Modern lutheran Quote of the Day

What is abundantly clear is that Jesus is the Goad of Abraham, witnessed to and proclaimed in Moses and the prophets. He is the God of mercy, the one who appeared rich in the parable, clothed in purple and eating sumptuously every day. He was poor and damned, and this One who looked disgusting and ignoble was God’s own beloved child.

Thy Kingdom Come: Lent and Easter Sermons
David H. Peterson
p. 58

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Luther Quote of the Day

And what are the apostles doing when they prove their own preachings by the Scriptures? Are they trying to obscure for us their own darkness with yet greater darkness? Or to prove something well known by something known less well? What is Christ doing in John 5[:39], where he tells the Jews to search the Scriptures because they bear witness to him? Is he trying to put them in doubt about faith in him? What are those people in Acts 17[:11] doing, who after hearing Paul were reading the Scriptures day and night to see if these things were so? Do not all these things prove that the apostles, like Christ himself, point us to the Scriptures as the very clearest witnesses to what they themselves say? What right have we, then, to make them obscure? I ask you, are these words of Scripture obscure or ambiguous: “God created heaven and earth”; “the Word became flesh”; and all those affirmations which the whole world has taken as articles of faith? And where have they been taken from? Isn’t it from the Scriptures?

And what is it that preachers do, to this very day? Do they interpret and expound the Scriptures? Yet if the Scripture they expound is uncertain, who can assure us that their exposition is certain? Another new exposition? And who will expound the exposition? At this rate we shall go on forever. In short, if Scripture is obscure or ambiguous, what point was there in God’s giving it to us? Are we not obscure and ambiguous enough without having our obscurity, ambiguity, and darkness augmented for us from heaven? What, then, will become of that word of the apostle. “All Scripture inspired by God is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction” [II Tim. 3:16]? Nay, Paul, it is not profitable at all, but the things you attribute to Scripture must be sought from the Fathers who have been approved for hundreds of years, and from the Roman See! So the statement must be revoked which you make in writing to Titus, that a bishop must be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it, and silence empty talkers and deceivers [Titus 1:9 ff.]. How can he, when you leave the Scriptures obscure to him, giving him, as it were, arms of tow and slender reeds for a sword? Then Christ, too, will have to recant, for he makes us a false promise when he says: “I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand” [Luke 21:15]. How will they not withstand when we oppose them with obscure and uncertain weapons? And why do you yourself, Erasmus, set out the nature of Christianity for us if the Scriptures are obscure to you?

But I fancy I have long since grown wearisome, even to dullards, by spending so much time and trouble on a matter that is so very clear. But that impudent and blasphemous saying that the Scriptures are obscure had to be overwhelmed in this way so that even you, my dear Erasmus, might realize what you are saying when you deny that Scripture is crystal clear. For you are bound to admit at the same time that all your saints whom you quote are much less crystal clear. For who is there to make us sure of their light if you make the Scriptures obscure? So those who deny that the Scriptures are quite clear and plain leave us nothing but darkness.

The Bondage of the Will
Luther’s Works Vol. 33
p 93-94

Church Father Quote of the Day

Do not wait to experience for yourself how wretched it is to be inhuman, and how good it is to open your heart toward those in need. Do not wish to become an example of how God shows the strength of his arm against the proud, against those who pass by without taking care of the poor. Learn this from the calamities of others; give even just a little to those who are in need; it is not so little for those who need everything, and neither is it little to God, if it is in accordance with your means. Instead of a large sum of money, give your whole heart.

Gregory of Nazianzus
On the Love for the Poor, 26-29

Lent and Easter with the Early Church Fathers
Marco Pappalardo
p 20

Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

That the disciples were surprised by the resurrection seem surprising to us. So also, we are surprised that James and John seem so blind to the character of the kingdom. But we often think that they had advantages that we don’t, when, in fact, it is the other way around; we have advantages they didn’t. We know the end of the story. We have the benefit of their ministry and writing and 2000 years of church history since Pentecost to help us with these things. We are dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants, and we are surprised that the giants don’t see as far as we do. 

Thy Kingdom Come: Lent and Easter Sermons
David H. Peterson
p. 56-57

 

Luther Quote of the Day

All I say about these saints of yours, or rather ours, is that since they disagree with one another, those ought rather to have been followed who have spoken best, that is, against free choice and in support of grace, while those ought to have been ignored who, because of the infirmity of the flesh, have borne witness rather to the flesh than the Spirit. Similarly, with regard to those who are not consistent with themselves, the passages should have been selected and held on to where they speak under the influence of the Spirit, and those where they savor of the flesh should have been ignored. That was the proper thing for a Christian reader to do, as a clean beast that parts the hoof and chews the cud [Lev. 11:3]. As it is, by failing to exercise judgment we swallow everything indiscriminately, or what is worse, by a perversion of judgment we throw away the better and accept the worse parts of the same authors. Then we attach to these worse parts the title and authority of their author’s sanctity, which has been deserved only because of what is best in them, and on account of the Spirit alone, not because of free choice or the flesh.

The Bondage of the Will
Luther’s Works Vol. 33
p 88-89

Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

The command to “call no man your father” is obviously hyperbole. No serious Christian has ever refrained from calling his biological father by some sort of title that means, in essence, “Father”. Nor has any Christian father forbidden his children from calling him “Father” or “Dad” or “Papa.”

What, then, does our Lord command? He commands, in the first place, that we follow those who sit in the seat of Moses. This is about divine offices. When we address any man as teacher, master, father, shepherd, or helper, we do so seeing that these men are serving in offices that God has established and wherein He provides for us. We have earthly fathers and we have earthly teachers, but they are not our true fathers or our true teachers. Yet they are the means by which our true Father and teacher provides for us. Thus, we honor the office and obey.

Thy Kingdom Come: Lent and Easter Sermons
David H. Peterson
p. 54