Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Calvin: I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard.

In a recent discussion, the following John Calvin quote was provided:

Letter to the Marquis Paet, chamberlain to the King of Navarre, 1561. "Honour, glory, and riches shall be the reward of your pains; but above all, do not fail to rid the country of those scoundrels [Anabaptists and others], who stir up the people to revolt against us. Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard."

This quote has been around for quite awhile, receiving its popularity because of its negative reference to Michael Servetus, "I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard." Here, Calvin directly admits to having Servetus killed. This admission would be contrary to the popular defense of Calvin's involvement that he had no authority in Geneva to put anyone to death.   Here is not the place to delve into a defense or prosecution of Calvin's involvement in the execution of Servetus. What interested me is the actual letter this quote comes from and the possibility it may be a forgery.

Documentation
In the snippet above, the only documentation provided is that the quote is from a 1561 letter "to the Marquis Paet, chamberlain to the King of Navarre." If you search the first phrase of the snippet, it becomes obvious it's a blatant cut-and-paste. For example, you can find it in the exact form here and here. A more broad search demonstrates the quote was often used in the 1800's.  For instance,  in the 1848 book, The life of Michael Servetus, the author states,
No one could know the history of Calvin and Servetus better than Voltaire. He affirms that the former acted towards the latter with treachery and theological hatred; that "when he saw his adversary in confinement, he loaded him with every kind of insult and vile treatment that base minds are wont to do when they get the upper hand. At length, by continually pressing the judges to employ the credit of those he pointed out to them, and by proclaiming in person, and by his emissaries, that God demanded the execution of Michael Servetus, he had him burned alive, and took a cruel pleasure in being a witness to his sufferings; he who, if he had set a foot in France would have heen sent to the stake himself, and who had so loudly exclaimed against all persecution." The finishing stroke to this picture of Calvin may be found in a letter written with his own hand, which is still preserved in the castle of Bastie-Roland, near Montelimar: it is directed to the Marquis de Poet, high chamberlain to the king of Navarre, and dated Sept. 30, 1561. "Honour, glory, and riches shall be the reward of your pains; but above all, do not fail to rid the country of those zealous scoundrels who stir up the people to revolt against us. Such monsters should be exterminated as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard."*
* Works of Voltaire translated by Smollet, and Franklin, &;c.—Lond. 1763. vol. iv. pp. 82—84.
This old book gives a reference to  the works of Voltaire vol. 4.  In the 1761 edition, Voltaire's comment can be found on page 84 as part of a chapter entitled "Calvin and Servetus":

It appears that Voltaire was the source for this popular quote, and the English translator provided the form that it's in. A contemporary English version of Voltaire's words can be found here. Voltaire had a severe view of Calvin (as this  biographical book documents). This letter from Calvin cited by Voltaire does indeed exist. It was included in Dr. Jules Bonnet's collection of Calvin's letters, published in French in the 1850's. There is an English translation of Calvin's letters from Bonnet's French. The letter in question can be found in Letters of John Calvin Vol. IV, pp. 439-440. There is a typo in the English translation. In the letter below, the date is said to be "8th September, 1561." The French version verifies that this is an error, the actual date should have been September 13, 1561.


Context
XVII.—To MONSEIGNEUR, MONSEIGNEUR DU POET, GRAND CHAMBERLAIN OF NAVARRE AND GOVERNOR OF THE TOWN OF MONTELIMART, AT CREST..
MONSEIGNEUR :—What have you judged of the Colloquy of Poissy? We have conducted our business safely. The Bishop of Valence as well as the others have signed our profession of faith. Let the king make processions as much as he pleases, he will not be able to hinder the preaching of our faith, harangues in public, nor gain anything except to stir up the people already too disposed for rebellion. The brave Seigneurs de Montbrun and de Beaumont abandon their opinions. You spare neither courses, nor cares; labour, you and yours will find their turn (sic). One day, honour, glory, and riches will be the reward of so much pains. Above all, do not fail to rid the country of all those zealous scoundrels that stir up the people by their discourses to make head against us, blacken our conduct, and wish to make our belief pass for a reverie. Such monsters should be smothered, as I have done here, by the execution of Michel Servetus the Spaniard. Do not imagine that in future any one will take it into his head to do the like. 
For the rest, Monseigneur, I forgot the subject for which I did myself the honour to write to you, which is humbly to kiss your hands, supplicating you to take in good part the quality which I shall covet during my whole life of . . . 
MONSEIGNEUR,
 Your very humble and affectionate servant, 
                                                                J. CALVIN.
At Geneva, this 8th September, 1561.
[Fr. Copy—Arch. of M. le Marquis d' Alissac a Valreas.]  

