Daily Archives: 26 Oct 2018

Your Friend Doesn’t Understand Greek Then

The Pseudochristian Mega Church ‘Worship’ Service

Featuring fog machines, laser lights, screeching music, and screaming teens having seizures (dancing).

What blasphemous heresy. Your ‘rave’ isn’t worship, it’s paganism.

Quote of the Day

Es ist ja offensichtlich, was die Werke des Fleisches sind: Unzucht, Unreinheit, Ausschweifung, Götzendienst, Zauberei, Feindschaft, Streit, Eifersucht, Zorn, Eigennutz, Zwietracht, Parteiung, Missgunst, Trunkenheit, Übermut und dergleichen mehr – ich sage es euch voraus, wie ich es schon einmal gesagt habe: Die solches tun, werden das Reich Gottes nicht erben.  Die Frucht des Geistes aber ist Liebe, Freude, Frieden, Geduld, Güte, Rechtschaffenheit, Treue, Sanftmut, Selbstbeherrschung. Gegen all dies kann kein Gesetz etwas haben. (Gal. 5:19-23)

Praying Like The Pagans – Matthew 6:5-8

In sum- go be alone to pray.

Reading Acts

In my first semester of Bible college an older student stood up to prayer in a chapel and began by addressing God as Father, Lord, el-shaddai, Jehovah Jirah, and every other name of God he could think of from the Bible (or from the latest Amy Grant song). This went on for several minutes and became more and more awkward as this student oiled on the names of God and showed off their preaching skills in their public prayer. Looking back on this, I wondered if the student realized they were drawing attention to themselves by praying in this way. I imagine they were genuinely trying to worship God in the prayer and would have been horrified to find out people were distracted from real worship by his overly-flowery prayer.

This first kind of prayer common Jesus addresses is the long, flowery public prayer which draws attention to the…

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Commentary Sale

You can pick up a PDF copy of the clearest exposition of the Book of Revelation (layfolk friendly) for $5.  Be sure to include your email address in your Paypal payment.

Yes, $5 is inexpensive for a book on one of the New Testament’s most misinterpreted texts.  But I like you.

Cesar Sayoc Has Been Arrested in Connection with The Pipe Bombs Mailed to Trump Opponents

One thing’s for sure, this guy wasn’t a foe of Trump…  He’s a registered Republican.

On CNN, where Clapper works as a contributor, he called the series of mailed explosives “domestic terrorism.”

“I think anyone who has in any way been a critic, publicly been a critic of President Trump needs to be on extra alert and take some cautions, precautions, particularly with respect to mail,” he said.

Clapper stressed that he wasn’t “suggesting a direct cause-and-effect relationship” between anything the president has said or done and the sending of the packages, but “I do think he bears some responsibility for the coarseness and un-civility of the dialogue in this country, and that he needs to remember that his words count.”

After Friday’s bombs were discovered, Trump tweeted, “Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!.”

Lecture Announcement

At the End of the Day, Theologians are Guard Dogs

I see a sect the most execrable and pernicious that ever was in the world. I see that it does much harm, and is like a fire kindled for the general desolation and destruction, or as a contagious disease to infect the whole earth, unless some remedy is applied.

Since, then, our Lord has called me to that office, my conscience constrains me to resist it so far as it is possible for me. And, more than that, with strong and earnest entreaties, I am seriously importuned by the poor believers, who see with concern the Netherlands of the Emperor altogether corrupted, that as soon as possible, and without delay, I put my hand to the work. Nevertheless, even after such requests, I have put off a whole year, to see whether the malady would be lulled asleep by silence.

If any one should allege that, I could well, indeed, write against the wicked doctrine, letting the individuals alone, I have my more than reasonable excuse; it is that, considering what ruin Messieur Antony Pocquet has spread in the country of Artois and of Hainault, according to the relation of the brethren who have come hither expressly on that account, having heard the same repeated here; and considering that Quintin pretends no other object than to draw the poor simple souls to that more than brutal sect, and not so much by the report of others as having heard with my ears, understanding that they are always very bitter in opposing the doctrine of holiness, to draw poor souls into perdition, to beget in the world a despising of God, judge, Madame, whether it would have been lawful for me to dissemble?

A dog barks and stands at bay if he sees any one assault his master. I should be indeed remiss, if, seeing the truth of God thus attacked, I should remain dumb, without giving one note of warning, I am quite persuaded that it is not your mind, that in order to favour you I must betray the Evangel which God has committed to me. Wherefore I do beseech you, Madame, not to be offended, if, being constrained by the duty of my office, under penalty of incurring the offence of God, I have not spared your servants, without, however, addressing yourself.  — John Calvin

Why I See It, As My Duty as a Christian Theologian, To Call Trump Out

Someone recently complained to me that I shouldn’t talk about Trump’s Christian faith.  So I responded

What christian faith? His church attendance? His witnessing? His moral purity? His bible reading? His lived example? His ethics? His language? His mockery of the disabled? His contempt for women? His vulgarity? What, seriously, is it that marks him out as a Christian? Because, frankly, I know what Chrisitianity is and I have yet to see in him a single identifier of the faith I know.

The bible says ‘By their fruits you will know them. A good tree does not produce evil fruit, and an evil tree does not produce good fruit’.  I have to ask- what good fruit is the President producing? I’m honestly very curious about it. What am I missing in his behavior?

I don’t care about Trump’s politics. I don’t care about anyone’s politics. I care about Christianity. I care about Christians living according to the teaching of scripture.  When someone who calls themselves a Christian acts in a way that denies the truth of Christianity, it is my job, as a Christian pastor and theologian, to alert the flock at large to the falsehood of that claim lest they fall victim to the same heretical behavior and destroy the witness of the Christian faith hither and yon.

