Tiny Martin Luther toy triggers claims of anti-Semitism

A theologically more correct model will be available in March.

CHR Comment: “Ende” would simply mean the reader is at the last page for that part of the book. It is not intended as a theological statement about the Hebrew Scriptures.

Source: Tiny Martin Luther toy triggers claims of anti-Semitism

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Pope Francis to Honor Martin Luther

Martin Luther created one of Christianity’s greatest rifts when he denounced the Catholic Church in 1517. But Pope Francis is taking part in the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

CHR Comment: This article’s title is written in a shockingly prejudicial way, blaming Luther for the break up of Western Christendom since he criticized practices of medieval Catholicism. A more balance description might acknowledge that Roman Catholicism also acknowledged problems and sought to address them at the Council of Trent and in other actions.

The article itself shows more historical balance.

Source: 500th Anniversary Of The Reformation: Pope Francis To Honor The Man Who Splintered Christianity : Parallels : NPR

Evangelicals Aren’t Who You Think

Most of us aren’t conservative white Trump supporters. We need to reclaim our stolen identity.

CHR Comment: I saved this article back in October before the election. It provides an interesting perspective on what it means to be Evangelical, a term used historically, theologically, and politically in American dialogue.

The term comes from German “evangelisch,” which Martin Luther and other reformers used to describe their churches in the sixteenth century. This was a theological use of the term, referring to the Reformation churches as churches “of the Gospel” in contrast with medieval Catholicism, which focused so much on tradition and piety.

Historically, “evangelisch” came to mean what Protestant means in American Christianity, sort of “not Roman Catholic.” The theological use that focused on the Gospel was obscured over time.

As the article points out, Evangelical in America popularly means born again Christian, although many Protestant churches continue to use it in the older theological or historical sense. Because born again Christians have become very active politically, Evangelical has also become a political term to describe conservative Christian voters and that is the use that Jim Wallis is contending against, adding concern about narrowing use of the term to describe white voters.

Source: Evangelicals aren’t who you think: Jim Wallis

Pope Francis to Lutheran Pilgrims: Seek Unity through Charity

The full text of Pope Francis’ prepared remarks to Lutheran pilgrims in the Vatican on Thursday

CHR Comment: Nearly 500 years ago, the historic disruption of western Christendom took place as Protestants and Roman Christians disagreed on the doctrine of justification. The dialogue between liberal Lutheran church leaders and the papacy has continued for decades. Pope Francis expresses his hope that the dialogue will end in “communion.” Anticipate something taking place during the upcoming Reformation anniversary observances in 2017.

Source: Pope Francis to Lutheran pilgrims: seek unity through charity – Vatican Radio

Puritan Preacher Elkanah Wales

CHR Comment: Elkanah Wales (1588-1669) of Pudsey was a faithful pastor and preacher who was ousted from service during the Great Ejection of 1662 when several thousand ministers were forced out of the Church of England. Pastor Wales continued to preach and teach house to house and was arrested for his activities. He died at 80 years old. His farewell sermon was published under the title Mount Ebal levell’d or redemption from the curse. The links below are to essays exploring his work. His book is available over Google Books at the third link below.

On a personal note, Elkanah Wales was apparently an ancestor on my mother’s side of the family.

Source: Elkanah Wales of Pudsey (1)

Elkanah Wales of Pudsey, Part 2

Mount Ebal Levell’d

Great Scottish Witch Hunt of 1597

Historians have uncovered evidence that St Mary’s Chapel (pictured) at the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen was used as a prison for 24 witches during the Great Scottish Witch Hunt of 1597.

CHR Comment: The witch hunt was conducted by Protestants and meticulously described in official records. Historians have recently discovered the role of St. Mary’s Chapel in the East Church, which served as the holding sell before someone was taken to be burned. The Scottish witch hunt was part of a broader phenomenon in Europe at this time. The Salem Witch Trials in New England occurred about 100 years later. This article includes numerous photographs of the church.

Source: Witch prison found in Scotland’s St Mary’s Chapel at the Kirk of St Nicholas | Daily Mail Online