John Henry Newman


#1

Hi there,

I’m looking for a quote from John Henry Newman where he says something like in the centuries since the Reformation, Protestantism’s progressive downgrading of Mary simply reflected its downgrading of Christ.

I’m not very familiar with Newman’s work- Even if someone could point me in the right direction to track down this quote, it would be very helpful.

Thank You,

James Swan


#2

JamesSwan << On Newman – Protestantism’s progressive downgrading of Mary simply reflected its downgrading of Christ. I’m not very familiar with Newman’s work- Even if someone could point me in the right direction to track down this quote, it would be very helpful. >>

It might be in the collection “The Second Eve” which is a small compilation of Newman’s quotes on the Blessed Virgin Mary, both Anglican and Catholic periods I think. I have this book somewhere.

Check Dave Armstrong’s Newman page, he has tons of links. Darn it, just checked it. Apparently Dave is removing pages due to lack of support. Too bad, it was probably the best Newman reference on the web.

Whole books of Newman’s are online, so The Second Eve might be. I’ll check now…

Mary as the New Eve seems to be part of this Newman book

This looks like a fuller book on Newman and Mary (400+ pages)

Amazon.com listing for this book

The quote you need might also be found at NewmanReader.org, see his online works

Phil P


#3

Thanks Phil, those links will be helpful.

Regards,
James Swan


#4

BTW, your papers at NTRMin.org appear well researched. Good job. You should get the book Mary, Mother of All Christians by Max Thurian. I have the book in complete photocopy if you want it. Written while still a Calvinist in the 1960s, Thurian became Catholic in the 1980s I believe. Fr. Raymond Brown at the time called it “not only the best Protestant evaluation of the Mariological question, but far better than many Catholic treatments” (see Brown, Anchor commentary on Gospel of John, page 107).

"A very ancient tradition of the Church affirms a perpetual virginity of Mary; and the Reformers of the sixteenth century themselves confessed ‘-Mariam semper virginem-’ [Mary ever-Virgin]…

“The entire tradition of the Church has held to the perpetual virginity of Mary as a sign of her dedication and of the fullness of God’s gift of which she was the object. The Reformers themselves respected this belief.”

“For Calvin and the other Reformers accept the traditional view that Mary had only one son, the Son of God, who had been to her the fullness of grace and joy.”

“In regard to the Marian doctrine of the Reformers, we have already seen how UNANIMOUS they are in all that concerns Mary’s holiness and perpetual virginity.” (Max Thurian, MARY, MOTHER OF ALL CHRISTIANS, p. 37-40, 197)

And

“…we can assert nothing other than this, for this is the most as well as the least that we can state to those who on the one hand would wish to speak of Mary as if she were sinful or on the other as separated from our condition as human creatures. We do not see how either the one or the other can be legitimately proved from the Gospel. Mary, full of grace, Daughter of Zion, the Mother of God Incarnate, the symbol of Mother Church is holy because in her the Gospel sees the living sign of a unique and pre-destined choice of the Lord, the response of faith from a perfectly human creature, but one who was also totally obedient.” (Thurian, MARY, MOTHER OF ALL CHRISTIANS, page 25)

If we can get Svendsen and crew to come as far as the Reformed of the 16th-17th century, as represented by Thurian, that would be just great. :thumbsup:

Phil P


#5

JamesSwan << paraphrasing Newman – Protestantism’s progressive downgrading of Mary simply reflected its downgrading of Christ. >>

One more thing, this is certainly true in Svendsen’s case since he refuses to call Mary the Mother of God and thus has a confused Christology, here –

“…it is not the case that ‘all of Jesus is God.’ Some of Jesus (viz., his humanity) is not God, and the premise is better stated as a particular statement (‘some of Jesus is God’)…for the conclusion, ‘Mary is the mother of God,’ does not necessarily follow the premises, ‘Mary is the mother of Jesus,’ and ‘some of Jesus is God’; for it very well could be (and indeed is the case) that Mary is mother of only the non-God part of Jesus…Catholic apologists have not made the necessary theological distinction between person, nature and being.” (Who is My Mother? The Role and Status of the Mother of Jesus in the New Testament and Roman Catholicism by Eric Svendsen [Calvary Press, 2001], page 265)

Also Evangelical Answers by Svendsen:

“Jesus is both God and man; therefore, we must use the proposition some of Jesus is God…Mary cannot be said to be the mother of all of Jesus, but only of his humanity…Mary is the mother of some of Jesus; for Mary could very well be (and indeed is) mother of only the non-God part of Jesus…The fallacy again lies in not making the proper distinction between the humanity and deity of Christ. No one in the first century worshipped the body of Christ per se, but rather the person of Christ who happened to be embodied…” (Evangelical Answers, page 179, 242)

Do you see the problem here?

