Daily Archives: 5 Sep 2018

#JustDoIt – But Don’t Expect to be Paid Fairly…

It would take these Sri Lankans who work for @Nike 1400 years to make what the CEO makes in 1. #JustDoIt ‘Believe in something. Like fair pay. Even if you’re never going to get it’.

But I Don’t Have a Son…

Whoever loves his son will beat him frequently so that in after years the son may be his comfort. Whoever is strict with his son will reap the benefit, and be able to boast of him to his acquaintances. Whoever educates his son will be the envy of his enemy, and will be proud of him among his friends. (Sir. 30:1-3)

Duncan Hunter: GOP Rep, Family Values Republican, and Mistress Supporting Reprobate

Par for the GOP course these days.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) may have illegally spent campaign funds on at least five women who are not his wife — whom he has blamed for financial wrongdoing that has gotten them both indicted.  The California Republican and his wife Margaret were indicted last month on 60 counts related to spending more than $250,000 in campaign cash on themselves, but prosecutors say the “family values” lawmaker may have spent some of that on women with whom he was having a “personal relationship,” reported The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Hunters overdrew their bank account more than 1,100 times in seven years and were penalized nearly $38,000 in overdraft and other fees, and they also maxed out their credit cards and were hit with about $24,600 in fees and penalties. Prosecutors say the congressman spent some of the campaign money on five individuals living in Washington, D.C.

Defense attorney Gregory Vega wrote a letter to the Department of Justice complaining that prosecutors had notified him that they have photos of an intoxicated Hunter and some of those women. “While there may be evidence of infidelity, irresponsibility or alcohol dependence, once properly understood, the underlying facts do not equate to criminal activity,” Vega wrote.  Politico reported in February that Hunter had a reputation for partying and that federal investigators had been eying his activities, but the 41-year-old Hunter dismissed the reports as “tabloid trash.”

The real trash is the hypocritical reprobate.

Signs of the Times

Why I Will Never Sign a Statement Like The Nashville Statement

As my seminary prof said back in 86- if some group of fundamentalists wrote the word ‘Jesus’ and asked me to sign it, I would refuse, because they don’t mean what I mean when they use that word. #NashvilleStatement

Quote of the Month

Malachi 2:17 “You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you ask, ‘How have we wearied Him?’ When you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the LORD’s sight, and He is pleased with them,’ or ‘Where is the God of justice?'”

The SOTS Announcement of John Rogerson’s Passing

Davies, Rogerson, Grabbe, Sherratt, Brooke

Dear Member,

With sadness I write to to share news with you that I received from Walter Houston yesterday about the death of Prof John Rogerson.

Walter wrote: John Rogerson died this morning—suddenly of a heart attack on a visit to hospital. We had the news from one of our daughters in Sheffield even before I got an email from Rosalind.

As yet there are no announced funeral arrangements, but I will let you know when I hear.

I will circulate more information when it is available.
John was born in 1935, was ordained into the Church of England and became world renowned as a biblical scholar, holding the Chair at Sheffield for many years before his retirement.  He joined SOTS in 1965 and served the Society faithfully in many capacities over the years – Secretary (1972-77), Foreign Secretary 1990-97), Archivist (1998-2004).  He was elected as President for 1989 and in 1992 his Short History of SOTS 1917-92 was published by the Society to mark its 75th Anniversary.  John addressed the Society several times at its meetings – the last occasion being in 2007 – and was a very regular attender until increasingly poor health made this more difficult in recent years.  May he RIP.
With all good wishes,
Janet
Revd Dr Janet E Tollington

I Cannot Wait to See This Film

Cannot.  Wait.  So looking forward to being in Zurich when the film is shown in February with the filmmaker himself present.

Zwingli – Der Film — Wir präsentieren euch das erste offizielle Bild vom Film ZWINGLI! Dieses zeigt Haupdarsteller Max Simonischek in seiner Rolle als Reformator.

Luther Must Have Foreseen the US Congress

You are desperate, thorough arch-rascals, murderers, traitors, liars, the very scum of all the most evil people on earth. You are full of all the worst devils in hell – full, full, and so full that you can do nothing but vomit, throw, and blow out devils! — Martin Luther

Recent publications based on the work on the Bullinger correspondence by members of the editorial team

All the details are over at the IRG blog.  A lot of great stuff that needs to be read.

