Monthly Archives: February 2019

The DUMBEST Story Ever Written

And why the media should leave theology alone.

Of COURSE Ignatius thought Jesus was God. That isn’t a discovery, you dimwits.

We who read that essay are the dumber for having done so.

Luther on those who Leave the Church

“Upon brothers who withdraw themselves from us, we are unable to inflict more severe punishment than to let them go their way and do what they will. One exception, however, we make to this: we shall not consent to be of their company and to call them brothers. And so we send them to hell in their own finery.”  —  Martin Luther

The Economist is Staffed By Idiots

Wrong. The Economist should stick to what it knows, and it doesn’t know Christianity.

Reformed and Cannibal

Fun Facts from Church History

In the 16th century a distinction was made between the ‘poor’ and the ‘deserving poor’.  In general terms, the ‘deserving poor’ were members of one’s own Church community who lived properly and dressed properly and avoided gambling and promiscuity.  These persons were granted Church aid.  The ‘poor’, i.e., unworthy beggars and members of another faith weren’t.

The unworthy sort were ‘shown the door’, so to speak, at the tip of the whip (as this delightful woodcut from the era shows) –

Lawful Fasting

“A holy and lawful fast has three ends in view. We use it either to mortify and subdue the flesh, that it may not wanton, or to prepare the better for prayer and holy meditation; or to give evidence of humbling ourselves before God, when we would confess our guilt before him”. — John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion

When You Prefer Not to Baptize Anyone Because You Know They Will Just Let You Down…

Paul writes the wretches at Corinth-

I am thankful I did not baptise any of you, except Crispus and Gaius…   Yes, I did baptise the family of Stephanas, too; but besides these I do not think I baptised anyone. (1 Cor. 1:14-16)

I hear ya, bro.  How different Paul is than the baptism braggarts who inhabit Baptist church pulpits.  How very different.

How Much Did Zwingli Make on the Books He Published?


reformersIt [the Amica Exegesis] appeared February 28, 1527. The Frankfort Fair was the great book mart. Zwingli, like Luther, made nothing from his publications. In which respect he resembled most modern authors, only he expected nothing! He once wrote to Vadianus (May 28, 1525, vii., 398): “There was a man lately who said that I sold copies to the printers at a high price. That man lied against the Holy Spirit. It must not be permitted therefore that this can be said with truth. I ask nothing than that they commend me to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Publishing for the sake of disseminating the truth.  What. A. Concept.  Writing to instruct rather than become rich and famous.  Just.  Imagine.

1Jackson is wrong about the date- the Amica Exegesis appeared on the 8th of February, not the 28th. Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531).

In Memoriam Martin Bucer

Bucer died on 28 February, 1551.  The early Reformation had no one more interested in unity than he.

bucer2The chief reformer of Strassburg was Martin Bucer (1491–1552). He was a native of Alsace, a Dominican monk, and ordained to the priesthood. He received a deep impression from Luther at the disputation in Heidelberg, 1518; obtained papal dispensation from his monastic vows (1521); left the Roman Church; found refuge in the castle of Francis of Sickingen; married a nun, and accepted a call to Strassburg in 1523.

Here he labored as minister for twenty-five years, and had a hand in many important movements connected with the Reformation. He attended the colloquy at Marburg (1529); wrote, with Capito, the Confessio Tetrapolitana (1530); brought about an artificial and short-lived armistice between Luther and Zwingli by the Wittenberg Concordia (1536); connived, unfortunately, at the bigamy of Philip of Hesse; and took a leading part, with Melanchthon, in the unsuccessful reformation of Archbishop Herrmann of Cologne (1542). Serious political troubles, and his resistance to the semi-popish Interim, made his stay in Strassburg dangerous, and at last impossible. Melanchthon in Wittenberg, Myconius in Basel, and Calvin in Geneva, offered him an asylum; but be accepted, with his younger colleague Fagius, a call of Cranmer to England (1549). He aided him in his reforms; was highly esteemed by the archbisbop and King Edward VI., and ended his labors as professor of theology in Cambridge. His bones were exhumed in the reign of Bloody Mary (1556), but his memory was honorably restored by Queen Elizabeth (1560).

Bucer figures largely in the history of his age as the third (next to Luther and Melanchthon) among the Reformers of Germany, as a learned theologian and diplomatist, and especially as a unionist and peacemaker between the Lutherans and Zwinglians. He forms also a connecting link between Germany and England, and exerted some influence in framing the Anglican standards of doctrine and worship. His motto was: “We believe in Christ, not in the church.”

He impressed his character upon the church of Strassburg, which occupied a middle ground between Wittenberg and Zuerich, and gave shelter to Calvin and the Reformed refugees of France. Strict Lutheranism triumphed for a period, but his irenical catholicity revived in the practical pietism of Spener, who was likewise an Alsacian. In recent times the Strassburg professors, under the lead of Dr. Reuss, mediated between the Protestant theology of Germany and that of France, in both languages, and furnished the best edition of the works of John Calvin.*

*History of the Christian church (Vol. 7, pp. 571–573).

Quote of the Day

Zwingli’s Statue at the Wasserkirche

Even if you hear the gospel of Jesus Christ from an apostle you will not follow it unless the heavenly Father teaches and draws you by his Spirit. The words are clear: God’s teaching clearly enlightens, teaches and gives certainty without any intervention on the part of human knowledge. If people are taught by God they are well taught with clarity and conviction. If they had first to be taught and assured by men, they would be more correctly described as men-taught rather than taught by God.– Huldrych Zwingli

Ponder That

“When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.” — Lin Yutang

Summer Greek at Newman 2019

Do itttttttttttttt…………………..