But this is not true of the Protestant Reformers and later Protestant theologians of the 16th-17th century, according to Thurian. Mary began to be “downgraded” by 18th-19th century Protestants influenced by the Elightenment, who then denied Mary’s perpetual virginity, virgin birth, and all “miracles”, etc.

To wit here are some cites from Thurian, some of which you may have dealt with in your articles at NTRMin.

Martin Luther preached after his break with Rome on the Feast of the Visitation (July 2, 1532) –

“She, the Lady above heaven and earth, must have a heart so humble that she might have no shame in washing the swaddling clothes or preparing a bath for St. John the Baptist, like a servant girl. What humility! It would surely have been more just to have arranged for her a golden coach, pulled by 4,000 horses, and to cry and proclaim as the carriage proceeded: ‘Here passes the woman who is raised FAR ABOVE all women, indeed above the WHOLE human race.’”

Five years later, preaching on the same feast day, Luther said –

“She was not filled with pride by this praise…this immense praise: ‘No woman is like unto thee! Thou art more than an EMPRESS or a QUEEN…blessed above all nobility, wisdom, or saintliness!’”

(LUTHER’S WORKS 36:208; 45:107 as cited in REFUTING THE ATTACK ON MARY by Fr. Mateo available from Catholic Answers)

Heinrich Bullinger, Cranmer’s brother-in-law, Zwingli’s successor said –

“What pre-eminence in the eyes of purity, her saintliness and all her virtues, so that she can hardly be compared with any of the other saints, but should by rights be rather elevated above all of them…”

French Reformed pastor Charles Drelincourt said in the 17th century –

“We do not simply believe that God has favoured the holy and blessed Virgin more than all the Patriarchs and the Prophets, but also that He has exalted her above all Seraphim. The angels can only qualify as servants of the Son of God, the creatures and workmanship of his hands; but the holy Virgin is not only the servant and the creature but also the Mother of this great and living God.”

(from MARY, MOTHER OF ALL CHRISTIANS [p. 89] by Calvinist theologian Max Thurian who later converted to the Catholic faith)

I don’t see any hint of downgrading Mary in these statements, they are quite Catholic. The “Protestant downgrading” that Cardinal Newman is probably talking about seems to have occurred much later (after the Enlightenment).

Phil P


#6

[quote=PhilVaz]BTW, your papers at NTRMin.org appear well researched. Good job. You should get the book Mary, Mother of All Christians by Max Thurian. I have the book in complete photocopy if you want it. Written while still a Calvinist in the 1960s, Thurian became Catholic in the 1980s I believe. Fr. Raymond Brown at the time called it “not only the best Protestant evaluation of the Mariological question, but far better than many Catholic treatments” (see Brown, Anchor commentary on Gospel of John, page 107).
[/quote]

Hi Phil,

Thanks- I utilized Thurian’s book when writing my response to DA on Luther’s Mariology.

Regards,
James Swan


#7

[quote=PhilVaz]JamesSwan << paraphrasing Newman – Protestantism’s progressive downgrading of Mary simply reflected its downgrading of Christ. >>

One more thing, this is certainly true in Svendsen’s case since he refuses to call Mary the Mother of God and thus has a confused Christology, here –
Phil P
[/quote]

Hi Phil,

Thanks for your interest in this subject. While I usually enjoy discussing Luther/Reformers and Mary etc., I must decline at this point with you, as i’m in the middle of finishing up a class- i’m writing a paper now, and have a dreadful exam to take in about 2 weeks.

I was hoping to utilize the Newman quote (that is the focal point of this thread) in the paper i’m writing.

Perhaps I can take a “raincheck” with you here and bump the thread up next month sometime and give your comments the time they need.

Regards,
James Swan


#8

[quote=PhilVaz]Martin Luther preached after his break with Rome on the Feast of the Visitation (July 2, 1532) –

“She, the Lady above heaven and earth, must have a heart so humble that she might have no shame in washing the swaddling clothes or preparing a bath for St. John the Baptist, like a servant girl. What humility! It would surely have been more just to have arranged for her a golden coach, pulled by 4,000 horses, and to cry and proclaim as the carriage proceeded: ‘Here passes the woman who is raised FAR ABOVE all women, indeed above the WHOLE human race.’”

