Daily Archives: 8 Dec 2017

That’s A Special Kind of Theological Ignorance Right There

Roy Moore Would Never Invent The Stethescope

I’m Not a Violent Person, Senator… But I’m Sure You Can Find Someone In New Jersey to Do It

This is The Guy Who, Along With Paige Patterson, Led the Fundamentalist Destruction of SEBTS

So I am not at all surprised that Paul Pressler was doing vile things all those years.  He gave off a super creepy vibe every time he was around SEBTS in the late 80’s.

Former Texas state judge and lawmaker Paul Pressler has been hit with a lawsuit that alleges he molested a man over the course of 35 years.

Pressler, a former justice on the 14th Court of Appeals, who served in the Texas House from 1957 to 1959, vehemently denied the allegations by Gareld Duane Rollins, who claims that Pressler began molesting him in 1979, when he was 14, through the year 2014.

The suit also names Pressler’s wife, Nancy, his law partner Jared Woodfill, the First Baptist Church of Houston, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and its president, the Rev. Paige Patterson. Rollins seeks $1 million in damages.

The suit was filed in Harris County on Oct. 18 and obtained by Quorum Report on Monday.

Woodfill told the outlet the suit was an attempt to “extort money from the Southern Baptist Convention” and vowed to “fight it tooth and nail.”

The suit alleges that Rollins and Pressler met when the former attended First Baptist Church, where Pressler held volunteer leadership roles. The suit alleges that Pressler enrolled Rollins in Bible study and began molesting and raping him in his master bedroom study.

The suit also alleges that Pressler told Rollins he could stop at any time, but that Rollins thought God had sanctioned the rapes. The suit says the molestation occurred two to three times per month while Rollins attended college.

When Pressler/ Patterson and their fundamentalist board of Trustees arrived at SEBTS in the mid 80’s they did everything they could to rid the school of any Professor who wasn’t a dyed in the wool ‘axhead floating on water, for real’ fundamentalist.  The good folk left and the school that remained was a shell of its former greatness.  The two of them, and their mindless minions, destroyed a truly great institution of higher learning.  I’ll never forget what they did, nor will I be surprised when it turns out that Pressler was a deviant all along.

Well of Course He Was…. “Founder of nation’s largest Christian music festival charged with child molestation”

The founder of Creation Festival — the nation’s largest Christian music festival — has been “indefinitely suspended” from the ministry and his position as pastor of his New Jersey church after he was arrested on charges of child molestation.

Harry L. Thomas, 74, was charged Wednesday (Dec. 6) with sexually assaulting four minors “over a lengthy period of time ending two years ago,” according to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. The charges include one count of aggravated sexual assault, three counts of sexual assault and four counts of endangering the welfare of children.

Those alleged assaults occurred over a 16-year period between 1999 and 2015 in Medford Township, N.J., where Thomas lives, according to the prosecutor’s office. His church — Come Alive New Testament Church, which has been described as charismatic — also is in Medford Township.

So, let’s hear outcry from Pentebabbleists to rid their ranks of these predators.

La Bibbia e la realtà storica

Incontro pubblico con il grande biblista Thomas Römer. Venerdì 15 dicembre 2017 ore 18:00.

More here.  That’s Italian.  Except for the people who think X-mas = Christmas because X = χ for them.  For that sort, it’s Japanese.

Today In Israel

@seyyedreza — How many Israeli soldiers does it take to arrest a Palestinian kid? This is what US support for Israel is accomplishing. Photo taken today. #Jerusalem

The Lord’s Prayer- For Pope Francis (So He Sees How it Should be Translated)

Unser Vater im Himmel. Dein Name werde geheiligt.
Dein Reich komme. Dein Wille geschehe, wie im Himmel, so auf Erden.
Das Brot, das wir nötig haben, gib uns heute!
Und vergib uns unsere Schuld, wie auch wir vergeben haben jenen, die an uns schuldig geworden sind.
Und führe uns nicht in Versuchung, sondern erlöse uns von dem Bösen. (Matt. 6:9-13 ZUR)

December 8, 1523

That is the date upon which the first report of the Second Zurich Disputation was published according to the account by Ludwig Hetzer in Zurich. The Second Disputation was October 28-30, 1523-

gmHere’s how it happened:

The [City] Council [of Zurich], on Monday before St. Gall’s day (i. e., October 12th), summoned all the clergy of the canton to discuss in a public debate on Monday, October 26, 1523, what should be done about the Church images and also the mass. Urgent invitations to be represented were sent to the bishops of Constance, Basel, and Chur, to the University of Basel, and to each canton.

