Daily Archives: 17 Oct 2018

The Official AAR Uniform Top

If you’re attending AAR this year here are your choices for upper wear.  Please choose 4.  And yes, you can mix and match, though at least one should be Christmas themed.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Signs of the Times

The Only Thing Barth Got Right Was the Hermeneutical Circle

Which he got right from Paul-

The natural person has no room for the gifts of God’s Spirit; to him they are folly; he cannot recognise them, because their value can be assessed only in the Spirit. The spiritual person, on the other hand, can assess the value of everything, and that person’s value cannot be assessed by anybody else. For: who has ever known the mind of the Lord? Who has ever been his adviser? But we are those who have the mind of Christ.  (1 Cor. 2:14-16)

Like it or not, Paul’s assertion that only those gifted with the Spirit understand the gifts of the Spirit is true.  Dwelling outside the hermeneutical circle doesn’t mean one is a bad historian.  But it does mean one is a terrible theologian and a worse exegete.  All protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

Is Israeli Newspaper Haaretz correct that there is an “Archaeological Case for Goliath”? No.

Fun times….

Remnant of Giants

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an article by Philippe Bohstrom with the title, “Huge if True: The Archaeological Case for Goliath“.

As expected, the article contains a series of sensationalist claims, unsupported by the evidence.

Fortunately, archaeologist Michael Press has provided a point-by-point rebuttal to the article’s more spurious claims. You can read his Twitter thread here: https://twitter.com/MichaelDPress/status/1052543770854653952.

See also, my earlier post on the inscription discoveries at Gath: “The “not Goliath” Inscription from Tel es-Safi/Gath: Archaeology, Bible, Politics, and the Media“.

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The Folly of Contending With God’s Decrees of Election or Reprobation

Foolish men contend with God in many ways, as though they held him liable to their accusations. They first ask, therefore, by what right the Lord becomes angry at his creatures who have not provoked him by any previous offense; for to devote to destruction whomever he pleases is more like the caprice of a tyrant than the lawful sentence of a judge. It therefore seems to them that men have reason to expostulate with God if they are predestined to eternal death solely by his decision, apart from their own merit. — Calvin

God is God, for Calvin, and free to decide whatever he wants to decide and if you don’t like it, well, too bad.  The universalists hate that so much that for them God elects everyone to salvation (in spite of the complete absence of any such notion in Scripture) and the angry atheists hate that so much that they attack a God which they don’t believe in (which is, by all accounts, more an indication of madness or mental illness than anything else).

God is God and he can indeed do whatever he wants.  And, truthfully, if you think God should do what you want instead of what he wants you really are quite unhinged.

Luther: On Atheists

There was mention of a citizen of Wittenberg who was an atheist and who confessed publicly before the town council that he had not received communion for fifteen years. To this Dr. Martin Luther said, “We’ve been sufficiently forbearing with him. After a couple of admonitions I’ll publicly declare that he’s excommunicated and is to be treated like a dog. If in view of this anybody associates with him, let him do so at his own risk. If the unbeliever dies in this condition, let him be buried in the carrion pit like a dog. As an excommunicated person we’ll turn him over to the civil laws.”  –  Luther’s Table Talk

I love Luther’s honest forthrightness.  Sure, he was wrong about some stuff but you just can’t ever accuse him of pandering or equivocating and these days I find that refreshing.

Was he harsh?  You bet.  But so far as he was concerned there was something harsher- death and hell.  He was trying to keep people from experiencing the latter since the former was inevitable.  This makes him miles superior to the likes of Warren and Rob Bell and the other array of self-aggrandizing self promoters.

More Pentebabbleist Nutbaggery: Hurricane Michael Was Caused By Democrats in Retaliation for Kavanaugh

You can’t make this nonsense up.

One of my greatest sources of unintentional comedy is Mark Taylor, otherwise known as the “Firefighter Prophet.” Among his bizarre prophecies and conspiracy theories is a recurring theme: that Democrats (and former President Obama) are using weather control technology to obstruct President Trump’s agenda.

Earlier this month, Taylor claimed Hurricane Florence was created by liberals to cover up mass voter fraud in North Carolina. In June, he said liberals were planning to create hurricanes to suppress the midterm election turn out. Now, he’s saying that Hurricane Michael, which is currently bearing down on Florida, was artificially created by “scared” anti-Trump forces in “retaliation” for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

“Does anyone else think it’s strange that Justice K is sworn in and we have a major hurricane inbound?” Taylor tweeted this Tuesday. “DS scared? They should be. Retaliation? Absolutely. We will not be intimidated! Warriors arise, time to go to work! You know what to do.”

