Daily Archives: 23 Jan 2019

Here’s What Happens When You Call An Uneducated Dimwit to Pastor Your Church

A Baptist church pastor in Fort Worth, Texas, said today’s rebellious public school students and “lazy gamers” should be stoned to death as part of a societal lesson in obedience.

Stedfast Baptist Church Pastor Jonathan Shelley used Old Testament Bible verses to support his sermon this week against rebellious sons and daughters and how to discipline such disobedient children in public schools—by stoning them to death. Shelley replaced former Pastor Donnie Romero, who resigned two weeks ago after confessing to “being with prostitutes” and engaging in a night of gambling and smoking marijuana at a Jacksonville casino. Pastor Shelley’s rant Monday, which has since been removed from YouTube, focused on how to squash America’s rebellion-minded millennials and Generation Y members and force them to blindly follow the wishes of their elders.

In 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center listed the Fort Worth Baptist church as a hate group, primarily due to Romero’s anti-LGBT rants labeling all gays “pedophiles.”

From his cult website:

Stedfast Baptist Church is an independent fundamental King James only baptist church pastored by Jonathan Shelley. Jonathan married his wife, Keri, in 2009 and they have three children, Clayton, Jaxon, and Abi Jean.

Jonathan was raised in a Christian home and saved at age five and baptized at age 14. He grew up in large non-denominational churches and had a zeal of God but not according to knowledge. Before his first son was born, Jonathan began to diligently study the Bible and realized he needed to make some changes. He soon became King James only and eventually started to attend an independent fundamental baptist (KJV Only) church in his area. Jonathan was rebaptized in 2015 at Arden Road Baptist Church. In 2016, Jonathan moved to Faithful Word Baptist Church to train to be a pastor. During this transition Jonathan has been blessed to have had the opportunity to preach over 150 sermons, lead soulwinning marathons, go on mission trips to Jamaica and Mexico, and memorize dozens of chapters of the Bible.

Jonathan’s vision is to reach the entire Oklahoma City area with the gospel, train soulwinners, develop and send out evangelists and pastors, and reach foreign countries with the gospel.

He didn’t study to be a pastor, he ‘trained’ to be one at a similarly minded fundamentalistic cult.  And he’s what you get when you call a person with no education.

The Sooner the Better…

The triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment. Though his haughtiness mounts up to the heavens, And his head reaches to the clouds, Yet he will perish forever like his own refuse; Those who have seen him will say,`Where is he?’ He will fly away like a dream, and not be found; Yes, he will be chased away like a vision of the night. The eye that saw him will see him no more, Nor will his place behold him anymore. His children will seek the favor of the poor, And his hands will restore his wealth.  His bones are full of his youthful vigor, But it will lie down with him in the dust.

“Though evil is sweet in his mouth, And he hides it under his tongue, Though he spares it and does not forsake it, But still keeps it in his mouth, Yet his food in his stomach turns sour; It becomes cobra venom within him.  He swallows down riches And vomits them up again; God casts them out of his belly. He will suck the poison of cobras; The viper’s tongue will slay him.  He will not see the streams, The rivers flowing with honey and cream. 

He will restore that for which he labored, And will not swallow it down; From the proceeds of business He will get no enjoyment.  For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor, He has violently seized a house which he did not build. “Because he knows no quietness in his heart, He will not save anything he desires.  Nothing is left for him to eat; Therefore his well-being will not last.  In his self-sufficiency he will be in distress; Every hand of misery will come against him. (Job 20:5-22)

More Loathsome than Cruel Politicians are Silent Theologians

Cruel politicians who care nothing for their countrymen are vile. Silent theologians, who raise no cry of outrage at the mistreatment of others, are worse.

Both are damned but silent theologians are damnable.

There is nothing worse, no greater evil, than a silent and thereby thoroughly complicit theologian.


Moronic Idolater

New York Legalized Infanticide Yesterday

New York state has enacted strong new legal protections for abortion rights. The new law, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, safeguards rights laid out in Roe v. Wade and other court rulings, including a provision permitting late-term abortions when a woman’s health is endangered, The Associated Press reports. The state’s previous law, which had been on the books for nearly 50 years, only permitted abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if a woman’s life was at risk.

One word: Infanticide.

Won’t You Help, And Adopt A Homeless…


Academic homelessness is a serious problem in the UK.  Just 5 pounds a month can help settle an academic in a very nice rental property.  Please donate as you are able….

An Update on the Melanchthon-Edition Project

Folk, if you visit the full listing of the projected volumes you’ll discover that a number of them are still in need of collaborators.  All the project details and contact information can be found here.

If you have a desire to take part in the project, might I encourage you to check into it?

For my part, the whole of 2019 and 2020 will be devoted to working on the critical editions of various of Melanchthon’s commentaries.  And I’m keen to see it finished.  Not because I’m dissatisfied with the task but on the contrary, because I’m excited about it.

Melanchthon is my writing project for the next two years.

