Sunday, August 23, 2009

Glimpse of Luther - Humorous Church History

I'm reading Pelikan's 4th volume of Church History "Reformation of Church and Dogma" and I find Luther's contradictory nature really hillarious. I'm honestly, honestly, honestly, not trying to anger Protestants or Luther-admirers. I just seriously think it's hillarious how Luther was too "extreme" for the Lutherans.

For example, Christian Theology has always said that man in some way after the fall retained the Image of God, and has somehow allowed for a portion of free will (even Calvin did this I believe.). But Luther in his effort to completely destroy the idea of Free Will proposed in his commentary on Genesis that it was wrong to say we could even understand man before the fall (with Free Will) and:

"much less was it correct to say that the image [of God] was still present, for "it was lost through sin in Paradise."... In its place had come death and the fear of death..."These and similar evils are the image of the devil, who stamped them on us."" - Jaroslav Pelikan paraphrasing Martin Luther's Anthropolgy "The Christian Tradition" Vol. 4 p.142

But it gets better than Luther just saying Man is now in the Image of Satan.

Melancthon after Luther's death declared this view (in this case shared by Valla) to be "Manichean" (Ibid p.143) and argued his own view against those who "falsely contend" (Ibid p.144) Luther's view. So according to Lutheran Dogmatics systematized by Melancthon after Luther's death, Martin Luther himself would be condemned as a Manichee (which is exactly what the Roman Catholics were contending against him).

I also found an amazing treasure trove of quotes on Dave Armstrong's blog about the complete disagreement between the Reformers on the issue of the Eucharist. You should really check it out:

My favourite was a quote of Philip Schaff the famous Lutheran historian on Martin Luther's views on Ulrich Zwingli:

"He went so far as to call Zwingli a non-Christian (Unchrist), and ten times worse than a papist (March, 1528, in his Great Confession on the Lords Supper). . . . He saw in the heroic death of Zwingli and the defeat of the Zurichers at Cappel (1531) a righteous judgment of God, and found fault with the victorious Papists for not exterminating his heresy (Wider etliche Rottengeister, Letter to Albrecht of Prussia, April, 1532, in De Wette's edition of L. Briefe, Vol. IV. pp. 352, 353)." - Philip Schaff

lol. so the same Luther who called the Roman Church the Whore of Babylon, believes that it is a better Church than the Zwinglian churches and that God used it to judge Zwingli, and that it should've been HARSHER on him. hah, now I know why the Lutherans always feel closer to us Papists than the Anabaptists (and even the Reformed sometimes)

There you have it, another humorous episode of Church History. Tune in next time for the account of the Catholic villagers who tried to make a dog, a saint!

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