November 19, 2017

Reformation 500:The Hiddeness of God in Luther’s Theological Method

In few areas did Martin Luther break more cleanly from the Roman Church than in his outright rejection of scholastic theology. This was not a superficial revision of certain scholastic abuses, but a full-blown condemnation of the heart of scholastic thought. Perhaps this is most clearly seen in his radical departure from the prevailing theological […]

Reformation 500: Luther’s Prayers

Some Prayers of Martin Luther One of Martin Luther’s tasks in reforming the church and raising the level of faith among the people was helping them learn to pray. For example, in his greatest work, The Small Catechism, he encouraged families to have morning and evening prayers together. How the head of the family should […]

iMonk Classic: Sin to Spite the Devil

From 2004. “Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with […]

Another Look: Luther on Good Works

Note from CM: I was going to save this post for October, when we will focus almost exclusively on the Reformation, this being its 500th anniversary. But right now, as I posted last week, I am reading Inhabiting the Cruciform God, by Michael J. Gorman, a book that reorients the whole idea of justification around […]

Music Monday: October 24, 2016

Music Monday: Preparing for Reformation Day One of Martin Luther’s great contributions to the Church was the restoration of hymn-singing to the people of God. A favorite album in my collection that I love to listen to this time of year was released by Concordia Publishing House; it’s called Martin Luther: Hymns, Ballads, Chants, Truth. It […]

Another Look: Luther on Good Works

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love. • Galatians 5:2, NRSV For Christ at the last day will not ask how much you have prayed, fasted, pilgrimaged, done this or that for yourself, but how much good you have done to others, […]

Luther: Living in a “Halloween” World

  And though this world with devils fill’d Should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath will’d His truth to triumph through us. • Martin Luther, trans. Frederick Hedge Brother Martin lived in God’s presence, but they were generally three, for the Devil was seldom absent. • G.W. Foote • • […]

Another Look: The Apocalyptic Luther

Note from CM: This was first posted as an IM Book Review in December, 2012. I offer it again today (with a few edits), because it brings together emphases from this past week of posts: eschatology and the Reformation. It was eye-opening to me to realize the extent to which Luther was influenced by Last […]

IM Book Review: An Apocalyptic Luther

Luther: Man Between God and the Devil Heiko A. Oberman Yale University Press (1989) * * * If you want to read a biography of Martin Luther, it is probably wise to start with one that outlines his life and times in fairly standard terms. I would recommend Roland Bainton’s classic, Here I Stand: A […]

“The Church’s Richest Jewels”

In 1539, late in his career, Martin Luther wrote “On the Councils and the Church.” One avenue for reformation that Luther and others had regularly called for was a church council. Over the course of time, however, Luther became disillusioned that a “free, Christian council” could be convened that would properly reform the church and […]