Daily Archives: 26 Jan 2017

Signs of the Times


via twitter

Let Luther Cheer You

Even if we were stones and wooden blocks, we could see by your works throughout all the world that you are lost, desperate children of the devil and also mad, crude asses in Scripture. Someone probably would like to curse you so that you might be struck down by lightning and thunder, burned by hellish fire, have the plague, syphilis, epilepsy, the plague of St. Anthony, leprosy, carbuncles, and all the plagues – but these are all caresses, and God has long ago punished you with greater plagues, just like God’s despisers and blasphemers should be punished. — Martin Luther

The Bee Stings the Ignorance of the Trump-ian Xenophobes

While flipping through the book of Revelation Thursday morning, xenophobic believer Ben Hartford was reportedly triggered by the description of the great multitude worshiping the Lamb in Chapter 7 of the prophetic book at the end of the New Testament.

“A countless multitude from every nation…” he read aloud, a sense of anxiety building in his chest. “…from all tribes and peoples? And multiple languages? What the…”

“Oh man, if I have to press ‘1’ for English in heaven, I’m gonna be so ticked,” he reportedly mumbled to himself.

According to sources, Hartford then scrambled to check his various Bible commentaries, hoping that one of them would explain that the great diverse crowd surrounding the Lamb’s throne was simply symbolic, and did not actually mean that he would have to spend eternity with people from cultures other than his own.

At publishing time, Hartford had prayed to ask the Almighty if he could be granted his own safe space away from the diverse multitudes in the eternal state.


If Your Pastor Doesn’t Resemble Micaiah, You Should Fire Them

There was a lull of three years, with no fighting between Aram and Israel. Then, in the third year, Jehoshaphat king of Judah paid a visit to the king of Israel.  The king of Israel said to his officers, ‘You are aware that Ramoth in Gilead belongs to us? And yet we do nothing to wrest it away from the king of Aram.’  He said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Will you come with me to attack Ramoth in Gilead?’ Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, ‘I will be as you, my men as yours, my horses as yours.’

Jehoshaphat, however, said to the king of Israel, ‘First, please enquire what the word of Yahweh is.’  The king of Israel then called the prophets together, about four hundred of them. ‘Should I go and attack Ramoth in Gilead,’ he asked, ‘or should I hold back?’ ‘Go ahead,’ they replied, ‘for Yahweh has already given it to the king.’  Jehoshaphat, however, said, ‘Is there no other prophet of Yahweh here, so that we can enquire through him?’

The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘There is one more man through whom we can consult Yahweh, but I hate him because he never has a favourable prophecy for me, only unfavourable ones; he is Micaiah son of Imlah.  The king of Israel then summoned a court official and said, ‘Bring Micaiah son of Imlah immediately.’

The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, wearing their robes, in an open space just outside the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets in a state of ecstasy before them. Zedekiah son of Kenaanah, who had made himself some iron horns, said, ‘Yahweh says, “With horns like these you will gore the Aramaeans till you make an end of them.” ‘  And all the prophets cried ecstatically in the same vein, saying, ‘March on Ramoth in Gilead! Success is sure, for Yahweh has already given it to the king!’

The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, ‘Look here, what the prophets are saying is uniformly favourable to the king. I hope you will say the same as they do and speak favourably.’   Micaiah said, ‘As Yahweh lives, I shall speak as Yahweh tells me!’

When he came to the king, the king said, ‘Micaiah, should we go and attack Ramoth in Gilead, or should we hold back?’ He replied, ‘Go ahead! Success is sure, for Yahweh has already given it to the king!’  The king then said, ‘How often must I put you on oath to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of Yahweh?’  Then he spoke out: I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep without a shepherd. And Yahweh said, ‘These have no master, let them all go safely home!’   At this the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Did I not tell you that he never gives me favourable prophecies, but only unfavourable ones?’

Micaiah went on, ‘Now listen to the word of Yahweh. I saw Yahweh seated on his throne with the whole array of heaven standing by him, on his right and on his left. Yahweh said, “Who will entice Ahab into marching to his death at Ramoth in Gilead?” At which some answered one way, and some another. A spirit then came forward and stood before Yahweh and said, “I will entice him.”  “How?” Yahweh asked. He replied, “I shall go and be a deceptive spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.” Yahweh said, “You will succeed in enticing him. Go and do it.”  And now, you see, Yahweh has put a deceptive spirit into the mouths of all your prophets here, for in fact Yahweh has pronounced disaster on you.’

Zedekiah son of Chenaanah then came up, struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, ‘Which way did Yahweh’s spirit leave me, to speak to you?’ ‘That is what you will find out,’ Micaiah retorted, ‘the day you go from room to room, trying to hide.’

The king of Israel said, ‘Seize Micaiah and hand him over to Amon, governor of the city, and Joash, the king’s son, and say, “These are the king’s orders: Put this man in prison and feed him on nothing but bread and water until I am safely home.” ‘ Micaiah said, ‘If you ever do get home safely, Yahweh has not spoken through me.’ (1 Ki. 22:1-28)

Let the reader fully understand.

The Depravity of the Day is Proven By the Fact That Such A Thing Even Needs to Be Said…

But it does, so here it is:

To be clear, there are no such things as alternative facts. There are truths and lies. Alternative facts are the latter. Period.

