Daily Archives: 15 Nov 2017

A New Poll Shows that ‘Evangelicals’ Would Support Satan if He Ran For Office as a Republican

A new LifeWay Research poll confirmed Wednesday that a majority of conservative evangelicals would vote for Satan, the Prince of Darkness, should he run for public office as a Republican candidate.

The poll found that 72% of self-identified evangelicals would vote and even campaign for the prince of fallen angels should he promise to promote Republican policies while in office.

“Most of those we surveyed agreed that they would in fact vote for Satan, as long as he verbally supported pro-life and pro-Second Amendment platform positions,” the head of the research study said. “A majority of respondents ‘strongly agreed’ that it was important for a candidate to pay lip service to the hot-button issues of the religious right, while strongly disagreeing that a candidate’s personal penchant for tempting countless millions of souls into the fires of hell would affect his public policies.”

“Lucifer? Yeah, I’d vote for him, as long as he claims to be a Republican,” one member of a study focus group said. “He’s got some character flaws, sure—who doesn’t—but we’ve got to remember that ensuring we Christians get some fleeting political power is far more important than whether our chosen candidate does a little soul-devouring on the side.”

The poll also looked at related issues, such as the willingness of evangelicals to overlook or minimize major moral failings in human candidates.

“Personal indiscretions, shady business dealings, making blood sacrifices to Azathoth the Daemon Sultan in secret—Christians are now willing to forgive literally everything if it means they’ll have some kind of political clout,” the study head told reporters. “Our findings confirm that conservative Christians are actually more likely to vote for mobsters, cultists, and hellish demon kings than any other demographic.”

At publishing time, study officials had confirmed evangelicals would also be willing to support Sith lords, elder gods, and the evil Dr. Robotnik if they were to run for office as members of the GOP.

It’s literally true.

Free Access to Sage Journals

Here are the details:

30 Days Free Access to our SAGE Religion Journal Collection! Sign up before 30th November to gain access

As part of our attendance to AAR/SBL Conference we are offering you free access to our entire SAGE Religion journals portfolio. Register today to gain access to journals from prestigious religious associations and world-class titles including Theological StudiesJournal for the Study of the Old Testament and Expository Times.

Click on the button below to start your free trial today!

The button is at the link above.  So you’ll have to go there.

The Tyndale House (Cambridge) Greek New Testament Launch

We are delighted to celebrate the launch today of The Greek New Testament Produced at Tyndale House Cambridge.

This volume represents a 10-year journey to present the New Testament in a way that reflects as clearly as possible its earliest recoverable wording. Taking the edition prepared by Samuel Prideaux Tregelles as a starting text, the Tyndale House Greek New Testament draws on the most ancient available manuscripts, including early sources discovered in the past 40 years. The editorial choices are based on an extensive study of scribal habits, and pay particular attention to the recurring scribal tendencies within manuscripts.

The result is a Greek New Testament that significantly assimilates the appearance of the earliest manuscripts, with paragraph marks presented as far as possible as they are in earliest sources, limited punctuation, and the elimination of interruptions from critical signs in the main text. This edition aims to be the most accurate possible printing of the New Testament in its earliest well-documented form.

As editor and associate editor, we acknowledge our profound debt to Dr Peter M Head and
Dr Patrick James, our associate editors. Over the course of the project we worked with more than two dozen scholars connected with Tyndale House, researching and peer-reviewing the finished text. Our thanks go to them, without whom this edition would not have been possible. We also extend our sincere thanks to Crossway and Cambridge University Press for their craftsmanship in presenting the volumes so beautifully.

It is our enormous pleasure to present to you the culmination of this project. It is our hope that The Greek New Testament Produced at Tyndale House opens up new possibilities for you in your study and appreciation of these precious ancient scriptures.

Yours sincerely,

When Any Nut Who Wants a Gun Can Get a Gun…

You get this-

Kevin Neal’s deadly shooting rampage in Northern California may have been prompted by the fatal shooting of his wife, Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said Wednesday.

Neal, identified as the gunman who killed four people in a string of shootings Tuesday, shot and killed his wife the previous night and concealed her body under a floor in his home, the assistant sheriff said. The discovery of his wife’s body brought the death toll to five.

“We believe that’s probably what started this whole event,” Johnston said of the wife’s shooting.


Luther’s Epistle of Straw: The Voice of St. James in Reformation Preaching

This work challenges the common consensus that Luther, with his commitment to St. Paul’s articulation of justification by faith, leaves no room for the Letter of St. James. Against this one-sided reading of Luther, focused only his criticism of the letter, this book argues that Luther had fruitful interpretations of the epistle that shaped the subsequent exegetical tradition. Scholarship’s singular concentration on Luther’s criticism of James as “an epistle of straw” has caused many to overlook Luther’s sermons on James, the many places where James comes to full expression in Luther’s writings, and the influence that Luther’s biblical interpretation had on later interpretations of James. Based primarily on neglected Lutheran sermons in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this work examines the pastoral hermeneutic of Luther and his theological heirs as they heard the voice of James and communicated that voice to and for the sake of the church. Scholars, pastors, and educated laity alike are invited to discover how Luther’s theology was shaped by the Epistle of James and how Luther’s students and theological heirs aimed to preach this disputed letter fruitfully to their hearers.

Real Piety has Vanished

Real piety, by which is meant true worship and prayer to God, has disappeared among us, as St. Paul writes to the Romans [Rom. 1:28–31]: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.”

