It’s The Birth Anniversary (The Birth-iversary ©) of Martin Luther, Augustinian

No need, is there, to delve into all those nifty biographical details on the anniversary of Luther’s birth.  I’ll just let him say something for himself:

Heretics are useful. We don’t realize how good it is for us to have opponents. If Cerinthus hadn’t lived, John would never have written what we have of his. Cerinthus attacked the person of Christ, and this compelled John to write and declare, ‘In the beginning was the Word’ [John 1:1]. John made the distinction of the three persons [of the Trinity] so clear that it couldn’t be made dearer.

So, too, Eck provoked me. He made me wide awake. I wished from the bottom of my heart that he would return to the way [of salvation], and therefore I wanted to strike out against him with my fist in the hope that he might be converted. But if he was always to remain as he had been, I wished him the papacy. He would have deserved it. He took all kinds of work upon himself, although he was in part paid for this, for he received income of seven hundred gulden from the parish in Ingolstadt alone. He would have been an inexpensive pope. They had nobody else who might have done it. He gave me my first ideas, and without him I would never have got this far. Accordingly our opponents are very useful to us, although they think they do us harm.

About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Lecturer in Church History and Biblical Studies at Ming Hua Theological College.
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1 Response to It’s The Birth Anniversary (The Birth-iversary ©) of Martin Luther, Augustinian

  1. Typical Luther! My own “slum” version of this, even before I learned of this quote, and which I have repeatedly published on Facebook in the past is the following:

    “The amen corner does not help me at all! They don’t challenge me, they don’t inspire me to seek improvements and to check my positions; those, however, who oppose me, who contradict me, who attack me for my positions are the ones who cause me one of these two goods, and hopefully, in a way, both: humility in resigning to their position and abandoning mine in full recognition of my errors; humility is good! Or, strength, I see their error and I take their attacks only to make my positions and myself even stronger! Strength is good; strength with humility is better. Thank you my opponents! If you get to heaven (which is unlikely if you oppose my positions), you will know ALL things. When you know ALL things, then you will agree with me; I can wait!”

    Not a literary piece, (as if I could!) but, nonetheless a small, microscopic speck of what Luther probably meant!


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