Sunday, May 12, 2019

Luther the Mariologist. . .

It may surprise many to discover that Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, was rather traditional in his doctrinal views regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary.  No, I did not write that particular sentence but I have written many similar reminders that Luther was no modern day Protestant (or even Lutheran!) with regard to the Blessed Virgin Mary but wrote lovingly and devotedly of the Theotokos.

The one who wrote that sentence is Dave Armstrong and you can read the rest of his words here.  I expect that this will fire off a storm of comments, complaints that this is from the early Luther and not the later Luther or that he disowned his comments in some secret Gnostic Luther text or that we should not follow Luther blindly (except when he can be employed to support your opinion du jour).

So because I have nothing better to do than to stir up trouble, I would suggest that the author is being very fair to Luther and that most Lutherans today would reject most of what Luther wrote of the Blessed Virgin.  It is the sad truth that modern day Lutherans define Lutheranism less by Luther or the Lutheran Symbols than by what their pastor taught them when they were confirmed (especially those confirmed before 1960).  We are subject to the misconceptions of Luther only because we tend to proof text using Luther's words more than read his words directly and know the man and his piety as well as his faith.

The irony should not be lost, however, that much of Luther is foreign to modern day Lutherans because we think he stood as prophetic figure for individual faith, for the judgment of reason over the Word of God, was determined to begin a new church, tolerated the Sacraments but elevated the Word and individual faith over all, and was uncomfortable about talking of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- none of which are true except in our own minds.

But I have said enough.  Read the article at the National Catholic Register and have at it all you who think Luther was and his kin should be closer to Baptists than Roman Catholics.


Anonymous said...

"The Word did everything."

Carl Vehse said...

In response to some of Armstrong earlier claims, here are links to James Swan's April 3, 2007, Beggars All blog, "Luther's Mariology: A Response to a Roman Catholic Apologist," and Swan's December 29, 2007, "On DA's Research. There are many other of Swan's columns going back to at least 2006 in which he responds to Romanist claims about various Mariolatist dogmas and Luther's views. Since he has been updating some of his old columns with additional information and new links, perhaps James Swan will be giving an updated response to Armstrong's latest tiff.

In the meantime, there's always these comments and followups from a 2009 PM column.

Anonymous said...

And right on cue....confirming Pavlov's findings....ding the bell on certain topics, Vehse starts salivating, snarling, whining and barking.


Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day!

Who other than the Mother of God should be first in line to be honored as Mother.

Those who love Jesus, also esteem and hold in high regard and yes, even affection, His mother, The Venerable and Most Blessed among Women, Mary, Mother of Our Lord.

Your point is well taken Pastor Peters, some choose to restrict their understanding of Lutheranism to a very narrow window of time.

Cliff said...

While we would or should I say agree wholeheartedly with Luther's view on Mary. There is still his comment about "invocation " and "intercession " that we still find very offensive about Marion theology. This is a violation of the the first commandment. It is near impossible to pray the Rosary without getting a disgusted feeling in your gut.

The overall assessment of Luther's view on Mary is sound. She is indeed the mother of God!

Anonymous said...

"...have at it all you who think Luther was and his kin should be closer to Baptists than Roman Catholics."

Let's see...the Lutherans and Reformed agreed on 14 of 15 points of doctrine at Marburg. Meanwhile, the Catholics condemned the chief article of Justification and the rest of the Augsburg Confession one year later.

The Presbyterians revere Luther. Catholics regard his doctrine as heresy.

Oh well, at least the magesterium of the LCMS agrees with you, Fr. Peters. The Roman Catholic Church is our ecumenical dialog partner church, but thank God the Baptists aren't. And we're no longer in altar and pulpit fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church in Denmark, a relationship that goes back to 1855. Why is that?

To our Anonymous Pavlovian troll, congratulations on having attended Psychology 101 in college. We've all been there. Come up with some doctrinally relevant comments.

Anonymous said...

"The Presbyterians revere Luther."

Let me fix that for you....

