Get Insulted by Martin Luther

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Has It All Been Said?

I’m making my way through Wolf Hall, an amazing and complex novel based in England during the reign of Henry VIII. Many of the characters — all Catholic so far — are wringing their hands in consternation over the writings of Martin Luther. Those writings are making it into the hands of some of the young theological scholars in Henry’s court, and are, of course, having an influence.

Which got me to thinking about how earth-shattering were Luther’s writings in his day. His writings were outrageous, but not in a crazy way. In a way that made complete sense to an entire swath of Christendom.

And further got me wondering if anything today could have such a profound impact on how millions of people understand God.

I don’t think so. With millions of megabytes of data being added to the internet everyday — much of it outrageous — I think that we may be beyond the outrageous, at least theologically. Also, there is no one, monolithic theological institution to be outraged, as there was in Luther’s day.

It did occur to me that some breakthrough in science could turn everything upside down, as Luther did.

What say you? Is there anything new to be said about God?