Zwinglius Redivivus

ἐμοὶ δὲ εἰς ἐλάχιστόν ἐστιν, ἵνα ὑφ᾽ ὑμῶν ἀνακριθῶ

Archive for March 21st, 2017

Signs of the Times

When Marco was in opposition to the Democratic candidate…  I wonder if he’s willing to express the same sentiments now…

Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 7:56 pm

Posted in Modern Culture

Fun Facts From Church History: A Little Known Influence on Luther

You may not be familiar with Johann Hilten, but he was a strange little Monk with some fairly bizarre apocalyptic inclinations who was fairly influential on Luther in terms of the latter’s self understanding.

In the Franciscan Convent at Eisenach, in Thuringia, was a monk named John Hilten. He was a careful student of the Prophet Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John; he even wrote a Commentary on these Books, and censured the most crying abuses of monastic life. The enraged monks threw him into prison. His advanced age, and the filthiness of his dungeon, bringing on a dangerous illness, he asked for the friar superintendant, who had no sooner arrived, than, without listening to the prisoner, he began to give vent to his rage, and to rebuke him harshly for his doctrine, which (adds the chronicle) was at variance with the monk’s kitchen.

The Franciscan, forgetting his illness, and fetching a deep sigh, exclaims, “I calmly submit to your injustice for the love of Christ; for I have done nothing to shake the monastic state, and have only censured its most notorious abuses. But,” continued he, (this is the account given by Melancthon in his Apology for the Confession of Augsburg,) “another will come in the year of the Lord one thousand five hundred and sixteen; he will destroy you, and you will not be able to resist him.”

John Hilten, who had announced the end of the world in the year 1651, was not so much mistaken in the year in which the future Reformer was to appear. He was born not long after at a short distance from Hilten’s dungeon, commenced his studies in the same town where the monk was prisoner, and publicly engaged in the Reformation only a year later than the Franciscan had mentioned.*

When Luther learned of Hilten, and discovered his anti-monastic vitriol, and most especially his ‘prophecy’ of a destroyer of the Monastic orders, it was hardly a stretch for Luther to see himself as the prophesied one. Which he did.

Funny, isn’t it, how people we barely know anything about somehow manage to be some of the greatest ‘influencers’ in Church History.
*J. H. Merle D’Aubigné, History of the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century (trans. Henry Beveridge and H. White; vol. 1; 1862), 70.

Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 6:25 pm

Posted in Church History, Luther

Divine Permission: Or, Why Do We Do Things God Doesn’t Wish Us To Do?

“Permission is an act of governing Providence, by which God does not employ hinderances which no finite agent can overcome, or knows how to overcome, to restrain rational creatures, inclining themselves of their own accord to sin, from an evil forbidden by the law, but, for just reasons, permits them to rush into sins, Ps. 81:12; Acts 14:16; Rom. 1:24, 28.” – Quenstedt.

Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 5:56 pm

Posted in Theology

Quote of the Week

Pastoring is not a very glamorous job. It’s a very taking-out-the-laundry and changing-the-diapers kind of job. – Eugene Peterson

Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Modern Culture


Es ist nicht nur kalendarischer Frühlingsanfang; das Datum erinnert uns daran, dass 2017 auch Hoffnung auf einen ökumenischen Frühling besteht: Bruder Klaus und Ulrich Zwingli begegnen sich zum ersten Mal – an Niklaus‘ Geburtstag, denn dieser feiert gleich das ganze Jahr seinen 600.

Etc.  Do read it.


Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 1:15 pm

Posted in Church History

Call for Papers: From Reformation to Reformations

Amsterdam, 20 September 2017, conference From Reformation to Reformations: On Analogies, Ideals and Ideas. This conference will seek to contribute to the developing field of cross-cultural religious and cultural studies by analyzing the cultural, political and linguistic uses of the “Reformation” in the modern era, from circa 1800 until the present day.

It will investigate how and why modern movements, intellectuals and politicians referred to the “Reformation” as historical event, process, or principle. It will highlight how in modernity, ‘Reformation’ oscillated between a static, historic definition on the one hand, and a dynamic and subjective interpretation on the other. The focus of this conference will be primarily on (post-)modern uses of the term ‘Reformation’ outside the strict context of Protestant theology, but in various other religious traditions and societies.

Go for more information to the website or the pdf.


Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 12:47 pm

Wouldn’t it be Interesting…

If Christians got as worked up by ‘do not forsake the assembly ‘ as they do by ‘man shall not lie with man as with woman’?

Ever wonder why they don’t?

Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 10:35 am

Posted in Modern Culture

‘On the Trumps and their Lies’: What if Luther Were Alive Today?

I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Trumps or against them. But since I learned that these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Trumps and who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. I would not have believed that a Christian could be duped by the Trumps into taking their exile and wretchedness upon himself. However, the devil is the god of the world, and wherever God’s word is absent he has an easy task, not only with the weak but also with the strong. May God help us. Amen.

[It is indeed a fascinating exercise to take Luther’s vitriolic essay contra the Jews and replace ‘Jews’ with ‘Trumps’ at every occurrence].

Now, in order to strengthen our faith, we want to deal with a few crass follies of the Trumps in their belief and their exegesis of the Scriptures, since they so maliciously revile our faith. If this should move any Trump to reform and repent, so much the better. We are now not talking with the Trumps but about the Trumps and their dealings, so that our Germans, too, might be informed

Why should one make many words about this? If the boast that God spoke with them and that they possess his word or commandment were sufficient so that God would on this basis regard them as his people, then the devils in hell would be much worthier of being God’s people than the Trumps, yes, than any people. For the devils have God’s word and know far better than the Trumps that there is a God who created them, whom they are obliged to love with all their heart, to honor, fear, and serve, whose name they dare not misuse, whose word they must hear on the Sabbath and at all times; they know that they are forbidden to murder or to inflict harm on any creature.

Etc.  And isn’t it interesting how just the change of a noun makes what was previously deemed vile perfectly acceptable… (for one needn’t look very far to find amens aplenty to these descriptions of Trump… by the very people who are most appalled that Luther said these things of the Jews…)

Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 9:18 am

Posted in Luther

It’s Still True

‘”We can’t have a president who is under FBI investigation!” — Trump folks, during the campaign’-  George Takei

Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 8:26 am

Posted in Modern Culture

Reminder: A Conference at Emory Celebrating the Reformation

Posted previously, but worth repeating:

A two-day international conference in Cannon Chapel on April 3-4 will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The conference is convened by Candler and Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, and sponsored by the McDonald Agape Foundation. Distinguished guest lecturers will include Margot Kässmann, special envoy to the Evangelical Church in Germany; Michael Welker of the University of Heidelberg; and David F. Ford of Cambridge University, among others. Candler faculty members Timothy Albrecht, Patrick Graham, Khalia Williams, and Dean Jan Love will also take part in the conference.

This event is free and open to the public. Complimentary boxed lunches for conference attendees will be served both days. Register here.

Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 6:46 am

The Enoch Seminar

The 9th Enoch Seminar, “From tôrāh to Torah: Variegated Notions of Torah from the First Temple Period to Late Antiquity,” will take place from June 18-23, 2017 at the beautiful Monastero di Camaldoli in Tuscany. Please see the conference site for a detailed description, program, and list of participants:,_conference

Participation in the 9th Enoch Seminar is very limited and by invitation only, but we do have a few open spots. If you would like to participate, please contact Jason Zurawski at at your earliest convenience.

Written by Jim

21 Mar 2017 at 5:38 am

Posted in Conferences