Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of the Blogroll 2013

Here to ring out the old year are my favorite posts of 2013 from the blogs that I read regularly:

Ancient Hebrew Poetry was on something of a hiatus this year, as were Rev Cwirla's Blogosphere and Thin Places. Here's hoping for their return to blogging.

Thank you to all of you who blogged this year. I may not say so as often as I should, but I do look forward to reading each of your blogs.

Take care & God bless,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas: Actually, it's not all about Good Friday

Have you heard the line of thought that Christmas is really all about Good Friday? I've heard it the last few years -- and a few too many times. When we read of Jesus' birth, we hear about the innocent child, the hopeful mother, the message from heaven of peace and goodwill -- the "good tidings of great joy." The accounts of Jesus' birth show that his family had their hardships: traveling and delivering a child in a strange town, poverty, even a hostile government. But we are easily tempted to be cynical, hardened against the hope and innocence of new life -- even Jesus' life. In his birth, Jesus joins with us in the story of all humanity: after we are born, it is only a matter of time until we die. If there is good news in Jesus' birth, some people would say, it is specifically in the forgiveness that Jesus won for us at the cross. And so, the thought goes, the really important thing to remember at Christmas is that the child will grow up to die a horrific death and shed his blood for you and for me. And so the parallels are drawn between Christmas and Good Friday: the wood of the feeding trough is like the wood of the cross; he is wrapped in cloths in the cradle and again in the tomb; it is possible that both the cradle and the grave were in a cave. 

But the story of Jesus' birth is incomplete if we see only his grave. If we look ahead so many years from his birth to his death and burial, why stop there? We should look a short few days further to his resurrection. Here again we see the angels at the tomb at his resurrection, just as there were angels at his birth with good news. At Christmas Mary brought forth life by a miracle where life was not expected, so in Jesus' resurrection we see life where none was expected. And again, as in the birth, again in the resurrection, this life may have been brought forth in a cave. Jesus' resurrection reinforces the meaning of his birth: it is the beginning of a new creation, where death no longer destroys us, where God gives eternal life. The bittersweet part of every birth is that it is only a matter of time until we die. But Jesus' resurrection changes that, as death is no longer final. And so Jesus' birth changes the meaning of all of our births. We now live in a world in which God has raised the dead, never to die again. We live in a world where a new creation has started. We are told to have the same hope for ourselves and for our own children. This is good tidings of great joy.
Jesus' resurrection also gives us permission to look at the innocence that we are too cynical to permit ourselves to admire: the innocent child, the hopeful mother, the message from heaven of peace and goodwill. At Christmas, we are allowed to celebrate the "good tidings of great joy" as the triumph of life in the birth of this child.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Advent: Something Mary and Jesus have in common

I wonder sometimes whether Mary was the most pure-hearted, kind, or loving woman to have lived. She may have been the bravest, too. She was singled out of all women who had ever lived for a unique honor: to bear the Messiah. But it was an honor in the eyes of God only, for many years. In the eyes of people, it made her look bad. She risked the acceptance of her family, the love of her fiance, the security and status of an honest woman. She probably faced scorn and contempt for something she was assumed to have done. She may have been the best of us all, but serving God made her look like the worst in the eyes of a world that judges by appearances.

It is a lot like Jesus. He had a goodness that made others ashamed of themselves, and so he was accused of evil, tried for it, convicted of it, "numbered with the transgressors". He found himself on the wrong side of human judgment for serving the Father.

John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and a long line of others have found that serving God is a ticket to being despised by the world, even being found on the wrong side of the law, or popular opinion, or a human court.

Sometimes I think that the church's life parallels Jesus: his life had a miraculous beginning quickly followed by persecution, some quiet years, then times of popularity and acceptance -- followed by people turning away, the leaders rejecting him and leading a persecution, starting a campaign designed to ensure his death. Jesus' miraculous resurrection started the church's story: a miraculous beginning quickly followed by persecution, some quiet years, then times of popularity and acceptance. It looks like now we may be in a phase of people turning away, leaders rejecting Jesus and leading a persecution, starting a campaign designed to ensure the death of the church. But man's opinions are not God's opinions, the world's condemnation is not God's condemnation, and the world's idea of how to destroy Christianity has backfired badly before.

