Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Martin Luther

Luther is complex! He’s superstitious due to his growing up a son of a miner and evidenced in his “storm-experience” where he promised St. Anne that he would become a monk (McDonough 83). He was a Catholic Friar, Early Catholic Reformer, and then a mature Protestant reformer and in these views there also lies the polemicist, the doctor and professor, poet and musician, and simple man with human failings (McDonough 63). He was always conscious of himself as a sinner, and not just a fallen one, but essentially a nihilist in his view of human ability. He seems impulsive, obstinate, rash and subjective—not because he was intentionally ego-centric, selfish, or biased, but because of his framework of Law-Gospel and God’s grace (McDonough 65).

Luther was the most reviled and hated person of his age yet at the same time, the most beloved and revered (Paulson 208). He was like a man who was reaching out in the dark and found a rope, and then was startled to hear a bell clanging (Cranz 83). Luther found out what a revolution it was to have Jesus Christ on your mind at all times and finding out that this causes all hell to break loose. Luther was not a mystic, he thought that the news came not from within but from outside, that this news was an announcement not a riddle about what God has done namely that Christ promise of forgiveness was the only way sinners were made right with God (Paulson 207).

Luther will be portrayed as a loud, yet humorous man; the first to speak yet surprised at others interpretations of his words. He will be larger-than-life yet be a sensitive soul. He will react first and reflect later. His modern equivalent would be Archie Bunker, gruff yet loveable.

6 comments:

lneely said...

"Luther found out what a revolution it was to have Jesus Christ on your mind at all times and finding out that this causes all hell to break loose.""he thought that the news came not from within but from outside"What do these mean?

lneely said...

Ugh, the line breaks didn't work... Separate them by the quotes...

Luke said...

ugh, that sounds really "Christianese" (i.e. language used by only christians so that only other christians will understand). i recoil at that statement and wonder why i wrote it.

what it was supposed to mean was that when you truly meditate on something, spend all your time on trying to figure out a puzzle or task... and then BAM! an epiphany! where do these revelations come from? scientifically, some argue that it's our brains connecting and reconnecting the neural connections and re-ordering the protein chains that make up our memory, but i don't think that's an adequate explaination.

there are some solutions i come to that are so far beyond my logic and normal way of thinking, i can't help think that an outside force helped. or it's my subconscious ;-) either way...

it shows a theistic worldview and specifically christian worded one at that. gotta name the bais when you can ;-)

lneely said...

No, no, they weren't too Christianese (love the term), just a little open to interpretation from someone not so well versed in church history. ;) Thanks for the clarification.

So what I'm to understand from the section in question is: Luther believed in revealed truth (through contemplating Christ and scripture?), and that the source of all revealed truth comes from the Judeo-Christian god, not from within. Hope I got that right. Interestingly, Luther's views don't sound too far off from conservative Christians (non-Catholic) today. I shouldn't be surprised since he was the father of Protestantism and all...

Great articles so far. Enjoying them quite a bit.

societyvs said...

I think Luther is the truest form of a Christian schizophrenic - in one sense he writes about the freedom of faith and in another he writes anti-semitic bs that helps fuel this fire.

I cannot say I have respect for this man because of his writings on the Jews...I often wonder what this man thought of anything different than him...he woulda hated my culture (I know that).

In Christianity, he is painted in such a good light by Lutherans, Chuck Colson, and whomever needs a spotlight on someone for 'change'. The reality is - he was a little more darker than that. And I think when he gets dark - he gets viciously dark.

His tract on 'the Jews and their lies' would be tantamount to someone coming out right now and writing something in vociferous attacks against Mormons.

I hate to say this one tract taints him - but it does...namely because that tract gets referenced by Hitler in Germany and may very well be the 300 year antecedent to a movement against Jewish people in the Europe regions? I just can't let Luther slide that easy...and I hope to hell no one lets me slide if I write something so racist and venomous againts a group of people.

Luke said...

"I hope to hell no one lets me slide if I write something so racist and venomous againts a group of people."

yeah, this really mars Luther's legacy. but that's right in with his character. he started out for moderation with the pope and with other religions, but as things progressed, he hardened and became unyielding.

he's human: full of follies, contradictions, racism, and sin. his view of humanity is ZERO so he'd say "of course i sinned and this is wrong and i see that now" if he were here today. or he'd stick to his guns and yell at us for slide'n. hard to say.

but this reminds me of a song! Everyone's a Little Bit Racist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbwNSNLPIfw yay!