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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quote of the Day: Luther a Heretic in His Own Church, by Philip Schaff

Luther was, as Melanchthon called him, the Protestant Elijah. He spoke almost with the inspiration and authority of a prophet and apostle, and his word shook the Church and the Empire to the base. He can be to no nation what he is to the German, as little as Washington can be to any nation what he is to the American.389 And yet, strange to say, with all the overpowering influence of Luther, his personal views on the canon390 and on predestination391 were never accepted by his followers; and if we judge him by the standard of the Form of Concord, he is a heretic in his own communion as much as St. Augustine, on account of his doctrines of sin and grace, is a heretic in the Roman Church, revered though he is as the greatest among the Fathers. (Philip Schaff).



While most Calvinists would not accept Luther's rejection of James and Revelation from the canon of Scripture, it is indeed sad that the vast majority of Lutherans also reject Luther's views on predestination and therefore return to a somewhat semi-pelagian view of soteriology. We can only pray that God will bring His church back to the doctrines of grace alone.

Charlie

391 Luther, in his work De Servo Arbitrio, against Erasmus, written in 1525, teaches the slavery of the human will, the dualism in the divine will (secret and revealed), and unconditional predestination to salvation and damnation, in language stronger than even Calvin ever used, who liked the views of that book, but objected to some of its hyperbolical expressions (Opera, Tom. VII. p. 142). Melanchthon, who originally held the same Augustinian theory (like all the Reformers), gradually changed it (openly since 1535) in favor of a synergistic theory. But Luther never recalled his tract against Erasmus; on the contrary, he counted it among his best, and among the few of his books which he would not be willing 'to swallow, like Saturn his own children.' He never made this a point of difference from the Swiss. In the Articles of Smalcald, 1537 (III. i. p. 318, ed. Hase), he again denied the freedom of the will, as a scholastic error; and in his commentary on Genesis (Ch. vi. 6, 18; xxvi), one of his last works, he taught the same view of the secret will of God as in 1525. Comp. J. Müller: Lutheri de prædestinatione et libero arbitrio doctrina, 1832, and his Dogmat. Abhandlungen, 1870,pp. 187sqq.; Lütkens: Luther's Prædestinationslehre im Zusammenhang mit seiner Lehre vom freien Willen, 1858; Köstlin: Luther's Theologie in ihrer geschichtl. Entwicklung, 1863, Vol. II. pp. 32–55, 300–331; Schweizer: Die protest. Centraldogmen, 1854, Vol. I. pp. 57 sqq.; Dorner: Geschichte der protest. Theologie, 1867, Vol. I. pp. 194 sqq.

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