Daily Archives: 10 Sep 2019

The Best Analogy for Translating I’ve Yet Seen

Via twitter

Bullinger, on Suicide: Or, Why You Need to Read W.P. Stephens’ ‘The Theology of Heinrich Bullinger’

Stephens writes

With suicide Bullinger begins with those whose minds are sound, but who, governed by impatience, greed, and weariness of life, do not turn to God but kill themselves in their despair. They are, he says, the most wretched people in the world, having shown that they have no faith or hope in God. By contrast, those who end their own lives through sickness and madness must be protected and be given medical care.We are to pray God to have mercy on them and we are not to condemn them, even when they speak improperly of God. Those who do not care for their own, so that they take their life, are more guilty than those who take their own life, but who do not know what they are doing. God will not hold this against them. At the same time Bullinger urges people while they are of sound mind to put their affairs in order with God, so that if their minds are later disturbed their salvation will not be affected.

And that’s just one gem in a literal mine of them.

Here’s Your Dilly, Joe

Joe is what happens when ignorant dilettantism meets biblical proclamation.  So, in recognition of your utter unsuitedness to any sort of pastoral task, here’s your Dilly, Joe!

Crowds, Jesus and Jocks

Watching jocks walk through clamoring crowds who pine with outstretched hands just to touch them is as close as you’ll ever get to seeing what people were like around Jesus. Think about that a few seconds.

Bullinger: On All the Calamaties That Can Befall Us

First … it is requisite to lay before our eyes and reckon up the several kinds and especial sorts of mortal men’s calamities. The evils verily are innumerable, which daily fall upon our necks; but those which do most usually happen are the plague or pestilence, sundry and infinite diseases, death itself, and the fear of death, whose terror to some is far more grievous than death can be.

To these be added the death and destruction of most notable men, or such of whom we make most account; robberies, oppressions, endless ill chances, poverty, beggary, lack of friends, infamy, banishment, persecution, imprisonment, enforced torments, and exquisite punishments of sundry sorts and terrible to think on, unseasonable and tempestuous weather, barrenness, dearth, frost, hail, deluges, earthquakes, the sinking of cities, the spoiling of fields, the burning of houses, the ruin of buildings, hatred, factions, privy grudges, treasons, rebellions, wars, slaughters, captivity, cruelty of enemies, and tyranny; also the lack of children; or troubles, cares, and hellish lives by the matching of unmeet mates in wedlock, by children naughtily disposed, maliciously bent, disobedient and unthankful to father and mother; and lastly, care and continual grief in sundry sorts for sundry things, which never cease to vex our minds.

For no man can in never so long a bead-row reckon up all the evils whereunto miserable mankind is woefully endangered, and every moment tormented. New miseries rise up every day, of which our elders did never hear; and they are appointed to be felt and suffered of us, who with our new and never heard of sins do daily deserve new and never seen punishments, when as otherwise the miseries, which our forefathers felt, had been enough and sufficient to have plagued us all.

Have a nice day…

So Basically I Never Have to Say I’m Sorry

Hymns That I Can Sing

via Christian Brady.

I Like This Painting: I think my Great Grandpa is in It!

It shows Luther bowing to Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg and Melanchthon waiting at the foot of the steps.  But it also shows 3 very angry Catholic prelates.  The middle one is my favorite.  He won’t even look at Luther.

The middle prelate has exactly the same facial expression as I do when I read a dilettante’s tweet or post or essay.  It’s exactly the same!  Maybe he’s my great grandpa!!!!

An Interview With Paolo Astorri

Refo500 writes

Paolo Astorri wrote his dissertation on Lutheran Theology and Contract Law in Early Modern Germany (ca. 1520-1720). We interviewed him about his book.

What has Christian spirituality to do with law?

The Church has always been connected with law. Christ himself did not abolish the law. He invited Christians to an inner conversion. But the Christian could always be seduced by ‘the world’ and therefore Christ taught a procedure for fraternal correction. Christ also faced concrete legal problems (e.g. the issue of working during the sabbath). The first Christian communities had to deal with similar problems. During the Middle age and early modern era the sacrament of penance resembled legal proceedings and theologians were involved with the moral aspects of legal obligations.

Etc.

The Bee Stings the Scripture-less Pulpiteers

Local pastor Adam Davis dutifully carries his leather-bound Bible to the pulpit every Sunday morning, and then proceeds to preach for twenty-five minutes without ever opening or referencing the book, sources confirmed Saturday.

“It’s a really nice looking Bible,” one anonymous source told reporters. “Pastor Adam looks good carrying it up there and setting it down gently and reverently. It looks great on the pew. But no—no he never opens it.”

The church member added that Davis regularly preaches his inspiring sermons from pages of notes, wandering around the stage to punctuate his points with a variety of hand and body movements, the expensive study Bible always left on the ornate wooden pulpit, purely as a piece of decor.

“It adds a nice touch of tradition to the atmosphere,” he noted. “It makes things look, you know, official.”

Pretty much sums up many of the people ascending pulpits tomorrow.

Quakers, Christian Slavery, and White Supremacy

This is a FASCINATING essay.  You simply must read it.

The Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus: Texts and Commentary

This may be of interest to folk:

The significance of Jesus’ death is apparent from the space that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John devote to the Passion narrative, from the emphasis of many speeches in the book of Acts, and from the missionary preaching and the theology of the apostle Paul. Exegetical discussions of Jesus’ trial and death have employed biblical (Old Testament) and extrabiblical texts in order to understand the events during the Passover of AD 30 that led to Jesus’ execution by crucifixion. The purpose of this book is to publish the primary texts that have been cited in the scholarly literature as relevant for understanding Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. The texts in the first part deal with Jesus’ trial and interrogation before the Sanhedrin, and the texts in the second part concern Jesus’ trial before Pilate. The texts in part three represent crucifixion as a method of execution in antiquity. For each document, the authors provide the original text (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, or Latin), a translation, and commentary. The commentary describes the literary context and the purpose of each document in context before details are clarified, along with observations on the contribution of these texts to understanding Jesus’ trial and crucifixion.

The materials here assembled provide interested persons the opportunity to examine primary sources regarding the trial and execution of Jesus.  Though indirectly.

What I mean by that is that what we have here isn’t material about Jesus’s own trial or execution.  Instead we have material about trials and crucifixion in general written during and slightly later than the first century CE.

So, for instance, in part 1, J. Schnabel discusses Jewish trials before the Sanhedrin.  He offers extra-biblical texts relating to such things as Annas and Caiaphas, the jurisdiction of the Sanhedrin, capital cases in Jewish law, the interrogation of witnesses, charges of blasphemy, seduction, and sorcery, the abuse of prisoners, and transfer of court cases.

Part 2, again by Schnabel, turns to Roman trials before Pilate, and discusses, by means, again, of extra-biblical texts, Pilate himself, the jurisdiction of Roman prelates, and various Roman legal niceties.

Part 3 is written by D. Chapman and focuses on the act of Crucifixion (in all its gory details).  It also addresses what Chapman styles as ‘Bodily Suspension in the Ancient Near East’.  Greco-Roman sources on the topic are then laid out as are Hellenistic sources and Jewish sources.  Chapman then provides something of a who’s who of crucifixion victims in Roman literature.  This is followed by the various ways in which various societies reacted to the act of crucifixion and he closes out his very long third part with a listing of taunts and curses and jests which were hurled at the victims of crucifixion.  It’s worth reading.  Some of the taunts may be useful to readers of the volume at some point.  Especially if they are seeking a fresh rejoinder to hurl at some hapless ill prepared conference presenter.

There are, as one should expect, a fair number of illustrations and the work also includes a bibliography, an index of ancient sources, modern authors, and subjects.

The volume is a sourcebook of materials about trials and crucifixions in the ancient Mediterranean world.  It is not, strictly speaking, a volume about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.  The title is, accordingly, a bit inaccurate.  It should have been titled ‘Trials and Crucifixions in the World of Jesus’, because that’s what it is about.

Inaccurate title notwithstanding, this is a fascinating sourcebook with mountains of important primary source materials.  In their original languages as well as in translation and with helpful commentary.  The authors have done a lifetime of work and they are to be congratulated for it.

This resource belongs on every New Testament scholar’s shelf.

Jerry Falwell Sporting His Unbuttoned Clubbing Shirt Complete With 80’s Chain!

The girl behind him is all of us.

Jerry Falwell Denies the Facts- But That Backfires, Because There’s Photographic Evidence

Jerry Falwell Jr. vehemently denied that he appeared in photos taken at a Miami Beach nightclub — even after shown the evidence — but that strategy appears to have backfired.

The evangelical Liberty University and its president were the subject of a bombshell report published Monday by Politico, where insiders described Falwell’s salacious language and apparent self-dealing.

The report by university alumnus Brandon Ambrosio also examined photographs taken of Falwell and his son Trey Falwell at the Miami Beach nightclub Wall, which university sources said he tried to make disappear.

The photos taken July 19, 2014, during a performance by popular Swedish DJ John Dahlbäck were shared online by World Red Eye, an outlet that documents Miami’s nightlife scene.

Falwell denied the photos existed in a statement to Ambrosio before the Politico report was published, saying no photos had been taken of him at Wall or any other nightclub, and insisted the reporter was mistaken even after learning the photos had been obtained for the article.

“If you show me the picture, I can probably help you out,” Falwell wrote in a statement. “I think you are making some incorrect assumptions, or have been told false things or are seeing something that was photo-shopped.”

Falwell again insisted the photos had been doctored after he was shown images of him and his son in the crowd at Wall, and denied that he had ever tried to get the photos taken offline.

That denial — and Falwell’s suggestion that World Red Eye had manipulated the images — prompted the photography website’s founder to respond.

“For 21 years, I have maintained an impeccable reputation for documenting Miami Beach’s storied social scene,” wrote Seth Browarnik, founder World Red Eye.

Read the rest.  Falwell is a Trump supporter because Trump and Falwell have many things in common.  Let that sink in, ‘Evangelicals’.

Read this tweet as well and enjoy the photos.

