[Because] they love darkness rather than light, they cannot tolerate the sharpness with which we, as in duty bound, rebuke the gross idolatry which is apparent everywhere in the world. When God is worshipped in images, when fictitious worship is instituted in his name, when supplication is made to the images of saints, and divine honours paid to dead men’s bones, and other similar things, we call them abominations as they are.
For this cause, those who hate our doctrine inveigh against us, and represent us as heretics who dare to abolish the worship of God as approved of old by the Church. Concerning this name of Church, which they are ever and anon holding up before them as a kind of shield, we will shortly speak. Meanwhile how perverse, when these infamous corruptions are manifest, not only to defend them, but to dissemble and represent them as the genuine worship of God!
Amen. And that, in sum, is why some evil people dislike the saintly Calvin.
But you have to admit, this description sounds awfully contemporary…
You may be quite sure that in the last days there will be some difficult times. People will be self-centred and avaricious, boastful, arrogant and rude; disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious; heartless and intractable; they will be slanderers, profligates, savages and enemies of everything that is good; they will be treacherous and reckless and demented by pride, preferring their own pleasure to God. They will keep up the outward appearance of religion but will have rejected the inner power of it. Keep away from people like that.
Of the same kind, too, are those men who insinuate themselves into families in order to get influence over silly women who are obsessed with their sins and follow one craze after another, always seeking learning, but unable ever to come to knowledge of the truth.
Just as Jannes and Jambres defied Moses, so these men defy the truth, their minds corrupt and their faith spurious. But they will not be able to go on much longer: their folly, like that of the other two, must become obvious to everybody. (2 Tim. 3:1-9)
We love this book. Love it. LOVE IT. Never in the history of Christianity has a book so profound been made available to the masses for a price so reasonable. Reading it is a theological education in a single volume which contains everything necessary for both salvation and proper doctrine.
Were we more excited about it we would resemble tiny puppies laying on their backs getting their bellies rubbed and wetting themselves. That’s how excited we are about this book. – H.B., H.Z.
Wow. I’m super humbled and super honored. First a video recommendation yesterday and now this. I just don’t know what to say.
The book is available from the publisher via print on demand, here
Columbia University Press (or someone in Tel Aviv) thought I might enjoy this new book so they sent a copy:
In the Old Testament, God wrestles with a man (and loses). In the Talmud, God wriggles his toes to make thunder and takes human form to shave the king of Assyria. In the New Testament, God is made flesh and dwells among humans. For religious thinkers trained in Greek philosophy and its deep distaste for matter, sacred scripture can be distressing. A philosophically respectable God should be untainted by sensuality, yet the God of sacred texts is often embarrassingly sensual.
Setting experts’ minds at ease was neither easy nor simple, and often faith and logic were stretched to their limits. Focusing on examples from both Christian and Jewish sources, from the Bible to sources from the Late Middle Ages, Aviad Kleinberg examines the way Christian and Jewish philosophers, exegetes, and theologians attempted to reconcile God’s supposed ineffability with numerous biblical and postbiblical accounts of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and even tasting the almighty. The conceptual entanglements ensnaring religious thinkers, and the strange, ingenious solutions they used to extricate themselves, tell us something profound about human needs and divine attributes, about faith, hope, and cognitive dissonance.
It’s not my usual stomping grounds, but I’ll give it a read- because it’s not my usual stomping grounds.
The work of preaching is most sacred, so that it is a work most necessary, above all others. For to speak scripturally or strictly, we see that among all nations the outward preaching of apostles, evangelists and bishops preceded faith, which nevertheless we attribute to the Spirit alone. For alas! We see very many who hear indeed the outward preaching of the Gospel, but believe not, because there is a lack of the Spirit.
Whithersoever, then, prophets or preachers of the Word are sent, it is a sign of God’s grace, that He wishes to manifest a knowledge of Himself to His elect; and to whom they [the preachers] are denied, it is a sign of His impending wrath. This can be inferred from the prophets and the example of Paul, who was sometimes forbidden to go to some, and again called to others. – Zwingli
Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the LORD, the fire was quenched. So he called the name of the place Taberah, because the fire of the LORD had burned among them.
Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; “but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium. The people went about and gathered it, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of pastry prepared with oil. And when the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it.
Then Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was greatly aroused; Moses also was displeased. So Moses said to the LORD, “Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? “Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me,`Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child,’ to the land which You swore to their fathers? “Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying,`Give us meat, that we may eat.’ “I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. “If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now– if I have found favor in Your sight– and do not let me see my wretchedness!” (Num. 11:1-15)
Thanks to Francesca S. for posting mention of this on twitter. I tracked down the artist and found her webpage here. Look at her work titled The Holy Martyrs of Libya and be unmoved.