30 December 2009
If anyone tells you they have the key to unlocking Luther, you can almost stop the conversation right there. The amazing thing about Luther is that he is utterly unboxinable. Yes, that's a word. I just made it up. But it fits. Anyone can find almost anything in his writing, and so construct a Luther to fit one's own notions. After having tried this a time or two, and having Luther himself in other writings bring the whole thing down, I've finally decided to give up trying to box him in. He just won't stay put, I don't care how carefully you build the box [early Luther? late Luther? Hang it up!]. Better instead to delight in the truth he confesses in a given situation and always remember that that truth may not be his final word on a given subject if the context changes. A modern example: The Finns did a good job of highlighting a neglected aspect of his thought; but when a "school" develops out of that that thinks "theosis" is the key to interpreting all of Luther, they fumble. Hence, as Watson once argued about Luther's theology "Let God be God" so I'd argue about Luther's theologizing: "let Luther be Luther." Enjoy him and learn from him, laugh with him, cry with him, and learn from him to forsake all your own righteousness and find in Christ an altogether perfect and spotless righteousness that is given you as gift. He'll wrap you up in Christ in more ways than you think possible. Just don't try to think you've got HIM wrapped up. He'll surprise you every time.
Posted by William Weedon at 10:18 PM