Today With Calvin

The Catechism of the Church of Geneva: that is a Plan for Instructing Children in the Doctrine of Christ was published on 27 November, 1545. Every citizen of the City was to learn it.

Here’s his introduction:

It has always been a practice and diligent care of the Church, that children be rightly brought up in Christian doctrine. To do this more conveniently, not only were schools formerly opened and individuals enjoined to teach their families properly, but also it was accepted public custom and practice to examine children in the Churches concerning the specific points which should be common and familiar to all Christians. That this be done in order, a formula was written out, called Catechism or Institute.

After this, the devil, miserably rending the Church of God and bringing upon it his fearful destruction (of which the marks are all too evident in most parts of the world), subverted this sacred policy; nor did he leave surviving anything more than certain trivialities, which give rise only to superstitions, without any edifying fruit. Of this kind is that Confirmation, as they call it, made up of gesticulations which are more than ridiculous and suited rather to monkeys, and rest on no foundation.

What we now bring forward, therefore, is nothing else than the use of a practice formerly observed by Christians and the true worshippers of God, and never neglected until the Church was wholly corrupted.

Learned Christian children make learned Christian adults.

Black Friday

It’s common practice in left leaning circles to poo poo shopping and sales and ‘commercialism’ and all things related to economic growth.  Meanwhile, they also lament the plight of the poor.

This contradictory attitude has never made any sense to me.  The fact is, the people who work at stores and who would be without jobs and without resources were it not for people who did go shopping and who did spend money over the holidays would be worse off were all commercial transactions done away with.

You can’t lament poverty and lament the only means by which to eradicate poverty (i.e., work) at the same time.  If left leaning folk REALLY care about the poor they’ll go to their local mom and pop store where only 5 or 6 people work and spend some of that money they’re shoveling away into their retirement plans (which make money only for the well off bankers and investors).

Maybe the left needs to put up (some money at the store) or shut up about the economic situation of the lower classes.

The Bible in Music

The Bible in Music: A Dictionary of Songs, Works, and More
By Siobhán Dowling Long and John F.A. Sawyer.

There have been numerous publications in the last decades on the Bible in literature, film and art. But until now, no reference work has appeared on the Bible as it appears in Western music. In this new dictionary Siobhán Dowling Long and John F. A. Sawyer seek to rectify the situation by providing for the first time a convenient guide to musical interpretations of the Bible.

Alongside examples of classical music from the Middle Ages  through modern times, Dowling Long and Sawyer also focus on the impact of the Bible on popular culture with numerous entries on hymns, spirituals,  musicals, film music, and contemporary popular music.

Siobhán Dowling Long is an Irish musicologist and musician, known primarily for her work on the reception of the Bible in music. A contributor to scholarly journals and edited collections, she is the author of The Sacrifice of Isaac: The Reception of a Biblical Story in Music (2013). She lectures in University College Cork, and lives close to Blarney Castle with her husband Fiachra, son Cillian and daughter Bláthnaid.

John F.A. Sawyer is a Scottish biblical scholar, best known for his pioneering works on reception history including The Fifth Gospel: Isaiah in the History of Christianity (1996) and A Concise Dictionary of the Bible and its Reception (2009). He is also editor of the Blackwell Handbook of the Bible and Culture (2012) and co-editor of the Blackwell Bible Commentary Series. He is now retired and lives with his wife Jean on the North East Coast of England within easy reach of New College Edinburgh where he is an Honorary Fellow.

Special Discount Offer for SBL/AAR Members!   Save 25% on your print or ebook order by December 31, 2016.   The Bible in Music    $95.00 $71.25   See:

The Lead Codices… Yes that thing… Has a Website…

For those interested in the story of the lead books found in Jordan, there is now a Centre for the Study of the Jordanian Lead Books, with a website

Area 51 also has a website for those interested in UFO-ology and I hear that even Justin Bieber has a website.  I sure hope he dispenses his pearls of theological wisdom there and that one day they are inscribed on lead pages so that in the future they can be discovered in a bazaar in Jordan and then sold and ‘studied’ as useful artifacts….  because….