Conclusion 
Dr. Jules Bonnet included this letter in a chapter entitled, "An Historical Calumny Refuted." There Bonnet documents the spuriousness of the letter. He mentions that the first publication of the letter was in 1750, and indeed that Voltaire popularized the quote in question. He also documents that letter swept across nineteenth century scholarship. After personally seeing the letter, Bonnet argues it (along with another one) is a fraud. His reasons are as follows:
1st. These originals, written by Calvin’s own hand (as Voltaire affirms), are anything but autographs. They are neither in the handwriting of Calvin, nor in that of Jonvillers his secretary, nor of Antony Calvin, who sometimes held the pen under the dictation of the Reformer during the latter years of his life.
2nd. If these pieces are not in the handwriting of Calvin, still less do we find in them his style, admired by Bossuet himself and one of the finest in our language. That style is concise, nervous, and dignified, bearing the impress of a strong individuality more easy to caricature than to imitate.
3rd. From the form let us pass to the substance. The two letters swarm with mistakes and historical blunders which betray the work of an unskillful forger. The first, dated the 8th May, 1547, and addressed to M. du Poet, General of the Religion in Dauphiny, bestows this title on this seigneur, fifteen years before the period in which he declared for the Reformation, and when the new faith, having neither church nor soldier in Dauphiny, could scarcely enumerate some obscure martyrs in that province. The second, dated the 13th September, 1561, has for superscription — to M. du Poet, grand chamberlain of Navarre and Governor of Montelimart, dignities with which he was invested only twenty years later, in 1584. It is one of Calvin’s accusers, M. Aubenas himself, who informs us of that, without remarking that the notice which he has devoted to M. du Poet is the best refutation of the authenticity of the letters attributed to the Reformer.
The first reason given does not necessarily prove the letter is a forgery. I would assume Dr. Bonnet was familiar enough with the writing styles of the men he mentions, yet it does not rule out that Calvin could have dictated the letter to someone else as an exception. The second reason given is even less convincing. However, the third reason, of blunders with dates, is compelling. The alleged letter gives someone a title he did not hold until twenty years later... that is indeed a problem, and it's enough then to pull the letter from historical evidence until further notice.  I did a cursory search to see if any more recent Calvin scholarship discussed the letter, and did not come across anything, yet. When I mentioned in dialog that the letter is a suspected forgery, the response given back was "James I Don't believe you, both quotes are found in numerous places especially the quote about Servetus." But then again, this person thinks Calvin was a "demon possessed murderer" so it probably wouldn't matter if there were a dozen more reasons proving the letter spurious.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Martin Luther Supported Gay Marriage?

I came across two interesting blog articles refuting the notion that "Martin Luther possibly equivocated on the sinfulness of homosexual behavior..."

Luther the Progressive? (Part 1)

Luther the Progressive? (Part 2)

I would have handled the source material differently. For instance, I would not have begun my defense of Luther by sourcing the Table Talk.  I also would have sourced the folks attempting to use Luther in support of homosexuality. Other than that, these entries are a nice topical treatment of Luther's words in regard to this issue.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Are patriotic political Christians making the same mistake of idolatry and adding man-made traditions as early church did?

I am reposting this article I did back in 2009, with a new picture and updated links.  (both the old photo link was broken, and I felt it needed to have the links to the other articles I was referring to.)

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2009/08/church-converted-into-mosque.html

Be sure to review all the articles linked to at the end of that article.

Now, in the light of all the controversy over Dr. White's dialogue with Yasir Qadhi, and the impression that many conservative political / patriotic Christians give to Muslims,

see here:
https://bloggingtheology.net/2017/07/16/the-real-god-of-american-christians/#comment-52592

the question I have is this:  Are American patriotic / political Christians making the same mistake in a different area that the early church did by the over-exalting of Mary, neglect of the doctrine of justification by faith alone in the NT; and the additions of other man-made traditions?

