Friday, December 28, 2007


It seems there isn't any point in checking Steve Ray's blog for any updates on the Luther quote I've been looking into. Others have joined forces in research, while, according to  one of them, Steve is taking "more of an agnostic position" on the whole thing. Perhaps I should simply stop looking for anything else, and let these men do some work on this. This link has arrived at most of the same conclusions I have.

Whatever the outcome, this entire exercise in research has shown a tendency that I have pointed out in popular Catholic apologetics- quoting Luther without actually reading Luther. I was actually surprised a few days ago when I went through Catholic historian Hartmann Grisar's use of this particular quote. One thing is certain about Grisar: he did indeed read Luther. Grisar though says, "In his controversy with Zwingli, Luther even came to plead the cause of the Catholic principle of authority. In his tract of 1527, " Das diese Wort Christi, Das ist mein Leib noch fest stehen..." No Luther did not, as the context shows.

One of the links mentions that Steve Ray perhaps made an "innocent mistake" with this particular Luther citation. I agree that none of us are infallible, and any of us can put forth error. I just ordered a book in which I was told another Catholic apologist uses the same particular Luther citation, with the same sparse documentation.

2 comments:

Machaira said...

Whatever the outcome, this entire exercise in research has shown a tendency that I have pointed out in popular Catholic apologetics- quoting Luther without actually reading Luther.

Yes, too many Catholic apologists and would-be apologists have fallen into the habit of playing fast and loose with the facts as you have rightly demonstrated. This along with the ever popular Catholic lament/error regarding "30,000 protestant denominations" makes this clear. One of our own resident RC apologists exhibits the same tendency. Speaking of the Ebenezer Erskine blog, Captain Kangaroo says:

He lists umpteen "true" reformed denominations, all having different confessions . . .

Ebenezer Erskine lists 13 denominations all holding to 2 very similar confessions. I'd say this is playing fast and loose with the facts.

Captain Kangaroo said...

"He lists umpteen "true" reformed denominations, all having different confessions . . .

Ebenezer Erskine lists 13 denominations all holding to 2 very similar confessions. I'd say this is playing fast and loose with the facts."


Oi Vey!

Actually, my use of "the word confessions meant that each holds different beliefs sufficient to make statements about it. Your many and various "Confessions" (Note the capital C" -- that I did NOT use.) were not what I was thinking about, as they seem irrelevant in Protestantland where churches that hold the same "Confession" split as readily as amebas in a warm Petri dish. This ought to be to your shame.

By the use of the number "umpteen" had you or anyone seriously thought that my point was to quote exact numbers? "Umpteen" is not thirteen? Please get a life. And as is typical for "Beggars All" mentality: strain at the gnat and swallow the camel; nitpick at the nothing, and let the truth simply roll over you. The point in my comment you referenced here and out of context is that that one denomination has split into shards over "little things" as you said yourself.

On the larger matter, which I had NOT addressed, whether it is 30,000 denominations or the mere 4,000, 5,000 sola fide denominations (or whatever you are willing to admit to), it is an absurdly far cry from one. How many are too many for Protestantism?