Mike Pence Was Right to Say This


I agree completely.  If he has changed his mind, he’s wrong to do so.

Storing, Archiving, Organizing: The Changing Dynamics of Scholarly Information Management in Post-Reformation Zurich

97889Storing, Archiving, Organizing: The Changing Dynamics of Scholarly Information Management in Post-Reformation Zurich is a study of the Lectorium at the Zurich Grossmünster, the earliest of post-Reformation Swiss academies, initiated by the church reformer Huldrych Zwingli in 1523. This institution of higher education was planned in the wake of humanism and according to the demands of the reforming church. Scrutinizing the institutional archival records, Anja-Silvia Goeing shows how the lectorium’s teachers used practices of storing, archiving, and organizing to create an elaborate administrative structure to deal with students and to identify their own didactic and disciplinary methods. She finds techniques developing that we today would consider important to understand the history of information management and knowledge transfer.

It may not sound like the most exciting title but the topic is a really important one and I’m very appreciative of Brill for sending a copy for review which you can read below and be sure to check out the book’s associated webpage.  It is loaded with absolutely fantastic materials and sources.

After illustrating why Zurich is such a fine case study for the dissemination of knowledge in the 16th century, G. moves to a description of European higher education and how Zurich both fits and breaks the mold.  This is followed by a discussion of the Zurich school regulations which is itself followed by a discussion of school governance and record keeping.

The fourth part of the book is, in my mind, the heart of it for here G. describes course lectures and course textbooks.  A conclusion draws together the consequences for historical research of all of these facts and materials.

Important appendices round the volume out.  These include an appendix listing Academic Directors, Teachers and Students at the Lectorium and Documents Pertaining to the Grossmünster Stift’s School Regulations as well as School Minutes and finally, Textbooks.

The volume also contains 18 figures and 4 tables.  And, according to the author, is the first volume of two planned:

A second volume in preparation focused on the students will look closely at matriculation lists and life documents, students’ notebooks and annotations, and their letters. Finally, in the next volume I will also examine their lectures, sermons, and written books as adults, asking what influence the school had on the creation of a knowledge society.

I’m very keen to read that additional material given the very engaging material presented in this volume.

The great benefit of the volume at hand is its enriching provision of primary source materials (as collected in the appendices).  The importance of primary sources need not be repeated here since all know their value.  Suffice it to say, when researchers have the ability to ‘check out’ the materials presented in the body of the text with their own eyes because those primary sources are provided, research past is reinforced and research future is enhanced.  Here’s a short sample:

Acta der schulherren by verwaltung // Josiae Simleri anno 1564 // Aprilis 26. Alß von unseren gnadigen herren … den // 16 aprilis in gmeiner Censur bewilliget worden ettliche // knaben von dem frawenmünster gen wandlen zu schicken // und benamset wurdent Samuel fattlin, Josue Vuaekerling, Hans // heinrich wirt, Joseph Breitenwaeg, Hanß Großman, hatt man // geordnet daß Samuel Fattli und Josue Vuaekerling gen bern // und di übrigen dry gen Losanna zügind, und sol… sij commen, // diavon gen bern herr hansen haller gen Losanna herr Blasio // Marcuardo und den selbigen ir gelt zuschiken, welches auch // von mir beschahen ist. //

Studies based on primary sources are always superior to studies based on the mere collection of secondary sources.  Indeed, a look at most academic work today reveals that many scholars have hardly paid any attention at all to the primary sources and instead are merely arguing with recent discussions on ancient or early modern texts.  G. is of a better spirit.

Persons engaged in study of the 16th century means and methods of higher education will need to get hold of this volume and carefully read it.  Students of the Reformation need to do the same.  And finally, persons who have an interest in the dissemination of knowledge in the early modern period cannot do better than to start here in their in depth research on the topic.  This volume is thoroughly recommend-able.

The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Switzerland…

Doesn’t feature Luther, it features Zwingli and Calvin (as is just just)-

8cdcd4590ee41ee6b28b166787eaaeb0Starting in Wittenberg, 500 years ago Europe was in the grip of the Reformation, which led to cultural, social and political upheaval which still has an impact today. In Switzerland, due to the action of Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, the Reformation became an important catalyst on the road to the modern age, democracy and human rights.

Like in the rest of Europe, the anniversary of the Reformation is also being celebrated in Switzerland. But it is not a celebration of Martin Luther’s thesis, which according to tradition saw the light of day in Wittenberg in 1517. It is far more about the Reformation as a movement whose cultural, social and political potency still has an impact 500 years later. The main focus of the anniversary is the question of what the Reformation means for today’s generation and those of tomorrow, and not a return to a mystical date in time. This brings the achievements of the Reformation into the spotlight without forgetting the drawbacks and puts it into the service of ecumen-ical commitment. Further information is available at http://www.ref-500.ch.

– Coin image: 500 Years of Reformation
– Date of issue: 26 January 2017
– Design: Ben Pfäffli, Burgdorf
– Legal face value: 20 Swiss francs
– Alloy: silver 0.835
– Weight: 20 g
– Diameter: 33 mm
– Uncirculated in folder: 2,000 coins

Quote of the Day

A king today is a corpse tomorrow. (Sir. 10:10)

Reformation Thursday

“Men cannot do without women. Even if it were possible for men to beget and bear children, they still could not do without women” – Martin Luther

Enjoy this week’s entry, kicked off by that quote.