At Advent, we remember Jesus' arrival some two thousand years ago, and look forward to his return. Come, Lord Jesus.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Magnificat - Adapted Lyrics

I have been toying with the idea of doing a musical arrangement of Mary's song, the Magnificat. I think I have the melody worked out. The lyrics that work with the rhythm will probably go like this:
My soul magnifies the Lord
My spirit rejoices in my Savior
   In my lowly state
   As I walk His ways
He remembered me
His eye turns towards the meek
His favor rests upon the humble
  He tells the proud to go
  He casts the ruler low
He remembered me
I'm still working to see if Elizabeth's response will fit in naturally as well. I picture it fitting in with some version of the O! Antiphons to round it out. We'll see. Wish me luck.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Simplicity. (Against bureaucracy and red tape)

(I know this is not my usual area, but there are a few things occupying my mind. It seems best to go ahead and post this so that my mind is not occupied with it, and I can move along. By the way, do not think that the take-away message here is merely against the currently unpopular complicated health care system; that is just the latest example from a government that has long seemed enamored of complication.)

Most people try to figure out the simplest way to do things. In my line of work, "simple" and "elegant" are words that often come together as a pair. When you design a new system, simplicity is a good thing. Simple things are easy to use, hard to break. When things go wrong, simple things are easy to diagnose, easy to fix. If something is simple, anyone can use it without special training or special knowledge. Simplicity empowers the average person to take care of themselves. "Simple" is the main ingredient of "user-friendly". When something is meant to be used by lots of different people, simplicity is a goal of good design.

There's a problem with standing up for simplicity, though. People have mistaken "complicated" for "smart"; those two things are not the same. Maybe you have to be smart to understand something complicated. But you don't have to be smart to make things complicated. In fact, lots of people try to fake being smart by making things complicated. Long words are used as camouflage to cover up small ideas -- or mistaken ideas. In the movie The Wizard of Oz, one final scene with the scarecrow is something like that: he is given a diploma to make up for the fact that he has no brain, and instantly declares that "The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side." On the surface it sounds impressive because it is technical and complicated; it is also completely wrong. (He should have said that "The square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the remaining sides", or words to that effect. That scene was a joke about how wrong he was.) That's another thing about complication: mistakes can get past millions of people. If simplicity is a goal of good design, then it's actually not smart to make things more complicated than they need to be.

When designing a system to be used by hundreds of millions people with different education levels, it is not smart to make it so complicated that its own designers make jokes about how they don't understand it or don't know what is in it. There is no such thing as a good law that the average person needs to understand but runs to hundreds on hundreds of pages. Our new national health care system is a Rube Goldberg device that has turned each and every one of us into a piece in that contraption -- whether we want to be in it or not. But our new health care system is just one example. Our tax system is also needlessly complicated. "Bureaucracy" is characterized by needless complexity, and our government often acts as though its goal is to create new bureaucracies. Every time the government wants to do something new, the general approach has been to create new agencies that are run through new bureaucracies. Many people frankly can't picture it working any other way.

At a high enough level, complication does a number of things:
  • It takes away the average person's ability to take care of themselves.
  • It makes the average person dependent on an expert.
  • It gives the expert a sort of status or power as a necessary piece in the system.
  • It makes the average person unable to tell whether the expert actually knows what he is talking about.
  • It gives the most benevolent experts an incentive not to question the system, since they see themselves as exercising their benevolence, and the average person couldn't understand the system without their help.
  • It gives the less benevolent experts a personal incentive to keep things complicated, in order to keep their status and power - and the accompanying financial security. 
That is, it makes most people unable to tell how well the system really works, and it makes many experts and designers unwilling to say if it doesn't.

Simple things take less time and energy. They are more efficient than their complicated counterparts. I do not say this because of some "anti-intellectual" objection to complexity. I say this because it is a fact about how energy and effort work. The more straightforward a thing is, the more efficiently it works. The more unnecessary complication you have, the more it wastes time and energy, by definition. A Rube Goldberg device is a joke -- a mechanical joke. Rube Goldberg devices are entertaining. It is fascinating to watch all the time and energy that can be wasted on a relatively simple task. But nobody wants their health care, their taxes, or the national economy to run that way. Nobody wants their own time and energy to be caught up in that kind of elaborate waste of time.

