Daily Archives: 19 Oct 2017

When Christianity Emerged, So Did A Bastardized Version of It

There existed in Christendom, ever since there was a doctrina publica, i.e., from the end of the second century, a kind of subsidiary religion, one of the second rank, as it were subterranean, different among different peoples, but everywhere alike in its crass superstition, naïve doketism, dualism, and polytheism. “When religions change, it is as if the mountains open. Among the great magic snakes, golden dragons and crystal spirits of the human soul, which ascend to the light, there come forth all sorts of hideous reptiles and a host of rats and mice.” — Adolf von Harnack

You can see that truth in effect even today among all the superstitious appendages found attached to Christian faith all around the world.  Nationalism too is one of the hideous reptiles and host of rats and mice that has scurried out of the caves and affixed itself to Christianity.

And That’s What Richard Spencer Should Get Everywhere He Goes

Hundreds of protesters shouted down white supremacist leader Richard Spencer on Thursday at a university in Florida, forcing him to leave the stage without delivering his speech.  Only around 30 supporters of the controversial white nationalist made it into the University of Florida auditorium at Gainesville, massively outnumbered by protesters who chanted “No more Spencer!”  Spencer, a leader of the so-called alt-right movement that includes white supremacists, neo-Nazis and supporters of the Ku Klux Klan, was one of the organisers of the August march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a far-right supporter drove his car into a crowd of demonstrators, killing a 32-year-old woman.

And that’s how it’s done.

How Your Disgraced Pastor Can Get Back in the Saddle And Re-Commence Deceiving the Flock

In 7 easy steps.  And hey, Mark Driscoll, you need to pay attention to this:

1.) Issue a public apology for getting caught. Get your PR people to draft up an apology where you sincerely ask for your people’s forgiveness for being so careless that you got caught. Make sure you don’t actually take any real blame for your actions. Really, it was your church’s fault for putting so much pressure on you, if anything.

2.) Agree to step down from ministry for a reasonable period of time, like two or three weeks. Say you’re getting counseling or going to rehab, blah blah blah. It doesn’t really matter. Make sure the period of time isn’t so long that people forget about you though. We’d say two weeks or MAYBE three is a good rule of thumb before you can be restored and act like nothing happened.

3.) Move to a different city. The whole city probably heard about your indiscretions, so move a few thousand miles away where your actions won’t haunt you on every street corner. Sure, you left your church a smoldering nuclear fallout zone, but hey! Your career is the important thing here.

4.) Plant a new church without ever mentioning your previous failings. Start up a new church plant like nothing is wrong. If someone says, “Hey, aren’t you that one pasto—” immediately cut them off and have your security team toss them out.

5.) Establish yourself as an authority in the very area you screwed up in. If you destroyed an entire church through your actions, consider hosting a healthy church seminar. If you cheated on your wife, start a parachurch ministry for healthy marriages. If you imploded from trying to constantly grow your church as if it were a publicly traded company, start a church growth consulting firm. You get the idea.

6.) Keep any new or recurrent scandals under the rug as long as possible.Evangelicalism will forgive you for one scandal, maybe even two. But by your third or fourth scandal, they might start to catch on. Any time you have a moral failing or discover some ugly scandal within your ministry, take steps to keep that skeleton in the closet as long as you possibly can. Sure, people are getting hurt, but you’ve got your book sales to worry about, after all! And what could be more important than that?

7.) Ascribe any opposition you face to Satan. Especially people suggesting that your sins necessitate a much longer period of restoration before you return to the pulpit, if ever you do. BOOM—that’s the devil for sure.

Good luck to you. Now get back in that pulpit!

Nestle-Aland 28 With the NRSV and REB in Parallel

This is the twenty-eighth edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (NA28). NA28 is the standard scholarly edition of the Greek New Testament used by scholars, Bible translators, professors, students, and pastors worldwide. Now NA28 has been revised and improved:

  • Critical apparatus revised and easier to use
  • Papyrii 117-127 included for the first time
  • In-depth revision of the Catholic Epistles, with more than 30 changes to the upper text
  • Scripture references systematically reviewed for accuracy
  • The NA28 with NRSV/REB Greek-English New Testament includes the 28th edition of the Nestle Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, the New Revised Standard Version, and the Revised English Bible.

Naturally, given that each of these editions of the Bible have been around for years now and been reviewed and available for examination by students, scholars, and exegetes there’s no need at all to reinvent the wheel and review them all individually.  The NRSV is an exceptionally well constructed edition of the English Bible.  The 28th edition of Nestle-Aland is the standard scholarly text for a reason.  And the Revised English Bible is, as I have said in several different ways at several different times, simply the best, most accurate, most judicious, and most exciting translation of the Bible in English yet produced.

