Daily Archives: 6 Mar 2018

Chance Plays No Part in Our Lives, Providence Does

Innumerable are the ills which beset human life, and present death in as many different forms. Not to go beyond ourselves, since the body is a receptacle, nay the nurse, of a thousand diseases, a man cannot move without carrying along with him many forms of destruction. His life is in a manner interwoven with death. For what else can be said where heat and cold bring equal danger? Then, in what direction soever you turn, all surrounding objects not only may do harm, but almost openly threaten and seem to present immediate death.

Go on board a ship, you are but a plank’s breadth from death. Mount a horse, the stumbling of a foot endangers your life. Walk along the streets, every tile upon the roofs is a source of danger. If a sharp instrument is in your own hand, or that of a friend, the possible harm is manifest. All the savage beasts you see are so many beings armed for your destruction. Even within a high walled garden, where everything ministers to delight, a serpent will sometimes lurk. Your house, constantly exposed to fire, threatens you with poverty by day, with destruction by night. Your fields, subject to hail, mildew, drought, and other injuries, denounce barrenness, and thereby famine.

I say nothing of poison, treachery, robbery, some of which beset us at home, others follow us abroad. Amid these perils, must not man be very miserable, as one who, more dead than alive, with difficulty draws an anxious and feeble breath, just as if a drawn sword were constantly suspended over his neck? It may be said that these things happen seldom, at least not always, or to all, certainly never all at once. I admit it; but since we are reminded by the example of others, that they may also happen to us, and that our life is not an exception any more than theirs, it is impossible not to fear and dread as if they were to befall us.

What can you imagine more grievous than such trepidation? Add that there is something like an insult to God when it is said, that man, the noblest of the creatures, stands exposed to every blind and random stroke of fortune. Here, however, we were only referring to the misery which man should feel, were he placed under the dominion of chance.

But when once the light of Divine Providence has illumined the believer’s soul, he is relieved and set free, not only from the extreme fear and anxiety which formerly oppressed him, but from all care. For as he justly shudders at the idea of chance, so he can confidently commit himself to God. – John Calvin

Evil: her son shot his sister, and she cleaned up the mess and went back to work… leaving them alone again

An 8-year-old boy loaded a rifle, repeatedly shot his 4-year-old sister at home and then informed their mother, who left work to check the girl’s injuries, cleaned up a bloody bed cover and returned to work, leaving the children alone again, a prosecutor said. Alyssa Edwards, 27, is jailed on child endangerment charges related to the Saturday shooting in Hayesville, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) southwest of Cleveland. Her attorney, Donald Wick, said Tuesday that he had just received the case and couldn’t yet comment.

An arraignment is scheduled Wednesday. She tearfully appeared for court Monday via video and said that there was no information that a magistrate needed to consider before he set her bond at $30,000, The Ashland Times-Gazette reported . Edwards took the girl to a hospital hours after the shooting, Ashland County Prosecutor Christopher Tunnell said, and the hospital contacted police. The 4-year-old girl was stable Monday at a children’s hospital in Cleveland. Her injuries aren’t considered life-threatening, said Ashland County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Carl Richert said. The 8-year-old boy was in the custody of children’s services.

She works for Satan.

I Like This Priest. A Lot.

Local pastor Fr. Ron Porter was forced to stop midway through his homily Sunday morning to passive-aggressively attempt to quiet an unruly toddler.

Porter reportedly stopped several times during the course of his homily before finally telling his parishioners that perhaps “the little one in the back” wanted to go right ahead and finish his homily for him.

“It’s not like I didn’t spend a lot of time on it or anything,” Porter said before chuckling a bit. “You priests out there in the pews know what I mean, right? I’m joking, of course. Cute kid. I wonder what seminary he studied at.”

Parishioner Angelica Wall told EOTT that Porter also went on to suggest that they consider building a cry room, although the parish already has one.

“It actually kinda got weird,” Wall said. “He wasn’t able to get back on track for the rest of the Mass so it’s like he just didn’t wanna let it go. At one point he messed up the words of consecration and jokingly asked if the toddler wanted to come up to the altar to say them for him.”

He’s my people.

Quote of the Day

‘Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Because your heart has grown proud, you thought: I am a god; I am divinely enthroned far out to sea. Though you are human, not divine, you have allowed yourself to imagine you are God.  So, you are, you think, wiser than Danel; no sage as wise as you!  By your wisdom and your intelligence you have made yourself a fortune, you have put gold and silver into your treasuries.  Such is your skill in trading, your fortune has continued to increase, and your fortune has made your heart grow prouder.  

