Americans Want A Wall on the Border of Mexico… To Keep Out Chinese Immigrants- Remembering our Own Past

President Trump’s plans to build a wall is only the latest in a long line of attempts to close the U.S.-Mexico border. But originally, these attempts were never meant to fence out Mexicans. Instead, they targeted a completely different group of immigrants.

Read the rest of this very engaging and eye opening essay. And remember- America has a very long history of racism. One day, perhaps we will deal with it.

Oh, and follow its author on twitter.

The Spanish Inquisition’s Last Victim

The last case of an execution by the Spanish Inquisition was a schoolmaster, Cayetano Ripoll, July 26, 1826. His trial lasted nearly two years. He was accused of being a deist, and substituting in his school the words “Praise be to God” for “Ave Maria purissima.” He died calmly on the gibbet after repeating the words, “I die reconciled to God and to man.” (Schaff)

A New Post About the Tyndale House, Cambridge, GNT

When we had to work through the whole of the New Testament in a more systematic way, we started with the Pauline corpus. The assumption was that the letters of Paul did not pose as many problems as some other parts of the NT, and this assumption bore out. Apparently there is something in tightly argued prose that puts it in less danger of textual change than simple narrative, especially narrative with synoptic parallels. Yet even within the Pauline corpus the same phenomena are present that you can find in the Gospels. Ephesians and Colossians contain sufficient parallel material to allow for cross-contamination, and the same happens with Galatians and Romans.

And more.  I’m really very excited about this edition and looking forward to its appearance in the Fall.

Peter Opitz on ‘Zwinglianism’: An Interview

Ein Gespräch mit Peter Opitz im Rahmen der Veranstaltungsreihe «Salon Zwingli»*

Das Wort «zwinglianisch» muss im heutigen Zürcherischen Sprachgebrauch für vieles herhalten. Die einen nutzen ihn, um gutschweizerische Tugenden wie Arbeitsamkeit und Bescheidenheit zu propagieren, andere wiederum, um die wahrgenommene Enge des Zürcher Sittenkorsetts anzuprangern. Laut Kirchenhistoriker Peter Opitz hat der heutige Ruf des «Zwinglianismus» wenig mit den tatsächlichen Lehren und Handlungen Huldrych Zwinglis zu tun, sondern vielmehr mit Zuschreibungen und ideologisch motivierten Appropriationen späterer Generationen, die häufig in Unkenntnis der Originalquellen erfolgten.

Was bedeutet «zwinglianisch» im heutigen Sprachgebrauch?

Das Bedeutungsfeld ist relativ gross und flexibel, aber die Bedeutungen gehen alle in eine ähnliche Richtung: Das Spektrum reicht je nach Zusammenhang von «humorlos» über «fleissig», «bescheiden» bis zu «pflichtbewusst». Weiter meint es auch «streng» und «unterdrückerisch», «kleinkariert», «lustfeindlich“ oder «historisch». Diese Bedeutungen lassen überdies eine gewisse Synonymie mit dem Adjektiv «schweizerisch» erkennen.

Etc.  Great responses by Peter.

At Least He Has His Priorities in Order

Local man Greg Goodby confirmed Wednesday that his wife and kids have been displaced by his rapidly growing theology book collection, and were finally forced to sleep in a tent outside on the front lawn after the last free square inch of space in their home was taken up by his latest Amazon order.

Goodby reportedly orders dozens of books on Christian living, theology proper, and church history every day, while he only manages to actually read a book every two months.

“I offered them a comfy place to sleep atop Calvin’s Institutes, but they turned it down,” the man said while sitting on a throne fashioned out of dozens of systematic theologies. “So we got out the old camping gear and I tried to make them a comfortable place out on the lawn.

At publishing time, Goodby’s family had been displaced into the family van after the man’s most recent order of theology books were offloaded from a tractor-trailer into the spot the tent was previously occupying.

Yes!  Priorities!

Pre-Season Interview with Thomas Römer

A great interview that I wish had extended to hundreds of questions.

The Shmunis Family Excavations at Kiriath-Jearim

Why Kiriath-Jearim? thomas

KJ is a fascinating site for several reasons. It plays a quite important role in the so-called Ark narrative in the books of Samuel, and appears also in other biblical texts. And it is also a site which has not been excavated until today. This is probably due to the fact that the place is occupied by a monastery. Judging by the biblical documentation the place was probably a quite important (religious) center.

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Luther on Certainty

We Do Not Make God’s Word True or Untrue

“The objectivity and certainty of the Word remain even if it isn’t believed. Everything depends on one’s having the true sacrament of the altar, likewise true baptism, and also on [the] preaching [of] the true Word of God. I stake my soul on it and am ready to die for it. If you believe without doubting, you’ll be saved; if not, you’ll be damned. I put my confidence in no other faith, but in the Word of God.

“Let me give an example. If I gave you one hundred florins and hid them from you under the table and you believed and said that they were merely lead or a lead alloy, what difference would that make to me, who offered you gold? It’s your fault that you don’t believe. The gold’s gold, even if you don’t think so. God doesn’t lie when he promises eternal life. Only let us be sure that we appropriate it for ourselves in faith. For our unbelief doesn’t make God’s promise empty. — Martin Luther

Where Can We Find Authentic Comfort?

The Heidelberg Catechism has it right:

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,  and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

The Bee Stings The Evangelistic Power of Macaroni Art

A barrage of activities in which youngster Jacob Philips was instructed to paste dry macaroni noodles onto various Bible characters and scenes is adequately preparing the child to make his faith his own when he comes of age, sources close to the boy confirmed Tuesday.