"The Presbyterians revere Luther until he gets all "Lutheran" on them."


Anonymous said...

"The Presbyterians revere Luther until he gets all "Lutheran" on them."

While I appreciate the gan ainm quote, if Presbyterians agreed with 100% of Luther instead of the 98% of Luther that they do, then that would make them Lutherans, not Presbyterians.

Anonymous said...

Your understanding of Luther is woefully deficient if you really can not understand why he told Zwingli, "You have a different spirit." Trying to claim "only 2% of a difference" between Lutheranism and Prestyberianism is like saying, "Apes and man only differ genetically by 2%"

Sorry...not working.

David Gray said...

Your understanding of mainstream Reformed theology is woefully deficient if you think it is Zwinglian rather than Calvinist, although the later confessions have a bit more Zwinglian content. And please no silly statements that Zwingli and Calvin taught the same thing.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that John Calvin wrote the Consensus Tigirinus.

The Consenus Tigurinus is relatively unknown but very important for conclusively demonstrating how far apart Lutheranism is from Calvinism when it comes to the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. This confession of faith was written by John Calvin himself, who leaves no doubt that he comes down quite decidedly on the side of the spiritualizing interpretation of the Lord's Supper, as held by Zwingli and his later followers, and thus effectively denies the actual presence of the body and blood of Christ under the bread and wine, referring to this belief in this document as a "perverse and impious superstition." This is a very important document for understanding the context in which Lutheran had to do battle against the false doctrine of the Reformed Church, as led by Calvin. The Formula of Concord, prepared in 1577, was a decisive response that unified Lutherans in their opposition to Calvinism, and to those who were secretly or openly attempting to move the Lutheran Church away from Luther's teachings of the Supper and toward the Reformed/Calvinist view.

The Consensus Tigurinus is clearly in view when the Saxon Visitation Articles were prepared in the early 1590s. The position on the Lord's Supper articulated in this statement by Calvin remains the formal position of the Reformed Church. Calvinist speaks very carefully about the "presence of Christ" but is equally careful to make clear the presence is spiritual only and is a matter of the human soul's ascent to the Ascended Lord, where there is a spiritual eating and drinking, by faith. This is directly contradictory of the Biblical, hence Lutheran, confession of the Lord's Supper.

The following comments are drawn from a Calvinist source, thus demonstrating that our interpretation and understanding of the Consensus Tigurinus are by no means simply a Lutheran bias or distortion of the facts.

"The Consensus Tigurinus was composed by Calvin himself, in 1549, and was adopted by the Zurich theologians. It comprises twenty-six articles, which treat only of the sacrament of the Supper. It grew out of a desire upon the part of Calvin, to effect a union among the Reformed upon the doctrine of the Eucharist.

The attitude of Calvin respecting the Sacramentarian question was regarded by the Lutherans, as favorable rather than otherwise to their peculiar views. His close and cordial agreement with Luther upon the fundamental points in theology, together with the strength of his phraseology when speaking of the nature of the Eucharist, led the Swiss Zwinglians to deem him as on the whole further from them than from their opponents.

In the Consensus Tigurinus, Calvin defines his statements more distinctly, and left no doubt in the minds of the Zurichers that he adopted heartily the spiritual and symbolical theory of the Lord's Supper. The course of events afterwards showed that Calvin's theory really harmonized with Zuingle's." [Source: A History of Christian Doctrine By William Greenough Thayer Shedd, 1863.].


Anonymous said...

Pastor Gray, let me ask you a question. What is it in your hand that you distribute to communicants?

David Gray said...

"You do realize that John Calvin wrote the Consensus Tigirinus."

You do realize that the Consensus Tigirinus was essentially a political document written so that Swiss cities could ally to fight the armies of the Counter-Reformation?

Anyone honest about wanting to understand John Calvin's theology on the Lord's Supper turns to either his Short Treatise on the Lord's Supper or Calvin's Institutes, which are theological documents written to communicate his understanding of those issues, not to allow a military alliance.