The answers were characteristic. Constance declared (October 16th) that he would be answerable to both his rulers (Pope and Emperor) if he took part in the proposed disputation; urged the Council to give the idea up, and leave all such questions for answer at the coming General Council. Basel declared that he was too old and weak to make the journey; that only the whole Church should undertake such changes, and also they should avoid schism. Chur sent no reply at all. The cantons, except Schaffhausen and St. Gall, declined to send deputations. Bern and Solothurn replied in friendly fashion, but said the matter should be discussed by the Confederacy as a whole; the abbot of St. Gall politely declined to come; Lucerne reproached Zurich for her persistency in error; Upper Unterwalden was bitter and abusive.

Notwithstanding this rather discouraging result, Zurich persisted and the debate was held. The Council laid down the same general conditions as in January: the language used should be the vernacular; the final authority should be the Word of God. Schaffhausen was represented by Sebastian Hofmeister; St. Gall by Vadian and Schappeler. The burgomaster presided, and 350 ecclesiastics of the canton and 550 other persons were counted as attendants.

The proceedings lasted three days. The first day was given to a debate upon the proposition: the Church images are forbidden by God and Holy Scripture, and therefore Christians should neither make, set up, nor reverence them, but they should be removed. It was resolved to remove them wherever it could be done without disturbance or wounding tender consciences.

Those in prison for the offence of removing them were recommended to mercy, and the burgomaster promised to spare them.

The second and third days were taken up in discussing this proposition: the mass is no sacrifice, and hitherto has been celebrated with many abuses, quite different from its original institution by Christ. The debate being now on a burning question was livelier. Zwingli shrewdly avoided a plain statement as to the exact nature of the elements, for the time had not come for his radical stand, but he showed wherein a representation differed from a repetition of Christ’s sacrifice. He confessed that transubstantiation and its defenders, especially the monks, had too frequently been attacked by abuse rather than by argument, but stoutly declared that the monks were hypocrites, and monasticism was of the devil.

The debate on the third day began at noon, and was in continuation of the preceding. But although so much time was consumed, no decision was arrived at, except to let the Council handle it. It was perhaps noticed that the debate on the third day did not begin till noon. The explanation is that Zwingli preached that morning. So many country preachers could not separate without having a sermon from the leading city preacher. Many months later he expanded the discourse by urgent request, and published it March 26, 1524. It is called “The Shepherd.” In it he contrasts the good and the false shepherds. He set plainly before them the prospect that fidelity would lead to martyrdom. Such was the fate he expected for himself, as appears from his letters.*

The Papist yoke was cast thoroughly aside and Zurich became the first city to embrace Reform.

*S. Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (pp. 203–205).

Today is the Anniversary of the Promulgation of the ‘Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary’

Of this ridiculous doctrine, Adolf von Harnack writes

Perhaps the plainest evidence of the decline of an inwardly grounded doctrine of salvation and of the growing attachment of value to creaturely goodness in the last centuries of the Middle Ages, is the doctrine of Mary, as embracing both the doctrine of her immaculate conception and the doctrine of her co-operation in the work of redemption.  We have seen above (Vol. V., p. 235) that even Augustine had doubts as to whether Mary was subject to the general law of sin, and Paschasius Radbertus already knows that Mary was sanctified in the womb. Anselm, certainly, who on this point was more Augustinian than Augustine, had distinctly rejected the immaculate conception (Cur deus homo II. 16); but a few years after his death we meet with a festival in Lyons (1140) in honour of the immaculate conception of Mary, which proves how widely current the superstition had already become in the lower strata of the Church.*

The doctrine, in short, is evidence of the corruption of the doctrine of salvation itself. And nothing less. And, most importantly, the doctrine has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. People who talk about the immaculate conception of Jesus simply don’t know what they’re talking about.

*Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma, ed. T. K. Cheyne and A. B. Bruce, trans. Neil Buchanan, vol. 6, Harnack’s History of Dogma (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1899), 312–313.

Gee, Dr. Carrier, You’re Really Upset!

Carrier and the mythicists are unhinged nutbags and Maurice Casey proved it years ago in his last book.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

If you want to read a blogger going ape-shit, troll through Richard Carrier’s recent belligerent, intemperate response (here) to my posting in which I showed that his three claims that supposedly corroborate his “mythical Jesus” view are all incorrect.  It’s really quite amusing, or maybe sad.

In this long, long rant, Carrier’s repeated mantra is that his book calling into question the commonly shared scholarly judgement that Jesus of Nazareth was a first-century Galilean Jew has been largely ignored by scholars.  He seems to want scholars to go through the 700 pages of that tome and engage closely every one of his claims and assertions.  He repeatedly states that he spent six years on the book on what he calls a “post-doctoral” award (which was really a fund put together by his “fans,” to use his own term).  It must be frustrating.  But Carrier doesn’t seem to handle…

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After Zwingli’s Death… Bullinger Was Called to Zurich to Take his Place on 9 December, 1531

And he was the ideal replacement.

bullinger54After the disaster at Cappel, [Bullinger left Bremgarten and] removed to Zuerich, and was unanimously elected by the Council and the citizens preacher of the Great Minster, Dec. 9, 1531. It was rumored that Zwingli himself, in the presentiment of his death, had designated him as his successor. No better man could have been selected. It was of vital importance for the Swiss churches that the place of the Reformer should be filled by a man of the same spirit, but of greater moderation and self-restraint.

