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What Luther Says

Martin Luther Was Cross-Eyed And Cross-Focused

I've been reading The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile) by Steven Lawson after I received a free digital copy recently and have loved every minute of it so far!

Here's an interview that Mr. Lawson gave to promote the book a few months ago that will give you a taste of what it's focus is.

The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther: An Interview with Steven Lawson from Ligonier Ministries on Vimeo.

Obviously, Dr. Lawson is of the Reformed camp (as this is sponsored by Ligonier Ministries) so I'll have to rely on you life-long Lutherans to tell me if there was anything about what he said that is inconsistent with Lutheran Doctrine or just not quite right.

From what I could tell though (from the interview and from what I've read so far), it seems like a pretty faithful presentation on Luther's life and ministry and certainly worth your time and prayerful consideration during this day-and-age.

Here's an excerpt I wanted to share with you today...

Meuser, an expert on Luther’s preaching, states that Luther’s main theme in the pulpit was “the human Jesus Christ, one of us, bearing our sin and its guilt, alienating power, and corrupting effects to the cross and into death for us.” 35 This gospel emphasis, Meuser says, “breathes in every sermon.” 36

In the following excerpt from Luther’s sermon on John 1:29, his focus on the cross is plain:

Anyone who wishes to be saved must know that all his sins have been placed on the back of this Lamb! Therefore John points this Lamb out to his disciples, saying: “Do you want to know where the sins of the world are placed for forgiveness? Then don’t resort to the Law of Moses or betake yourselves to the devil; there, to be sure, you will find sins, but sins to terrify you and damn you. But if you really want to find a place where the sins of the world are exterminated and deleted, then cast your gaze upon the cross.…

St. John, by his testimony or sermon, shows us Another upon whom God the Father has laid our sins, namely, Christ the Lord. The Law lays them upon me, but God takes them from me and lays them upon this Lamb. There they fit very well, far better than on me. God wishes to say to us: “I see how the sin oppresses you. You would have to collapse under its heavy burden. But I shall relieve and rid you of the load—when the Law convicts you of, and condemns you for, your sin—and from sheer mercy I shall place the weight of your sin on this Lamb, which will bear them. 37

Luther sometimes called his proclamation of Christ “the gospel in a nutshell,” that is, “the story about Christ, God’s and David’s Son, who died and was raised and is established as Lord.” 38

Whether treating the Old or the New Testament, Luther’s preaching focused primarily on God’s purpose of redemption in Christ, for he was convinced that all of the Bible bears witness to God’s saving action in Him.

*- The Heroic Boldness Of Martin Luther
(A Long Line of Godly Men Profile),

Steven J. Lawson

That last point is an important one. Truth is, all of the Bible bears witness to God's saving action in Jesus Christ so that includes the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.

In a Lutheran Layman's terms, Luther was cross-eyed and cross-focused for sure!

This is one of the better books I've read in quite some time (I highly recommend it) simply due to the fact that the very things Luther boldly addressed during his life and ministry in service to the Lord are the very same things that we are dealing with in Christ's Church today.

[NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray. Finally, you might discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog definitely fall into that category since I was a Lutheran-In-Name-Only at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a "Book of Concord" containing our Confessions even existed. I decided to leave those published posts up only because we now have this disclaimer and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life. Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time and help. Grace and peace to you and yours!]


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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