It seems to me the same root of idolatry and leaving our first love.  Revelation 2:4-5

See more of my responses to the Dr. White / Yasir Qadhi controversy over at my other blog:
www.apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com
(see many articles on this issue and responses, go to date archive from January to July 2017; since January 2017, since Dr. White's apologetic dialogue with Dr. Yasir Qadhi.)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Luther: The Lord Commonly Gives Riches To Foolish People

This showed up in my Facebook feed this morning:


This was posted in a Facebook public group entitled, Martin Luther and the Reformation.  The group is an oddity in that it wants nothing to do with authentic Lutheranism: "A word of WARNING: We are not here to 'defend Lutheranism'...and those who teach baptismal regeneration and Sacramentalism will be REMOVED from the group."

Documentation
I was curious about the quote, so I dug around to see if it was authentic. Most basic searches do attribute this quote to Martin Luther (there are though some that attribute it to Martin Luther King).  The majority of early English usage comes from 19th century quote books. For instance:
Riches — The Gift of
Riches are the pettiest and least worthy gifts which God can give a man. What are they to God's Word ?—Yea, to bodily gifts, such as beauty and health; or to the gifts of the mind, such as understanding, skill, wisdom? Yet men toil for them night and day, and day and night, and take no rest. Therefore our Lord God doth commonly give riches to foolish people, to whom He gives nothing else.—Luther.
In all the instances I located in my cursory search of the popular form of this quote search, none gave any more documentation other than attributing the quote to Luther.  That the quote had a longer form typically indicates a level of authenticity in some regard. That the quote was used in a 19th century English anthology led me to check the Table Talk. It was during the 19th century that English editions of the Table Talk gained mass popularity. Sure enough, the very first early English edition of the Table Talk (1818) I checked contained the following:
A fearful Example of Covetousness.
A COVETOUS farmer, well known at Erfurt, carried his corn to sell there in the market; but holding it at too dear a rate, no man would buy of him, nor give him his price; he being thereby moved to anger, said I will not sell it cheaper, but will rather carry it home again and give it to the mice. As he came home therewith, an innumerable number of mice and rats flocked about his house and devoured up all his corn. And the next day following, going out to see his grounds, which were newly sown, he found, that all the seed was eaten up, and no hurt at all done upon the grounds belonging to his neighbours; this certainly was a just punishment from God, and a token of his wrath against the unthankful world.
Three rich farmers have lately hanged themselves: such wretches that do rob the whole country, are worthy of those punishments; for the dearth at this time is a wilful dearth. God hath given enough, only the devil hath possessed such wicked cormorants wilfully to make this dearth. They are thieves and murderers of their poor neighbours. Christ will say unto them at the last day, "I was hungry, and ye have not fed me, etc." Do not think (thou that sellest thy corn so dear) that thou shalt escape punishment; for thou art an occasion of the deaths and famishing of the poor; the devil will fetch thee away. They that fear God, and trust in him, do pray for their daily bread, and against such robbers as thou art, that either they may be put to shame, or be reformed.
A man that dependeth upon the riches and honour of this world, and forgets God, and the welfare of his soul, is like to a little child that holdeth a fair apple in the hand, which on the outside is pleasing to behold, and thinketh it hath also some goodness within, but it is rotten and full of worms. 
Where great wealth is, there are all manner of sins; for through wealth cometh pride; through pride, dissention; through dissention, wars; through wars, poverty; and through poverty, great distress and misery. Therefore they that are rich, must yield a strict and great account; for to whom much is given, the same must give an account of much. Riches, understanding, beauty, and comeliness are fair gifts of God, but we abuse them shamefully. Yet, notwithstanding, worldly wisdom, and a witty brain are evil things, when the cause engaged in is evil; for we used to say, No man will yield from his own conceit; every one will be right. Much better it is, that one be of a fair and comely complexion in the face, for a sickness may come and take that away; but the mind and conceit, is not so soon altered. It is written, Ye shall be like God: yea, I suppose we are like God. This disease is from Adam conveyed unto us, "Ye shall be as Gods."
Riches is the smallest thing on earth, and the least gift that God bestowed on mankind. What is it in comparison of God's Word? yea, what is it to be compared with corporal gifts; as beauty, health, etc? nay, what is it to the gifts of the mind; as understanding, art, wisdom, etc. Yet are men so eager after it, that no labour, travel, nor danger is regarded in getting of riches, there is in it neither matter, form, effect, or cause, or any thing else that is good; therefore our Lord God commonly giveth riches to such, from whom he withholds all spiritual good.
The early English editions typically do not provide documentation back to the primary sources. In fact, the paragraphs above are different Table Talk utterances strung together to form one text. Some of the paragraph breaks can be seen in Captain Henry Bell's version of the Table Talk. Here's Bell's 17th Century version:



