Daily Archives: 2 Dec 2017

Quote of the Day

If this doesn’t sound like contemporary life, nothing does-

Now they are steeped in all sorts of injustice, rottenness, greed and malice; full of envy, murder, wrangling, treachery and spite, libellers, slanderers, enemies of God, rude, arrogant and boastful, enterprising in evil, rebellious to parents, without brains, honour, love or pity. They are well aware of God’s ordinance: that those who behave like this deserve to die — yet they not only do it, but even applaud others who do the same.  (Rom. 1:29-32)

Franklin Graham, Your Blind Support of Donald Trump is not Just Wrong, it’s Evil

And what does Scripture say of people aligning with evil?

Woe to the rebellious children — declares Yahweh — who make plans which do not come from me and make alliances not inspired by me, and so add sin to sin! (Isa. 30:1)

You’re sinning, Franklin.  You and Metaxas and Falwell Jr. and White and the rest.  You’re sinning.  Repent while you can.  Read Isaiah 30 in its entirety and understand it’s theological message, Franklin.  You’ve chosen evil against Yahweh, and you’ll answer for it.  You and Metaxas and Falwell Jr and White and all the rest.

Important Women of the Reformation

In his letter of November 30, 1524, Martin Luther made reference to a noblewoman named Argula von Grumbach. Today let’s take a closer look at this very interesting woman.

Argula von Grumbach was born into the Bavarian noble family known as von Stauff in 1492. She was given a good education and, at the age of ten, her father gave her a copy of the Koberger Bible, a contemporary German-language translation. Her parents both died of the plague in 1509 and her uncle, Hieronymus von Stauff, became her guardian. At the age of sixteen, she became a lady-in-waiting to Queen Kunigunde, the wife of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. It was possibly here that her serious theological study began.

In 1516, Argula married Friedrich von Grumbach with whom she had four children. Her study of theology, especially the works of Martin Luther and Phillip Melanchthon put an enormous strain on their marriage.

Argula came to the attention of the theological world when she wrote a letter to the Rector and faculty of the University of Ingolstadt in 1523. A young faculty member named Arsacius Seehofer, who had studied in Wittenberg, brought the writings of Melanchthon and Karlstadt into his class, and was arrested for his Lutheran views. Argula’s letter was strongly worded and filled with scriptural references. She admitted that she did not know Latin and so may not have been as well educated as they, but she knew her Bible and would make her case from that.

The letter was published in pamphlet form, widely disseminated, and soon her name was impugned in sermon’s across Bavaria. The defamation did not stop her. Argula continued writing letters encouraging the reformers in their work.

Argula never considered herself a Lutheran. Luther, however, referred to her positively in his letters and even met her while he was at the Coberg Castle during the meetings at Augsberg which led to the Augsberg Confession.

Her letter writing apparently lasted only a few years. The reason isn’t clear but may have partially been due to the fact that the Reformation did not take a strong hold in Bavaria. Unclear also is when Argula died. But Argula von Grumbach’s name still lives among us as a defender of the faith through the written word.

The picture “Argula von Grumbach while explaining the Scriptures” is from the website ciekawostki historyczne.

-Rebecca DeGarmeaux for Katie Luther

A Bit of the Backstory to Zwingli’s Call to Zurich

ulrich-zwingli-briefmarkeStrong as was the sentiment in Zurich in favor of Zwingli, there were not wanting those who from the start opposed his election. A personality so aggressive could not fail to make enemies. Many hated him because of his views on the subject of foreign pensions; others whose sympathies were thoroughly Roman suspected his loyalty to the Church, and caught a faint vision of what his coming to Zurich would mean. The opposition, though bitter and determined, because of the fewness of their numbers despaired from the start of accomplishing anything.

As soon as it was known that Zwingli was under consideration several candidates were put forward for the place, and among them one Lawrence Fable, who preached a sermon in the Great Minster, and of whom the report was circulated that he had been chosen. Zwingli at first was inclined to credit the report. Hitherto he had appeared quite indifferent to what was occurring at Zurich. The knowledge that unworthy persons were seeking to supplant him seems to have acted as a stimulus. At any rate, he now became interested to the extent of writing to Myconius in regard to his prospects.

In a letter under date of December 2, 1518, assuming the truthfulness of the report with respect to Fable, he says, “Well! I know the significance of popular applause. A Swabian preferred to a Swiss! Truly, a prophet is without honor in his own country.” Myconius in reply the next day removes his false apprehension. “Fable will remain a fable; for they have learned that he is father of six boys and holds I know not how many livings.”

He then proceeds to assure him of the number and strength of his friends, and of his own unceasing activity in his behalf. He does not conceal from him the doings of his enemies, and mentions certain charges that were being circulated against his character. “Although there is no one,” he says, “but praises your teachings to the skies, there are certain to whom your natural aptitude for music appears to be a sin, and thence infer that you are impure and worldly.”

Again, he assures him that he has great reason to hope. “It is right that you should take courage and not despair. Even the canons who are opposed to you predict to themselves that you will be the next preacher.” He closes with the exhortation, “Hope on, for I hope.”

The election took place on the 11th of December, 1518, and Zwingli was chosen by a large majority. This event caused great rejoicing among his friends, except those at Einsiedeln, for whom it was a matter of the keenest regret. The administrator of the Abbey, Baron Geroldseck, whose relationship with Zwingli had ripened into the warmest of friendships, was especially affected. Even the council of the canton were impressed to the extent of transmitting to Zwingli a letter of regret couched in the most respectful terms.1

1Simpson, S. Life of Ulrich Zwingli: The Swiss Patriot and Reformer (pp. 71–73).