Category: Martin Luther

Affective Spirituality

“What do you mean by ‘affective theology?’ I’ve never heard of it before I met you.” It’s a fair question. I first found the label in Heiko Oberman’s The Dawn of the Reformation where he wrote of fourteenth-century Christians whose “suspicion of speculation” led them away from prior theological streams. They preferred “an affective theology …

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Enjoying God’s Gifts

What does it mean to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? In Matt Jenson’s book, The Gravity of Sin he traces, among other things, how Martin Luther portrayed sin as a centripetal force in the soul. It drags all of life back to self. So that everything—including vocation, religion, and God’s …

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Luther in 1517

Welcome to All Saints Eve, 2017—now reduced to the weirdly twisted event of Halloween. Halloween aside, many of us know this day marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his Ninety-five Theses in Wittenberg, Germany. I’d love to be in Germany but having missed my chance let me at least offer a reflection in …

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Three unions

Richard Sibbes, my favorite English puritan (1577-1635), treated human salvation very much as Martin Luther had done in Saxony a century before—mainly as a function of ontology. It shifted the focus away from the more judicial notion of salvation common in his day. In the judicial view Jesus took up the Father’s judgment against sin—death—on …

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