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Posts Tagged "Martin Luther"

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

“Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy Cross I cling.” — Augustus Montague Toplady “Blessed are the poor in spirit” is Matthew’s version of our Lord’s sermon; Luke has simply “Blessed are the poor.” When we lack financial resources, people say we are “needy” and “broke.” When we lack spiritual resources, people says we are “needy” and “broken.”…

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Protest And Dissent: Reformers Read the Sermon on the Mount

Protest And Dissent: Reformers Read the Sermon on the Mount

What have we learned so far? The earliest Christians read the Sermon on the Mount as “literal when possible.” “Literal” implies a preference for seeing the sermon as injunctions to be obeyed; “when possible” shows a recognition that the sermon does contain some portions which are not to be taken in a literal way. This reading took place within a larger…

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The Devil’s Masterpiece

The Devil’s Masterpiece

In the history of interpretation, few passages have spawned more theories and garnered less agreement than the Sermon on the Mount. One commentator said the history of scholarship on the sermon might be called “Versions and Evasions of the Sermon on the Mount.”[1] For this reason, Luther memorably named the interpretive confusion “the devil’s masterpiece”: Christ here deliberately wanted to oppose…

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Healthy Theology 9: Disagreeing Well

Healthy Theology 9: Disagreeing Well

In 1555, at the end of Broad street just outside the gates of Balliol College, Oxford, three leaders in the Church of England were burned at the stake. 300 years later, the city of Oxford offered a rather public apology when they constructed a monument “in grateful commemoration” of the three martyrs for “bearing witness to the sacred truths which…

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Preparing For Theology 4: Self-Assessment

Preparing For Theology 4: Self-Assessment

The Need For Humility “Seek humility” (Zephaniah 2:3). In the year 1633, the religious scholars of the day were convinced that the sun revolves around the earth. They reached this conclusion from their reading of Scripture, believing it to be obvious, true, and not to be questioned. After all, Scripture says the sun rises and sets (Ecclesiastes 1:5), and must…

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