Daily Archives: 18 Sep 2018

So Wrong

I’m not sure the folk at Union know this but a chief characteristic of orthodox Christianity is its claim to exclusivity. You don’t have to like it, or agree with it. But if you jettison it you do in fact jettison Christianity.

‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me’- Jesus

Academic Publishers and their Paywalls…

You know, JSTOR…

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship (Full Movie) CC BY 4.0 from Paywall The Movie on Vimeo.

Virtue Or The Lack Thereof…

If America can’t find virtuous people to serve in elected and appointed office, it should close up shop.

If we are willing to continuously choose the most debased among us, then the American experiment should end.

And if Christians will get behind and support the immoral and unvirtuous, they should stop calling themselves Christians.

Virtue matters. We are where we are as a society because we have forgotten that.

Quote of the Day

“Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology.”  — Terry Eagleton

The Most Important Post Policy Makers at Seminaries Will Read This Year

Dan Wallace writes, in part,

Genuine study of the biblical languages is being replaced by “Greek/Hebrew appreciation” courses—a euphemism for anything but deep appreciation, or nothing at all. Bible software, which can be an absolutely amazing tool for profound study of the original languages, has too often become a crutch. Rely on it enough and it becomes a wheelchair. One really needs to get immersed in Greek for a couple of years before being able to profit fully from Bible software that deals with the Greek.

Evangelical churches are frequently seeking pastors who have amazing speaking abilities, but who can’t exegete their way out of a paper bag. This is hardly what the Reformers had in mind. Listen to Luther:

In proportion as we value the gospel, let us zealously hold to the languages. For it was not without purpose that God caused his Scriptures to be set down in these two languages alone—the Old Testament in Hebrew, the New in Greek. Now if God did not despise them but chose them above all others for his word, then we too ought to honor them above all others.

And let us be sure of this: we will not long preserve the gospel without the languages.

It is inevitable that unless the languages remain, the gospel must finally perish.

Melanchthon was more to the point:

Those who advise inexperienced young students, training for ministry, not to study the languages ought to have their tongues cut off.

More positively stated, Erasmus said this in the preface to his Novum Instrumentum—the Greek New Testament published in 1516:

These holy pages will… give you Christ… they will give him to you in an intimacy so close that he would be less visible to you if he stood before your eyes.

In a role reversal from the 16th century, Roman Catholic graduate schools are doing incredible work in the biblical languages. I applaud this endeavor at these institutes, but grieve for what is happening in the conservative Protestant tradition. MDiv and ThM programs are shrinking at an alarming rate. And those that are remaining strong have often sacrificed the biblical languages on the altar of student enrollment.

The Reformation deserves better than this. Our churches deserve better than this. And, above all, Jesus Christ deserves better than this.

READ IT ALL.  HE’S RIGHT!  I’ll add my own view-  if you aren’t at home in the Biblical languages, you have no business being in a pulpit.

Go read the rest of Dan’s post.  And get the languages back in your curriculum.  Or just shut down.

Influential to Whom?

Neither I nor anyone I know has ever been influenced by anyone or anything springing from the pentebabbleist hinterlands.  Nor has anything produced by Willow ever influenced theological history or biblical interpretation.  So whilst there’s a Bultmannian approach to NT interpretation no one in academia ever speaks of a Willownian approach.

Who is it that assigns influence?  One would think that influence was measured not by the size of a ‘Church’ spewing heretical rubbish but by the lasting consequences of substantive contributions to theology.  That, at any rate, is what influences me.

Other influences are nothing more than the influence of the Kardashians.  I.e., idiotic.

So, no, RNS, Willow isn’t influential in any meaningful sense of the word.

The Council of Trent: Reform and Controversy in Europe and Beyond (1545-1700)

Exactly 450 years after the solemn closure of the Council of Trent on 4 December 1563, scholars from diverse regional, disciplinary and confessional backgrounds convened in Leuven to reflect upon the impact of this Council, not only in Europe but also beyond. Their conclusions are to be found in these three impressive volumes. Bridging different generations of scholarship, the authors reassess in a first volume Tridentine views on the Bible, theology and liturgy, as well as their reception by Protestants, deconstructing many myths surviving in scholarship and society alike. They also deal with the mechanisms ‘Rome’ developed to hold a grip on the Council’s implementation. The second volume analyzes the changes in local ecclesiastical life, initiated by bishops, orders and congregations, and the political strife and confessionalisation accompanying this reform process. The third and final volume examines the afterlife of Trent in arts and music, as well as in the global impact of Trent through missions.

Happenings At the University of Manchester

Via the BNTS facebook page-

What Damnable Heresy

This is not how baptism works.

‘Streamline’ ‘church’ has streamlined baptism to a base farce and is no church.

Israel Finkelstein’s Lectures in Zurich

With many thanks to Konrad Schmid for passing these along:

Quote of the Day

This, rather, should be our general rule: whoever glories in himself glories against God. –  John Calvin