Posts tagged ‘Luther’

December 17, 2016

you would have done no better than the people of Bethlehem

There are many of you in this congregation who think to yourselves, “If only I had been there…how happy I would have been to go with the shepherds to see the Lord lying in the manger!” Sure you would! You say that because you know how great Christ is, but if you had been there at that time you would have done no better than the people of Bethlehem. Childish and silly thoughts are these! Why don’t you do it now? You have Christ in your neighbor. You ought to serve him, for what you do to your neighbor in need you do to the Lord Christ himself.

From Martin Luther.

July 16, 2011

concience as captive to the Word of God

While many of the criticisms that Roman Catholics and the Orthodox direct at Protestant use of the Bible are legitimate, both the Catholic appeal to magisterial teaching authority and the Orthodox appeal to unbroken liturgical tradition appear to me to have just as serious problems in using Scripture as Protestants do–though their problems are admittedly different. Nonetheless, especially as a Protestant historian, I’m very much aware that if Martin Luther’s appeal to his conscience as captive to the Word of God solved some very important problems, it also created other and quite serious problems as well.

…The Bible per se is too easily the source of what Luther called “delusions” that arise when the individual conscience runs wild through the scriptural landscape. Instead of the Bible per se, Luther presented the Bible as narrating a particular account of how God encounters human kind. That account is certainly biblical, but it is the narration or message of redemption in Scripture as a whole that can become satisfactory grounding for Christian learning.

“The Place of Scripture in the Modern Christian University” by Mark Noll from The Cresset (June 2011) pages 10 and 12.

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