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ElfLord

Martin Luther - Mouth piece of Christ?

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We are all pretty used to anti-mormons bringing up the standard chesnuts:

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We are all pretty used to anti-mormons bringing up the standard chesnuts:

Here are a couple good ones from Christians:

Any one have some more?

Franz Posset quotes Luther that "'to be born of God is to acquire the nature of God;' 'God's grace makes man deiform and deifies him;' '/Christ/ becomes totally man and we become totally deified;' 'The person who is in the Father becomes deified. We are made 'gods.'" He concludes: "Deification was for Luther the synonym for justification and sanctification."

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ElfLord,

Unlike your first two LDS quotes, for which we can check the primary source and see what was said in context, your quotations from Luther and Calvin actually come from secondary sources hostile to those authors and apparently do not include primary source documentation. The Luther quote comes from a book that has been described as the worst book ever written on Martin Luther, written by a hostile Roman Catholic. I don't have access to that book. The quotation from Calvin definitely comes from a secondary source with no documentation (I was able to look at the page in Selderhuis where the quote appears; he gives no reference). Even Selderhuis, in fairness, views Calvin's statement as an expression of his ideal to teach nothing except what God would have him say (which Calvin understood to come solely from Scripture). He did not mean that he claimed to be a prophet or anything of the sort.

Obviously, you copied and pasted these quotes from the Internet and have not checked even those secondary sources, let alone dug to find the primary sources and see the statements in context. Until you do, there is nothing more than needs to be said. If you wish to make the point that critics of Mormonism ought to take LDS leaders' statements in context, of course I agree with that, but that isn't what you said.

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Honestly guys, I don't know why we should be getting ourselves dirty using the technique of anti-mormons. We are better than that.

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TAO,

You wrote:

Honestly guys, I don't know why we should be getting ourselves dirty using the technique of anti-mormons. We are better than that.

Speaking from my own extensive observations over the years of the use of sources by both LDS writers and those critical of the LDS religion, the fact is that both Mormons and "anti-Mormons" often take the others' writings out of context. Likewise, there are both LDS and non-LDS writers who make every effort to quote what others say fairly and in context. Saying "We are better than that" is fine as an exhortation but not as a matter of fact.

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Speaking from my own extensive observations over the years of the use of sources by both LDS writers and those critical of the LDS religion, the fact is that both Mormons and "anti-Mormons" often take the others' writings out of context. Likewise, there are both LDS and non-LDS writers who make every effort to quote what others say fairly and in context. Saying "We are better than that" is fine as an exhortation but not as a matter of fact.

Rob, when I use 'anti-mormon', I am not talking about all critics. I am talking about those who use it outside of context, intending to cause contention. Those are anti-mormons, they are not just 'critics'. And I am saying that as a Mormon, I will not lower myself down to their level.

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Well Luther encouraged others to do the same to the Jews:

Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is:

First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire...

Second, that all their books-- their prayer books, their Talmudic writings, also the entire Bible-- be taken from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that these be preserved for those who may be converted...

Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country...

Fourth, that they be forbidden to utter the name of God within our hearing. For we cannot with a good conscience listen to this or tolerate it...

-Martin Luther (On the Jews and Their Lies)

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Honestly guys, I don't know why we should be getting ourselves dirty using the technique of anti-mormons. We are better than that.

I don't perceive that as what's happening here. We are simply listing "by your own logic" rejoinders to a ridiculous accusation.

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ElfLord,

Unlike your first two LDS quotes, for which we can check the primary source and see what was said in context, your quotations from Luther and Calvin actually come from secondary sources hostile to those authors and apparently do not include primary source documentation. The Luther quote comes from a book that has been described as the worst book ever written on Martin Luther, written by a hostile Roman Catholic. I don't have access to that book. The quotation from Calvin definitely comes from a secondary source with no documentation (I was able to look at the page in Selderhuis where the quote appears; he gives no reference). Even Selderhuis, in fairness, views Calvin's statement as an expression of his ideal to teach nothing except what God would have him say (which Calvin understood to come solely from Scripture). He did not mean that he claimed to be a prophet or anything of the sort.

