I’d Like To Invite You on a Journey…

It’s a journey of the imagination.  Come with me and imagine a world where Christians took Scripture as seriously as gun rights advocates take the Second Amendment…   Indeed, come with me and imagine a world where Christians who advocate for gun rights take Scripture as seriously as they do the Second Amendment…

If that happened, it’s easy to imagine a world where guns didn’t exist.

But you can’t imagine it, can you?  Because many Christians will never be as dedicated to God as they are to guns.

Mark Driscoll’s Hubris (And Patheos’ Silliness) Destroyed by Mockery

In a surprise revelation, pastor Mark Driscoll claimed Tuesday at his new Patheos blog space that he is in fact the author of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament.

The once-disgraced, now-returned pastor pointed out many similarities between the masterful epistle and the prose in his book Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together as evidence for his authorship of the Scriptures.

“Look, I’m a New York Times bestselling author, so I’m not sure what’s so hard to believe about all this,” Driscoll said in response to skepticism surrounding his claim. “My ghostwr—I mean, I wrote this book all by myself and it landed me on the NYT list fair and square.”

“I’m not asking for royalties or anything; I just want to be recognized,” he added.

According to the Phoenix-area pastor, he penned the book during his short hiatus from ministry after the implosion of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, stating that penning the majestic text helped him to get through the difficult period in his life before suddenly returning to ministry in another city.

At publishing time, Driscoll had further claimed authorship of the Song of Solomon.

The ‘YouVersion’ Has Admitted to a Terrible Mistake

YouVersion, the popular Bible app used across several mobile platforms, recently added a comment section to each chapter of the Bible, allowing internet users to comment on the Scriptures and interact with one another while partaking in their daily reading.

The feature was intended to foster a sense of online unity and togetherness among Christians but was taken offline within a few hours as the comment section disintegrated into Christians blasting each other all across the digital pages of Scripture, prompting the software company to issue an apology.

“We now see this was a terrible idea. We have no idea what we were thinking,” a YouVersion rep said Tuesday. “We apologize profusely for forcing the depravity of comment sections onto the Word of God. What a horrible mistake.”

According to YouVersion personnel, one crazed Arminian was spamming the link to his Blogspot blog all across Romans 9 and Ephesians 1, while a Presbyterian with a John Calvin portrait as his profile picture was spotted condemning all other denominations to hell throughout the minor prophets. Paedobaptists and credobaptists bickered through nearly every book of the Bible, while King James-Only advocates were attacking literally everybody in the comment section of the NIV.

“Even the most innocuous passages saw hundreds of threads arguing over semantics crop up like weeds,” the rep continued. “They were worse than YouTube comments, to be honest.”

At publishing time, YouVersion had scrapped plans to allow Christians to react to passages of Scripture with a collection of fully integrated reaction gifs.

America Is Utterly Lost

This country has abandoned truth so thoroughly that even rational argument no longer gains a hearing.  We are the land of fake news, fake Christians, fake politicians, fake breats, fake lips, fake jewelry, and fake government.

We have ruined ourselves with the love of the lie.  Our destruction is our own doing and we have only our shallowness to blame.

Rest in peace, America.  You have ceased to be the country we all once knew – and now you are merely a shadow of your former self.

America- 1776-2017.

Philosophy? Meh, It’s Mostly Pointless

True faith before all things brings with it true knowledge, and makes us wise indeed. For by faith we know God, and judge aright of the judgments and works of God, of virtues and vices. The wisdom that it brings with it is without doubt the true wisdom.

Many men hope that they can attain to true wisdom by the study of philosophy: but they are deceived as far as heaven is broad. For philosophy does falsely judge and faultily teach many things touching God, the works of God, the chief goodness, the end of good and evil, and touching things to be desired and eschewed.

But the very same things are rightly and truly taught in the word of God, and understood and perceived by faith. Faith therefore is the true wisdom. –  Heinrich Bullinger

Well said, Henry.  Well said.

