Daily Archives: 12 Feb 2018

Oh Boy, Lent and the ‘Look at Me, I’m Celebrating My Fasting and Piety’ Crowd Are Just Around the Bend

So, remember the words of Jesus-

“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,   “so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matt. 6:16-18)

When they smear the ashes on your face to disfigure it, wash them right off because the last thing you want is anyone having any hint that you’re giving something up.  That’s just piety for show.  Let your pious deeds be private deeds so that they’re really done for God and neighbor and not so you can be seen doing them.

A Very Fine New Book on Karl Barth by David Congdon and Travis McCranky

This looks exceptional.


10 People Groups Jesus didn’t Specifically Command Us to Love…

The Bee is at it again with its mockery…. aimed this time at the exclusionists.

Jesus was all about love in a lot of ways. He told us to love our neighbor, he told us to love our God. He even told us to love our enemies!

Now that’s a lot of love going around.

Thankfully, Jesus didn’t actually mean that you’re supposed to love literally everybody. Using careful contextual clues, we scoured the Scriptures and found 10 types of people that you’re totally exempt from showing the love of Jesus to! Now, when you encounter any people in these groups, you can tell them off, belittle them, or even throw a brick right at their face.

You’re welcome!

Muslims – Muslims weren’t around during the writing of the New Testament, so guess what? That’s right—you don’t have to show the love of Jesus to Muslims! Praise the Lord!

Democrats – We read the Bible cover to cover, and you don’t have to love Democrats. In fact, according to some interpretations of the Sermon on the Mount, you’re allowed to call them “libtards” and scream that they’re going to hell in Facebook comment sections!

Immigrants – Refugees from other countries? Nope, you don’t have to love them or share the gospel with them in any way. Look the other way when you see them.

Your neighbor – We glanced at the gospels for 0.7 seconds and didn’t find anything about loving your neighbor, so you’re exempt from being a light to the people who live near you in your house or apartment. Woot woot!

Barack Obama – Praise God for this one! Not a single mention of Obama anywhere, unless you count the antichrist, and we’re never commanded to love that guy, that’s for darn sure!

Arminians – Not only do you not have to love Arminians, but you’re actually called to condemn them to hell based on their different understanding of the process of salvation.

Chris Tomlin – You don’t have to love popular Christian singer-songwriter Chris Tomlin. That’s a huge relief—it’s what it is, it’s what it is, it’s what it iiii-yuh-iiiiiis!

People who watch The Bachelor – WHEW!

The Kardashians – Make all the disparaging comments about America’s most elite family that you want. It’s not like they need the gospel and the love of Christ or anything. You’re in the clear, people!

Anyone who disagrees with you on anything, no matter how insignificant – That’s right. If you can find a single topic over which you disagree with someone, it’s open season for your hatred.

There you have it. Cross these people off your love list—they’re not your responsibility. God will send someone else to show them the love of Jesus, we’re sure of it!

Quote of the Day

vermigli“Rhetoricians use this method: so that they say nothing rough or unpleasant, first with some color they soften their audience. Now the scorpion—that deadly beast—clasps [its prey] with its forearms or its front claws, so that it can strike better with its tail and thrust in its venomous sting. So why do we not more tightly embrace our neighbors with kindness and love as closely as possible, so that we might heal them?” — Peter Marty Vermigli (on Rom 10:1).

When You Can, Listen to Kate Bowler of Duke on Today’s Fresh Air

Find it here.

Today With Zwingli: A Letter to The Good People of Appenzell

In various places Zwingli referred, nonchalantly, to Appenzell as a nest of Anabaptist activity.   Though not necessarily incorrect, the accusation got him in a bit of hot water (even though he had never, frankly, accused the government of the town of any Anabaptist sympathies).  So, in an attempt to clear things up, on 12 February 1526 he wrote:

huldrych-zwingli“Grace and peace from God to you, respected, honoured, wise, clement, gracious and beloved Masters: An exceedingly unfortunate affair has happened to me, in that I have been publicly accused before your worships of having reviled you in unseemly words and, be it said with all respect, of having called you heretics, my gracious rulers of the State.

I am so far from applying this name to you, that I should as soon think of calling heaven hell. For all my life I have thought and spoken of you in terms of praise and honour, gentlemen of Abtzell, as I do to-day, and, as God favours me, shall do to the end of my days.

But it happened not long ago when I was preaching against the Catabaptists that I used these words: ‘The Catabaptists are now doing so much mischief to the upright citizens of Abtzell and are showing so great insolence, that nothing could be more infamous.’ You see, gentle sirs, with what modesty I grieved on your account, because the turbulent Catabaptists caused you so much trouble. Indeed I suspect that the Catabaptists are the very people who have set this sermon against me in circulation among you, for they do many of those things which do not become true Christians.

Therefore, gentle and wise sirs, I beg most earnestly that you will have me exculpated before the whole community, and, if occasion arise, that you will have this letter read in public assembly.

