Dr Michael J. Svigel – We don’t discover God; He discloses Himself. We don’t uncover data; He unveils truth. We don’t climb to Him; He comes to us.
Many Christians struggle with what it means to forgive a pastor who has committed a grievous act. Recently, a Memphis megachurch pastor admitted to a “sexual incident” with a high school student 20 years ago in Texas. I’m not in a place to render judgment over another church’s matters. Yet how should we think about forgiveness of a pastor?
Christians struggle with this question because Christianity centers on the idea of forgiveness. Step one in becoming a Christian is acknowledging that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness.
When the pastor is exposed, some push the message of forgiveness. “Who of us is without sin?” they might say, drawing from Jesus in John 8. Meanwhile, others object: “But how can we trust this guy?”
I side with the second group.
Read the rest. Good stuff. He’s right.
‘My voice’ may be the most overused phrase in modern English. It’s as though people have gone mad and have a pathological insistence that everyone hear them.
Even Christians have fallen victim to ‘voice-ology’ or ‘voice-ianity’. Apparently forgetting that there’s only one voice we NEED to listen to.
Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. (Jn. 18:37)
Perhaps, then, Christians should pay more attention to the One Voice and not every voice…
If it can be said that the beginnings of the Reformation were a series of footnotes to the Pauline corpus, its continuation through the following century was a series of footnotes to Augustine.- Ralph Keen
This one looks interesting, doesn’t it-
The present volume contains the proceedings of an international colloquium that dealt with heavily fragmented texts and hypothetical sources, and the “shadowy” characters and movements they feature. These two aspects are combined and studied to ascertain how they have been handled in the history of research, to find out what they reveal about the community or the group expressing itself through (or hiding behind) them, and to establish the role these documents and figures or groups should be given in reconstructing an overall picture of developments in the theology and religious life of early Christianity. As can be imagined, such documents and sources have sometimes been taken as an open invitation to come up with all sorts of highly creative exegesis, adventurous reconstructions of texts and movements, and quite daring suggestions about identifying particular groups or presumed literary influences between documents. The essays contribute to the writing of a critical history of researching these types of documents and movements.
Go to the link for the contents.
When Abraham said to his son, “God will provide,” he meant not only to assert God’s foreknowledge of a future event, but to cast the care of a matter upon the will of Him who is wont to give a way out of things perplexed and confused. ~ Calvin
It was 11 January, 1546, that Calvin’s Order for the Visitation of the Ministers and Parishes dependent on Geneva appeared. It
… shows that at this time the reformer realized the need for drawing up a new draft for organizing a regular inspection of the country churches, in order to ensure the maintenance of good order and the supervision of ministers in the exercise of their functions, as well as of the congregations in the discharge of their religious duties. Calvin presented his draft to the meeting of the Council on January 25, 1546 when it was adopted. The Register of the Venerable Company reports the introduction of these visitations in these terms: “In the month of (? January) 1546, it was resolved by the brethren met in general assembly, that henceforth visitations be made of all the parishes of the Church of Geneva. It was also agreed by those present, and ordained, that two counsellors should also go with the ministers to visit the local lords, so that the minister on his side might make enquiry concerning the doctrine and life of the pastor of the place and the counsellors of the life of the squire.” This rule later found a place in the Ordinances of 1561.*
Can you imagine such a thing taking place today? Every mega-church would be closed down and Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll, and their ilk would be shown the outbound road of town and ordered never to return. And that’s why we call them ‘the good old days’.
Here are the five major purposes of the ‘inspection’:
First, in order to maintain proper uniformity of doctrine in the whole body of the Church of Geneva, that is to say in the city and also in the parishes dependent on the Seigneury, the Magistracy is to elect two of their Lordships of the Council and similarly the Ministers two of their Congregation, who will be charged with going once a year to visit each parish, to enquire whether the Ministry of the place have accepted any doctrine in any sense new and repugnant to the purity of the gospel.
