Daily Archives: 13 Jan 2017

In the Trump Era, The Christian’s Only Comfort and Consolation…

Is the brilliant truth- Jesus is Lord.  As the Heidelberg Catechism has it

Q & A 30

Q. Do those who look for
their salvation in saints,
in themselves, or elsewhere
really believe in the only savior Jesus?

A. No.
Although they boast of being his,
by their actions they deny
the only savior, Jesus.1

Either Jesus is not a perfect savior,
or those who in true faith accept this savior
have in him all they need for their salvation.2

1 1 Cor. 1:12-13; Gal. 5:4
2 Col. 1:19-20; 2:10; 1 John 1:7

That Goes for Johnson Voters Too

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A Sick Country…

“A sick country is governed by the scum of its inhabitants.” –Gustave Thibon

Drums in Churches Really are of the Devil

Describing the vision as “utterly terrifying,” churchgoers at First Southern Baptist Church reported an apparent physical manifestation of a demonic presence having materialized onstage just after debuting the church’s new custom drum kit Sunday morning.

“One minute, the drummer was counting off the upbeat time signature, and the next, an ominous, hairy creature with horns and hooves appeared out of thin air, right where the organ used to be,” a shaken Pastor Bill told reporters after the service. “That’ll teach us to play a Chris Tomlin tune.”

Pastor Bill further stated that the demonic manifestation cackled evilly, then appeared to descend upon the drum set, taking up residence in the bass drum. In a misguided attempt to salvage the song, the church’s newly hired drummer kept right on playing, but was forced to abort when his head spun backward and he began vomiting a strange green substance.

Other church members claimed the lights then began to flicker as several apparent members of the occult stepped forward from the shadows and began a dark pagan ritual, bobbing their heads to the 4/4 beat, spurred on by the Satanic melody.

“I always said that instrument of evil would get us into trouble,” longtime church member Helen Van Wagner told reporters after she and most of the congregation had escaped the building. “God has used the organ to minister to His people since the days of Noah—what gives us the right to change the style of music laid out for us in the Scriptures?”

At publishing time, the newly possessed drum set had been donated to a local heavy metal band.

Go ahead, put drums in your Church and invite Satan right on in.

Trump’s Team Admits Russian Connection and Conversation

The man tapped to be national security adviser to President-elect Trump, Gen. Michael Flynn, exchanged text messages and spoke with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in December around the time of the Obama administration’s response to Russian interference during the presidential campaign, a spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump acknowledged Friday.

This is treason.

But Sean Spicer, the spokesman and incoming White House press secretary, insisted all of this contact happened before President Obama announced the retaliation, and, as a result, Obama’s move to expel 35 Russian diplomats wasn’t a topic of conversation.

This came in response to a Washington Post column from David Ignatius that raised serious questions about contact between Flynn and the ambassador. In the column, Ignatius writes he was told by a “senior U.S. government official” that Flynn had called the ambassador several times on the day of Obama’s action. Ignatius then asks:

“What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about ‘disputes’ with the United States. Was its spirit violated?”

And it comes in a week in which the focus on Russia and President-elect Trump’s relationship with the country has been front an center.

Treasonous Trump.  Spicer is a liar and cannot be trusted and neither can Treasonous Trump.

The Eusebius Essay Prize

HT Shawn Wilhite on the twitter-

The Eusebius Essay Prize, of £500, is offered annually for the best essay submitted on a subject connected with any aspect of early Christian history, broadly understood as including the first seven centuries AD/CE. Scholars in any relevant discipline (theology, classics, late antique studies, Middle Eastern Studies etc.), whether established in their field or graduate students, are encouraged to enter the competition. Submissions from younger scholars are particularly welcomed.

The essay should not exceed 8,000 words, including footnotes, and should be submitted by 30 September 2017. A judgement will be made at the end of November 2017 (the editors reserve the right not to award the prize if no essay of significant quality is submitted).
The essay of the successful candidate will be published in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. Other submissions entered into the competition may also be recommended for publication.

All essays should be sent by e-mail attachment (with Eusebius Essay Prize in the subject line), prepared to journal style, to Mrs Mandy Barker at jeh@robinson.cam.ac.uk.