The young man’s church is careful to provide biblically based curriculum, which consists mostly of just having the kids color pictures of Noah’s ark or glue macaroni onto pictures of Jesus.

“Every time he uses a glue stick to paste macaroni onto Moses’s face, he is drawn a little closer to Jesus,” his Sunday school teacher told reporters. “It’s a cohesive sanctification package—they sing ‘Jesus Loves Me,’ they make crafts out of macaroni, toilet paper tubes, and glitter, they drink punch and eat cookies. It’s foolproof.”

According to sources within the church, the kids who graduate into the youth program are then put on a healthy diet of wacky games and fun events to ensure that they’ll be prepared to face an increasingly post-Christian culture when they go out into the real world.

It’s like Jesus said, ‘Go into all the world making macaroni art…’

The Anniversary of Hesse’s Death

Via Protestant Resistance:

Kirchenkampf in Wuppertal-Elberfeld
Zum Todestag von Hermann Albert Hesse (22.4.1877 bis 26.7.1957)

hesseHermann Albert Hesse, der Theologie in Erlangen, Berlin und Tübingen studierte und 1902 seine erste Pfarrstelle in Duisburg-Meiderich erhielt, ging 1909 nach Bremen und wurde 1916 von der reformierten Gemeinde Wuppertal-Elberfeld zu einem ihrer zehn Pfarrer berufen. Er wurde in die Generalsynode der Evangelischen Kirche der altpreußischen Union gewählt. Dabei übernahm er die Schriftleitung des Gemeindeblattes und der einflussreichen Reformierten Kirchenzeitung sowie die Leitung des Elberfelder Predigerseminars, dessen Gründung er angeregt hatte.

1933 vertrat er den Reformierten Bund im „Drei-Männer-Kollegium“, das die Verfassung der neuen Deutschen Evangelischen Kirche erarbeiten sollte, aber rasch in Konflikte mit den Deutschen Christen geriet. Hesse wurde zum Moderator des Reformierten Bundes gewählt und war Mitglied der Barmer Bekenntnissynode vom Mai 1934. Auch gehörte er zu den Organisatoren der „Freien Reformierten Synode“, die im Januar 1934 erstmals tagte, auf der sich viele Gemeinden im Widerstand gegen die Deutschen Christen und den Reichsbischof verständigten. Danach wählten die Mitglieder des Reformierten Bundes Hermann Albert Hesse zum Moderator (Vorsitzenden). Im Februar 1934 folgte am selben Ort und im selben Geist die „Freie evangelische Synode“. Auf beiden Synoden spielte Hesse eine wichtige Rolle. Die Gegenseite bat deshalb, ihn als einen der „Rädelsführer“ zusammen mit drei anderen rheinischen Pfarrern in den einstweiligen Ruhestand zu versetzen. Dieser Bitte wurde nicht stattgegeben.

Hesses eigene Gemeinde spaltete sich im Kirchenkampf. Die Elberfelder reformierte
Bekenntnisgemeinde lehnte jeden Kompromiss mit den Deutschen Christen, später mit den Kirchenausschüssen und der „konsistorialen Amtskirche“ ab. Als während des Krieges die bekenntnistreuen Gemeindeglieder nach einer Verständigung mit dem anderen Gemeindeteil suchten, weigerte sich Pfarrer Hesse mit seinen Anhängern, diesen Weg mitzugehen. Damit trennte er sich auch von der Bekennenden Kirche.

Während eines Gottesdienstes im Juni 1943 bezeichnete er die Bombardierung der Stadt als Gericht Gottes und rief auf zu Buße und Fürbitte, auch für die verfolgten Juden. Darauf wurde er mit seinem Sohn, dem Vikar Helmut Hesse, von der Gestapo verhaftet.

Ohne Prozess wurden Hermann Albert Hesse und sein Sohn Helmut am 13. November 1943 in das Konzentrationslager Dachau überführt. Dort starb Helmut Hesse bereits am 24. November 1943. Sein Vater wurde am 18. April 1944 aus der Konzentrationslagerhaft entlassen. Er musste hierzu eine Unterlassungserklärung unterschreiben und sich zur Verschwiegenheit über das in Dachau Erlebte verpflichten. Das Ende des Krieges erlebte er in seiner Heimat Ostfriesland. Nach dem Krieg erhielt Hesse kein Pfarramt mehr.
Er starb 1957 in Velbert.

Bildnachweis: © Archiv der Ev. Kirche im Rheinland, Düsseldorf

Zwingli’s Resignation: Rejected

Grossmunster, Zurich

The Grossmunster

It had been a nasty June and a worse July in Zurich in the year of our Lord, 1531.  The heat was oppressive and the populace was restless.  Zwingli’s reforms were well entrenched but there was an air of misgiving lingering in the air.  Something bad was afoot and Zwingli was already experiencing a bout of depression (though rare, they were profound and severe when they did occur).  The firmly Catholic Cantons were still refusing to ‘see the light’ and it was more than he could bear.

So when he appeared before the Council at the end of July he had tears in his eyes and told the Council that he was set and prepared to resign on the spot if they felt another could better serve the cause of Christ.  For 11 years he had preached the Gospel to the city and its environs and though sure it would triumph in every corner of the land, distressed that it had not yet.

Afterwards, a delegation of the most important leaders of the City persuaded him to withdraw his resignation.  None of them could know, of course, that Zwingli would be dead within 3 months and a week.  He wanted to resign and wasn’t allowed to.  Divine Providence had other plans for him.

Yet certainly any and every Pastor who has felt the sting of ministerial impotence knows exactly the sense which overwhelmed Zwingli.  We’ve all been overwhelmed that way and desired to resign rather than endure. But Divine Providence has other plans for us as well.