So don’t get mad at me for calling into question the actions of a person who says they’re Christian. If Trump had never claimed to be a Christian I would never complain about anything he said or did- because the world at large is not my problem. Christian faith is my field of work. And I won’t let Satan spread weeds among the wheat without pointing it out. Whoever likes it or doesn’t.

If Donald J. Trump Were an Academic Seeking Tenure…

Here’s what the tenure committee would write him-

Dear Professor Trump,

The Tenure and Promotion Committee has devoted a great deal of time during this year’s review sessions to your case, and I regret to inform you that it has proven impossible to identify sufficient evidence of meritorious accomplishments in your Dossier to warrant tenure. Your appointment will terminate on the last day of your Probationary Period, January 20, 2021.

Assessments of your teaching indicate consistently that your passionate style has drawn a devoted following of students who absorb everything in your lectures so enthusiastically that they occasionally denounce the efforts of other faculty. (In the interest of fairness, the Committee chose to overlook the “Fake Math!” episode that precipitated the sudden resignation of the Calc2 instructor earlier this semester.) Evaluations are mixed in a rare way, with the bulk of responses at 1 and 5 with very few in the middle, indicating that you teach for maximum effect with a portion of each class. Evidence that your instruction alienates all but your devoted students is the fact that your lowest rating in these evaluations is for the question “Instructor is open to a variety of viewpoints.” One colleague after an in-class observation was astonished by your vitriolic comments about this institution’s administration and hints of a “Deep U” conspiracy aimed at you. Your Chair has repeatedly raised issues of tone and content; and the cumulative record of your classroom performance indicates that you have ignored every warning.

Reviews of your publication record speak to an unusual productivity, and the Committee was struck by one reviewer’s reference to “the agitations of a restless spirit.” While you have been remarkably prolific in your “Executive Articles” and may have a rightful claim to producing more of these than anyone else at this institution, your departmental colleagues and the external reviewers are all of the mind that these represent a willful refusal to submit your work to peer review for fear of any of these being rejected. The Committee noted with some alarm the comment of the external reviewer who stated that few if any of these contributions would be publishable by the conventional peer-review norms of your discipline. Moreover, your non-refereed online presence has brought an unwelcome prominence to this institution and created damage within your department, which lost two desirable candidates in its last search when they learned of the prospect of your becoming a permanent member of the faculty.

In the category of Service your efforts have drawn notice far and wide. Comments from faculty across the campus about your unwillingness to work cooperatively, your unwarranted and incorrect comments about the intelligence of your colleagues, and your insistence in pointing out, years later, that you received the majority vote of the search committee all indicate an absence of collegiality so severe that your Department has had to conduct its work without your participation, effectively nullifying an essential component of your work as a member of our faculty. The Committee noted that you have been active in off-campus projects with members of your family; yet these are insufficient to compensate for your toxic presence among your peers, with whom it is necessary to get along in order to be a member of our faculty community.

For the remainder of your appointment, you will of course have access to all postage and office resources necessary in your search for another position.

This decision, which I know will come as a surprise to you, is unanimous and not subject to appeal.


All of Us


(Via Ralph Keen)

It’s A Bad Idea To Rip Verses From their Context

ReIReS School in Paris, February 2019

All the details are available here.  And don’t worry, it won’t interfere with your attendance at the Zwingli Congress; they are at different points in the month.  So, go to Zurich in early February and then to Paris in late February.

Personal Update

This is very good news and I hope and pray his remission continues.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

I have been reluctant to use this space for personal matters, but because so many readers sent kind words of encouragement during my chemo therapy and hospital confinement, I feel obliged to give some update.  I underwent a two-stage chemo treatment for a type of leukemia (AML) that ran most of July through September.  I was released from hospital on 21 Sept, and my haematologist has now judged me to be in remission (no cancerous cells found in my blood tests or bone marrow tests).

So, for the foreseeable future, I simply have monthly checkups with him.  I also take a daily medicine designed to help prevent the reactivation of cancerous blood cells.

My thanks to all of you who expressed your concerns and encouragement.  The “intensive” chemo therapy was a real trial and battering of my body (I lost 14 kilos weight, all my head hair, and a lot…

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Modern Christian Parenting Summed Up In A Sentence

“Pastor, I make my kid go to school, the dentist, his job, and football practice, but I don’t feel comfortable making him go to church if he doesn’t want to go…” (The Wrestling Pastor)

And the Best Slam in a Book Review Goes to Rudolf Bultmann…

Who wrote of Georg Brandes’ life of Jesus (wherein Brandes calls into question the reality of Jesus),

Is it really possible that such a book has a real writer as its author?


Congratulations, Anne Katrine Gudme!

She has just won the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters silver medal for young researchers.

Videnskabernes Selskab uddeler hvert år en sølvmedalje til en yngre dansk forsker for en fremragende grundvidenskabelig præstation.

I 2018 tildeles sølvmedaljen til lektor Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme fra Det teologiske Fakultet, Københavns Universitet for hendes forskning i Det Gamle Testamente.

Sølvmedaljen overrækkes af Selskabets præsident ved et medlemsmøde torsdag den 25. oktober 2018. Med den smukke sølvmedaljer følger et prislegat på 100.000 kr. til forskning.

Kandidater til Sølvmedaljen kan indstilles af alle, men bedømmelsesudvalget består af medlemmer af den humanistiske klasse i Selskabet.

She’s a brilliant scholar and a wonderful person.  And this is well deserved.

Receptions of Paul in Early Christianity: The Person of Paul and His Writings Through the Eyes of His Early Interpreters

For those who may be interested

Pentebabbleism Explained in One Sentence

As soon as the Spirit is separated from the Word of Christ, the door is open to all kinds of delusions and impostures.  — John Calvin