The Conservative ‘National Review’ Excoriates Trump

Trump was given a chance to speak to fear today, and to offer the same moral condemnation and deflation he’s given others. Instead he essentially repeated his disgraceful half-disavowal of Duke. He refused to call out these white supremacists by name, and condemn them. He merely condemned “all sides.” An energetic law and order president who had any sense of the divisions in his country would have announced today that he was instructing his Justice Department to look into the people in these groups, and zealously ferret out and prosecute any crimes they turned up.”

… With his performance today, Trump confirms the worst that has been said about him. He’s done damage to the peace of his country. What a revolting day in America.

Nothing has indicated Trump’s utter unfitness for office more than this failure of leadership.  Impeach this imbecile now under Article 25, Speaker Ryan.  Now.

Bible Prophecy and the Great American Eclipse

Dear ‘End Time’ predictors… please read this. Especially you, Anne Graham Lotz.

Reading Acts

One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was Day of the Triffids. In this 1963 British film, the earth experiences an unusual meteor shower. Everyone who watched the meteors were struck blind, and for reasons not sufficiently explained in the film a rare type of plant (a “triffid”) mutated into a shambling stalk of killer asparagus. The star of the film, Howard Keel, was recovering from eye surgery at the time, so he was left to survive in post-apocalyptic England, dodging escaped prisoners and killer vegetables. Not one of the great plot lines in film history, but it made me wary of watching meteor showers when I was eight years old. In fact, a meteor shower cannot really strike you blind.

The Day of the Triffids PosterLike the imaginary Day of the Triffids, the coming “Great American Eclipse” has generated more weirdness than I would have expected. For example, officials…

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Guest Post: Athalya Brenner on the Commentary

the-person-the-pew-commentary-seriesAthalya has been nice enough to read one of the commentaries and sends along these remarks:

Jim West is a man of very decided opinions. However, and this is much to his credit, in the Commentary I’ve read he does not advocate his opinions about Scripture. What he does is explain and simplify, working from the original language, without being simplistic. And this is to be commended.

I think that summarizes things quite well.  You can obtain a copy of the entire series (in PDF) for $199.  Simply use the link here to order, and be sure to include your email address.

Today With Zwingli

The disputation at Baden was the Old Church’s reply to the Zurich disputations of 1523. The conditions were exactly reversed. The friends of the Reformation packed the former, the opponents of it the latter. The immediate occasion of it was John Eck’s offer from Ingolstadt to the Swiss Diet at Baden, on August 13, 1524, to refute Zwingli’s heresies in a public disputation.

The challenge was communicated to Zwingli, and he replied to this on August 31st, in the insulting language he thought proper to use towards his Roman Catholic opponents1, offering to debate with Eck in Zurich. Eck replied very dignifiedly that he would meet Zwingli at Baden or Luzern, provided he had proper safe conduct.

He shows much better spirit than Zwingli2. The letter having been sent to the Zurich authorities, Zwingli replied that he would dispute in Zurich, and his reply appeared in print. And on the same day, November 6, 1524, the Great Council invited Eck to Zurich and sent him a safe conduct. But he declined to come, simply because the place for the proposed disputation was to be decided by the cantonal assembly and he would meet Zwingli there. On November 18th he replied at length to Zwingli’s latest attack.*

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1Here’s the letter in question, which begins “En tibi, audacissime homo, repercussionem non hercle te, sed nobis dignam! Tu enim merebaris, ut, quicquid usquam est contumeliarum, scommatum, laedoriarum, in te iaceretur, nisi nos decuisset has artes tuas contemnere potius, quam pro dignitate referire. Nam quę porro est insania, ut te induci patiaris, ut ad Helvetios de nobis scribas tam impudenter tamque tum impure tum nequiter? An putas obscurum esse, quibus impulsoribus id feceris et in quem usum? Tune tam foeliciter unquam in hac arenade pugnasti, ut victor abieris? quamvis quid refert, etiam si victor abeas? An propterea veritas non est veritas, an verbum dei vim et ingenium suum mutabit, quod tu quemquam clamosa ista loquacitate tua obruas?”

2Jackson is being a bit anachronistic here. Methods of argumentation and debate were different in the 16th century and the people of that day should be judged by the standards of their time and not ours

*Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (pp. 270–271).

On the Preaching Office

It’s always bemusing to see people who have not been called to preach telling people who have what they should be saying.  As though these preachers are so bereft of the Spirit that they need additional guidance in order to ‘get it right’.

Frankly, it’s insulting and demeaning.  When you are called to preach, preach what God gives you, not what the crowd demands.

Der Durchbruch zur Reformation nach dem Zeugnis Ulrich Zwinglis vom Jahre 1523

From Zwingliana, Vol 17, p. 97ff- which concludes thusly:

Wir können darum schließen, daß für die «Reformation» bzw. das «Reformatorische» neben der theologischen Repräsentation der communio fidelium auch die Stellungnahme gegen die communio sacramentorum konstitutiv ist. Weil Zwingli in der historischen Rückschau erkannte, daß ihm diese entscheidende Antithese zum erstenmal im Jahre 1516 bewußt geworden war, darum konnte er seine reformatorische Entdeckung in dieses Jahr datieren.

Zwingli- Reformer before anyone outside Wittenberg had even heard Luther’s name.