18 November 2011

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Because heretics, no less than the orthodox, claim for themselves holiness of doctrine as well as in life in such a way that even in doctrine they counterfeit external holiness, one cannot learn except from the Holy Scriptures which doctrine is truly holy  and has come from the "Holy of Holies," that is, from God Himself. -- Blessed Johann Gerhard, On the Church, p. 526.


Sage said...

Could you explain this a bit more fully? I must be thick headed, I don't understand what Gerhard was fighting at this time that was heretical.

William Weedon said...

He's responding to the Jesuit Bellarmine's argument that "holiness" is itself a mark of the church. He agrees in part - but notes that holiness may also characterize Christians in churches that are not wholly pure in their doctrine. And what sometimes goes by "holy" is merely observance of man-made rules and such - so he urges us to weigh the claim of holiness in either doctrine or in one's manner of life by the Sacred Scriptures.