Obviously, you copied and pasted these quotes from the Internet and have not checked even those secondary sources, let alone dug to find the primary sources and see the statements in context. Until you do, there is nothing more than needs to be said. If you wish to make the point that critics of Mormonism ought to take LDS leaders' statements in context, of course I agree with that, but that isn't what you said.

I agree Rob Bowman. I am a Catholic and I have a low regard for Luther. However, I have to concede that the book by Msgr. O'Hare is deficient in citing its sources. Here is the text as it stands:

He believes he is infallible. "My word", says he, in an exhortation to his followers, "is the word of Christ: my mouth is the mouth of Christ."
---The Facts About Luther, Msgr. Patrick O'Hare, TAN Books and Publishers, 1987, p. 204

The "source" for this is apparently not even a written document. Rather, it comes from an "exhortation". How is a Lutheran supposed to defend that? First, is to explain that Luther probably didn't say it...that it isn't written down anywhere else that we know of. Secondly, that Msgr. O'Hare believed that he was "another Christ" when he said Mass or heard confessions. This is something that is not in the least scandalous to informed Catholics who understand the theology of the priesthood. It doesn't mean that the priest is claiming personal equality with the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Likewise, it is very unlikely that Luther was claiming anything beyond the fact that he was proclaiming the Gospel of Christ as he understood it. Any preacher who doubts that he is called by Christ and that Christ speaks through him should sit down and shut up. Of course I think Luther was wrong in his facts, but I don't blame him for behaving as though he believed he was teaching the truth. That alleged quote wouldn't prove anything other than that Luther thought he was called to preach. A context would be helpful. Lacking one, I doubt that this proves that Luther was claiming equality with Christ.

3DOP

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Heres some more context...

Here is an extended quotation from The Facts About Luther by Patrick F. O

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TAO,

Fair enough.

Rob, when I use 'anti-mormon', I am not talking about all critics. I am talking about those who use it outside of context, intending to cause contention. Those are anti-mormons, they are not just 'critics'. And I am saying that as a Mormon, I will not lower myself down to their level.

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ElfLord,

You wrote:

Apparently we may never find the primary source...

So, why are you wasting everyone's time here with an apparently undocumentable statement?

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ElfLord:

So now we have a claim of False Prophet too!

3DOP:

1) The quote you provide has no source reference.

2) It is unlikely that Luther was giving revelation.

3) His documented criticism of the Catholic Church are strident. But the Catholic Church reformed mainly because of Luther. The Council of Trent is known for its doctrinal points against Luther's teaching, but it also provided for pastoral reforms aimed at correcting the abuses which made Luther's revolt appealing to the people. A flock that is loved and well-provided for by their shepherds is not susceoptible to false doctrine. In a certain sense, ElfLord, if you want to insist in identifying this undocumented quote from one of Luther's antagonists as a "prophecy", it was fulfilled, either because the Church itself reformed, or the people where Luther's doctrine was preached accepted the message. If I am not mistaken, the Lutheran Church is to this day provided for by the German state. There is no reason to say that his "prophecy" was unfulfilled when Spain, Italy, France, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland did not see his message preached similarly. Interestingly, the reforms of Archbishop Cranmer in England were performed under the influence of Luther and his leading aides. Very quickly in England, the monasteries and convents were ravaged, the priests who said Mass were persecuted into the Continent and it became illegal for a Catholic to hold political office. To this day, neither king nor queen of England may be a Roman Catholic.

I don't think it is a "prophecy" that you are citing, but if it was, it has been arguably fulfilled.

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Thanks for the reply 3DOP:

So lets try a less biased source...

