Did Martin Luther say this? Yes or no is the appropriate answer.


#1

I heard that he described humans and snow-covered dungheaps.
I don't view salvation, mercy, etc, as hiding our sins. I think of it as restoring us to the cleanliness that God originally created Adam and Eve with. In effect, grace and mercy aren't the snow on our dung, Rather they are the cleaning agents wiping the dung off our gold.


#2

[quote="traillius, post:1, topic:190377"]
I heard that he described humans and snow-covered dungheaps.
I don't view salvation, mercy, etc, as hiding our sins. I think of it as restoring us to the cleanliness that God originally created Adam and Eve with. In effect, grace and mercy aren't the snow on our dung, Rather they are the cleaning agents wiping the dung off our gold.

[/quote]

I believe he was speaking of justification.

The Catholic understanding is that, when Christians are justified, they become righteous. Insofar that we cooperate with grace, we become righteous. There is change within us. It is for this reason that Catholicism (and Orthodoxy) regard certain Christians as saints. Through ascetic labors and the living of a holy life, they subdued their passions, overcame temptation, and grew in the virtues.

For Lutherans, justification is not so much a change in our nature as a change in God's attitude towards the sinner. A Christian is declared righteous, not made righteous.

Later Protestants would focus on how Christians could live a holy life (e.g. the pietist movement that began in Lutheran churches)


#3

“Human nature is like a dung heap covered by snow.” Martin Luther

Yes. Referring to the total depravity of human nature and how we are inherently sinful and inadequate.

FSC


#4

[quote="traillius, post:1, topic:190377"]
I heard that he described humans and snow-covered dungheaps.
I don't view salvation, mercy, etc, as hiding our sins. I think of it as restoring us to the cleanliness that God originally created Adam and Eve with. In effect, grace and mercy aren't the snow on our dung, Rather they are the cleaning agents wiping the dung off our gold.

[/quote]

I have searched Luther's writings and can find no evidence of the "snow-covered dungheap" saying. It is often quoted but there has never been, to my knowledge, any substantiation that it actually exists.


#5

It is one of those things he is reported as having said, and it does sound like something he would have said but there is little evidence for him actually having done so.

At any rate, the illustration is of a piece with his view of post-lapsus human nature and justification, the idea being that we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ our own nature being fallen, filthy and depraved.


#6

[quote="gcnuss, post:4, topic:190377"]
I have searched Luther's writings and can find no evidence of the "snow-covered dungheap" saying. It is often quoted but there has never been, to my knowledge, any substantiation that it actually exists.

[/quote]

Thanks Pastor. It is good to spike these things everyone knows but are wrong.


#7

This blogpost addresses the very question:

socrates58.blogspot.com/2005/10/has-martin-luthers-snow-covered.html


#8

This is one from a Reformed writer

turretinfan.blogspot.com/2008/04/snow-covered-dung-heap-luther-langland.html

Ahh…History is always such fun.


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