Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Baptists Figure Out Luther's Attitude Toward the Jews...

This must be Luther's attitude toward the Jews month. The Pyromaniacs and their followers are discussing aspects of Luther's negative statements about the Jews. The infamous Mr. Turk makes a good point:
Let's think about this: 500 years ago, someone demonstrates that his view of people different than himself sociologically or politically is pretty provincial and, if we can say it plainly, insulting. In every generation after him, because of his influence in general, every biographer of him points out the fault, decries it, and indicates we shouldn't be like him. All the people who follow this guy theologically and denominationally all repudiate his faulty views, and they confessionally reject these views. His 500 years of influence are thereafter gleaned for the best of his ideas and the worst are literally called out and rejected, and reasonably-healthy churches are thereafter grown.
On the other hand, it appears to me that some of the folks commenting have not actually studied this issue, particularly a participant  going by the name "JMB":
There's no doubt that Bainton and Trueman, among others, condemn what Luther eventually wrote about the Jews. It bothers me a little, though, when they insist that his prejudice was "religious," and not racial. I recognize that Luther's cultural context was different than ours, and that he was extremely disappointed when most of the Jewish people did not accept the gospel - but it's also true that Luther employed every stereotype that is used by anti-Semites today, including the "blood libel." I don't equate the views of Bainton and Trueman on Luther with those of the "cautious Charismatics" on people like Bentley and Hinn, but I wish that Trueman, and others of his stature, would admit that Luther's anti-Semitism was both religious and racial.
Here's my 2 cents on this issueLuther’s later anti-Jewish tracts were written from a position different than current anti-Semitism. Luther was born into a society that was anti-Judaic, but it was not the current anti-Judaic type of society that bases it racism on biological factors. Luther had no objections to integrating converted Jews into Christian society. He had nothing against Jews as “Jews.” He had something against their religion because he believed it denied and blasphemed Christ. This does not mean that what he wrote gets a free pass. What it means (at least to me), is that Luther was primarily against the followers of Judaism. Had someone converted to Judaism, Luther would've been against that person. Had a Jewish person converted to Christianity, Luther would have embraced that person.  


TomiPad said...

In relation to Turk's post, "What Lutherans Have Done for 5 Centuries"; The first chapter of Dr. Michael Brown's book, "The New Kosher Jesus" deals with Luther's Anti-Semitism.

Rhology said...

And also this.