Understanding Luther

“Anyone who is but a little familiar with Luther knows that his different thoughts are not strung together like pearls in a necklace, united only by the bond of a common authority or perhaps by a chain of logical argument, but that they all lie close as the petals of a rose about a common centre, they shine out like the rays of the sun from one glowing source: the forgiveness of sins. We should be in no danger of misleading the would-be student of Luther, if we expressly gave him the rule: Never imagine you have rightly grasped a Lutheran idea until you have succeeded in reducing it to a simple corollary of the forgiveness of sins.”

 from Our Calling by Swedish theologian Einar Billing



photo of Einar Billing from this site http://hem.bredband.net/wall/gen/

 h/t  to Pastor Mark.



7 Responses

  1. The Gospel itself is really all about that last statement… Christ is the one who takes away the sins of the world – that’s why Luther is so readable… he understood that’s what truly matters.

  2. Thanks, Howard.

    At the heart of it all, at the center, is the One who forgives all our sin.

    Thanks be to God for Luther and all else who keep that Word of promise front and center.

    – Steve

    PS- I loved your last post on your blog http://wwwjustifiedsinner.blogspot.com/

    Is that one of your photos?

  3. Amen! May Lutheranism never “advance” beyond this one thing.

  4. Amen, Frank! We certainly don’t need to “advance” in the wrong direction!

    And keep up the good work over at the gospel coalition


  5. Steve, sadly not – it was a free download image from a recent garden event, but fitted nicely with the entry. Still corresponding with Cary re: the nature of truth following one of your blogs of last week – keep up the good work!

    • Thanks, Howard.

      The picture you painted with your words outdoes even that beautiful photo. I hope you are enjoying your beautiful azaleas.

      I’m happy that you and Cary are having a fruitful dialogue. May God bless you both.

  6. Indugences forgiveness of sins based on payments made to the church were no longer to be sold to the people. Salvation and the forgiveness of sins came about only through a direct communion with God and Gods own grace..Some of the poorer clergy sought to extend these popularizing and equalizing ideas of Lutheranism to the society at large.

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