Sir, I assure you in the name of God our Saviour, in these perilous times you have never been out of my thoughts and my solicitous anxiety; and if in any way I shall be able to serve you I will spare no pains to do so. In addition to the fact that I never use such terms even against my enemies, let me say that it never entered my mind to apply such insulting epithets to you, pious and wise sirs.

Sufficient of this. May God preserve you in safety, and may He put a curb on these unbridled falsehoods which are being scattered everywhere, which is an evidence of some great peril—and may He hold your worships and the whole state in the true faith of Christ! Take this letter of mine in good part, for I could not suffer that so base a falsehood against me should lie uncontradicted.”*

*S.M. Jackson’s translation. The original German text follows for your enjoyment:

Gnad und frid von gott. Hochgeachte, ersame, wysen, gnädige, günstige lieben herren

Es kumpt mir eigenlich für, wie ich vor üwer wysheit offenlich gescholten sye, als ob ich uch, mine gnädigen herren gemeins lands, bescholten habe mit etwas ungeschickten worten und urloub vor üwer eer kätzer genempt hab, welchs als verr vor mir ist, als das ich geredt hab, die hell sye der himel. Ich hab all min läbtag herlich und erlich von uch minen herren von Abtzell geredt und gehalten, und noch hüt bi tag und, ob gott wil, bis in minen tod. Es hat sich aber in vergangner zyt begeben, do ich wider die widertöuffer gepredget, also geredt hab: “Die widertöuffer gebend ietz den biderben lúten zuo Abtzell so vil muey und arbeit ze schaffen und tribend so vil muotwillens, das ‘s ein spott ist”. Sehend, gnädigen herren, mit was zucht ich erbermd hab mit üwer wysheit gehebt, das úch die verwirrigen töuffer so vil unruowen gestattend. Aber ich zwyfel eigenlich, das mir die widertöuffer selb sölchen lümbden by úch ufgeblasen habind; dann sy tuond der dingen vil, die christenen warhaften menschen nit wol anstond. Hierumb, gnädige wyse herren, wellend mich umb gotzwillen vor gantzer gemeind verantwurt haben und, hatt es fuog, ouch disen brief vor gantzer gemeind vorlesen lassen; dann ich by gott, der üns alle erlöst hatt, sag, das ir mir uss miner sorg und angst in disen gevarlichen zyten nimmer kumend; und wo ich úch für andre yenen gedienen könd, wölt ich mich nit sparen. Darzuo hab ich minen fygenden all min tag nie sölichs zuogeredt, was wolt ich denn úch frommen wysen herren und ein gantze biderbe gemeind mit sölcher unghander red beladen? Nit me denn: sind gott bevolhen; der welle üns sölcher fräfnen lügen abhelffen, die allenthalb werdend fürggeben, das doch ein gwüss zeichen ist einer großen gevar, und üwer wisheit sampt gantzer gemeind in warem christenem glouben behalten. Derstond min schryben imm besten; dann ich sölchen unerberen lug nit hab mögen uff mir ligen lassen.

Geben z’ Zürich xij. tags Hornungs M.D.xxvj.

Üwer wysheit williger Huldrych Zuingli. Den frommen, fürsichtigen, ersamen, wysen amman, radt und gantzer gemeind zuo Abbtzell, sinen gnädigen, günstigen, lieben herren.


jerome5We must seek peace if we are to avoid war. And it is not enough merely to seek it; when we have found it and when it flees before us we must pursue it with all our energies. — St Jerome

Today With Zwingli: What, You Haven’t Read It Yet?

zwin_calvOn 12 February 1527 Zwingli wrote his friend Conrad Sam.  In that letter he remarks

“Archetelem”  ante annos quinque scripsi ad episcopum Constantiensem, quo  rationem reddidi doctrinę. Liber adeo mendose fuit excusus, ut  nihil debeas de eo esse sollicitus; misissem tamen, si ullus superfuisset.

Sam should have read it before 1527… the wretch.  Your friends ought to read what you write.  Unless they aren’t really friends… (Let the reader understand).


Just to make the point, he remarks again concerning his latest work

Mitto librum “De officio praedicandi”.

Which is as much as to say- ‘this one you need to read now’.

Luther’s ‘Praise’ of the Papacy

lutherOh, the depth of his worthlessness, covetousness, and robbery; how unsearchable are his thefts and how inscrutable his greediness! For who has known the shrine of his heart? Or who has first given anything to the church that he did not afterward snatch away? For from him and through him and in him are all the evils of the church. To him be horror and disgrace forever and ever. Amen.*

*Martin Luther, “Preface, Marginal Glosses, and Afterword to Legation of Pope Adrian VI, Sent to the Diet of Nürnberg in 1522: 1538.”

How To Respond When Your Enemies are in Hot Pursuit

Jean_Calvin“I awaited tranquilly what my enemies might do; they tried every means to overthrow me; but, on the one side, I would take no notice of their insults; and, on the other, I let them understand that I regarded all their machinations with contempt. Had they discovered a single indication of fear in me, they would have supposed they had conquered. There is certainly nothing better calculated to disappoint their aim, or to encourage the good to persevere, than my resolution.” – John Calvin