Context
This text be located in a Latin / German mix in WA 5:240. It was a Table Talk utterance recorded by Caspar Heydenreich. LW includes this text (LW 54:452).
No. 5559: Wealth the Most Insignificant Gift of God Winter of 1542–1543
 “Riches are the most insignificant things on earth, the smallest gift that God can give a man. What are they in comparison with the Word of God? In fact, what are they in comparison even with physical endowments and beauty? What are they in comparison with gifts of the mind? And yet we act as if this were not so, The matter, form, effect, and goal of riches are worthless. That’s why our Lord God generally gives riches to crude asses to whom he doesn’t give anything else.” Luther, M. (1999). Luther’s works, vol. 54: Table Talk. (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald andH. T. Lehmann, Eds.) (Vol. 54, p. 452). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

Conclusion
I've mentioned this often during the years: Luther didn't write the Table Talk. It is a collection of second-hand comments written down by Luther's friends and students, published after his death. Since the statements contained therein are purported to have been made by Luther, they should serve more as corroborating second-hand testimony to something Luther is certain to have written. Certainly Luther spoke out against greed and placing false hope in riches. What would Luther have written about the person pictured above? One can only speculate, but the words would probably not be as kind as those recorded in the Table Talk utterance documented in this entry.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Did Martin Luther repent before he died?

I came across an article from Catholic Say entitled, Did Martin Luther repent before he died? The primary information given was by Tom Nash, a research associate from Ave Maria Radio. Here's what was posted:




Did Martin Luther repent before he died?

Full Question

Did Martin Luther repent before he died?

Answer

It is rumored that Luther asked for the last rites but was refused them, and that he said, “It is easier to live as a Protestant, but it is better to die as a Catholic." However, neither assertion has been substantiated by reliable sources.
The best evidence supports that Luther died with a prayer on his lips, but unfortunately not one of repentance. He may have even taken a shot at the Catholic Church at the end. In any event, in this year of the quincentennial of the Reformation, let us pray for the repose of Luther’s soul and the restoration of unity among all Christians in Christ’s one Catholic Church.



In regard to the first quote in the first paragraph, "It is easier to live as a Protestant, but it is better to die as a Catholic," it's probably spurious. In regard to the information in the second paragraph, the link given is to one my older blog entries: Did Luther Recant on His Deathbed? I appreciate that Mr. Nash used my old entry to answer the question!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Anti-Luther Propaganda

Here's a brief Luther discussion from the CARM boards. I keep a record of these things because they eventually disappear.


Humility

"No man can be thoroughly humbled until he knows that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, devices, endeavors, will, and works, and depends entirely on the choice, will, and work of another, namely, of God alone."
-- Martin Luther
I'm just gonna leave this here...
"We are not to understand the other side; we are to discuss to expound the truth." -- A misguided apologist
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"The Law is a storm which wrecks your hopes of self-salvation,
but washes you upon the Rock of Ages."
-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon


“If the husband is unwilling, there is another who is; if the wife is unwilling, then let the maid come.”
(ref. Of Married Life).

“The word and work of God is quite clear, viz., that women are made to be either wives or prostitutes.”
(ref. On Married Life).

“If I had to baptize a Jew, I would take him to the bridge of the Elbe, hang a stone round his neck and push him over with the words I baptize thee in the name of Abraham”
(ref. Grisar, “Luther”, Vol. V. pg. 413).

