Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

“Here I Stand”: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation

Before Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in April 1521, Martin Luther famously said, “Here I stand.” Or maybe he didn’t. We do know, however, that he said the following: Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason–I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Now He Is Become Luther, the Destroyer of Civilization

Everyone knows that Martin Luther hated reason and thereby destroyed Europe, culture, kittens, and organic farming. After all, he once called “holy reason” a “mangy, leprous whore.” Again, “reason is the devil’s prostitute and can do nothing else but slander and dishonor what God does and says.” So, again, everyone knows that Martin Luther hated […]

Archive Mark Jones Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

In broadly Reformed circles there are many theological catchphrases that are mocked and ridiculed for being theologically perverse. But on a little closer reflection, the phrases have a fairly solid Reformed pedigree and it is only the recent weakening of Reformed theology that has caused us to totally reject statements that are capable of being understood […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Calvin’s Sacraments

In a letter to Philip Melanchthon from August 1554, Calvin writes in part to show whether and how far he is in agreement with Luther’s sacramentology. Clamavit tota vita Lutherus, non alia de re se contendere, nisi ut suam sacramentis virtutem assereret. Luther cried out with his whole life that he was not contending about anything […]

Archive Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy The Natural Family

Luther on deliberate childlessness

In his Lectures on Genesis, Martin Luther makes some observations about people who chose not to have children. He is at his subtle, sensitive best, of course. These are Luther’s words, not mine! Here he is commenting on Genesis 2:18: Today you find many people who do not want to children. Moreover, this callousness and […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Luther on Jerome and Aesop

While we’re on the subject of Martin Luther and Classical authors, a comment in which he compares Aesop and Jerome, about whom he expresses a deep ambivalence. This is also from his Tabletalk (no. 445). Ergo nullum doctorem scio, quem aeque oderim, cum tamen ardentissime eum amaverim et legerim. In Aesopo certe plus est eruditionis quam in toto […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Luther’s Last Words on Vergil, Cicero, and the Bible

(Some readers may already be familiar with what follows, but it may be news to others; and it should be of interest to all!) According to Johannes Aurifaber, Martin Luther wrote the following words–the last ones he wrote, in fact–on a scrap of paper and placed them on his bedside table shortly before he died, […]

Archive Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

Christ Jesus Lay In Death’s Strong Bands

By Martin Luther: Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands For our offenses given; But now at God’s right hand he stands And brings us life from heaven. Therefore let us joyful be And sing to God right thankfully Loud songs of alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! No son of man could conquer death, Such ruin sin […]

Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Why Reformation?

I wrote a pastoral reflection on Reformation Day at my other blog. Here’s an excerpt: But why celebrate the Reformation now? There are various reasons to ask this question and various ways to answer it, but instead of trying to say everything (my typical flaw), I want to get right to the bottom line because the […]

Archive Authors Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Prudence and Persuasion in Erasmus and Luther

Victoria Kahn’s Rhetoric, Prudence, and Skepticism in the Renaissance is well worth the read for anyone interested in the topic of political theology, virtue ethics, or the Renaissance and Reformation more broadly. She describes the nature of Renaissance concepts of prudence and rhetoric and its importance for the debate between Erasmus and Luther on the freedom […]