12 April 2007

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

God instituted this sacrament [the Holy Eucharist] chiefly for the sake of the remembrance, and this is the honor that he seeks and demands in it, for in Christ he wants to be acknowledged and regarded as our God. What great honor and glorious worship that is has been said above, namely, that the divine glory is upheld and God is made to be the true God. In return, God will doubtlessly bring that person to divine honor and as a result make him a god and a child of God. - Martin Luther, *Admonition Concerning the Sacrament* AE 38:111.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Well...naw. Sounds perilously close to bribing God. With praise.

God neither needs anything for Himself nor demands it from us. It's not as though He were self-seeking, looking for praise, honor, worship. His honor is eternally established and immune to any decrease or increase from us. God is Love, and Love -- here goes again -- seeketh not her own. God has nothing to gain from our praise, nor anything to lose from our blasphemy. God always, ever, only seeks *our* good, our benefit, our deification.

We praise God because praise is an outpouring of OUR love. (Unless, of course, we do it for the reason here hinted at, to gain something in return, in which case it becomes a veiled form of self-seeking.)

St. Augustine was a very great man, but here and there he really messes up big-time.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Oops, I see I've gotten the quotes confused. This is by Martin Luther, not St. Augustine. Sorry, St. Augustine!


Chaz said...

I know Pr. Weedon well enough to know that he would never ask this question, because he wouldn't want you to feel unwelcome.

So I don't ask this question to make you feel unwelcome. That would be inappropriate. This isn't my blog.

Having said that, however, wthhy are you here?

William Weedon said...


Anastasia is here because she's a friend, and I appreciate her insights even when I cannot always agree with them. I'm glad she drops in and shares her thoughts. Even as I'm always glad of you and your friendship and insights.

Eric Phillips said...


I think you're reading an awful lot into Luther's phrase, "in return."

Of course God doesn't need anything from us. Of course He deals with us in love and because of love. But part of the vast condescension involved in this love is the way He enters into covenants with His people, binding Himself by His own Word to respond to them in certain ways.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Chaz, I'm here because I dearly love young Bill Weedon and cannot bear the possibility (however remote) of him, or any of you, succumbing to the worship of a self-serving god. Every one of my comments here and on other blogs has been directed to that single point, that God is good, and holy, and Love (hence, does not behave in the ways sometimes ascribed to Him).

I'm sorry I said it sounded too much like bribery. I'm sorry I didn't add that Martin Luther, like St. Augustine, was also a very great man, even if now and again he messed up.

But surely you won't object -- and Bill, surely you won't disagree -- when I point out that God is never self-seeking, is always perfect, and always perfectly free to love. And that love is never self-interested but is pure giving.

in that Love,

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Hi, Eric,

Actually, the phrase I was more responding to was, "he seeks and demands ... he wants to be acknowledged and regarded..."

I know things are put that way in the Old Covenant, but in the New Covenant, which supersedes the Old, Christ reveals that whatever He asks of us is exclusively for our own sake.

He Who is the Way, the Truth, the Resurrection and the Life, offers us Himself.

If we don't want Him, that's the end of the matter; the death we've contracted will run its natural / unnatural course.

If we do want Him, we have to believe He exists and that He is loveable and is due our worship. We have to trust Him -- enough to commit to Him everything we have and do and are. Faith is the only way to love Him, receive Him, worship Him, live Him, to be made like Him, be joined with Him. Simply none of that is posssibly without faith.

IOW, the gift of faith is not given to us to aggrandize God, but to save us.

Likewise, everything else He asks of us. It's for our sakes, not His.

I suppose in this we will all agree. Only thing is, I wish Martin Luther had made put it in a much clearer, less misleading way.


Eric Phillips said...


> Christ reveals that whatever He asks of us
> is exclusively for our own sake.

Right. So can't He "seek and demand" and "want to be acknowledged and regarded," and do all this "exclusively for our own sake"?

Because God is God, it is right to acknowledge and worship Him. Because God is love, He wants what is good for His creatures. What is good for His creatures is that they do what is right, i.e. acknowledge and worship Him.

I see no conflict.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Right, there's not necessarily any conflict.

Thing is, people tend to read things just as they're written, and to do so in this case would be highly misleading, at best.

with best wishes,

Chaz said...


The reason I asked is that I sometimes get the impression from other Orthodox that there are hidden motivations. Some of those I've asked directly about this have confirmed it.

I didn't think you had hidden motivations, but I wanted to ask since you're, well, not like most Orthodox I encounter on blogs.