Daily Archives: 16 Jul 2018

The Differences Between a True Theologian (One Worthy of the Name) and a False Theologian (One Unworthy of the Name)

A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.

This is clear: He who does not know Christ does not know God hidden in suffering. Therefore he prefers works to suffering, glory to the cross, strength to weakness, wisdom to folly, and, in general, good to evil. These are the people whom the apostle calls “enemies of the cross of Christ” [Phil. 3:18], for they hate the cross and suffering and love works and the glory of works. Thus they call the good of the cross evil and the evil of a deed good. God can be found only in suffering and the cross, as has already been said. Therefore the friends of the cross say that the cross is good and works are evil, for through the cross works are destroyed and the old Adam, who is especially edified by works, is crucified. It is impossible for a person not to be puffed up by his good works unless he has first been deflated and destroyed by suffering and evil until he knows that he is worthless and that his works are not his but God’s.*

*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), 53.


The Cross is at the heart of the Christian faith and thus at the heart of the Christian life.  Death to self, obedience to the Lordship of Christ.  These are the very essence of the Gospel from which flow all righteous acts.  What Martin is advising is nothing more than a philosophy of humanitarianism, which is NOT the Gospel.  It is in fact a false gospel.  A substitute gospel of human merit.  Nothing more.  Yet it ‘sounds’ right, but it is not right.  It is Christianity devoid of the Cross and that is no Christianity worth knowing.

Signs of the Times

Who Knew…

Via Colleen Sharp on the twitters-

Follow Jonathan on Twitter for Updates from the Summer Meeting of SOTS

You can find Jonathan here.  He’s tweeting the Summer meeting in Durham.

UPDATE:  Jonathan writes

For those wanting to see pictures and—perhaps—a few more posts, look for #sots18 on the Twitter

Like Leibniz?

Then go over here and read a lot of his stuff that’s part of a translation project.  And yes, you’re welcome.

Church Kicks Off Fun-Filled ‘Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God’ Themed VBS

While many churches choose a pre-made VBS theme with fun, colorful characters and a cartoonish setting, Church of the Desert Hills today launched its own proprietary Vacation Bible School, dubbed “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”


The exciting event promises to be filled with fun crafts, interactive games, and daily skits in which characters reenact fiery metaphors and illustrations from Edwards’ weighty, sobering sermon from the Great Awakening.

Many of the crafts, games, and activities will involve fire, according to the church’s pastor.

“We’ve got a fun one lined up for tomorrow, called ‘The Loathsome Spider,’” he said. “The kids will swing over a pit of hot coals on a rope, trying not to fall and get burned! Classic.” The pastor stated that fire-themed crafts and illustrations help the kids remember the lessons from Edwards’ sermon and life, “especially when they get burned.”

“Pretty much anything that involves fire, we’ve got it!” he added.

In the event’s exciting finale, the kids will gather to hear a Jonathan Edwards impersonator reenact the famed sermon.

According to the pastor, next year, the church is considering an exciting Spanish Inquisition theme.


This Is How A Real American President Meets With the Murderer in Chief of Russia

Quote of the Day

Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you??? — John Brennan

The Church Bell Tower That Sounds Like a Cellphone Ringing…

This is super.  Make sure to turn the sound up and even if you don’t speak German you’ll enjoy the ‘ringtone’…

Theodore E. McCarrick: Cardinal and Depraved

As a young man studying to be a priest in the 1980s, Robert Ciolek was flattered when his brilliant, charismatic bishop in Metuchen, N.J., Theodore E. McCarrick, told him he was a shining star, cut out to study in Rome and rise high in the church.

Bishop McCarrick began inviting him on overnight trips, sometimes alone and sometimes with other young men training to be priests. There, the bishop would often assign Mr. Ciolek to share his room, which had only one bed. The two men would sometimes say night prayers together, before Bishop McCarrick would make a request — “come over here and rub my shoulders a little”— that extended into unwanted touching in bed.