It is with the latter point in mind that the present volume under discussion deserves attention: for it is the first edition to include the REB on facing pages with the Greek text of the New Testament.  The Greek text is printed on every other page and on the facing page two columns consisting of the NRSV in regular print and the REB in italic print are made available.

The immediately obvious benefit of an edition of the Greek text like this is that while reading the Greek text, two superb editions of the English can be consulted immediately, without needing multiple volumes open on one’s desk.  Likewise, if the English text is being studied then access to the Greek text is immediate and simple.

Editions of the Bible which print the original languages (Hebrew and Greek) on pages facing an English version are superior to interlinears as well.  The reader has to know the original language in order to locate words and phrases in verses that are consulted whereas with an interlinear the reader can pretend knowledge which he or she in fact does not possess.

One of the greatest frauds presently perpetrated against students and church folk is the lecturer or preacher pretending knowledge of the Biblical languages (which they actually do not possess).  This is normally done either by a fraudulent reference to one of the meanings provided by ‘Strong’s Concordance’, a terribly outdated and essentially useless tool beloved of the linguistically illiterate; or by means of an interlinear.  With that ‘tool’ in hand, even the most inept pseudo-scholar can appear learned.  However, such dishonesty usually becomes quite apparent as soon as the lecturer or preacher attempts to pronounce a Hebrew or Greek word and bungles it so miserably that anyone with as much as an elementary knowledge of the language catches the nonsense immediately.

In sum, then, the new NA28 with NRSV and REB is a superb resource for students of the Bible and is so much better than any interlinear that one may be tempted to acquire that such an acquisition (of said interlinear) would be foolhardy.

Many years ago a famed Biblical Scholar told his students to go and sell whatever they needed to sell in order to buy a Septuagint.  I would modify that a bit and urge you to go and sell whatever you need to sell in order to buy this edition of the Greek New Testament.  Mine goes with me everywhere.  I can’t leave home without it.

RefoThursday

Lady Jane Grey!

Lady Jane Grey was beheaded by royal decree for high treason against Mary I of England on February 12th, 1554. She had been the Protestant Queen of England for nine days.

When the fifteen-year-old Protestant king Edward VI lay dying, he changed his will to delegitimize his Catholic half-sister Mary (she would later be immortalized as “Bloody Mary” by Protestants) and to remove her from the succession. Instead, he named his Protestant cousin Jane and her male heirs to the throne of England.

After his death, sixteen-year-old Jane was proclaimed queen, but before she could be crowned, her support evaporated under aggressive attacks by Mary’s Catholic supporters. Jane’s Privy Council abandoned her and proclaimed their loyalty to Mary. Jane was deposed on July 19th, 1553 and held in the Tower of London, after a scant nine days of rule. Convicted of high treason, she was initially spared death by Mary, but her father’s participation in an attempted rebellion made her too dangerous. She was beheaded by an apologetic headsman while clutching a book of Protestant prayers. She became revered as a martyr throughout England.

Etc.

I have to say, her Dad’s tea is fantastic.

More Pentebabbleist Lunacy- The Bethel ‘School’ of ‘Supernatural’ ‘Ministry’

It’s the first day of Prophecy Week at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Or, as students here like to call the place, Christian Hogwarts.

The auditorium of the civic center in Redding, California, where first-year students have class, is so full of eager, neatly dressed young people that it’s initially impossible to find a seat. The roomful of some 1,200 students hums with expectant energy: People talk in clusters, clutching their books to their chests and stealing eager glances at the stage. There are so many languages spoken here it’s hard to keep track: English of all flavors, spoken with Australian and British and South African accents; Chinese; Korean; Portuguese. It’s a strange medley for a place like Redding, an economically depressed rural outpost about 200 miles north of San Francisco, in the heart of Northern California’s Trump country.

The students are waiting for today’s lecturer, Kris Vallotton, one of the school’s founders and a prophet so prolific he literally wrote the book on it — Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry, a combined textbook and workbook used by Bethel students to learn how to hear, and speak, God’s words. (“Name the five things that distinguish a false prophet from a true prophet.” “What is the difference between a vision and a trance?”)

The basic theological premise of the School of Supernatural Ministry is this: that the miracles of biblical times — the parted seas and burning bushes and water into wine — did not end in biblical times, and the miracle workers did not die out with Jesus’s earliest disciples. In the modern day, prophets and healers don’t just walk among us, they are us.

To Bethel students, learning, seeing, and performing these “signs and wonders” — be it prophesying about things to come or healing the incurable — aren’t just quirks or side projects of Christianity. They are, in fact, its very center.

