Why The SBC’s Handwringing Over Abuse is a Farce

Here’s what the #SBC, under @jdgreear is going to do about perverted pastors and staff-

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Oh there will be handwringing and ‘we’re so sorry’ but that’s it.

Why? Because there is ZERO mechanism for instituting change without a centralized database of offenders. ZERO.

And the Convention’s leadership has no interest in doing anything real. So the publicity farce will continue until the story dies out and then it’s back to the real business of the Convention’s leadership- making sure megachurch pastors are the only ones elected to high profile positions.

Luther Thinks You’re an Idiot

“It is strange that men are so heedless and arrogant, when there are on every hand such a multitude of reasons for being humble. The hour of death is uncertain, nor is the food we eat within our control, nor the sun and air by which we live, nor the day, nor sleep, to say nothing of spiritual things, such as the public and private sins by which we are oppressed. But our hearts are adamantine, without any sense.”  — Martin Luther

Part Two of the Series on Southern Baptists and their Sexual Predators

Doug Myers was suspected of preying on children at a church in Alabama — but he went on to work at Southern Baptist churches in Florida before police arrested him.

Timothy Reddin was convicted of possessing child pornography, yet he was still able to serve as pastor of a Baptist church in Arkansas.

Charles Adcock faced 29 counts of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Alabama. Then he volunteered as a worship pastor at a Baptist church in Texas.

The sordid backgrounds of these Southern Baptist ministers didn’t stop them from finding new jobs at churches and working in positions of trust.

They’re among at least 35 Southern Baptist pastors, youth ministers and volunteers who were convicted of sex crimes or accused of sexual misconduct but still were allowed to work at churches during the past two decades, an investigation by the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle reveals.

JD Greear and others in leadership positions in the SBC need to man up and INSIST that the Convention invest in a national database of sex offenders who are pastors, deacons, youth workers, sunday school teachers, or hold any position at all in a Southern Baptist Church.  NOW.

The ridiculous ‘apologies’ and ‘thoughts and prayers’ offered to victims are not enough.  DO SOMETHING.  ‘For God’s sake, do something brave!’ – Huldrych Zwingli.

Abraham’s Family

Abraham’s Family: A Network of Meaning in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Ed. by Lukas Bormann

Lukas Bormann: Introduction

Part I: Abraham’s Family in the Old Testament
Konrad Schmid: Remembering and Reconstructing Abraham: Abraham’s Family and the Literary History of the Pentateuch – Antti Laato: The Abraham Story in Genesis and the Reigns of David and Solomon – Magnar Kartveit: Abraham and Joseph in Samaritan Tradition – Lotta Valve: The »Wooing of Rebekah« and the Methodological Rift between Tradition History and Reception History

Part II: Abraham’s Family in Ancient Jewish Literature
Jacques T.A.G.M. van Ruiten: Abraham’s Family in the Book of Jubilees – Aliyah El Mansy: »He is perfect, he is a true man!« (Jub. 27:17): Constructions of Masculinities in Abraham’s Family – Jesper Høgenhaven: Abraham and his Family in Qumran Biblical Exegesis – Michael Becker: Abraham and the Sacrifice of Isaac in Early Jewish and Christian Exegesis: Conceptual Patterns in Development – Christian Noack: Abraham’s Family in Philo

Part III: Abraham’s Family in the New Testament
Lukas Bormann: Abraham as »Forefather« and his Family in Paul – Angela Standhartinger: Member of Abraham’s Family? Hagar’s Gender, Status, Ethnos, and Religion in Early Jewish and Christian Texts – Christfried Böttrich: Abraham and his Children in Luke-Acts – Guido Baltes: The Prodigal Son and his Angry Brother: Jacob and Esau in a Parable of Jesus? – J. Cornelis de Vos: Abraham’s Family in the Epistle to the Hebrews – Eva-Maria Kreitschmann: Abraham’s Family Network in the New Testament Writings

Part IV: Abraham’s Family in Early Christian Literature
Martin Meiser: Abraham and His Family in Ancient Greek and Latin Patristic Exegesis – Anni Maria Laato: Divided by a Common Ground: The Prophecy of Jacob and Esau (Gen 25: 19–26) in Patristic Texts up to Augustine with respect to Modern Inter-Faith Dialogue – Michaela Durst: Abraham and Hellenismos in Julian the Apostate’s Contra Galilaeos : Challenging Christian Knowledge about the Divine

Part V: Abraham’s Family in Jewish Exegesis and in Encounter with Islam
Reuven Firestone: Hagar and Ishmael in Literature and Tradition as a foreshadow of their Islamic Personas – Mariano Gomez Aranda: The Conflict between Jacob and Esau in Medieval Jewish Exegesis: Reinterpreting Narratives – Bärbel Beinhauer-Köhler: Maqām Ibrāhīm and the Sacred Landscape of Mecca According to Ibn Jubayr – Catalin-Stefan Popa: Syrians and the Appeal to Abraham in the Early Islamic Times

A review copy has arrived.  More anon.

Today With Zwingli: What, You Haven’t Read It Yet?

zwin_calvOn 12 February 1527 Zwingli wrote his friend Conrad Sam.  In that letter he remarks

“Archetelem”  ante annos quinque scripsi ad episcopum Constantiensem, quo  rationem reddidi doctrinę. Liber adeo mendose fuit excusus, ut  nihil debeas de eo esse sollicitus; misissem tamen, si ullus superfuisset.

Sam should have read it before 1527… the wretch.  Your friends ought to read what you write.  Unless they aren’t really friends… (Let the reader understand).

😉

Just to make the point, he remarks again concerning his latest work

Mitto librum “De officio praedicandi”.

Which is as much as to say- ‘this one you need to read now’.