Second, this Visitation is to enquire whether the Minister preaches edifyingly, or whether there be anything at all scandalous, or unfitting to the instruction of the people because it is obscure, or treats of superfluous questions, or exercises too great rigour, or some similar fault.
Third, to exhort the people to attendance at Service, to have a liking for it, and to find profit in it for Christian living; and to expound what is the office of the Ministry, in order that they understand how they ought to discharge it.
Fourth, to know whether the Minister is diligent not only in preaching but also in visiting the sick, and particularly in admonishing those that need it, and to prevent anything that might be for the dishonour of God.
Fifth, to discover whether he lead an honest life, and show a good example, or if he commit any dissoluteness or frivolity which renders him contemptible, or if he get on well with his people and likewise with all his family.
Yessir- the mega-churchers would be finished, and so would a lot of so called churches where everything but the Gospel is preached and ministers of all sorts of depraved cravings fleece the flock.
Oh for the really, really good old days…
*J.K.S. Reid, Calvin: Theological Treatises, p. 73.
Among students of the Swiss Reformation the name of Gottfried Locher towers above the rest. Locher’s brilliant contributions to that fecund period of theological development are without peer. He died on the 11th of January, 1996.
His most influential contribution, I think, is his massive and utterly thorough Die Zwinglische Reformation im Rahmen der europäischen Kirchengeschichte. Tremendously difficult to find, it nonetheless is worth the effort.
There’s a very brief bio of the great scholar here:
geboren 29.4.1911 Elberfeld (heute Wuppertal),gestorben 11.1.1996 Bern, ref., von Zürich. Sohn des Gottfried Wilhelm, Pfarrers der niederländ.-ref. Gemeinde Wuppertal-Elberfeld, und der Berta geb. Oberman. ∞ 1936 Irene Schöffner.
Theologiestud. in Königsberg, Zürich, Bonn. 1936 Pfarrer in Binningen, 1941 in Feuerthalen, 1954 in Riehen. 1948 Dr. theol., 1954 PD an der Univ. Zürich, 1958-78 o. Prof. für systemat. Theologie und Dogmengeschichte in Bern (1968-69 Rektor). L.s wissenschaftl. Interesse galt der (auf ihre Aktualität hin befragten) Reformationstheologie.
Er legte profunde Studien zu Heinrich Bullinger, Johannes Calvin, zur Berner Reformation und v.a. zu Huldrych Zwingli vor, dessen Theologie er “im Lichte seiner Christologie” und dessen Reformation “im Rahmen der europ. Kirchengeschichte” darstellte. Dr. h.c. der Univ. Basel und Debrecen (Ungarn).
Continue to rest in peace, good sir.
They have set up kings, but without my consent, and appointed princes, but without my knowledge. With their silver and gold, they have made themselves idols, but only to be destroyed. (Hos. 8:4)
Zwingli was in Bern for the doings there and wrote his lovely wife to check in on things.
Liebste husfrow, ich sag gott danck, das er dir ein fröliche gburt verlihen hatt. Der welle üns die nach sinem willen ze erziehen verlyhen. Schick miner bäsy j oder ij tuechly sölcher maass und wys, als du sy treyst. Sy kumpt zimmlich, doch nit bagynlich, ist ein frow von 40 iaren, in alle wys und maass, wie sy meister Iörgen frow beschriben hatt. Tuot mir und üns allen über die maass guetlich. Bis hiemit gott bevolhen. Gruetz mir gfatter schaffnerin, Uolmann(!) Trinckler, schultheiss Effingerin, und wer dir lieb sye. Bitt gott für mich und uns alle.
Geben ze Bernn xj. tags Ienners.
Gruetz mir alle dine kind; besunder Margreten tröst in minem namen.
Huldrych Zuingli, din huswirt. Schick mir, so bald du kanst, den tol’ggenrock.
Der frommen Anna Reinhartin ze Zürich, siner lieben husfrowen.