Sunday, December 17, 2017

Perhaps not a fan. . .

So Pope Francis went to Lund, official representatives of both Lutherans and Roman Catholics are positively fawning all over each other at the 500th Anniversary of the 95 Theses, and some are already talking about intercommunion.  Right?  Well, apparently not everyone got the memo.

One Roman Catholic blogger is pushing another way to celebrate the Anniversary.  He is pushing a book that is not so kind to Luther.  In fact, the subtitle to the book says it bluntly:  “Half a Millennium of Total Depravity (1517-2017): A Critique of Luther’s Impact in the Year of His ‘Catholic’ Apotheosis”.  According to his own estimation:  In other words, this is not an unqualified “RAH! RAH! FOR THE REFORMATION!”

While I am not one to buy all that much into some nice words exchanged by some Lutherans who are probably not all that Lutheran and by a Roman Catholic Pope some suggest is not all that Catholic, it is not a little disconcerting that old straw men are being addressed instead of the real issues that divide.  Luther may be to blame for much but the disintegration of the Church, State, and Society cannot all be lumped upon him and the Reformation.  Luther and His progeny are certainly guilty of taking the medieval Mass literally and squaring this Sacrament against the Scriptures and the early Church.  Luther and His progeny are certainly guilty of looking at the common corruption of the clergy and the institutions of the Church and calling both for repentance and renewal.  Luther and His progeny are certainly guilty of restoring the bright and shining gemstone of God's treasure in His Church, the Gospel, to preaching and teaching.  Luther and His progeny are certainly guilty of agitating for the Word to be read, known, and prayed by a people who can read it and reflect upon it.  Luther and His progeny are certainly guilty of many things in the great split that gave birth to Protestantism and Rome is, as well.  That said, the wholesale destruction of the Christian West is putting too much on Luther and not enough on the institutions that reacted to him and excommunicated him.  For that, there is plenty of blame to go around!

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