“Like the drivers of donkeys, who have to belabor the donkeys incessantly with rods and whips, or they will not obey, so must the ruler do with the people; they must drive, beat throttle, hang, burn, behead and torture, so as to make themselves feared and to keep the people in check.” (ref. Erlangen Vol 15, Pg. 276).

“To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Let there be no half measures! Crush them! Cut their throats! Transfix them. Leave no stone unturned! To kill a peasant is to destroy a mad dog!” – “If they say that I am very hard and merciless, mercy be damned. Let whoever can stab, strangle, and kill them like mad dogs”
(ref. Erlangen Vol 24, Pg. 294).

“Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides… No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.”
(ref. ‘Let Your Sins Be Strong, from ‘The Wittenberg Project;’ ‘The Wartburg Segment’, translated by Erika Flores, from Dr. Martin Luther’s Saemmtliche Schriften, Letter No. 99, 1 Aug. 1521. – Cf. Also Denifle’s Luther et Lutheranisme, Etude Faite d’apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), VOl. II, pg. 404))

“Christ committed adultery first of all with the women at the well about whom St. John tell’s us. Was not everybody about Him saying: ‘Whatever has He been doing with her?’ Secondly, with Mary Magdalen, and thirdly with the women taken in adultery whom He dismissed so lightly. Thus even, Christ who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.
(ref. Trishreden, Weimer Edition, Vol. 2, Pg. 107.

“Do not ask anything of your conscience; and if it speaks, do not listen to it; if it insists, stifle it, amuse yourself; if necessary, commit some good big sin, in order to drive it away. Conscience is the voice of Satan, and it is necessary always to do just the contrary of what Satan wishes.”
(ref. J. Dollinger, La Reforme et les resultants qu’elle a produits. (Trans. E. Perrot, Paris, Gaume, 1848-49), Vol III, pg. 248).


​​​​​​​I'm just gonna leave these here.




The Luther quotes do appear to be cut-and-pastes from the webpage, Luther, Exposing the Myth. One doesn't even need to say that the contexts are grossly being ignored (which they are)... there are a number of tedious errors demonstrating propaganda:

Originally posted by Heir of Salvation View Post
“If the "husband is unwilling", there is another who is; if the wife is unwilling, then let the maid come.”
(ref. Of Married Life).
This quote is actually from two different treatises of Luther. The first part is from The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, the second part is from Luther's Treatise on Marriage.

“The word and work of God is quite clear, viz., that women are made to be either wives or prostitutes.”
(ref. On Married Life).
This quote is not from "On Married Life," but rather Luther's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7.

“If I had to baptize a Jew, I would take him to the bridge of the Elbe, hang a stone round his neck and push him over with the words I baptize thee in the name of Abraham”
(ref. Grisar, “Luther”, Vol. V. pg. 413).
"Grisar" is not a primary source, but rather refers to a Roman Catholic biography of Luther.

“Like the drivers of donkeys, who have to belabor the donkeys incessantly with rods and whips, or they will not obey, so must the ruler do with the people; they must drive, beat throttle, hang, burn, behead and torture, so as to make themselves feared and to keep the people in check.” (ref. Erlangen Vol 15, Pg. 276).
Accurate reference to a German source.... how did the quote end up here in English?

“To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Let there be no half measures! Crush them! Cut their throats! Transfix them. Leave no stone unturned! To kill a peasant is to destroy a mad dog!” – “If they say that I am very hard and merciless, mercy be damned. Let whoever can stab, strangle, and kill them like mad dogs”
(ref. Erlangen Vol 24, Pg. 294).
This quote is actually from two different treatises.Only one of the sentences is found at Erl 24, 294.

“Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides… No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.”
(ref. ‘Let Your Sins Be Strong, from ‘The Wittenberg Project;’ ‘The Wartburg Segment’, translated by Erika Flores, from Dr. Martin Luther’s Saemmtliche Schriften, Letter No. 99, 1 Aug. 1521. – Cf. Also Denifle’s Luther et Lutheranisme, Etude Faite d’apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), VOl. II, pg. 404))
There is no such thing as "The Wartburg Segment."