Turning to the CT means either ignorance or dishonesty on this issue.

I'm not a pastor.

When I distribute the elements I'm distributing Christ's body and blood as well as bread and wine.

I take it that you want to expel all the LCMS believers in receptionism, like Paul McCain.

William Tighe said...

The Consensus Tigurinus (1549) was an agreement on eucharistic doctrine between Zurich (in the person of its Antistes, Heinrich Bullinger) and Geneva (in the person of John Calvin). the best detailed account of the negotiations and their result id by the ELCA Lutheran church historian, Paul Rorem, published in 1988:

It really is worth reading, both because of its detail and judicious character. Rorem concludes that in the discussions leading to the Consensus Calvin made all the concessions, and that the result, while a compromise, leans much more to Bullinger's Zwinglianism (if that is a fair characterization of his views) than to Calvin's own views, a conclusion supported by Calvin's own expressions of regret in subsequent private correspondence about the concessions he had to make to achieve that agreement.

Anonymous said...

Just like many Lutherans do not have all that much in common with Luther, I wonder how many Reformed have all that much in common with Calvin. Modern Protestants seems to be rather more indifferent to their theological forbears than Lutherans who seem intent upon proving that their perspective on Lutheranism has actual roots in Luther. So I am not sure that all the fuss about what Lutherans and Reformed may have agreed to 500 years ago or so is all that consequential to where they stand in relation to each other today.

Anonymous said...

Gray: "When I distribute the elements I'm distributing Christ's body and blood as well as bread and wine."

You didn't answer the question.

What is in your hand?

David Gray said...

And you evaded multiple points and don't use your name.

Anonymous said...

Since Mr Vehse brought up the challenges, it might be salutary to also note the reponses to Mr Swan's rejection of Luther's Catholic Mariology.

Anonymous said...


I asked you a very simple question:

"What is in your hand when you distribute the Sacrament?"

You have evaded answering now twice. This is very typical of Calvinists.

You say you are not a pastor. Are you even a Lutheran?

David Gray said...

Who are you?

Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

More evasion....very telling. Who I am matters not a bit.

Anonymous said...


What is in your hand when you distribute the Sacrament?

Are you a Calvinist or a Lutheran?

David Gray said...

I'm a Lutheran but no more answers for someone who's afraid to identify himself.

You made historically erroneous statements and were corrected.

Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

More evasion...

If you are a Lutheran you would have no difficulty answering the question:

"What is in the pastor's hand that he distributes to communicants?"

That you refuse to do so and have made false claims about Presbyterianism/Calvinism tells me you are not a confessional Lutheran Christian.

I have made no historically inaccurate statements, you, on the other hand, just don't know what you are talking about as is most painfully apparent.

David Gray said...

So your position is Lutherans like Paul McCain who are receptionists aren't actually Lutherans.

And yes, you are ignorant of Reformed theology and history, at least in the aspects in which you have commented.

And you are not honorable enough to identify yourself.

Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

Why are you defending Calvinists understandings of the Real Presence?

You are deflecting and evading.

David Gray said...

I'm honest and use my name.

I'm not defending the Calvinist understanding, I'm explaining it. Just because something is wrong doesn't give one license to misrepresent it. The most powerful critique of an error is one wherein the mistaken party can recognize an accurate description of their doctrine.

If a Calvinist is confronted with someone trying to use the CT as representing the best understanding of Calvin's theology on the Lord's Supper while also disregarding the Reformed Confessions he can safely dismiss the critique as dishonest or ignorant.

And the LCMS contains many receptionists. What would their answer be to the question regarding what is in the hand?

Sean said...

The nice thing about being Lutheran is that I am not beholden to everything Luther said. We can evaluate Luther in the same light that we evaluate all who came before him, and all who came after him, by the same standard, in the light of the scriptures.

We can do the same for Marian doctrine. We can agree with those points of Marian doctrine that elevate Christ as the Son of God, fully man and fully divine, and revere her for the wonderful saint that she is. At the same time we can reject doctrine that elevates her to the status of redemptrix, mediatrix, or some kind of quasi-divinity.

