Daily Archives: 24 Sep 2018

Signs of the Times

I Have Zero Sympathy for the ‘Mystics’

They’re just weird.  Just weird.  Weirdos.

Quote of the Day

So caring about refugees, feeding the hungry, helping homeless, fighting human trafficking, and standing up for the voiceless oppressed isn’t “liberal.” It’s Christian. It always has been. – Michael Svigel

Truth

The LORD sent all his servants the prophets to you time and time again, but you have not obeyed or even paid attention.  He announced, ‘Turn, each of you, from your evil way of life and from your evil deeds. Live in the land the LORD gave to you and your ancestors long ago and forever.  Do not follow other gods to serve them and to bow in worship to them, and do not anger me by the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm. ” ‘But you have not obeyed me’– this is the LORD ‘s declaration– ‘with the result that you have angered me by the work of your hands and brought disaster on yourselves.’ (Jer. 25:4-7)

The Press Isn’t Doing Its Job

And the gullibility of the press in the face of the White House’s antics is gob-smacking.

The ‘Gospel’ According to Franklin Graham

Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.– Gal 1:8

The Dead Sea Scrolls and German Scholarship: Thoughts of an Englishman Abroad

George Brooke is the author of this little work.  If you click the ‘look inside’ box it will give you all the details you need.

In this slight but sprite and bright little volume, George Brooke, a world renowned expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and related things, tells the story, in 26 pages, of an English scholar’s thoughts of German scholarship on Hebrew and Aramaic documents from antiquity.

The volume opens with a preface, or really a greeting, in German, to attendees of the conference where these lectures were first delivered and to readers of the series in which this little volume belongs.  This is followed by an introduction, in German, of George, who offers the lectures here enclosed.

Then Brooke launches into the lectures (in English) which honor the memory of the great Julius Wellhausen.  In the pages that follow, Brooke traces the legacy of German scholarship on the Scrolls.  After describing Joerg Frey’s historical survey, Brooke describes the Post-War era and the German scholars who first did serious work on the Scrolls.

Brooke then moves to describe German contributions to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls after German reunification.  Chief among these contributions are manuscript reconstruction.  Here the Germans, and their meticulousness, excelled.  Brooke opines

Hartmut Stegemann’s method for the reconstruction of manuscripts is a magisterial contribution to the understanding of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the point of view of their material culture.  Here is a facet of the technical excellence of German scholarship at its best… (p. 12).

The follows Brooke’s effusive look into the implications of the Scrolls for study of the Old Testament and the German aid lent to that enterprise.

Finally, in the closing pages, Brooke talks about the outlook of Scrolls scholarship in the future.

It is clear that the German contribution to Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship in the years to come will continue to be very considerable (p. 24).

Doubtless.

The little volume closes with a bibliography.  And though small, it is weighty and worthwhile.   And therefore highly recommended.

When Someone Teaches Something ‘Weird’… What is a Christian To Do?

Calvin offers this advice:

When the Church is disturbed by discords and contentions, many, as it has been said, being frightened, depart from the Gospel. But the Spirit prescribes to us a far different remedy, that is, that the faithful should not receive any doctrine thoughtlessly and without discrimination. We ought, then, to take heed lest, being offended at the variety of opinions, we should discard teachers, and, together with them, the word of God. But this precaution is sufficient, that all are not to be heard indiscriminately. — John Calvin

I.e., find out what QUALIFIED theological teachers say on the matter and DO NOT give every voice equal weight.

Fun Facts From Church History: The Worship of Images Legitimized by the 7th Ecumenical Council

The Nicene Council (787 A.D.) nullified the decrees of the iconoclastic Synod of Constantinople, and solemnly sanctioned a limited worship (proskynesis) of images.

Under images were understood the sign of the cross, and pictures of Christ, of the Virgin Mary, of angels and saints. They may be drawn in color or composed of Mosaic or formed of other suitable materials, and placed in churches, in houses, and in the street, or made on walls and tables, sacred vessels and vestments.

Homage may be paid to them by kissing, bowing, strewing of incense, burning of lights, saying prayers before them; such honor to be intended for the living objects in heaven which the images represented. The Gospel book and the relics of martyrs were also mentioned among the objects of veneration.*

So tell us again how the Catholic Church opposed idolatry…

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*Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church (vol. 4; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), 460.

Quote of the Day

bullinger50

Concerning the importance of Scripture study, Bullinger writes

There is I confess, some difficulty in the scriptures.  But that difficulty may easily be helped by study, diligence, faith, and the means of skillful interpreters. I know that the apostle Peter says in the epistles of Paul “many things are hard to be understood” but immediately he adds, “which the unlearned, and those that are imperfect, or unstable, pervert, as they do the other scriptures also, unto their own destruction.” Whereby we gather that the scripture is difficult or obscure to the unlearned, unskillful, unexercised, and malicious or corrupted wills, and not to the zealous and godly readers or hearers thereof.  – Heinrich Bullinger