Daily Archives: 17 Jul 2019

Luther Gets the Last Word

And I would answer you with this, that you are, both father and son, incorrigible, shameless, and perjuring scoundrels in saying that I have called my most gracious lord “Hanswurst.” Such wurst-tricks require no further answer. Some people probably suppose that you regard my gracious lord as Hanswurst because by God’s (that is, your enemy’s) grace he is strong, plump, and somewhat round. But think what you will, so make in your pants, hang it round your neck, then make a jelly of it and eat it like the vulgar sows and asses you are!*

*Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 41: Church and Ministry III, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 41 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 187.

On the Waste of Excess And Luther’s Abiding Influence

For look at what happens in our little town, where, after making calculations, the citizens have found that more than 4,000 gulden are spent annually for barley. What, alas, is the meaning of such waste? Day and night we guzzle and fill our bellies with beer.

But if we took as much pleasure in thrift, frugality, and temperance as we do in reckless wastefulness, we would be able to save and keep two or three thousand guldens every year. But how much wine the gluttons pour down in addition to the beer! How much is consumed by luxury in clothing and other useless things that are brought into our lands by the merchants!

Finally what great devourers of money the market days at Frankfurt are! They say that on every one of them 3,000,000 guldens are taken out of Germany, I refrain from mentioning the market days at Leipzig and elsewhere. Yet this does not seem to be comparable to the boundless luxury in clothing, wine, beer, and other things which we throw away in a most disgraceful manner without any benefit. – Martin Luther

And that’s why Germany is the Germany it is today: Luther’s influence.

If Bibi and Donald Have Their Way

Signs of the Times

Flee, Devil, Flee

ἀντίστητε δὲ τῷ διαβόλῳ καὶ φεύξεται ἀφ᾽ ὑμῶν, ἐγγίσατε τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἐγγιεῖ ὑμῖν. καθαρίσατε χεῖρας, ἁμαρτωλοί, καὶ ἁγνίσατε καρδίας, δίψυχοι.  ταλαιπωρήσατε καὶ πενθήσατε καὶ κλαύσατε· ὁ γέλως ὑμῶν εἰς πένθος μεταστραφήτω, καὶ ἡ χαρὰ εἰς κατήφειαν. ταπεινώθητε ἐνώπιον κυρίου, καὶ ὑψώσει ὑμᾶς.

(Jas. 4:7-10)

Blerg… I Can’t Even Fathom the Darkest Places of Human Depravity

And frankly I’m glad I can’t.  I don’t want to.  I’d prefer it if the Good Lord above ended the experiment.

A Hardin County, Tennessee, man is charged with bestiality after investigators say he admitted to having sex with a dog.

Deputies were called to the 200 block of Walker Loop July 10th after witnesses said they say Montgomery Hays having sex with their dog. According to the police report, responding deputies saw a large amount of dog hair on Hays’ face and clothes.

Investigators questioned Hays, who they say admitted to having sex with the dog. According to the report, Hays told them he was on medicine “to try to help him not engage in these acts, but he believes his medicine is not strong enough.”

There is no medicine for depravity.  Otherwise it would have been cured long ago.

The FaceApp User Agreement

You grant FaceApp “a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable, sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, creative derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content, and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you.”

Actual user agreement 😐

You people are crazy.

Christian or Chrestian? A Thread by Peter Williams

The word #Christian was not always spelled with ‘i’ as its 1st vowel. Elsa Gibson’s study of an odd bunch of 3rd century inscriptions from #Phrygia saying ‘Christians for Christians’ shows that most have another vowel.

Some have eta η (cf. Codex #Sinaiticus for the NT) and others epsilon-iota ει (cf. Codex #Vaticanus NT).  The longest footnote in my little book on the gospels (Can We Trust the Gospels?) was about how common other vowels were:

The inscriptional evidence helps us understand how #Tacitus‘s reference to #Chrestians can be to Christians and even #Suetonius‘s reference to Chrestus *could* be to Christ. When 1 Peter 2:3 says ‘if you have tasted that the Lord is chrestos (χρηστός = ‘good’)’ this can easily be understood as a play on Christ’s name Christos. All of which shows how nerdishness can enhance our understanding.

