Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Luther and the Assumption

Here's a few comments on a recent version of a Romanist blog entry that I looked at June 30, in the evening.

This Romanist argues he has positive evidence proving Luther believed in Mary's Assumption. He seems to believe that it's enough to count scholars to determine truth. I will say, there can be some value to this approach, if the scholars cited actually present their evidence. At least then, one can look at the evidence! But go ahead, go skim through whatever version of His blog entry that is currently up. The scholars alluded to provide very minimal evidence (some of it I've noted either on this blog or on the NTRmin site, years ago). One thing I've come across, is sometimes scholars aren't even checking the context, they're simply borrowing quotes from other scholars. I've run into instances in which they've either used Thurian, or Cole as documentation for Luther's Mariology, and not actually looked up the references they cite.

At least in the version of the blog entry I'm looking at, there isn't any conclusive or compelling information presented from Luther's actual pen that states he believed in Mary's Assumption. There is simply allusions to a single quote from 1522 probably utilized by many of the scholars. The Romanist cites, "There can be no doubt that the Virgin Mary is in heaven. How it happened we do not know. And since the Holy Spirit has told us nothing about it, we can make of it no article of faith." I'm sorry, but this isn't compelling, for the reasons I've already stated. The Romanist thinks I view this quote as "irrelevant and inconclusive." Well, the quote is definitely not irrelevant, but it's definitely inconclusive... without a context! It's very odd, that "how it happened we do not know," when translated into Catholic-speak becomes "Luther believed in the Assumption."

This is something I simply don't understand about this Romanist's methodology. Given all the countless hours of Google searches he does, one would think he would actually join me in pursuing truth via research. One would think he would be interested in contexts and the historical development of Luther's Mariology. One would think, on such an important topic to his brand of Catholic apologetics, he would want to use caution before posting Luther quotes without knowing the context. How many times will we have to go through this? Haven't I shown him enough times to actually read Luther, before citing Luther?

I've already stated it may actually be Luther believed in some form of the Assumption early in his career. This Romanist leaves this out for some reason. Cole mentions this 1522 quote was the last time Luther preached on the Feast of the Assumption, which should tip us all off on where Luther was heading with his "Mariology" (recall, Luther lived till 1546, thus this comment comes very early in his "Reformation"). Why does the Romanist leave out that I said this?

On to the absurd, and I even hesitate to comment on this, because it has nothing to do with Luther research- This Romanist is now calling me things like, "that pseudo-scholar, wannabe-apologist " and "Anti-Catholic pseudo-scholar John Q. 'Deadhead.' " I'm not sure exactly why he's been calling me "John Q. 'Deadhead" (by the way, I've never liked the Grateful Dead), but if it makes him feel better about his work in Catholic apologetics, he's welcome to continue to use it, and quite frankly, I don't really care enough to dig through his blog to find out why he's currently using this particular insult.