löste und stärker reformatorisch geprägte Vorstellungen zu entwickeln begann. Es ist zu vermuten, dass Luther und seine Schriften in jener Zeit, in der sich Zwingli – bis Mitte 1520 – allmählich zum Reformator entwickelte, ein verstärkender, aber kein auslösender Faktor für diese Hinwendung zu reformatorischen Inhalten war.

I stand by the early date, 1515, for a great number of reasons.  Most notably because it is generally the most jarring life events which tend to refocus our lives.

At any rate, Dingel’s book is just super.

It Bears Repeating: A Prayer for Times of Political Turmoil

Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul! I will praise Yahweh all my life, I will make music to my God as long as I live.

Do not put your trust in princes, in any child of Adam, who has no power to save. When his spirit goes forth he returns to the earth, on that very day all his plans come to nothing.

How blessed is he who has Jacob’s God to help him, his hope is in Yahweh his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. He keeps faith for ever, gives justice to the oppressed, gives food to the hungry; Yahweh sets prisoners free. Yahweh gives sight to the blind, lifts up those who are bowed down. Yahweh protects the stranger, he sustains the orphan and the widow. Yahweh loves the upright,but he frustrates the wicked. Yahweh reigns for ever, your God, Zion, from age to age.  (Ps. 146:1-10)

Signs of the Times

A Canadian friend explains to me that this is part of a toolkit to help Albertan teachers create a safe and inclusive environment.  Other suggestions include using the term “comrade” to refer to others and staging a drag show.

What the actual what????


Signs.  Of the.  Times.

Zwingli and I Share The Same Practice in Preaching

Predigtmanuskripte hat Zwingli allerdings nicht hinterlassen und wohl auch nicht angefertigt. Selbst Nachschriften von Predigthörern existieren nicht. – Irene Dingel

Neither do I.  It’s really the only way.  If you stand there and read to me, I would prefer you just printed it out and let me read it at my leisure.

Dear Millennials, Dilettantes, and other Self Appointed Experts: You Are Not Entitled to Your Opinion

You’re not entitled to it until you earn it.

The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” – and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse. – Patrick Stokes

Stokes wrote that in 2012.  It’s even truer now.

As SBL Approaches

There are two chief sorts of attendees.  There are the paper presentation procrastinators who just now, just this week, have decided to start their paper.


And there are the rest of the attendees, just sitting around, drinking, waiting for things to happen on the 18th of November.


From 1 November till 18 November, no one will be getting anything done.  Except anticipating.

The Difference Between Atheism and Religion

This is the difference between religion and atheism: religion does not grow without planting, but will die even where it is planted without watering. Atheism, irreligion, and profaneness are weeds that will grow without setting, but they will not die without plucking up. — William Gurnall

Country Bumpkins: It’s Reformation Thursday!

zwingliZwingli wrote

[My opponents] confront me presently with the Gordian knot: 

“If it is not [declared to be] unlawful for any persons to make some definite proclamation in regard to the truth of Scripture, there will arise countless errors. For every one will maltreat the Sacred Writings at his own sweet will. Country bumpkins!” 

Read the rest of the engaging and stunningly well written essay over at the Christian History Institute blog as they celebrate Reformation Thursday.

The Rabbi is An Eisegete

A Rabbi claims he has found Hebrew codes hidden in the Bible that point to a presidential victory for Donald Trump.

Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, author of more than 30 books in Hebrew and expert in decoding the hidden meanings of ancient Hebrew, says he has found texts in the books of Deuteronomy and Numbers that predict Donald Trump will become President of the United States.

The Rabbi explains on YouTube how the the Bible code in the tables breaks down.

In one section of the text, the word “Donald” appears in Hebrew letters next to the word “nasi” which is Hebrew for president, Breaking Israel News reported. The codes are repeated in another section.

The rabbi is an eisegete. It may turn out that Trump is elected President (shiver) but there’s no secret code embedded in the Bible and there’s no prediction of America, much less Trump or the presidency or anything else. The rabbi is an eisegete.

Christians, Elections, and The Object of Trust

Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.  His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish.  Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever,  Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners. (Ps. 146:3-7).

Let the reader understand.