Author Archives: Jim

Quote of the Day

The face of death, and nearness of eternity, did much to convince me what books to read, what studies to prefer and prosecute, what company and conversation to choose. It drove me early into the vineyard of the Lord, and taught me to preach as a dying man to dying men. — RICHARD BAXTER

The GOP Has Been the Party of ‘No’ For So Long It Has Forgotten How to Govern

They cannot govern. The Republican Party as it is presently constituted, from party base to congressional leadership, is competent to do two things: complain and vandalize. If that wasn’t made clear last November, it was made clear this week, when the entire government was turned into the biggest, gooiest, chewiest clusterfck in the history of democratic politics. It was the base who elected not only president*, but also all the members of Congress who got promoted up through the ranks when a great number of them probably should have been left back in Bug Tussle keeping Them off the golf course at The Club.

Some of the language of the essay is ridiculous but the point is true.  The GOP can’t govern.

Some Theologians Are Just Plainly Crazy

“There is a hidden grace in poverty, and happy is he who knows how to find it.” – Vincentius

[The problem of course is that the Bible never describes poverty as some sort of meritorious state.  Vincentius is what happens when people think they can earn redemption].


Thanks to Joel Watts for this-

Veit Dietrich

March 25, 1549: Veit Dietrich died in Nürnberg, Germany at the age of 42

Veit was probably the most famous of all of the boarders in the home of Martin and Katie Luther. He was born on December 8, 1506, also in Nürnberg. At the age of fifteen, he enrolled at the University of Wittenberg to study medicine. Soon, Martin Luther convinced him to study theology instead. Veit lived with the Luthers and became a recorder of Martin’s table talk and then went with him to Marburg and Coburg as his personal secretary. Many of the sermons and quotes that we have of Luther are due to Veit’s diligent recording.

Katie and Veit didn’t always seem to get along. Apparently he had a large number of students who followed him around, including to the Luther home, which made for extra work for Katie. But it’s undeniable that much that we know about Katie and life in the Black Cloister comes from Veit’s pen.

Any disagreements between Veit and Katie never seemed to last long and later, when he was a pastor at St. Sebald’s church in Nürnberg, Martin sent warm greetings to him from Katie.

-Rebecca DeGarmeaux (for Katie Luther on FB)

The Barmen Declaration in the News

Die Theologische Erklärung der Bekenntnissynode in Barmen vom 31. Mai 1934 ist die zentrale theologische Äußerung der Bekennenden Kirche unter der nationalsozialistischen Herrschaft 1933-1945. Sie richtete sich gegen die falsche Theologie und das Kirchenregime der so genannten »Deutschen Christen«, die damit begonnen hatten, die evangelische Kirche der Diktatur des »Führers« anzugleichen.

Die Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) bestätigt in Artikel 1 (3) ihrer Grundordnung mit ihren Gliedkirchen die von dieser Bekenntnissynode getroffenen Entscheidungen. Ganz überwiegend betrachten die Gliedkirchen der EKD die Barmer Theologische Erklärung als wegweisendes Lehr- und Glaubenszeugnis der Kirche. Nicht wenige messen ihr darüber hinaus verpflichtende Bedeutung bei, einige rechnen sie ausdrücklich zu ihren Bekenntnisgrundlagen.

And the rest and the many related links provided.

Fun Facts From Church History: Luther’s Name

Most folk think that ‘Luther’ is a form of the family name ‘Luder’ and that Martin Luther simply took to spelling his name in the more modern format.

Not so.  Rather, sometime after the 95 Theses made him well known he adopted the Greek name Ελευθπριυς and though he signed his work with that name for a bit he finally shortened it to the simple ‘Luther’ because he was the ‘freed one’.  See further the discussion in L. Roper ‘Martin Luther’ and the notes thereto (p. 86).

Die Reformation auf der Leipziger Buchmesse

This is an interesting essay.

Im Jahr ihres 500-jährigen Jubiläums ist die Reformation auch auf der Leipziger Buchmesse ein großes Thema. Neben zahlreichen neuen Titeln, die sich mit der Erneuerungsbewegung und Martin Luthers Leben und Wirken auf ganz unterschiedliche Weise auseinandersetzen, werden auf der Buchmesse und beim Lesefest “Leipzig liest” vom 23. bis 26. März auch Ausstellungen, Diskussionsrunden und Poetry Slams präsentiert.

Martin Luther’s Open Letter to the US Congress

You are like mouse-dropping in the pepper. –  Martin Luther

Signs of the Times: The Absurdity of This Government

Those Wonderfully Pious Souls Who Love Their Faith and Shack Up…

Local Catholic couple Jenny Barkley and David Rondo, who have been cohabiting for two years with no intention of marrying, announced to friends during lunch today that they would have to stick to fish options due to the Lenten fast.

