Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leyden Cobbler

Recently Lutheran bloggers have been posting anecdotes about shoes and shoe makers which would illustrate a truth or two about Lutheran theology.  In that spirit, I offer this story about the Leyden Cobbler.

A cobbler of Leyden was in the habit of attending the public disputations of the university, and when asked whether he understood Latin, replies, "No, but I know who is wrong in the argument, by seeing who gets angry first."

The  source of  this anecdote is the 19th century American theologian, Samuel Schmucker.   Schmucker is an interesting character in the history of American Lutheranism.  [Schmucker. in my opionion, has been very much maligned by the TLs.]   Schmucker adds this explanation to his storySamuel :  "Christian truth has often been defended in a very unChristian way, and doubtless more depends on the natural temper and the manners of the disputants, as well as the extent to which divine grace enables them to subdue their passions."

Source:  Samuel S. Schmucker    American Lutheranism Vindicated, Baltimore:  T. Newton Kurtz, 1856.  [this book is available from iTunes book store]

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Confession of George, the Margrave of Brandenburg - "I Am a Lutheran"

"I was not baptized in the name of Luther, he is not my God and Savior.  I do not believe in him, and am not saved by him;  and therefore, in this sense I am no Lutheran.  But if I be asked, whether with my heart and lips I profess the doctrines which God restored to light through the instrumentality of his blessed servant, Dr. Luther, I neither hesitate nor am ashamed to call myself a Lutheran.  In this sense I am, and as long as I live, will remain a Lutheran."

Amen, and amen to this.

[Source:  Koercher's Vertheidigung & c., pl 66, 68    in Samuel S. Schmucker, D.D., The American Lutheran Church   Historically, Doctrinally, and Practically Delineated in Several Occasional Discourses, fifth edition, Philadelphia:  E.W. Miller. 1852   p. 44]

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm back again, after a two and a half month hiatus

I have decided to resume this blog once more.  I am truly grateful for people who have taken the time to respond to my closure notice and for the encouragement to continue on.

While I have been away, I have continued to study my Civil War history and the relationship of religion to the cause.  I have continued to study, specifically, the questions about the relationship between CFW Walther and the Norwegians.  I am Norwegian.

I am just finishing a book on my iPad and I recommend it highly:  David S. Reynolds, Mightier Than the Sword   Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America.  This book deals with Harriett Beecher's monumental work and it's impact, then and now, on American history and culture.    Walther, of course, was adamant in his hatred and contempt for abolitionism and looked at the movement as a greater threat than slavery itself.

This of course could get me into trouble.  I got into trouble in writing for this blog from a source that I will label as the TLs.   I had written an entry in April in which I asked if CFW Walther was a racist.  I answered my own question by stating that Walther was not a racist but the institution of slavery was racist.

I was perhaps careless about the headline.  I should have anticipated, but did not, the reaction from the TLs.

There are at least two ways of dealing with history going on here.   One approach is to analyze and look at historical issues and questions.   The effort and the reward is all in the examination.

The other approach here is that of advocacy.  One holds a certain belief, or, in this case, a series of beliefs and understandings and looks for affirmation of these beliefs.  When the affirmation is not present, or when the affirmation seems to be under attack, there is a push back.

That's what happened here.  There was a push back and I felt it best for me, personally, to take a pause.

I did not intend to slander CFW Walther or his memory.  I do not think that Walther or his reputation has suffered any damage because of my blogging.  I do not believe that I have slandered the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

There was more but the rest need not be discussed in public.

I am back and I hope that people will read and respond as they have in the past.

Thank you for your continuing interest.