Daily Archives: 20 Mar 2019
I really do. Because otherwise…
Christianity Today reports
LifeWay Resources, the largest Christian retail chain in America, plans to close all 170 stores this year and shift its offerings entirely online.
“The decision to close our local stores is a difficult one,” said acting president and CEO Brad Waggoner, who is succeeding longtime LifeWay president Thom Rainer, in an announcement on Wednesday.
“(America’s) condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers. American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.” -Jim Elliot
This is unbelievably evil.
An Italian bus driver of Senegalese descent was arrested on Wednesday after hijacking his own vehicle and setting it on fire, allegedly threatening to kill more than 50 children on board whose hands he had bound.
The 47-year-old man said he was acting in revenge for the thousands of migrants, many of them African, who have drowned in the Mediterranean in recent years while trying to reach Europe from Libya. “No one will survive,” he said, according to police. “He shouted ‘Stop the deaths at sea, I’ll carry out a massacre’,” said Marco Palmieri, a police spokesman. The man, named as Ousseynou Sy, was driving 51 children from their middle school near the city of Cremona to a sporting event when he started making threats, brandishing a knife.
In an ordeal that lasted around 40 minutes, he started driving towards nearby Milan. He rammed the bus into cars on a busy highway before it came to a stop at a roadblock set up by police. He then doused it in petrol and set it on fire. Police smashed the windows of the vehicle to allow the children to escape.
That will certainly make people want more immigrants… won’t it….
And that’s why there’s a hell.
Your public assemblies I have come to hate. For there are excessive banquetings, and subtle flutes which provoke to lustful movements, and useless and luxurious anointings, and crowning with garlands. With such a mass of evils do you banish shame; and ye fill your minds with them, and are carried away by intemperance, and indulge as a common practice in wicked and insane fornication.
And this further I would say to you, why are you, being a Greek, indignant at your son when he imitates Jupiter, and rises against you and defrauds you of your own wife? Why do you count him your enemy, and yet worship one that is like him? And why do you blame your wife for living in unchastity, and yet honour Venus with shrines? – Justin Martyr
Justin would say pretty much the same thing about most modern Christian worship and every Emergent and Seeker Sensitive ‘Church’.
By Tirzah Frank, Assistant Editor
In How the Bible Is Written, Gary Rendsburg unpacks the literary devices behind the Hebrew Bible (a.k.a. the Old Testament). He delves into how the ancient Israelite literati (to borrow his term) used alliteration, wordplay, repetition with variation, style-switching, and other devices to deliver the biblical narrative in effective and beautiful ways. For readers who’ve typically approached the Bible for its moral teachings and historical information rather than its artistry, Rendsburg provides an exciting new lens for better understanding and appreciating the Old Testament.
Why It’s Easy to Overlook the Literary Nature of the Bible
I never thought very much about how the Bible is written. Why and when, sure. And I’ve studied the overarching narrative structure and the connections between the Old and New Testaments, because those aspects come through in an English translation. But I was never exposed to the specific…
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“Never” attend religious services rose to 30% of the US public while “no religion” identification inched up to 23% on the 2018 [religion survey]; in 1994, it was 16% never attend & 9% have no religion. – Max Grossman
And, as always, people interested in any V&R publications in North America can order them from their distribution partner, ISD.
Exactly 450 years after the solemn closure of the Council of Trent on 4 December 1563, scholars from diverse regional, disciplinary and confessional backgrounds convened in Leuven to reflect upon the impact of this Council, not only in Europe but also beyond. Their conclusions are to be found in these three impressive volumes. Bridging different generations of scholarship, the authors reassess in a first volume Tridentine views on the Bible, theology and liturgy, as well as their reception by Protestants, deconstructing many myths surviving in scholarship and society alike. They also deal with the mechanisms ‘Rome’ developed to hold a grip on the Council’s implementation. The second volume analyzes the changes in local ecclesiastical life, initiated by bishops, orders and congregations, and the political strife and confessionalisation accompanying this reform process. The third and final volume examines the afterlife of Trent in arts and music, as well as in the global impact of Trent through missions.
A click on the volume links above will take one to the table of contents and other relevant materials. Before proceeding you are requested to go there so as to be ‘up to speed’ with what these two works contain.