Multiple Reformations? The Many Faces and Legacies of the Reformation

This very good collection of essays contains the following informative works:

The Many Faces of the Reformation

  • Euan Cameron: Reconsidering Early-Reformation and Catholic-Reform Impulses –
  • Randall C. Zachman: The Birth of Protestantism? Or the Reemergence of the Catholic Church? How Its Participants Understood the Evangelical Reformation

Interpretations of Scripture in the Reformation Period

  • Manfred Oeming: The Importance of the Old Testament for the Reformer Martin Luther –
  • Greta Grace Kroeker: Erasmus and Scripture –
  • Paul Silas Peterson: »The Text of the Bible is Stronger«: The Rebirth of Scriptural Authority in the Reformation and it Significance

The Reformation as an Interpretative Event

  • Emidio Campi: The Myth of the Reformation –
  • Scott Dixon: The German Reformation as a Historiographical Construct: The Shaping of the Narrative from Melanchthon to Walch –
  • Ute Lotz-Heumann: Confessionalization is Dead, Long Live the Reformation? Reflections on Historiographical Paradigm Shifts on the Occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

The Aftermath of the Reformation Period

  • John O’Malley: Catholic Pastoral Care: The Early Modern Period –
  • Jan Stievermann: Early American Protestantism and the Confessionalization Paradigm: A Critical Inquiry

Confessional Empires, Missions, and Nations

  • Simon Ditchfield: The »Making« of Roman Catholicism as a »World Religion« –
  • Patrick Griffin: The Last War of Religion or the First War for Empire? Reconsidering the Meaning of The Seven Years’ War in America –
  • Hartmut Lehmann: Nationalism as Poison in the Veins of Western Christianity, c. 1800 – c. 1950

Confessional Modernities, Enlightenment and Secularization

  • John Betz: J. G. Hammann as a Radical Reformer: Two Mites Toward a Post-Secular, Ecumenical Theology –
  • Volker Leppin: Friedrich Gogarten’s Theology of Secularization

Confessional Cultures: Legal and Diaconical Traditions

  • Christoph Strohm: Confession and Law in Early Modern Europe –
  • Johannes Eurich: The Influence of Religious Traditions on Social Welfare Development: Observations from the Perspective of Comparative Welfare State Research

Scripture and the Evangelical-Pietist Tradition

  • Ryan P. Hoselton: »Flesh and Blood Hath Not Revealed It«: Reformation Exegetical Legacies in Pietism and Early Evangelicalism –
  • Douglas A. Sweeney: The Still-Enchanted World of Jonathan Edwards’ Exegesis and the Paradox of Modern Evangelical Supernaturalism

Scriptural Authority and Biblical Scholarship in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

  • Friederike Nüssel: The Value of the Bible: Martin Kähler’s Theology of Scripture and its Ecumenical Impact –
  • David Lincicum: Ferdinand Christian Baur, the New Testament, and the Principle of Protestantism –
  • Matthias Konradt: Sola Scriptura and Historical-Critical Exegesis

These essays were all originally papers delivered at three different academic meetings all centered on the them of the varieties of the Reformation.  The topics are wide ranging as are the backgrounds of the contributors.  All are in English.

The strength of the volume is the breadth of topics considered.  But that is also its weakness.  That is, the vast array of subjects addressed is both engaging (as when one is reading a magazine that covers a lot of different topics) and disorienting (in that topics flit from one branch to another, never really alighting on one long enough for it to be fully developed).

The volume lacks an organinzing center.  When one is one moment following a discussion of the importance of the Old Testament for Luther and the next an essay about Pastoral care in the Reformation and then an essay on nationalism as a poison in the veins of Western Christianity, then one can feel a bit dizzied.

To be sure, the aim of the volume is to show a multitude of perspectives on the Reformation and its outworkings.  But so many manifestations of the Reformation under one cover may be a bit much.  One gets the feeling that one isn’t reading a book so much as a collection of student papers which are all addressing the broadly stated assignment of ‘writing an essay on some aspect, any aspect of the Reformation, that you wish’.

In spite, however, of the ‘shotgun’ style of the volume, it is very informative.  Especially helpful are the essays by Zachmann, Oeming, Campi, Lehmann, Leppin, Nüssel, (whose essay was particularly intriguing), and Strohm.  I would have, I think, enjoyed hearing those papers delivered along with what must surely have been additional spoken details which didn’t make it into the polished final versions.

The volume’s introduction describes the various colloquia during which the papers were delivered.  At the end of the volume are found a list of contributors (2 of which are women) and an index of persons.

This volume explores the inherent pluralism of the Reformation and its manifold legacies from an ecumenical and interdisciplinary point of view, asserts the dust jacket.  And that is most certainly true.  Readers interested in a forest of Reformation trees will truly find the volume useful.  So it certainly is something worth recommending, which I do.

Readers simply need to be prepared to hop and skip about on the variegated checkerboard that is the volume’s contents.  But all the hopping and skipping is worth the effort.

This is What Idolatry Looks Like

No Christian would say such a thing about an unrepentant immoral adulterer.

Signs of the Times

No explanation needed.  Via the twitter.

Quote of the Day

Woe to those who devise iniquity,  And work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, Because it is in the power of their hand.  They covet fields and take them by violence, Also houses, and seize them. So they oppress a man and his house, A man and his inheritance.  Therefore thus says the LORD: “Behold, against this family I am devising disaster, From which you cannot remove your necks; Nor shall you walk haughtily, For this is an evil time. (Mic. 2:1-3)


“You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. “You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. “If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; “and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. (Exod. 22:21-24)