“Christ committed adultery first of all with the women at the well about whom St. John tell’s us. Was not everybody about Him saying: ‘Whatever has He been doing with her?’ Secondly, with Mary Magdalen, and thirdly with the women taken in adultery whom He dismissed so lightly. Thus even, Christ who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.
(ref. Trishreden, Weimer Edition, Vol. 2, Pg. 107.
"Trishreden" Trish who? Regardless, this is not something Luther actually wrote.

“Do not ask anything of your conscience; and if it speaks, do not listen to it; if it insists, stifle it, amuse yourself; if necessary, commit some good big sin, in order to drive it away. Conscience is the voice of Satan, and it is necessary always to do just the contrary of what Satan wishes.”(ref. J. Dollinger, La Reforme et les resultants qu’elle a produits. (Trans. E. Perrot, Paris, Gaume, 1848-49), Vol III, pg. 248).
"Dollinger" is not a primary source. Dollinger was a Roman Catholic historian.


​​​​​​​I'm just gonna leave these here.
Sure, leave them.... but ask yourself where in the Bible God blesses and condones propaganda? Shouldn't an heir of salvation strive to honor God by presenting accurate research?

Monday, June 05, 2017

Luther: Should a tyrant succeed in destroying the Holy Scriptures and only a single copy of the Epistle to the Romans and the Gospel according to John escape him, Christianity would be saved.

A fellow blogger sent me the following quote attributed to Martin Luther:
Luther is reported to have said that if a tyrant succeeded in destroying the Holy Scriptures and only a single copy of the Epistle to the Romans and of the Gospel of John escaped him, Christianity would be saved. He spoke truly; for the fourth Gospel presents the object of the Christian faith in its most perfect splendor, and the Epistle to the Romans describes the way of faith which leads to this object, with an incomparable clearness. What need of more to preserve Christ to the world and to give birth ever anew to-the, Church ? [Frederic Louis Godet, Commentary of John's Gospel, Kregel 1980 reprint of Funk and Wagnall's 1886 edition - p. 2].
Frederic Louis Godet did not include this comment in early editions of the commentary (for instance, this comment is not found in the 1876 edition).  The quote in its popular form can be found as early as 1881:
It is no wonder that in all ages this has been regarded as the most remarkable of our four Gospels. Testimony after testimony to this could be quoted from leading minds through the centuries. Luther's words are often quoted: "This is the unique, tender, genuine, chief Gospel. . . . Should a tyrant succeed in destroying the Holy Scriptures and only a single copy of the Epistle to the Romans and the Gospel according to John escape him, Christianity would be saved."
Another variation from 1903-1904 states,
And Luther said, "This is the unique, tender, genuine, chief Gospel, far preferable to the other three. * * * Should a tyrant succeed in destroying the Holy Scriptures, and only a single copy of the Epistle to the Romans and the Gospel according to John escape him, Christianity would be saved."
I could find no helpful documentation verifying "Should a tyrant..." etc. If it exists at all, it sounds like a Table Talk utterance. As shown above, sometimes the quote is linked with a genuine statement from Luther: "This is the unique, tender, genuine, chief Gospel, far preferable to the other three." This comment comes from Luther's Preface tot the New Testament (1522, omitted in later editions],
If I had to do without one or the other—either the works or the preaching of Christ—I would rather do without the works than without his preaching. For the works do not help me, but his words give life, as he himself says [John 6:63]. Now John writes very little about the works of Christ, but very much about his preaching, while the other evangelists write much about his works and little about his preaching. Therefore John’s Gospel is the one, fine, true, and chief gospel, and is far, far to be preferred over the other three and placed high above them. So, too, the epistles of St. Paul and St. Peter far surpass the other three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
In a word St. John’s Gospel and his first epistle, St. Paul’s epistles, especially Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians, and St. Peter’s first epistle are the books that show you Christ and teach you all that is necessary and salvatory for you to know, even if you were never to see or hear any other book or doctrine. Therefore St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to these others, for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it. But more of this in the other prefaces. [LW 35:362].

Monday, May 15, 2017

Good Reasons to keep on celebrating the Reformation of 1517 and to keep on studying the issues

Pray for Dr. White and his schedule and the debate tonight against Roman Catholic Peter D. Williams on the Marian dogmas.