Anonymous said...

Gray, if you actually think Calvinists confess the presence of the body and blood of Jesus under the bread and wine of the Sacrament, you are sorely mistaken. What they believe is very clear. Calvin himself made it clear in the TG. Nothing has changed. Calvinism, like its cousin, Zwinglianism has a "different spirit" than that of Lutheran. Calvinism and Lutheran differ in critical ways: Christology being chief, followed by their attendance confusions with the means of Grace, and of course, classic Calvinism's "double predestination" is simply and utterly contrary to the Gospel.

Anonymous said...

Gray, you keep trying to drag in "reception" into this and it has nothing to do with it.

At NO point does Calvinism, in any historical sense of Calvinism, confess what is so clearly confessed in the Small Catechism. The true body..under the bread and wine...

Or even more starkly in the Smalcald Articles "The bread is the body of Christ."

What any of this has to do with Mary, who knows?

Anonymous said...

If you don't like"what is in the hand" then answer this,

"What is put into your mouth by the pastor during the Lord's Supper?"


Let's see how you answer that, as a Lutheran, which you claim to be, for which I have no evidence or proof, simply saying your name is "David Gray" tells me nothing.

Carl Vehse said...

Anonymous on May 13, 2019 at 8:35 AM,

All but your last link to Romanist apologist Armstrong's article are to responses, dated in June 2006, which was prior to the 2007 articles of James Swan linked in my previous comment, and likely deal with earlier articles by Swan.

But as long as we are being "salutary," here are "over 60 links to James Swan's articles dealing with claims about Martin Luther's Mariology.

Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

I'll just pop in here and indicate that while it is true one can find comments/quotes by Martin Luther about the Mother of Our Lord that strike us as off-key, the only comments about Mary that have any doctrinal authority among us are those in the Lutheran Confessions, but it would be good to take note of the precise vocabulary used to refer to the Mother of Our Lord in the BOC, which one would rarely hear today, for the very reasons Pastor Peters indicates in his article!

PT Mc Cain

David Gray said...

You haven't given your name.

"What is put into your mouth by the pastor during the Lord's Supper?"

Christ's body and blood as well as bread and wine.

David Gray said...

"Gray, if you actually think Calvinists confess the presence of the body and blood of Jesus under the bread and wine of the Sacrament, you are sorely mistaken."

You apparently don't read. I never said that.

"What they believe is very clear. Calvin himself made it clear in the TG."

An honest and educated man finds Calvin's doctrine in his Institutes and his Short Treatise on the Lord's Supper.

"Nothing has changed. Calvinism, like its cousin, Zwinglianism has a "different spirit" than that of Lutheran."

Luther disagreed with you but I'm sure that won't stop you.

But then if we were having an honorable conversation I'd know your name.

Anonymous said...

You sound to me like a Calvinist who is trying to assure himself that Lutheranism is akin to Calvinism with a few minor differences.

You claim to be a Lutheran, but I do not know of any orthodox confessional Lutheran who would assume such a cavalier attitude about the very significance differences between Lutheranism and Calvinism.

David Gray said...

That's because most Lutherans don't know much about Calvin, his theology, or the Reformed Confessions.

Jordan Cooper has some insight on the topic. Spend many hours with him.

And tell him your name.

Anonymous said...

Lutheranism and Calvinism are cousins. There's a reason we're all called Protestants. Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy deny scripture alone, grace alone, and faith alone by which we are saved. Any Lutheran's infatuation with Rome or who claims we are closer to Rome than Geneva is delusional.

Anonymous said...

David Gray, let me guess, you were born and raised a Calvinist and for whatever reason are in a Lutheran congregation and are striving to reconcile Lutheranism with Calvinism.


David Gray said...

No regarding your assertions.

Yes, this anonymous, frivolous commentary you persist with is sad.

Anonymous said...