“I grew up super Catholic,” Barkley said. “My mom would kill me if she found out we weren’t observing the Church’s laws on abstinence…from meat.”
Rondo agreed with his girlfriend, but also said that it went beyond being afraid of letting loved ones down.

“You know, Jenny’s right when she talks about not wanting to let our parents and loved ones down, but you know what, I’ll take it a step further. I’d be more disappointed if I let this guy down,” he said thumping his chest with his thumb, before pointing to the sky and saying, “and that guy too.”
Though they don’t have plans to marry anytime soon, the couple do have big plans for the future, including cohabiting in a bigger apartment in a trendier neighborhood. In the meantime, they’ll keep abstaining from meat on Lenten Fridays. After all, it’s “a Catholic thing,” as Jenny reminds her co-workers every Friday during Lent.

There are a lot of Baptists just like this.  Except they eat chicken.

David Clines on Creation

Thanks to Richard Goode for pointing this out-

#ICYMI- Lutheran Satire’s View of Rachel Held Evans’ View of the Millennials View of the Church

Bravo, Lutherans, Bravo.

via Lutheran Satire on FB

via Lutheran Satire on FB

Quote of the Day

No one can become a theologian unless he becomes one without Aristotle. — Martin Luther

The Bee Stings Princeton’s ‘Diversity’

The Presbyterian Church (USA) issued a statement Thursday reaffirming its inclusive stance toward everyone who holds the exact same beliefs that they do.

Hundreds of PCUSA leaders signed the document affirming their progressive, forward-thinking tolerance for everyone except those who disagree with them at all.

“As a denomination, we just want to reiterate our sincere desire to extend a warm embrace to people of all backgrounds, as long as they don’t disagree with us on any single issue,” Rev. Craig Barnes said on behalf of the group, speaking to church leaders gathered at Princeton Theological Seminary. “We are totally committed to being accepting, loving, and never condemning—unless you’re a filthy, toxic traditionalist. Then all bets are off.”

“I mean, come on, it’s 2017, idiots,” Barnes added.

At publishing time, the denomination had agreed to posthumously denounce and honorarily excommunicate several “backwards-minded” Reformed and Presbyterian thinkers, beginning with Abraham Kuyper.


A Conversation about Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook

Worth reading.

Hendrickson Publishers Blog

If you study Biblical Aramaic and haven’t yet gotten a chance to explore this new handbook, you’re in luck. We sat down with Amy Paulsen-Reed, one of the editors, so she can tell us more about the book and how it was put together.

But first, a bit about the book. Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook is designed to enable students, pastors, and scholars to read the Aramaic portions of the Bible with understanding and confidence. Created by Donald R. Vance, George Athas, Yael Avrahami, and our very own Jonathan G. Kline (who also developed the questions below), it contains the full text of the Aramaic portions of the Bible, extensive vocabulary and word lists, and an apparatus that contextually glosses and parses 94% of all vocabulary.

How is Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook different from other books on Biblical Aramaic? What are its unique features?

What makes

View original post 1,234 more words

The Bible Doesn’t Call us to Apologize, It Calls Us To Repent

Have you ever noticed that the Hebrew and Greek equivalent of our notion of ‘I’m sorry, I apologize’ is nowhere to be found in Scripture?  Or that you’ve never noticed any story in the Bible that features some character or other going to someone and saying ‘I’m sorry I did that’?  That’s because ‘apologizing’ is meaningless.  It changes nothing, it effects nothing, and it restores nothing.

Instead, Scripture calls us to repentance, which isn’t a mere feeling of sadness for some wrong done but an actual change of behavior.

If people change their behavior after they’ve done a wrong, then they’ve done the right thing.  But if they merely utter a few words and then continue to behave the same way as before, they’ve not done a single meaningful thing.

Any sorrow that doesn’t lead to real repentance is false.  No matter how much the wrongdoer may sound off with words like ‘I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to, I apologize’.  If you are really sad that you’ve hurt someone, change your behavior and don’t do it again.  Otherwise, you haven’t repented at all and you aren’t even really sorry.

Something for the Barthians, and Others, From TVZ

Visit TVZ for ordering and more.

Being Your Own Worst Enemy…

And giving fuel to the alt right fire-

CNN reports

A Jewish teenager was arrested in connection with a series of bomb threats that have rattled Jewish institutions and community centers across the US and another countries, Israeli police said.

Signs of the Times

Good advice, mom-  from @amitkbali