Universalism Summarily and Easily Silenced

Then the devil, who led them astray, was hurled into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet are, and their torture will not come to an end, day or night, for ever and ever.

Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. In his presence, earth and sky vanished, leaving no trace.  I saw the dead, great and small alike, standing in front of his throne while the books lay open. And another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged from what was written in the books, as their deeds deserved.

The sea gave up all the dead who were in it; Death and Hades were emptied of the dead that were in them; and every one was judged as his deeds deserved. Then Death and Hades were hurled into the burning lake.

This burning lake is the second death;  and anybody whose name could not be found written in the book of life was hurled into the burning lake.  (Rev. 20:10-15)

Knowing When to Stop Praying

What Luther wrote in reference to the clergy also now applies to the government. Our government.

In Jeremiah 7 [:16] he said, “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I do not hear you.”

My colleagues and I must now issue this same answer and apply it to ourselves. We have prayed in vain for the clergy. With his actions, God is demonstrating mightily that he does not want to hear our intercession in their behalf, but he is letting them go and sin against the Holy Spirit, as Pharaoh did, until they are beyond hope of repentance and reform.

If anything could have been attained through prayer before God and anything achieved with the clergy through admonition, pleas, humility, patience, friendly advances, truth, justice, a good muse, etc., it surely would have been accomplished [by] now.  — Martin Luther

How The Gun Lobby Logic Works

  1. guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
  2. guns are weapons.
  3. nuclear weapons are weapons
  4. nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people kill people
  5. everyone who wants nuclear weapons should have as many as they wish.
  6. it’s their second amendment right to keep and bear arms.
  7. nuclear weapons are arms.
  8. Q.E.D.

An Interview About a Film About Zwingli

With Anne Walser:

Frau Walser, die Firma C-Films plant für dieses Jahr einen Film über Huldrich Zwingli. Wann starten Sie mit den Dreharbeiten?

Die eigentlichen Dreharbeiten werden innerhalb von sieben Wochen ab Februar 2018 stattfinden, damit eine Weltpremiere des Filmes im Januar 2019 stattfinden kann – genau fünfhundert Jahre zuvor hat Zwingli seine Stelle als Leutpriester am Grossmünster angetreten. Die Vorbereitungen laufen aber jetzt schon auf Hochtouren. Es ist ein sehr ambitiöses Projekt, Zürich im Mittelalter darstellen zu wollen. Neben Zürich werden wir auch in Stein am Rhein, das noch über eine vollkommen erhaltene mittelalterliche Altstadt verfügt, drehen.

And

2019 findet das Zwingli-Jahr statt. Spüren Sie dadurch ein grösseres Interesse an Ihrem Projekt?

Unbedingt gewinnt der Film damit eine Aktualität. Europa würdigt in den kommenden Jahren mit einer Vielzahl unterschiedlichster Aktivitäten die Welt der Reformation. Der Film «Zwingli – der Reformator» wird dabei sicherlich das grosse Highlight im Reigen dieser Aktionen werden: Wir machen Historie nachhaltig erlebbar und greifbar. Generationenübergreifend und für jedermann zugänglich wird Zwinglis einzigartiger Werdegang beschrieben: eine starke, in der Öffentlichkeit neu und differenziert wahr-genommene Figur.

And more.  I. Can’t. Wait.

The Third Day At Marburg

Day Three

The next day, Sunday, Oct. 3, [the discsussion] was renewed.

Zwingli maintained that a body could not be in different places at once. Luther quoted the Sophists (the Schoolmen) to the effect that there are different kinds of presence. The universe is a body, and yet not in a particular place.

Zwingli: Ah, you speak of the Sophists, doctor! Are you really obliged to return to the onions and fleshpots of Egypt? He then cited from Augustin, who says, “Christ is everywhere present as God; but as to his body, he is in heaven.”

Luther: You have Augustin and Fulgentius on your side, but we have all the other fathers. Augustin was young when he wrote the passage you quote, and he is obscure. We must believe the old teachers only so far as they agree with the Word of God.