Five years later, preaching on the same feast day, Luther said –

“She was not filled with pride by this praise…this immense praise: ‘No woman is like unto thee! Thou art more than an EMPRESS or a QUEEN…blessed above all nobility, wisdom, or saintliness!’”

(LUTHER’S WORKS 36:208; 45:107 as cited in REFUTING THE ATTACK ON MARY by Fr. Mateo available from Catholic Answers)

[/quote]

Hi Phil,

I know I said i’d catch up with you sometime later on this topic, but I can’t resist.

This quote does not exist. Something “like” it appears in the sermon “Feast of the Visitation” from 1532 (actually printed in The Sermons of Martin Luther Volume 7, not Luther’s Works).

I did a “brief” overview of this quote here:

lutheranforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=151

Regards,
James Swan


#9

JamesSwan << I know I said i’d catch up with you sometime later on this topic, but I can’t resist. This quote does not exist. Something “like” it appears in the sermon “Feast of the Visitation” from 1532 (actually printed in The Sermons of Martin Luther Volume 7, not Luther’s Works). >>

Thanks, I noted where I got the quote, from Fr. Mateo’s booklet on Mary. Are there not many editions of Luther’s Works? How hard did you try to look for it and verify it?

I understand the main edition of Luther’s Works was done by Pelikan? The volumes are at USF library here in Tampa so perhaps I will check this out myself.

Thanks, if it really does not exist, was just made up out of thin air, or is a badly mangled quotation, then I’ll have some editing to do as I’ve used that quote a couple of times. :eek:

From your Lutheran board discussion:

JamesSwan << Again, this sermon appears in neither LW 36 or LW 45. Shame on the Catholic apologists for such sloppy work. I really wish Catholic apologists would stick to quoting councils and popes. They have a very hard time quoting Luther. >>

Well I’ll delete the citations if they really don’t exist, but I’d like to check it out myself. I’d have to find what edition of Luther’s Works Fr. Mateo was referring to. Might be a good library project. :cool: According to USF my main library in Tampa:

Author, etc.: Luther, Martin, 1483-1546.
Uniform title: Works
Title: Luthers works / edited by Jaroslav Pelikan.
Published: Saint Louis : Concordia, c1955-1958; v.1,1958]
Description: 54 v. ; 24 cm.
Notes: Vols. 31-54 edited by H. J. Grimm and others.
General editor: H. T. Lehmann.

Vols. 31-54 have imprint: Philadelphia : Muhlenbeurg Press.
"Although the edition as planned will include fifty-five volumes, Luthers writings are not being translated in their entirety."
A companion volume, Luther the expositor : introduction to the Reformers exegetical writings / by Jaroslav Pelikan published Saint Louis : Concordia, c1959.

Includes bibliographical references.
Subjects, general:
Lutheran Church
Bible–Criticism, interpretation, etc.–History
Theology–16th century
Other author(s), etc.:
Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan, 1923-
Oswald, Hilton C.
Lehmann, Helmut T.

HOLDINGS:

LOCATION: TAMPA circulating collection
CALL NUMBER: BR330 .E5 1955
LIBRARY HAS: v. 1-30,33-54

I’ll check it out. So you’re saying volumes 36 and 45 of this edition has nothing like what appears in Fr. Mateo’s booklet, right? I’ll check this out since you got me curious. Perhaps Mateo is using a different edition of Luther’s Works?

Phil P


#10

[quote=PhilVaz]Thanks, I noted where I got the quote, from Fr. Mateo’s booklet on Mary. Are there not many editions of Luther’s Works? How hard did you try to look for it and verify it?

I’ll check it out. So you’re saying volumes 36 and 45 of this edition has nothing like what appears in Fr. Mateo’s booklet, right? I’ll check this out since you got me curious. Perhaps Mateo is using a different edition of Luther’s Works?
[/quote]

Hi Phil,

As far as I can tell, Fr. Mateo is using the 55 volume English edition of Luther’s Works. Here’s a link to Mateo’s article:

catholic.com/thisrock/1992/9212fea2.asp

Now, when you get to his section, “Luther’s testimony”, note the first Luther quote given is:

Although Martin Luther was somewhat nervous about applying the title “Queen of Heaven” to Mary, he admits that “it is a true enough name and yet does not make her a goddess.”(Luther’s Works, 21:327.)

