Daily Archives: 23 Oct 2018

Jerusalem Has Nothing in Common With Athens

So if you read the Bible through philosophical lenses, you’re doing it wrong. And if you do theology like it’s philosophy, you should avoid doing theology altogether and stick with philosophy, since that’s all you’re really doing anyway.

A Forthcoming Volume Of Interest

This volume explores the inherent pluralism of the Reformation and its manifold legacies from an ecumenical and interdisciplinary point of view. The essays shed new light on several key questions: How do we interpret and assess the Reformation as a historical and theological event, as a historiographic category, and as a cultural myth? What are the long-term global consequences of the Reformation period as manifest in the rise of competing confessional cultures and distinct Christian world religions, producing different types of modernities? How did these confessional cultures interact with the development of empires and nation-states, with the emergence of the sciences, as well as with divergent legal cultures and traditions in education and social welfare? What kind of modalities emerged in these confessional cultures for engaging with the humanistic study of the Bible and, later on, Higher Criticism?

The Republican Candidate for Governor of Georgia Caught on Audio Tape

@JamilSmith — Audio leaked to @RollingStone reveals @BrianKempGA telling attendees at a closed-door campaign event that @staceyabrams’s voter turnout operation “continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote.” Read my report. rol.st/2EEFm65

Brian Kemp is doing everything he can to suppress the vote.  If Georgia elects him, it deserves every bit of economic boycotting that will come its way.

How Russia is Running its 2018 Midterm Campaign of Disinformation

Read this. It’s by NPR. Pay attention.

A Little Video About Peter’s New Book

Can We Trust the Gospels? Ad from Crossway on Vimeo.

Oh So Now the Times of Israel is Suddenly Interested in Ethics…

The Times of Israel, which regularly pumps up any artifact it deems helpful to Israeli political causes, is suddenly concerned about the ethics of promoting fake Dead Sea Scrolls…

The clock is ticking as potential forgeries’ content increasingly skews and pollutes scholarly research. As the corpus of Dead Sea Scrolls material is dissected with surgical precision, any and all information from the presumed scribes is included in numerous scholarly articles, data banks and dictionaries. Correcting these statistical and contextual fallacies could take generations.

Suddenly conscientious.  It’s almost as though the promoters of all kinds of unprovenanced artifacts are afraid that a #ScrollsToo movement may be their undoing, so they’re trying to get ahead of it.

Archaeologist Dr. Josephine Munch Rasmussen and Årstein Justnes, professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Agder, Norway, wrote in an email, “Rather than more physical testing, the provenance and legality of the post-2002 ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ fragments in the MOTB and the Schøyen collections need to be critically addressed.  Justnes runs the blog site The Lying Pen of Scribes to document for free public use the mounting evidence of forgeries in the post-2002 Dead Sea Scroll-like fragments.

Don’t forget that along with Justnes, Roberta Mazza and Michael Langlois have been sounding the alarm for YEARS.  It’s nice to see others coming to the party, even if they’re more than a little late.

The media suddenly being concerned about authenticity is a joke.  If they weren’t afraid of the impending backlash among scholars and donors, they still wouldn’t care and they’d still be hawking any unprovenanced rubbish that generated publicity.

You don’t deserve applause when the jig is up and you ‘suddenly’ see the light.  You just deserve disdain.

If It’s In Scripture, We Shouldn’t be Afraid to Mention It

Sometimes preachers are afraid (or at least hesitant) to reference certain texts of Scripture because they want to avoid appearing to be self-serving.  These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Obey your pastoral leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. (Heb. 13:17)
  • The elders who are good leaders should be considered worthy of ample financial support, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says: You must not muzzle an ox that is threshing grain, and, The laborer is worthy of his wages.  (1 Tim. 5:17-18)
  • Remember your pastoral leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith. (Heb. 13:7)

It’s easy to see why Pastors would be a bit reticent to cite such passages.  But Christians should be familiar with them, as they should be with the whole of Scripture, because Scripture is the source of our knowledge of the will and purpose of God.

To put it simply, John 3:16 is no more important than Hebrews 13:17 or 1 Timothy 5:17-18 or Hebrews 13:7.  They all communicate the will of God.  And all should be known and taken seriously by Christians.*

Preachers, then, should preach the whole of Scripture and not leave parts out simply because someone might look sideways at it. The Church needs to hear what Scripture has to say. The reason our world is in the shape it is, is because too few Christians know, heed, or hear Scripture’s clear teaching. Only proper preaching and teaching can change that.