An introduction to the history of western Europe

By James Harvey Robinson

pg 408

Luther felt that all changes in religious practices should be made by the government;

<snip>

"Teach, speak, write, and preach that the ordinances of man are naught. Advise that no one shall any more become a priest, monk, or nun, and that those who occupy such positions shall leave them. Give no more money for papal privileges, candles, bells, votive tablets, and churches, but say that a Christian life consists in faith and love. Let us keep this up for two years and you will see where pope, bishop, monks, nuns, and all the hocus-pocus of the papal government will be; it will vanish away like smoke."

This looks like a direct quote of what he really said. Surely, historians check their sources.

This seems to be the primary source given: Address to the German Nobility, by Luther, 396 f.

http://books.google....ght.%22&f=false

"pope, bishop, monk and nun" are still alive and well today 3DOP.

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Thanks for the reply 3DOP:

So lets try a less biased source...

This looks like a direct quote of what he really said. Surely, historians check their sources.

This seems to be the primary source given: Address to the German Nobility, by Luther, 396 f.

http://books.google....ght.%22&f=false

"pope, bishop, monk and nun" are still alive and well today 3DOP.

Hi ElfLord. I appreciate your desire to expose a charlatan. I don't think this is the right way. As a Catholic, I am very familiar with the way the words and actions of churchmen have been twisted and lied about in an attempt to persuade me that the Catholic Church could not possibly be true. When we oppose a point of view, it is always best to try to represent it in its most favorable light. St. Thomas Aquinas method in his famous Summa Theologica required that for every correct answer to a question, he provided the best possible wrong answers. There is always more than one wrong answer which is diligently presented. Often there are five or more. He did it respectfully, and with cross references. I would propose his way of warning people of error. It is possible that you are correct, but in my opinion, if you tried very hard, you could see a way to exonerate Luther of a false prophecy regarding the quote in question.

I hope I have as low a regard for Luther as his actions and teachings merit. In the main, I am against everything for which Luther stood. I am eager to find ammunition to use against Luther. You haven't provided it. This is not a prophecy. It was an optimistic prediction that is very believable. He was right. The faithful can't be exposed to anti-Catholic rants for two years and maintain their faith. Where Luther's anti-Catholicism prevailed, in the north countries, the convents and monasteries were closed and the Catholic Church disappeared. This happened throughout northern Germany, all of Scandinavia, and England. If you insist that he was proclaiming this like a prophecy, you still have to take the conditions into consideration. Luther's doctrine was barely preached in Italy and Spain. Calvin was more prominent in France.

I could never propose to my brother who is Lutheran, or my other Reformed brother who is sympathetic to Luther that this was an unfulfilled prophecy. I would lose any credibility that I have built with them over the years for being fair. It was not being claimed as supernatural revelation. It WAS a human prediction that was conditionally fulfuilled. I truly believe Luther was a villain and a scoundrel, but I have no desire to accuse him of crimes and errors that he didn't commit.

Here is an example of how St. Thomas dealt with the teachings of those with whom he differed:

Article 1. The definition of "person"

Objection 1. It would seem that the definition of person given by Boethius (De Duab. Nat.) is insufficient--that is, "a person is an individual substance of a rational nature." For nothing singular can be subject to definition. But "person" signifies something singular. Therefore person is improperly defined.

Objection 2. Further, substance as placed above in the definition of person, is either first substance, or second substance. If it is the former, the word "individual" is superfluous, because first substance is individual substance; if it stands for second substance, the word "individual" is false, for there is contradiction of terms; since second substances are the "genera" or "species." Therefore this definition is incorrect.

Objection 3. Further, an intentional term must not be included in the definition of a thing. For to define a man as "a species of animal" would not be a correct definition; since man is the name of a thing, and "species" is a name of an intention. Therefore, since person is the name of a thing (for it signifies a substance of a rational nature), the word "individual" which is an intentional name comes improperly into the definition.

