Author Archives: Jim

Zwingli: On Commentary

zwingliCommentary, if we understand the word correctly, is what one writes to another seriously, urgently and rashly; but what he would otherwise discuss orally with him, if in the other’s presence. — Huldrych Zwingli

Summa Summarum

If you don’t love your brother, nothing else you do or say matters. 1 Cor 13 in a nutshell.

Another Bit No One Heeds

Do not harness yourselves in an uneven team with unbelievers; how can uprightness and law-breaking be partners, or what can light and darkness have in common?  How can Christ come to an agreement with Beliar and what sharing can there be between a believer and an unbeliever?  The temple of God cannot compromise with false gods, and that is what we are — the temple of the living God. We have God’s word for it: I shall fix my home among them and live among them; I will be their God and they will be my people.  Get away from them, purify yourselves, says the Lord. Do not touch anything unclean, and then I shall welcome you.  (2 Cor. 6:14-17)

That One Time Luther Tried to Copy Melanchthon’s Work…

cheat

More Loathsome than Cruel Politicians are Silent Theologians

Cruel politicians who care nothing for their countrymen are vile. Silent theologians, who raise no cry of outrage at the mistreatment of others, are worse.

Both are damned but silent theologians are damnable.

There is nothing worse, no greater evil, than a silent and thereby thoroughly complicit theologian.

Nothing.

A Thought Experiment: Would It be So Awful to Keep the Bible Out of Ignorant Hands?

The Bible is regularly misused, misquoted, misapplied, and misrepresented. So why not return it to inaccessibility as in the days of yore.

After all, ‪what do you expect to happen when it came to pass that any ignorant dilettante would feel free to talk about the bible? Why are you surprised that it’s misused?

The cure is simple: rip it from ignorant hands and dont allow the common unwashed herd to have or touch it.‬

Problem solved. At least it could be.

When Stricken by the Plague, As Zwingli Was…

Here’s how to respond in prayer:

I. At the Beginning of the Illness

Help, Lord God, help
In this trouble!
I think, Death is at the door.
Stand before? me, Christ;
For Thou hast overcome him!
To Thee I cry:
If it is Thy will,
Take out the dart,
Which wounds me!
Nor lets me have an hour’s
Rest or repose!
Will’st Thou however
That Death take me
In the midst of my days,
So let it be!
Do what Thou wilt;
Me nothing lacks.
Thy vessel am I;
To make or break altogether.
For, if Thou takest away
My spirit
From this earth,
Thou dost it, that it? may not grow worse,
Nor spot
The pious lives and ways of others.

II. In the Midst of his Illness

Console me, Lord God, console me!
The illness increases,
Pain and fear seize
My soul and body.
Come to me then,
With Thy grace, O my only consolation!
It? will surely save
Everyone, who
His heart’s desire
And hope sets
On Thee, and who besides
Despises all gain and loss.
Now all is up.
My tongue is dumb,
It cannot speak a word.
My senses are all blighted.
Therefore is it time
That Thou my fight
Conductest hereafter;
Since I am not
So strong, that I
Can bravely
Make resistance
To the Devil’s wiles and treacherous hand.
Still will my spirit
Constantly abide by Thee, however he rages.

III. During Convalescence

Sound, Lord God, sound!
I think, I am
Perhaps with greater anguish,
Already coming back.
Than would now have
Yes, if it please Thee,
That no spark of sin
Since I came
Rule me longer on earth,
Then my lips must
Thy praise and teaching
The spite and boasting
Bespeak more
Of this world
Than ever before,
However it may go,
In simplicity and with no danger.
Although I must
The punishment of death
Sometime endure
Perhaps with greater anguish,
Than would now have
Happened, Lord!
Since I came
So near?;
So will I still
The spite and boasting
Of this world
Bear joyfully for the sake of the reward.
By Thy help,
Without which nothing can be perfect.