What garbage.  Luther and the rest were right about these fanatical spiritualists- they are driven by Satan.

Martin Luther: 3 Volumes of Encyclopedic Happiness

It’s available now in English and German, with Italian coming soon.

Idolatry

If the Flag or the Second Amendment are idols that you worship, you need to repent, and burn them.  

If not, do us all the courtesy of refusing to call yourself a Christian.  Because Christianity and idol worship are incompatible.

In Which Zwingli Is Asked About Rumors of Promiscuity

On 19 October, 1522 the Cantonal Clerk of Schwyz wrote Zwingli the following letter in which he relates to Zwingli various charges of promiscuity which are swirling around concerning him (along with other matters).  The letter is quite respectful and it is very clear that the Clerk doesn’t believe the charges, but wishes to have Zwingli’s response in order to silence his enemies.

Min früntlichen gruoß, heyll unnd alles guot wünsch ich üch in Cristo Jhesu, unnßerm herren.

Nachdem unnd ich ein besundern gunst zuo mier tragende von üch gespürt hab alls “Ein getrüwe warnung, unßer vatterlandt z ͦbeschirmen” von üch insunders enpfieng, darab ich nit wenig erfröwt, üch des billich hochen danck sag; dann es, ob gott will, so vyll unnd mier müglich, sin krafft unnd die meinig, dorum es erdicht, in mier würcklich handlen soll. Unnd so dann ich yetzo kurtz vergangner zytt durch ettliche priester, min Der Schreiber gibt u (im Anlaut v) und seinen Umlaut, ebenso uo und seinen Umlaut durch dasselbe Zeichen wieder, gewöhnlich durch ü resp. ü. In unserm Abdruck  sind beide auf Grund der Etymologie auseinander gehalten.

Zweifelhafte Fälle: dürch, brüder, hinderrücks, pfründen, anthwürt.  guot günner, gereitzt, minem allten fürnemen abzuostan, unnd mich ettlicher maß uff die evangelische ler unnd meining alls den rechten weg der selikeytt gebogen, deßhalb mir ettliche kleine büchly unnd ermanungen, mich darin zuo erlernen unnd erlustigen, in min huß getragen, unnd namlich eins durch üch gebredigott unnd den erwirdigen geistlichen frowen zuo Zürich  in Ödembach zuogeschribenn, vom großen münster am vj. tag Septembris in dißem jar, wysende “Don der klarheit unnd krafft deß wortz gottes” etc.; unnd so me ich mich darin ersuoch unnd befindt der frucht, ye me min sell enzünt wirt nach denen geistlichen lustbarkeitten hungerig zuo sin unnd durst zuo haben nach den himelschen ergetzlikeyttenn: vermag ich durch mich selbs nitt, sunder bin in hoffnung, der allmechtig habmich darzuo gezogen; dann ich dißn dingen hievor unverstanden widerfacht gentzlich davon nüt hörren wollt.

Harum, lieber bruoder in Cristo, lassendt üch min frävelheit, an üch zuo schriben, nit wunder nemen; dwyl unns doch angeborn, zuoflucht zuo haben an die end, dahar er sich allermerst trostz versicht. Ist kein wunder, das ich harinn zuo üch besunder zuokerren; dann alls ich üch vor ettwas jaren necher dann yetz gesessen, schampt ich mich nit, üch anzuorüffen um hillff, mier unnd minen kinden zitlichen hunger abzuowenden, darin ich von üch gantz unverlaßen, sunder millte hanntreichung täglich enpfieng, um weliches guot üch gott widergellt thüy etc. So das um den zyttlichen hunger beschechen, den mier gott durch sin gnad abgestellt – dem lob sy in ewikeyt – wie vyl mer soll ich mich trostz zuo üch versechen um den hunger miner seel, dwyll unnd ich weißt [!] üwer gröste neigung unnd begirlich fröid sin, die Cristen zuo furen uff den weg warer cristenlicher liebe.

Dwyll unnd wier dann alle glider sind in Cristo Jesu, unnßerm houpt, verhoff ich, min hunger sölle üch wie mier angelegen sin; deßhalb ich üch vermanen unnd bitten in Cristo Jhesu, unnßerm lieben herren, dwyll unnd mich gott durch sin sunder gnad mit kranckheit angeregt, ouch ich mins amptz halber so vyll beladen, das ich an die ortt und end, da man semlich ding veyll hatt, nitt kommen kan, das yer mier semliche liebliche bücher, die yer erkennennt mier aller bequemost sin zuo der liebe gotz unnd cristenlichen leben; dann ich darzuo ein semliche neigung gewunnen, das mier nüt me angenemers ist, dann in sölichen cristenlichen dingen mich zuo erlernen unnd leßen, zuo frucht mier unnd minem hußfölckly unnd allen denen, so darzuo neigung haben.

