Daily Archives: 19 May 2018

Adolf Schlatter: Virtually Unread in the English Speaking World

220px-Schlatter_im_LehnstuhlTragically, as this fascinating post leads us to understand. In part

Here are few of the brilliantly insightful things he [Schlatter] wrote:

-It is absolutely clear: there can be no talk of man’s but only of God’s righteousness. Man is unrighteous, for the relation which he establishes towards God and man is enmity and a lie. Only what is peculiar to God and God’s activity is the righteousness which establishes fellowship. The genitive δικαιοσυνη θεου permits no relaxing.

-Wir erlangen das Heil durch die Erfüllung unseres Dienstes.

-Gott hat die Scham dem Menschen ins Herz gepflanzt als einen Wächter, der ihn gegen das Böse empfindlich machen soll.

-In der Hand der Sünder ist auch die Gabe sündig. Nur in der Hand des Priesters ist das Opfer rein und wohlgefällig.

In case the reader wonders why the first quote is in English and the rest in German, I simply wish to make a point that only a small fragment of Schlatter’s work has ever been translated. But everything he wrote is worthy of translation. Schlatter’s works are an expansive woodland, scarcely traversed (especially in the English speaking world). Treasure waits in these woods for those brave enough to venture in.

Imprecatory Prayer is Prayer

Calvin Writes About his Future Wife…

Such a romantic soul…  He wrote, on May 19, 1539,

“Remember what I expect from one who is to be a companion through life. I do not belong to the class of loving fools, who, blinded by passion, are ready to expend their affection on vice itself. Do you wish to know what kind of beauty alone can win my soul? It is that in which grace and virtue, contentedness and suavity are united with simplicity; and I can hope that a woman with these qualities would not be negligent of my general well-being.”

I’m sure he made the womenfolk swoon with talk like this…

I Don’t Attend the SBC Annual Meeting: Here’s Why

These two tweets are exactly what SBC meetings are about: conquest and control-

The #sbcam18 isn’t an opportunity to gather to encourage and support one another- it’s a war and it has to be fought so that others are defeated. And that, dear friends, is why I don’t bother attending the SBC meetings. They’re nothing more than powerplays.  And I have better things to do than play those foolish evil games.

Signs of the Times

Quote of the Day

“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me,`Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. “Many will say to Me in that day,`Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them,`I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt. 7:18-23)

When You Don’t Know What a Sermon is, You Call it a Speech…

Remembering Adolf Schlatter on the Day He Died

Adolf Schlatter died on the 19th of May in the Year of Our Lord, 1938.  I love Schlatter.  His work is impeccable (yes, literally without sin) and his influence abiding.

I am unashamed to say that I think him one of the smartest exegetes of the 19th or 20th centuries.  He knew the text and it shows on every page of every commentary he wrote.  And he wrote one on every book of the New Testament.  Indeed, several New Testament books were treated more than once!  Sadly, very few of his works have been translated into English, which means he is essentially unknown in the non-German speaking world.

But he also wrote an introduction to the Bible (as a whole), dogmatic, and philosophical works.  He was well read and very learned, as even a cursory glance at his biography will show.

He has been accused of antisemitism by his detractors, and he may well have suffered a bit of it in his last years.  His little piece titled Wird der Jude über uns siegen?  Ein Wort für die Weinachtszeit, which he published in 1935, is more an encouragement to Christian fidelity to the standards of the faith and the uniqueness of Christianity than an attack on Judaism.   Yet, it is more than a little discomfiting.  Especially when Schlatter writes Der Jude haßt- Jesus nimmt dagegen jedem, den sein Wort erfaßt, den Haß aus der Seele.  I sure wish he hadn’t.  But I also wish Luther hadn’t written what he did about the Jews.

Yet the memory of neither Luther nor Schlatter should be controlled by one ill conceived idea when the vast majority of their work was positive and beneficial.  People shouldn’t be remembered only for their mistakes (though of course this is often what happens- in some cases deservedly admittedly).

So, today, read this very well written dissertation on Schlatter.