*Naturally I am not suggesting that Christians should submit to monstrous pseudo-pastors who use, misuse, abuse, or take advantage of others. Those sort are not Pastors, they are monsters. And they should be removed from office. I am, however, suggesting that Pastors worthy of the name are worthy of respect and of a hearing. They are sent by God for the benefit of the Congregation, and the Congregation should recognize that fact


So steady all weary hands and trembling knees and make your crooked paths straight; then the injured limb will not be maimed, it will get better instead.  Seek peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one can ever see the Lord.  Be careful that no one is deprived of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness should begin to grow and make trouble; this can poison a large number.  And be careful that there is no immoral person, or anyone worldly minded like Esau, who sold his birthright for one single meal.  … Make sure that you never refuse to listen when he speaks. If the people who on earth refused to listen to a warning could not escape their punishment, how shall we possibly escape if we turn away from a voice that warns us from heaven? (Heb. 12:12-16, 25)

Fellowship Opportunities at the Meeter Center

Fellowship opportunities at the Meeter Center

Graduate students, faculty, independent scholars, and pastors working on research topics related to John Calvin, Calvinism, and the Reformation are invited to apply for short-term research fellowships from the Meeter Center for Calvin Studies at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, MI. Deadline for receipt of applications for 2019-20 is January 1, 2019. Materials may be submitted as email attachments. See https://calvin.edu/…/meeter-center/fellowships-scholarships/ for more information about the various fellowships and application information. Please direct any questions to Center Director Karin Maag: kmaag@calvin.edu

#ICYMI – Zwingli to Bugenhagen

Bugenhagen had written Zwingli asking him to clarify his view of the ‘Lord’s Supper’ and on the 23rd of October in 1525 Zwingli obliged with his Responsio ad epistolam Ioannis Bugenhagii.

Peppered with Scriptural proofs, Zwingli shows Bugenhagen in meticulous detail why ‘hoc est’ in the celebration of the body of Christ in the Supper should be understood “significat”. ‘This signifies my body…’ etc.

Here’s a fun section:

Sic ergo didicimus, urgente nos rudium cura, qui non bene norunt, quid tropus significet, quomodo ista vox “est” debeat pro “significat” accipi. Videbam τροπικῶς dictum esse “hoc est corpus meum” [Luc. 22. 19], sed in qua voce tropus lateret, non videbam. Ibi dei munere factum est, ut duo quidam et pii et docti homines, quorum etiamnum tacebo nomina, ad Leonem nostrum et me conferendi de hoc argumento causa venirent; cumque nostram hac in re sententiam audirent, gratias egerunt deo (suam enim ipsi celabant, quod tum non erat tutum cuique communicare, quod in hac re sentiret), ac epistolam istam cuiusdam et docti et pii Batavi, quae iam excusa est anonyma, soluta sarcina communicarunt. In ea foelicem hanc margaritam “est” pro “significat” hic accipi inveni.

Zwingli’s view persuaded many but it didn’t persuade Luther or the other Catholics of Luther’s mindset. It never could, because Luther was far too chained to his mystical past. Or, as Zwingli puts it in his colorful conclusion-

Non potest ex integro antichristus profligari, nisi et hoc errore labefactato corruat. Spectemus veri ante omnia faciem, non autoritatem hominum, quae nihil valere debet, ubi veritas illuxit.

That delightful phrase could be repeated daily concerning so many…

Ted Cruz, S.S.

That’s spineless sycophant.  Have you ever seen a weaker, sadder, more pathetic simpering quisling toady in your life?  Texas should be ashamed to call him their Senator and Canada should be ashamed for bringing him into the world.

Because Having a Gun in Your Car Keeps You Safe, Right?

A 10 year old is has been shot in the head.  Because her brother shot her.  In the car.  While dad was in a store.  Because dad left his loaded gun in the car.  And the boy found it.  And shot his sister.  In the head.  Because having a gun in your car keeps you safe….

 A 10-year-old Tennessee girl is being airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center after she was shot in the head by her twin brother Sunday, according to a Facebook post by the Tennessee River Valley.  The news outlet reports the incident happened around 3 p.m. in the parking lot of a Dollar General in St. Joseph, TN. Official tell the TN River Valley that the girl was inside a vehicle while her father was shopping when her brother found a gun under the seat and shot the her in the head. The shooting was reported as accidental.  The girl is said to be in critical condition.

Thanks, dad…  I sure hope you feel safe.

On This Day, The Council of Nicea (787) Sanctioned Worship of Images

On this day in 787,

The Nicene Council nullified the decrees of the iconoclastic Synod of Constantinople, and solemnly sanctioned a limited worship (proskynesis) of images.  [Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol. 4 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), 460.]

That decision has never been rescinded by the Catholic Church.

Broad is the Way that Leads to Destruction…

And many travel it-