From these words of Paul we learn that all these evils which he enumerates arise when we desert God, do not fully recognise Him, do not look up to Him, do not place our whole trust in him, but on the contrary despise Him and regard him somewhat as we would an old sleeping dog. But I shall not now consider the question whose fault it is that we have forgotten him. That matter I shall discuss at the proper time. — Huldrych Zwingli*

True then, true now.  Just look at the Republican Party, the Church, and the Nation.

*NB- If anyone knows where I can get that little bronze statue of Zwingli, I’d be grateful beyond words if you would tell me.

I Just Like the Title…

Of Luther’s little work-

WHOEVER HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR A REALLY FAT, GROSS, CORPULENT—A THOROUGHLY PAPIST—LIE, FOR THUS IT SAYS IN THE CANON LAW: DIST. 96, C. CONSTANTINUS:  Martin Luther, “Preface, Marginal Glosses, and Afterword to One of the High Articles of the Papist Faith, Called the Donation of Constantine [ca. 800], Translated by Dr. Martin Luther against the Postponed Council of Mantua: 1537,”

Not only is the title long, it includes the word corpulent.  A word we don’t use nearly enough.

Luther: Cheering You Up With His Cheery Welcoming Tolerant Loving Kind Warm Embracing Spirit

“Preachers are the greatest murderers because they admonish the ruler to do his duty and punish the guilty. I, Martin Luther, slew all the peasants in the uprising, for I ordered that they be put to death; all their blood is on my neck. But I refer it all to our Lord God, who commanded me to speak as I did. The devil and the ungodly kill, but they have no right to. Accordingly priests and official persons must be distinguished well, so that we may see that magistrates can condemn by law and can put to death by virtue of their office. Today, by the grace of God, they have learned this well. Now they abuse their power against the gospel, but they won’t get fat from it.” — Martin Luther

Philipp Melanchthon in 100 persönlichen Briefen

Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560) had been a colleague and close collaborator of Martin Luther’s in Wittenberg for 28 years. 100 selected letters in chronological order illuminate important events from his life. Most of them now appear in German translation for the first time. Melanchthon’s manifold scientific interests, his reformatory and pedagogical work express themselves in those letters, as especially private aspects such as friendships, emotions, hopes and dreams do, too. This allows deep insight into everyday life during the Reformation in Germany and direct access to his life.

My review of this exceptionally enjoyable book will post tomorrow.

Im Jubiläumsjahr 2017 eine Auswahl von Melanchthons Briefen in deutscher Übersetzung vorzulegen, ist ein doppeltes Statement: 1. Ohne Philipp Melanchthon bleibt jedes Reformationsgedenken und -narrativ unvollständig. Und 2.: Der beste Gewährsmann für MelanchthonsWirken istMelanchthon selbst. Aus den rund 9.750 noch erhaltenen Texten seines Briefwechsels eine Auswahl von 100 Briefen zu treffen, ist allerdings ein schwieriges Unterfangen, das einem viel Mut zur Lücke abverlangt. Der Kreis der hierbei ausgewählten Adressaten umfasst Könige und Fürsten, Humanisten und Reformatoren, Familienangehörige und Freunde, Kollegen, Studenten und Schüler sowie deren Väter und Mütter. In wenigen (sechs) Fällen wurden auch Gegenbriefe aufgenommen, so dass an diesen Stellen der dialogische Charakter der Textgattung Brief jeweils sehr deutlich zum Ausdruck kommt.

This fine little collection of letters, with their thorough documentation and helpful notations, is a quite healthy reminder of the significance of someone besides Luther and the contributions others besides Luther have made to the progress of Christianity in the 16th century.  What Melanchthon writes in these letters is revealing of the inner workings of the chief actors of that historical drama.

Take, for instance, this brief passage, from him to Henry VIII of England in London, from Frankfurt/Main, 26. March, 1539:

Obwohl Deine Hoheit dieses Wohlwollen bereits früher deutlich zum Ausdruck gebracht hat, habe ich mich trotzdem gefreut, dass mir Deine überaus freundlichen Äußerungen von demjenigen überbracht wurden, den ich als mein zweites Ich betrachte.Weil Du unseren Arbeiten wohlgesonnen bist, empfehle ich mich Deiner Hoheit ehrerbietig.

Or this one- to Paul Eber in 1547:

Obwohl ich mir die Trostgründe, die zur Linderung der Trauer überliefert werden, vor Augen halte, quält es mich unglaublich, wenn ich an die Tränen meiner Tochter denke, als sie nach uns gefragt wurde. Dieses Schweigen und ihre Tränen haben meine Seele unheilbar verwundet. Aber schlimmer als dieser private Schmerz ist der öffentliche. Bucer schrieb einen reichlich kühlen Brief. Er hofft auf Frieden und eine unversehrte Stadt. Uns erschüttert die Sorge um „das ganze Staatsschiff“, wie es einst hieß. Wir wollen zu Gott beten, dass er „im Zorn seiner Barmherzigkeit gedenkt“ und das private wie das öffentliche unglück mildert. Ich schickeDir ein Blatt mit Trostgründen, das ich verfasst habe.

These and many others show readers the web of connections between the well known and the unknown.  This volume is important precisely because it shows us behind the scenes into the true inner workings of the minds of Melanchthon and his contemporaries.  It’s one thing to read a formal work like the commentary to Romans or the Loci and quite another to read personal letters never intended for wide public consumption.  We learn more from letters, oftentimes, than we do from formal treatises.

Those, then, interested in learning about Melanchthon should do themselves the favor of obtaining and absorbing this very handy collection of thoughtful and provocative lines from Philipp’s pen.