I don’t know why. But here it is.
Daily Archives: 10 Jul 2019
Here- read this so you know where you’re actually going-
“Then he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink, I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, lacking clothes and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” And they will go away to eternal punishment”. (Matt. 25:41-46)
New Testament scholars are familiar with his name, but they probably aren’t familiar with his amazing story. This biography corrects that situation. In fact, it is amazing.
Ernst Lohmeyer (1890-1946) was a stellar German New Testament scholar of the first half of the twentieth century whose work provided an intellectual counterpart to the prevailing liberalism and history of religions consensus among Biblical scholars of the day.
As a Breslau professor in the 1920s Lohmeyer published a half-dozen ground-breaking New Testament monographs, including commentaries on Philippians and Colossians, the Book of Revelation, and the Gospel of Mark, and twice that number of scholarly articles.
In the 1930s, however, his life, like so many in Germany, was commandeered by the rising tide of Nazism. A born leader, Lohmeyer was named president of Breslau University, during which time he joined the Confessing Church and opposed Nazism at its most evil point, its anti-Semitism. He was stripped of his university professorship and sent to the Russian Front in World War II.
Edwards begins his biographical masterpiece with a description of the long overdue installation of Prof. Lohmeyer at the University of Griefswald and the birth of his own interest in the man, and his very troubling and very mysterious last months. Then Edwards highlights the secrecy surrounding Lohmeyer’s treatment at the hands of the Russians in East Germany. It is only then that Edwards begins his biographical treatment in earnest, with a chronologically related tale that is both gripping and infuriating and contemporary in its relevance.
We learn of the boyhood and youth of Lohmeyer, a genius by all accounts and a sharp and gifted thinker who nevertheless allowed his opinions of his opinions gain mastery over good sense from time to time. We learn of Lohmeyer’s service in the first world war and of his academic career in the intervening years between that war and the second. We learn of a man who stood nose to nose with the Nazis without backing down. And we learn of a man compelled to serve in yet a second war.
Edwards takes us through the post war years and the strange disappearance of Lohmeyer at the hands of the Russians and the many years of silence regarding his fate. Finally, we return full circle- to the long overdue installation of Professor Lohmeyer, posthumously, to his rightful academic post.
Edwards’ work is completely dependent on interviews with those who knew Lohmeyer, records, and written evidence. His love of the subject glows on each and every page and for a New Testament scholar by training the production of this biographical work is truly remarkable.
Endnotes, a list of abbreviations, notes, a bibliography, and an index round out the volume which includes photos (though no more than a few pages worth) and maps (so that readers are rightly oriented to the places the book describes).
Edwards does something else in the volume too: he cites extensively from Lohmeyer’s letters and other documents. He offers a translation of each but he also allows readers to do their own translation of these primary texts, including them in the documentation for all to see for themselves. Edwards also tells readers fragments of his own story, linking himself to those around Lohmeyer and familiar with him. By doing so, Edwards guides us through Lohmeyer’s life as a guide with insider information.
Finally, readers will discover in this volume astonishingly familiar sounding historical tidbits. Allow me to share two of them:
The fact that the Nazi party never won more than one third of the popular vote rings a contemporary bell, doesn’t it?
And the fact that isolationism followed by xenophobia and fear of minorities featured prominently in Nazi propaganda also sounds astonishingly familiar.
In sum, there is an undercurrent of warning here. What has been, may be again, if we are not vigilant and willing to stand up to tyranny whenever and wherever it manifests itself. Lohmeyer may not be the last ‘disappeared’ theologian, if we are not careful.
This is a remarkable volume. It deserves a wide readership because it is well written, relevant, interesting, and provocative. As I mentioned to friends the other day- if you read just one book this month, make it this one.
UPDATE: You can read my interview with the author here.
Stop wearing t shirts like some daft hipster and put on some polo shirts or button downs.
Via Randy Blackateer on FB.
Keep studying and maybe, just maybe you’ll one day know as much as you think you know now. Though it’s doubtful.
Zwingli wrote, in defense of Luther, in 1520 shortly after Luther had been excommunicated-
As to Luther, the largest part of this evil [i.e., the Roman uproar about his teaching] must be laid at the door of those who have preached and written about indulgences and the power of the Roman Pontiff things which no educated and religious ear could bear, so that as far as the beginning of this disturbance is concerned Luther may fairly seem to have been influenced by devotion and zeal in the cause of the Christian Religion.
