Daily Archives: 8 Apr 2019

Jesus TV

I must have missed the week in grad school where they taught you that you could just make stuff up about people in the Bible and the academy would love it so much that they would put it on tv.

(Kinda glad i did, actually. #FactsMatter).

WP Stephens Has Died

This is very sad news.

It is with sadness that the Methodist Church announces the death of the Revd Prof W Peter Stephens who died on Monday 1 April 2019. He was a Past President of the Methodist Conference 1998/1999.

The Revd Prof W Peter Stephens was born in Penzance in 1934 and was educated at Truro School, Clare College and Wesley House, Cambridge.

Peter was ordained in 1960, becoming Chaplain at Nottingham University 1961-1965. He spent two years, 1965-1967, at the University of Strasbourg and Munster leading to a doctorate, published in 1970, ‘The Holy Spirit in the Theology of Martin Bucer’. Peter was a tutor at Hartley Victoria College, Manchester 1971-1973 (he had previously served as  assistant tutor 1958-1961), Wesley College, Bristol 1973-1980 and at The Queen’s College, Birmingham 1980-1986. From 1986 to 1999 he was Professor of Church History at Aberdeen University, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Divinity 1986-1988 and Provost of the Faculty 1988-1989.

From 1995 he was President of the Society for Reformation Studies and in 1997 he won the Max Geilinger Prize for The Theology of Huldrych Zwingli (OUP, 1986).

Peter was stationed in the Croydon Circuit 1967-1971, he was Superintendent Minister of the Plymouth Methodist Mission Circuit 1999-2000, Minister of the Mint, Exeter and Methodist Chaplain to the University of Exeter 2000-2002, Superintendent Minister of the Liskeard and Looe Circuit 2002-2003.  Peter was Minister in the Uckfield and Lewes, Mid-Sussex Circuit 2004-2006.  

From 2003 to 2004 he was Chair and General Superintendent of the Methodist Church, The Gambia and from 2010 to 2012 he served as the first Presiding Bishop.

He was a linguist who travelled and preached in many countries and was closely involved in the Conference of European Churches and on World Methodist Church commissions.

Peter was working on a theology of Bullinger when he passed and Joe Mock and I will see to its completion.

It was Peter’s final project and he entrusted us with its production and we will honor his wishes. He was a wonderful friend and he will be sorely missed.

Numbers 13…

Shows us that the majority is usually wrong, and faithless.



Via FB

Silent Theologians are Useless Theologians

Christian theologians and biblical scholars who don’t engage society are useless. They are the theological equivalent of nipples on a man.  And just as ugly.

Pretending To Be More Pious Than You Really Are is Downright Dangerous

There was also a man called Ananias. He and his wife, Sapphira, agreed to sell a property;  but with his wife’s connivance he kept back part of the price and brought the rest and presented it to the apostles. Peter said, ‘Ananias, how can Satan have so possessed you that you should lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land?  While you still owned the land, wasn’t it yours to keep, and after you had sold it wasn’t the money yours to do with as you liked? What put this scheme into your mind? You have been lying not to men, but to God.’ 

When he heard this Ananias fell down dead. And a great fear came upon everyone present.  The younger men got up, wrapped up the body, carried it out and buried it.  About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had taken place.

Peter challenged her, ‘Tell me, was this the price you sold the land for?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that was the price.’  Peter then said, ‘Why did you and your husband agree to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Listen! At the door are the footsteps of those who have buried your husband; they will carry you out, too.’  Instantly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in they found she was dead, and they carried her out and buried her by the side of her husband. — (Acts 5:1-10)

The sin isn’t the retention of one’s own money.  Keep all your money if you want to.  The sin is pretense.  Don’t pretend to be a pious soul when within you are selfish and rotten.  God hates pretense.  He may kill you right off for it.

In Which Bullinger Blasts the Wealthy For Taking Advantage of the Poor

ZwingliBullingerDevotionalBook2Bullinger writes

You are mad and far beside yourself, if you wilt not stick, but still go on to paint your pride, and maintain a port with other men’s pence, and satisfy your lust in the bowels, blood, and sweat of poor men’s brows. Why do you not rather abase yourself to poverty, and use your unjust-gotten goods, as needy people use their alms? For you live off of that that should be the poor’s.  – Heinrich Bullinger


A New Page Added

Editing and Proofing Services.  Should you be seeking them.

