27 August 2009

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

Only one who approves the Platonic duality of body and soul will call the external attitudes [in praying] like standing, kneeling, folding the hands, closing the eyes, mere worthless unimportant devises of liturgists, for when any one has once recognized the impossibility of such an "animistic" separation his body will assume an appropriate attitude. Either the entire man in his spiritual-corporeal unity is present before God in prayer or he is not there at all. -- Adolf Köberle, *Quest* p. 175

6 comments:

Mike Keith said...

I must read that book. So many books...

William Weedon said...

This is another one of those books that I could kick myself for not finding earlier. God bless Jason for sending me this copy!!!

oruaseht said...

Fascinating quote! I wonder how this mashes with Luther in the Catechism: "Fasting and bodily preparation are certainly fine *outward* training." ???

William Weedon said...

Oru,

I don't think there's any conflict. It recognizes that fasting and bodily preparation are a fine outward training but that an inner preparation of faith in Christ's words is also necessary. In other words, man ought to approach the Sacrament as a psycho-somatic whole. Hence, the kneeling and genuflection are the body's prayers. In and of themselves alone, they'd be less than nothing. But expressing the faith of the heart that we receive here in this bread and wine the very body and blood of the Son of God, it is bodily prayer.

oruaseht said...

I agree with you - however, I think in the more recent history of Lutheranism, we have placed more emphasis on the words that follow: "But that person is truly worthy and well-prepared [to receive the Lord's Supper] who has faith in these words: 'Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.'" I think it has created an unintended consequence of "spirit good, body bad" thinking amongst Lutherans.

William Weedon said...

Yes, it has been taken that way, quite contrary to the spirit in which Luther penned them!