Author Archives: Jim

Signs of the Times

Trinitarian Ontologies Conference- Wrapping it Up

Signs of the Times: The Depths of ‘Evangelical’ Hypocrisy

Trinitarian Ontology Conference, Day Three

They obviously saved the best for the last day, led off by the luminary Christophe Chalemet.

You Know How People Will off the Cuff Say ‘I’m Praying For You’? Here’s Why That Should Horrify You…

People of all theological sorts like to say ‘I’m praying for you’ when something happens.  Indeed, the entire country ‘is thinking of you’ if something terrible happens in your town or to your community.  But I’m not so sure we should welcome all those prayers offered up on our behalf.  Why?  Because what assurance do we have that the person doing the praying is in right relationship to God and that their prayers are going to be heard in the first place.

James writes ‘… the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works very powerfully.’ (Jas. 5:16).  You read that right, if a person is upright, their prayer is powerfully effective.  The contrary is also true.  If a person is not upright (righteous) then their prayer is completely ineffective.

When a godly sort promises to pray for you, that should please you beyond words because you have the assurance that God will pay attention to their pleadings.  But when the ungodly offer up a prayer on your behalf, it goes nowhere.  Indeed, when the godly pray for your it’s like a skilled a well practiced surgeon operating on your brain.  You can have confidence in their skill, experience, and training.  You know they aren’t going to hurt you- they’re going to help you.  On the other hand having some godless wretch offer up a prayer for you is like having your drunk neighbor who’s also high on meth cutting your head open.  You just don’t want that.

So the next time someone tells you they want to pray for you- you might want to ask them to hold off on it until you learn whether or not they’re really qualified to do it.  For my part, I’d rather have one godly sort remember me than all the wretches in the world.

Get to the Fountain

Quote of the Month

“My plea is simply this: every theological idea which makes an impression upon you must be regarded as a challenge to your faith. Do not assume as a matter of course that you believe whatever impresses you theologically and enlightens you intellectually. Otherwise suddenly you are believing no longer in Jesus Christ, but in Luther, or in one of your other theological teachers.” — Helmut Thielicke  — (Via Leo Percer)

Take that seriously.

Zwingli on ‘The Turks’

By which he, and his contemporaries Luther and Calvin, always meant the Muslims.  So, he mentions the Turks in a passage in which he  describes the sorry state of the Catholic Church, writing

… we have become more shameless in our lives than even the Turks and Jews. For you do not find among them such frequent adultery, so many unscrupulous forms of extortion, such beastly drunkenness, such bold robbery, to say nothing of the arrogance of high and low, of the continual wars, vile blasphemy, obscene talk, lying, cheating, and overreaching. Have we not all had our hands full with trying by hearing or hiring or reading masses to drain this universal swamp of evil? This, I believe, no one will deny, that we have all fled for refuge to the mass, as to a sacred anchor [cf. Heb. 6:9]. Nay, we have gone even to such a pitch of madness as to fancy that we saw a bread that brings salvation.

Interestingly, for Zwingli, the Roman Church’s children are worse than any Muslim! There’s something to think about even now for how often is it the case that the people we often think the worst are actually more moral than ourselves?

Publicity Seekers and How They Get What They Crave

‪#DavidBentleyHart must have felt like he wasn’t getting enough attention so he did what the Christian publicity questers always do- he spit on orthodox faith and embraced heresy.    In his case, universalism.  And, lo and behold, he has the attention he craves.‬
‪Funny how that works, isn’t it?‬

Luther- The Optimist

The world is a realm of wrongdoing, and the devil is lord over it. Those who do not believe are citizens of the world, submit to its rule, and, together with the world, are in the power of the evil one.

But those who believe tear themselves away from the world and the realm of wickedness and are gathered into the realm of faith and salvation.

Therefore a Christian should trust no one; but everyone should act as though he were dealing with one who is evil, with a foe and an enemy— should act as though he were dealing with one who is ungrateful, and should expect persecution and the height of ingratitude in return for deeds of kindness.

For what do they pay for our troubles? Nothing else than their desire that we be thrust into hell and be afflicted with evils of every kind. For the greatest deeds of kindness they return the greatest deeds of wickedness. Accordingly, this passage pertains to patience. — Martin Luther (on 1 John 5:19).