Oecolampadius: We, too, build on the Word of God, not on the fathers; but we appeal to them to show that we teach no novelties.

Luther, pointing again his finger to the words on the table: This is our text: you have not yet driven us from it. We care for no other proof.

Oecolampadius: If this is the case, we had better close the discussion. The chancellor exhorted them to come to an understanding.

Luther: There is only one way to that. Let our adversaries believe as we do.

The Swiss: We cannot.

Luther: Well, then, I abandon you to God’s judgment, and pray that he will enlighten you.

Oecolampadius: We will do the same. You need it as much as we.

At this point both parties mellowed down. Luther begged pardon for his harsh words, as he was a man of flesh and blood. Zwingli begged Luther, with tearful eyes, to forgive him his harsh words, and assured him that there were no men in the world whose friendship he more desired than that of the Wittenbergers.

Jacob Sturm and Bucer spoke in behalf of Strassburg, and vindicated their orthodoxy, which had been impeached. Luther’s reply was cold, and displeased the audience. He declared to the Strassburgers, as well as the Swiss, “Your spirit is different from ours.”

The Conference was ended. A contagious disease, called the English sweat (sudor Anglicus), which attacked its victims with fever, sweat, thirst, intense pain, and exhaustion, had suddenly broken out in Marburg as in other parts of Germany, and caused frightful ravages that filled everybody with alarm. The visitors were anxious to return home. So were the fathers of the Council of Trent, when the Elector Moritz chased the Emperor through the Tyrol; and in like manner the fathers of the Vatican Council hurried across the Alps when France declared war against Germany, and left the Vatican decrees in the hands of Italian infallibilists.

But the Landgrave once more brought the guests together at his table on Sunday night, and urged upon every one the supreme importance of coming to some understanding.*

______________________
*History of the Christian church (Vol. 7, pp. 642–644).

A Quite Fair Historical Analysis of the Marburg Fiasco

zwingliA careful and dispassionate study of the Sacramental Controversy cannot fail to impress one with the utter needlessness of its disastrous termination, permanently dividing as it did the entire evangelical body into two factions, Lutheran and Reformed, thus crippling through a division of forces and a perversion of religious energy the progress of the reform work, which, up to this time, had been prosecuted with such vigor and success. In the early stages of the contest the specific differences of belief between the Germans and the Swiss were not of sufficient importance to preclude essential harmony.

lutherThe fact is, these excellent men were at the start ignorant and suspicious of each other’s views. The true state of the question was lost in the heat of passion, constantly augmented by some new violence of language or mutual recrimination. Luther, who in his heart of hearts hated the mystical and verbose quibbles of the scholastic philosophers, when pressed to the wall by the clearer reasoning of his opponents, became a veritable Zeno in his use of subtle and sophistical distinctions. In violence he was not a whit behind Paul the persecutor. He permitted himself to become “exceeding mad” against his opponents, and condescended to employ epithets so gross as to put even that rude age to blush.

zwingliThe candor and moderation which Zwingli displayed in the Supper contest has added not a little to his fame. It must not be supposed, however, that Zwingli was entirely free from those excesses of language for which Luther has been so justly blamed. More than once in his letters he refers to his opponents in terms of doubtful courtesy. The difference in education between these men may account in some measure for the marked contrast between their methods of disputation.

Zwingli was a scholar, and had a mind saturated with the learning and culture derived from a lifelong study of the ancient classics. All this had a mellowing effect upon his heart, and gave grace to his manner. He was such a master of language that under shelter of polite phrases he could inflict wounds much deeper than by resorting to the coarse invective of Luther. Zwingli’s methods were quite like those of the modern pamphleteer. He was an adept in detecting fallacy, in pulling arguments to pieces, and understood well the art and advantage of concession where it was impossible to withhold assent.*

Spot. On.

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*Samuel Simpson, Life of Ulrich Zwingli: The Swiss Patriot and Reformer (New York: Baker & Taylor Co., 1902), 181–183.