1.  The upcoming debate tonight:  https://www.facebook.com/events/755459547963738/

2.  Dr. White had a recent radio debate/discussion with Peter D. Williams on the Protestant Reformation, that was started by Martin Luther:

https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-The-Reformation-return-to-truth-or-tragic-mistake-James-White-vs-Peter-D-Williams

3.  A recent entry by Dr. White at his Facebook page about the earliest sources for a lot of Mary doctrines and doctrines that were in later centuries "developed on steroids" (my words) that are so unBiblical and crazy that it really mystifies me as to how anyone can go along with these unBiblical doctrines, dogmas, and pious beliefs and practices regarding Mary.

The earliest sources that gave rise to the eventual Marian dogmas are truly troubling when you take the time to read them in their context. I was listening to my debate with Gerry Matatics on Long Island from long ago and the topic of the Odes of Solomon came up. He was questioning my identification of them being "tinged with gnosticism."

There is a big debate about that, but, you tell me! Here's one of the key texts that eventually became important in the development of the idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary:

Ode 19
A cup of milk was offered to me, and I drank it in the sweetness of the Lord's kindness.
The Son is the cup, and the Father is He who was milked; and the Holy Spirit is She who milked Him;
Because His breasts were full, and it was undesirable that His milk should be ineffectually released.
The Holy Spirit opened Her bosom, and mixed the milk of the two breasts of the Father.
Then She gave the mixture to the generation without their knowing, and those who have received it are in the perfection of the right hand.
The womb of the Virgin took it, and she received conception and gave birth.
So the Virgin became a mother with great mercies.
And she labored and bore the Son but without pain, because it did not occur without purpose.
And she did not require a midwife, because He caused her to give life.
She brought forth like a strong man with desire, and she bore according to the manifestation, and she acquired according to the Great Power.
And she loved with redemption, and guarded with kindness, and declared with grandeur.
Hallelujah.
Add in the character of the Protevangelium of James, another key source, and you really start getting a good idea of where these concepts came from, and it was NOT from the Apostles or from Scripture.

4.  Also, Dr. White's recent Dividing Line Program on why the Reformation was necessary and good reasons to celebrate the 500 Anniversary of the Reformation that we have historically dated to Oct. 31, 1517, when Luther nailed the 95 theses up on the Wittenberg Castle Church door.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zDt6ItBgO0

Monday, April 17, 2017

Part 1a Review at Amazon.com, of Rod Bennett's book, "Four Witnesses", has disappeared! (with Update, it has not disappeared)

I noticed that my "Initial Review" of Rod Bennett's book, Four Witnesses, that I put up at Amazon.com and linked to in this article, is no longer there.  It is actually "part 1a" of my article.

Update: (April 18, 2017)
see Rob's comment in the com-box:

Ken, I found it.
The Amazon grading system wants to show Verified purchases only. If you click on the filter for verified purchases, it will alternate to "All Reviewers. Then your review does show.

see my comment also in the combox.  I will leave this up here. and adjust the title

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-initial-review-of-rod-bennetts-book.html

Fortunately, I kept a copy on my computer, and so I have published it here at my other blog, "Apologetics and Agape".

https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/review-of-rod-bennetts-book/


Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Empty Tomb! He has risen!

https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/empty-tomb/

Have a blessed Resurrection Day; as every Sunday for some 2000 years has been.

See also the Resurrection Debate between Dr. James White and James Renihan for the Scriptures and reality of the Resurrection of Jesus, vs. two famous liberals, John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg.

https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/the-resurrection-of-jesus-christ-debate/

Friday, April 14, 2017

More on Hank Hanegraaff from Dr. White - excellent analysis

"Can a Consistent Eastern Orthodox Believer be "the Bible Answer Man" ?

More like the "Bible in the light of sacred oral tradition in the liturgy of EO history-Answer Man"

https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/can-a-consistent-eastern-orthodox-believer-be-the-bible-answer-man/

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

On Hank Hanegraaff and his conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy

I link to lots of sources on the issue of Hank Hanegraaff's recent conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy, Dr. White's analysis, other resources on Eastern Orthodoxy in general.

https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/on-hank-hanegraaff-and-his-conversion-to-eastern-orthodoxy/