Daily Archives: 4 Jan 2018

When in Doubt, Doubt….

Or more accurately, when you find something you want to doubt because it isn’t convenient for your attitudes or world view- doubt

After being convicted by the clear teaching of Scripture with regards to certain aspects of his deeply ingrained theological and political worldview, local man Lenny Barton took to his social media accounts to declare Scripture to be entirely unclear on the issue, sources confirmed Thursday.

“After carefully reviewing the plain, unambiguous biblical texts that disagree with my own conception of who God should be, I have come to the conclusion that Scripture is unclear,” he wrote to his several hundred internet followers.

Barton wrote that since the Bible was written many years ago, in a different time and place than our own, it was impossible to really know what the authors were talking about, despite the reliable English translation he was using of a relatively simple passage that clearly communicated the original author’s blatantly obvious meaning.

“The Bible was written in the context of ancient cultures, in ancient languages, and by ancient authors,” he wrote, though he had looked up several commentaries written by renowned biblical scholars that addressed these interpretive challenges and unanimously agreed on the plain meaning of the text in questions. “Therefore, whenever it comes into conflict with my personal convictions, feelings, or sins, I will bring up this fact and refuse to confront the obvious meaning of the text.”

“We just can’t know with any certainty what the Bible is talking about,” he concluded.

At publishing time, Barton had quoted several sections of Scripture that seemed to agree with his personal politics and conception of God, declaring these particular passages to be “undeniably clear.”

Professor Scott Davidson and the History of Newman University, Birmingham

Cool stuff-

History at Newman University

To celebrate the start of a year of celebrations to mark the University’s fiftieth birthday, we’ve manage to enlist the help of Professor Scott Davidson, Vice Chancellor of the University, to give us an insight into a little bit of institutional history.

You may have noticed the appearance of the University’s new logo on our entry and direction signs and on some of our publications. Eventually the logo will be placed on all our media, including our new website and intranet, the launch of which is imminent. The adoption of this new symbol is designed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the University’s foundation as Newman College in 1968. In 1988, twenty years after its opening, Newman College received Letter Patent granting it Armorial Bearings (colloquially known as a coat of arms) by royal authority from the York Herald of Arms of the College of Arms

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Americans and their Footnotes

The great Swiss scholar Eduard Schweizer told us in a Seminar once ‘The problem with Americans is that they are afraid to say anything without adding a footnote.  They are afraid to think for themselves’.

He was pretty much right on target.

Who is the Lord of the Church? Christ

I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Eph. 1:16-23)

‘You’re Nearly Perfect’…

According to reports coming out of Hope Community Church, first-time visitor Brittany Wilson remains unsure about why she needed “this Jesus guy” in her life after the pastor spent the entire Sunday sermon reiterating how awesome, amazing, unique, and special she is.

“The message was super-encouraging. It was all about how I need to let the goodness within me shine and ‘just do me,’ without worrying about all the haters,” Wilson said after the service.

“But then the pastor said I needed Jesus, out of the blue. Like, what? It made no sense. I’m not sure what He has to offer that I don’t, based on how wonderful the pastor said I am.”

Wilson, who hasn’t attended church since she was a child, further reported she was “a little hurt” that the pastor would segue into an invitation to add Jesus to her life.

“It really undermined my confidence in myself,” she said, adding she wouldn’t be back anytime soon.


That One Time When Geneva Decided Any Wretch Was Welcome to the Lord’s Supper…

During Calvin’s first stint in Geneva, he insisted that the Church alone be allowed to determine who could receive the Lord’s Supper.   Unrepentant wretches and those living in open disobedience to God were refused entry.

Although the civil rulers of Geneva at first co-operated to the best of their ability with Calvin, opposition soon arose. Crypto-Catholics, some of them belonging to prominent families, and the so-called Libertines, as well as partisans of Farel like Ami Porral and others, opposed the strict discipline which Calvin sought to impose upon their city. When on January 4, 1538, the Council of Two Hundred voted “that the Supper be refused to no one,” thus offering a direct affront to Calvin and Farel who had vehemently insisted upon the exclusive right of the church and its clergy to determine admission to or exclusion from the Lord’s Supper, the opposition took on serious character. A few months later, on April 22, 1538, the Council ordered Calvin and Farel to leave the city of Geneva within three days. Thus ended Calvin’s first attempt to put into practice his high church ideal.*

*William Mueller A., Church and State in Luther and Calvin: A Comparative Study, 109.

Quote of the Day

Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint. (Prov. 25:19)