Pentebabbleists shouldn’t be allowed within 500 miles of the Bible and 10,000 miles of theology.  They can’t understand Scripture and they don’t know what theology is.

The Perfect Pastor

Thanks to Michael Jones for sharing on the FB-

Truth

The faithful man has perished from the earth, And there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; Every man hunts his brother with a net.  That they may successfully do evil with both hands– The prince asks for gifts, The judge seeks a bribe, And the great man utters his evil desire; So they scheme together.  The best of them is like a brier; The most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge. (Mic. 7:2-4)

500 Jahre Reformation: Rückblicke und Ausblicke aus interdisziplinärer Perspektive

Luther’s theses on the power of indulgences (1517) became the impetus for a vast movement. Essentially inspired by Christian religious concerns, the Reformation helped shape and transform the entire political and sociocultural landscape of large portions of the “Western” world, in both the short and long term. The multidisciplinary essays in this volume consider this history from the perspective of the Reformation city of Zurich.

The volume is edited by none less than Peter Opitz.

There’s a Book About the ‘Ark Encounter’

And it sounds right interesting.  The book, not the theme park.  The review concludes

Throughout the book, Bielo engages with many contemporary debates in both anthropology and religious studies, such as the discussion on public religion; the social life of things; the enchantment of science, play and conversion; history-making and historicity; symbolic power; and the poetics of faith. He uses these and other theories to paint a picture of the cultural patterns that orchestrate present-day American public religious life. As such, the book is a much needed contribution to studies of American fundamentalist Christianity, and to the anthropology of fundamentalism. At the same time, it gives a good insight into the place of Christianity in our contemporary Western society, its relation to popular culture and commerce, and the power of “religious entertainment.” Reading the ethnography gives the reader a sense of being immersed and entertained, much as a visit to the park promises that we will be.

Give it a look.

Bullinger on the Notion of Transubstantiation

We do not acknowledge any transubstantiation to be made by force of words or characters; but we affirm, that the bread and wine remain as they are in their own substances, but that there is added unto them the institution, will, and word of Christ, and so become a sacrament, and so differ much from common bread and wine, as we have said in place convenient.

And

Now it is evident and plain, that after consecration there remaineth in the sacrament the substance of bread and wine; and herein we need no other witnesses than our very senses, which perceive, see, taste, and feel, no other thing than bread and wine.

Amen.

Signs of the Times

JZ Ellis

Fun Facts From Church History: While Luther Was Away, Karlstadt Did Play

According to the editor of Luther’s works (English),

After October 13, 1521, masses were no longer celebrated in the Augustinian monastery at Wittenberg; on October 17, Karlstadt presided at a disputation where it was, proposed that all masses be abolished. On other occasions he expressed himself about images, etc., in such phrases as: “Organs belong only to theatrical exhibitions and princes’ palaces”; “Images in churches are wrong”; “Painted idols standing on altars are even more harmful and devilish.”

He wasn’t wrong.  But those remarks didn’t calm things down.  On the contrary-

The impact of such ideas and sentiments upon a student body and a populace which had seen their famous professor publicly burn the volumes of canon law and even the papal bull which excommunicated him, inevitably led to demonstrations, some hilarious, others destructive. On October 5 and 6, 1521, a crowd of students jeered and threatened a monk of St. Anthony who had come to Wittenberg to collect alms for his order.  On November 12, the prior of the Augustinian cloister complained to the elector that some monks who had left the cloister had joined forces with citizens and students to stir up trouble for the monks who remained faithful, and that he himself hesitated to appear on the street for fear of being attacked.

Reports of extreme measures and consequent unrest in Wittenberg gave Luther such concern that he determined to pay a secret visit to Wittenberg in his assumed character of “Junker Georg,” wearing a beard and the trappings of a knight. Traveling by way of Leipzig, he arrived in Wittenberg on December 4, 1521, lodging at the home of his colleague, Amsdorf, where he was able to confer with a few of his most intimate friends. After a stay of three days, when rumors of his presence began to spread, he departed as quietly as he had come, reaching the Wartburg by December 11.

I like Karlstadt.  Sure, he went crazy eventually and joined the 16th century equivalent of the Montanists (Pentebabbleists), but early on, like Tertullian, he was super fun.