In talking about a great new book called “Reading Romans with Luther” (CPH 2017, R.J. Grunewald) I made the statement that Luther sometimes needs to be clarified but he was also stunningly clear most of the time.  He says for instance, that under the papacy in his time “faith was kept under the bench”.  What hockey mom can’t understand that?  Faith in Jesus as Savior was kept under the bench and never used in the game.  It was there somewhere but pretty much kept in the bag.

Luther also said “Christ wants our whole disposition to be so stripped down that we are unafraid of being embarrassed for our faults and also do not delight in the glory and vain joys of our virtues.”    Luther said that our hearts are an “idol factory”.  This is amazing stuff, and if we have any self awareness, which by the way, is also a sin, we cannot help but see how true this is; that we make idols of everything especially our ability to create idols.  We worship our work, or vacations, our “lake time”, or sports and on and one we go.

Those who continually disagreed with Luther got an earful because they were not arguing with him but with the very Word of God.  Those who tried to use human reason against God’s revelation might get something like this –

“For you are an excellent person, as skillful, clever, and versed in Holy Scripture as a cow in a walnut tree or a sow on a harp.”

Try keeping those images out of your head today.