#ICYMI- A Gift for Joel Watts on his Birthday: Knowledge

table.jpgPeter Opitz uploaded his outstanding essay on the topic of the Lord’s Supper to Academia.edu a couple of years ago. His conclusion needs to be memorized by the anti-Zwinglians amongst us (i.e., Watts)-

A real living experience of God’s salvation cannot be produced by men, neither by bishops nor by Reformed church leaders. But it can be expected, where it is promised. The aim of Zwingli’s liturgy of the Lord’s Supper was exactly this. And the table was the point where the vertical, spiritual dimension, and the horizontal, human dimension, could meet. The reproach of “spiritualizing” the Lord’s Supper may be correct in some cases, but certainly not in the case of Huldrych Zwingli.

Indeed. Indeed.  And you’re welcome, Joel.

Marsha Blackburn Needs To Go

She doesn’t serve the people of Tennessee, she serves Donald Trump and big Pharma.  She. Needs. To. Go.

Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn has been accused of breaking Senate rules by giving a live television interview while proceedings for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial were still ongoing.

Blackburn spoke to Fox News‘ Laura Ingraham Tuesday while her colleagues were sat in the Senate chamber, apparently breaking the rules governing the proceedings.

Justin Goodman, the communications director for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, was among the first to notice the transgression.

He tweeted a photograph of Blackburn speaking to Fox, writing alongside the picture: “It appears Republican Senator Marcia Blackburn was just caught doing a live interview on Fox News instead of sitting in the Senate chamber.”

Quote of the Day

Woe to those who devise iniquity,  And work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, Because it is in the power of their hand.  They covet fields and take them by violence, Also houses, and seize them. So they oppress a man and his house, A man and his inheritance.  Therefore thus says the LORD: “Behold, against this family I am devising disaster, From which you cannot remove your necks; Nor shall you walk haughtily, For this is an evil time. (Mic. 2:1-3)

It’s All About the Beer for You, Isn’t it Martin?

luther_glassLuther comments on John 6:54 thusly-

For instance, if I were to say: “Wittenberg beer quenches the thirst, but Annaberg beer does so too,” I would not be excluding any other beer from doing the same thing. But matters change if I say: “If you do not drink Wittenberg beer, you will find no other beer to slake your thirst.” Thus Christ does not confine Himself here to an affirmative statement, but He excludes everything else as He says: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” Thus he who despises His flesh will find that nothing else will prove helpful or be accounted valid. I may call on St. Mary or St. Peter, but they cannot help. All else is ruled out completely. In brief, all other methods are rejected.

Martin… beer is hardly a fit illustration for the uniqueness of Christ’s sacrifice.  You German sot.

In Which Paul Describes Ministry

We avoid putting obstacles in anyone’s way, so that no blame may attach to our work of service; but in everything we prove ourselves authentic servants of God; by resolute perseverance in times of hardships, difficulties and distress; when we are flogged or sent to prison or mobbed; labouring, sleepless, starving; in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness; in the Holy Spirit, in a love free of affectation; in the word of truth and in the power of God; by using the weapons of uprightness for attack and for defence: in times of honour or disgrace, blame or praise; taken for impostors and yet we are genuine; unknown and yet we are acknowledged; dying, and yet here we are, alive; scourged but not executed; in pain yet always full of joy; poor and yet making many people rich; having nothing, and yet owning everything. People of Corinth, we have spoken frankly and opened our heart to you.  Any distress you feel is not on our side; the distress is in your own selves.  In fair exchange — I speak as though to children of mine — you must open your hearts too.   (2 Cor. 6:3-13)

Quote of the Day

Those that design ill against others are commonly willing to have it thought that others design ill against them.  –  Matthew Henry

Quote of the Day

Let your acquaintances be many, but for advisers choose one out of a thousand. (Sir. 6:6)

Signs of the Times

True Truth

“I’m not sure why anyone is surprised that corrupt and cynical people do corrupt and cynical things. Some of y’all need a higher doctrine of sin and a lower anthropology.” – Kara Slade

Jay Sekulow’s Christian Nonprofit Under Investigation by 2 States for Paying Family Millions

Filed under ‘birds of a feather, flock together’.