Most people try to figure out the simplest way to do things. We do that not because we are stupid but just the opposite: it is smart to want something that is efficient and works well.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Challenge #2: What came of it

Here are some notes on the Thanksgiving challenge, where I tried for a more godly perspective and made myself recognize a reason to be thankful for each of the guests on the guest list at Thanksgiving dinner. I mention it in the hopes that it will be helpful to someone else.

I was glad that I had done my homework. It helped whenever tensions arose. It was a safeguard against the temptation of contributing to the problem, and even against unintentionally causing problems through careless remarks. The preparations made me mentally ready to help defuse some tensions as they arose during the course of conversation. I'd recommend this kind of "thankful list" as preparation to anyone who attends family gatherings, and especially if tension is common. 

The notes on my "thankful list" are short because I wrote them on an index card. I read the card just before leaving home, and then again right before I went into the host's home. Though the notes are short, for some people I could have easily made a long list of reasons I was thankful for them. For most, I could have listed more reasons than I put on the card. 

  • Always there for his children
  • Stood by her husband through thick and thin (for 2 people)
  • Has never said an unkind word to me
  • Is a delight to her father
  • Never gave up, and kept trying and trying again, through some long and dark years
  • Kind to her dogs
  • Kind to her neighbor
  • Can speak her mind with good-humor and tact
  • A good and steadfast friend to his friends
I think the list was the most helpful in those cases where I have the most struggle to find a reason to be thankful for the other person. Where there is a long history of trouble, it takes a certain persistence in chasing out the unthankful thoughts, and that was good practice in its own right. 

Every conversation has its subtext -- the unspoken things that are the background and reason for what is spoken aloud. While it would have been awkward to say those "Thanksgiving Challenge" thoughts aloud, it helped to have those thoughts in mind as the subtext behind my own comments. I think, in its own small way, it helped the general tone of the conversation.

Another benefit, though slightly sadder: some of the older people in attendance had lost health to a startling degree in the time since I last saw them. (This is especially so for some "friends of the family" of the host's family, that I may see only once or twice a year.) It was good to know in advance why I was thankful for them, when poor health did not permit them to be their usual selves this year. It enabled me to treat them with the respect that they had earned during their years of fuller health. Honest respect can take away the sting of needing help.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving challenge

This year, as part of my holiday preparations, I'm challenging myself to go into Thanksgiving having thought of a reason why I am thankful for each and every person there. I'm looking for something specific that they have done, whether for me or for another person. It makes the saying "count your blessings" a little more personal by focusing on the guest list for Thanksgiving dinner.

I'm wondering if we all did that (meaning my extended family), whether it would help with the atmosphere around the table. But first things first: I want to do my part this year.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

If "love keeps no record of wrongs"

It's nearly the holiday season again, and my annual holiday preparations have to include some mental and spiritual preparations to spend time with my extended family. (Some previous posts on the topic include: Returning good for evil: forgiveness struggles #2, Scroll of remembrance, Christian response to backhanded compliments, and Christian response to backhanded compliments: reprise.)Where I'd left off last year (the "reprise" post), I'd figured out that I should plan in advance for "intentional goodwill", rather than just reacting to the position-jockeying and dueling grievances as they occurred, and armed with nothing more than a wish that peaceful intentions would suffice.

I think that, just like I would never go for a road trip without packing an overnight bag, and like I would never go for the week's groceries without a shopping list, I should probably not be around my relatives without having made any preparations. So what St Paul said about love, "Love keeps no record of wrongs" -- I think love even goes farther. It doesn't just overlook the wrongs. It also keeps a record of kindnesses that another person has done. Now, that part about "keeping a record" could be misunderstood. Love doesn't pursue goals of accounting for kindnesses, or earning repayment, or comparison of goodness, or anything like that. It keeps a record of good for the purposes of remembering. "If there is anything good ... think on these things." When we are kind to someone else, we hope they remember; we hope it makes a difference. In the spirit of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," it seems best to remember when others are kind to us. And when we remember, it seems best to do it better than haphazardly, but to study the good that another person has done, to refresh it in the memory as deliberately as we would make an effort to remember an important appointment, or material for a school quiz. (Even average students routinely remember 70% or better of material they have made an effort to know. But I have a feeling that, when it comes to remembering other peoples' kindnesses, sometimes I remember a lower percentage than that. Especially when there have been unkindnesses that threaten to erase the better memories. The good memories have to be carefully refreshed after a falling out.) And so I'm not too proud to make notes (privately, of course) -- just to help me remember the good things.

