Monday, June 23, 2008

Selectively repeating what Luther said

The more I read Luther's works that are in the BoC such as his Large Catechism, the more I appreciate his great gift of insight into the Scriptures. I believe that Luther was a dear wise man and should be considered a Church Father. Of course staunch RC fanats would spit on his gravy.

As much as Luther said many wise things, he said some pretty stupid things too. Here is one of them

I would rather have pure blood with the Pope, than drink mere wine with the
Enthusiasts. (Luther's Works, 37, 317)


Most of those who repeat this saying like to sharpen the division between Luther and the Zwinglians (read - the modern evangelicals). IMHO, the people who repeat this saying usually are high church people, as if by repeating this saying it would bolster or strengthen their position or their program.

I am just wondering, why they do not also repeat what Luther said about the Jews and Germans . They don't, because common sense says that those statements are stupid comments nurtured and blurted out of frustration.

Just have a bit of horse sense, you become stupid when you agree with stupid statements.

47 comments:

steve martin said...

Absolutely!

Luther said many stupid things and he said many wonderful things.

Just as we do theology to ascertain what God is all about, we ought examine a person to see what they are about and not pull out a quote here and there that would advance our agenda.

For a man who (for the better part of his adult life) had virtually everything he said publicly written down and much of what he said privately, this picking and choosing without the broader examination, can give us a false picture and lead us down a path we ought not travel.

Doorman-Priest said...

He wasn't a great fan of the Jews either.

Oh, its O.K. though, he was a man of his age.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the judgment of this particular statement as stupid, rather than insightful is subjective. Of course, I am on the high-church end of things as well, so there you go. ;-)

That said, any time any authority is appealed to, there is some degree of selectivity. Do any of us really think that the Fathers taught the Reformation solas, just because we find them cited in favor of the solas in the Book of Concord? Then we haven't really done our reading, have we?

Being what I am, a Christian with sacramental leanings, I have to agree with Luther's stupid statement. A deepening of the divide between Lutherans and Zwinglians is better than a pervasive receptionism any day.

L P Cruz said...

Anonymous,

It seems to me that the judgment of this particular statement as stupid, rather than insightful is subjective. Of course, I am on the high-church end of things as well, so there you go. ;-)


You do prove my observation correct. Thanks for that.


Do any of us really think that the Fathers taught the Reformation solas, just because we find them cited in favor of the solas in the Book of Concord? Then we haven't really done our reading, have we?


Certainly it won't be me. We only repeat what we find sensibly in accord with Scripture, those that are not should be left in the dust bin.

I also have sacramental leanings, but I do not agree with Luther's stupid statement because I would not drink blood with the Pope.

Most of the time those who repeat it have Roman predilections. Yet, Luther did not attend the Regensberg Colloquy finding the talk with Roman reconciliation a waste of time.

Receptionism? Rejecting the statement has nothing to do with that but accepting it has something more to do with Roman-phelia.

Roman-phelia, oops I surprized myself, I did not know I could invent such a word.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

Steve M/D.P./Anonymous,

I wish to add though that most of the time the said statement is repeated to lump the Reformed/Calvinists with the Zwinglians. This is not a good thing because Calvinists officially are not Zwinglians when it comes to the Supper.

Calvinists by their documents and Calvin's exposition recognize the spiritual presence, a presence nevertheless but it is not mere symbolic which Zwinglians and non-denoms are prone to believe.

To say that something is present and to say that it is mere symbolic are not the same categories.

That is really worse because it gives guilt to those who are innocent.

I still find Calvin's view of the Supper of course defective and in many respects he is confusing (and not as thorough gowing as Luther).

With Luther, you know where he is coming from.

Clearly some of his "stupid" statements where borne out of anger and frustration. He has no tolerance for block heads and impatient.

Therefore, his statements should be looked at in context and occassion, so I dare not repeat the statements he made when he was livid with anger.

We say stupid things which we do not mean when we are angry and I would ask people not to embarrass me by not repeating the words I said out of haste, when I was not in my right mind.

Would you not wish the same?


LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

"Do any of us really think that the Fathers taught the Reformation solas, just because we find them cited in favor of the solas in the Book of Concord? Then we haven't really done our reading, have we?"

The Early Church Fathers were cited in the BoC and Chemnitz to demonstrate precedence not without good reason. Did the Lutheran Fathers, including Chemnitz really believed that it was Rome which had departed from the apostolic and catholic Faith and not Luther? You can bet your last dollar, that they did.

Did the Early Church Fathers really taught sola Scriptura, sola fide? Yes, they did which is why even the conception of Scripture and Tradition differs from Rome to Constantinople, not to mention the idea of "Apostolic Succession", conciliar reception, the nature of canon law, etc.

Yes, Luther was much closer to the Early Church Fathers, both East and West, notwithstanding the later developments known as Lutheran Orthodoxy with its scholasticism. In this respect, Augustine did not exactly formulate an ordo salutis much like how the Fathers of the Lutheran Orthodoxy period did. Augustine taught predestination and he also taught justification which post-Reformation theology might identify as sanctification.

Luther was very close to Augustine in this respect. This might come as a shock to those accustomed to seeing Luther through the eyes of evangelicalism. But Luther taught that justification and sanctification were the same thing. The difference between him and the Roman Church was this. Justification is not by infused grace and hence implies an immanent moral progress towards the goal of beatific vision, but a matter of death and life so powerfully represented by Baptism. The Word of the Gospel does not only declare forgiveness of sins but actually kills the Old man so that the New Man is raised up. There is therefore no continuity whatsoever between the Old and the New. New means completely, totally, radically, etc. new. So, the whole man is justified, sanctified, etc. It is therefore the movement of the Kingdom of God towards the Old Man and this present age.

