Category Archives: Modern Culture

Of Pathetic Co-Conspirators, Luther Remarks…

It makes me tingle with pleasure from head to toe when I see that through me, poor wretched man that I am, God the Lord maddens and exasperates you hellish and worldly people, so that in your spite you will burst and tear yourselves to pieces – while I sit under the shade of faith and the Lord’s Prayer, laughing at you devils and your crew as you blubber and struggle in your great fury.  — Martin Luther

Amen, Brother Martin.  Amen.

If You Aren’t Trained to Do It, Don’t!

No one presumes to teach an art till he has first, with intent meditation, learnt it. What rashness is it, then, for the unskilful to assume pastoral authority, since the government of souls is the art of arts! For who can be ignorant that the sores of the thoughts of men are more occult than the sores of the bowels? And yet how often do men who have no knowledge whatever of spiritual precepts fearlessly profess themselves physicians of the heart, though those who are ignorant of the effect of drugs blush to appear as physicians of the flesh!  —  Gregory the Great

Too Many Have Already Died in Wars

This Memorial Day, let’s pray God hastens the day and brings to pass his promise-

God will judge between the nations, and settle disputes of mighty nations. Then they will beat their swords into iron plows and their spears into pruning tools. Nation will not take up sword against nation; they will no longer learn how to make war. – Isaiah 2.

Jerome’s Letter LII- Advice to Clerics, Section 11

Let your breath never smell of wine lest the philosopher’s words be said to you: “instead of offering me a kiss you are giving me a taste of wine.” Priests given to wine are both condemned by the apostle and forbidden by the old Law. Those who serve the altar, we are told, must drink neither wine nor shechar. Now every intoxicating drink is in Hebrew called shechar whether it is made of corn or of the juice of apples, whether you distil from the honeycomb a rude kind of mead or make a liquor by squeezing dates or strain a thick syrup from a decoction of corn. Whatever intoxicates and disturbs the balance of the mind avoid as you would wine. I do not say that we are to condemn what is a creature of God. The Lord Himself was called a “wine-bibber” and wine in moderation was allowed to Timothy because of his weak stomach. I only require that drinkers should observe that limit which their age, their health, or their constitution requires. But if without drinking wine at all I am aglow with youth and am inflamed by the heat of my blood and am of a strong and lusty habit of body, I will readily forego the cup in which I cannot but suspect poison.

Barth The Wrong

Of Barth’s doctrine of election – and particularly of Barth’s notion that Jesus is ‘the elect man’ Brunner writes

No special proof is required to show that the Bible contains no such doctrine, nor that no theory of this kind has ever been formulated by any theologian.

Indeed.  Barth’s views are particularly charming to a certain subset of theologians who are less familiar with what Scripture says than the norm.


Truth in Art

Cette caricature calviniste contre l’Eglise romaine, l’une des plus fameuses, répond parfaitement au principe qui veut que l’image parle à tous, surtout à ceux qui ne maîtrisent pas la lecture, et que le sens s’impose à chacun indépendamment du texte. L’exemple est tout à fait probant ici, le texte étant en hollandais. Nous n’en comprenons pas moins ce qui se joue: le triomphe de la Parole de Dieu (et des réformateurs qui la prônent) sur l’Eglise catholique et ses pompes.⠀

Deux groupes d’hommes se font face dans une vaste salle. Le centre est occupé par une balance à plateaux, dont l’un, chargé d’un unique volume, vient jusqu’à terre, du côté d’hommes vêtus simplement. Ils sont calmes. On comprend immédiatement qu’il s’agit des réformateurs et on reconnaît d’ailleurs parmi eux Calvin de profil, discutant posément avec un individu un peu rond, qui pourrait figurer Luther. Tout à fait à leur gauche, mis en valeur et un peu isolé, est sans doute Théodore de Bèze, observant la scène les mains jointes. Il semble avoir provoqué la scène dont nous sommes témoins. Le gros livre dans la Balance est évidemment la Bible, symbolisant la Parole de Dieu et se passant de tout adjuvant pour assurer sa victoire.⠀

Leurs vis-à-vis revêtus d’habits sacerdotaux catholiques hésitent entre la stupeur et l’agitation. On distingue parmi eux un évêque, des cardinaux entourant le pape coiffé de sa tiare et assis sous un dais, un personnage à côté de l’évêque, peut-être le grand adversaire de Bèze au début du XVIIe siècle, Saint François de Sales, et des religieux. Tous contemplent le plateau chargé des symboles de l’Eglise catholique (les clés de Saint-Pierre, la tiare pontificale, un gros volume renvoyant soit aux Pères de l’Eglise soit à la Somme théologique de Thomas d’Aquin et deux religieux dont l’un est agrippé aux chaînes retenant le plateau), impuissants à faire pencher le fléau de leur côté. ⠀

VAN BEUSECOM, Martinus, XVIIe siècle (?)⠀ ©Musée historique de la Réformation, Genève. Exposé au MIR, salle de la Polémique⠀

Against those who Think Doctrine Outmoded-

As the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ was Himself a Teacher, so also His disciples carry on a teaching ministry. We cannot think of the Christian Church without teaching, any more than we can think of a circle without a centre; teaching and “doctrine” belong to its very nature. — Emil Brunner

Quote of the Day

The advantages of a university or academical education will never be despised except by him who never enjoyed them, or who affects to be superior to their necessity. – William Orme

Le Monde Is Right

@jackiekcalmes — French newspaper Le Monde: “If there is any American exceptionalism, it is to tolerate the fact that schools in the United States are regularly transformed into bloody shooting ranges…Indeed, America is killing itself & the Republican Party is looking the other way…”

John Calvin’s Dying Words

It’s said that the last thing Calvin whispered right before he died was the following enigmatic sentence:

Karl Barth, shut up!  You don’t know me, bro.  You don’t know me at all.

No one at his bedside understood- but we do.

The Baptist Guy Who Poisoned his Neighbor’s Dogs…

Pathetic. And evil.

James David ‘Jim’ Goldston III, 71, and his wife, Agnes, 73, of Raleigh, are accused of poisoning their neighbor’s three dogs.

Two of the dogs, Labrador retrievers, died. A veterinarian confirmed that all three dogs were poisoned, according to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.

Goldston had been chairman of the board of trustees for the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, a well-known faith-based nonprofit. He was also a board member of an animal rescue organization.

They also threatened their neighbor. What a good witness….

The devil’s greatest ally is too often the professed Christian.