This reference is accurate. The next quotes (as you cited) are referenced as Ibid., 36:208, 45:107. These are not accurate. By his use of “Ibid”, I am inclined to believe Mateo is utilizing Luther’s Works English edition (55 vol.), since the first quote does appear in LW 21:327.

I might add that you didn’t quote Mateo accurately either. Note, Mateo says,

She, the Lady above heaven and earth, must…have a heart so humble that she might have no shame in washing the swaddling clothes or preparing a bath for St. John the Baptist, like a servant girl.

Note this part of Mateo’s quote: “and earth, must…have a heart” . Those three little dots “…” mean that he has left some material out. Now this might appear to be nitpicking to you. I can assure you, the quote, as it stands cited by you, is more innacurate than Mateo. This is a great example of why primary research is so important, especially with Luther. Sometimes when we rely on the work of others, we can make either the same mistake they made, or make mistakes with their work. With Luther, one must check the primary sources, as much as possible (I try to do this, and I welcome others to check my work, I am not above correction). I can assure you, those little dots are important.

I have located this quote (or something like it) in The Complete Sermons of Martin Luther, Vol.7 (which by the way, are not “complete”, they are but a sampling of Luther’s Sermons).

On the other hand, I have not located this quote yet:

Five years later, preaching on the same feast day, Luther said –
“She was not filled with pride by this praise…this immense praise: ‘No woman is like unto thee! Thou art more than an EMPRESS or a QUEEN…blessed above all nobility, wisdom, or saintliness!’”

But, do indeed go and research the quote. Even, I make mistakes (in fact, I have found mistakes in my own Luther papers, hopefully this summer I can revise some of them).

Regards,
James Swan


#11

JamesSwan << But, do indeed go and research the quote. Even, I make mistakes (in fact, I have found mistakes in my own Luther papers, hopefully this summer I can revise some of them). >>

I’ll done a little checking. I have Fr. Mateo’s booklet – originally from This Rock articles (late 1992, early 1993), then an 8.5 x 14 inch edition booklet called “Refuting the Attack on Mary,” published 1993 shortly after This Rock articles, and a nice smaller paperback 2nd edition published 1999 which Catholic Answers still sells. I also mentioned I have Max Thurian’s book Mary, Mother of All Christians (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963, 1964, and originally published in French, Les Presses de Taize, 1962).

My quotations were from Mateo’s booklet, but you’re right I may have been sloppy about the ellipses.

It looks like all or most of the citations from the Protestant Reformers and later Protestant theologians (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Bullinger, and Charles Drelincourt, at least) in Fr. Mateo’s booklet, including the “lady above heaven and earth” and the “empress or queen” Luther quotation, are found in Thurian’s book Mary, Mother of All Christians. It looks like Thurian is going by the original German WEIMAR edition of Luther’s Works. So there are indeed different editions of Luther’s Works as I suspected.

<< The next quotes (as you cited) are referenced as Ibid., 36:208, 45:107. These are not accurate. >>

These volumes probably refer to the German WEIMAR edition of Luther’s Works since they are found in Thurian’s book, pages 79 and 80, endnotes 15 and 16 for chapter 6 “Mother of the Lord.” The endnotes 15 and 16 on page 198 of Thurian read:

15: WEIMAR, 36: 208, 19 to 26.
16: WEIMAR, 45: 105, 7 to 106, 1.

Here is a page on the WEIMAR edition of Luther’s Works from Concordia College, they have most of the 125 volume set. It was originally published in the 19th century, so its older than the English translation made in the 1950’s by Pelikan. The original Luther’s Werke apparently is available online for a fee.

So I’m 99.999999% positive if you check the same edition of Luther’s Works that Thurian is using you will find both the “lady above heaven and earth” and the “empress or queen” quotations.

Now I agree that Catholic Answers may have indeed messed up confusing the Pelikan american English edition with the German WEIMAR edition of Luther’s Works, or at least did not make a clear distinction when they were referring to one or the other.

When Mateo cites Thurian, he seems to be referring to the German WEIMAR edition, with Thurian probably translating it to his native French himself. In the edition(s) of “Refuting the Attack on Mary” that I have, both the Pelikan edition and WEIMAR edition are referenced without indicating which edition of “Luther’s Works” they mean. The booklet could be clearer on this as well.