So this year, in addition to making sure I re-read the "Scroll of remembrance" I wrote about one relative a few years back, I probably need to write a couple more scrolls remembering the kindnesses of other relatives as part of my holiday preparations. I cannot even begin to tell you how strongly my worse nature is rebelling at the thought of writing down a remembrance of the kindnesses from certain people, when it is far easier to remember the fully intentional unkindnesses. But the kindnesses were intentional too. And in a world where God has shown forgiveness as the path to the world's rebirth, I'm going to have to learn better.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Is there a good way to point out to a pastor that he's being unBiblical?

I expect that anybody who has been in the church long enough has found themselves, sooner or later, in a position where they suspect the pastor (minister, priest, etc) is not teaching quite what you would expect. Maybe he is teaching something that is slightly out of step with the Bible. Maybe he is teaching something that is not quite in line with the church's affiliation. Or maybe both.

I am trying to find the best way to handle such a conversation right now. I'm in a situation where the pastor routinely -- week after week, month after month, at this point year after year -- begins Bible classes by misquoting the Bible. The invocation with which he begins is, "In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit." That's a fairly obvious misquote of part of the great commission: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". It's not even possible that he doesn't realize that it's a misquote; he says it correctly during church services or (interestingly enough) when his supervisor is in town. I have found myself wondering: Does he think he's improving on the Bible? If not, why change it? But if so, what exactly is his level of respect for the Bible, and its role as a safeguard for the faith once given?

Why am I still there, if he's misquoting it that blatantly, that regularly? Well, it's not for lack of looking around at other churches to see if there's anything out there that is truer to Christ and his word. In the last few years I've visited three different Lutheran churches, a Methodist church, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Church of Christ, and Baptist at various points. But I have yet to find anywhere where the preacher is any more Biblical than my current pastor. Why have I not yet spoken to him, if it has been going on so long? Because the previous time I tried to speak to him about something -- something far less serious, that didn't anger me at all but I thought was more difficult than necessary and thought could be made simpler -- not only was I not able to persuade him to see another point of view, but the particular thing I brought to his attention was promptly used as a sermon example of people not cooperating with church leadership.(At times like this I'm glad I've guarded my anonymity as a blogger over the years; it does help.)

But I'm curious whether anyone has ever navigated through a conversation like that successfully. And by "successfully" I mean not just without getting excommunicated, preferably even without getting used as a bad example in a sermon, but actually succeeded in getting the pastor (minister, priest, etc) to listen?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

What the studies of Galatians tell us

Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians to remind the people that controversies in general -- and their current controversy over the law in particular -- should not take their focus away from Christ. Paul managed a rare thing: he re-focused the people on what was important, without losing focus himself. In order, the top ten most common words in Galatians are:
  1. Christ 
  2. law 
  3. God 
  4. faith 
  5. spirit 
  6. Jesus (2-way tie between "Jesus" and "son")
  7. son (2-way tie between "Jesus" and "son")
  8. brothers (3-way tie of "brothers", "gospel", and "woman")
  9. gospel  (3-way tie of "brothers", "gospel", and "woman")
  10. woman (3-way tie of "brothers", "gospel", and "woman")
The controversy about the law, even as it was being corrected, took a second place to Christ.

The commentaries on that letter do not quite manage to follow that lead. Instead we see how easily our controversies draw us off track, even commentaries on a book that was written to explain how we shouldn't allow things to draw us off track.