Moreover, those who do not excuse his beginning afterwards to write more bitterly, yet make allowance for it, saying that he was not altogether without reason angered by the exceedingly bitter hectoring and taunts of certain persons. Without having yet read his books, they raised among the people the cry of “Heretic, Antichrist, Schismatic,” before the Pope had made any public interposition of his authority in the matter at all. Nobody admonished or confuted him, though he declared himself, as he even now declares himself, ready for discussion with any one—they only damned him.
Newman’s Prof Susan Docherty will be taking part in a discussion of how Hadhrat Ibrahim (Abraham) is understood within Islam, Christianity and Judaism on the Breakfast Show on Voice of Islam Radio Weds 10 July, between 7.00-9.00am.
Give it a listen if you can. Susan is a genius.
UPDATE: You can. Visit the audio link here.
[Where] there is seldom any doctrine used … it were better for the wicked babblers even then to hold their peace, who thrust in their own unclean inventions instead of the Word of God, and pollute with the stink of their impiety whatsoever is holy. — John Calvin
If you are one of those unfortunate souls who attends a church where ‘doctrine doesn’t matter’, do yourself a favor and flee Sodom.
Brill write on their facebook page-
Happy birthday, John Calvin! This doodle of the French reformer was made by one of his students, thought to have been Jacques Bourgoin. It adorns the cover of Jon Balserak’s book “Establishing the Remnant Church in France: Calvin’s Lectures on the Minor Prophets, 1556-1559.” www.brill.com/establishing-remnant-church-france
That is one fantastic book!
JOHN CALVIN, the celebrated reformer, was born at Noyon, a town in Picardy, on the 10th of July 1509. Undistinguished by the splendor of family consideration, it was reserved for him to give dignity and perpetuity to a name, which had hitherto occupied an humble but respectable rank in society. His father, whose name was Gerard, a sensible and prudent man, had gained the esteem and friendship of all the neighbouring gentlemen, and particularly of the family of Montmor, a family of the first distinction in Picardy. John Calvin was brought up with the children of this family, and though his education was very expensive to Gerard, he bore it with great cheerfulness. He even wished his son to accompany them to Paris, and to pursue his studies with them under Marturin Cordier, regent of the Collége de la Marche; a man illustrious for his erudition and integrity, and as his talents were particularly adapted to the instruction of youth, he spent his life in tuition at Nevers, at Bourdeaux, at Neuf Chatel, at Lausanne, and at Geneva, where he died in the eighty-fifth year of his age, and in the same year as Calvin.
THE guiding care of God in the lives of his servants may be traced even in their earliest childhood. Thus Luther, destined to become the man of the people, was the offspring of poor miners. “I am a peasant’s son,” said he; “my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were honest peasants.” And all his life long he manifested his ability to speak convincingly to the people. Calvin, who was destined to employ his influence in the world as a theologian and thinker, enjoyed from his childhood the benefit of a learned education.
Calvin was born at Noyon in Picardy, July 10, 1509. His father, Gerhard Cauvin or Calvin, was Procureur Fiscal of the lordship of Noyon, and secretary of the diocese. His grandfather Böttcher lived in a neighboring village, Le Pont l’Evêque, where Calvin had many relations, who however, out of hatred, laid aside his name. His mother was Anna Franke of Cambray. Of the outward appearance of young Calvin, destitute as we are of information, we can say little.
The wood engravings, found in old editions of his works, present noble and very characteristic traits of countenance, but of one worn by toil and anxiety, and offering a strange contrast to the round, full, and cheerful physiognomy of Dr. Luther. This however may not have been the case in Calvin’s youth. The nose is finely shaped. His father was well formed, and his mother was considered beautiful. In some old editions printed at Geneva in his life-time, he is represented with a little cap upon his head, with a pointed beard, and his eyes raised to heaven. Beneath is this motto, Prompte et sincere: “Promptly and honestly.”*
‘Les choses de petite durée ont coutume de devenir fanées, quand elles ont passé leur temps.
‘Au règne de Christ, il n’y a que le nouvel homme qui soit florissant, qui ait de la vigueur, et dont il faille faire cas.’ — CALVIN
*The Life and Times of John Calvin, the Great Reformer (Vol. 1, p. 21).