Daily Archives: 4 Sep 2017

A Snippet From the Book I’m Enjoying

Describing the trial and condemnation of six witches-


The executive justice, Christopher Neuchinger of Oberneuching, sentenced them to death “by torment”: “namely that all six be placed publicly upon two carts, drawn in procession before their deaths to the place of execution, the body of each to be torn six times with red-hot pincers, the mother to have her breasts cut off, the five condemned males to have their limbs broken on the wheel, and Paulus Gämperle thereafter to be impaled upon a stake, all six persons then to be put to death by fire.”

16th century ‘justice’ was a tad different than modern justice, wasn’t it.

Tracking Luther

THIS is pretty awesome.

This resource will give you a sense of the experience of what contemporaries called the “Luther Affair” (causa Lutheri). Through items from the collection at the Newberry Library, you will see Luther and his Catholic opponents in action, using the printing press to share their vision of Christianity with a public that hung on their every word. It was not a calm exchange. The works included here show Luther and his critics developing their theologies on the fly, deflecting attacks with vicious insults as often as reasoned arguments, and continuously looking for new ways to use print to win the public relations war in which they were engaged.

Check it out.

Play The Patriarchy Tugboat Game

Play along with your friends at the Bee

1.) The tugboat is represented as male, furthering millennia of harmful oppression from the Patriarchy.

2.) The tugboat’s hat is red, representing the menstrual cycle and intentionally reminding women of their subjugated role in society.

3.) Just look at that tugboat’s expression. He is smiling because he’s obviously satisfied with the current oppressive patriarchal system. A true feminist and ally of women is unhappy at all times.

4.) There are at least 32 phallic symbols in this picture.

5.) The tugboat’s glassy stare indicates he isn’t at all woke to the struggles of the modern woman in the West. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if Theodore Tugboat here is a member of the inner circle of the Patriarchy, which meets every other Tuesday at Denny’s to further the oppression of women.

6.) Notice how the tugboat occupies the entire dock, callously manspreading his hull so no woman can dock near him.

7.) You can only see women in the picture if you squint really hard, communicating to the viewer that women are unimportant members of society. How much space do women take up in this picture, maybe 1-2%? Hellooooooooo Patriarchy.

8.) The docks and boats in this picture were likely constructed by MEN for higher pay than their female counterparts would have made, had they applied for the job in the first place.

9.) There are zero—count em, zero—works on feminist theory depicted in this photo.

10.) Check out the left side of the photograph: soldiers are pictured on some kind of display. Are there women soldiers? No, madam.

11.) If you take a hit of acid and then stare at the clouds long enough, they clearly form the words “78 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR.”

12.) Water is prominently depicted in this photo. Water covers over 70% of the globe, in a similar manner that male Patriarchy covers the nation and world. This is definitely no coincidence.

13.) Two life-saving flotation devices are visible on the port side of Theodore. This was an intentional detail designed to perpetuate the harmful binary gender construct, just another power tool of the Patriarchy to keep us crushed underneath their boots.

14.) Tugboats push and pull larger boats through the water, exactly in the same way that women are pushed out of conversations everyday.

15.) When you take all of the above into account, the fact that the photographer could be insensitive enough to take his pic and publish it without a trigger warning is evidence that he himself is a card-carrying member of the Patriarchy.

Well, how’d you do? If you weren’t woke enough to recognize all 15, we want you to go reeducate yourself and start looking for signs of the Patriarchy in everything that you see in everyday life. It’s the only way for women to one day be free.

If You Have Ever Quoted Leviticus 18:22…

But have never cited Leviticus 19:34, you’re a hypocrite.  And worst, an ideological hypocrite driven not by love of God or faithfulness to Scripture, but by politics.  Shame.  On.  You.

Enter to Win a Bible!

From our friends at the German Bible Society-

VERLOSUNG: Der Sommerurlaub neigt sich dem Ende zu und bis zum Nächsten dauert es eine Weile. Wir geben Euch heute dennoch einen Grund zu feiern, denn wir verlosen jeweils eine der 11 bereits erschienenen und Red Dot Design Award prämierten Schmuckschuberausgaben der Lutherbibel 2017, darunter 7 Schmuckschuber der Lutherbibel 2017 exklusiv handsigniert von: Jürgen Klopp, Peter Gaymann, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Randi Bubat und Wolfgang Dauner, Harald Glööckler, Dieter Falk und Joe Hennig.

Wie könnt Ihr gewinnen? Sagt uns einfach, welche Schmuckschuber-Edition Euch am besten gefällt und ihr gewinnen wollt. Postet dazu Eure Lieblingsedition direkt unter diesem Beitrag.

Teilnahmeschluss ist der 11.09.2017, 12:00 Uhr. Teilnahmebedingungen findet ihr auf www.die-bibel.de/facebook-gewinnspiel

Finally- Something to Keep Baylor’s Male Athletes in Check

In a move that is sure to be cheered by Baptist schools and colleges across the nation, Nike introduced Monday a floor-length denim basketball skirt for female basketball players of the Baptist tradition.

“While activewear across the industry is trending toward smaller and smaller articles of clothing, we value our Baptist customers who like to keep covered from head to toe, believing that skin is sin and modest is hottest,” a statement from Nike accompanying the product release said. “The very heavy yet somewhat breathable denim ensures you will be as comfortable as always, while the extreme length ensures that only the tips of your sneakers will be visible to any carnal eyes in the audience.”

At publishing time, a Nike spokesman confirmed that the company is in the process of developing a line of long-sleeve basketball jersey sweaters to accompany the skirts.


If Only…

If people were only half as devoted to Christ as they are their favorite team, there wouldn’t be enough Churches to hold all the worshipers.

