Daily Archives: 12 Jun 2019

Just Because I Like Them…

I Guess I’m Not Down With the Latest Hipster Lingo…

But I have no idea what ‘speaking into things’ even means.  Anyone know?

If You’re Calling on People to Be Killed, You Aren’t A Christian

Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler says a deputy who recently delivered a sermon calling for police officers and government to kill homosexuals is no longer on active duty.

Spangler says Det. Grayson Fritts took part in a workforce reduction buyout program two weeks ago. Spangler says Fritts is on paid sick leave until the workforce reduction takes effect on July 19.

“I want to be very clear that it is my responsibility to ensure equal protection to ALL citizens of Knox County, Tennessee under the law, my oath and the United States Constitution without discrimination or hesitation.  Rest assured that I have and will continue to do so,” Spangler said in a statement.

Fritts recently delivered two sermons condemning homosexuality at All Scripture Baptist Church in Knoxville, where he is currently pastor. In his June 2 sermon, called “Why Leviticus 20:13 should still be enforced, he calls on government and police to enforce the death penalty for homosexuals.

“God has instilled the power of civil government to send the police in 2019 out to these LGBT freaks and arrest them, and have a trial for them, and if they are convicted, they are to be put to death,” Fritts said in the sermon, which is posted to YouTube. “It is a capital crime that should be carried out by our government.”

In the following week’s sermon, Fritts also called out the LGBT community, saying they are deserving of hatred from church members and that HIV and AIDS are “their reward for engaging in this type of behavior.”

If you’re calling on people to be killed, like this Pastor, you shouldn’t call yourself a Christian. When James and John wanted to call fire from heaven to destroy those who rejected Jesus, Jesus forbade them and told them they had no idea what kind of spirit they had. And when Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus told him to put his sword away. So, ‘pastor’, you may need to reconsider your views and bring them into line with what Jesus actually said.

Here’s a snippet from the Church website- which explains the Pastor pretty well…

We are an independent, fundamental, King James Bible only, soul-winning church. Don’t expect anything liberal, watered down, or contemporary here. We are a family integrated church, meaning children of all ages are welcome in our services.

I.e., he didn’t go to seminary.  Or receive any training in exegesis or theology.

Jehoiakim the Progressive

The king sent Jehudi for the scroll [of Jeremiah], and he brought it from the room of the scribe Elishama and read it to the king and all the chief men standing round the king. The king was sitting in his winter apartments — it was the ninth month — with a fire burning in a brazier in front of him. Each time Jehudi had read three or four columns, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the fire in the brazier until the whole of the scroll had been burnt in the brazier fire.

But in spite of hearing all these words, neither the king nor any of his courtiers took alarm or tore their clothes; and although Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had urged the king not to burn the scroll he would not listen to them, but ordered the king’s son Jerahmeel and Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. But Yahweh had hidden them.  (Jer. 36:21-26)

Eliphaz Isn’t Wrong About That

You have schooled many others, giving strength to feeble hands; your words supported any who wavered and strengthened every failing knee. And now your turn has come, and you lose patience, at the first touch on yourself you are overwhelmed!  Does not your piety give you confidence, and your integrity of life give you hope?  (Job 4:3-6)

I can’t tell you how many people I have known over the years who have been quite magnanimous with God’s grace when it comes to others but as soon as they have hardship, it’s the end of the world, and their piety.

Nagasaki: Why Suffering Does Not Have the Last Word 長崎──沉思原爆

Great essay.

HKSKH Ming Hua Theological College eNews

Dr Matthew Jones shares a reflection he wrote for Ming Hua’s recent study trip to Japan.

“We human beings are a mystery to ourselves. We are rational and irrational, civilized and savage, capable of deep friendship and murderous hostility, free and in bondage, the pinnacle of creation and its greatest danger. We are Rembrandt and Hitler, Mozart and Stalin, Antigone and Lady Macbeth, Ruth and Jezebel. “What a work of art,” says Shakespeare of humanity. “We are very dangerous,” says Arthur Miller inAfter the Fall; “We meet…not in some garden of wax fruit and painted leaves that lies East of Eden, but after, after the Fall, after many, many deaths.” [1]

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Will and Greg’s Excellent Adventure… in Septuagint Vocabulary

Will and Greg have a new book coming out this Winter.  Put it on your Christmas list and tell Santa to pick up a copy.  Or you’ll stop believing in him.  That’s right.  Threaten Santa.

