Monday, November 30, 2009

Notwithstanding my youth [note: about 20 years old] the ecclesiastical functions aroused in me more fear than joy, for I knew, and I remain convinced, that I must give account for the sheep that should perish through my negligence.
-- Ulrich Zwingli, quoted in John T. McNeil, The History and Character of Calvinism

Friday, November 27, 2009

"As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything." (Ecclesiastes 11:5, ESV)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why was man created on Friday: So that, if he become overbearing, one can say to him, The gnat was created before you.
-- Tractate Sanhedrin 38a quoted in Montefiore and Lowe, A Rabbinic Anthology

Monday, November 16, 2009

Most Evangelicals, then, would agree that historical statements asserted in the Bible may be incomplete but not false. A more delicate question arises when it is suggested that incomplete information, in the very nature of the case, is defective and inevitably distorts the picture. This inference, however, is legitimate only when the given information is put to a use different from that intended by the writer.
-- Moises Silva, "Historical Reconstruction in New Testament Criticism" in D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge, eds., Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon, 111

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Meanwhile, fires were being kindled everywhere... the stubborn resolution of those who were carried off to the gallows, where they were seen, for the most part, to be deprived of life rather than courage, stupefied several people. Because when they saw innocent, weak women submit to torture so as to bear witness to their faith, facing death calling out only to Christ, the Savior, and chanting various psalms; young virgins heading more joyfully for the gallows than they would have gone to the bridal bed; men exulting upon seeing the dreadful and frightful preparations for and implements of death which were readied for them, and half charred and roasted, they looked down from the stakes with invincible courage at the blows incurred from the hot pincers, bearing a brave mien; and sustaining themselves joyfully between the bayonets of the hangmen, they were like rocks standing against waves of sorrow, in short they died while smiling.
-- Florimond de Raemond, Histoire de la Naissance Progrez et Decadence de l'Heresie de ce Siecle (1605), translated by Solomon Langermann, quoted in Lewis W. Spitz' The Protestant Reformation, 1517-1559

[JOURNAL NOTE: The remarkable thing about this passage is that de Raemond had returned to Catholicism from Protestantism prior to composing it. Although it is not fair to call him a "hostile witness", there was little inclination among the sons of Rome towards ecumenism as the passage itself clearly reveals.]