I’ll try to straighten this out myself if I can locate the Thurian references in the German WEIMAR edition of Luther’s Works, either online or in a large university library. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Phil P


#12

Hi Phil,

I appreciate the effort you put into checking this out. I suspected all along that there was confusion because the German and English editions of Luther’s works were being sloppily cited. This happens frequently. I have some funny stories about this problem, but I’ll save them for another time. It should be obvious that I’m familiar with a large corpus of Luther’s works and secondary sources (I have two different complete sets of Luther’s Works, and access to the Weimar edition).

However, this sloppiness does not excuse anyone who cites Luther. I have reached the point of blatant hostility and sarcasm, when cyber-warriors cite Luther, but do so from secondary sources, without even thinking to do the work necessary to find out what Luther said in context. This is simply inexcusable in many cases (the more degrees after someone’s name, the more inexcusable). Luther is extremely easy to mis-cite.

I am Reformed- in the fullest sense: a 5-point Calvinist. Now I have to be careful when reading Martin Luther, because Luther was not a 5-point Calvinist. Luther does though say many things “harmonious” with those 5 points, but I would be doing him injustice if I declared that he was a 5-point Calvinist. Luther’s theology is not Reformed theology. I have to always remind myself of this. When I read his comments on the will, or predestination, I get a warm fuzzy feeling: “That’s what I believe!” Yet, there are some major differences in how Luther expresses himself on these issues. If I don’t take into account Luther’s underlying presupposition of the hidden and revealed God, I will make some blatant errors against his theology. I could make all sorts of web pages proving Luther was a 5-point Calvinist. I could even find a lot of secondary sources to prove it. But, I would be doing injustice to Luther’s work. I would be manipulating his material to prove something that is untrue.

Similarly, I think when Roman Catholics approach Luther’s Mariology, they do so with 21st Century Roman Catholic glasses. In other words, they are familiar with the more developed Marian doctrines. Then they go and read someone’s work who has read Luther’s Marian statements- Well of course, wouldn’t you know it, Martin Luther was a champion of Roman Catholic Mariology! Then they make all sorts of web pages about Luther’s Mariology, having never read any of Luther’s statements in context.

Luther was not a champion of 21st Century Mariology. Luther has a Mariology, this is for sure, and there are some similarities with Roman Catholic thought. But, Luther has to be read in his historical and theological context. When one takes the time to do so, one finds Luther is not the Marian champion Roman Catholics think he is. Luther indeed had a Mariology. It reflected his commitment to Christ, and stood in antithesis to popular Catholic belief in the sixteenth century. By and large, this is the overwhelming problem I have with Roman Catholic citations of Luther’s Mariology.

Secondarily, I have found the method of citation of Luther on this issue has been less than helpful. Secondary sources, cryptic references to Luther’s sermons, citing secondary sources as if they were actually Luther’s words in context- these are continual problems I find with my Roman Catholic friends citing Luther on this topic. This discussion you and I are having is an excellent example of trying to get to the bottom of what Luther said. I have the quote in question. I found it, with no help from Patrick Madrid or Father Mateo. Do a web search and see how many people utilize this quote, sloppy references and lack of “…”. It’s amazing. Interestingly, this is the point of this entire thread. I have a secondary protestant source quoting John Henry Newman. I don’t want to use the quote in a paper i’m working on until I read it in context. I don’t want to misuse Newman.

Luther was distinctly Luther. He’s extremely difficult to pigeon-hole. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy reading and studying him. Now, since I’m Reformed, I really don’t have an agenda. I try to let Luther be Luther. Thus, it doesn’t matter if I agree with him or not. I can still study him accurately, in the same way some of the best scholars on Jonathan Edwards aren’t even Christian! But I have to be careful. I have to continually remember my presuppositons. I have to continually remember I’m a Reformed person reading a non-Reformed theology. I hope that this will be the case when Roman Catholics read Luther’s Marian statements.

Regards,
James Swan


#13

JamesSwan << Note this part of Mateo’s quote: “and earth, must…have a heart” . Those three little dots “…” mean that he has left some material out. Now this might appear to be nitpicking to you. I can assure you, the quote, as it stands cited by you, is more innacurate than Mateo. >>

You are right, I did forget the ellipses. However, this is cleared up by checking the source that Fr. Mateo is using: Max Thurian’s book Mary, Mother of All Christians.

