More mind-bending insights from Luther, this time on why so many people reject God’s gifts and His grace, insisting instead that they themselves merit their salvation. “Then we are the workmen who lay the cornerstone on which God then builds His grace and love, so that He must praise, thank, and adore us. Then we become His gods instead of the other way around.” [Read more…]
I came across one of those stunning and paradigm-shifting quotations from Luther, this one about how God–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–is always giving. Above all, God, in all of His persons, is always giving Himself. [Read more…]
The Wall Street Journal has published an excellent account by Joe Loconte on Luther, the Reformation, and its precursors. He ends up crediting Luther, who insisted that faith is not something that can be coerced, for the Western concept of religious freedom. He then wonders if Islam can ever have such a reform. Read it all, but I’ll quote some of his final paragraphs after the jump. [Read more…]
“It is God’s nature to make something out of nothing; hence one who is not yet nothing, out of him God cannot make anything. . . .Therefore God accepts only the forsaken, cures only the sick, gives sight only to the blind, restores life only to the dead, sanctifies only the sinners, gives wisdom only to the unwise. In short, He has mercy only on those who are wretched, and gives grace only to those who are not in grace.”
–Martin Luther, “Commentary on Psalm 38,” Luther’s Works 14:163. [Read more…]
We keep hearing that today’s church needs to change; that is to say, it needs reformation. What will it take to reform the church? The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, credited or blamed for inventing existentialism, took up this same question. First of all, he said, we need a reformer. And the reformer needs to be like Martin Luther.
It’s fascinating–and perhaps an entry into the mindset of today’s existentialists–to see what Kierkegaard saw in Luther. Read that after the jump, and click the link to see what he had to say about reform and false reform in the church. [Read more…]
The conventional wisdom is that Luther taught total submission to government authorities. But you’ve got to read what he actually wrote about those government authorities. Dr. Matthew Phillips usefully quotes from Luther’s most important treatise on earthly government and the Two Kingdoms, in which he makes the Tea Partiers sound mild. [Read more…]