David Gray shows his true colors in this comment from the "Just and Sinner" blog site..anyone who would be as comfortable in a Reformed Church as a Lutheran Church is not a Lutheran but just a crypto-Calvinist.

I don't say we agree completely but the fact is confessional Lutherans and confessional Calvinists are closer than any other two groupings. That is why I have my family in a Missouri Synod church now as we don't have a confessional Reformed church within 100 miles.

David Gray said...

Yes, why don't you give the date for that quote.

Like an honest man would.

(Over five years ago for those scoring at home)

David Gray said...

And, of course, an honest man engaged in this sort of discussion would use his name.

Anonymous said...

So, you are now saying you would not join a Reformed church?

David Gray said...

Yes, that's what I'm saying, if there was a confessional Lutheran church available.

I know for someone who won't use his name it is hard to understand a man who uses his name and speaks openly at a given moment in time. Of course earlier you suggested I was making this name up so it is remarkable that you feel that the man in Just And Sinner was me (it was).

Having been born and raised a Baptistic Christian the confessional Reformed and confessional Lutheran are closer than is sometimes acknowledged. Jumping from Baptist to Reformed was a bigger change than going from Reformed to Lutheran.

David Gray said...

I would also note that when we started attending our LCMS church I was entirely open with my pastor why we were there. And being a good confessional church that practices closed communion we didn't commune until we felt we could become members. We did go forward for a blessing for ourselves and our children. I now have two confirmed children with a few more to go. One is serving as an acolyte.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gray, I'd be curious to know how you believe Calvinism and Lutheranism are "close" to each other on the Lord's Supper? Dennis P.

David Gray said...

I was raised as a Baptistic Christian who was taught that the Lord's Supper was purely a memorial meal.

The Belgic Confession describes the Lord's Supper thus:

"To represent to us this spiritual and heavenly bread Christ has instituted an earthly and visible bread as the sacrament of his body and wine as the sacrament of his blood. He did this to testify to us that just as truly as we take and hold the sacraments in our hands and eat and drink it in our mouths, by which our life is then sustained, so truly we receive into our souls, for our spiritual life, the true body and true blood of Christ, our only Savior. We receive these by faith, which is the hand and mouth of our souls."

That teaches that worthy recipients receive the true body and true blood. They differ on who receives it (worthy recipients only) and how it is received but that is still a world closer to Lutheranism than an empty memorial which simply serves as a reminder.

David Gray said...

When I was a Presbyterian I taught my children that when they received the bread they received Christ's body and when they received the wine they received Christ's blood. I remember my son as a toddler crying out when the bread was being passed "That's Christ's body" and nobody in the church batted an eye.

That doesn't mean that Lutheran and Reformed teaching on the Lord's Supper are the same but they are much closer to each other than to Baptistic teaching.

David Gray said...

Just to clarify, they didn't actually receive the bread and wine at their young age, I'm speaking in general terms.

Dennis P. said... really think that is "close" to what the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions teach? It is word-play. It simply affirms that as far as the heavens are above the earth are the body and blood of Christ distance from the bread and wine. This is vague and purposefully vague language. Like I said, clearly you are a crypto-Calvinist.

The statement rejects the oral eating and drinking of the Supper, by ALL who receive it, worthy or not worthy, and of course, rejects the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the elements of bread and wine.

It is Calvinist crap.

David Gray said...

My jolly friend, I didn't say they were the same. But it is much closer to Lutheran teaching than it is to the theology of the empty memorial.

David Gray said...

Dennis, I think you should start considering the words of the 8th Commandment.

Dennis P. said...

Gray: The Belgic Confession is just a more sophisticated and sophist form of Zwinglianism. The bread and wine are nothing more than empty symbols. There is no real presence in Calvinism. Bread and wine are just that: bread and wine. And that is why it is Calvinist crap. You are deceiving yourself, but not others.

And you are quite evidently nothing more than a crypto-Calvinist.

Dennis P.

David Gray said...

Dennis P.

I take it that the "P" isn't for prudent.

Cliff said...