Newman Research Centre for the Bible and its Reception

First Steps into the World of New Testament Greek

1st – 5th July 2019

Newman University

Would you like to hear and read the New Testament in the language in which it was originally written? Have you ever thought of learning New Testament Greek but were afraid that you were just not clever enough? Would you like to spend five days this summer having fun with a group of like-minded people as they begin to discover an old language that shaped the world?

First Steps into the World of New Testament Greek is a fun and informal 5 day course that introduces you to Koine Greek (the type of Greek used by the writers of the New Testament). It assumes absolutely no prior knowledge of the language and will begin with the alphabet. We will work as close as possible to New Testament texts (including working from some manuscripts) and…

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Jerome: On Origen

Withdraw, dearly beloved, from the heresy of Origen and from all heresies. For I see that all your indignation has been roused against me simply because I have told you that you ought not to eulogize one who is the spiritual father of Arius, and the root and parent of all heresies.  St. Jerome

Highpoint Church Will Give You $700,000 if You Sexually Assault a Woman

According to a local, trusted source, Highpoint Church in Memphis fired its founding pastor Chris Conlee for assaulting a female staff member. Instead of reporting the assault to the police, church leaders paid Conlee and another disgraced, sexually abusive pastor, Andy Savage, about $700,000 in severance pay, according to a church financial statement of activities.

The “employee settlement expenses” are listed under Non-operating income (expense). Also listed are “professional consultation and legal fees of $251,019.

At the time of the public release of Jules Woodson’s story of sexual abuse by her then youth pastor, Andy Savage, Highpoint Church was a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. They have since removed their church from the convention.

Did Highpoint Church elders tell the congregation that their financial donations were going to pay off abusive pastors?

And that’s how megachurches operate and the high dollars are why people like JD Greear and other mega church pastors in the SBC will never say a word against the celebrity pastor.

It’s a Good Question

What Zwingli Thinks of Lent

zwingli1011.jpgNo one shall reject you or consider you good on account of any food, or holyday, whether you rest or not (always excepting Sundays, after God’s Word has been heard and communion administered). Let the new moon fast and the Sabbath go; for these things have become only symbolical of a Christian holiday, when one is to cease and leave off sinning, also that we, repenting such works, become happy only in the mercy of God; and, as Christ has come, the shadows and symbols are without doubt done away with.

One thing more, notice as to the time: It surely seems to me (I cannot help thinking so) that to keep certain times with timidity is an injury and harm to unchanging and everlasting justice, thus: simple people think that everything is right, if only they confess the fasts, fast, enjoy God (i.e., take the sacrament), and let the whole year pass away thus; whereas one should at all times confess God, live piously, and do no more than we think is necessary in the fast. And Christ says again, Matthew 25:13: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.”

Zwingli in the News: The Zwingli Conference

Here’s a little essay worth a look:

An der Eröffnungsfeier der Reformationstagung  hörte der Präsident des Schweizerischen Evangelischen Kirchenbundes, Gottfried Locher, immer wieder den Namen seines Grossvaters. Denn bei der vom Institut für Reformationsgeschichte veranstalteten Reformationstagung (6.-8. Februar) strich der reformationsgeschichtliche Altmeister Emilio Campi immer wieder die Bedeutung des Berner Theologen Gottfried W. Locher heraus und projizierte auch den Buchumschlag seines Opus «Zwingli in neuer Sicht», erschienen 1969, an die Vorderwand des Hörsaals. Mit ihm sei endlich der theologische Gehalt von Zwingli anerkannt und Zwingli auch international vom Makel des Epigonentums befreit worden.


As I Said, Nothing Will Come of the SBC Leadership’s Handwringing

And nothing has.

Because leaders in the SBC are all beholden to the ‘mega church’ mentality and consequently aren’t willing to condemn the personality cults that make pastoral and staff abuse of minors and others possible.

Greear et al are proponents of the personality cult because they benefit from it in terms of denominational power and personal enrichment.

In short, you can’t expect the people who gain from a mentality of empowerment to undermine empowerment- even if it means protecting children.

Southern Baptist officials have cleared seven churches accused of covering up sexual abuse just days after a top leader called for greater scrutiny following a joint newspaper investigation that uncovered rampant sexual misconduct. The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News report that a Southern Baptist Convention working group announced only three churches should be at risk of losing membership over their handling of allegations of sexual abuse. The statement follows convention President J.D. Greear’s announcement last week that the denomination should kick out churches that show “wanton disregard for sexual abuse.” It also shows clashes within the church over how to respond to hundreds of sexual abuse cases that were brought to light by the two newspapers this month. Greear didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Of course he didn’t.  Until the SBC begins to see churches as real churches instead of as corporations and franchises its attitude towards pastoral and staff conduct will never change.

The Future of the United Methodist Church

The death of the Apostle Paul

Paul died??????????????? Why didn’t someone tell me????????

Newman Research Centre for the Bible and its Reception

How, where and when did the Apostle Paul die?
The short answer is, we are not really sure. Although the Paul remains a very significant figure, we actually don’t know a great deal about his life. Texts books (with a greater or lesser sense of certainty) will inform us that Paul was born in the town of Tarsus (now in modern Turkey) sometime around 5 C.E.. However, this is purely conjecture. Paul doesn’t ever mention his birthplace or make any reference to Tarsus! On the other hand, Luke, who features Paul heavily in his Acts of the Apostle mentions Tarsus three times (9:11, 21:39 and 22:3) and records Paul as stating to his opponents in 22:3 that he is “a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia”. Luke is the main source for biographical details of Paul. It is he, not Paul, who tells us of Paul’s status as a Roman…

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