Exsurge, Domine!

“Arise, judge of the world, give back the proud what they deserve! How long are the wicked, Yahweh, how long are the wicked to triumph? They bluster and boast, they flaunt themselves, all the evil-doers.” (Ps. 94:2-4)

An Open Letter to American Publishers

Dear American publishers,

2019 is the anniversary of the Zwinglian reformation. You hurled yourselves at Luther’s 500th and back in 2009 at Calvin’s- so where’s your sense of fairness?

The Swiss are already publishing reams of things that matter. Why aren’t you?

You need to get on the ball.

Sincerely,

A person who knows.

Calvin: The Providence of God in a Nutshell

God arms the devil, as well as all the wicked, for conflict, and sits as umpire, that he may exercise our patience. But if the disasters and miseries which press us happen without the agency of men, let us call to mind the doctrine of the Law (Deut. 28:1), that all prosperity has its source in the blessing of God, that all adversity is his curse. And let us tremble at the dreadful denunciation, “And if ye will not be reformed by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; then will I also walk contrary unto you,” (Lev. 26:23, 24). These words condemn our torpor, when, according to our carnal sense, deeming that whatever happens in any way is fortuitous, we are neither animated by the kindness of God to worship him, nor by his scourge stimulated to repentance. And it is for this reason that Jeremiah (Lament. 3:38), and Amos (Amos 3:6), expostulated bitterly with the Jews, for not believing that good as well as evil was produced by the command of God. To the same effect are the words in Isaiah, “I form the light and create darkness: I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things,” (Is. 45:7).   Institutes 1.17.8

Luther: The Providence of God in a Nutshell

In the providence of God the evils of our adversaries become blessings to us. Though their sins are a stumbling block to the weak, to the strong they are an exercise of their virtue, an opportunity for conflict, and the amassing of greater merit. “Blessed is the man who endures trials, for when he has stood the test he shall receive the crown of life” [Jas. 1:12]. What greater trial can there be than the host of evil examples? For this reason the world is called one of the enemies of God’s saints, because with its enticements and ungodly works it incites, provokes, and lures us from the way of God to its own way. Thus we read in Genesis 6 [:2], “The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair,” and they were made flesh. And in Numbers 25 [:1] we read, “The sons of Israel were at once with the daughters of the Moabites.” Thus it is good for us always to be oppressed with some trouble, lest in our weakness we succumb to the offenses of the world and fall into sin. (Luther’s Works, Vol 42).

Bullinger: The Providence of God in a Nutshell

Job being well instructed did not say, as we now are wont to say, The Lord gave, and the devil hath taken away; but, The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” And these things do exceedingly comfort the godly in temptations; who understand that nothing can happen to them without God’s permission, and that he permitteth nothing but that which maketh for our amendment and salvation, and therefore that we are always preserved by the providence and bountifulness of God. For whatsoever hath hitherto been spoken concerning the power and workings of the devils pertained not hitherto, to dash us out of courage and cast us down; but to make us more vigilant or watchful. The Lord, that overcame the devil and sheweth us the way to overcome him, commandeth us to watch. For therefore he encountered with Satan the first, second, and third time, to instruct us how we should fight against the enemy of mankind. He overcame him for us, that we should not despair of ability and power easily to overcome him, since he is already weakened and wounded. By faith, doubtless, we shall overcome him: for by faith we are knit unto Christ, and by faith we draw the Spirit of Christ, by the force and virtue whereof we shall triumph. (The Decades of H. Bullinger, Decade Four).

Zwingli: The Providence of God in a Nutshell

“He disposes of his vessels, that is to say, us men, as he wills. He chooses one to be fit for his purposes and use; the other he does not will. He can make his creatures whole or break them, as he wills. The understanding of free will which we have taken from the heathen makes us ascribe to ourselves what God has done in us, not acknowledging his almighty providence” — (Z II 179-20-180.29).

Luther The Violent: An Early Bonhoeffer

“I have just been thinking about the Turks. If I were Samson I would give them something to think about. Every day I would kill a thousand Turks; in a year this would amount to 350,000 Turks.” — Martin Luther

Luther is channeling Dietrich Bonhoeffer with his murderous intentions isn’t he.  Or maybe Bonhoeffer was just willing to do something Luther was only willing to fantasize about…

[NB- I confess that his remark about 350,000 Turks total is a bit weird.  Did he have a calendar with only 350 days?]

Luther: On The Various Ways In Which the 6th Commandment is Broken

  1. Whoever violates virgins, commits adultery, incest, and similar kinds of sexual sins.
  2. Whoever commits sexual perversions (called the unnamed sins1) [Rom. 1:26–27; Lev. 18:22–23; 20:10–16].
  3. Whoever uses lewd words, ditties, stories, pictures to incite others to sexual lust or displays such lust himself.
  4. Whoever stirs up sexual desires in himself and contaminates himself by ogling, touching, and sexual fantasies2.
  5. Whoever does not avoid provocation to sexual sins—heavy drinking and eating, laziness and idleness, sleeping too much, and associating with persons of the opposite sex.
  6. Whoever incites others to unchastity by excessive personal adornment, suggestive gestures, and other means.
  7. Whoever allows his house, room, time, or assistance to be used for such sexual sins.
  8. Whoever does not do and say what he can to help another person to be chaste. — Martin Luther

So there you have it. Modern culture, entirely, guilty.

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1Homosexual behavior.
2I.e., masturbation.