Category Archives: Modern Culture

Today in Church History

Savonarola met with the same fate as Hus. He, too, was unsparing in his attack on the corruptions of the Church. On May 23, 1498, he was put to the double death of hanging and burning, and his ashes were thrown into the Arno. A slab in the pavement in front of the Palazzo Vecchio at Florence marks the spot where he suffered, and every year on the anniversary of his death the Florentines lay flowers on the slab in homage to his memory.

The Roman Church has always either killed its foes or widened its mouth large enough to swallow and incorporate them.

This Made Me Laugh

I like that duck-

That One Time Lawrence Schiffman Met the Pope

He tells us about it here.

Secularism Has its Costs

This is one of them.

Theology and Religious Studies risk “disappearing” from universities, a report has warned, as figures show that the number of students has almost halved in six years.

Over 14,000 students were enrolled on such degree courses in 2011/12, which dropped down to 7,585 by 2017/18, according to an analysis by the British Academy.

The figures relate to all higher education students taking course in Theology and Religious Studies course, including undergraduates, masters, doctorates, foundation courses and diplomas.

While Theology and Religious Studies has been on a downward trend for the past six years, there has been an increase in students taking Philosophy courses over the same time period.

Prof Diarmaid MacCulloch, an expert in church history at Oxford University and vice president of the British Academy, said the figures are “alarming”.

“I am extremely concerned about the drop in such a short period, it is really very alarming,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“The problem starts at school. Teachers are not directing people in this important direction and not seeing the value in Theology and Religious Studies.”

The report said that the decline cannot be explained by subject choices at school, since A-level entries in Religious Education have increased in the past six years, more than doubling in England and Wales between 2003 and 2017.

“Theology and Religious Studies has been on a downward trend in both applications and enrolment of undergraduate students from 2012/13 onwards,” the report says.

“If this trend continues, [the] provision will come under serious threat at many institutions and the department closures and mergers, which have already started, will likely continue.”

You have secularism to think.  It’s the new ‘faith’ of the land and it has no interest in anything but itself.

Gunkel’s Geburtstag!

It was May 23rd, 1862 that the astonishingly brilliant Old Testament scholar Hermann Gunkel was born.  Amazingly, in contrast to many scholars (whose books go out of print or end up in the dollar bin in a few months) Gunkel’s work is still being published and is still very much worth reading.

Educated at the University of Göttingen, Gunkel taught there and at Halle, Berlin, and Giessen. A leading member of the “History of Religions school”, he stressed the literary values of the Old Testament by comparative study of the legends on which it draws, particularly in Genesis, Psalms and the Prophets, on which he published works in 1901, 1903, and 1917. Extending his researches beyond current dogmatic interpretations, he promoted the study on literary-historical lines of the religious history of Israel, publishing Die israelitische Literatur (1906; “The Literature of Israel”) and Die Urgeschichte und die Patriarchen (1911; “Earliest History and the Patriarchs”). He contributed Psalmen to the Göttinger Handkommentar zum Alten Testament (1910; “Göttingen Ready Reference Commentary on the Old Testament”), assisted in the first edition of the religious encyclopaedia Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (1903–13; “Religion in History and the Present”), and was coeditor of the second edition (1927–32). Together with Wilhelm Bousset he founded the series Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten Testaments und des Neuen Testaments (1903– ; “Research into the Religion and Literature of the Old and New Testaments”).

Should that be insufficient detail (and it should) then get a copy of his biography and read it.


Happy Gunkel Day!

There’s No Better Pairing Than an Exorcism and Fried Chicken

How To Write a Review of A Ridiculous Book

@sentantiq – This is classical scholarship at its most delightful: #Bentley on #Barnes

It’s also how to write a review of a nonsense book.

Reaping What You Sow

A Florida man shot himself in the leg while trying to take out a concealed firearm from his waistband, according to police. 

Arnel Villarreal was waiting in the visitors parking lot of Summerlin Academy on 1500 S Jackson Ave, Bartow, at around 4:10pm on Tuesday, reported citing Bartow Police Department. A member of his family was on the school campus at the time.

Villarreal took a .9mm semi-automatic pistol from his waistband as he waited. He intended to secure the weapon in his vehicle, according to police.

While moving the firearm, Villarreal discharged it, causing a bullet to drive into his right leg. Police believe the incident was an accident. After the shooting, Villarreal was treated in hospital and is in a stable condition.

You reap what you sow.

Why are so Many Cops Racists?


Fun Facts From Church History

Melancthon1In the early editions of the Loci, Melanchthon didn’t discuss the doctrine of the Trinity because he had a certain bit of scorn for attempts to explain the mystery of the divine unity in trinity.

He accepted the doctrine and thought efforts to rationalize it silly.

Total Depravity: The Republican Edition

A police report says a south Mississippi lawmaker punched his wife in the face after she didn’t undress quickly enough when the lawmaker wanted to have sex. Republican state Rep. Doug McLeod of Lucedale was arrested Saturday on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

These guys are so depraved. Their voters are worse because they keep electing them.

The SBC is So Terrified of Social Justice…

That its panel set to discuss it is comprised of all White guys. Who have never read the Prophets. Or know anything about Scripture’s call for justice. The SBC has become a caricature of itself.

The Church Lost the Culture Wars Years Ago…

When it stopped stressing its duty to make disciples and started to endure the mere making of ‘church members’; most of whom wouldn’t be allowed to join a civic club because of their complete lack of commitment to anything beyond themselves.

If you want to lament that loss, look in the mirror, Christianity, with your deplorable policy of appeasement to the world and its infiltrators to your once glorious ranks.

Quote of the Month

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami

If People Treated Medicine Like they Do Biblical Studies and Theology

  • Someone who knew nothing about medicine but who read a wikipedia essay in the morning would be performing brain surgery at night.
  • Someone who had a medical dictionary and could consult it when needed would be invited to be a talking head on a documentary.
  • Someone who could use the internet to ‘look up’ the ‘truth’ would be allowed to write prescriptions and people would actually take them.
  • Someone who went to an hour long class at the age of 5 for 3 weeks would be permitted to practice medicine.
  • There would be a lot of dead people thanks to the malpractice that would be widely committed and yet very few would complain and everyone else would be muttering ‘well everyone’s entitled to their opinion’.

That’s what would happen if medicine were treated the way biblical studies and theology are treated.

Langlois’s Newest

The details are here

Quote of the Day


This Made Me Laugh

James MacDonald Ought to Be In Jail

Chicago radio personality, Mancow Muller, says disgraced megachurch pastor, James MacDonald, asked him to find a hitman to kill someone. MacDonald’s former bodyguard is making a similar claim. 

Muller said MacDonald— a celebrity pastor who was fired from Harvest Bible Chapel in February—asked him at least twice in 2018 if Muller knew a hitman MacDonald could hire. Muller said he thought MacDonald was joking at first. But during a conversation in December, Muller said it became clear to him that MacDonald was “really serious“.

So why hasn’t he been arrested?

The Story of Codex Bezae

This is an interesting essay.  Although I wonder if ‘Plunders’ is the right word.  Do they mean to imply that the codex has plundered?  ‘Plunderers’ might work better as a title.  But at any rate, enjoy the piece.