While I usually don't read read anonymous comments, the one dated May 12th, 2019 at 12:45 P.M. made a good point about Catholics rejecting Luther and the Reformation. There seems to be a gusto of finger pointing by Roman Catholics such as the article below as well as vitriol spewed by the likes of Michael Voris, John Henry Weston and many "traditional" Catholics.

Alex Precht said...

Mr. Gray, Your effort to make it seem as though Calvinism (Belgic Confession form of it, apparently) is similar to Lutheranism when it comes to the Lord's Supper is simply absurd and betrays a deep ignorance on your part about Confessional Lutheranism. While harsh, I have to agree with various other remarks directed toward you on this point.

Alex Precht

David Gray said...


I can live with your assessment.


David Gray said...

To clarify, it isn't that the assessment is accurate and it doesn't bother me, rather I can live with it because it has little merit.

Alex Precht said...

Mr. Gray, please tell us how you think Lutheranism and Calvinism differ on the Lord's Supper, since you seem to think so many Lutherans really do not understand this correctly. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I would also like to understand how Calvinism and Lutheranism differ on the Supper, according to Mr. Gray.

David Gray said...

This is progress. At least people aren't saying that I claim they are the same.

I've been busy, I'll have an answer later.

David Gray said...

This is from Jordan Cooper and is a good start:

"Calvin saw that Zwingli was flawed. This is why he believed in an actual participation of his body and blood. However, Calvin was already committed to the idea that Christ’s human nature could not be omnipresent. Thus, he developed a new formula which involved the Spirit causing the soul to ascend to heaven. Lutheran theologians argued against this proposition in three ways. First of all, the Bible simply does not mention any such action. The Spirit is not ever spoken of as being an instrument in bringing us Christ through the supper. If it is not exegetically supportable, it should not be accepted. Secondly, the idea of us ascending to God is contrary to the message of the New Testament. The gospel is about Christ descending to save us. Thus, the supper as a visible form of the gospel, unless otherwise stated in Scripture, should be seen to work the same way. Thirdly, this idea is based upon the assumption that Christ cannot be present in his human nature in more than one place. This has already been shown to be unproven.

"The final attack of the Lutheran dogmatists against the Calvinistic theory of the Eucharist is that the Calvinists believe that Christ is present only by faith. There is no presence of Christ for the unbeliever. Much of the argument came from John 6:63 which says, “the Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing.” How can Jesus’ life giving bread be given to those who are in the flesh? For this verse to have any bearing upon the discussion, it must be shown that this chapter is about the Eucharist. If this chapter is shown to be about the Eucharist, it contains several statements which prove the Lutheran doctrine of the presence of Christ’s human nature. “For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.” Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians point to the fact that unbelievers do partake of Christ’s body and blood, but rather than unto life, unto judgement. “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.” Paul sees those who partake unworthily of sinning against the actual body and blood of the Lord, not of a symbol. This offense was so serious that God killed members of the congregation for doing so.

"Calvin’s position, as a compromise corrected several of the errors in Zwingli’s exegesis. However, he still held to assumptions that controlled his reading of the crucial passages of the text, not allowing them to speak for themselves. Luther was justified in not accepting Zwingli’s hand of fellowship."

David Gray said...

It should be kept in mind that this began because someone committed the error of trying to use the CT as an authoritative representation of Calvin's thought on the Lord's Supper. Doing this reflects either ignorance or dishonesty. I'll give the subject of my critique the benefit of the doubt that it is a matter of ignorance, which is not desirable but is not malicious.

One of the strengths of Cooper's discussion is he actually wrestles with what Calvin taught. That's why he'll get a hearing from serious Calvinsits whereas the CT critique can be easily dismissed. If you're going to critique another school of theology make it a strong critique so you aren't actually undermining the points you wish to make.

Maybe that makes me crypto-honest or something.

Anonymous said...

It is impossible to claim that the Consensus Tigurinus is not a reflection of John Calvin's beliefs about the Lord's Supper. He wrote it. He owns it. His efforts to take back what he said or equivocate about it were and are insufficient.

