|A short reading list for Lutheran laity, teachers, and pastors|
is found here.
Greetings and I hope you are doing well!
Once again I must thank you for spurring my interest in getting into reading and examining Luther's Works. Hearing the words of the reformer has been not only enlightening but also encouraging. The authority he speaks with is always refreshing. Luther pulls no punches and has the confidence in Scripture as his foundation.
As I know I've mentioned to you before, I've been picking up volumes of Luther's Works as I find them at used bookstores throughout Wisconsin. Undoubtedly they've been tossed aside by synodical figures who found Luther too daunting to read! However it speaks volumes that Luther's words sound relevant today even though they were composed centuries ago.
In his commentary in Vol 15 which consists of Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon, he has moments that sound incredibly relevant. Here is a section that I just had to share because of how vibrant his words are even to my modern ears.
On page 182 of Vol 15 concerning Ecclesiastes 12:8:
"He (Solomon) adds a recommendation of his teaching and an exhortation that we not be led astray by erring and varying doctrines but abide in that which has been prescribed. For this is a great source of misery, that when God has awakened His Word and good teachers, immediately heretics and wicked teachers arise, who divert the people to themselves with some sort of rivalry. This it was also the concern of the apostles to keep us in their doctrine. Even sound doctrine and the Word of God are forced to endure the perversity. When God has awakened the Word, right away there are heretics and apes (!) who imitate the Word. Moses established the worship of God and certain ceremonies; immediately the apes followed him and erected idols. That is how it is in the arts too. If someone is a good poet, he is obliged to endure his Zoiluses. If he is a good craftsman, he is followed by these pretenders. Thus all the arts have their imitators, that is, their destroyers. But worst of all is the fact that the crowd follows the foolish ones and prefers them to the genuine artists, as Christ said about them (Matt. 24:5): 'They will lead many astray.' Solomon is complaining about that here."
Doesn't Luther just explain away the frivolous new "flavor of the month" approach to the Word that passes for worship these days in many churches? This definitely exposes some of the weak tea that is preached from so many pulpits while coffee is being served to an ever-shrinking congregation as the praise band drones on. Right here Luther addresses such abominations such as UOJ and pietism and unionism and synodical yammerings.
Hoping that this message finds you well!