Daily Archives: 26 Apr 2018

Since You Mention It, I’m Procrastinating Right Now…

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators: The psychological origins of waiting (… and waiting, and waiting) to work.

I even waited till the article was four years old to mention it… Enjoy.

Dogmatics Matters

The ignorant and immature like to poo poo dogmatics but dogma is the means by which heresy is kept at bay and that’s important because heresy ruins lives. Real lives. In real ways. Just ask those sucked dry financially by hucksters like Joel Osteen and John Hagee and the other wolves in sheep’s clothing fleecing the foolish and doctrinally ignorant.

The next time some Millennial snorts at dogma you will know instantly one fact about her or him- he or she knows nothing about the subject.

Quote of the Day

“There are those people who are in your corner no matter what, you can’t do any wrong, even when you do wrong. And then there are those people that no matter what you do they’re going to dislike you and that’s not going to change.” – Brett Favre

Every Christian Is Obliged to Be August Landmesser

Who is August Landmesser?  He’s the guy in this photo from a Nazi rally who refuses to salute Hitler.   Like him, every Christian is obliged to stand, solitarily if necessary, against the winds of godless society.

Go out and be August Landmesser.  There are already plenty of Jerry Falwell Jr’s and Eric Metaxas-es and Robert Jeffress-es and Franklin Grahams…

Who Can Make This????

18th c. reading chair

The Memorial Service for Richard Coggins

A New Academic Enterprise to Follow On Twitter


New Stuff From Mohr For The Folks Interested in Them

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Peterson, Paul Silas The Early Karl Barth: Historical Contexts and Intellectual Formation 1905-1935

Paul Silas Peterson presents Karl Barth (1886-1968) in his sociopolitical, cultural, ecclesial, and theological contexts from 1905 to 1935. In the foreground of this inquiry is Barth’s relation to the features of his time, especially radical socialist ideology, WWI, an intellectual trend that would later be called the Conservative Revolution, the German Christians, the Young Reformation Movement, and National Socialism.

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Prothro, James B. Both Judge and Justifier: Biblical Legal Language and the Act of Justifying in Paul

Paul’s doctrine of “justification” is heavily debated among scholars. One basic question is this: What does it mean for God to “justify”? In this work, James B. Prothro explores biblical legal controversies and scenes of divine judgment in order to answer this question. He shows what it means for Paul to say that God the judge is the justifier of those who trust in Christ.


Job Ridiculed By His Wife

Georges de La Tour 1593 – 1652
Job Ridiculed by his Wife
oil on canvas (145 × 97 cm) — ca. 1650

We’ve all been there, Job…. we’ve all been there….

The EBAF YouTube Channel

Is here.  Along with Tom’s lecture (posted previously) they have a couple of other lectures and soon, hopefully, Thomas Römer’s delivered yesterday.

Tom Thompson on Esau

Genesis 22 Re-imagined, for the Grammar Police

Academic Inconsistency

  • Scholars: higher ed shouldn’t be turned into a for profit business.
  • Also scholars: we should be paid for every article we write and every scholarly thing we do. Treat us like a for profit business.

I think two things are true:

  • When academics becomes a business, everyone loses.
  • Scholars should be compensated for what they do, but they shouldn’t be merely in it for the money.  At some level they should have a genuine love of their discipline and a love for their students.   Love for their chosen field and contributions to their chosen field should be seen as just that: contributions.  If money is the driving factor of your life’s work, your life is quite poor no matter how much you make.

Quote of the Day

The man who has no enemies is a donkey. – Kabylian Proverb

The 500th Anniversary of the Heidelberg Disputation

Today marks the 500th anniversary of Luther’s explanation of his new ‘Evangelische’ theology to his Augustinian brothers at Heidelberg.

Staupitz asked Luther and Beier to participate in a disputation at the Augustinian monastery on April 26 to acquaint the brothers with the new evangelical theology. To avoid arousing animosity against Luther, Staupitz asked him not to debate controversial subjects but to prepare theses concerning sin, free will, and grace—topics which had been debated in the Disputation Against Scholastic Theology. Although the older theologians were not convinced by Luther, most of the younger men, including Martin Bucer, Johann Brenz, and Theobald Billikan, who later spread the Reformation in Strassburg, Württemberg, and Nördlingen, respectively, were highly receptive and immediately wrote enthusiastic accounts concerning him to their friends. Bucer was particularly impressed by Luther’s reliance upon the Bible, his familiarity with the church fathers, his courtesy in answering questions, his willingness to listen to others, and his courage in expressing his views.*

Here are the debate points:


Distrusting completely our own wisdom, according to that counsel of the Holy Spirit, “Do not rely on your own insight” [Prov. 3:5], we humbly present to the judgment of all those who wish to be here these theological paradoxes, so that it may become clear whether they have been deduced well or poorly from St. Paul, the especially chosen vessel and instrument of Christ, and also from St. Augustine, his most trustworthy interpreter.