Two New Volumes From Ellert & Richter Verlag on Luther

Matthias Gretzschel
Martin Luther
His Life and Places of Work

978-3-8319-0642-0The effects of the life and work of the Wittenberg Reformer Martin Luther were universal, but he spent most of his time in the electoral principality of Saxony, which as a result of his life and work became the “mother country of the Reformation”. The theologian and journalist Matthias Gretzschel approaches the Luther phenomenon by tracing Luther’s fortunes along the stations of his life: from Eisleben in the county of Mansfeld where he was born via his schooldays in Eisenach to his entry into the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt as a monk, from Wittenberg where he nailed his theses to the church door to the Leipzig Debate, from his appearances before the Diet of Worms to his “protective custody” in Wartburg Castle where he translated the New Testament into German. The later journeys that he made from Wittenberg to promote the Reformation are also documented. In the second part of the book Luther sites in Germany are presented in alphabetical order with detailed information and up-to-date photos of each town or city. The focus is on authentic places where Martin Luther lived and worked, many of which have already been refurbished for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. They are the churches in which he preached, houses where he lived or stayed, and Luther monuments and exhibitions. The other main sites of the cities and towns in question are also presented. With more than 250 illustrations, a chronology and an index.

And

Martin Treu
Am Anfang war das Wort
Martin Luther und die Reformation in Europa

978-3-8319-0639-01517 veröffentlichte ein Wittenberger Professor 95 Thesen gegen den Missbrauch des Ablasses. Daraus entstand eine Bewegung, die weder Martin Luther noch irgendein anderer voraussehen konnte: die Reformation. Eine umstürzende Veränderung weit über die Grenzen der Kirche hinaus. In Sachsen zuerst, dann in weiten Teilen Deutschlands und schließlich in ganz Europa veränderten sich Kirche und Kultur, Staat und Gesellschaft. Wie und wo das geschah, erzählt der Autor auf knappem Raum in leicht verständlicher Sprache. Die Verhältnisse in Wittenberg werden ebenso geschil- dert, wie die Entwicklungen im Deutschen Reich. Gleichzeitig werden die Reformationen in der Schweiz und den Niederlanden als Ausgangspunkt der zweiten großen Strömung neben Luther gewürdigt. Schließlich finden sich auch die Veränderungen in der katholischen Kirche, die zu ihrer neuzeitlichen Gestalt führen.

Both of these books present interesting details about Luther which readers may not have found in other sources.  So, for instance, the first volume by Gretzschel, in English, gives readers nothing less than a fully illustrated guided tour of Luther’s life and locales.  Scarcely does a page pass which isn’t gorgeously illustrated in full color prints and reproductions.

Accordingly, when one comes to the point in the discussion where Luther is summoned to appear at the Diet of Worms the reader is provided a portrait of Charles V, a copy of the summons to Luther, a portrayal of the city, a number of pictures of Luther statues from the famous ‘here I stand’ episode, and a copy of the edict denouncing Luther, along with precise descriptions of the events portrayed.

But that’s just the first part of the book.  The second part is an alphabetical listing of every place which played a part in Luther’s life from Altenburg to Zwickau and each place is lushly illustrated as was the case in the first part of the book.

The third part of the volume offers a chronology of Luther’s life and this is followed by an index and a listing of photo credits.

The second book, this time in German, also provides a biography of Luther and is also richly illustrated.  But unlike the former volume, which ends at Luther’s death, the volume in hand takes the further step of describing the influence of Luther not only in Germany but across Europe as well as his Reformation reached as far as England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Austria, and numerous other lands.  It also discusses the events of the Augsburg Interim and the Council of Trent.  For this reason the work by Treu can be viewed as a very helpful continuation of the work of Gretzschel.

2017 will continue to see dozens of volumes about Luther and about his Reformation spring from the presses of Germany and North America (and other lands as well).  For persons interested in dipping their feet in the Luther-an waters, these two books are the perfect ‘wading pool’.  They are not so technical that beginning ‘swimmers’ will drown but they are not so shallow and insubstantive that readers will feel unchallenged or uninformed once they have waded through them.

These books are, in a word, ideal introductions to Luther’s life.  Not least because they are so wonderfully illustrated, but more importantly because they are both so well written.

Zwingli’s Testimony at Hubmaier’s Trial

Zwingli testified at Balthasar Hubmaier’s trial as follows:

Doctor Balthasar hatt grett, man moge der oberkeit nienderth mit bas abkommenn, dann mit dem widertouff.  — Zwingli.

And the council passed sentence of exile.  Because the Anabaptists were viewed not so much heretics (which they were) as anarchists.  The council could deal with heretics.  Anarchists, though, were a cancer that had to be excised without mercy.

