Skip to comments.What was tragic about the Lutheran Reformation?
Posted on 10/31/2012 12:52:34 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
A blog post on the First Things web site some time ago was drawn to my attention by a couple colleagues as we were eating lunch the other day. A perceptive remark was made about it. The article, by a LCMS pastor, is rather typical of what the Roman Catholic journal, First Things, loves to publish: hand-wringing articles by Lutherans over the Reformation.
In the article, the pastor opines that the better color for Reformation Sunday would be a color of mourning, rather than a festive red. He laments the Reformation as a tragedy. He is correct, but for the wrong reason.
Must we lament our sin? Indeed. Must we lament our human pride? Yes! Is the Church always in need of Reformation? Absolutely. Is God, by His Most Holy Word and Sacraments constantly reforming you, me and the whole Christian Church on earth? Amen, Amen, may it ever be so! But, should we lament the fact of the Reformation? No, unless we wish to lament Gods gift of the Gospel, which came breaking through with great clarity once more at this time.
Ironically, though, the author of the article misses the actual tragedy of the Reformation; namely, that it was not wholly successful. The Roman Catholic Church, as such, was formed as a direct result of the Counter-Reformation Council of Trent. And at the Council of Trent the door was slammed shut on the very Gospel itself, the good news that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone. What was at least an option before Trent, was pronounced to be a damning error.
This is the tragedy of the Reformation!
....the author of the article misses the actual tragedy of the Reformation; namely, that it was not wholly successful. The Roman Catholic Church, as such, was formed as a direct result of the Counter-Reformation Council of Trent. And at the Council of Trent the door was slammed shut on the very Gospel itself, the good news that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone. What was at least an option before Trent, was pronounced to be a damning error.
This is the tragedy of the Reformation!
Concord where it counts does not come about by the sword or by the edicts of men.
Given what has happened to the Episcopal church, soon the UMC and the ELCA, why would one regard the Reformation as anything but tragic?
“The Roman Catholic Church, as such, was formed”
Absolutely one-hundred percent rubbish. If they weren’t trying to reform the Catholic church then what the heck were they trying to reform?
You are aware that Luther et all were all Catholic priests.
The Reformation is about correcting abuses, not endorsing them.
Here’s the article. It’s not written by a Catholic for a Catholic either... First Things is protestants although obviously the ‘wrong kind’ of protestant. ;)
Timothy George is a Southern Baptist. Maybe you should try checking your facts next time.
So we should expect to see a reform of the reformation to correct stuff like this?
LOL! How ironic - you posted the wrong article. And have you seen First Things' masthead ads? What was that you were saying about fact-checking?
Absolutely!! Actually, those who espouse a reformed understanding of the Scriptures would deem this organization just as cultish as Rome. It is as despicable and false representation of the Gospel as Rome promulgates when it claims the seven sacraments, sacerdotalism, indulgences, purgatory, papalism, icons, genuflecting, pater nosters, mariolatry, and so forth, have any basis in biblical reality.
The message of the Gospel rediscovered in the Reformation was that salvation is by grace, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by any action on man's part, lest a man boast. There is the Reformation needed everywhere, and all the time: Jesus is the One who is the Author and Finisher of faith.
A real reformation was probably impossible given the entrenched corruption of the clergy. So long as this unscriptural arrangement existed it would be a self serving class seeing its self above the ordinary Christian.
So a post by a Lutheran pastor and another post by a Southern Baptist equates with First Things being a Catholic site?
Interesting logic there. Anyhoo, it would have been great rather than posting the worthless blogpimp analysis of the article, if you actually posted the first thing article.
“have any basis in biblical reality.”
If you believe in scripture alone, why do you remain with a tradition that dates back no earlier than Luther?
Would it not make sense to go with what was actually written in the bible and not what the new tradition chose to keep?
The Reformation will not have its end of correcting abuses until the Last Day. That is its nature and purpose, so one would not expect to see it reform itself, any more than one would expect Truth to change and still be Truth.
the tragedy of the “reformation” was that is was rather a revolution. Luther had neither the authority nor the ability to reform anything in the Catholic Church. He did, however, have the ability to revolt against her, which he did. The result of his meddling, and convincing people that it was alright to do so,is the 20,000 or so “denominations” all of which think that they are correct and following the teachings of Christ......they are neither.
"We should preach the Word, but the results must be left solely to Gods good pleasure . . . I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached, and wrote Gods Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing; the Word did everything."
-- Martin Luther(LW 51:77).
Would it not make sense to go with what was actually written in the bible and not what the new tradition chose to keep?"
Advocacy for a "tradition", any tradition, was the problem which the Reformers identified. There is no "tradition". The Scriptures teach that those among the elect are saved by grace, through faith, and that not of oneself, it is a gift of God, not by works (as Rome advocates), lest any man boast. Check it out...Ephesians 2, Rom. 3 & 5, Col. etc. It is everywhere in the NT epistles, but suppressed by Rome for centuries.
If the Reformation were sincerely the vanguard of Christ - why then do we see the ECLA and the Episcopal church supporting gay marriage.
Which scriptures? What do you consider scripture? Which books, Dutchboy?
I certainly agree that denominationalism is no solution. A simple reading of the Scriptures was all the original reformers intended, an act the RCC suppressed. Today’s “Lutheranism” would not even approximate the views Luther found in the Scriptures. Read Bondage of the Will and compare it to today’s liberal “lutherans”. Not even close.