Simul iustus et peccator.

Augustine taught predestination and baptismal regeneration. Luther taught predestination and baptismal regeneration. Sure, it is arguable that Augustine may have looked at justification/sanctification as a progress. But all that is dependent on predestination something which is becoming more and more obscured in the Roman Church!

L P Cruz said...

A.S.

Good point on the solas.

Certainly the tenor of the Church Fathers did agree with the solas. The discussion of course was not as hightened as it was during the Reformation because they were discussing things that were different at that time.

On a side note, when I was in Perth I visited some high church Anglican Churches. These churches were of the Anglo-Catholic bent.

Yet in all of their high churchiness, they do have a female Bishop presiding over one of their worship services.

The point I am making lest some folk equate high churchmanship with orthodox belief, is that high churchmanship has nothing to do with orthodoxy of belief and practice.

You can be high church and still miss JBFA.

LPC

Past Elder said...

I would rather drink the blood of Christ with Luther and the pope than wine with the "evangelicals".

The connexion between the Real Presence and the core of Christian faith is so essential that Luther would not grant the name Christian to those who missed it.

The only writings of Luther that are confessional are the Small and Large Catechisms. Elsewhere in those confessional writings, we are described as zealously defending and guarding the mass, and preserving its forms in the majority, the only criterion being doctrine rather than "common sense" or a liturgical programme. That is because of JBFA, not in spite of it.

A spiritual or a symbolic presence is in no sense comparable to the Real Presence. It's like saying a true statement and a false statement are both statements so what's the big deal.

One may indeed conserve liturgy without conserving JBFA. One may not conserve JBFA without conserving the liturgy.

Non-liturgical, lightly liturgical or freely liturgical worship is what it is precisely because of its departure from the Lutheran Reformation.

How some of Luther's other non-confessional statements on unrelated topics relate to this one is less than clear.

L P Cruz said...

Hmmm
I would rather drink the blood of Christ with Luther and the pope than wine with the "evangelicals".


I would rather drink the blood of Christ with Luther rather than drink it with the pope or wine with the evangelicals.

Why do you always have to include the Pope?

One may not conserve JBFA without conserving the liturgy

I am studying this statement, my initial smell is that it is the odour of some new law.

A new Law has occured when an adiaphora has been turned to the Law, this is not JBFA.

It can be a smoke screen.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

BTW,

Folk always use the word 'liturgy' without defining the components and categories found in it.

That is why there is a war that should not have been declared. A deflection from JBFA.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

"One may not conserve JBFA without conserving the liturgy".

And Rome has not conserved the Liturgy. It has added to the Liturgy by making that which is adiaphora into Law.

Augustinian Successor said...

"The point I am making lest some folk equate high churchmanship with orthodox belief, is that high churchmanship has nothing to do with orthodoxy of belief and practice."

Touche, Big Brother Lito! Point well taken. It's simply hilarious to think that high churchmanship equates orthodoxy. The EO is as much infected by Neo-Platonism as the Roman Church is with Aristotle. This is the one principal reason why Luther had to leave the Church for he could not accept the incipient paganism.

And talk about quia subscription ... if you doubt, sincerely doubt the accuracy of quoting the Fathers as practiced in the Lutheran tradition of supporting the solas, then why call yourself "confessional" in the first place? What a joke. This has surely got to be another joke of the year with regards to the so-called anti-Ablaze crowd.

The answer to Ablaze is not Piepkorn and the Liturgy but Walther and the Gospel. For the Church is emphatically not a creature of the liturgy but of the gospel (creature evangelii).

L P Cruz said...

For the Church is emphatically not a creature of the liturgy but of the gospel (creature evangelii).

How so true! Right on bro.

I noticed that all sorts of contortions happen when one starts mixing categories.

I am amazed that folk equate the Gospel with the Liturgy. While the Liturgy may support the Gospel, the Gospel is of entirely different category from the Liturgy/Rites/Rituals.

When categories are started to mix, then you get the plusses which result in Romanism, so that a Reformation has to happen to delete the things added --- added to the Gospel.


LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Big Brother Lito,

What the crypto-papists don't understand is the fact that the Liturgy flows out of the Gospel. The Liturgy is as much a creature of the Gospel as the Church is. The Divine Liturgy therefore is meant provide the setting whereby the Gospel can be unbound and loosed --- Law and Gospel: The Two-Edged Sword of the Word --- instead of bound and shackled like what Rome does in her Liturgy. This is why the Sacrifice of the Mass deviates from the Gospel, displaces the true proclamation of the Gospel and distorts the meaning of the Gospel.

The Sacrifice of the Mass is an abomination of the Gospel. Why can't crypto-papists understand that? Why go back to bondage when you have been set free? Or have they been set free indeed? The Sacrifice of the Mass is about conditions. The Gospel is unconditional. Jesus died for you. Period.

The Sacrifice of the Mass qualifies that by saying Jesus died for you but you must prove yourself worthy by taking part in the Cross through the Sacrifice of the Mass. That's the height of nonsense.