Bullinger now assumed the task of saving, purifying, and consolidating the life-work of Zwingli; and faithfully and successfully did he carry out this task. When he ascended the pulpit of the Great Minster in Dec. 23, 1531, many hearers thought that Zwingli had risen from the grave.  He took a firm stand for the Reformation, which was in danger of being abandoned by timid men in the Council. He kept free from interference with politics, which had proved ruinous to Zwingli. He established a more independent, though friendly relation between Church and State. He confined himself to his proper vocation as preacher and teacher.

In the first years he preached six or seven times a week; after 1542 only twice, on Sundays and Fridays. He followed the plan of Zwingli in explaining whole books of the Scriptures from the pulpit. His sermons were simple, clear, and practical, and served as models for young preachers.

He was a most devoted pastor, dispensing counsel and comfort in every direction, and exposing even his life during the pestilence which several times visited Zuerich. His house was open from morning till night to all who desired his help. He freely dispensed food, clothing, and money from his scanty income and contributions of friends, to widows and orphans, to strangers and exiles, not excluding persons of other creeds. He secured a decent pension for the widow of Zwingli, and educated two of his children with his own. He entertained persecuted brethren for weeks and months in his own house, or procured them places and means of travel.

He paid great attention to education, as superintendent of the schools in Zuerich. He filled the professorships in the Carolinum with able theologians, as Pellican, Bibliander, Peter Martyr. He secured a well-educated ministry. He prepared, in connection with Leo Judae, a book of church order, which was adopted by the Synod, Oct. 22, 1532, issued by authority of the burgomaster, the Small and the Great Council, and continued in force for nearly three hundred years. It provides the necessary rules for the examination, election, and duties of ministers (Predicanten) and deans (Decani), for semi-annual meetings of synods with clerical and lay representatives, and the power of discipline. The charges were divided into eight districts or chapters.*

And much, much more.  And it all began on the 9th of December, 1531.

* P. Schaff, History of the Christian Church.

#ICYMI – ‘XMas’ is Indefensible Idiocy and Only the Idiotic and Ignorant Defend Its Use

Xmas does not mean Christmas. And the reason is as simple as can be explained in two sentences. The latter the most important:

  • 1- The problem with the x = Chi explanation that so many love to spew from their keyboards and mouths during this season is that the general public knows NOTHING of it, or Greek.
  • 2-And, most importantly of all, all they see is an x, and in Greek, x is Xi, not Chi.  It’s ξ not χ.  Any person who pretends to know Greek who doesn’t know the difference between ξ and χ is probably the same sort who uses Strong’s Concordance to describe this word or that and what it ‘means’ when they pretend to know Hebrew and Greek.

If you’re going to foist a ridiculous pseudo-explanation on the public in an attempt to justify laziness in abbreviation, please, at least learn enough Greek to know the difference between χ and ξ . Otherwise, you just look silly.

In sum- NO, you have NEVER heard someone say -‘Chi- mas’ but you’ve heard plenty of people say ‘X-mas’ because to them X is X.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Amen, and amen.

December 8, 1532

Luther and Melanchthon never saw eye to eye on the subject of astrology. At the table on 8 December, 1532, Luther remarked

Astrology is not a science because it has no principles and proofs. On the contrary, astrologers judge everything by the outcome and by individual cases and say, ‘This happened once and twice, and therefore it will always happen so.’ They base their judgment on the results that suit them and prudently don’t talk about those that don’t suit.

My Philip has devoted much attention to this business, but he has never been able to persuade me to accept it, for he himself confesses, ‘There is science in it, but nobody has mastered it, for astrologers have neither principles nor knowledge gained from experience, unless they wish to call something that happens experience.’ But knowledge gained from experience is derived by induction from many individual instances, as in the case of this fire: this fire burns, therefore all fire burns. Astrology doesn’t have such knowledge but judges only on the basis of uncertain events.*

I’ve never understood Melanchthon’s attitude towards the nonsense of astrology.  He was too smart for such craziness.   I guess no one is perfect.

*Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 54: Table Talk (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 54; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 173.

Rudolf Karl Bultmann Answers Your Questions

Instead of RKB answering each question individually, he’s put together a series of prepared responses.  Expect to see them at appropriate moments…