Oh If Only This Were True…

At Relational Church’s weekly vision meeting Monday, Pastor Jeb Wilder attempted to suggest doing a sermon series called “Cash Jesus Ousside, Howbow Dah?” but was instantly incinerated by a miraculous lightning bolt, sources confirmed.

“Crazy idea—just hear me out,” the pastor said excitedly as the misguided idea began to take shape in his head. “What if we do a sermon series called ‘Cash Jesus Ousside, Howbow Dah?’ It’d be a real hit with the young people.”

But before the rest of the leadership team could shoot him down, God took care of it for them.

Though it was a clear, sunny day, the skies darkened in an instant, and several seconds later a powerful bolt of lightning came out of nowhere, rocketed down through the church’s roof, and instantly burned the pastor to a fried crisp, shocked members of the leadership team confirmed afterward. Nothing was left but ashes.

“It’s a terrible thing that happened to Pastor Jeb, but let’s be honest: it’s no worse than if we had gone through with the sermon series,” deacon Bob Ryder told reporters as fire investigators swarmed the church’s office building.

“Sometimes a deadly lightning bolt is God’s mercy in disguise,” he added.

Oh if only…

The Reformation in Wittenberg, Part Two

Christian History Institute writes

(We are publishing this essay by Dr. West in three parts over the next few weeks as part of our celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. It gives us a closer look at how Wittenberg ecountered and dealt with Luther’s reforms. Read more about Luther—and Wittenberg—in our issue #115, “Luther Leads the Way.”  The first post in this series can be found here.)

Enjoy part two.  Or, Part the Second.

Reading Catechisms, Teaching Religion

Reading Catechisms, Teaching Religion makes two broad arguments. First, the sixteenth century witnessed a fundamental transformation in Christians’, Catholic and Evangelical, conceptualization of the nature of knowledge of Christianity and the media through which that knowledge was articulated and communicated. Christians had shared a sense that knowledge might come through visions, images, liturgy; catechisms taught that knowledge of ‘Christianity’ began with texts printed on a page. Second, codicil catechisms sought not simply to dissolve the material distinction between codex and person, but to teach catechumens to see specific words together as texts. The pages of catechisms were visual—they confound precisely that constructed modern bipolarity, word/image, or, conversely, that modern bipolarity obscures what sixteenth-century catechisms sought to do.

Wandel is tremendous.  I’ll look forward to reading this.

Subtle Citation, Allusion, and Translation in the Hebrew Bible

Biblicists have long been aware that some compositions in the Bible cite and allude to other compositions. At times these practices are obvious; often, however, they are not. Essays in this volume focus on subtle, not-so-obvious, unrecognized cases of citation and allusion as well as on unrecognized ‘translations’ from other languages. Individual authors address unapparent cases and the methodological considerations on which their status as ‘genuine’ can be established. The essays in this volume are significant because of the methodological considerations and cautions that they describe and the varied texts that they analyze. Biblicists drawing on insights from this book will be able to provide thicker descriptions of Israelite literature and literacy and to construct relative chronologies of biblical compositions with greater accuracy than has been possible until now.