Jesus died for *sinners*, the ungodly, etc. But in the Roman scheme, Jesus's death truly avails only to those who demonstrate their association with Jesus on the Cross through the Sacrifice of the Mass. So, it means the Body of Christ ends up cooperating with Jesus in saving itself. But this means that Jesus' death is not sufficient, necessary but not sufficient to procure actual salvation on behalf of the Church! Sufficient for the whole world but only in the abstract, concretely it is only efficient for those whoby grace enabled to emulate the example of Jesus's self-giving and sacrificial love on the Cross.

So, the sequence is reversed. Jesus as Exemplum comes first and only then as Sacramentum. So the Sacrament only avails when one follows the Example first.

Why would anyone would calls himself a confessional Lutheran want to follow that line??? It beggars belief ...

Past Elder said...

No-one (here) equates Gospel and Liturgy.

No-one is defending the Roman Sacrifice of the Mass.

No-one equates high churchmanship with orthodoxy.

If you do not get that, then I suggest it is you who does not understand that the Liturgy flows from the Gospel.

L P Cruz said...

If you do not get that, then I suggest it is you who does not understand that the Liturgy flows from the Gospel

Fair enough P.E.

None over here has not been nuts enough to suggest that liturgy and Gospel are equal brazenly speaking but they way people talk, what they say speak louder than what they deny.

Most in the Liturgical movement do not qualify the components and categories in it. Secondly I hear them making a lot more noise on saying we have not worshipped correctly because this or that is not followed etc etc.



Are you trying to suggest that evangelicals do not have a liturgy? I can assure you as an ex-pentecostal they do.

Their liturgy may not enhance the Gospel but they do have a liturgy nevertheless.

I was in an evangelistic service that followed an informal liturgy and I believe I heard the gospel clearly in that service.

So I am trying to understand people's woodened attraction and loyalty to a liturgy. Either a liturgy is useful or it is distracting.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Past Elder insists that he is not equating the Gospel with the Liturgy nor high churchmanship with orthodoxy. Yet, this is precisely what he and the crypto-papists with whom he associates are doing. They deny it but this is what they actually mean and practice.

Is high churchmanship the only proper way to connect with the church of the past? We all know what the crypto-papists think.

Is the Gospel more important than the Liturgy or just as important? We all know what the crypto-papists think on this issue. For them, the Liturgy is what defines them as confessional Lutherans.

So, PE may not be a crypto-papist but he's their apologist all the same. I suggest that you, i.e. PE re-read your previous post when you said "One may not conserve JBFA without conserving the liturgy," and tell us if you still think that that statement is saying that the Gospel is not to be equated with the Liturgy???

One more thing. Rome neither conserve the Gospel nor the Liturgy.

Past Elder said...

"Rome neither conserve the Gospel nor the Liturgy." Even if we clean that up -- Rome conserves neither the Gospel nor the Liturgy -- since I assert neither that Rome conserves the Gospel nor that Rome conserves the Liturgy, there would seem to be no point.

As to "One may not conserve JBFA without conserving the liturgy", perhaps when you figure out if you are Anglican, Lutheran or Reformed instead of trying to be all three at once it may come clear that no, that does not equate Gospel and Liturgy.

Augustinian Successor said...

Then Past Elder, you are neither here nor there. Which means that you are not sure what confessional Lutheranism means. See the point?

Well, doubles-speak will not get any one anywhere, especially in theology. That's the last "frontier" to engage in that ...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous here again. For the record, I don't believe being high church has anything to do with my perception of Luther's statement as something other than "stupid". The question for me does not amount to whether I am in fellowship with the pope or not, but whether I receive Christ at the altar. Should the day come when there is no longer a Confessional Lutheran option for me, will I embrace Zwinglianism, Calvinism, or Romanism? The choice is clear, because I must have Christ. I think this is precisely the sort of dilemma Luther envisioned when he made the statement under consideration.

Back to the Church Fathers, though. I can't resist pointing to the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 27 where Melanchthon cites Cyprian against the Roman position on the Papacy. It's laughable, to be honest, that this passes without comment in our seminary classes, because it is, in truth, a fallacious use of Cyprian, at least. The others, as far as I have been able to discern, present a variety of views on the issue under consideration in that paragraph. Only Bede, out of the five listed, presents a position that is even remotely like the Lutheran position.

That said, I find it hard to accept that the "tenor" of the Fathers is in keeping with the Solas. It's easy to pick and choose from them and make it seem like they are teaching the Solas, but they are not, at least not in the Reformation sense. Sola fide for them does not equal "I can believe in Jesus and sit on my backside and still get into heaven", which is, quite honestly, what afflicts many of our congregations today. Sola scriptura without a tradition of interpretation to keep us from heresy was also out of the question for them. Sola gratia without a gratia infusa or a participation in the energies of the Godhead? Also out of the question. Forensic justification without the righteousness of Christ being infused into us? They wouldn't understand that either. I would be delighted if you could prove me wrong, but I have read too extensively over the last couple of years to be able to sit back and say "the Fathers taught Lutheranism" any longer.

Now that I have said that, let it be known that I am still Lutheran by conviction, even though I see the conflict between the Church Fathers and the Confessions. I am in no danger at present of either 'poping' or 'going east'. But I do think that being honest with the Fathers is essential to maintaining any sort of credibility as we deal with Rome and Constantinople on the basis of *the Scriptures*.

L P Cruz said...

Anonymous

I am glad you came back.

re: the Fathers, they are to be used to substantiate a position if it has merits but they add no big value if what they add conflicts with Scripture.