Der Synergistische Streit (1555–1564)

Im Jahr 1555 hielt der Leipziger Theologieprofessor Johann Pfeffinger eine Disputation über den freien Willen ab. In ihr betonte er, im Anschluss an die Lehre Philipp Melanchthons, dass der menschliche Wille eine Ursache bei der Rechtfertigung des Menschen sei. Diese Position wurde nach der erneuten Publikation dieser Disputation im Jahr 1558 in einem Sammelband, der alle Disputationen Pfeffingers vereinte, heftig bestritten.

Im Zentrum des Synergistischen Streits (1555/58−1564) stand die Frage nach der Möglichkeit eines freien menschlichen Willens und dessen Mitwirkung im Rechtfertigungsgeschehen. Insbesondere war strittig, ob der Mensch sich für den Empfang der göttlichen Gnade vorbereiten könne, oder ob er sich vollständig passiv gegenüber dem rechtfertigenden Handeln Gottes verhalte. Der Gefahr von Spaltungen innerhalb der Gemeinwesen durch die andauernden theologischen Streitigkeiten suchte insbesondere Herzog Johann Friedrich d.M. von Sachsen teils durch Vermittlungsbemühungen, teils auch durch Zwangsmaßnahmen entgegenzuwirken, sodass es schließlich zur Entlassung von Predigern im Herzogtum kam.

Im fünften Band der Edition „Controversia et Confessio“ sind für den Streit bedeutsame Texte von Johann Pfeffinger, Nikolaus von Amsdorf, Victorin Strigel, Matthias Flacius, Nikolaus Gallus und anderen Theologen versammelt. Von besonderer Bedeutung ist die Präsentation des „Weimarer Konfutationsbuchs“ in diesem Zusammenhang.

The volume begins with a description of its aim, as part of a far larger project:

Der hier vorliegende fünfte Band des Mainzer Editionsprojekts „Controversia et Confessio“, dokumentiert den sog. „Synergistischen Streit“, der sich rund um die Frage entzündete, ob und in welcher Weise der menschliche Wille bei der Bekehrung des Menschen mitwirken könne.

This documentation makes possible a far richer, far deeper, far more expansive view of one of the most critical periods of the history of Christianity.

Professor Dingel’s helpful introduction places the period in context and places the chief proponents of the many theological debates of this era within that period.  Following are documents produced by the leading theologians of the period, each introduced and then the text of each provided here- many for the first time.  The works of Johann Pfeffinger, Nikolaus von Amsdorf, Johann Stoltz, Matthias Flacius, Nikolaus Gallus, Simon Musaeus,  and Victorin Strigel.  There are also a number of confessional texts included.  In all there are 18 chapters featuring 18 documents.

The volume also includes the requisite indices and bibliographies.  The chief value, naturally, of the work is the making available of disparate documents representing a wide range of theological viewpoints from the very people who formulated those viewpoints, in their own words.  For instance, of von Amsdorf’s ‘Confession’, the document’s introduction states:

Im Frühjahr 1558 arbeitete Nikolaus von Amsdorf an seinem „Öffentlichen Bekenntnis“, in dem er alle Lehren, die er als falsch ansah, namentlich ver werfen wollte, um so sein theologisches Vermächtnis zu hinterlassen. Während Amsdorf diese Schrift verfasste, veröffentlichte Pfeffinger im März 1558 seine Disputation „De libertate humanae voluntatis quaestiones quinque“ in einem Sammelband aller seiner in Wittenberg gehaltenen Disputationen erneut. Dies wurde zum Anlass eines Streitschriftenwechsels zwischen den beiden. Denn Amsdorf reagierte darauf, indem er Pfeffingers Ansicht von der Möglichkeit zur Mitwirkung des menschlichen Willens an der Rechtfertigung umgehend verurteilte.  Pfeffinger verteidigte sich daraufhin mit seiner „Antwort“, was Amsdorf wiederum zum Anlass nahm, in der hier edierten Schrift Pfeffinger abermals zu attackieren.