Luther’s ‘Praise’ of the Papacy

lutherOh, the depth of his worthlessness, covetousness, and robbery; how unsearchable are his thefts and how inscrutable his greediness! For who has known the shrine of his heart? Or who has first given anything to the church that he did not afterward snatch away? For from him and through him and in him are all the evils of the church. To him be horror and disgrace forever and ever. Amen.*

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*Martin Luther, “Preface, Marginal Glosses, and Afterword to Legation of Pope Adrian VI, Sent to the Diet of Nürnberg in 1522: 1538.”

Today With Zwingli: A Letter to The Good People of Appenzell

In various places Zwingli referred, nonchalantly, to Appenzell as a nest of Anabaptist activity.   Though not necessarily incorrect, the accusation got him in a bit of hot water (even though he had never, frankly, accused the government of the town of any Anabaptist sympathies).  So, in an attempt to clear things up, on 12 February 1526 he wrote:

huldrych-zwingli“Grace and peace from God to you, respected, honoured, wise, clement, gracious and beloved Masters: An exceedingly unfortunate affair has happened to me, in that I have been publicly accused before your worships of having reviled you in unseemly words and, be it said with all respect, of having called you heretics, my gracious rulers of the State.

I am so far from applying this name to you, that I should as soon think of calling heaven hell. For all my life I have thought and spoken of you in terms of praise and honour, gentlemen of Abtzell, as I do to-day, and, as God favours me, shall do to the end of my days.

But it happened not long ago when I was preaching against the Catabaptists that I used these words: ‘The Catabaptists are now doing so much mischief to the upright citizens of Abtzell and are showing so great insolence, that nothing could be more infamous.’ You see, gentle sirs, with what modesty I grieved on your account, because the turbulent Catabaptists caused you so much trouble. Indeed I suspect that the Catabaptists are the very people who have set this sermon against me in circulation among you, for they do many of those things which do not become true Christians.

Therefore, gentle and wise sirs, I beg most earnestly that you will have me exculpated before the whole community, and, if occasion arise, that you will have this letter read in public assembly.

Sir, I assure you in the name of God our Saviour, in these perilous times you have never been out of my thoughts and my solicitous anxiety; and if in any way I shall be able to serve you I will spare no pains to do so. In addition to the fact that I never use such terms even against my enemies, let me say that it never entered my mind to apply such insulting epithets to you, pious and wise sirs.

Sufficient of this. May God preserve you in safety, and may He put a curb on these unbridled falsehoods which are being scattered everywhere, which is an evidence of some great peril—and may He hold your worships and the whole state in the true faith of Christ! Take this letter of mine in good part, for I could not suffer that so base a falsehood against me should lie uncontradicted.”*

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*S.M. Jackson’s translation. The original German text follows for your enjoyment:

Gnad und frid von gott. Hochgeachte, ersame, wysen, gnädige, günstige lieben herren

Es kumpt mir eigenlich für, wie ich vor üwer wysheit offenlich gescholten sye, als ob ich uch, mine gnädigen herren gemeins lands, bescholten habe mit etwas ungeschickten worten und urloub vor üwer eer kätzer genempt hab, welchs als verr vor mir ist, als das ich geredt hab, die hell sye der himel. Ich hab all min läbtag herlich und erlich von uch minen herren von Abtzell geredt und gehalten, und noch hüt bi tag und, ob gott wil, bis in minen tod. Es hat sich aber in vergangner zyt begeben, do ich wider die widertöuffer gepredget, also geredt hab: “Die widertöuffer gebend ietz den biderben lúten zuo Abtzell so vil muey und arbeit ze schaffen und tribend so vil muotwillens, das ‘s ein spott ist”. Sehend, gnädigen herren, mit was zucht ich erbermd hab mit üwer wysheit gehebt, das úch die verwirrigen töuffer so vil unruowen gestattend. Aber ich zwyfel eigenlich, das mir die widertöuffer selb sölchen lümbden by úch ufgeblasen habind; dann sy tuond der dingen vil, die christenen warhaften menschen nit wol anstond. Hierumb, gnädige wyse herren, wellend mich umb gotzwillen vor gantzer gemeind verantwurt haben und, hatt es fuog, ouch disen brief vor gantzer gemeind vorlesen lassen; dann ich by gott, der üns alle erlöst hatt, sag, das ir mir uss miner sorg und angst in disen gevarlichen zyten nimmer kumend; und wo ich úch für andre yenen gedienen könd, wölt ich mich nit sparen. Darzuo hab ich minen fygenden all min tag nie sölichs zuogeredt, was wolt ich denn úch frommen wysen herren und ein gantze biderbe gemeind mit sölcher unghander red beladen? Nit me denn: sind gott bevolhen; der welle üns sölcher fräfnen lügen abhelffen, die allenthalb werdend fürggeben, das doch ein gwüss zeichen ist einer großen gevar, und üwer wisheit sampt gantzer gemeind in warem christenem glouben behalten. Derstond min schryben imm besten; dann ich sölchen unerberen lug nit hab mögen uff mir ligen lassen.

Geben z’ Zürich xij. tags Hornungs M.D.xxvj.

Üwer wysheit williger Huldrych Zuingli. Den frommen, fürsichtigen, ersamen, wysen amman, radt und gantzer gemeind zuo Abbtzell, sinen gnädigen, günstigen, lieben herren.

Quote of the Day

vermigli“Rhetoricians use this method: so that they say nothing rough or unpleasant, first with some color they soften their audience. Now the scorpion—that deadly beast—clasps [its prey] with its forearms or its front claws, so that it can strike better with its tail and thrust in its venomous sting. So why do we not more tightly embrace our neighbors with kindness and love as closely as possible, so that we might heal them?” — Peter Marty Vermigli (on Rom 10:1).