Objection 4. Further, "Nature is the principle of motion and rest, in those things in which it is essentially, and not accidentally," as Aristotle says (Phys. ii). But person exists in things immovable, as in God, and in the angels. Therefore the word "nature" ought not to enter into the definition of person, but the word should rather be "essence."

Objection 5. Further, the separated soul is an individual substance of the rational nature; but it is not a person. Therefore person is not properly defined as above.

I answer that, Although the universal and particular exist in every genus, nevertheless, in a certain special way, the individual belongs to the genus of substance. For substance is individualized by itself; whereas the accidents are individualized by the subject, which is the substance; since this particular whiteness is called "this," because it exists in this particular subject. And so it is reasonable that the individuals of the genus substance should have a special name of their own; for they are called "hypostases," or first substances.

Further still, in a more special and perfect way, the particular and the individual are found in the rational substances which have dominion over their own actions; and which are not only made to act, like others; but which can act of themselves; for actions belong to singulars. Therefore also the individuals of the rational nature have a special name even among other substances; and this name is "person."

Thus the term "individual substance" is placed in the definition of person, as signifying the singular in the genus of substance; and the term "rational nature" is added, as signifying the singular in rational substances.

Reply to Objection 1. Although this or that singular may not be definable, yet what belongs to the general idea of singularity can be defined; and so the Philosopher (De Praedic., cap. De substantia) gives a definition of first substance; and in this way Boethius defines person.

Reply to Objection 2. In the opinion of some, the term "substance" in the definition of person stands for first substance, which is the hypostasis; nor is the term "individual" superfluously added, forasmuch as by the name of hypostasis or first substance the idea of universality and of part is excluded. For we do not say that man in general is an hypostasis, nor that the hand is since it is only a part. But where "individual" is added, the idea of assumptibility is excluded from person; for the human nature in Christ is not a person, since it is assumed by a greater--that is, by the Word of God. It is, however, better to say that substance is here taken in a general sense, as divided into first and second, and when "individual" is added, it is restricted to first substance.

Reply to Objection 3. Substantial differences being unknown to us, or at least unnamed by us, it is sometimes necessary to use accidental differences in the place of substantial; as, for example, we may say that fire is a simple, hot, and dry body: for proper accidents are the effects of substantial forms, and make them known. Likewise, terms expressive of intention can be used in defining realities if used to signify things which are unnamed. And so the term "individual" is placed in the definition of person to signify the mode of subsistence which belongs to particular substances.

Reply to Objection 4. According to the Philosopher (Metaph. v, 5), the word "nature" was first used to signify the generation of living things, which is called nativity. And because this kind of generation comes from an intrinsic principle, this term is extended to signify the intrinsic principle of any kind of movement. In this sense he defines "nature" (Phys. ii, 3). And since this kind of principle is either formal or material, both matter and form are commonly called nature. And as the essence of anything is completed by the form; so the essence of anything, signified by the definition, is commonly called nature. And here nature is taken in that sense. Hence Boethius says (De Duab. Nat.) that, "nature is the specific difference giving its form to each thing," for the specific difference completes the definition, and is derived from the special form of a thing. So in the definition of "person," which means the singular in a determined "genus," it is more correct to use the term "nature" than "essence," because the latter is taken from being, which is most common. Reply to Objection 5. The soul is a part of the human species; and so, although it may exist in a separate state, yet since it ever retains its nature of unibility, it cannot be called an individual substance, which is the hypostasis or first substance, as neither can the hand nor any other part of man; thus neither the definition nor the name of person belongs to it.

---Summa Theologica, Part One, Question 29, Article 1

http://www.newadvent.../summa/1029.htm

Note how he is more interested in the substance of what the other position is, rather than the erring messenger who brings it. In my opinion, this is the classical pattern that lays the foundation for all just polemicism. If Luther was a cad (as you and I believe), or a false prophet (as you believe), his teachings can still be laid low without resorting to attacks on his person.

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