The Contemporary Character of Ezekiel: Or, How Ezekiel Still Speaks Today

Let the reader understand…

“Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain.” (Ezek. 22:27)

The Contemporary Character of Isaiah: Or, How Isaiah Still Speaks Today

Your princes are rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.  Therefore the Lord says, The LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, “Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries, And take vengeance on My enemies.  I will turn My hand against you, And thoroughly purge away your dross, And take away all your alloy.  I will restore your judges as at the first, And your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”  Zion shall be redeemed with justice, And her penitents with righteousness.  The destruction of transgressors and of sinners shall be together, And those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed. — (Isa. 1:23-28)

Let the reader understand…

The Contemporary Character of Ecclesiastes: Or, How Ecclesiastes Still Speaks Today

Let the reader understand-

You are to be pitied, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes begin feasting in the morning! (Eccl. 10:16)

Quote of the Day

“Islam esteems Jesus more highly than do many modern Christians.” –Abraham Kuyper

Sheep Trample the Shepherd

Let the reader understand-

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Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

Ohio… being super weird….

In a bizarre story that has people doing a double take, police say they are taking it very seriously.  It was a teenager who was targeted while working in a west Toledo mall, and the man in question ended up getting his hands on her feet and believe it or not, sucking on her toes. What happened to Melissa Portala’s daughter while at work was traumatic. But after sharing her story on Facebook to warn others, she said more women came forward, explaining their run ins with the same man and that they were far worse.

Eeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Summer Biblical Study in Cambridge 2017

For those in the UK.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

The programme for the 2017 Summer Biblical Study in Cambridge is now available here.  The programme is operated by the Vacation Term for Biblical Study (VTBS), offering lectures on biblical studies topics by established scholars, language classes in NT Greek and biblical Hebrew (from introductory to advanced), and extra lectures (this year, on Luther and on Wagner and Theology).  Plus, there’s Cambridge:  Kings College chapel, punting on the Cam, visiting the White Horse Inn, the fabulous Fitzwilliam Museum, and much more.

The classes are aimed at people who simply want to learn something:  “lay” people as well as ministers seeking some academic refreshment/updating.  You can enroll for either of the two weeks or for both.  There’s no assessment, so you can simply absorb what is provided.

Booking is now open and you can see fees and instructions for booking here.  Places are limited, and there are already a…

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The 2017 Bruce Lectures

Via Paul Middleton-

Prof. John Barclay (Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University) is giving the 2017 Bruce Lectures at the University of Glasgow. The lectures will be held at Wellington Church, 2-4 February.

Beyond Charity: Gift and Mutual Benefit in the New Testament

  • Thursday 2nd February, 7pm — Beyond Charity: Gift and Return
  • Friday 3rd February, 7pm — Gifts and Reciprocity in Paul
  • Saturday 4th February, 10am-3pm — Charity or Reciprocity: The New Testament as a Contemporary Resource

Also speaking: Prof. Bruce Longenecker and Dr Kathy Ehrensperger. (£3 entrance on Saturday includes full lecture programme and refreshments.)

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The Thug Life Starts Early for the 12 Year Old Who Pulled a Gun on his Classmate, and Demanded a Chicken Nugget…

A 12-year-old New York City boy is accused of pulling a gun on a classmate and demanding that she give him her chicken nugget.  NYPD say the boy first approached the girl inside a McDonald’s in Harlem on Tuesday and asked her for one of her Chicken McNuggets. When the girl refused, police say the boy followed her as she walked to a nearby subway station and pointed a gun at her head, demanding that she give him a nugget.

Police say the girl smacked the gun away and told the boy to leave her alone.  The 13-year-old girl boarded the train unharmed, police said. The girl later saw the boy showing the gun to another child on the train, local media reported.

The girl reported the incident to school officials the next day and the boy was taken into police custody for attempted robbery. The gun was not found, and it’s unclear if it was real. The New York Post, however, reported law-enforcement sources saying the boy would often show the weapon to other children.

America….

‘Free Will’ Is A Term Fabricated out of Nothing – Calvin

Calvin writes

Free will [is a] term fabricated out of nothing. Scripture everywhere declares that man is captive, servant and slave of the devil, is carried away by all his inclinations into vice, and is unable to understand what the things of God are, let alone perform them.

He’s not wrong.  You’ll not find the notion of free will in Scripture.

Trump’s Inauguration Clergy are A Passel of Heretics

The six faith leaders President-elect Donald Trump has invited to pray at his inauguration come from diverse backgrounds, but they have something in common: All have personal ties to Trump or his family or have in some way signaled their approval of him, his politics or his wealth.  The group includes an African-American megachurch leader from Detroit, a Florida woman known for her lavish lifestyle and preaching on “abundancy,” a rabbi from Los Angeles, and a Hispanic evangelical — as well as Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York.

NPR has the details about their heretical prosperity gospel inclinations.  It’s a shame no Christians will be involved in Trump’s life.  He sure could use the example.