Daily Archives: 27 Feb 2019

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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Why? Because It Pleased Him to Do It

You may quibble with Calvin’s conclusions but you can’t accuse him of inconsistency or lack of logic when he writes, in connection with the damnation of the reprobate:

calvin29Foolish men raise many grounds of quarrel with God, as if they held him subject to their accusations. First, they ask why God is offended with his creatures who have not provoked him by any previous offense; for to devote to destruction whomsoever he pleases, more resembles the caprice of a tyrant than the legal sentence of a judge; and, therefore, there is reason to expostulate with God, if at his mere pleasure men are, without any desert of their own, predestinated to eternal death. If at any time thoughts of this kind come into the minds of the pious, they will be sufficiently armed to repress them, by considering how sinful it is to insist on knowing the causes of the divine will, since it is itself, and justly ought to be, the cause of all that exists. For if his will has any cause, there must be something antecedent to it, and to which it is annexed; this it were impious to imagine. The will of God is the supreme rule of righteousness, so that everything which he wills must be held to be righteous by the mere fact of his willing it. Therefore, when it is asked why the Lord did so, we must answer, Because he pleased.  –  Inst III,23,2.

Calvin may have had many faults and he may not have even been right- but he wasn’t a coward and he wasn’t half-hearted and he wasn’t given to equivocation.  May his tribe increase.

DER HEILIGE DER HUGENOTTEN: Zum 500. Geburtstag von Gaspard de Coligny

Den Namen Gaspard de Coligny würden heute nicht einmal mehr die Hugenotten kennen. Wenn er nicht das zweifelhafte Glück gehabt hätte, am richtigen Ort zur richtigen Zeit ermordet worden zu sein.

Give it a read.

Anabaptism Today

Today is the launch of a new Journal, Anabaptism Today, edited by Lloyd Pietersen.  Give it a look.  With thanks to Richard Goode for the heads up.

Augustine Infected Even Luther With His Ridiculous Views of Sex

lutherstampIn one of his sermons Luther remarked

The flesh hangs around my neck together with the old Adam, who fell in Paradise ‹and is inborn in us›, whom we lug about in this life and cannot be rid of until we are buried. While the flesh, which we bear around our necks, lives and eats and drinks here, evil desire does not cease. It stirs itself and is eager to commit sin, [such as] lewdness [and] evil desire. Carnal desire is resisted with matrimony, virginity, [and] widowhood, so that it does not become fornication. And yet ‹even marriage› is not completely pure. ‹For› husband [and] wife cannot sleep with each other without shameful, evil desire.

The notion that even marital sexual relations are wicked comes straight from Augustine- who lived his early life as such a reprobate that when he converted to Christianity the pendulum swung completely to the other extreme.  From doing everything sexually, Augustine came to believe that every sexual act- even between married folk! – was evil.

Poor Luther.  And poor Augustinians.  To be robbed of a good gift of God by poor theology based on personal experience rather than informed by Scripture concerning the goodness and godliness of marital relations in all their fullness.

The oddest thing in all this is Luther’s blindness to Scripture on the issue.  Augustine’s view has nil support.  Consequently, neither does Luther’s.

Call for Papers Deadline Extension

The deadline for submitting short paper proposals for the Ninth Annual RefoRC Conference, May 15-17, 2019 at Fscire in Bologna has been extended to April 1, 2019.

The conference is open to individual short paper presentations (20 minutes presentation, 10 minutes discussion) and to thematic sessions of two or three short papers. Papers can focus on all disciplines related to Early Modern Christianity. It is also possible to attend the conference without presenting a paper or to present a poster.

Short paper proposals can be submitted via the online registration form.

General Information, Preliminary Program etc.


Fun Facts From Church History… Schoolboys in Calvin’s Geneva…

According to Karin Maag-

Schoolboys were to practice the fundamentals of Reformed worship by reciting in turn Calvin’s prayer to be said before starting lessons, by engaging in an hour of psalm singing a day, and by taking turns saying the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Apostles’ Creed at the close of each day’s classes.

Those were the good old days for sure!