The full quote from Luther (again, the German WEIMAR edition of Luther’s Works, not the English Pelikan translation) is the following:

“She, the Lady above heaven and earth, must forget her goods, have a heart so humble that she might have no shame in washing the swaddling clothes or preparing a bath for John the Baptist like a servant girl (in the house of Elizabeth). What humility! it would surely have been more just to have arranged for her a golden coach, pulled by 4,000 horses and to cry and proclaim as the carriage proceeded: ‘Here passes the woman who is raised far above all women, indeed above the whole human race’ …but no, she makes her long journey on foot, first one mile, then twenty, then more and yet she is already the Mother of God! It would have been more just surely that all the hills should leap and dance!”

The reference in Thurian (page 79-80) to this Luther quotation is Feast of the Visitation, July 2, 1532, and the endnote 15 (page 198) reads: WEIMAR, 36: 208, 19 to 26.

Looks like the three words Fr. Mateo (and myself) left out was “forget her goods.” Doesn’t seem to change the passage any, and there’s more there in Thurian.

The next Luther quotation is fuller in Thurian as well, and goes like this:

“When the Virgin received the acclamation of Elizabeth as being the blessed Mother of God, because she had believed and because all was coming to pass as the angel had spoken, she was not filled with pride by this praise which no other woman had ever yet spoken to her – this immense praise: ‘No woman is like unto thee! you are more than an empress or a queen! you are more than Eve or Sarah; blessed above all nobility, wisdom or saintliness!’ No, she was not filled with pride by this lofty, excellent and super-abundant praise…”

The reference in Thurian (page 80) to this Luther quotation is Feast of the Visitation, July 2, 1537 and the endnote 16 (page 198) reads: WEIMAR, 45: 105, 7 to 106, 1.

The Luther quotations above from Thurian are exactly [sic] as he has them, with lower case “you [sic] are more than an empress or a queen! you [sic] are more than Eve or Sarah” and lower case “it [sic] would surely have been more just” and with ellipses after the words “whole human race” etc. There I’m definitely not nit picking now. :smiley:

This is all the info I have on these quotes, until I can find this in the original German WEIMAR edition of Luther’s Works.

In fact, I will gladly PHOTOCOPY the pages of the German WEIMAR, and mail them to you, once I find them (unless they are online, I’ll just provide a link). And I’ll toss in a free copy of the 500-page out of print 1894 book The Primitive Church and the See of Peter by Luke Rivington, since I’m in the process of cranking out a few more copies of this masterpiece.

You can go ahead and post this on the other Luther board where you said I was sloppy, incompetent, a liar or whatever. Just kidding. :smiley: :eek: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

BTW, the main source Thurian recommends on this subject is the following:

“One should not normally embark on this subject until one has read the magnificent book Das Marienlob der Reformatoren of W. Tappolet, Katzmann, Tubingen, 1962. See the very good analysis of R. Stadler, ‘The Holy Virgin in the Reformers’ in Choisir 31, May 1962, pp. 17-20.” (Thurian, page 196-197)

And just so I stress this point: Thurian was a CALVINIST at the time he wrote Mary, Mother of All Christians (1960s). And yes, he became a Catholic in the 1980s I believe.

Phil P


#14

JamesSwan << Luther was not a champion of 21st Century Mariology. Luther has a Mariology, this is for sure, and there are some similarities with Roman Catholic thought. >>

Oh I agree, Luther was a champion of 16th century Mariological thought, which was pretty indistinguishable it seems to me from 16th century Roman Catholic Mariological thought. But I will print out your articles from NTRMin.org and check out your views on this. Hey I’m not one to back down from a good Internet debate, and since you challenged me, I had to check this out. Now I just need to learn German and find WEIMAR to really prove you wrong. :thumbsup:

Phil P


#15

[quote=PhilVaz] You can go ahead and post this on the other Luther board where you said I was sloppy, incompetent, a liar or whatever. Just kidding.
[/quote]

An old friend of mine used to say, “There’s much truth in jest.” I do not believe you are a liar. I don’t even know you, so I have no opinion on your “competence”. I will say though, I have reached a point where I tire of sloppy citations of Luther, and I tend to come out both guns blasting. I can’t for life of me figure out why many Roman Catholics won’t read Luther in context, but rather rely on someone else’s work. You just can’t do this with Luther.