‘No Religion’ Now Outnumber All Christian Denominations in America

But, sure, keep skipping worship, ‘Christians’…

Christian Twitter and Facebook Aren’t All That Into Christian Theology

Christian twitter and facebook are 9 times more likely to ‘retweet’ and ‘like’ a non-theological post than they are to retweet or like a theological post. #FactsOfLife

Need proof?  Post a cute kid pic or funny meme and then a little later post a theological quotation or observation or even a verse of Scripture and see which one Christian twitter / facebook shares…

When You’re White You Can Kill Your Baby and Get Off Scot Free

Like Skylar did.

A young Ohio mother who prosecutors said killed and buried her unwanted newborn in her backyard just days after her senior prom was acquitted of murder Thursday. The remains were found about two months after she gave birth, buried in the backyard of her home where she lived with her parents in Carlisle, a village about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Cincinnati.

American injustice.

The Litmus Testers

When everything is a litmus test for you, YOU are the problem.

When you require absolute agreement, YOU are the problem.

When any disagreement with you results in demonizing and marginalizing, YOU are the problem.

I Hate it When Calvin @’s Me

We must exercise moderation, so as not instantly to declare every man to be a “heretic” who does not agree with our opinion.

But if they disagree with me they HAVE to be heretics….

There are some matters on which Christians may differ from each other, without being divided into sects. Paul himself commands that they shall not be so divided, when he bids them keep their harmony unbroken, and wait for the revelation of God. (Phil 3:16.)

Stop @-ing at me, Calvin.  Stop it right now.

But whenever the obstinacy of any person grows to such an extent, that, led by selfish motives, he either separates from the body, or draws away some of the flock, or interrupts the course of sound doctrine, in such a case we must boldly resist. — John Calvin Commentary on Titus 3.

Ok that’s better.  Whew.

Trinitarian Ontologies Conference, Day 2

Epistre tres utile faicte et composée par une femme chrestienne de Tornay

So the other day I was browsing Facebook (as one does) and ran across a piece by Christian History Magazine which described a booklet written by a woman that was deemed so wicked that the authorities destroyed every copy they could find and only two have survived.

So naturally I wanted to know more.  Searching for the pamphlet proved to be a dead end until Jon Balserak got on the case.  He found it.  Here it is, for your reading pleasure.

And here’s the Christian History Magazine essay that piqued my interest.

The author of that essay also has a book on the subject, Marie Dentière: Epistle to Marguerite de Navarre and Preface to a Sermon by John Calvin.

Wrong For Every Reason- So Here’s Your Dilly

There’s no such word in Greek. The dimwit has just transliterated what he thinks a Greek letter signifies into an English equivalent. He actually thinks psi = y. Dilettante ignoramus.

No, it means you don’t know anything about Greek.  Here’s your Dilly.

Now go, and never speak of Greek again.

E-Cigs Now Being Disguised As AR-15’s in order to Avoid Bans

According to a new report, more e-cigs are being disguised as AR-15s to avoid a looming White House ban on the devices.

Upon hearing that President Trump was looking to ban the devices, vaping companies quickly began looking for ways to circumvent the new regulations. Then, they came up with a solution: design the vapes to look like a hunting rifle.

The disguised devices include a switch for selecting a fire mode, from semi-auto and burst fire to “Sick Vape.” The devices are fully functional AR-15 rifles. Should a federal agent ask if you have an illegal e-cig loaded with high-capacity Raspberry Hurricane cartridges, you can just turn down range and fire off a few rounds to show them it’s actually just an assault rifle.

These new e-cigs include a range of exciting new flavors, such as Gunpowder Bubblegum, Custard Cartridges, Strawberry Scope, and Maple Bar M-16. They taste like delicious fruits and candies and also have that gunmetal taste that gun nuts go crazy for.

Unfortunately, many of the devices included a bump stock and so were banned anyway.

So You ‘Know’ Hebrew and Greek Do You?

jerome123You know enough Latin and Greek to make the Greek think you a Latin scholar and the Latin a Greek.  – St Jerome

I read that and thought right off of the folk who cite Strong’s concordance in an attempt to persuade others of their linguistic skills or that lot which use an interlinear.  They ‘know’ enough Hebrew and Greek to make the person who knows neither think they are a scholar of both.

I love Jerome.  A straight-talker if ever there were one.