Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Reformed and Lutheran Together Movement... and Not Together

For those interested in the Reformed and Lutheran Together movement, this post is insightful: Gazing Wrongly at the Right Thing. "...the Lutheran and Reformed traditions are, when understood and practiced properly, Christ centered. But it is possible to become Patricentric in our thinking as Christians, and that is a thing we ought to avoid at all cost." Well said. This post is a nice breath of fresh air.


For those not interested in the Reformed and Lutheran Together movement, may I suggest a curious (for lack of a better word) Lutheran blog, Back To Luther... and the old (German) Missouri Synod. This blogger has put together a number of helpful posts in regard to Luther research. He recently compiled links to the Saint Louis Edition of Luther's Works, as well as alerting me the fact that Vogel's Cross Reference of Luther's Works is now back in print (this is a book I've wanted to get for years). He's also compiled Luther's Timeline – events surrounding Luther (w/ download), and Luther's Letters – largest cross reference available. This is great stuff for those of you interested in Reformation-related history. This is the sort of stuff that interests me the most in terms of research. I wish I came up with the above material!

On the other hand, he also appears to have issues with Concordia Publishing (and Lutherans in general), so he makes PDF's available of books they're supposed to be printing. This seems a bit unscrupulous to me. I'm very grateful to the work Concordia Publishing does. They've put out some outstanding material. The recent volumes of LW are meticulously researched and brilliantly translated. In regard to customer service, they've been wonderful as well. I'm grateful for what they do.

Obviously, a Lutheran in conflict with Concordia almost certainly has little love for anything that smells remotely Reformed. Consider the following comment:
For anyone (like me) who has struggled with researching Luther's writings between all the sources in the different languages, I have discovered a valuable online resource: Steve Born's Luther Index. I found this through James Swan's resource links on his BeggarsAll blog website, on the right side under the section "Luther's Works, etc.", labeled "An Index to the Works of Martin Luther".  The BeggarsAll website also has other fairly extensive online resources on Luther's work here.  However, some of the English translations by Reformed translators are suspect.  (May Mr. Swan throw off his false Reformed "assurance", and accept the Bible's teaching of universal grace.  He will never be able to fully refute the errors of Romanists and he will never fully understand Martin Luther until he renounces the Reformed restriction of God's grace.)
The last comment simply doesn't follow. One can "fully understand Martin Luther" or any other subject for that matter, by simply being a diligent student of history and theology.


Unknown said...

I wasn't aware that there was such a thing as a "Reformed and Lutheran Together Movement."

James Swan said...

Yes, it took me the whole year to come up with something clever to say.

michael said...

I tried jumping all in after following his link about you and posting with my IPhone earlier today and it didn't work.

So I will try to post this with my computer instead, now and see if it publishes:

Why does he not throw off the idea of universal Grace in light of the fact that apostasy seems the order of the day and only because of modern technologies that bring almost every written and spoken and actions from them immediately to one's attention?

I'd say modern technology has been very helpful to the Elect in this and coming generation/s if The Lord does not return before much more ever increasing apostasy abounds?

What took years then months then weeks then days now almost ever present captures and guides us but the Elect still stand far above the fray standing firm in the Presence of The Lord our King and Shepherd and our Husband wedded and free yet slaves of all that more and more Elect will hear the Living Truth of this Living Gospel and step into their predestination too conjoined to Him by the power of His Grace:4 But[fn] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

The point being the fact that there is so much evil and wickedness in the world and increasing it seems to establish limited atonement and particular redemption?

Rebecca Holter said...

“We have no dogma which is diverse from that of the Roman Church; we have also rebuked many who dared to spread dangerous dogmas for which public testimony is available. We are ready to obey the Roman Church if they, with the same charitableness which they have always shown to all people, either ignore or drop certain few things which we, even if we would, could not change... We venerate the authority of the Roman Pope and the whole church government, if only the Roman Pontifex does not cast us aside. But if harmony is so easily reestablished if your clemency yield in a few things and we obey in good faith then why should it be necessary to reject those who plead or to persecute them with fire and sword? For no other reason do we endure so much hatred in Germany than that we defend the dogmas of the Roman Church with so much firmness. We shall in future, until our end, also remain true to Christ and the Roman Church even if you should refuse to mercifully receive us” (Melancthon).

This comes from page 235 of the Word Document/PDF of the collection of letters.

And in the next entry we have as a summary, “stated the ‘few things’ which would restore harmony, namely the communion in both forms and the marriage of…”

I’m assuming that “the clergy” completes this sentence. Communion in both forms is what the Latin Rite Church follows today (except at the Tridentine Mass and a few rare Masses in the new form). And the Church receives married priests from the Anglican Church, and allows them to become married priests in the Catholic Church. I am wondering if you or Jordan could tell me more about this. Thanks!

With love in Christ,

James Swan said...

The Wittenberg Reformers were willing to go quite in making concessions to Rome:

"In the interest of peace in the empire, moreover, Luther and his Wittenberg colleagues were prepared to make major concessions to the jurisdictional authority of the Catholic bishops. Accordingly, at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, Melanchthon, acting with the full knowledge and support of Luther and the Saxon government, offered restitution of the jurisdiction of the Catholic bishops over the Evangelical congregations on the condition that the bishops ordain Evangelical priests and recognize the legitimacy of Communion in both kinds, clerical marriage, and the Mass in German. This offer remained on the table through all the failed attempts of the 1530's and 1540's to find a peaceful solution to the religious divisions in the empire" (LW 59:276).

Unknown said...


Different Lutherans had all sorts of varying attitudes toward the unity which could be accomplished with Rome. Melanchthon was willing to make many more concessions than the Gnesio-Lutherans who were behind the writing of the Book of Concord. Luther seemed to be much more positive about a possible reunification of the two churches in his earlier career, but by the time of the Smalcald Articles he had basically given up.

It is also to be remembered that Trent had not yet happened, thus a Lutheran understanding of justification was stilled seen to be allowed in the church.