And I’m not just picking on Catholics. I nailed a very popular Protestant scholar (of whom I have about 30 of his books, which I enjoy, still do) mis-citing John Calvin. See this link:

aomin.org/TertiumQuid.html

[quote=PhilVaz]And just so I stress this point: Thurian was a CALVINIST at the time he wrote Mary, Mother of All Christians (1960s). And yes, he became a Catholic in the 1980s I believe.
[/quote]

I recall researching this a few years back. I don’t remember when his “conversion” occurred, you may be correct. Frankly, simply because one declares themself a “Calvinist” doesn’t mean their opinion on a particular subject is to be respected. I can name a dozen Calvinists (who may even have “Tulip” tattooed on their arms), who’s opinion I have little or no respect for. As I read through Thurian a few years back, I remember thinking, “This guy’s a Calvinist? Then I’m a Roman Catholic!” I did not know at the time he had become Roman Catholic, but I wasn’t surprised.

Regards,
James Swan


#16

[quote=PhilVaz]Oh I agree, Luther was a champion of 16th century Mariological thought, which was pretty indistinguishable it seems to me from 16th century Roman Catholic Mariological thought. But I will print out your articles from NTRMin.org and check out your views on this. Hey I’m not one to back down from a good Internet debate, and since you challenged me, I had to check this out. Now I just need to learn German and find WEIMAR to really prove you wrong.
[/quote]

Hi Phil,

I don’t recall challenging you to a debate. As I mentioned, I don’t have the time this month to engage you or anyone on anything in depth. If anything appeared to you to be a personal challenge, I assure you it wasn’t.

This is my only challenge to you: Do your own research of Luther. Many of his works are readily available on-line. Most college libraries (and even some public libraries) have the English set of Luther’s works. Even if you did this, and arrived at “Luther was a champion of 16th century Mariological thought, which was pretty indistinguishable it seems to me from 16th century Roman Catholic Mariological thought”, while disagreeing with you, I would greatly respect you for doing the work necessary to formulate your opinion. Use secondary sources with discretion. You will find that many of them disagree with each other, especially on this topic.

Take Care,
James Swan


#17

[quote=PhilVaz]JamesSwan << paraphrasing Newman – Protestantism’s progressive downgrading of Mary simply reflected its downgrading of Christ. >>

One more thing, this is certainly true in Svendsen’s case since he refuses to call Mary the Mother of God and thus has a confused Christology, here –

“…it is not the case that ‘all of Jesus is God.’ Some of Jesus (viz., his humanity) is not God, and the premise is better stated as a particular statement (‘some of Jesus is God’)…for the conclusion, ‘Mary is the mother of God,’ does not necessarily follow the premises, ‘Mary is the mother of Jesus,’ and ‘some of Jesus is God’; for it very well could be (and indeed is the case) that Mary is mother of only the non-God part of Jesus…Catholic apologists have not made the necessary theological distinction between person, nature and being.” (Who is My Mother? The Role and Status of the Mother of Jesus in the New Testament and Roman Catholicism by Eric Svendsen [Calvary Press, 2001], page 265)

Also Evangelical Answers by Svendsen:

“Jesus is both God and man; therefore, we must use the proposition some of Jesus is God…Mary cannot be said to be the mother of all of Jesus, but only of his humanity…Mary is the mother of some of Jesus; for Mary could very well be (and indeed is) mother of only the non-God part of Jesus…The fallacy again lies in not making the proper distinction between the humanity and deity of Christ. No one in the first century worshipped the body of Christ per se, but rather the person of Christ who happened to be embodied…” (Evangelical Answers, page 179, 242)

Phil P
[/quote]

Which part of Jesus was God? Was it his left leg, his right leg? Svedsen is a heretic and is confusing the incarnation.


#18

[quote=TertiumQuid]Hi Phil,

[snip of one paragraph]

However, this sloppiness does not excuse anyone who cites Luther. I have reached the point of blatant hostility and sarcasm, when cyber-warriors cite Luther, but do so from secondary sources, without even thinking to do the work necessary to find out what Luther said in context. This is simply inexcusable in many cases (the more degrees after someone’s name, the more inexcusable). Luther is extremely easy to mis-cite.

