Daily Archives: 8 May 2019

What an Interesting Juxtaposition of Tweets

On my timeline a few minutes ago- these two tweets juxtaposed:

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Posted by on 8 May 2019 in Modern Culture



If someone’s Christology is right, their Ecclesiology, Soteriology, Anthropology, Pneumatology, and all the rest of the theological topoi are right.   If their Christology is wrong, they will be wrong about everything else.

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Posted by on 8 May 2019 in Theology


He Put His 3 Year Old In the Car, Chained the Doors Shut, And Set The Car on Fire…

And he will not enjoy hell at all.

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Posted by on 8 May 2019 in Modern Culture


Wittenberg und die frühe Reformation

The anniversary of the Reformation directs our attention not only to Martin Luther as a person, university professor, theologian and preacher, but also to the conditions which made his impact possible, as well as the milieu in which he was acting. For exploring these topics the beginnings of the Reformation and the locale in which they took place, Wittenberg, are of particular interest. 

The essays collected in this volume are dedicated to the context, the conditions in which these historical factors developed, as well as the impulses that were set in motion by the early Reformation and their – long-term – impact. The overarching political and theological conditions, and the associated aspects in popular piety and media, are discussed alongside life in the town and at the university of Wittenberg as a microcosmos of the early Reformation.

The volume at hand is comprised of the following:

I  Frömmigkeit und Kirchenkritik

  • Christopher Spehr- Der Ablass am Vorabend der Reformation- Praxis – Theologie – Kritik
  • Livia Cárdenas- Heilsgeschehen, Seelenrettung, Weltgeschichte: Das Wittenberger Heiltum
  • Wolf-Friedrich Schäufele- Die Kirchenkritik des Hoch- und Spätmittelalters und ihre Bedeutung für die Reformation
  • Rosemarie Aulinger- Die Gravamina auf den Reichstagen 1521–1530 und ihr Vorgeschichte
  • Enno Bünz- Luther und seine Mitbrüder – Das Wittenberger Augustinerkloster in der Reformationszeit

II  Luthers Umfeld

  • Insa Christiane Hennen- Wittenbergs Stadtbild in der Reformationszeit
  • Stefan Oehmig- Wittenberg am Beginn der Reformationszeit- Beobachtungen anhand der Kämmereirechnungen der Jahre um 1517
  • Uwe Schirmer- Verregnete Reformation? Witterung, Wetteranomalien und Klimatendenzen in Mitteldeutschland(1485–1547)
  • Thomas Fuchs- Leipzig und Wittenberg als Zentren von Buchproduktion und Buchhandel in den ersten Jahren der Reformation (1517–1522)
  • Heiner Lück- Die Leucorea im Jahr 1517, Eine Momentaufnahme
  • Ulrike Ludwig- »Zu christlicher Zucht der jungen Studenten« Die Kollegien der Universität Wittenberg und der Beginn der Reformation
  • Mirko Gutjahr- Johan Oldecop- Ein problematischer Augenzeuge der Reformation

III  Beginn der Reformation und frühe Entfaltung

  • Volker Leppin- Martin Luthers Berichte über reformatorische Entdeckungen Johannes Schilling Die Verbreitung von Luthers Ablassthesen
  • Marcel Nieden- Die frühe Wittenberger Flugschriftenpublizistik (1517–1521) Beobachtungen zur Publikationssprache
  • Armin Kohnle- Die ernestinischen Fürsten Friedrich der Weise und Johann der Beständige und ihr Verhältnis zu Martin Luther in den Anfangsjahren der Reformation
  • Irene Dingel- Wie lutherisch war die Wittenberger Reformation? Von vorkonfessioneller Vielfalt zu theologischer Profilierung

Such a wide ranging and comprehensive volume which addresses so many significant aspects of the Reformation among Lutherans as this one, is immediately subject to questions concerning its limits and boundaries.  But complainers should be silent, because this volume does exactly what it needs to do: it sets Luther and his efforts firmly within their historical context.

Beginning with section one, readers are treated to brilliant analyses of the pietism and church/political situation of the lead up to Luther.  How did people believe and act and how did the Church seek to control and guide that action and thought?  What was it like to live in an Augustinian monastery and how would Luther have carried on in his daily existence?  These issues are described along with relevant others.

In section two, our attention is drawn to a series of essays addressing Luther’s environment.  What was Wittenberg like?  What was the geographical environment like?  What kind of books were produced and who was reading them?  And what was it like to be a student in that town?  These topics are not only helpfully addressed but interestingly too.  One can almost smell the sewage in the gutters.

And then in the third division the actual outbreak of the Lutheran reform is described and aspects of it addressed.  The last essay, and the final contribution to the volume by Irene Dingel brings everything to an apex and offers us readers a chance to glance into a question that remains central for Reformation research:  just how Lutheran was the Wittenberg reformation?

That truly is a terribly important question because it leads us to wonder both how much of the Reformation is Luther’s doing and how much would have happened without Luther having even been born.  I wonder- Was the momentum of history already surging towards Reform?  We know that was the case in Switzerland, where Zwingli was coming to conclusions of his own about the Church long before anyone knew Luther’s name.  Erasmus too was prodding the Church to betterment.  And then of course there is the long line of reforming spirits like Hus and Wycliffe.  Would the Reformation look like it does without Luther?  Perhaps not.  We shall never know.  But it’s delightful to ponder.

And this volume is itself delightful and filled with material it is well to ponder.

Tolle, lege!

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Posted by on 8 May 2019 in Book Review, Books, Church History


The Earliest Known Draft of the King James Bible

Cambridge University Library has a gem of a post.

It is rare that archival research makes the national news.  Jeffrey Alan Miller’s identification of a draft of a portion of the King James Bible hit the headlines in October 2015: not only was it the earliest known draft, but was uniquely a draft written by the hand of one of the translators, who was known by name.  The notebook in which Miller found this work – Sidney Sussex College, MS Ward B – had belonged to Samuel Ward (1572-1643), Master of the College from 1610 until his death.  Eighteen months after the discovery, the notebook has been digitised in full and published on the Cambridge Digital Library, in the latest instance of an ongoing collaboration between the University Library and the Cambridge Colleges to make archival and manuscript material available online.


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Posted by on 8 May 2019 in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources, Church History


Meanwhile, At Newman University…

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Posted by on 8 May 2019 in Modern Culture


Our Book Has A Cover


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Posted by on 8 May 2019 in Biblical Studies Resources, Books


Sometimes You Have to Cut in Order to Heal

The medical men called surgeons pass for being cruel, but really deserve pity. For is it not pitiful to cut away the dead flesh of another man with merciless knives without being moved by his pangs? Is it not pitiful that the man who is curing the patient is callous to his sufferings, and has to appear as his enemy? Yet such is the order of nature. While truth is always bitter, pleasantness waits upon evil-doing.  …  It is not surprising, then, that by exposing their faults I have offended many. I have arranged to operate on a cancerous nose; let him who suffers from wens tremble. I wish to rebuke a chattering daw; let the crow realize that she is offensive.  — St Jerome

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Posted by on 8 May 2019 in Jerome