Daily Archives: 31 May 2018

‘By Their Fruits You Will Know Them…’

We do not justify men before God by works, but say, that all who are of God are regenerated and made new creatures, so that they pass from the kingdom of sin into the kingdom of righteousness. In this way they make their calling sure, and, like trees, are judged by their fruits. — John Calvin

Quote of the Day

tertullianPhilosophers are the Patriarchs of heretics – Tertullian

Patheos Removed Throckmorton…

Let’s face it, because they wanted to pander to Mark Driscoll.  That’s the only reason.  Patheos can say what it wants, the facts are that Throckmorton has been relentless in exposing Driscoll’s hypocrisy and evil and Patheos recently signed the heretic so Throckmorton has to go.

If Christians were ethical none of them would allow Patheos to host their blogs.

Last Tuesday, Warren Throckmorton announced that his blog had been abruptly removed from Patheos.

Dr. Throckmorton is a longtime Patheos blogger, and it was there that he wrote important posts about the scandals involving Mark DriscollMars Hill ChurchK.P. Yohannan, and Gospel for Asia. Driscoll and Yohannan both have blogs that continue to be hosted by Patheos.

In place of Dr. Throckmorton’s blog, Patheos now serves up a 410 error code, which means that “the resource requested is no longer available and will not be available again. This should be used when a resource has been intentionally removed and the resource should be purged.”

The only reason Dr. Throckmorton was given for this action was that his blog no longer meets the “strategic objectives” of Patheos. In an email subsequently sent out to some Patheos bloggers, Director of Content Phil Fox Rose says that “We’re sorry the lack of details allows for speculation,” but fails to offer any details that might end such speculation, other than that Dr. Throckmorton did not meet their “expectations.”

Patheos is a private company and is free to choose who they want to host on their site. But it’s not difficult to discover why Dr. Throckmorton’s relentless reporting on the scandals of evangelicalism didn’t fit the ideology (or the “strategic objectives”) of the owners of Patheos.


Again, if I were on Patheos I would leave immediately.  They can have the heretic Driscoll.  But they can’t have ethical Disciples of the Crucified.

Adolf von Harnack Explains Luther’s Disdain for Invented Theological Terminology

Luther_foto_a_wagenknechtLuther has indicated with sufficient distinctness that he merely conceded to his theological opponents theological terminology, and made use of it himself merely on account of traditional familiarity with it, and because the employment of incorrect words was not necessarily of evil. He so expressed himself with regard to the most important terms.

First of all he had an objection to all the different descriptions of justification: to justify, to be regenerated, to sanctify, to quicken, righteousness, to impute (justificare, regenerari, sanctificare, vivificare, justitia, imputare), etc., etc.; he felt very much that the mere number of the terms was a serious burden upon his conception, and that no single word completely answered to his view.

Secondly, in a similar way he objected to the word satisfaction (satisfactio) in every sense; as used by his opponents he will only let it pass.

Thirdly, he stumbled at the term “Church” (ecclesia); for it obscured or confused what should simply be called Christian community, gathering, or—still better—a holy Christendom.

Fourthly, he observed very clearly the objectionableness of the word “Sacrament”; what he would have liked most would have been to see that the use of it was entirely avoided, and that for the ambiguous formula “Word and Sacrament,” there was substituted the Word alone, or that if the term Sacrament was retained there should be a speaking of one Sacrament and several signs.

Fifthly, he himself declared such a term as ὁμοούσιος to be unallowable in the strict sense, because it represents a bad state of things when such words are invented in the Christian system of faith: “we must indulge the Fathers in the use of it … but if my soul hates the word homousios and I prefer not to use it, I shall not be a heretic; for who will compel me to use it, provided that I hold the thing which was defined in the Council by means of the Scriptures? although the Arians had wrong views with regard to the faith, they were nevertheless very right in this … that they required that no profane and novel word should be allowed to be introduced into the rules of faith.” In like manner he objected to and rather avoided the terms “Dreifaltigkeit,” “Dreiheit,” “unitas,” “trinitas” (threefoldness, threeness, oneness, trinity).

vonharnackYet, as is proved by the words quoted above, there is this difference observable here—that he regarded the terminologies of the mediæval theology as misleading and false, the terminologies on the other hand of the theology of the ancient Church as merely useless and cold.

But from still another side he objected most earnestly to all the results of theological labour that had been handed down from the days of the Apologists; and here in still greater degree than in his censure of particular conceptions his divergence from the old dogma found expression, namely, in that distinguishing between “for himself (itself)” and “for us,” which is so frequently to be found in Luther. Over and over again, and on all occasions, the definitions given by the old dogmatic of God and Christ, of the will and attributes of God, of the natures in Christ, of the history of Christ, etc., are set aside with the remark: “that He is for himself,” in order that his new view, which is for him the chief matter, nay, which constitutes the whole, may then be introduced under the formula “that He is for us,” or simply “for us.”