I am Reformed- in the fullest sense: a 5-point Calvinist. Now I have to be careful when reading Martin Luther, because Luther was not a 5-point Calvinist. Luther does though say many things “harmonious” with those 5 points, but I would be doing him injustice if I declared that he was a 5-point Calvinist. Luther’s theology is not Reformed theology. I have to always remind myself of this. When I read his comments on the will, or predestination, I get a warm fuzzy feeling: “That’s what I believe!” Yet, there are some major differences in how Luther expresses himself on these issues. If I don’t take into account Luther’s underlying presupposition of the hidden and revealed God, I will make some blatant errors against his theology. I could make all sorts of web pages proving Luther was a 5-point Calvinist. I could even find a lot of secondary sources to prove it. But, I would be doing injustice to Luther’s work. I would be manipulating his material to prove something that is untrue.

Similarly, I think when Roman Catholics approach Luther’s Mariology, they do so with 21st Century Roman Catholic glasses. In other words, they are familiar with the more developed Marian doctrines. Then they go and read someone’s work who has read Luther’s Marian statements- Well of course, wouldn’t you know it, Martin Luther was a champion of Roman Catholic Mariology! Then they make all sorts of web pages about Luther’s Mariology, having never read any of Luther’s statements in context.

Luther was not a champion of 21st Century Mariology. Luther has a Mariology, this is for sure, and there are some similarities with Roman Catholic thought. But, Luther has to be read in his historical and theological context. When one takes the time to do so, one finds Luther is not the Marian champion Roman Catholics think he is. Luther indeed had a Mariology. It reflected his commitment to Christ, and stood in antithesis to popular Catholic belief in the sixteenth century. By and large, this is the overwhelming problem I have with Roman Catholic citations of Luther’s Mariology.

Secondarily, I have found the method of citation of Luther on this issue has been less than helpful. Secondary sources, cryptic references to Luther’s sermons, citing secondary sources as if they were actually Luther’s words in context- these are continual problems I find with my Roman Catholic friends citing Luther on this topic. This discussion you and I are having is an excellent example of trying to get to the bottom of what Luther said. I have the quote in question. I found it, with no help from Patrick Madrid or Father Mateo. Do a web search and see how many people utilize this quote, sloppy references and lack of “…”. It’s amazing. Interestingly, this is the point of this entire thread. I have a secondary protestant source quoting John Henry Newman. I don’t want to use the quote in a paper i’m working on until I read it in context. I don’t want to misuse Newman.

Luther was distinctly Luther. He’s extremely difficult to pigeon-hole. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy reading and studying him. Now, since I’m Reformed, I really don’t have an agenda. I try to let Luther be Luther. Thus, it doesn’t matter if I agree with him or not. I can still study him accurately, in the same way some of the best scholars on Jonathan Edwards aren’t even Christian! But I have to be careful. I have to continually remember my presuppositons. I have to continually remember I’m a Reformed person reading a non-Reformed theology. I hope that this will be the case when Roman Catholics read Luther’s Marian statements.

Regards,
James Swan
[/quote]

Regarding Luther’s ideas about Mary - have you come across Hilda Graef’s book “Mary” ? She at least seems to avoid reading modern Catholic ideas into those of Luther - she even criticises one or two Catholics for making that very mistake. One of the strengths of the book is that she does not ignore the exaggerations and abuses.

Back to Luther: what is the precise source of his remark about the dungheap of our sins being covered over by the righteousness of Christ - if he made such a remark; and if you know ? It came up in another thread, and it would be useful to know the source. ##


#19

[quote=jimmy]Which part of Jesus was God? Was it his left leg, his right leg? Svedsen is a heretic and is confusing the incarnation.
[/quote]

Some evangelicals pay less attention to dogmatic theology or to the councils than others - Svendsen may simply not be in the habit of thinking in abstract concepts such as “person”, or “nature”. Especially as Biblical anthropology is so often expressed concretely; and not in abstractions.


#20

Gottle << Some evangelicals pay less attention to dogmatic theology or to the councils than others - Svendsen may simply not be in the habit of thinking in abstract concepts such as “person”, or “nature” >>

Yep, as for me, I don’t call Svendsen a heretic, although some might. When he says Mary is the mother of Jesus’ humanity, “mother of the non-God part” of Jesus, and while on earth they worshipped “the person of Christ who happened to be embodied” that is Nestorianism by definition. But to be fair, Svendsen acknowledges the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon in those books I quoted, he just thinks there is some distinction to be made between the Latin “Mother of God” and the Greek Theotokos (the later which he says he accepts).

He too needs to read Mary, Mother of All Christians by Thurian. I’m going to type in all of Thurian’s comments and quotations from the Protestant Reformers (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and later Bullinger, Drelincourt) and make a new apologetics article out of it. Hooray. :thumbsup:

Phil P


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