— Peter Williams (on the twitter)


Zwingli’s Abiding Influence

Here’s just one example of it.

Die geregelte Armenfürsorge in Zürich geht auf Huldrych Zwingli zurück. In Zwinglis Almosenordnung heisst es: «Als erste Massnahme, um die armen Leute von der Gasse wegzubringen, ist als Anfang vorgesehen, dass jeden Tag im Dominikanerkloster … Mus und Brot verteilt [werden soll].» Das Café Yucca ist ein Schauplatz dieses Denkens im heutigen Zürich.

Es ist ein unscheinbarer Ort in einer unscheinbaren Gasse im Zürcher Niederdorf, zwischen Take Aways, Kleiderläden und noblen Cafés. Ein dezentes Leuchtschild weist auf den Namen: Café Yucca, Zürcher Stadtmission. Man könnte ungeachtet dessen, was dieser Ort für eine Geschichte, was er für eine Bedeutung hat für Menschen mit brüchigen Biografien und schwierigen Realitäten, daran vorbeischreiten, zum Seilergraben rauf, oder runter an die Zähringerstrasse. Man kann aber auch die Glastür aufstossen, am Mittag, am Abend, montags bis sonntags, sich von den Gastgebern mit einem Sali und von den Gästen eventuell mit einem Kopfnicken begrüssen lassen.

Das Café Yucca ist an die beliebte Wohnzimmer-Palme angelehnt, aber leitet sich auch von Juca ab. Jugendcafé hiess es in früheren Tagen. Gegründet als Reaktion auf die 68er, in der «Zeit der Halbstarken und Rocker», wie es auf der Website der Stadtmission Zürich heisst, entwickelte sich das Yucca zu einem Treffpunkt für sozial benachteiligte Menschen. Ein paar wenige Jugendliche, die damals das Juca aufsuchten, sind auch heute noch Gäste. Am Mittag ist die Suppe gratis, abends nach 21 Uhr ebenfalls, Konsumationspflicht herrscht keine.

Enjoy the rest.

Today With Bullinger

bullinger93On 17 July, 1532 Heinrich Bullinger gave a speech to the Zurich city council concerning recent events in Baden (on 9-10 July of that same year) where the cantons had discussed entering into an alliance with Charles V and Francis I against the Turkish threat.  Bullinger, on behalf of the Zurich Clergy.  Bullinger reminds them of various connivings of those two monarchs and the disastrous results of Swiss involvement in previous wars involving the French and the Holy Roman Empire, including the battle which moved Zwingli to object to all such military entanglements with foreign lords- Marignano in 1515.

In sum, Bullinger, in the name of the others, advised the Zurich-ers to avoid any war.  Those who signed in agreement were

  • Doctor Heinrich Engelhart
  • Leo Jud
  • Doctor Andreas Karlstadt (!)
  • Erasmus Schmid
  • Konrad Pellikan
  • Theodore Bibliander
  • Heinrich Bullinger

Unfortuntely theologians today are too occupied with appearances on tv mockumentaries to send such notices to governments. If they did, well maybe the world would be different. One thing is for sure, they wouldn’t be so disdained by society for their acceptance of the status quo.


Be suspicious of everything, verify every ‘news report’ or tweet relating some ‘fact’, ignore wikipedia and everyone who cites it, and most importantly, DOUBT!  These are the requirements of the times in which we live, dear friends.

FaceApp… What Could Go Wrong…

What you need to know about viral FaceApp’s privacy policy

This report is worth reading-

You might want to think twice before you use viral selfie app FaceApp.

