The Best Introduction to Bultmann

What a brilliant and exceedingly concise review. Brilliant!

Hendrickson Publishers Blog

Though Rudolf Bultmann’s 133rd birthday was August 20th, we thought we’d celebrate by sharing Jim West’s short but sweet review and excerpt from the back cover of Rudolf Bultmann, one of the books in our Makers of the Modern Theological Mind series. Read, enjoy, and grab a copy of the book for yourself.

The Best Introduction To Bultmann Zwinglius Redivivus

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No, Trump Isn’t ‘Raised Up by God’, He’s Been Allowed By God But Chosen by a Tiny Minority

Paula White is very good at being a false teacher.  Here she is, again, plying her trade and deceiving the gullible and theologically ignorant.

The plain fact is, Trump wasn’t chosen by God to be America’s President*, he was chosen by a small segment of the population and the outmoded Electoral College.  He lost the popular vote and is only in office due to a lack of foresight by the authors of the Constitution.

Don’t blame God for the bad choices Americans made.  That said, it is true that God allowed Trump to become President.  But Trump is no more the will of God than cancer or childhood obesity or lung disease.  These are evils which, on the day of Redemption, will be annihilated.

In accordance with the pursuit of the truth I advise you to ignore the false teachings of a Pentebabbleist woman who has less familiarity with the Scriptures and Christian theology than any other ‘spiritual adviser’ in history.

Hidden Criticism?: The Methodology and Plausibility of the Search for a Counter-Imperial Subtext in Paul

Christoph Heilig’s book is out in American clothing.

Paul has been regarded as being uncritical of the Roman Empire for a long time, not least because of his apparent call to obey the state in Romans 13:1–7. However, recent scholarship has questioned this assumption by pointing to “hidden criticism” in the letters of the apostle. But how can we decide, in a methodologically sound way, whether such a counter-imperial message lies beneath the surface of the text? On the basis of insights from the philosophy of science, Christoph Heilig suggests several analytical steps for examining this paradigm. He concludes that the hypothesis that we can identify critical “echoes” of the Roman Empire in Paul’s letters needs to be modified if it is to be maintained. In particular, the hypothesis of Paul’s concern that any overt criticism would be dangerous and lead to subsequent persecution of himself or his congregations is dubious and does not sufficiently justify this interpretative approach. Nevertheless, Heilig concludes that the search for a counter-imperial subtext in Paul could turn out to be heuristically fruitful, so long as the limitations of the approach are heeded. Hence, a reevaluation of Pauline passages in light of Paul’s engagement with ideas from his Roman environment is encouraged.

The Problem With Conservatives…

Is that hatred of Hillary Clinton has so blinded them that they can no longer recognize evil in their own ranks.  That’s why they so blindly supports a serial adulterer, a felon, a drug addict, and a man who has more failed marriages than Solomon.*

Indeed, the hatred is so profound that people who once would have counted themselves members of the Moral Majority can no longer claim to hold the ethical high ground; all for the sake of hatred.

Behold, what hatred does to self-styled disciples of Christ.

*Donald Trump
Dinesh D’Souza
Rush Limbaugh
Newt Gingrich

Luther on the Superstitions of Philosophers and Monks

“In his letters Paul wrote about virtues and good works more fully and appropriately than all the philosophers. He extols the civil works of the godly very highly. Were not the battles and wars of David better than all the fasting and praying of the best and most pious monks? Meanwhile I’ll remain silent about the superstitious monks—like the one who wanted to conquer his concupiscence by smashing his dear chamber pot. Truly, this was noble mortification!” — Martin Luther

Erastus and Corinth – Student dissertation (part 4)

The series continues…

Newman Research Centre for the Bible and its Reception

In his surviving writings, Paul’s preferred term for people who are not slaves appears to be ἐλεύθερος (eleutheros); ‘free’. However, in 1 Corinthians 7:22, Paul uses a more specific term ἀπελεύθερος (apeleutheros), ‘freedman/feedperson’, referring to slaves who had been emancipated through the civic and legal process of manumission. Although it was a relatively common word, Paul only uses it once.  Newman University graduand Isabella Wray explored what may have prompted Paul to use it here and what his readers may have understood by its use.

This excerpt from her dissertation, introduces us to a freedperson who, like Babbius Philinus (see part 2), rose to become an influential figure in Corinthian society. What is particularly intriguing about this person, however, is that he may also have also been a member of the Corinthian church…

Paul’s Liberating Theology in 1 Corinthians 7:21-24: The Freedperson’s Journey…

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How It Was Karlstadt Who Provoked the Controversy Between Zwingli and Luther on the Lord’s Supper

Karlstadt … He was not in sympathy with the revolutionary tendencies of Thomas Münzer, but he and his followers were associated in the minds of many with the mysticism and agitations of the “Allstedtians” (Münzer was pastor at Allstedt). Luther sought to win Karlstadt back at a conference in Jena, August 22, 1524. The effort was fruitless, and because of the incendiary character of his preaching Karlstadt was expelled from Saxony, in 1524. He went to southern Germany, and eventually became a professor in Basel.

At Jena Luther had challenged Karlstadt to state his views publicly and in writing, and as a token of this invitation Luther gave him a gold coin. Karlstadt accepted the challenge and began a series of treatises on the Lord’s Supper. After his expulsion his tone became sharper toward Luther. In all, eight tracts were prepared—five on the Lord’s Supper, one on consideration for weak consciences, one on the nature of faith and unbelief, one in opposition to infant baptism.

Thus it was largely on the question of the sacraments that Karlstadt opposed Luther and found himself in Zwingli’s camp. For a disciple of Karlstadt brought the tracts to Zurich where they were read by the Anabaptist leaders, and to Basel where they were secretly printed. Late in 1524, the tract on baptism was confiscated, and the printer imprisoned. The remaining tracts were circulated, along with a statement of Karlstadt on his expulsion, and led to Zwingli’s statement on the Lord’s Supper and the consequent controversy between Zwingli and Luther on this issue.*

It isn’t always the case that controversy commences because of the actions of the chief combatants. Sometimes, someone else fires the first shot and others who are their better are dragged in. That was the case in the famous controversy involving Luther and Zwingli.
*Church and Ministry II, (LW Vol. 40, pp. 75–76).