The issue on the table is this- does the Lutheran position reflect soundly the teaching of Scripture?

My answer is yes.

Give me some context are you coming from an American Confessional Lutheran position?

Because in my view a hardened even fundamentalist position exist in that side of confessionalism and I won't be surprized if some go a poping.

Over here I am led to believe that we subscribe to the "meaning of the words" of the confession, we DO NOT subscribe to the words per se. Because that would make the confession equal to the Bible, and it is not.

In fact I hear some folk in US that we should not use the Bible to interpret the confession - !! Please excuse my French - but that is a lot of b.s. If the confession is only sounding the Scripture, then you can use the Scripture to validate the notes coming out of the confesson. I wish to blog about this in the next few days. I became Lutheran with the Bible in my hand and the Confessions on the other and the reason why I am in a position now that I am in is because I assessed that the Confession has been faithful to state what Scripture states re:justification.

I can believe in Jesus and sit on my backside and still get into heaven

As far as my reading of the Confessions are concerned -- THAT IS NOT LUTHERANISM either, so some one is painting you some picture of Lutheranism. I can quote you tons of passages in the confession that sanctification or good works is stated again and again and is recognized by the confession, but when I hear articulators there in the US they paint a picture that there is no such thing (if I am wrong, in assuming you are from the US, forgive me, but let me know some context).

I am sacramental too, but repeating the "stupid" statement gives the impression that you have more in common with the pope than with evangelicals. This is Evangelo-phoebia which is permeating confessionalism in the USA in favor of Roma-phelia.

LPC

Anonymous said...

Greetings again.

To be entirely honest, I am not using the word stupid because I thought it, but because it had already been used here when I got here. I think that what Luther said makes a point--the same point he made when he told Zwingli at Marburg that he had a different spirit--meaning, of course, that Luther had written Zwingli off as a non-Christian. There is something very final about both statements, that points to where Luther was on this sacramental issue. Sacraments are as essential to the Christian faith as the preaching of the Word, because if we do not have them we are deprived of God's guaranteed means for delivering his grace. This is why I don't think Luther's statement is stupid--not my word, your word. Because it's not about Rome or Wittenberg or Constantinople, it's about Christ and Church, which are entirely determined by Christ's Word and Sacraments. That's where I think Luther is pointing. For the Reformed to point to Christ but say that Christ didn't know what he was saying when he said "This is my body; This is my blood," is, frankly, blasphemous. It is of a different spirit, to use Luther's own words once again, and that, frankly, is a spirit I don't want to have anything to do with, since it is a spirit that is willing to contradict Christ in the name of a theological system.

That said, the same thing happens inside Lutheranism in the form of a movement (even present among my classmates) that would term ITSELF antinomian. They question the value of preaching sanctification, and some of them even insist that it should never be done. It's not Scriptural, it's not confessional, and it's not Lutheran. But some of them hold with the Majorists that good works, done consciously, are harmful to one's faith. That's nonsense, and not Lutheran either.

Perhaps I have confused the issue with my patristic ramblings. Kudos for your holding to the Confessions and norming the Confessions by the Scriptures, rather than the other way around. There were some at the Seminary that cautioned me to read the Church Fathers through the Confessions. I informed them that I read both Fathers and Confessions through the Scriptures--that is, in close consultation with them, allowing the Scriptures to shut down, unilaterally, any given argument that any man may make. Because the Confessions didn't come by inspiration-- their truth is derivative, coming from the Scriptures, not norming the Scriptures but showing us the correct interpretation of passages that were in question at the time the documents were written.

To contextualize this a bit, I am a Lutheran clergyman in the USA. When it comes down to reading of the confessions, you are correct, but nobody is painting me a picture of anything. I know people who have gone to Rome, gone East, gone antinomian, and others who have remained faithful, confessional Lutherans. I myself? I don't categorize very well. Read Gerhard-- I agree with him 99% of the time on any issue.

I am not afraid of evangelicalism, but I recognize it for what it is--Reformed. When it comes right down to it, the conservative reformation, that is, Lutheranism, has more in common with Rome than with Wheaton, because we accept Christ's word. "This is my body." In that respect, I do have more in common with the Pope and Patriarch than with Josh McDowell. What more can a guy say?

Pax tecum.

Augustinian Successor said...

"But I do think that being honest with the Fathers is essential to maintaining any sort of credibility as we deal with Rome and Constantinople on the basis of *the Scriptures*."

Anon, you're not listening. It's simply hilarious reading your posts. Do you reall think that Rome and the East do not pick and choose, gloss over, etc. etc. the teachings of the Fathers???

Here theology 101 for you. Let's pick two of the great doctors of the Latin Church, shall we? St. Augustine's view on the Lord Supper is what is held today by the Reformed (including Anglican) today, not Rome. Shall I add predestination too (which is *now* just a theological opinion/theologoumena?)

St. Jerome who translated the Masoretic Text ("Urtext") alongside the "Western-text type" Greek MSS into the Vulgate rejected the Apocrypha decreed by Trent to be part of the Bible (although the question of the precise relation between the protocanon and deuterocanon is left open). This despite there was no consensus patri, differences of opinion about the status of the Apocrypha. Cardinal Ximenes who translated the Complutensian Polyglot emphatically rejected the Apocrypha as non-canonical. Cardinal Cajetan who opposed Luther at the Diet of Augsburg concurred.

That's honesty and Rome and EO are not being honest in varying degrees.

Augustinian Successor said...