The two-year-old app, which lets you alter photos of your face, once again shot to the App Store’s top spot this week after celebs and others began sharing doctored photos of themselves. Like some of Snapchat’s popular face filters, you can change photos of yourself so you appear older or younger, or “swap” genders.

It’s a familiar gimmick at this point – and not one that’s new for FaceApp— but the app has gone viral all the same. It’s currently one of the most downloaded apps for both iOS and Android, as #faceappchallenge posts have taken over social media.

But with the sudden surge in popularity have come new questions about privacy, and whether FaceApp is doing enough to protect users’ data.

Some have questioned why the app, which has been out for years, suddenly went viral all over again seemingly overnight. Others have pointed to the fact that the app requires a data connection, suggesting that might be indicate the app is surreptitiously grabbing users’ photos. (Multiple security researchers have said there is no evidence that the app is sweeping up entire photo libraries.)

And, in some corners of Twitter, people have pointed to the app’s Russian origins — FaceApp is owned by a company, Wireless Lab, that’s based in St. Petersburg — as a sign of something nefarious.

While there’s as yet no evidence to support these claims, some other concerns are less far fetched.

In a post-Cambridge Analytica world, in which thousands of people had their personal data misused because of a seemingly innocuous personality quiz, people are rightfully wary of the numerous ways their data could be accessed or exposed by an app developer.

And we don’t need to look far to find examples of photo apps taking their users’ photos for uses far beyond what’s required for their own apps.

Earlier this year, NBC reported that Ever, a popular photo storage app, was using its users’ photos to train facial recognition software it then sold to law enforcement. IBM was also found to be using Flickr photos to train facial recognition applications without permission from those in the photos. And last year, PopSugar’s viral “twinning” app inadvertently leaked data.

Zwingli, Calvin, and Luther on the Jews: Decidedly Not Three Peas in a Pod

Die Schweizer Reformatoren Ulrich Zwingli und Johannes Calvin seien weniger aggressiv gegenüber Juden gewesen als der deutsche Reformator Martin Luther. Dies teilte Serge Fornerod, Projektleiter Reformationsjubiläum 2017 beim Schweizerischen Evangelischen Kirchenbund (SEK), auf Anfrage von kath.ch mit. Hintergrund ist eine Diskussion in der Evangelischen Kirche Deutschland (EKD) über eine Einbindung von Vertretern des Judentums in das Reformationsgedenken, weil Luther sich sehr verletzend über das Judentum geäussert haben soll.

That’s absolutely right.  Even Melanchthon was very displeased with Luther because of the latter’s anti-Jewish polemic.  Our essayist is also correct to observe

Im Vergleich zu Luther seien die Schweizer Reformatoren Zwingli und besonders Calvin «viel freundlicher zu den Juden gewesen, oder genauer gesagt viel weniger aggressiv», so Fornerod gegenüber kath.ch. Man finde bei ihnen keine Schriften zum Judentum wie bei Luther, was daher komme, dass die Schweizer Reformatoren stärker als Luther durch den Humanismus geprägt worden seien. «Das bedeutete unter anderem, dass man die Texte in der originalen Sprache lesen wollte, und dem ‘Alten’ Testament genauso die Qualität des ‘Gottes-Wortes’ gab wie dem Neuen Testament.»

Laut einem Lexikonartikel über Zwinglis Haltung gegenüber dem Judentum auf der Homepage der reformierten Kirche des Kantons Zürich ging Luther «offenbar ganz traditionell davon aus, dass die Kirche das Judentum als auserwähltes Volk ersetzt habe.» Zwingli sei dieser Tradition nicht gefolgt.

It’s a better essay than most on the subject.  Give it a read.

Quote of the Day

‘The days are coming- declares the Lord Yahweh- when I shall send a famine on the country, not hunger for food, not thirst for water, but famine for hearing Yahweh’s word.  People will stagger from sea to sea, will wander from the north to the east, searching for Yahweh’s word, but will not find it.  (Amos 8:11-12)