Daily Archives: 17 Jun 2019


You Don’t Need to Travel to Some Third World Country To Look Pious Anymore…

Now, there’s an instagram filter for that!

A new Instagram filter makes it look like you’re on a missions trip in a third-world country.

Select the filter, and the background of your picture will be replaced with destitute-looking orphans, impoverished women carrying water for miles, or refugees in need of food, shelter, and water.

Instagram claims the filter was one of the app’s most-requested features.

“One of the most popular uses of our platform is posting pictures from your missions trip to a destitute area,” said an Instagram representative. “But this posed a problem for a lot of our users, as they didn’t want to spend the time and money actually going somewhere to help out.”

“But now, with our new line of Third-World filters, you don’t even have to leave the country to show people how compassionate you are,” she added.

The Third-World filter uses smart technology to replace your comfy first-world surroundings with those of an impoverished area. The filter will even add dust and sweat to your face and arms, so it looks like you paused to take a selfie while constructing a much-needed water pipeline or hut. You can select options that will put a smiling orphan in your arms or even change your clothes to look like you’re wearing the local cultural fashions.

Not ready for this kind of serious commitment? You can just use Instagram’s new First-World missions trip filter, which changes your background to make it look like you’re helping the homeless in an American city.

Alex Jones Is Profoundly Evil

And he shouldn’t be surprised when he finds himself in hell.

Public Apology to Tristan and Paul Rimmer

Another Angle

Dear Paul Rimmer,

I was devastated to read the letter that you posted on Facebook this morning. Every week we welcome thousands of people to services in King’s Chapel and we do our best to meet all their various needs and expectations.  Sometimes we fail and I realise that we especially failed you and Tristan on Sunday afternoon.  I apologise for that most sincerely.

Since hearing of your experience I have looked into what happened and now more fully appreciate that that there is more that we can do to support and help the staff who are responsible for the welcome that we give those who come to share our services with us.  This is one of the reasons that I have written to you asking if you might be prepared to meet with me. I’m sure that your insights and connections could help us do better in the future…

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Emidio Campi Remembers Irena Backus

Irena’s passing is a terrible loss for all of us, and she will be missed very deeply by everybody who knew her, particularly those who, like me, had the good fortune to have her as close colleague. Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

In recent times so many good friends and colleagues have passed away that there is reason to grieve. Irena was one of them, and many other dear companions, relatives and colleagues belong to them. The memento mori is imprinted on us. Despite our sadness, it is true what the Psalmist says: “I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have being.” (Ps 146,2)

Emidio Campi

Our Lying Government

The government of the United States often lies in order to justify conflicts. We cannot take the government at its word. Let that sink in.

Sad News: Irena Backus Has Died

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Irena Backus, on June 14, 2019. Irena was a leading scholar of the Genevan Reformation, and she will be sorely missed. 

The theology faculty of the University of Geneva has provided a brief obituary:

We have just learned with great sadness the death of Professor Irena Backus, honorary professor of our faculty, at the age of 69

Originally from Poland, doctor of theology of the University of Oxford (1976), she was engaged in 1982 by the IHR, at the school of professor Pierre Fraenkel, successively as a research officer, as master assistant then as master of Teaching and research. She was later named Professor (1992), then an ordinary professor (2006). Throughout her scholarly career, Irena conducted research on the intellectual history of the Reformation. She has published several texts (like the tasty treatise on the relics of Calvin) and published, in addition to a hundred articles, a dozen monographs (both in English and French), especially on the reception of the Church Fathers in the century of reforms (the rero catalogue provides no less than 149 entries to its name! ). Irena Backus gave several courses in the Faculty of Theology, in Latin, and in the history of Christianity, and directed some master’s memoirs (license) and several Ph.D. theses. The students who had the chance to benefit from her knowledge will not forget the interest she brought to their work, her acute sense of the historical method, or the immense span of her knowledge.

In 2014, Irena Backus was the victim of a severe cerebral vascular stroke that suddenly and prematurely excluded her from academic life. The Faculty owes the memory of Irena a very deep sense of recognition.

We express to Guy Backus, her husband, our long-standing sympathy. A funeral service will be held in intimacy, but people who would like to express their condolences to Guy Backus can send a message to his address:  Villa Mona, 14 ch. Etienne-Chennaz, 1226 Thônex.


Via the Reformation Research Society.

Signs of the Times

The Deaths of Churches: An Observation

Churches die for three simple reasons: people stop attending; people stop ministering; people stop financially supporting. It’s easy to kill a congregation. Just stay home, refuse to minister, and keep your money for yourself.

Zwingli’s Daily Schedule

oecolampadius_zwingliZwingli’s biographer writes of his daily schedule thusly:

His mode of life is thus described, and the description is true of his remaining years: he rose early, and studied, standing up, till 10 o’clock; after dinner, which commonly at that time in Zurich came on at 11 A.M., until 2 P.M., he was free to all who came; from 2 P.M. till supper-time he studied; after supper he walked out a little; then returned to study or to write letters, which latter occupation sometimes kept him up till midnight.

He read much in the classics: Aristotle, Plato, Thucydides, Demosthenes, and Hesiod, Lucian, Theocritus, and Aristophanes, Homer, and especially Pindar, are to be mentioned as the Greek authors he was most familiar with; while his Latin favourites were Horace, Sallust, and Seneca. He had begun the study of Hebrew at Einsiedeln, but soon dropped it. Now he took it up again under Andreas Boeschenstein. As at Glarus, he had pupils in his house. He also gave instruction in Greek in the cathedral school.

Now, tell me how busy you are.

Melanchthon on the Disposal of Tyrants

“Are private persons permitted to kill tyrants? Response … Second, if the tyrant is in the government and is doing atrocious and notorious injury to his subjects, defense (especially by those with self-control) is permitted to the subjects, whether it be in personal danger or in affairs of state: thus in the Swiss story [William Tell?] where the government agent ordered the citizen to produce his son and shoot the arrow at him. And the tribune of soldiers in Gaius Marius’s army was rightly killed by the boy against whom the tribune was going to bring force. And in the Pandects the laws allow the killing of a consul caught in adultery. Also in similar cases, if there are any, enemies are properly exonerated even if they were unrestrained in avenging notorious offenses. Thus Harpagus called for Cyrus to be brought to Astyages, who offered him [Harpagus] his son as a meal. And when the tyrant of Vincenza ordered a certain citizen to send his daughter to him (which the citizen objected to), the tyrant sent agents who captured her by force, and in the morning tossed her out, defiled and dismembered. The father, after discussing the matter with friends, sent the dissected body to the senate in Venice, asking for the surrender of the city. Thus the tyrant was overthrown. This citizen, in a case of such notorious and atrocious injustice, was completely in his rights, by the law of nations, to become the enemy of the tyrant.” (Melanchthon, Epitome of Moral Philosophy, 1538, CR 16, 105-06)

Via Ralph Keen