Friday, July 19, 2013

In case you were wondering if the Reformation was necessary and remains so...

The Pope is handing out indulgences for following him on Twitter.

In reading through Gerhard's arguments against Bellarmine in the former's Loci it is striking just how finely detailed the disagreement is over justification and salvation. At times one can have great sympathy with the "outmoded condemnations" crowd and the folks who put together the JDDJ. There really is a lot of oversimplification and setting up of straw men in the Lutheran-Papal polemic. Most of what Gerhard says - and this in the 17th century to a learned Jesuit - is "that's not what we teach." There really was a lot of talking past each other and misunderstanding that should not hamper us today after nearly 500 years of cooling off.

But then the papacy does something to clarify the issue: handing out indulgences for signing up for Twitter. So long as the Pope goes on pretending there is a purgatory whose door he can open and close with precision, there can be no unity between us; a great chasm is fixed.

+HRC

11 comments:

  1. A few years back I happened to be in Mexico over a Sunday (and it was Reformation Day, to boot!). Since there was no Lutheran church where we were, my wife and I headed down to the local Roman parish. There, from the priest's mouth even my gringo ears could understand him saying cooperación. My wife informed me his sermon was about how God wants to save us, but He needs our cooperación. It was a rightly timed reminder of why reformation was (and still is) needed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I first heard this i thought it was a joke. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As Dr. Nagel taught us, it is always important to speak accurately about the theological position of others, and the best way to do this is to use their own words. Indulgences aren't what many Lutherans think they are. Yet they are part of a system that continues to reveal why the Reformation is just as necessary today.


    http://surburg.blogspot.com/2013/07/marks-thoughts-penance-purgatory.html



    ReplyDelete
  4. Where did Gerhard write against Bellarmine? I am of the Reformed tradition and I am not as familiar with Lutheran sources.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gerhard's Loci Theologici, currently being put into English at the rate of about 2 vol/year by CPH.org as Theological Commonplaces, is Gerhard's magnum opus and while he continually offers replies to all the leading theological lights of both the Romanist and Reformed parties, his work is chiefly a response to Bellarmine's equally lengthy dogmatics.

      +HRC

      Delete
    2. That's one reason the pope is known as the Antichrist.

      RMMV (Romanist mileage may vary)

      Delete
    3. "RMMV (Romanist mileage may vary)" -- Vehse, Jr.

      If one were ever confronted again by the unimaginative wit of this order ... er ... odor,
      I'd recommend not only holding the nose high up in the air, as demonstrated, but pinching it.

      Delete
  5. I love what Luther said (paraphrased) "If the Pope really does have the power to let people out of Purgatory, then why doesn't he let everyone out, out of sheer Christian charity?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's Thesis 82 - and a good one at that!

      Delete
  6. The Gottesdienst Pal

    "If the Pope really does have the power to let people out of Purgatory, then why doesn't he let everyone out, out of sheer Christian charity?"

    Choose one:

    A. Out of sheer Demonic sado-masochism.

    B. Out of sheer Mammonic inflation. Have you priced what putting together a basilica costs, these days?

    C. Right. As if Francis would want even MORE ex-popes running around, to compete with.

    D. So as to not ruin a classic comedy shtick. Like Jack Benny confronting the choice between retaining his wallet or saving a precious life, the pope can continue to delay things by muttering "I'm thinking, I'm THINKING!"

    ReplyDelete
  7. now, you are just being ignorant and uncharitable. the pope does not hand out indulgences "for following him on twitter". the indulgences are meant for those who themselves cannot afford to make the physical journey to brazil but who nonetheless spiritually follow the pilgrimage. you've deliberately made what is in actuality a provision made out of pastoral love for the needy into something quite ridiculous for you to scoff at.

    and to clarify what indulgences are for: they are used by the church to encourage us to live more christianly. if i may say so, the importance of indulgences don't lie in themselves as much as the behaviour they spur us to undertake.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are moderated. Neither spam, vulgarity, comments that are insulting, slanderous or otherwise unbefitting of Christian dignity nor anonymous posts will be published.