Signs of the Times

#ICYMI – Emil Brunner in Japan

Brunner was invited to teach at ICU, Tokyo and he was happy to do so.  I mention it because Shuhei Oishi posted this bust of Brunner on his Facebook page.  I have never seen it before.

The Seven Things God Literally Hates

There are six things that Yahweh hates, seven that he abhors:

  1. a haughty look,
  2. a lying tongue,
  3. hands that shed innocent blood,
  4. a heart that weaves wicked plots,
  5. feet that hurry to do evil,
  6. a false witness who lies with every breath,
  7. and one who sows dissension among brothers. – (Prov. 6:16-19)

Today in Church History: The Diet of Augsburg

The situation of Protestantism in 1530 was critical. The Diet of Speier had forbidden the further progress of the Reformation: the Edict of Worms was in full legal force; the Emperor had made peace with the Pope, and received from him the imperial crown at Bologna; the Protestants were divided among themselves, and the Conference at Marburg had failed to unite them against the common foe. At the same time the whole empire was menaced by a foreign power. The Turks under Suleiman “the Magnificent,” who called himself “Lord of all rulers, Dispenser of crowns to the monarchs of the earth, the Shadow of God over the world,” had reached the summit of their military power, and approached the gates of Vienna in September, 1529. They swore by the beard of Mohammed not to rest till the prayers of the prophet of Mecca should be heard from the tower of St. Stephen. They were indeed forced to retire with a loss of eighty thousand men, but threatened a second attempt, and in the mean time laid waste a great part of Hungary.

Under these circumstances the Diet of Augsburg convened, April 8, 1530. Its object was to settle the religious question, and to prepare for war against the Turks. The invitation dated Jan. 21, 1530, from Bologna, carefully avoids all irritating allusions, sets forth in strong language the danger of foreign invasion, and expresses the hope that all would co-operate for the restoration of the unity of the holy empire of the German nation in the one true Christian religion and church.

So Schaff.  It was the Diet of Augsburg which provoked the production of the Augsburg Confession.  And Melanchthon’s ‘Apology of the Augsburg Confession’.  And remember, apology means ‘defense’, not something else.

Martin Chemnitz

From Sachsen-Anhalt on FB

martin_chemnitzMartin Chemnitz, leading German theologian who was known, with reference to Martin Luther, as “the second Martin” (or Alter Martinus) : Si Martinus non fuisset, Martinus vix stetisset (“If Martin [Chemnitz] had not come along, Martin [Luther] would hardly have survived”) goes a common saying concerning him.

At the University of Wittenberg (1545), Chemnitz was the protégé of the Reformer Philipp Melanchthon. In 1550 at Königsberg, he became librarian to Duke Albert of Prussia, an appointment that afforded him an opportunity to continue his theological studies. He returned to Wittenberg in 1553, entered the ministry as the pastor of the church of St. Aegidi, and began to lecture on Melanchthon’s Loci communes rerum theologicarum (“Theological Commonplaces”), the first systematic treatise on Reformation theology. The following year Chemnitz became coadjutor to Joachim Mörlin, whom he succeeded in 1567 as superintendent of the churches of Braunschweig, a post he held for the rest of his life.

In 1568 he began a decade of work with the theologian Jakob Andreä in uniting German Lutheranism, which had been divided by theological disagreement after Luther’s death in 1546. This end was achieved by the Formula of Concord (1577), which inaugurated the era of Lutheran orthodoxy and was primarily the work of the two men.

He died April 8, 1586.

Cheating Students and the Unethical ‘Essays for Hire’ Industry

This report on NPR is more confirmation that many students are both lazy and dishonest.

Concern is growing at the nation’s colleges and universities about a burgeoning online market, where students can buy ghost-written essays. Schools are trying new tools to catch it.

The report is must hearing.  Give it a listen soon as you can.

Garbage Theology

This isn’t Christianity, it’s gnosticism.