Daily Archives: 6 May 2018

‘Sinner’ Is Such an Unused Word these Days that Microsoft Doesn’t Know What it Means

Thanks for sharing, Joel.

Signs of the Times

Signs of the Times

Resistance: The Dusseldorf Manifesto, 1933

Barth and the Barmen Declaration were just a few of those engaged in opposing the German Christians (the pro-Nazi party).  There were pockets of resistance all across Germany, including in the important city of Dusseldorf.

Im Mai 1933 trafen sich in Düsseldorf reformierte Theologen und Gemeindevertreter aus dem Rheinland und beschlossen eine theologische Erklärung, die aus 14 Thesen zur Gestalt der Kirche bestand.

Sie wollten insbesondere dem reformierten Vertreter in dem Ausschuss zur Neuordnung des deutschen Protestantismus, Hermann Albert Hesse, eine Hilfe für seine Arbeit geben – sei es im Sinne einer Unterstützung oder im Sinne einer Wegweisung und Ermahnung. Dem gemeinsamen – reformierten wie lutherischen – reformatorischen Erbe entsprach die Identifizierung Jesu Christi mit dem Wort Gottes, das uns gesagt werde durch die Heilige Schrift Alten und Neuen Testamentes. Das gilt auch für die Formulierung, Christus allein sei letztlich der geistliche Führer der Kirche. In reformierter Tradition stellte man die vier grundsätzlich gleichwertigen kirchlichen Ämter des Predigers, des Lehrers, des Ältesten und des Diakons heraus, wandte sich gegen ein übergeordnetes Bischofsamt und sprach sich für synodale Leitungsstrukturen aus.

All das war nicht neu, widersprach aber in Vielem den Positionen der Deutschen Christen, die das Führerprinzip in der Kirche einführen wollten und die „nationale Revolution“ als neue Offenbarung oder gute Ordnung Gottes ansahen. Manche Gedanken und sogar einzelne Formulierungen der Düsseldorfer Erklärung fanden sich später in der Barmer Theologischen Erklärung vom Mai 1934 wieder. Mit der nationalsozialistischen Rassenlehre und insbesondere mit der Forderung der Deutschen Christen nach einem Arierparagrafen in der Kirche unvereinbar war die vierte These, wonach Christus als der Heiland der Welt seine Kirche aus allen Völkern beruft.

We need a theological declaration like this today.  We need courage like this today.

The Expulsion of the Jesuits

Via John M. on the twitter-

6 May 1624: James I’s Proclamation ordering all Jesuits to leave #England & #Wales #otd.

Believe it or Not, Some People Didn’t Like Calvin!

I know, weird, right?

That Calvin made many enemies, and could not avoid making them, goes without saying. Like Dante, who thought nothing of putting his own friends among the damned in Inferno, when the requirements of justice demanded it, so Calvin could be inexorably unmerciful whenever he supposed that the honour of God was involved. One who came under the lash of his tongue in a public controversy was wont afterwards to declare that he knew Calvin and Beza well, but that he would rather be in hell with Beza than in heaven with Calvin.

A report of Calvin’s death made multitudes delirious with joy. When a false rumour of this kind got abroad in 1551, a day of thanksgiving was proclaimed in his native place, and a solemn procession of the canons of the cathedral took place. Even Grotius, philosopher as he was, must have had a mortal dislike to Calvin, if he really did say what is placed to his credit, that the spirit of Antichrist had been seen, not on the banks of the Tiber only, but on those of lake Leman.*

*Henry Henderson, Calvin in His Letters (London: J. M. Dent & Company, 1909), 85–86.

Calvin’s Earliest Letter

Calvin lost his father at an early age, as we learn from one of his letters. According however to Beza’s account, it happened when Calvin was about twenty-three years old, and was studying at Bourges, that is, three years later than the date of the letter.

This letter, the earliest document in his hand, is dated May 6, 1528, when he was a youth of eighteen or nineteen. It was written to a friend, Nicolas du Chemin (Chemmins) from Noyon, whither he had returned from Paris or Orleans. A youthful spirit breathes in every line, and it is marked by the character which distinguishes his later correspondence—by friendship, conscientiousness, and truth:—

“The promise which I gave you, on setting out, soon to be with you again, kept me for a long time in a state of uncertainty; the sickness of my father, while I was preparing to return to you, creating a new cause of delay. But when the physician gave hopes of his recovery, I then saw nothing in this delay but that the desire to rejoin you, which originally moved me deeply, grew still greater by the intervention of a few days. In the mean time, one day after another has passed away, and at last, every hope of preserving my father’s life has vanished. The approach of death is certain. But, at all events, I shall see you again. Remember me to Francis Daniel; to Philip, and all the rest who are with you. Have you put yourself yet under the professors of literature? Take care that your discretion does not make you idle. Farewell, dear Chemin; my friend, dearer than life!”*

Calvin’s lifelong war on idleness started at a young age.  Good for him.

*Paul Henry and Henry Stebbing, The Life and Times of John Calvin, the Great Reformer (vol. 1; New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1851), 25.