Weighing in on the Reformation reveals opinions as diverse as what to make of the recent indictments handed down by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Team.
Nathan Finn offered the following from his Facebook Page yesterday:
On the eve of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I’m preparing myself for what Facebook will look like tomorrow. Here are my predictions:
1. My friends who are Calvinists will be giving three loud and hearty cheers for the Reformation, then heading to the local pub to celebrate
2. My friends who love the Anabaptists will be demanding that we remember that the reformers persecuted the Anabaptists, who were the real good guys of the era because #Baptists
3. My friends who are Lutherans will be complaining that they started this whole thing, so the Baptists need to get off their lawn
4. My friends who are Anglicans will be “lamenting” the Reformation because of the “fragmentation” it caused, while also definitely not praying to Mary, believing in papal authority, celebrating mass for the dead, or purchasing indulgences
5. My friends who are non-denominational will wonder what the big deal is with this whole Reformation thingee and talk about how tragic it was that Martin Luther was assassinated in Memphis in 1968
6. My friends who are feminists will be reminding everyone (rightly) not to forget Katherina Luther, Lady Jane Grey, and Argula von Grumbach
7. My friends who are trained historians will be reminding us of all the nuance that is being missed with these plebeian celebrations of the European reformations
8. My friends who are secularists will find a way to blame the Reformation for President Trump
9. My friends who are normal people will ask, yet again, why theology nerds are talking so much about the Reformation while everyone else is posting pictures of their kids’ precious Halloween outfits
10. My friends who are Catholics will be enduring the day patiently, perhaps off of Facebook, whilst clinching their fists in defiance and saying, “Here I stand!”
No doubt you have seen others.
Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography
My friend Marty offers an opportunity to review books for Lifeway Pastors. I need to write one up for him on Herman Selderhuis’ recent, Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography. While he waits, I wanted to give away a hardback copy of this new book.
Selderhuis takes up Luther’s life, a chronology if you will, charted by first locating Luther in his world and then through his various periods – Child, Student, Monk, Exegete, Theologian, Architect, Reformer, Father, Professor, and Prophet. Where available Selderhuis provides a quote from Luther or those whose primary sources help to amplify the context in which the thoughts emerged.
One point that Jason Micheli and I were texting about is what drove Luther to pursue a solution for the Law under which he lived in fear. Any and every expression of church, every one of them, risks create a Law of something good. Castigating Luther’s Catholicism is to need to re-hear Jesus’ speck and log reference.
Luther feared leading Mass at his own sense of inadequacy.
Before they could have a festive meal together, however, a very important and serious event had to take place, Luther was not only nervous and stressed, as one would expect at such an event, but he also realized that a mistake in the pronouncement of the ritual of the mass would be seen as a sin. . . .
When I was still a monk, and read the words of the liturgy of the mass for the first time, “Therefore, O merciful Father” etc., We present to You, the Living, True, and Eternal One,” I was utterly stupefied, and terror-stricken by these words. Because I thought: how can I as mere man address the divine Majesty as if I was in the presence of or in discussion with a sovereign or king?
The very fear of his own lack exact performance was made worse knowing his words and gestures while presenting the liturgy and the Eucharist may, in fact, provide an occasion to sin illustrates the power of what is good become Law. Even today we need to reform our understanding of Grace such that it reminds of freedom, not fear.
A Copy for You, Or One of You
Here is how to enter the Giveaway for a hardback copy of Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography by Herman Selderhuis.
- Go like the Patheological Facebook Page, also known as The Edge of the Inside.
- Subscribe to the Patheolgoical Podcast
- Subscribe to the Patheological Newsletter – In the right sidebar
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- Leave a comment on this post how many of these you have done. One entry for each action.
If you have already done all the above in the past, go to iTunes and leave a rating and review. Leave a comment on this post when you do.
I will choose a random winner at Noon on Friday, November 3