Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Chase Goes On....

I noticed Paul Hoffer has been researching the Luther quote I'm looking for. He's also taken the effort to thank me for my research (in the style that only those dedicated to Catholic apologetics can). Earlier this week he speculated the quote was from a letter (as Steve Ray claims):

"I have found the same quote on French apologetics website pertaining to the writings of St. Francis de Sales. The Latin quote here is attributed to Luther as a "Letter Contra Zwingli and Oecolampadius." Thus, this quote perhaps could be found in one of St. de Sales' writings as well."

Well, I've already posted the de Sales quote, and it doesn't appear to be a letter de Sales mentions, but if Hoffer can produce this letter against Zwingli and Oecolampadius in Latin, French or Swahili, I'd like to see it. Hoffer then seems to have abandoned the french letter quest:

"The Luther quote that Mr. Swan attacks Mr. Ray for using may be found in St. Francis de Sales' "The Catholic Controversy, Part II, Article III, Chapter 1. You can read it in the 1989 TAN Book and Publishers ed. on page 155 in English. To make sure that this was not a mistranslation and knowing how Mr. Swan likes ad fontes research, I found de Sales work in the original French (not easy since the language has changed a bit in 500 years) and lo and behold, the quote can be found there, too, albeit only in Latin. The quote is attributed to Luther in a work titled "Contr. Zuing. et OEcol."

Well, so much for the French version of de Sales. Hoffer then states,

"One would think that someone would have noticed that the good saint was misquoting Luther in the last 500 years and make mention of it if that were actually the case. Of course, while Mr. Swan can speculate as to whether Catholic apologists should read Luther in German, one must wonder if Mr. Swan or Mr. White, for that matter since he has jumped on the Catholic-apologists-engage-in-shoddy-scholarship bandwagon, has read any of the works of de Sales, a Catholic Doctor of the Church and one the principal figures of the Counter-Reformation, in any language."

It is indeed possible for Luther to be misquoted by Catholic apologists for 500 years, or anyone for that matter. Now, lets stop all this and work together to help Mr. Ray regain credibility for his research. Mr. Hoffer doesn't have to write me a 60 page response, or create 60 pages of attack and insult. I simply want a context for a quote. If after producing the context, he feels compelled to write 60 pages about this, we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

In case this wasn't clear enough, it's a context I'm looking for. Maybe I'm wrong about this quote. That would be fine. The only way to find out is by getting a context. Just think of the party that could be had by proving Steve Ray's quote was accurate, and think of how many new insults and attacks can be made about me as well. That should motivate Mr. Hoffer to continue his research on this.

Update: Mr. Ray and Paul Hoffer may be joining forces:

"Paul Hoffer. Can you get in touch with me? My email is I'd like to make your acquaintance. Steve Ray Homepage 12.19.07 - 10:23 am # "

I wish them all the best!


Timothy Athanasius said...


Is this "letter" in the Werke edition? If so, if you give me the volume I will go to DTS (I'm only about 15 minutes away) and print out the context and ask one of my professors to translate it for me.

In Christ and His Bride,

Lvka said...

Of course, while Mr. Swan can speculate as to whether Catholic apologists should read Luther in German

If any of You Luther-freaks wants to do just that, i.e. read something oh him in his own tongue, may I humbly suggest to take a look at this? (And sorry for using Your blog as a shameless means of self-promotion, guys :p )

Machaira said...

Egomakarios wrote in More on Steve Ray's Luther quote:

"And it is here that I think I have thoroughly proved that we have need of another rule for our faith, besides the rule of Holy Scripture." (Luther)

In other words, Luther says, "I'm going to keep the unscriptural and heretical doctrine of infant baptism even if I have to get all kissy-face with Satan himself to do it."

I think Ego has demonstated exactly what can be done with an out-of-context quotation. But hey . . . how dare you ask for context!

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what Luther meant. Why else would he be buddying up with Jerome against Scripture as the sole rule of faith unless it was to defend Romish heresy? and what Romish heresy would he be defending other than infant baptism? Everyone knows this is the case. Its just that you so-called 'Reformed' love that particular heresy even more than he did.

Lvka said...

Luther's rule of faith wasn't Sola Scriptura. It was Sola Fide. And by using this rule of faith, he went on to select which of the books from the preserved set of books were or were not Scripture. This is evident from his writings.

And only after he selected such a set, based on the afore-named technique, did he call that set Scripture, and applied the rule of Sola Scriptura to it, to see what else might or could be extracted from it.

Basically, Luther did the exact same thing as the Church Catholic (from which he broke off) did when selecting and discerning Scripture from other uninspired writings ... the main difference lieing in the fact that HIS rule of faith was NOT the same as that of the Church of the first centuries ... but the mechanism was the same.

So, ... while Luther was, to some degree Sola Scriptura, there is also an important difference in the way that he was that. It wasn't the contemporary Protestant ideea that You start from a fixed "deck" of 66 Books, and then You just "go" from there; it was a bit more complicated than that ...

James Swan said...

Is this "letter" in the Werke edition? If so, if you give me the volume I will go to DTS (I'm only about 15 minutes away) and print out the context and ask one of my professors to translate it for me.

Thanks for the offer. The answer is probably, No on the Werke edition. It appears the source may be Latin. Then again, the reference may be bogus.