1. The law of God, the most salutary doctrine of life, cannot advance man on his way to righteousness, but rather hinders him.
2. Much less can human works, which are done over and over again with the aid of natural precepts, so to speak, lead to that end.
3. Although the works of man always seem attractive and good, they are nevertheless likely to be mortal sins.
4. Although the works of God always seem unattractive and appear evil, they are nevertheless really eternal merits.
5. The works of men are thus not mortal sins (we speak of works which are apparently good), as though they were crimes.
6. The works of God (we speak of those which he does through man) are thus not merits, as though they were sinless.
7. The works of the righteous would be mortal sins if they would not be feared as mortal sins by the righteous themselves out of pious fear of God.
8. By so much more are the works of man mortal sins when they are done without fear and in unadulterated, evil self-security.
9. To say that works without Christ are dead, but not mortal, appears to constitute a perilous surrender of the fear of God.
10. Indeed, it is very difficult to see how a work can be dead and at the same time not a harmful and mortal sin.
11. Arrogance cannot be avoided or true hope be present unless the judgment of condemnation is feared in every work.
12. In the sight of God sins are then truly venial when they are feared by men to be mortal.
13. Free will, after the fall, exists in name only, and as long as it does what it is able to do, it commits a mortal sin.
14. Free will, after the fall, has power to do good only in a passive capacity, but it can always do evil in an active capacity.
15. Nor could free will endure in a state of innocence, much less do good, in an active capacity, but only in its passive capacity.
16. The person who believes that he can obtain grace by doing what is in him adds sin to sin so that he becomes doubly guilty.
17. Nor does speaking in this manner give cause for despair, but for arousing the desire to humble oneself and seek the grace of Christ.
18. It is certain that man must utterly despair of his own ability before he is prepared to receive the grace of Christ.
19. That person does not deserve to be called a theologian who looks upon the invisible things of God as though they were clearly perceptible in those things which have actually happened [Rom. 1:20].
20. He deserves to be called a theologian, however, who comprehends the visible and manifest things of God seen through suffering and the cross.
21. A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.
22. That wisdom which sees the invisible things of God in works as perceived by man is completely puffed up, blinded, and hardened.
23. The law brings the wrath of God, kills, reviles, accuses, judges, and condemns everything that is not in Christ [Rom. 4:15].
24. Yet that wisdom is not of itself evil, nor is the law to be evaded; but without the theology of the cross man misuses the best in the worst manner.
25. He is not righteous who does much, but he who, without work, believes much in Christ.
26. The law says, “do this,” and it is never done. Grace says, “believe in this,” and everything is already done.
27. Actually one should call the work of Christ an acting work and our work an accomplished work, and thus an accomplished work pleasing to God by the grace of the acting work.
28. The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it. The love of man comes into being through that which is pleasing to it.


29. He who wishes to philosophize by using Aristotle without danger to his soul must first become thoroughly foolish in Christ.
30. Just as a person does not use the evil of passion well unless he is a married man, so no person philosophizes well unless he is a fool, that is, a Christian.
31. It was easy for Aristotle to believe that the world was eternal since he believed that the human soul was mortal.
32. After the proposition that there are as many material forms as there are created things had been accepted, it was necessary to accept that they all are material.
33. Nothing in the world becomes something of necessity; nevertheless, that which comes forth from matter, again by necessity, comes into being according to nature.
34. If Aristotle would have recognized the absolute power of God, he would accordingly have maintained that it was impossible for matter to exist of itself alone.
35. According to Aristotle, nothing is infinite with respect to action, yet with respect to power and matter, as many things as have been created are infinite.
36. Aristotle wrongly finds fault with and derides the ideas of Plato, which actually are better than his own.
37. The mathematical order of material things is ingeniously maintained by Pythagoras, but more ingenious is the interaction of ideas maintained by Plato.
38. The disputation of Aristotle lashes out at Parmenides’ idea of oneness (if a Christian will pardon this) in a battle of air.
39. If Anaxagoras posited infinity as to form, as it seems he did, he was the best of the philosophers, even if Aristotle was unwilling to acknowledge this.
40. To Aristotle, privation, matter, form, movable, immovable, impulse, power, etc. seem to be the same.

*Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 31: Career of the Reformer I, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 31 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 37ff.