Signs of the Times

The Good Old Days…

“The official law code of the Holy Roman Empire, the Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (1532), stipulated in Article 109 that the crime of sorcery deserved capital punishment, stating that: “…anyone who inflicts harm or injury on others through sorcery shall be punished from life unto death, and such punishment shall be carried out by fire.”



The Devil is in the Details: Debating the Lord’s Supper

You’ll very much enjoy this exchange between two theologians.

Joel Osteen Says Hurricane Harvey Was a ‘Compliment’ From God… Luther Responds

Over the weekend Joel Osteen offered the theologically idiotic suggestion that hurricane’s are compliments from God for people who have them because, you know, they can handle them whilst others cannot.  Luther responds to Osteen thusly:

You are the head of all the worst scoundrels on earth, a vicar of the devil, an enemy of God, an adversary of Christ, a destroyer of Christ’s churches; a teacher of lies, blasphemies, and idolatries; an arch-thief and robber; a murderer of kings and inciter to all kinds of bloodshed; a brothel-keeper over all brothel-keepers and all vermin, even that which cannot be named; an Antichrist, a person of sin and child of perdition; a true werewolf.

I couldn’t have said it better.

A Multi-part Interview With Matthew Bates on His New Book, Part Two

Note: Part One is posted here.

Q– Aside from the Trinity (which you’ve also written on), and Soteriology, what do you see as the most important and most misunderstood of the classic Christian doctrines? The Virgin Birth, the Atonement? Or something else?
To seek for the most important and the most misunderstood simultaneously is very limiting. The union of those sets yields a very slender subset. Additionally, doctrines which are understood well in the academy may be widely misunderstood at the popular level.

AHmmm… I would have to go with “original sin.” All sane theologians are going to agree that “all have sinned” apart from the Son—but how and why? Therein are many dubious theological tales. And in seeking answers, theological blunders from church history collide with complex modern questions about science and anthropology.

Q – I’d like to ask about the central question raised by your book’s title: what is the difference, in your view, between salvation by works and salvation by allegiance?

AThis is a good question, because otherwise it is easy to talk past one another. “Salvation by works” is a rather nebulous phrase. Each part can be probed. What is “salvation”? What are “works”? What sort of means or agency is intended with “by”? Meanwhile, since I am suggesting that allegiance is preferable to faith as the master-metaphor in contemporary English-speaking culture, what might allegiance involve?

I think it is safe to say that for the majority “salvation by works” means a system in which salvation must be earned by performing certain deeds in order to achieve final salvation (usually conceptualized as “going to heaven”). An image that might accompany this popular view: God as the judge weighing deeds on a balance scale. If good deeds outweigh the bad, then a person is sent to heaven, but otherwise to hell. And so, salvation by works.

In the history of Christianity (at the level of popular rhetoric), Christians of diverse stripes have accused Jews of having such a system, and Protestants have accused Catholics of such a system. Protestants have often made this charge against Catholicism, in fact, by asserting that Catholicism re-enacts the gospel-compromising error of Paul’s ancient opponents in Galatia. The claim is that Paul had to oppose justification by works in order to safeguard justification by faith, and Martin Luther (et al.) had to do likewise vis-à-vis Catholicism.

However this caricatures both ancient Judaism and Catholicism. The work of E. P. Sanders, James D. G. Dunn, N. T. Wright, and many others on the New Perspective on Paul (NPP) has done much to correct this false portrait—even if the NPP hasn’t always described the Reformation correctly and even if there are elements in the NPP that need to be rejected or refined (for instance, in the book I disagree with N. T. Wright’s equation of “the righteousness of God” with “God’s covenant faithfulness”). Yet, with the NPP I take it as established that most ancient Jews believed themselves to be born by grace into saving covenant membership. They did not believe that salvation needed to be earned (in the sense described above), but rather maintained by performing the commandments while trusting that imperfect covenant performance could still result in the blessed age to come (as provisions for forgiveness and mercy can be found in the Law).

Meanwhile, Catholicism also affirms the primacy of grace, believing that a person is regenerated and washed through baptism (that is, righteousness is imparted to the individual). But this baptismal righteousness, because it has been imparted to the individual, can be lost through subsequent mortal sin, so good works (participation in the sacraments) are necessary to maintain or renew that grace. Even non-mortal sins must be purified through penance or good deeds, which can happen in this earthly life or through obtaining an indulgence. Famously Luther protested because he believed this indulgence system to be utterly wrong and corrupt.

When we go back to Paul, and read with care, I would argue that we discover several important truths: (1) Paul affirmed that the final judgment will be rendered at least in part on the basis of works (e.g., Rom 2:5-8; 2 Cor 5:10). (2) Paul’s polemic against “works” mainly intends “works of Law” or any similar system that relies on enumerated performance-commands. That is, Paul’s was not against doing good deeds in general, rather he opposed the idea that any form of worth (i.e., performing or not performing specific commandments) could establish one’s righteousness apart from being “in Christ”—especially since works of Law tended to divide Jew and Gentile and caused Jews to boast about covenant privilege. (3) The word pistis (traditionally “faith”) is not merely mental or psychological, but involves embodied activity. Accordingly ‘faith’ in Jesus the Christ is not reducible to trust in Jesus’s atoning power; it includes bodily allegiance to Jesus as the enthroned, ruling king.

Why should we affirm salvation by allegiance alone? Because the response of pistis is directed primarily at Jesus as the king. I speak about these topics at much greater length in the book itself, with supporting evidence. On works with respect to the allegiance proposal, see in particular Ch. 5, “Questions about Allegiance Alone.”