Daily Archives: 11 Apr 2017

What Would Luther Think of Rome’s Sudden Interest in Him?

“I believe the pope is the masked and incarnate devil because he is the Antichrist. As Christ is God incarnate, so the Antichrist is the devil incarnate.”  – Martin Luther

Six Easy Ways to Get the Precious Millennials and the Seekers in Your Doors this Easter

Good advice from the Bee– though their title is a bit different…

1.) Blast visitors in the face with T-shirt cannons. T-shirt giveaways are a staple of any true church’s Easter service, of course. But why not up the ante? Buy a T-shirt cannon and have your pastoral staff roam throughout the crowd and just blast visitors right in the face with them when they least expect it. Classic!

2.) Show hilarious movie clips. What better way to show the weight of what was accomplished by our Savior on the bloody cross and in the empty tomb than a clip from Happy Gilmore?

3.) Invite Lady Gaga to preach. If you have a regular pastor-dude preach, there’s a really good chance your audience checks out before you get past your introduction. Instead, invite a guest preacher. Might we suggest Lady Gaga? She’s relevant, hip, trendy, and accepting—and she was born that way!

4.) Hire a helicopter to drop bags of cash from the sky. Lots of churches do a lame easter egg hunt. Booooooooriiiiiiiing. Instead, you should spend thousands of dollars to hire a helicopter, stuff it with bags full of cash, and have it fly over the church lawn and drop bags of cash on churchgoers. Make it rain, baby!

5.) Give away expensive cars, private jets, and luxury yachts. No one wants to come to your boring Easter service unless you promise that you’re going to have a mega-awesome giveaway. But tickets for sporting events and big-screen TVs just don’t cut it anymore. In the ultra-competitive church market, you’ve got to stand out. Give away the title to a few Bentleys, a Gulfstream or two, and even a 100-foot luxury mega yacht, to ensure your church is just that much more awesome than the other churches in your area.

6.) Dispense pithy advice and insights in lieu of preaching Christ crucified. People don’t come to your Easter service to hear about atonement, wrath, the sin that separates us from God, and the way of salvation that He made for us. Rather, they want to find out how to achieve a healthy balance and live a more victorious life. Go ahead and just cut out all that gospel, and replace it with really pragmatic insights about how to manage a busy schedule.

There you have it—you’re on your way. This is going to be the best Easter service ever!

But remember, they won’t be back the week after Easter.  But that’s ok, isn’t it.  Making disciples is sooooooooo hard….

Rewriting the Exodus: Susan Docherty’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Yay! Long awaited!

Biblical Studies Online

On May 23, 2016, Professor Susan Docherty (Newman University, Birmingham) delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture, “Rewriting The Exodus”.

The biblical account of the Exodus has always been significant for Jews in constructing their history, identity and theology. The story of how God acted through Moses to free the Israelite slaves from their suffering in Egypt is, not surprisingly, retold in numerous Jewish writings throughout the centuries.

In Graeco-Roman times, the large number of Jews living outside of Palestine in cities and towns throughout the Empire particularly enjoyed celebrating Moses as a Hebrew hero who triumphed over hostile foreign powers. One of the most interesting of these retellings, known as the Exagoge, takes the form of a Greek Tragedy. I will discuss the interpretation given to the Exodus in this play, and how this compares to that found in other early Jewish sources and the New Testament.

This text raises…

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The Reformation is More than Martin Luther

And TVZ is publishing a raft of volumes this year proving it.  Here are a few:

Calvin on the Vapidity of Philosophy

When he’s right, he’s just right.

All theology, when separated from Christ, is not only vain and confused, but is also mad, deceitful, and spurious; for, though the philosophers sometimes utter excellent sayings, yet they have nothing but what is short-lived, and even mixed up with wicked and erroneous sentiments. — John Calvin

The Bee Stings the Hyper Calvinists

In an attempt to increase evangelistic efficiency, Calvinist scientists working at Reformed Theological Seminary’s School of Research have isolated the “elect gene” in test subjects, and have successfully engineered an electronic detector to help evangelists focus their efforts only on those God has preordained unto salvation from eternity past, sources confirmed Tuesday.