The Top Three Spots in the Commentaries

When we limit our view to the top three most common words, our commentators do keep the same top three words as Paul. But not one of them keeps the relative emphasis correct, and so the Bible study becomes to some degree a distortion of the book. (Others would argue it is not a distortion so much as a contextualization inside the larger framework of the Bible and theology. We'll leave most of that question for another day.)
  • Luther's top three: Law, Christ, and God. It's particularly ironic for Luther, whose career is known for returning focus to Christ, to make that particular mistake about this particular book by focusing more on the law than on Christ. Did he realize that his enthusiasm to correct overemphasis on "works of the law" had led him to focus more on the law than on Christ? I expect that Luther would have seen this as a distortion, even if it was caused by what he considered legitimate enthusiasm to correct an error. In correcting it, he fell into a similar mistake. It is a fair warning for anyone who corrects an error not to be drawn off-message by it.
  • Calvin's top three: God, Christ, and law. I don't think that Calvin would have minded that God ended up emphasized over Christ, or that his priorities there were different than Paul's. That overpowering emphasis on God the Father is the deliberate hallmark of Calvin's theology. Still, it remains out of step with the focus of Paul's letter to the Galatians. Where a Lutheran would see this as a distortion to take the focus away from Christ, I expect that Calvin would have seen his emphasis as a contextualization, and supported it as putting things in their right place in the big picture of the whole Bible.
  • Wesley's top three: law, God, and Christ. Wesley is the only one of these major Protestant writers to put Christ -- Paul's top priority -- down to third place. Again, I'm not completely sure that Wesley would have minded that. The writings I've read of Wesley's have a conscious move toward focus on the father, rather than Christ. Again, I expect that Wesley would have seen his change of emphasis as a contextualization, and supported it.
Odd things added or omitted

The word clouds show that some words were emphasized more in the Bible studies than in the original. But some discernment is necessary as to whether these are problems. In a Bible study, it is not too unusual for words like "chapter" or "verse" to have a prominent place in the Bible study but not in the original. This does not by itself mean that the authors are changing emphasis; it means that they are referencing an original. So differences of that kind are not a problem by this reckoning. Likewise "Paul" gets more mention in these commentaries than they do in Paul's writings, because in his own writings he doesn't refer to himself by name. These types of variations are expected in a book written about an original work.

But some variations are more unexpected.
  • Luther's other questionable moves: Of Paul's top ten words, Luther gives so little attention to "brothers" or "woman" that they are not in his top 100. Luther also adds an emphasis on "sin" and the "devil" that is out of proportion to Paul. This last is typical of Luther's writings, as many Lutherans would recognize. Luther repeatedly speaks about "sin, death, and the devil" in a way that has more to do with Luther than the Bible.
  • Calvin's other questionable moves: Of Paul's most prominent words, Calvin repeats Luther's lack of recognition of "brothers" or "woman", and adds another to the neglected words list: "Jesus". The prominence given in the book of Galatians to "Jesus" -- recognized as a distinct word from "Christ" -- is found in Paul, and Luther, and Wesley -- but is absent from the top 100 words list in Calvin's commentary. This underscores Calvin's intentional and systematic approach to de-emphasizing the role of Jesus Christ. Beyond that, the shift away from "Jesus" (historical, personal, relatable) to only "Christ" (theological) is something we have seen before in other word clouds, where it has been a useful indicator of how far someone is removed from interest in the actual Jesus of history, when they drop the personal name "Jesus" and focus only on the theological title "Christ". Beyond this, Calvin also adds several words at high-emphasis that a study of Galatians doesn't necessarily call for: "doctrine", "Romans", and "power". That refers us straight to themes we have discussed before on this blog, about whether "doctrine" has been put in the place of Christ as what saves you, whether "Romans" as a book is the best touchstone for Christian theology, and whether "power" is over-emphasized in Calvinist circles relative to what is warranted by the Bible. The only minor surprise is not seeing "sovereign" or "sovereignty" in Calvin's list of frequently-used words; it leads me to wonder when exactly that became the identifying badge of Calvinist writings as it is today.
  • Wesley's other questionable moves: Of Paul's most prominent words, compliments to Wesley on not dropping the priority of "brothers" as Luther and Calvin did; Wesley has it as "brethren" which looks like it matches the Bible translation he was using. The only one of Paul's top ten words that Wesley drops from his top 100 is "woman". Wesley, like the others, emphasizes several words that the book of Galatians itself does not call for. In Wesley's case, some noteworthy insertions are: "dispensation", "power", "doctrine", and "glory". We touched on "power" and "doctrine" when looking at Calvin. I am in no position to comment on Wesley's involvement with, or later reference by, theologians who promote a dispensational view, or the prosperity gospel with its focus on glory. The focus on "power" is less in keeping with their general reputation. (Wesley also brings in "Genesis" often enough to register, or its abbreviation "Gen.". But this happens in his notes on what Paul said about Abraham, so isn't out of place.)

