Daily Archives: 22 Aug 2018
From Athens to Washington via London: The story of a stolen and found medieval codex of the four Gospels
Fear not. Falwell, Graham, Jeffers and Metaxas will once again make virtue their rallying cry once the Republican moves out of the Lincoln bedroom. They will insist on morality then. But they don’t now because they are despicable hypocrites.
“In his letters Paul wrote about virtues and good works more fully and appropriately than all the philosophers. He extols the civil works of the godly very highly. Were not the battles and wars of David better than all the fasting and praying of the best and most pious monks? Meanwhile I’ll remain silent about the superstitious monks—like the one who wanted to conquer his concupiscence by smashing his dear chamber pot. Truly, this was noble mortification!” — Martin Luther
How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young– Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah (Ps. 84:1-4)
“If Jesus preached the same message some minister’s preach today, He would have never been crucified.” Leonard Ravenhill
Karlstadt … He was not in sympathy with the revolutionary tendencies of Thomas Münzer, but he and his followers were associated in the minds of many with the mysticism and agitations of the “Allstedtians” (Münzer was pastor at Allstedt). Luther sought to win Karlstadt back at a conference in Jena, August 22, 1524. The effort was fruitless, and because of the incendiary character of his preaching Karlstadt was expelled from Saxony, in 1524. He went to southern Germany, and eventually became a professor in Basel.
At Jena Luther had challenged Karlstadt to state his views publicly and in writing, and as a token of this invitation Luther gave him a gold coin. Karlstadt accepted the challenge and began a series of treatises on the Lord’s Supper. After his expulsion his tone became sharper toward Luther. In all, eight tracts were prepared—five on the Lord’s Supper, one on consideration for weak consciences, one on the nature of faith and unbelief, one in opposition to infant baptism.
Thus it was largely on the question of the sacraments that Karlstadt opposed Luther and found himself in Zwingli’s camp. For a disciple of Karlstadt brought the tracts to Zurich where they were read by the Anabaptist leaders, and to Basel where they were secretly printed. Late in 1524, the tract on baptism was confiscated, and the printer imprisoned. The remaining tracts were circulated, along with a statement of Karlstadt on his expulsion, and led to Zwingli’s statement on the Lord’s Supper and the consequent controversy between Zwingli and Luther on this issue.*
It isn’t always the case that controversy commences because of the actions of the chief combatants. Sometimes, someone else fires the first shot and others who are their better are dragged in. That was the case in the famous controversy involving Luther and Zwingli.
*Church and Ministry II, (LW Vol. 40, pp. 75–76).