Mr. Ciolek, who was in his early 20s at the time, said he felt unable to say no, in part because he had been sexually abused by a teacher in his Catholic high school, a trauma he had shared with the bishop.

“I trusted him, I confided in him, I admired him,” Mr. Ciolek said in an interview this month, the first time he has spoken publicly about the abuse, which lasted for several years while Mr. Ciolek was a seminarian and later a priest. “I couldn’t imagine that he would have anything other than my best interests in mind.”

Cardinal McCarrick, now 88, who declined to comment for this article, said in a statement last month that he had no recollection of the abuse. He is the highest-ranking Catholic official in the United States to be removed for sexual abuse of a minor.

But while the church responded quickly to the allegation that Cardinal McCarrick had abused a child, some church officials knew for decades that the cardinal had been accused of sexually harassing and inappropriately touching adults, according to interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times.

Read the whole– and then ask yourself why this man was for so long allowed to be a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.

SBL / AAR Bingo

This is hilarious because it’s so true:


I’ve got my own hashtag!  #BlockJimWest.   Honestly people, do it.  I don’t care if you follow me or not on twitter, friend me on facebook, read the blog, or interact with me in any way.  But know this- if you form your opinion of me on the basis of easily triggered angry folk then that says more about you, your intellectual independence, or lack thereof, and your willingness to please others than it will ever say about me.

I’m not changing to suit you, or anyone.  So if you don’t like me, by all means block me.  Carry on.

A Pot Full of Clerics

“Boiling Clergymen”  — Book of the vine our Lord, France c. 1450-1470 (Bodleian Library, MS. Sweet 134, crazy. 85 r).  Or, as Michael calls it- the church business meeting.*

*Please note, sensitive souls, that I don’t actually think that boiling clerics is a good thing. Unless they’re Servetus, but that’s a different thing. This declaimer brought to you for the sake of all those who are triggered by everything and so given to being affronted that even so much as a ‘hello’ on the street is a homophobic, racist, misogynistic foray into mansplaining by the patriarchy, according to them.

The Meanings of Suicide in the Ancient Near East

This essay is very much worth your time.  It’s quite good.

A Prayer

zwingliEin gebett: 

O allmechtiger, ewiger gott, den alle geschöpften billich eerend, anbättend und lobend als iren werckmeister, schöpfer und vatter, verlyh uns armen sünderen, das wir din lob und dancksagung, die din eingeborner sun, unser herr und erlöser, Jesus Christus, uns glöubigen zuo gedächtnus sines tods ze thuon geheyssen hat, mit rechter trüw und glouben vollbringind. Durch denselben unseren herren Jesum Christum, dinen sun, der mit dir läbt und rychßnet in einigkeyt des heyligen geysts, gott in die eewigheyt. Amen!*   – Huldrych Zwingli

*This prayer is from a book by Zwingli that I’ve mentioned previously. It’s a beautiful book and I am again shocked that it has not appeared in English long before now.

Public Service Announcement

I’m not going to stop being me. That is all. Carry on.

A Quick Question

Is anyone on the twitter live tweeting events in Helsinki?



This is an appalling story:

An alleged plan to burn down a large condominium building along the waterfront in Miami Beach was thwarted in what police are describing as a possible hate crime directed toward Jewish residents. A 72-year-old man was taken into custody and police later recovered dozens of filled gasoline containers in the building, according to Ernesto Rodriguez of the Miami Beach Police Department. No one was injured.

“Our investigators eventually identified and then actually intercepted the suspect in the parking garage of the building,” Rodriguez said Friday. “At that moment, he was in possession of two gasoline containers. He had already dumped other containers with gasoline down a trash chute and residents could smell the fumes of gasoline throughout the building.”


A New Volume from the Zurichers Reviewed

Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer in JSNT 39 (p. 103) on Monika Götte‘s Von den Wächtern zu Adam: Frühjüdische Mythen über die Ursprünge des Bösen und ihre frühchristliche Rezeption.

It’s all here.