Hierin wellindt mich in brüderlicher trüw bevolhen haben, mier semliche bücher ußzuozüchen unnd mier zuo schicken mit schrifftlichem bericht, was sy kosten; will ich dorum by cristenlicher trüw früntlich bezalung thuon etc. Dwyll unnd ich dann ein besundere früntliche neigung zuo üch hab, deßhalb ich ungern hör ützit ungerattes von üch sagen, mag ich nit verhallten die schmach, so üch hinderrucks um der warheit willen zuogelegt: zum ersten, so fließen üwer bredigen nit uß guotem grundt, sunder uß nid unnd haß, syendt leckersbuoben; zum andern so schelltendt unnd schmützent yer nun die geistlichen oberkeytt, worum nit ouch den keyßer unnd die welltlichen fürsten? dorum daß sy üch beschirment; zum dritten, dwyll unnd yer das evangelium so lutter wellint machen, gepürte es, das yer im ouch nachleptindt (möcht davon ein yeder bewegt werden, üch nachzuovollgen!); so aber yer überflüssiger in buobery dann ander lebendt, sy ein zeichen üwer unwarheit.

Das regt nun üwer person allein nit an, aber dis: ier habendt zwo oder dry pfruonden erbredigot, das yer deßter mer huoren gehaben mögent unnd deßter baß üwer pracht mit tantzen, pfiffen, singen, seittenspil gehaben mügt, etc. Unnd so man semlich reden zuo vyll malen brucht unnd durch vyll personen gesagt, so der warheit widerfechten, um daß sis nit mögen erliden, begerte ich, yer welltendt mich zimlicher anthwurt hieruff zuo geben berichten, wo ich semlichs oder derglichen mer hörren wurde, semlichs von mier in keiner andern meinig dann in cristenlicher  trüw zuo vermercken, damit yer unnd ich die warheit deßter baß beschirmen  mögen.

Hiemit bevilch ich mich üch in cristenlicher brüderlicher trüw nach minem vertruwen. Hiemit wellindt mier ouch sagen min dienst unnd gruotz  bruoder Cuonratten zuo Küßnacht. Beger hierin früntlich anthwurt, so  erst das sin mag.

Datum Schwytz am 19. Octobris a 15xxij. üwer underteniger Balltassar Stapfer,  lanndtschriber zuo Schwytz.

Dem erwürdigen wollgelerten geistlichen herren Huldrichen Zwingly,  lüpriester zuo Zürch bim grossen münster,  minem gnädigen lieben herren unnd cristenlichen bruoder.

Zwingli’s full response is lost.  What a tragedy.

Total Depravity: Murder By Fat

A 325-pound (150-kilogram) Florida woman is charged with killing her 9-year-old cousin by sitting on the child as punishment.

Veronica Green Posey, 64, was arrested and charged with homicide and cruelty toward a child, The Pensacola News Journal reported. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office report identified Posey as the girl’s cousin.

Paramedics and deputies responded to the family’s Pensacola home following a 911 call Saturday. Posey told deputies she sat on Dericka Lindsay as discipline “for being out of control.”

During the punishment, Dericka told Posey and two other adult relatives, who are identified in the report as the girl’s parents, that she couldn’t breathe. When Posey got up, Dericka wasn’t breathing. Authorities said Posey called 911 and started CPR on the child.

The arrest report said Grace Joan Smith, 69, and James Edmund Smith, are charged with child neglect.

Grace Smith called Posey, who is her niece, to her house to help with disciplining the girl, according to the report. She told investigators that Posey hit the girl with a ruler and metal pipe before the child ran to an armchair.

μαράνα θά.

2nd day of mini-season

Hang out with Aren and the gang-

The Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project Official (and Unofficial) Weblog

Today we had the 2nd (and last) day of the mini-season. Work continued in the metallurgy area in Area D, and Dr. Michael Toffolo (from the Univ. of Bordeaux) came to the site to sample a very interesting context that was found in Area F this season, apparently related to the production of a plaster.

It was a great day again! See here some pictures:

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Today In Brunnerian History

brunner_saysOctober 19, 1946 was a momentous day in the life of Emil Brunner, for it was on that day that Dogmatics Volume 1 was published, and it was also the day upon which he received an Honorary Doctorate from Princeton University.  Congratulations are in order (or at least would be if he were still alive).