Thursday, October 01, 2009

Fan Club Testimonials

"Why do so many Protestants spend so much time using extra-Biblical sources to prove their beliefs? For instance, one guy named James Swan spends hours culling through Martin Luther's writings, and writings about his life; leaving no stone unturned to defend his hero. Every time he gets a new book on Luther he has to tell everyone about it on his blog. The guy has been dead for close to 500 years. Isn't this a form of veneration? Heavens no, far be it for the Protestant. After all, if you spend hours and days reading, writing and defending a man who shares your religious beliefs, we couldn't call that veneration could we?" [source]


bkaycee said...

Come on James. We know you secretly light votive candles in front of your Martin Luther shrine. :)

Andrew said...

Hail, holy Martin, Father of Mercy!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished
children of Eve, to thee do we send
up our sighs, mourning and weeping
in this valley, of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us; and
after this our exile show unto us the
blessed Savior, Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet Martin Luther.

Pray for us, O holy Martin Luther

That we may be made worthy of the
promises of Christ.

I don't recall reading anything like this on your blog.

Rhology said...

Every 17th day of every month (in honor of 1517) and 31st day (in honor of Oct 31), I
1) ascribe non-human inabilities to Luther (ie, I acknowledge that he hears me when I pray silently)
2) fall down before an image of Luther
3) light candles to him (and his sainted wife)
4) burn incense to him
5) address him in prayer, and of course
6) trust in him to rescue me from all Hell, the devil and his demons, and Jesus.

You have torn this confession from me, but I can do no other. God help me.

Howard Fisher said...

I have made a couple of comments on Matthew's blog. I got the feeling we all have been down this road before.


James Swan said...

I know most of those who stop by here everyday realize Matthew's a bit over the top with polemic. Despite the insult and attack, Matthew does raise a good point. Calvin was indeed correct when he said something like "The human heart is a factory of idols." I don't worship Luther- I'm not even Lutheran. We all have idols in our lives, and I will worship no man, even if it's a great Protestant apologist alive today. Very recently I co-interviewed a film maker who released a movie on a pioneer Christian Rock artist- Larry Norman, that interview can be found here. I did so, because as I look back on my youth, I saw that I indeed made this Rock musician an idol. He could do no wrong in my eyes- he was for me, an idol.

If one goes through my blog, most of what I comment on is Roman Catholics citing Luther- that's really my area of interest. I was thinking the other day that I probably spend more time dealing with Luther's opinion on the canon, if Luther added "alone," Mary, or the Jews, because these are the areas that generate a lot of smoke. Rarely do the pop apologists actually delve into Luther's theology. If they did, they'd probably say "hey, that's not a bad point." I don't as often actually delve into his theology, like the two kingdoms, law / gospel, the outer vs inner man paradox, word and spirit, or the distinction between the hidden and revealed God, the theology of the cross (vs. glory). Perhaps if Roman Catholics went a little deeper than usual, I would get more into writing about these elements of Luther's theology.

Brigitte said...

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and the Holy Spirit, was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. There is only one Savior from whom we expect all good and salvation. We meet him in the word and sacrament, which includes the preached and spoken word.

Martin Luther wants to do nothing besides point to Christ, his and your and my Lord,crucified for the forgiveness of our sins, in whom we should place all our trust boldly and firmly and rejoice in the Spirit.

Luther himself said that he would gladly see all his books forgotten if people only read the scriptures.

In fact, we don't need his books. The confessions, however, have been carefully chiseled out through thorough debates, defended courageously to the emperor, the pope, the world to death when needed be. I myself have made a promise to rather die than give them up and I mean it. That is because they clearly teach biblical doctrine and the Gospel of forgiveness of sins through the blood of the Lord and Nothing else besides. If there is going to be something else, that will lead to either pride or despair, where no one should despair and where also no one should boast, as St. Paul tells us.

What is Luther to me, the "Lutheran"? To remind everyone we are only called "Lutheran" because that is how the RC church described the "heretics". We are believers in the Triune God, according to the ancient creeds, not Luther.

Ok, what is he to me?

I love to read him because in a sentence or two or at least a paragraph, I have heard the Gospel again. He does this forcefully, spiritedly, faithfully, biblically, and on top of it entertainingly. If I'm out of sorts, I just need to pick up a sermon or something by him and he's got me rejoicing in God in a couple of minutes. It is very powerful. Read it. Read something other than obscure stuff.
Do it! Like James I consider him a genius, an extraordinarily gifted man, most of all a biblical preacher and scholar of the highest ability.

The other day someone told me that the small catechism is not in the Bible. Why do we memorize it? Get yourself a current Luther's small catechism from Concordia Publishing House, the one with the addition of all the Bible passages (200 small pages). Every line of the Small Catechism is backed up with several proof texts. I just read through the whole thing during my holidays (still not at home but by Yellowstone Park. :). I really enjoyed all the Bible verses to go with the Small Catechism. Give it a shot. It is genial and a huge comfort through this troubled life on earth.
Yours all, Brigitte.

Darlene said...


I could recognize from your very first paragraph that you are indeed a Lutheran. I have worshipped with Lutherans in the past, although I am not a Lutheran.
I consider the Lutheran teaching on the Sacraments to be refreshing in an age in which many who call themselves Christians want nothing to do with even the mention of the word sacrament, let alone the reality to which the sacraments point and they're meaning.

Having been a Reformed Baptist at one time for many years, I immediately recognized significant differences in worship, belief, and practice among the Lutherans. It was quite refreshing for me at the time to encounter the Lutherans, who emphasized the love of Christ for the whole world and the grace given in the preaching of the Word and in the sacraments.

Many blessings to you, Brigitte

In the name of our Blessed Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Now and unto ages of ages.

Brigitte said...

Bless you, too Darlene. Nice to meet you.

Darlene said...

Dear Brigitte,

I looked at your profile and we have much in common. I am a Secondary Education teacher but in the areas of English and Social Studies. I once was a Dental Assistant. And I have an interest in the medical field. I was six months away from earning my Nursing Degree when I injured my back. I am still technically enrolled in the program, but do not know yet as to whether my health will permit me to complete my degree.

May our Lord Jesus Christ comfort you in these difficult days as you journey toward the Celestial City.

"When the cares of my heart are many, Thy consolations cheer my soul."

In Christ's Immeasurable Love,


Brigitte said...

Thank you very much Darlene. I hope you are doing well.

My life has really changed in many ways in the last year, not only due to the loss of my son. My husband (dentist) also sold his business, which I used to manage and work in. So I find myself with time and decisions about what to do next. I'm keeping my eyes open for the doors the Lord provides.

Meanwhile I have myself reading the Book of Concord and stuff like that. :) Can't keep away from it. But it is the clear Gospel that makes it light reading, as I blogged about yesterday.

I don't really know much about Calvin. There was pretty interesting discussion of some intricate points on Calvinism on the Old Adam blog just recently.

I also found the link for purchasing a Catechism with Bible Explanations. It can simply be ordered on-line, though I find it takes a month for CPH things to arrive at my house.