Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
April 6th, 2014 by Joel Watts

Resources for Luther (Sunday School)

Because I may need this later, I wanted to break my usual Sunday fast of blogging and post a few things.

Martin Luther, author of the text of Christ la...

Martin Luther – drunk theologian, gossiper, and oath-breaker. Also, he hated your favorite animal

First, I of all of Luther’s works, the most recommended for small group study is On Christian Freedom (or The Liberty of the Christian). You can find a nice public domain copy here. That’s right, by a Jesuit school. I bet Luther is spinning over in purgatory right now.

Here are some points to take away from his small, dualist, letter.

…Man has a twofold nature, a spiritual and a bodily. According to the spiritual nature, which men call the soul, he is called a spiritual, or inner, or new man; according to the bodily nature, which men call the flesh, he is called a carnal, or outward, or old man, of whom the Apostle writes, in II Cor. iv, “Though our outward man is corrupted, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Because of this diversity of nature the Scriptures assert contradictory things of the same man, since the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh (Gal. v)….

And, of course, his 95 Theses. Because he was a blowhard who couldn’t leave well-enough alone.

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Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

3 Responses to “Resources for Luther (Sunday School)”
  1. Know More Than I Should says

    Luther was a Medieval monk. Most probably, he was also a misfit. At the same time, as with many intellectuals, Luther was a complex human being. Trying to simplify him into a theologically palatable “Saint Luther” is a mistake. Yet, this tendency persists.

    One fall a few years ago, a professor of religion at a Lutheran school happened to be delivering a previously prepared lecture on Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image in Daniel. Coincidentally, only a few yards from the classroom workmen were assisting a crane in erecting a quite large and unwieldy granite statue of Luther on its pedestal. Needless to say, the irony was not lost on the professor!

    The statue of a sanitized and saintly Luther is yet another reminder that men are frequently more useful dead than were when they were alive.

  2. Milton Almeida says

    If Luther was all that the caption says, I wonder what was the pope? I would say that “…the just shall live by faith…” is not necessarily the idea of a drunk gossiper, and vow breaker (thank God for people who break useless vows). Did he drink? Yeah! Why did he drink? Because it was a commonly accepted practice in the “church” he belonged. You can pretty much say the same think about all the other adjectives ascribed to him in that caption… with the difference that he wasn’t a torturer and a murderer; sarcasm or not! 😉 I do however understand that Luther is a rock in the romish papist shoes and a poke in the eye of unreformed “christendumb”. 3:)

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