Daily Archives: 27 May 2019

Why Would You Put Your Trust in Worthless People?

I only wonder that any trust at all is reposed in worthless men, to whose falsehoods the ears of your people must have long since grown callous. — John Calvin

The Chief Lesson of the First 600 Years of Church History

The one thing the history of the early church illustrates more than anything else is that when theology is bastardized by politics, it is defiled irreperably.

As Good An Overview of the Council of Chalcedon as You’ll Find

Answering Your Mail

Hi Jim,

You talk alot about dilettantes and amateurs and how they should ‘stay in their lane’ about the bible.  Can I ask, and I’m not trying to offend, what your qualifications are?



A daily reader

Dear Bradley,

Hi.  Sure, that’s a perfectly fair question.  If you would allow me, I’ll embed a couple of documents for you.  First, my CV.-

And now, my list of publications:

I’m fairly sure that’s more than you wanted to know. I answered the question, by the way, more specifically back in 2014. You’re welcome to read my response there.

Best, and happy Memorial Day,



This is heresy- only the Holy Spirit can sanctify. Human acts, no matter how lovely, cannot.

ABC News Cares More About the Birth of a Baby than Climate Change

This is sad.

Here’s media misconduct in a nutshell: ABC’s World News Tonight spent more than seven minutes reporting on the birth of royal baby Archie in the week after he was born — more time than the program spent covering climate change during the entire year of 2018.

Other major TV news outlets in the U.S. have also severely under-reported on climate change and yet found plenty of time to note the arrival of Archie, son of Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. Archie is now seventh in line to the British throne, which means he’ll be a permanent tabloid fixture but is unlikely to ever be a king.

We expect better of you. Stop being infotainment and start being news.

Get Off My Back, Calvin…

It behooves us to conform ourselves to His example, striving to do good to those who are unworthy of it, just as He causes his sun to shine on the evil and the good. Thus hatred and Christianity are things incompatible. I mean hatred towards persons—in opposition to the love we owe them. On the contrary we are to wish and even procure their good; and to labour, as much as in us lies, to maintain peace and concord with all men. –  John Calvin

Stop pointing your finger at me…  Ok, fine. Geesh.  It’s your death-iversary anyway so I’ll not argue with you this time.

‘Progressive’ Christians Or Just Regressive Gnostics

Ben Myers had a great thread on the twitter on the moral relativism of some Christians which I here post in full:

Interviewer: Do you think there’s any context in which it’s immoral to have an abortion? United Church of Christ minister: I don’t. I really don’t. I don’t think I do. For me, it’s a health-care issue.

The theological argument goes like this: “Following Jesus has really helped me to think differently about this important moral issue. It has helped me to see that it’s not a moral issue after all and therefore there’s no need to think about it after all.” Groundbreaking stuff.

The same argument can be used on all kinds of “moral” issues. E.g. “The only mistake of animal rights activists is thinking that animal treatment is a moral issue, when in fact it’s a culinary issue. So the correct thing to do is to eat the little critters, not think about them.”  Or: “Many Christians argue about the ethics of armed conflict because they assume that it’s a moral question. But in fact war is a military-technical question, so there’s nothing to think about! Problem solved!”

Or: “People used to worry so much about sexual ethics before they realised that sex is about anatomy, not morality. Problem solved!”  “We used to debate the ethical complications surrounding euthanasia before we realised that euthanasia is a medical issue, not a moral one. What a breakthrough! Problem solved!”

This works for absolutely anything. All you have to do is (a) pose a moral question; (b) replace the human element with the technological element; and then (c) presto, the moral problem has vanished! (But what else has vanished? Hint: see CS Lewis, “the abolition of man.”)

Ben is on the money here.  It’s fair to say, further, that given that there is nothing new under the sun, the ethical progressive-ism of many modern believers is really just gnosticism renewed.

Follow Ben on the twitter for this and other great threads.

Calvin, Again, To the Christian Faced with Moral Evil

Thanks, Randy B.-

John Calvin on Defending the Defenseless

On the Anniversary of John Calvin’s Death

Here are a few things to read.  And here’s a gallery of Calvin stuff to enjoy:



Michael Langlois and the Dead Sea Scrolls

I was interviewed by Science & Life Magazine on recent issues pertaining to the Dead Sea Scrolls, including forgeries.

You can find the magazine here; I also attach the article in PDF format:

Marielle Mayo, “La saga de Qumrân continue” in Les Cahiers de Science & Vie 185, 04/2019, p. 10-13.

I want to thank journalist Marielle Mayo for contacting me when she was writing this article. The saga of the Dead Sea Scrolls is indeed not over! 🙂


The Day Calvin Died

The Anniversary of the Death of John Calvin

farel_telling_calvin_genevaCalvin died on 27 May, 1564; aged 54 years, 10 months, 17 days.  He was a young man.  Or at most a young middle aged man. He died poor in material wealth:

“He left behind him only $170 in money; but an incalculable fortune in fame and consequential influence.”

Philip Schaff tells the story of Calvin’s departure from this depraved world as follows

On the 19th of May, two days before the pentecostal communion, Calvin invited the ministers of Geneva to his house and caused himself to be carried from his bed-chamber into the adjoining dining-room. Here he said to the company: “This is the last time I shall meet you at table,”—words that made a sad impression on them. He then offered up a prayer, took a little food, and conversed as cheerfully as was possible under the circumstances. Before the repast was quite finished he had himself carried back to his bed-room, and on taking leave said, with a smiling countenance: “This wall will not hinder my being present with you in spirit, though absent in body.”


From that time he never rose from his bed, but he continued to dictate to his secretary.  Farel, then in his eightieth year, came all the way from Neuchâtel to bid him farewell, although Calvin had written to him not to put himself to that trouble. He desired to die in his place. Ten days after Calvin’s death, he wrote to Fabri (June 6, 1564): “Oh, why was not I taken away in his place, while he might have been spared for many years of health to the service of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ! Thanks be to Him who gave me the exceeding grace to meet this man and to hold him against his will in Geneva, where he has labored and accomplished more than tongue can tell. In the name of God, I then pressed him and pressed him again to take upon himself a burden which appeared to him harder than death, so that he at times asked me for God’s sake to have pity on him and to allow him to serve God in a manner which suited his nature. But when he recognized the will of God, he sacrificed his own will and accomplished more than was expected from him, and surpassed not only others, but even himself. Oh, what a glorious course has he happily finished!

Calvin spent his last days in almost continual prayer, and in ejaculating comforting sentences of Scripture, mostly from the Psalms. He suffered at times excruciating pains. He was often heard to exclaim: “I mourn as a dove” (Isa. 38:14); “I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it” (Ps. 39:9); “Thou bruisest me, O Lord, but it is enough for me that it is thy hand.” His voice was broken by asthma, but his eyes remained bright, and his mind clear and strong to the last. He admitted all who wished to see him, but requested that they should rather pray for him than speak to him.


On the day of his death he spoke with less difficulty. He fell peacefully asleep with the setting sun towards eight o’clock, and entered into the rest of his Lord. “I had just left him,” says Beza, “a little before, and on receiving intimation from the servants, immediately hastened to him with one of the brethren. We found that he had already died, and so very calmly, without any convulsion of his feet or hands, that he did not even fetch a deeper sigh. He had remained perfectly sensible, and was not entirely deprived of utterance to his very last breath. Indeed, he looked much more like one sleeping than dead.

Memorial Day

Have a peaceful, reflective day.  And work for peace so that there are no more casualties of war.