“We found that entire sermons and evangelistic opportunities were being wasted on the ears of those destined to damnation,” head of missions research Dr. Cal Perkins told reporters. “Now we can focus our efforts on calling only God’s chosen people to faith and repentance.”

According to Dr. Perkins, an early field test of the detector showed a promising increase of nearly 400% in the efficiency of missionary work.

“There’s just so much less overhead, not having to deal with the reprobate any longer,” he continued. “I mean, there’s always a few people you suspect you’re wasting your time with, but now Christians can know for sure who’s totally hosed and not worth the effort.”

Perkins further stated that a consumer version of the device had been submitted to the FCC for approval, and should be in stores in time for the holiday season.

At publishing time, nearly half the student body at the seminary had been expelled as the prototype device indicated that they were not elect after all.

They didn’t need to bother.  They could have just asked me.

A Brief Visit to the British Museum

Breaking News! The Mugshot Of Jesus Has Been Discovered!!!!

In a recent issue of the Review of Biblistic Archaeologyness Professor Raren Fling Of Scarvard University writes

While traveling in the Middle East, in an undisclosed location, a man in a dark coat (with quite a colorful hat) approached me in the Suk and offered me, in whispered tone, an artifact which he says he received from a trusted and believable source.  He said that I would scarcely believe it were I to see it and so naturally I agreed to step into his quiet corner shop with free wi-fi and air-conditioning.

As we entered a back room, down winding stairs, underneath a tunnel, above a secret passage, connected to a maze which only the wisest could navigate guarded by a sphinx and a lynx he stumbled and I had to pull him to his feet.  Once we descended what seemed 666 feet he stopped, wiped his brow, grabbed a coke from a handily located machine, and looked at me with an expression of seeming greed and delight, saying, here we are.

Pushing open a creaky door we entered a room that was lined with fascinating artifacts and in the corner was a table over which hunched a half dozen men, chained to the floor and diligently carving what looked to me to be Aramaic script on an assortment of old ossuaries.

My guide pulled open a drawer and there it was!  The most amazing thing I had ever beheld!  For there, before my eyes, lay what was obviously a carefully crafted portrait of what could only be Jesus of Nazareth!  I was aghast.  The parchment looked ancient and the image was doubtless authentic.

My host looked at his feet, and said in halting Syriac- ‘I wish to present this to you.  For no cost.  And you must never reveal that it was I who gave it to you.  Take it.  Take it home and show it to your friends and have them verify its authenticity.  Place it in a lab (owned by your esteemed institution) and see to it that they too authenticate it.  And if anyone questions it, simply tell them that they are scoffers scoffing and ignore them’.

But, I had to ask- where did this come from, how did you come to have it?  My guide shook his head and said that he could not reveal his trustworthy source just down the street in a chinese owned knock off shop which specialized in churning out papyrus fragments to unsuspecting and gullible souls who can’t tell the difference between an ancient piece of papyrus from a modern piece of cardboard.

So, returning home, I followed his advice.  A friend from Canada urged me as well to call a press conference not at some random date but at either Easter or Christmas, when the appetite for such things were at a peak.  Having done so I discovered that I had achieved a fame unknown to those lesser colleagues who foolishly labor unstintingly questing for the truth.

Naturally questions have been raised- but I have ignored them, deciding instead to stand my ground like Trayvon Martin.  Cleverly, I decided to urge my esteemed University to use one of its journals, The Scarvard Review of Theological Stuff and Puff, to dedicate an entire issue to the portrait / mugshot just the week before Easter, 2014.

And now, for the first time in human history, from an unprovenanced but completely reliable source, I give to you the mugshot of Jesus, on papyrus, inscribed by stylus using ancient iron ink:

uhoh

Remarkably, the color of the ink has remained intact.  We learn, without question, that Jesus was about 5’10, and had golden hair and amber eyes and a goatee/ soul patch.  Further tests will be performed on this amazing and earth shattering find.  In due course (which means, right before Christmas and then again right before Easter).

Amazing!  I want to thank Prof. Fling for permission to reproduce her remarks and the amazing, amazing discovery.