Once one comes to the realization that the volumes are comprised with the clearest and most thorough analysis of the Council of Trent presently available one can appreciate more fully the incredible importance of these works.
Volume two’s focus on clerics and governmental authority provides important materials which themselves provide insights into the 16th and 17th centuries as they are experienced by some of society’s most important personages. To say that another way, how clerics and government officials saw themselves and their tasks are on full and clear display. This ‘from the top down’ perspective isn’t mere elitism exposed, however but rather a clear portrayal of the wrestlings involved in important cultural trends and decisions. And all of this in reaction and response to the decrees of the Council of Trent.
But it is volume three which enthralls and delights. From the ways that Trent influenced art and music to the working out of the implications of Trent for Catholicism in Asia and the Global South, each essay opens new vistas and provides new insights on a very wide world.
The fact that so few (in Protestant circles) know how important and influential Trent was can be laid at the doorstep of our modern tendency to simply scratch the surface of a topic (chiefly, for many misled souls, on the wikipedia website) instead of drilling down to the meat of topics. If one were to take, for instance, the entry in the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (which is, it has to be said, a very fine resource) as an example, one would discover merely the bare bones outline of the Council’s significance (and that, again, is as deep as most people dive today):
The spread of Protestantism and the drastic need of moral and administrative reforms within the RC Church led to widespread demand among Catholics for a Universal Council, but disputes between *Charles V and others who favoured such action, and the Popes, who were generally averse to it, long prevented a move. At last *Paul III summoned a council to Mantua for 23 May 1537, but the plan fell through owing to French resistance. In 1538 further proposals for a council at Vicenza were frustrated by the unexpected indifference of the Emperor. In 1542 the Pope again convoked the Council, this time to Trent. After yet another postponement it eventually met on 13 Dec. 1545. At the outset it was a very small assembly, composed of 3 legates, 1 cardinal, 4 archbishops, 21 bishops, and 5 generals of orders.
After describing the various Periods of the Council, they conclude
The Council ended on 4 Dec. 1563. The decrees were confirmed in a body on 26 Jan. 1564 by Pius IV, who in the same year published the ‘Profession of the Tridentine Faith’, a brief summary of doctrine, generally known as the *Creed of Pius IV. Several important works, which the Council recommended or initiated but could not effectually carry through, were handed over to the Pope for completion. The revision of the Vulgate, ordered at Trent in 1546, was concluded under *Clement VIII in 1592; and *Pius V founded the Congregation of the Index in 1571 to carry out other unfinished work, having himself issued the ‘*Roman Catechism’ (1566) and revised *Breviary (1568) and *Missal (1570). Though the Council failed to satisfy the Protestants and its reforms were less comprehensive than many Catholics had hoped for, it had established a solid basis for the renewal of discipline and the spiritual life in the RC Church, which emerged from Trent with a clearly formulated doctrinal system and an enhanced religious strength for the subsequent struggle with Protestantism.*
The entire discussion covers but two columns. And yet thoroughness matters, and the three volumes titled The Council of Trent: Reform and Controversy om Europe and Beyond (1545-1700) make that more than abundantly clear. They should be read. Indeed, in my humble view, students of the history of the Church should oblige themselves to read more than surface scratches. Tolle, lege!
*F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 1650-1651.
So far am I from yielding to you that unless you leave me and mine—that is, the sheep of Christ—in peace and quiet, I shall proceed to deal with you far more roughly, without fear of your words or your frowns. You must deal with me by means of the Holy Scriptures bestowed upon us by God (and do not forget that point), and they must not be twisted. You must not use things devised by the vanity of man, and you must come to close quarters and not fight by laying mines. As soon as I perceive any tricks, I shall expose them.
There it is.
Thank you, Ralph-
[divine judgment] “shal come upon you as a Whirlwind, & overtake you as a Thief in the night, and when you cry peace, then shall destruction upon destruction come suddenly, and you shall not escape; torment shall take hold upon you; and anguish shall seise upon your inward parts; a fire shall be kindled in your bowels for ever, which shall burn, and none shall quench it.” Humphrey Smith (Quaker), 1658.