“And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: Since you have allowed yourself to think like God, very well, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most barbarous of the nations. They will draw sword against your fine wisdom, they will desecrate your splendour,  they will throw you down into the grave and you will die a violent death far out to sea. (Ezek. 28:2-8)

The Anniversary of the Death of Zacharias Ursinus, The Author of the Heidelberg Catechism

427px-zacharias_ursinusA reforming theologian, Ursinus was born Breslau in 1534 and studied at Wittenberg from 1550 to 1557. He then moved to Geneva for further study and from there took a teaching post in his native city of Breslau. His doctrine of the Lord’s Supper led to his dismissal from Breslau in 1559. But in 1561, thanks to his mentor Peter Martyr Vermigli, received an invitation from Elector Frederick III to come to Heidelberg as director of the theological academy.

It was at Heidelberg that with Caspar Olevianus he made his most notable contribution to church life by drafting the Heidelberg Catechism (1563). He also undertook the defense of the Catechism against Lutheran objections.

From 1562 he added the professorship of dogmatics to his administrative duties and also prepared a new liturgy. Zanchius relieved him the burden of teaching in 1568, but Ursinus became involved in a difficult struggle to bring in a new discipline on the Genevan model (1570). The death of the electtor in 1577 opened the way for Lutheran influences. Ursinus, with Zanchius, move to Neustadt in 1578 and spent his last year there. In addition to his work on the Catechism, he also wrote an important treatise on the Lutheran Book of Concord and did much to promote Peter Martyr’s Loci.*

He died on this date (March 6) in 1583.  He is a theological superstar.


Fun Facts from Church History: Luther’s Dread

luther65Luther left the Wartburg on March 1, 1522, arriving at Wittenberg on March 6. One of the first things he did was to preach a series of eight sermons, during the week beginning March 9, in an effort to counteract the extreme reforms which had been forced through by Karlstadt and Gabriel Zwilling.  Luther was by no means opposed to reform measures, but he held that they should be brought about by persuasion, not compulsion.*

One of those sermons was on marriage, which Luther commences thusly:

How I dread preaching on the estate of marriage! I am reluctant to do it because I am afraid if I once get really involved in the subject it will make a lot of work for me and for others. The shameful confusion wrought by the accursed papal law has occasioned so much distress, and the lax authority of both the spiritual and the temporal swords has given rise to so many dreadful abuses and false situations, that I would much prefer neither to look into the matter nor to hear of it. But timidity is no help in an emergency; I must proceed. I must try to instruct poor bewildered consciences, and take up the matter boldly.

And then of course he does.

*Luther’s works, vol. 45 : The Christian in Society II p. 13.

This is ‘Not the Onion’… ‘Animal Universalism’

Evidently there are really people this utterly insane, writing books, for Oxford University Press….

“We think that there is good reason to believe that all animals shall be ushered into heaven and remain there for eternity. We therefore defend Animal Universalism:   Animal Universalism: All sentient animals will be brought into heaven and remain there for eternity.”  – Shawn Graves, Blake Hereth, and Tyler M. John, ‘In Defence of Animal Universalism’, Paradise Understood: New Philosophical Essays about Heaven, ed. T. Ryan Byerly and Eric J. Silverman (OUP, 2017), p. 161

‘Not.  The.  Onion.’  (Via Deane Galbraith on the FB).

Go Ahead, Luther, Cheer Me Up…

The children of God have all the afflictions. The ungodly children of Satan enjoy the highest state of well-being. Everything seems the opposite of what it should be. The godly are maltreated, the ungodly receive gifts. In this vein the flesh blasphemes the work of God. So today we see our word and God’s Word to be futile, everything seems exactly the opposite of what it should be, and then we see God’s work to be unjust.

So God and Satan weary us with masks and external spirits so that we are led to believe that what is of God is Satan, and what is Satan is of God, and then we say in our heart, “I wish I had never been born.” All of us must experience this mood.

All the godly have felt this mood together with Christ, who cried on the cross (Matt. 27:46), “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” or with Jeremiah, who said (Jer. 20:14), “Cursed be the day on which I was born!”*

Yeah that hit the spot…

* Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 17: Lectures on Isaiah: Chapters 40-66, pp. 127–128.