"I am not afraid of evangelicalism, but I recognize it for what it is--Reformed. When it comes right down to it, the conservative reformation, that is, Lutheranism, has more in common with Rome than with Wheaton, because we accept Christ's word. "This is my body." In that respect, I do have more in common with the Pope and Patriarch than with Josh McDowell. What more can a guy say?"

A couple of things: You have gotta be kidding yourself.

Josh McDowell is Reformed? He believes in the Five Points of Calvinism? He holds to the Reformed understanding of the Lord's Supper?

The Pope has more in common with the Lutheran than with Josh McDowell? Really? Does the Pope believe in say justification by faith alone? Can the Pope really affirm that salvation from beginning to the end is all by faith alone? That it is therefore monergistic?

What more can I say?

Augustinian Successor said...

"To contextualize this a bit, I am a Lutheran clergyman in the USA. When it comes down to reading of the confessions, you are correct, but nobody is painting me a picture of anything. I know people who have gone to Rome, gone East, gone antinomian, and others who have remained faithful, confessional Lutherans. I myself? I don't categorize very well. Read Gerhard-- I agree with him 99% of the time on any issue."

It's sad that folks are quick to jump on the bandwagon simply because they think that Lutheranism as they think they know it is not here to stay so to speak. So they look East or Rome.

Sigh ... do you really, sincerely, think that Rome has not changed??? Or the East??? Rome has gone from nulla salus extra ecclesiam to separated brethren, Jews and Moslems worship the same God, and pagans can be saved through invicible ignorance ...

The East has gone from the tenor of the Eastern Fathers to Byzantinism, hence from the procession of the Spirit from the Father through the Son to the from the Father only; from the Scripture as the norma normans nons normata to Scripture as part of Tradition although with an unique ultimacy, from the salvation of the totus homo via Sacramentum to the transfiguration of the totus homo via Exemplum (Hesychasm) ...

Augustine taught double predestination which the Reformed conserved. Augustine taught a spiritual understanding of the Presence which the Reformed conserved. Augustine taught a monergistic conception of sanctification which Luther conserved. Augustine taught baptismal regeneration in which the reatus (liability), culpa (guilt) of Original Sin is covered but not removed: both the Reformed and Lutheran have conserved this. Rome denies that concupiscence is sin.

No, you are mistaken. Newman was mistaken. Which is why he had to appealed to illative sense. Can you imagine St. Paul appealling to "illative sense"? He appealed to Scripture alone (by explicit statements and by deduction alongside incorporating certain pagan terminology)

Can you imagine Our Lord appealing to "illative sense"? What does Matthew 13 says?

Sigh, people think they're clever by perverting Rome or EO? Newman wasn't clever. He was foolish, blinded by personal ego and so on ...

We have Luther, why do want the Pope??? I follow Luther, hence I denounce the Pope. Amen.

L P Cruz said...

Anonymous,

I enjoy this interaction...
Reformed to point to Christ but say that Christ didn't know what he was saying when he said "This is my body; This is my blood," is, frankly, blasphemous. It is of a different spirit, to use Luther's own words once again, and that, frankly, is a spirit I don't want to have anything to do with, since it is a spirit that is willing to contradict Christ in the name of a theological system

Some Reformed folk may say what you said - but if you read Calvin, Calvin was not Zwinglian, try not to confuse the two, which I often see people in the US confessionalism often do, it does not win good points and it only makes us appear bigots.

The problem with folk there is that they are not trying to win the Reformed into their side - they are always paint them as the bogey man. We can disagree with them without attributing more crime which they have not committed.

As I said, I still think it is defective, but the way folk repeat the Luther statement is precisely to lampoon the Reformed.

So would you repeat the statement of the Lutheran hang man who executed a Calvinist prince, who said "Better to be a Papist than a Calvinist"?


Technically lumping Reformed to include "evangelicals" is not accurate, evangelicals are arminians while the Reformed are not. As a quick handle amongst Lutherans that may work but scholarly speaking, they should be distinguished - there are a variety of Reformed species around.

You guys still seem to be fighting the controversy of long ago - the Reformed have been put in their place by the Formula and Solid Declarations, it is time to move on by discussing the differences as gentlemen.

If Luther considered Zwingli not a CHristian, I am not sure if I should, I am not bound to all that Luther said - besides it will mean I am substituting Luther as my new pope. In other words I may be Lutheran but I am really Roman because I carry the same paradigm.

That said, the same thing happens inside Lutheranism in the form of a movement (even present among my classmates) that would term ITSELF antinomian. They question the value of preaching sanctification, and some of them even insist that it should never be done. It's not Scriptural, it's not confessional, and it's not Lutheran. But some of them hold with the Majorists that good works, done consciously, are harmful to one's faith. That's nonsense, and not Lutheran either.


Agree with you completely.


In that respect, I do have more in common with the Pope and Patriarch than with Josh McDowell. What more can a guy say?



I am a former RC kid. Believe me you don't - because the Pope does not recognize your Supper.

Your Supper is bogus because you do not have the Apostolic Succession.

The validity of your sacraments is dependent on your pedigree as a minister, so you do not have anything in common with the Pope.

Lutheran stand on its own, that is not hard to take, the question again is this - I do not care if Lutheranism is alone - I care only that I am satisfied that its position is Biblical.

Comparisons are always subjective and faulty - it comes in many angles but I have nothing in common with the Pope at the end of the day.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

"Sola gratia without a gratia infusa or a participation in the energies of the Godhead? Also out of the question. Forensic justification without the righteousness of Christ being infused into us? They wouldn't understand that either."