Further, the Calvinist position on the Supper is that there actually is NO REAL PRESENCE of the body and blood of Christ under the elements of the bread and the wine, they are not given into the mouth of every communicant, worthy or unworthy. Calvinism is merely a more "sophisticated" form of Zwinglianism.

The Calvin's position on the Supper is subtle sophistry.

All due respect to Jordan Cooper but he lacks the historical and theological credentials to speak as an authority on these issues.

Better to let a genuine expert on the subject explain these things:

Hermann Sasse

A tour de force.

David Gray said...

Cooper suffers under the burden of knowledge. If only the burden was more widely shared.

And again if you want to know Calvin's thoughts on the Lord's Supper read the Institutes and his Short Treatise on the Lord's Supper, not a political document.

I think ignorance is becoming a less viable excuse.

David Gray said...

Sasse from "This Is My Body"

"While strict Lutherans were inclined to believe that in Luther's evaluation Calvin would have been only and Zwingli, other speak of him as if he were the only true Lutheran in the 16th century after Luther. Either view, of course, is untenable." pages 320-321

I know, you think Sasse is a crypto-Calvinist.

David Gray said...

Error, instead of "and Zwingli" make that "another Zwingli."

David Gray said...

By the way, if you recommend Sasse shouldn't you also read Sasse first?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gray, you would do well to read Sasse more carefully and extensively. There is NO REAL PRESENCE in Calvin's doctrine of the Supper. A point you apparently are finding terribly hard to grasp.

In his doctrine of the Lord's Supper, Calvin tries to find the via media between Luther and Zwingli. Already in the first edition of the Institutio, which appeared in the year of the Wittenberg Concord, his doctrine was almost complete. Without mentioning names, he rejects the understanding of the Words of Institution held by Luther on the one hand, and by Zwingli and Oecolampadius on the other hand. Neither is the bread the body or the body is the bread, nor is the bread a mere sign or figure of the body. In the Sacrament 'we are spiritually fed', that is, our souls are fed with the body and blood of the Lord. There is no Real Presence of the body of Christ in the sacrament, as Luther believes, for the body of Christ exists, locally circumscribed, in heaven.

From This Is My Body, Luther's Contention for the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar (Revised Australian Edition, Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide, 1977), pp261-262.

David Gray said...

Shifting the goal posts is the mark of a dishonest debater.

We're done.

Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

You have a different spirit, Mr. Gray. You are a Crypto-Calvinist.

Yes we are done.

Dave Armstrong said...

Thanks for the favorable mention, Pastor. I appreciate it, and glad to hear that you agree. Historical facts is facts.

As always, I will be controversial in a Lutheran combox, but on questions of historical fact (historical theology), it should not be the case. The dispute should not be about myself and my overall apologetics (wascally wascal that I am!), but rather, about whether my stated facts are correct. Anyone is welcome to attempt to disprove them. I've been studying Luther for 28 years as a Catholic, and I had read the famous [good and fair] Bainton biography as a Protestant: way back in 1984. Luther was indeed my hero in those days, and I still admire many things about him.

It is also true that I have had many of my best dialogues with Lutherans: several of whom I count as admired friends.

I haven't yet read a single comment, as I just discovered this. I shall do so now, and if there are factual errors, I will assuredly respond, if not here, then on my blog, as all this is already public.

Dave Armstrong said...

I have refuted James Swan's errors (especially regarding myself) many times, including the long article mentioned in the first comment. I replied in three parts (now on Internet Archive):

I have a long and (shall we say) interesting history with Mr. Swan. He got so frustrated with me at one point that he seriously argued that I was a psychotic. The main reason (far as I can tell) that he thought that was because I removed some of my comments from one of his threads.

Yeah, I thought it was bizarre, too. He has lobbed literally innumerable insults my way through the years: many of them bald-faced lies.