Sad News: John Rogerson Has Died

Photo by Viv Rowett, 2012. Do not repost.

No details are yet available but it seems that Prof. Rogerson passed away yesterday.  May he rest in peace.

Rogerson lectured, shortly before his death on the forgiveness of sin.  Give it a watch.  Deane has also assembled other lectures by Rogerson on things like the Kingdom of God and the Prophets.

Middle Knowledge: Human Freedom in Divine Sovereignty

Most Christians believe God is in control, but they are unsure of how to reconcile that control with their struggles with sin, the command to evangelize, and the immense suffering in the world and their own lives.

Laing offers an introduction to the doctrine of providence based on the theory of middle knowledge, first articulated in the sixteenth century. This view describes how creatures have true free will and God has perfect knowledge of what each creature could and would do in any circumstance. Middle knowledge helps answer the most perplexing theological questions: predestination and salvation, the existence of evil, divine and human authorship of Scripture, and science and the Christian faith. Laing provides extensive biblical support as well as practical applications for this theology.

Laing’s volume begins with an introductory chapter in which he describes and discusses various models of ‘providence’.  He focuses on the major theories: process theology, open theism, calvinism, theological fatalism, and ‘middle knowledge’ (i.e., Molinism).  Chapter One then investigates ‘Middle Knowledge’ in its doctrinal implications.  In Chapter Two Laing turns to a more philosophical exposition concerning what he terms ‘the grounding objection’ to ‘middle knowledge’.  Chapter Three answers objections to the ‘circularity objection’.

Having, he believes, set aside the major objections to Molinism, Laing next turns in Chapter Four to a discussion of divine foreknowledge and free will.  Chapter Five is an explanation of predestination and salvation.  In Chapter Six the problem of evil is the subject and in Chapter Seven the subject is science and theology.

Chapter Nine is the heart of the book- the ‘biblical evidence’ for Molinism.  In Chapter Ten Laing attempts to show that Molinism is ‘Existentially Satisfying’.

The volume closes with a bibliography, scripture index, author index, and subject index.  Each chapter is clearly written with ample illustrative material and each chapter concludes with a very helpful summary of the argument.  The sum of that argument, made at the end of each chapter is essentially ‘see, this is why Molinism is the best explanation of the problem of divine knowledge’.

Except it isn’t.  Which brings us to the problem of the book: it is an attempt to answer a question which never appears in the biblical text.  The Bible never even wonders what God ‘knows’.  It assumes he knows whatever needs to be known.  See, for instance, the speech of God in Job.  And the statement of Jesus in Mark 13 that only God knows the hour of the Son of Man’s appearance.

The problem is that philosophical speculations have made their way into Christian theology and provoked, wrongly, theology to address questions which have no solution because Scripture itself, the true ground and source of Christian theology, provides no answer.  Or, frankly, simply doesn’t care about the questions of philosophers.  Molinism, like other philosophical speculations, ponders an issue about which Scripture does not care.

As a consequence, the question of ‘what God knows’ has to subject itself to all kinds of mental and philosophical gymnastics and that is what Laing’s book does.  Special pleadings here, ignoring Scripture there, and when addressing Scripture twisting it so that it addresses an issue it never addresses even remotely.  Exposition becomes eisegesis and eisegesis becomes speculation and speculation becomes a fully developed philosophical system that ultimately leads nowhere and says nothing.

What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?  Absolutely nothing.

Furthermore, Laing adopts theological viewpoints which are themselves problematic.  For example, he proposes that the doctrines of scriptural inerrancy and infallibility are aided by Molinism.  So is, in his view, ‘Intelligent Design’.  So besides adopting a solution (Molinism) for a philosophical problem (God’s knowing and human freedom) that Scripture knows nothing of and about which it cares nothing for, Laing also holds theological ideas that are not exactly accurate.

All of this means that the only readers who will appreciate this book are inerrantists who  hold to intelligent design and who are possessed of a philosophical bent and who prefer philosophical speculations to biblical revelation.  That, it seems to me, is a fairly tiny demographic.

Others may, and will, read this book.  But when they finish it, they will find themselves both dismayed at its failure to convince and dismayed that pure speculation has taken up so much of their time; time that could be spent reading something both scripturally sound and theologically accurate.  For this book is neither of those things.