President Donald Trump’s attorney and prominent Christian conservative lawyer Jay Sekulow is now being investigated by top lawyers in two states after a report surfaced this week claiming that millions of dollars were steered from his Christian nonprofit to himself, family members and related entities.

On Tuesday, The Guardian reported that tax records indicate that Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice who joined Trump’s legal team amid an investigation of possible campaign ties to Russia, used a little-known Christian nonprofit called Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism to direct about $60 million to himself, family members and organizations owned by Sekulow family members through salaries and donations since the year 2000.

Headed by Sekulow, CASE is the sister organization to ACLJ, a well-known Christian conservative law firm founded by Pat Robertson that is dedicated to protecting religious and constitutional freedoms and does not charge for its services.

The Guardian reported that CASE was founded in 1988 by Sekulow after he was successful in defending the group “Jews for Jesus” in the United States Supreme Court, which gave him a platform to promote himself as a defender of Christians in the courtroom after an earlier career as a real estate attorney.

CASE has been able to raise tens of millions of dollars per year through phone and email marketing campaigns. Telemarketing contracts obtained by The Guardian indicate that fundraisers warned donors about the effects of the political left’s agenda and the efforts to “undermine traditional Christian values.” A telemarketing script obtained by The Guardian shows how fundraisers were used to pressure callers who claimed they were poor to give “sacrificial” gifts.

According to a Washington Post analysis of tax records, the ACLJ finalized an arrangement in 2011 in which donations made to the ACLJ are routed to CASE, which is solely controlled by the Sekulow family. The Post stated that the ACLJ relies on CASE for almost its entire budget, which was $53 million in 2015.

According to an infographic published with The Post’s analysis of tax filings, CASE raised over $229 million in donations from 2011 to 2015.

During that time, CASE paid Sekulow about $467,000 in salary and other compensations as its CEO and director. Meanwhile, his brother, Gary, was paid $2.6 million as the CASE COO and CFO; his wife, Pam, earned $54,000 as its secretary and treasurer; his nephew, Adam, earned $518,000 as CASE’s director of development; his son, Logan, earned $471,000 as a director; and his son, Jordan, earned $137,000 in salary as a director for CASE during those four years.

The infographic also shows that CASE made about $4.4 million in payments to Regency Productions, a private business run by Sekulow, during those four years. Meanwhile, CASE made $3.1 million in payments to PFMS, a business owned by Sekulow’s sister-in-law.

From 2011 to 2015, CASE gave the ACLJ $78 million, according to the infographic.

Etc.

Grifter.  And, by the way, stop giving your money to parachurch organizations.  Either tithe it at your local church or find a REPUTABLE charity to give it to like St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  But don’t throw it to rich families who laugh behind your back because you’re a sucker.

Philippians: A Commentary for Biblical Preaching and Teaching

Kerux Commentaries enable pastors and teachers to understand and effectively present the message of a biblical text. Kerux opens up each text of the Bible by explaining the message of the text to the original audience, unpacking the timeless truth of the passage, and finally providing communication insights for conveying that truth to a contemporary audience.

Each volume is written by a biblical scholar and a working pastor or homiletics scholar in partnership. Inclusion of a preaching author means that the commentary is centered on the biblical insights that are useful to a pastor as well as effective communication strategies and illustrations for each passage. Readers will discern the benefits of this throughout, as a resource designed and written with the real needs of regular proclamation always in sight.

A review copy arrived from the good folk at Kregel (without any expectations of the outcome) on 27 December.  I’ll let you know what I think of it in the next few days.

2020 Election Security

Paper ballots.

Simple.

Was Alexander Hamilton Also Among the Prophets?

He seemed to see our day, when he wrote