One can see my many replies and refutations of his charges in his section on my Anti-Catholicism page (just word-search his name):

Swan is Reformed / Calvinist, not Lutheran. Most Lutherans I have dialogued with were not anti-Catholic at all (meaning that they regarded me -- unlike Swan -- as a fellow Christian).

Dave Armstrong said...

Well, that was quick. No one even attempted to rebut anything I have claimed about Luther. If someone tries, I have selected the box that will inform me of replies to my comments. Perhaps someone did over at my National Catholic Register article. I won't hold my breath, though . . .

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt in mind that David Armstrong is, in fact, suffering from mental illness.

The fact that he can not but comment on any Internet comment about the Papist Church, is proof positive.

As much as he would love to rub our noses in it, he is entirely ignorant of the fact that in no case does the Lutheran Church subscribe to every minor observation of Martin Luther.

Further, he is a dishonest man for he full realizes that Luther very much distanced himself from the doctrine of the Papist Church regarding Mary.

And then there is this "minor detail" that sets him to the lee.

The Lutheran Church's public doctrine is well documented in the Book of Concord of 1580, easily read. Nowhere does the Book of Concord accept all of Luther's private observations.

For that matter, David Armstrong has quite enough to do with a heretic who presently is in the office of the papacy.

What will he do? Does he still abide the present Apostate who is Pope?

Armstrong, mind your own business.

Dave Armstrong said...

"Anonymous said..."

It's long been my experience that those who offer nothing of substance and only wish to insult hide behind anonymity, as cowards.

"There is no doubt in mind that David Armstrong is, in fact, suffering from mental illness."

Even James Swan issued a disclaimer that he couldn't be sure. But you ARE. Fascinating.

"As much as he would love to rub our noses in it, he is entirely ignorant of the fact that in no case does the Lutheran Church subscribe to every minor observation of Martin Luther."

Really? You seem to be quite the omniscient fellow: capable of reading both minds and hearts. In this case, you are wrong, and are lying (therefore sinning). I wrote, way back on 2-1-07: "Thankfully, as in the question of free will, Melanchthon and the Lutheran Confessions reverted back to Catholic tradition, over against Luther. . . . The Lutheran Confessions rightly rejected Luther’s bizarre, blasphemous views on this question." [regarding the question of Jesus' descent into Hades after He died]

And I wrote on 10-9-07:

"Now, when I cite Luther, Lutherans will invariably “inform” me of something I already know: that Luther is not the norm of Lutheran theology, but rather, the confessions in the Book of Concord comprise that rule."

"Further, he is a dishonest man for he full realizes that Luther very much distanced himself from the doctrine of the Papist Church regarding Mary."

Then it should be easy for you to refute what I have written. It's easy to make dumb, ignorant statements; much harder to back them up with documented proof. I have noted in this paper (cited in the OP) and many others of mine, where Luther differed with Catholicism. But he also agreed with us in many ways. Why should that bother you in the first place, since (as you note), you're not bound as a Lutheran to anything he says, but rather, to the Lutheran Confessions (some of which, however, were written by Luther).

"The Lutheran Church's public doctrine is well documented in the Book of Concord of 1580, easily read."

No kidding!

"Nowhere does the Book of Concord accept all of Luther's private observations."

Never said it did. My quotations above from 12 years ago prove it, since I cite the Confessions over against erroneous Luther opinions. Another example would be his espousal of double predestination, which the Confessions rejected.

"Armstrong, mind your own business."

This has nothing to do with butting into someone else's business. I was cited favorably in the OP. That's why I'm here! Others came in and started attempting to "argue" with me (though they never actually rose to the level of rational, documented opposition). I have, thus, defended myself. I just showed that you have no idea what you are talking about, and have been caught lying and bearing false witness.

I pray that you will repent of these sins. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Dave, we get it. You do what you do. You need to tend to your own Papist affairs. Your Church is in chaos at present. You would do much better to devote your time to addressing the apostasy, heresy, immorality and corruption in the Roman Church, starting with Pope Francis and on down. Once you figure out a way through the clerics in your church buggering boys...then you might find time to lecture others.