What are you, Reformed? You said you are emphatically not Reformed, and now you sounding like Reformed. By the way, if there is ever one thing both Reformed and Roman have one thing in common, that is gratia infusa. Regeneration is a particular illuminating point to compare.

Why don't you read Luther and see what he says on the gratia infusa? Luther that in Baptism, one is drowned. That means death. And at the same time, the whole man is raised up again in newness of life as the New Adam. This is so basic to *Lutheran* theology. There is no continuity between the old and the new. The whole man, is not a continuous existing subject. Infused grace is predicated on that.

Luther did away with the medieval thinking on the matter and turn everything on its head by insisting that it is not we who reclaim grace, but Jesus who reclaim us. Grace is not ontological, it is eschatological. The coming, invasion, the advance of the New Age towards the Old Age of here and now, time and space.

Grace is not about progression, but something entirely new. It's not a repair job, which is why Rome is consistent in holding to infused grace and the Reformed is not. Grace does not enable you to be more free and free; Jesus says that when He sets you free by the Truth, you will be free indeed.

Simul iustus et peccator. The Christian is completely graceful in the sight of God and at the same completely sinful.

Sigh ... talking about infused grace from a so-called Lutheran pastor as if that makes him catholic (with a small c)! Is that really catholic? St. Paul says that in water Baptism you have died. That's infused grace???

L P Cruz said...

A.S.
Augustine taught a spiritual understanding of the Presence which the Reformed conserved

I am glad you mentioned Reformed or Calvin's idea of the Supper.

Calvin's idea of the Supper has been articulated that in some sense he is closer to the Early Eastern Church Fathers' understanding of it.

My problem with Calvin was that his articulation do not go far enough to be forthright like Luther.

Calvin was not Zwinglian.
I keep on repeating this, Zwingli was not really Reformed either because Zwingli believed in some synergistic idea.

The problem is that people are repeating what they heard I suspect from the representation of Calvin from their seminary professors who themselves have not studied Calvin.

I have been to a Presbyterian worship service wherein the institution is repeated without comment - this is my body given for you.

So this over generalization of Reformed is not good, it does not take account of the fluidity of the Reformed, that there are Reformed folk that also agree with the Lutheran position.

I am not saying that they have become Lutheran - by no means, what I am saying is that one must be aware of the variety and diversity in that camp.

LPC

Anonymous said...

I apologize for slipping into a broad generalization that we make in Lutheran theological circles. By "Reformed" what I meant was deriving from Church bodies with a reformation origin other than Luther's. Quite often, and not all that smartly, I might add, we use "Reformed" as shorthand for everybody who came after the initial burst of the Reformation. To bring in a word that figured rather largely in bringing me to comment originally, "stupid" of us to use it that way.

That said, broad evangelicalism, evangelicalism in the sense in which I understand you to be using it, doesn't necessarily hold across the board to "salvation from beginning to end is by faith alone", either. I spent time in Pentecostal, Baptist, non-denominational charismatic and Free Church environments before a strong flirtation with Roman Catholicism, which I rejected because of the Roman rejection of Sola Fide, incidentally, and landed on my feet as a Lutheran. None of the bodies that I was associated with insisted on salvation "from beginning to end by faith alone"--there was always some element of works involved, and the end of it all was an ever-increasing approximation of the Roman perspective.

That said, I am listening, but I am afraid that I am not being listened to with quite the same effort. I think when you suggest we take a step back to Theology 101 what you are aiming at is a basic course in patristics, so humor me. Augustine and Jerome were both Western, had a close relationship with each other, and hammered out many of these issues in dialog with each other--through a healthy give and take with each other. There are other Fathers-- I see you like Fulgentius, closely tied to Augustine both geographically and theologically. Have you read Chrysostom? Basil? Gregory? How about Rufinus? Cyprian? Then you are being very selective and narrow in your reading. You might indeed be able to pull out a quote here and a quote there to support your own perspective on these things, but the fact of the matter is that any such compilations of these that I have seen in 10 years of reading theology and six years of doing it exclusively as my day to day occupation have run to three or four pages-- all drawn from tens of thousands of pages of works translated into English at present.

Honesty is a good thing. Let's be honest that Jerome was in the minority on the Apocrypha. Let's be honest that Augustine opposed him on the issue of translating the Psalms from the MT instead of the LXX. Let's be honest that both of them held to the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God. And when you have read as much Augustine as I have you will see that he does not hold to a Reformation-style sola fide, but to an infused grace that enables Christians to to works that have merit before God, a much more Roman position than you or I would be comfortable with.

It's apparent that I have fallen in with protestants, and I am accomplishing little more than provoking polemic. I apologize for interrupting, and take my leave.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.

Augustinian Successor said...

Anon,

You are not listening. Augustine changed his views on the Apocrypha later on. You are not even aware of the distinction between the canon proper and ecclesiastical canon. The Apocrypha was read together with the protocanon at public worship which was part of the liturgical tradition of the North African churches. This is theology 101 for you. Read Augustine's City of God and his commentary on Daniel, where he discusses amongst other things Bel and the Dragon. And Rufinus rejected the Apocrypha. Why? because he had spend some time in Egypt and Jerusalem and thus came into contact with Origen's views on the Apocrypha. Rufinus supported Jerome on the Apocrypha.

