Thursday, December 27, 2018

PragerU Wrong on Luther

PragerU Wrong on Luther · Dialogue under Luther Video · Other Dialogue under Luther Video

How the Reformation Shaped Your World
PragerU | 24.XII.2018

Long link:

0:22 - 0:27 "Indulgences might be loosely described as "get out of hell free" cards: pay this amount to the Church and the Church would make sure you don't suffer unduly for your"


This comment drains PragerU of much of its already somewhat strained credibility.

1) There was no indulgence for giving money "to the Church".

There were indulgences for giving money to specific good purposes, like feeding the poor, (feeding them in person, especially on the funeral or memorial day of someone you want to win an indulgence for is also per se indulgenced, even Biblically, in Tobit) as well as for other good deeds.

2) Indulgences don't get you out of Hell, they only speed up the train to Heaven in Purgatory - those who go to Hell already eternally missed that.

I'll give you a comparison. Someone offers you, when you are in hospital (the kind of poor old medieval hospital which isn't tax financed), resources for more food and camphor for the chest and other things which will speed up your full recovery. If you are alive when they arrive, they will do so. BUT, if you are already dead, you can no longer profit from them, and the resources are valuable for other patients of the hospital.

So, any merit of Christ (whose merits are infinite) beyond the bare minimum to get us saved (God knows what this is) and any merit of the saints (whose merits are based on His) beyond what it took to get them saved and to Heaven without passing by Purgatory, is disposed of by the Church. You gain an indulgence for yourself of someone else, the Church gives a part of that.

The good deed does not need to involve spending money, and it is not a requisite that money is given to the Church's alms collectors.

And, obviously, if you go to Hell, you miss all that, just as a dead patient misses the camphor and extra food portions.

Is this myth about indulgences being a sales deal by the Church so persistent because Burghley insisted on making it so? Cecil, Lord Burghley or Burghley Lord Cecil, whichever it was ...

0:53 "his complaints - and he made a list of 95 of them"

No, the 95 THESES are 95 theses as in academia a thesis is a thesis.

They are not a list of 95 complaints within a sole thesis "reform or you lose out on being Church".

Not all of the theses are complaints against Catholicism, or against Catholic practise and not all were condemned either. All of them are theses - topics he was willing to defend with further argument, if opposed. It should be added:

41 theses (not all of them from the 95) were condemned, and he got a chance to debate for them, with Cajetan.

On the Catholic view, he lost the debate.

You are somewhat sketchy on how Luther's "no division between Bible and believer" - btw, shared by Erasmus, who stayed Catholic - would take away the very foundation of Catholic authority.

If you meant the Bible includes passages condemning Catholicism (not Vatican II sect, but bona fide historical Catholicism and even as many aspects of the Vatican II sect that still with various local shades live up to that), that would have been an argument, but it would have been in need of stating and it would have been an untruth, which I could have contradicted you on.

2:37 "born a free actor endowed with God-given rights that exist independent of government"

I'd say Erasmus' other friends, Sts Thomas More and John Fisher are more involved in that one.

Luther was pleading for more totalitarian secular government, that is why Henry VIII and Gustav Wasa indirectly or directly backed his ideas.

A free actor implies the right to join a monestary. The right to do that involves the right to keep property collectively and accept donations. And THAT right was attacked by both Lutherans in Sweden and para-Lutherans in England.

Swedish nobles supported Reformation in 1527 (Luther's specifically, they took in two disciples of Luther from Wittenberg) because it allowed them to accuse monasteries of fraudulent reception of donations over centuries and to reclaim donations made by their forefathers.

2:45 "each person could find those rights by reading and interpreting the Bible himself"

To Luther, each person should find his duty of absolute obedience to parents and to secular rulers in all things except a minimum of what could very definitely be labelled sin even on clear and undisputed Biblical grounds, independently of the Catholic tradition : in other words, parents and government replaced tradition and magisterium.

Note : Luther was telling one secular ruler he couldn't forbid him bigamy.

2:51 "And throughout the first millennium, right up until Luther's day, only a few people could"

A small percentage, perhaps, in terms of affordable editions, but not few in total numbers.

3:12 "a language familiar only to the clergy and educated elite"

Except ... not. Getting an education and getting an élite position was far from synonymous, you did not even need to become clergy and you most certainly could be clergy without being very élite.

In fact, in Erasmus' day, barriers to learning Latin were raised, and Luther was not against that. Medieval Latin is easier to master than Classic. St. Thomas Aquinas is easier than Cicero.

3:21 "Luther answered this problem, by translating the Bible into everyday German"

The Saxon chancery was not more everyday than any other German which had been used by prior Roman Catholic translations to German. It was less dialectal by modern standards, which Luther's choice of language and his religion's success helped to mold.

3:40 How about NOT giving Luther the credits for what actually Gutenberg did?

He was a Catholic, by the way.


3:52 In fact, Jan Hus could have given a precedent for how Luther could be treated at Diet of Worms.

However, this did not happen, and even a sound long debate ending with his sound refutation (other option) did not happen due to some corrupt nobles - notably the one of Saxony. We'll have a look fast forward 4 centuries at relations Lutheranism and secular power:

Did you know that Luther's successor in Saxony, basically, the Landesbischoff of Sachsen, this is a post which in 1930's and early 40's was held by Friedrich Coch? 1933 - 45.

Did you know Deutsche Christen actually started out independently of National Socialism, but not independently of Reformation?

Zum 400-jährigen Jubiläum der Reformation 1917 gaben Andersen, der Schriftsteller Adolf Bartels, der Kirchenrat Ernst Katzer und Hans von Wolzogen 95 Thesen heraus, um ein „Deutschchristentum auf evangelischer Grundlage“ zu begründen. Darin hieß es:[3]

„Die neuere Rassenforschung endlich hat uns die Augen geöffnet für die verderblichen Wirkungen der Blutsmischung zwischen germanischen und nichtgermanischen Volksangehörigen und mahnt uns, mit allen Kräften dahin zu streben, unser Volkstum möglichst rein und in sich geschlossen zu halten.

Religion ist die innerste Kraft und feinste Blüte im geistigen Leben eines Volkes, kann aber nur in völkischer Ausprägung kulturkräftig wirken […] Eine innigere Verbindung zwischen Deutschtum und Christentum ist nur zu erreichen, wenn dieses aus der unnatürlichen Verbindung gelöst wird, in der es nach bloßem Herkommen mit der jüdischen Religion steht.“

Der „zornige Gewittergott“ Jehova sei ein anderer als der „Vater“ und „Geist“, den Christus verkündet und die Germanen geahnt hätten.

4:33 Capitalism and Enlightenment ... don't shove that dirt on Luther.

Calvin is closer to both.

Luther was a rigorist about taking of interest being usuary, he was harsher than Pope Leo X on that account.

Pope Leo X had allowed municipal pawn brokers to charge a very moderate interest to a very sober upkeep of the clerks (and presumably janitors) BUT he had added it was actually holier if half those expenses were covered by municipal property, like income from such or such a municipally owned farm - or municipal taxes.

4:51 of the 56 signers, all but one was a Protestant

Let's not forget how many were freemasons, and I don't think even one was a Lutheran.

Luther momentous?

Sure, one day that will be said of False Prophet and Beast too .... is perhaps already said of the persons, I have two main suspects, but think they have some way to go before full satanic evil. 

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