Never Forget- Especially in Times Like These- That Truth Matters

Fight to the death for truth, and the Lord God will war on your side. (Sir. 4:28)

Luther Laments Contempt of Preaching

In discussions with friends around the table, Martin Luther observed

“It was said in Lochau that six hundred of the richest parishes in the diocese of Würzburg are vacant. He [Luther] commented, “This will have bad consequences. It will happen among us, too, if contempt for the Word and its ministers continues to be so great. If I wanted to get rich under these circumstances I wouldn’t preach but would be a juggler and travel about the country. For the sake of money I’d have plenty of spectators.”

I think the prosperity ‘preachers’ have taken Luther at his word.  They draw crowds because they’re jugglers, not because they’re preachers.  Luther continued-

“When the visitors reproached the farmers and inquired why they were unwilling to support their parish ministers when they were providing livings for their cattle herders, the farmers replied, ‘Because we can’t get along without a herder.’ For shame, that it has come to this in my lifetime!”

People now can live without preachers but they can’t live without coaches.  They can live without sermons but they can’t live without their favorite team.  Luther then turned his attention to the antinomians- i.e., those people who think that the Law of God doesn’t apply to Christians:

“The antinomians contribute a great deal to this. They increase the presumption among secure people, and I now see so much presumption in the antinomians that under the covering of trust in [God’s] mercy they dare to do whatever they please, as if the believer no longer sins and as if believers are so righteous that they don’t need any preaching of the law. They dream of a church as righteous as Adam was in paradise, though the wrath of God was revealed from heaven against him when God said, ‘Adam, you may eat of every fruit, but if you eat of this tree you shall die.’”

Add to the prosperity “preachers” the doings of the Emergents (a group which wants the church to reflect the culture and which prefers praise bands to choirs) and the Seeker Sensitives (the folk and churches which will give you a prize to attend their services) and you realize that what Luther said in the 16th century could just as easily be said today.  Indeed, it should be said today, from every pulpit across the land.  But it won’t be, because too many preachers actually are entertainers and too many Church attenders are far too comfortable living licentious disobedient lives.

There really is nothing new under the sun.  Nothing at all.

Kentucky, Why Do You Vote for #MoscowMitch?

He is a self enriching con artist who works for Russia, not for you.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last month blocked a measure that would have used Treasury Department funds marked for Appalachian development to help pay for coal miners’ health care and pensions in his home state of Kentucky.

But just a few months earlier, McConnell successfully steered near-identical Treasury funds for Appalachia to bankroll a Kentucky aluminum plant connected to an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have raised concerns for months about McConnell’s connection to the aluminum plant. It’s one of several reasons why McConnell’s political opponents have tried to stick him with the nickname “Moscow Mitch.” But what’s gone largely unnoticed as the sobriquet has become a social media trending topic is how McConnell worked to keep money out of coal miners’ hands—even as he maneuvered to steer federal funds to the Russian-linked plant.

The scrutiny started in January, when McConnell voted to lift sanctions on Rusal, a Russian aluminum company formerly headed by Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, despite several of his Republican colleagues defecting and voting no. Rusal’s de-listing caused an uproar among Democrats on Capitol Hill who viewed the deal the Treasury Department put together with Rusal as too lenient.

Read the rest.  Every vote for Mitch is a vote for Russian interests.

Martin Luther’s Open Letter to Robert Jeffress, Jerry Falwell Jr, Eric Metaxas, and Franklin Graham

You are a wolf and apostle of Satan.

Martin Luther

If You’re in Hong Kong

Book Launch

We would like to invite you to our book launch on September, 18, 2018 (Wednesday) at the Bishop’s House (1 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong)  from 17:30-19:00 to celebrate the publication of Thy Kingdom Come: A Photographic History of Anglicanism in Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2019).  Please see the attached poster for details.

Archbishop Paul will deliver brief opening remarks followed by the authors, who will be available for book signing.  The book itself will be on sale at a special discounted price.  We look forward to seeing you.

Yours,
Philip L. Wickeri (The Rev’d. Professor)
Provincial Archivist

Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Archives

Luther and Clerical Support

On 10 September, 1538 Luther remarked concerning the failure of the parishes to support their pastors-

“This will have bad consequences. It will happen among us, too, if contempt for the Word and its ministers continues to be so great. If I wanted to get rich under these circumstances I wouldn’t preach but would be a juggler and travel about the country. For the sake of money I’d have plenty of spectators.

“When the visitors reproached the farmers and inquired why they were unwilling to support their parish ministers when they were providing livings for their cattle herders, the farmers replied, ‘Because we can’t get along without a herder.’ For shame, that it has come to this in my lifetime! The antinomians contribute a great deal to this. They increase the presumption among secure people, and I now see so much presumption in the antinomians that under the covering of trust in [God’s] mercy they dare to do whatever they please, as if the believer no longer sins and as if believers are so righteous that they don’t need any preaching of the law. They dream of a church as righteous as Adam was in paradise, though the wrath of God was revealed from heaven against him when God said, ‘Adam, you may eat of every fruit, but if you eat of this tree you shall die.’ ”