It's obvious you do not understand the issues at hand. There was no consensus on the Apocrypha. Most of the Eastern Fathers rejected their canonicity. Tertullian may have been an enthusiastic proponent. But he became a Montanist and thought the Sybylline Oracles were inspired too.

"And when you have read as much Augustine as I have you will see that he does not hold to a Reformation-style sola fide, but to an infused grace that enables Christians to to works that have merit before God, a much more Roman position than you or I would be comfortable with."

I doubt it if you have read Augustine as much as I have. Because Augustine does not speak of meriting before God, but persevering before God. You must think that reading simplistic interpretations of Augustine makes you feel catholic, but that is as farthest you can get to being a catholic. Augustine did not teach that Baptism does not infuse grace. He taught that Baptism covers Original Sin.

You see, for St. Augustine, faith *is* belief *is* mental assent to the teachings of the Church which is the pillar and ground of the Truth. Faith works through (caritas) love --- the end of which is the (irresistible) Beatific Vision, which is why faith working through love though not irresistible (here and now) is infallible, i.e. the predestination of God's is absolute and efficacious. Worldly love (cupiditas) is conquered by a "victorious delight" via perseverance acted upon by adjuditorium quo (pre-Scholastic actual grace). "Habitual" grace is dependent upon actual grace rather than vice-versa as in the case of the contemporary Roman Church.

Stop kidding yourself, Anon (hint: denial syndrome). You only have yourself to blame.

Augustinian Successor said...

Anon,

What makes you think I don't subscribe to Mary being a perpetual virgin? By the way, Mary's perpetual virginity is not a dogma. Even Rome does not pretend to dogmatise it. Roman mariological dogma relates only to her Immaculate Conception and Heavenly Assumption.

Augustinian Successor said...

"Calvin's idea of the Supper has been articulated that in some sense he is closer to the Early Eastern Church Fathers' understanding of it."

Yes, Big Brother Lito. Calvin emphasised the role of the Holy Spirit as the mediating agent of Christ's Presence, something which the EO had already "embedded" in their liturgical theology: the Epiklesis or the Invocation. Having said this, i have moved away from that position. It's no longer tenable in light of the Gospel. The Lord's Supper is the Gospel. Jesus is the Gospel, not the Holy Spirit. The Lord's Supper as Gospel is God's gift of Himself to the Church. In Calvin's view, EO and Roman (Quam Oblationem?), the Supper is turned into Law. The movement is Godward. That is not what Our Lord had intended in the first place. So, there is no Christic intent. So, the Roman and EO only intends (pub intended) to celebrate the Supper according to their own intention.

Augustinian Successor said...

So, Anon, you have shot yourself in the foot. Your knickers loosed too. I ask again, who does the Josh McDowell have much in common with, theologically speaking, Rome or Reformed???

Augustinian Successor said...

The papacy is the seat of the Antichrist. Justification is the central article of the Church. The Bible is the Word of God alone.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper et in secula seculorum. Amen

L P Cruz said...

Anon,

It's apparent that I have fallen in with protestants, and I am accomplishing little more than provoking polemic. I apologize for interrupting, and take my leave

No - this is an important conversation, this is not an interruption, I do not follow a strict rule in this blog - you can talk about how the sky should be orange rather than blue on this blog and there is no censuring.

The question is this - what does all these church fathers matter. Unless we are saying that they are also inspired and we are to their pronouncements or opinions as the voice of God then what now?

It boils down to authority and did not these fathers consider Scripture as their authority?

I believe they did. So Luther for example recognized that the fathers disagreed and hence may be wrong on certain things. Augustine did not know Greek and interpreted the Latin versions, a mistranslation of "iustifecare", Jerome's translation has led to this.

Let us be honest too that Augustine issues his retractions too.

But even now some RC NT scholars are saying like, Fitzmyer & Brown, the Reformers were correct in taking "iustificare" as declared righteous rather an make righteous.

So my point is that you can side with one Father over here or there but it does not amount much - what saith Scripture?

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Yes, Big Brother Lito. I find it risible that Anon and Co. appeal to the Church Fathers as if there was some kind of "infallible consensus", ignoring of course that like any other Fathers of other period, they disagreed amongst themselves on a host of issues. Vincent of Lerins was a Semi-Pelagian, who opposed Augustine, Prosper of Aquitaine, Fulgentius of Ruspe, Caesarius of Arles, Isidore of Selville, Gottschalk of Orbais, Ratramnus of Corbie, etc. Tertullian's traducianism though found favour in much of Lutheranism and more consistent with the doctrine of Original Sin is in a minority compared to Creationism.

In fact, speaking about our Lutheran tradition, if you compare the Fathers of Lutheran Orthodoxy from Gerhard until Hollatz, there is less disagreement amongst themselves than with the consensus patri! It's really funny, the views of Anon and Co.

Take the inspiration (and by extension efficacy - a Lutheran theological "forte", etc.) of Scripture. You can't beat the consensus on that, notwithstanding the minute variations like Calov's disputations against Rothmanianism with its denial of the identity of the external Word with the internal Word. But on the other hand, Sasse had written that Augustine's view of inspiration was more inspired by Alexandrian Judaism which produced the Septuagint (LXX) - dictation-style theory combined with trance-like psychology (?) This compared to some other church fathers who tend to be more reticent. Be that as it may, fact of the matter is that there is more consensus by the early church fathers on those issues which find continuity in the Reformation Churches than with those issues which are held dear by the Roman Church! In other words, on Transubstantiation for example, the early church fathers are closer to the Reformation than Rome. On predestination, the Western church fathers are closer to the Reformation. On papal supremacy, purgatory, Sacrifice of the Mass, etc. and such like.