The point

I'd like to close with two main thoughts:
  1. People writing commentaries generally insert their own concerns and viewpoints into the commentaries, as we have seen with Luther, Calvin, and Wesley. I should mention: if we keep in mind that this happens when someone writes a commentary, we would almost want each author to insert his own concerns and viewpoints into his commentaries. It's part of why we read them, after all. The problem comes when we take them as "what the Bible really means" instead of "what it meant to this man at this time and place, that may have insight for us too". Unless we recognize the risks and take preventive measures, our sectarian Bible studies may lead us farther apart from each other -- and from the Bible.

    Even if the authors have no intent to be misleading, the final effect can still be the same. If someone would say that changing the emphasis simply brings it into the context of their theology as a whole, that begs the question of exactly how sound is their theology as a whole. Our Bible studies teach more than just the Bible; they teach the preconceptions of those who wrote them. That was the reason for those tedious word clouds; I hope the readers can pardon the brief rounds of tedium in exchange for the undistorted view we got of each author. The authors were allowed to pick their own priorities, and I did not invent an emphasis where none existed, instead taking an objective measure. The biggest potential flaws here are the translators and, in Luther's case, the abridger since apparently his original was so long that it was not translated in full.
  2. On a hopeful note, there is substantial agreement on some important things. The first point of agreement is that we should be studying the Bible. All of these authors thought it well worth their while to study such a book in detail, and centuries later we still think the same. It seems that we are in agreement that studying the Bible can advance insight, wisdom, and knowledge of the truth. It seems that we also agree that we should be faithful to the message given us in the Bible, diligent about seeking exactly what the original writer was trying to tell us, open to growth and insight, willing to correct our own views if needed. We all desire to understand the fullness of God's word. It seems that achieving such an understanding would necessarily unite us.

    One question is whether we can be united now, while we still see in a glass, darkly. Another question is how much our current sectarian system causes the glass to be darker. But if unity can be reached, it will be because we are all still earnestly to this day listening to the words of Peter and Paul and John and all the apostles, and most of all to Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wesley on Galatians: Word Cloud

To give some more variety to this series, I'd also like to add a word cloud level summary of Wesley's commentary on Paul's epistle to the Galatians, which begins at the linked intro and continues for a few more pages from that link. Now Wesley's commentary is so much shorter than the previous two that at places it's simply a series of asides to his contemporary readers to fill gaps that are possible in background knowledge of that language and culture. Still, in places it does contain theological commentary, and so it will be included in this brief case study here.
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Calvin on Galatians: Word Cloud

Luther was not the only theologian to have written a commentary on Galatians. Here is a word cloud level summary of Calvin's commentary on Galatians. The linked text was cleaned of footnotes, introductory notes, materials on other books, and the translation of the text of Paul's epistle into various languages, leaving just the commentary:

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Luther on Galatians: Word Cloud

I think I have come across a way to highlight what happens when different denominations study the Bible. It will be the fourth post out from here -- this being the first -- before the results will be plain. I will try to post more often than once a week while I get this theme developed, as this post and the next two behind it are not difficult to develop. So if I could ask your patience for a few brief posts, I think the point will become clear fairly soon.

This is a word cloud summary of a Bible commentary -- specifically, Luther's commentary on Paul's letter to the Galatians. I found the same on-line version in several places, and it was unfortunately an abridgement. I used the text from Project Gutenberg, with the introductory comments and closing notes omitted. I'd be glad to repeat the exercise with the full text at some point if that is available in English. But for all that, here we can see Luther's emphasis as he discusses the book of Galatians:


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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Word Cloud: Synod of Dort (A Calvinist Confession of Faith)

This continues a long-running project of mine to analyze different Christian theologies, with an ultimate goal of comparing them not only against each other, but also against the New Testament. The Synod of Dort is an early Calvinist confession. The text here was taken from an online source and again is presented without further comment for the moment.

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