The text of the document itself is in German (and Latin) and in it von Amsdorf remarks in due course

Was hab ich nu auff Pfeffinger erdicht oder gelogen? Denn das ist ein mal war, das die jenigen, so der heilige Geist nicht zeuhet vnd doch in die Predigt gehen vnd das Wort horen, konnen aus jren krefften das wort der verheischung nicht annemen noch ergreiffen, dieweil jr wille verderbt vnd dazu vom Teuffel nach seinem willen ge-[C 4r:]fangen.

The texts throughout are in Latin predominantly and German.  Footnotes, thankfully, rather than endnotes lead readers to positively essential details.

Scholars of the Reformation and Post-Reformation owe a great debt of gratitude to Prof. Dingel and to the publisher for this volume.  It places in the hands of the interested material that would otherwise simply not be available.  Indeed, even if one were able to track down these documents on the Post Reformation Digital Library, the very important introductions and notes along with the supplemental material are available nowhere else.

This volume is critically important, therefore, and belongs on the shelf of Reformation scholars everywhere.

Es ist besser…


Aus Luthers Sprichwörtersammlung.

Calvin Was Wrong About The Will of God

It is not the will of God that women suffer abuse and humiliation at the hands of men.  It is not the will of God that children be abused and molested.  It is not the will of God that Trump holds the Presidency or that Mitch McConnell is the Senator from Kentucky.  It is not the will of God that men wage war.  It is not the will of God that thieves steal, that murderers kill, that wives commit adultery, that children bully children, that sin hold sway and lives are ruined.

None of those things nor the countless other evils that take place in the world are the will of God.  They are all the will of evil, depraved men.

Jesus taught his disciples to pray ‘thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ PRECISELY because God’s will is so often left undone.  PRECISELY because the evil will of evil men triumphs in this wicked world.

Christian people need to be disabused of the notion that ‘everything that happens is God’s will’.  That is false.  And the Bible never teaches such a thing.  What it teaches instead is that God’s will is ignored and usurped to our own hurt, destruction, and death.

It was not God’s will that Adam fall.  Yet he did.  And he did so because he chose to rebel against God’s will.  And that was just the starting point for a whole species hell-bent (bent by hell itself) to do anything but God’s will.

Calvin was wrong when he taught that God’s providence managed human affairs.  Dead wrong.  Sin manages human affairs.  The sin of rebellion against the good and perfect will of God.

Die erste Zürcherbibel: Erstmalige teilweise Ausgabe und Übersetzung der ältesten vollständig erhaltenen Bibel in deutscher Sprache

Adrian Schenker sent along this wonderful little volume.  I am so looking forward to enjoying it when I have some work out of the way.  I appreciate the gift very much and thank Adrian for it here, publicly.  I appreciate even more his friendship.  And his profound scholarship.

Luther For Today

Then Ignatius [Perknowsky] inquired, “Dear Doctor, is fornication also a sin if I don’t take another man’s wife but an unattached wench, as long as I am myself free too?” The doctor [Martin Luther] replied by citing Paul, “Neither the immoral [… nor adulterers … will inherit the kingdom of God, I Cor. 6:9].” “Paul,” he added, “made no distinction between fornication and adultery. I can’t make a law for you. I simply point to the Scriptures. There it is written. Read it for yourself. I don’t know what more I can do.” — Martin Luther

When The Devil is Bothering You While You Are Trying to Write…

It’s ‘I Hear Voices and They Tell Me To Go Kill People In Battle’ Day!

Also known as Joan of Arc Day!  Celebrate by hearing voices too!

Every Day

Open Access: Identifikationspotenziale in den Psalmen

How is it possible that readers plunge into literary texts and experience them at first hand? Based upon this question, Sigrid Eder explores the immediacy of the psalms. Immediacy is based on the fact that readers can identify with the situations, experiences, emotions, characters and movements expressed in the texts. Therefore, the project aimed to find answer to the following research question: Which aspects of identification can be found in the psalms of the Hebrew Bible? So the aim of this project was it to analyse strategies of the texts, which enable readers to identify with the text-world described in the psalms.

Get it from V&R.