So much for appealing to the church fathers.

Past Elder said...

It's saecula. And saeculorum. Check your knickers.

Augustinian Successor said...

Hahaha ... I see your knickers loose too PE ... after you and Anon are cut out from the same cloth. ;-)

Both spelling are acceptable. Go and check out the Liber Precum Publicarum (1662) online. Go figure.

Past Elder said...

It's a diphthong, dude -- which often morph into corrupted spellings that attain some currency, even before texting.

Been reading Latin since I was about 8, which was 50 years ago, so I'll pass on the reference.

Didn't know Anglicans were experts on Latin as well as Lutheranism.

Augustinian Successor said...

Hahahaha ..., as you now *admit*, diphthong has got to more with how the words are pronounced, not spelled. Of course the spelling follows the pronunciation. So, hahaha ... both spellings are acceptable, though secula seculorum is a later version.

Thanks for the chuckle.

Past Elder said...

We have Luther, so why do we want the Pope? Hell, we have AS, why do we need Luther? What a cross to bear, always being right about everything. I am glad to have afforded you some relief from the burden by providing a laugh at a lesser being.

In 50 years of reading ecclesiastical Latin, I have never encountered that spelling, though the dictionary does have it but with qv to the normal spelling. Then again in 11 years of being Lutheran, period, I've never encountered anything like your Westminster/Geneva Lutheranism either, so what the hell.

Interesting that American English has largely gone to later corruptions of diphthongs, especially the ae: orthopedics rather than orthopaedics, encyclopedia rather than encyclopaedia, medieval rather than mediaeval, etc.

L P Cruz said...

P.E./A.S.

I wish I could add to the debate on diphthongs. I have not studied Latin only Koine and Attic Greek.

However, my prof told us that it is the nature of human beings to be lazy when it comes to human activity such as following the convention in speech.

What he meant was that say take the case of the "to be" verb (in Spanish - ser). It used to be that in English this has been said to be conjugated regularly too, but this has been lost because it is the most common used verb and so it has been contracted and has become irregular in conjugation.

Indeed, in some cultures they do not even explicitly use the "to be" verb, in some it is implied - like instead of saying "I am tired", they would say "I tired", the verb "to be" is implied.

No with diphthongs, the case is the same, the stronger vowel gets retained and hence appears as the only one in spelling.

LPC

Past Elder said...

Oh good, Spanish, my favourite language! (Really, really, late Latin!)

Hey Lito -- remember there are two verbs for "to be", ser and estar. That's something English never had: a verb of existence for permanent factors and another for temporary or changeable factors.

Latin often does without verbs of existence, although late Latin includes them (this would include much ecclesiastical Latin) as the speakers were no longer Latin speakers as their first language but were putting thoughts in their local language into Latin.

I'm not sure when American English dropped them -- most texts are published in American spelling so the text itself as one reads it isn't a good clue. "ou" is gone too: color, favorite, labor, etc.

I have noticed in some medical facilities here a return of the ae: paediatrics not pediatrics.

I'll admit my usage in English is quirkier than some of AS's notions about Lutheranism. In spoken English I have a clearly identifiable Midwestern US accent, but in the written language I follow British English conventions of my ancestors.

In Spanish though I speak and write thoroughly Puerto Rican, and in German it's pretty much the Bavarian dialect spoken by the settlers and their descendants where I grew up (Minnesota). In Latin of course I follow church usage written and spoken, rather than the absolute pile of crap "Ciceronian" accent taught in secular schools, an academic guess at what classic Latin sounded like rather than an actual form of the language. I went to a secular graduate school, and used to joke with my classmates, all of whom learned Latin outside the church, that when we get to heaven I'll be the only one without an accent!

I'm still thinking Filipino and Puerto Rican Spanish over Australian made Nebraska Runzas would be so funny even Schuetz would excuse us!

L P Cruz said...

P.E.

I could not contribute to the Latin discussion but since Bro A.S. is a British trained lawyer then, like here the LLBs are encouraged to take classical subjects.

Speaking of Runzas I would suggest that as a variation, since A.S. is from Malaysia, we can have satay or curried Runzas, I think this would be an absolute yum.

The missus is still trying to perfect the dough, but we will get there.

Schuetzie has invited me to join them for their RC bloggers lunch, but would not pay for my lunch.

What? They want me to be their court jester for free?

NO worries, when you get here, we will gate crush, I will pay for the lunch many times over. I am sure it will be a hot conversation.

LPC

Past Elder said...

Didn't he invite you to something like that before -- that's when an office mate of yours turned out to be another of those papists for whose crypto type I am an apologist according to AS.

He wouldn't pay for my Qantas ticket either.

Augustinian Successor said...

Hell, Past Elder claims that he has never come across that spelling in his fifty years of encounter with ecclesiastical Latin. Well, the Latin version of the Book of Common Prayer online has shattered his intellectual shell. Hell, Past Elder wants to make a mountain out of a mole hill on the diphthongs. Hell, let Past Elder do what he likes.

Past Elder said...

Guess what? It's an Anglican Communion thing. When you're a Catholic, and when you're a Lutheran in anything like recent times, the Book of Common Prayer doesn't come up much at all let alone in Latin.

Then again, I haven't tried to belong to several faiths at once.