“Christ is not called Christ because He has two natures. What concern have I in that? But he bears this glorious and comforting title from the office and work which He has taken upon Him … that He is by nature man and God, that He has for Himself.” In this “for himself” and “for us” the new theology of Luther, and at the same time his conservative tendency find clearest expression.

Theology is not the analysis and description of God and of the divine acts from the standpoint of reason as occupying an independent position over against God, but it is the confession on the part of faith of its own experience, that is, of revelation.

This, however, puts an end to the old theology with its metaphysic and its rash ingenuity. But if Luther now nevertheless allows those old doctrines to remain under the terms “God in Himself,” “the hidden God,” “the hidden will of God,” they no longer remain as what are properly speaking doctrines of faith. About this no doubt can arise. But that they were not entirely rejected by him has its cause on the one hand in his believing they were found in Scripture, and on the other hand in his failure to think out the problems in a comprehensive and systematic way.*

Von Harnack- as always- observant and expressive and precise. The bold part is my emphasis. It is here that von Harnack has understood Luther’s theology in a way that NT Wright and other modern interpreters have not. And cannot, because they don’t understand Luther.

*History of Dogma. (N. Buchanan, Trans., T. K. Cheyne, Ed.) (Vol. 7, pp. 224–227).

Beza’s Death Sentence

bezaFor having left France because he was a Protestant [Beza] was condemned by the Parliament of Paris to death, and all his property confiscated to the State (May 31, 1550). By special royal mandate his property was restored to him in 1564, although he was at the time at the head of the Reformed Church of France. –  Schaff

The next time an American Christian complains about being ‘persecuted’, ask them when they were condemned to death and their property confiscated by the State.

Call For Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS: Society for Reformation Research Sessions at the 54th Medieval Congress, May 9-12, 2019

Twenty minute papers on the Long Reformation Cross disciplinary, cross cultural, and multimedia papers, as well as papers in history, literature and the arts are welcome for the following proposed sessions:

Reformation I Reformation Strategies: History, Biography, Polemic
Reformation II Cross Cultural Connections in the Reformation
Reformation III Reformation(s) across the Disciplines
Reformation IV Politics, Dissonance, and Resistance in the Long Reformation

Send 200 Word Abstracts to
Maureen Thum Ph.D.
Please indicate SRR 2019 Proposal as Subject Heading
Please include affiliation, preferred address, phone, AV needs


While the Society for Reformation Research sessions may at first glance appear to be an anomaly within the Medieval Congress, expanding understanding and critical evaluations of the Long Reformation(s) recognize important connections both before and after the more narrowly conceived concept of the Reformation as focusing primarily on the sixteenth century.

The concept of the Long Reformation recognizes not only that there are many Reformations across cultures but that the Reformation finds its roots in medieval thought and developing heterdoxies that begin as early as the Lollards whose leading figure, John Wycliffe, was dismissed from Oxford University in 1381 for criticizing the Church. The Long Reformation also includes other heterodox figures and movements which gathered force during the Middle Ages and continued to develop through the sixteenth century and beyond. This year’s four proposed sessions range across the disciplines, across cultural boundaries, and across the boundaries that have traditionally separated medieval studies from Reformation Research on the one hand, and Early Modern Studies from the traditionally more narrowly defined view of the Reformation on the other

We welcome papers focusing cross disciplinary, cross cultural, and multimedia topics. Papers have ranged in the past from historical and literary studies involving Reformation(s) in different areas of Europe and the America, to multi-media studies and studies in the arts including architecture, art, film, and theatre as well as studies in gender and women’s roles. .

Reformation I Reformation Strategies: History, Biography, Polemic. Scholarship in the past few decades has emphasized strategies used by Reformers not only to record, but also to appeal to and captivate both the lettered and unlettered audiences of Europe and England. The third session features papers which provide a record of the polemical stances of Reformers while exploring the many strategies used to render this record compelling in Pre-Reformation, Reformation, and Post Reformation discourse.

Reformation II: Cross cultural Connections in the Reformation Despite the fact that Martin Luther is recognized as its founding father, the Reformation was not limited to one place or one culture. Papers in this session focus on the intersection of different cultures in the Reformation.

Reformation III Reformation(s) across the Disciplines: Scholarship in recent decades has emphasized the cross-disciplinary nature of the Reformation as it emerged in literature, art, architecture, and other media, as well as in genres such as the diatribe, the sermon, and the polemical tract. This session emphasizes interdisciplinarity in the Reformation.

Reformation Discourse IV: Politics, Dissonance, and Resistance in the Long Reformation: The Reformation was revolutionary, involving polemical battles between the heterodox and the orthodox that could be traced to pre-Reformation writers and leaders and which continued to be evidenced in post-Reformation literary texts and tracts. This session focuses on acts of dissonance and resistance which find their roots in medieval culture and which may be found well beyond the sixteenth century age of Reform.

SWBTS Has Fired Patterson and Stripped him of all Benefits

Good for them.  Now the evildoer exits in the shame he properly deserves instead of with pay and benefits.