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A Lutheran Toolkit
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The Body Keeps th...
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Book cover for The Power and the Glory
Now that he no longer despaired it didn’t mean, of course, that he wasn’t damned—it was simply that after a time the mystery became too great, a damned man putting God into the mouths of men: an odd sort of servant, that, for the devil.
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Wendell Berry
“Having written some pages in favor of Jesus, I receive a solemn communication crediting me with the possession of a “theology” by which I acquire the strange dignity of being wrong forever or forever right. Have I gauged exactly enough the weights of sins? Have I found too much of the Hereafter in the Here? Or the other way around? Have I found too much pleasure, too much beauty and goodness, in this our unreturning world? O Lord, please forgive any smidgen of such distinctions I may have still in my mind. I meant to leave them all behind a long time ago. If I’m a theologian I am one to the extent I have learned to duck when the small, haughty doctrines fly overhead, dropping their loads of whitewash at random on the faces of those who look toward Heaven. Look down, look down, and save your soul by honester dirt, that receives with a lordly indifference this off-fall of the air. Christmas night and Easter morning are this soil’s only laws. The depth and volume of the waters of baptism, the true taxonomy of sins, the field marks of those most surely saved, God’s own only interpretation of the Scripture: these would be causes of eternal amusement, could we forget how we have hated one another, how vilified and hurt and killed one another, bloodying the world, by means of such questions, wrongly asked, never to be rightly answered, but asked and wrongly answered, hour after hour, day after day, year after year—such is my belief—in Hell.”
Wendell Berry, This Day

Bo Giertz
“Anders, it is not your sins that separate you from God, but your virtues. Or more properly: it is that you need to have something to bring before you step before God. This is why God has allowed you to be stripped of the shroud of holiness that you wore in Fröjerum. Not because you were zealous and pious. God grant that all priests would be as zealous as you! But because you made it into an article of faith and into your righteousness and put it between you and Christ. Now you are poor, destitute, and naked - like the prodigal son. Now the heavenly Father stand and waits for you. Now he wants to fold you in his arms and clothe you with the most precious garment, which is called Christ’s righteousness, in which not a single thread is spun by your hands, but for just that reason it lasts forever.” Faith Alone, 243.”
Bo Giertz

“While touting radical difference from mainline Protestantism, evangelical Protestantism strikingly parallels mainline Protestantism. In a way, both liberal and conservative modes of American religion are the same tune but played in strikingly different ways. Both evangelicals and mainliners accentuate the subjective dimension of religion. Both seek a therapeutic Jesus, who can heal my psychological pain, in order to issue a socially transformative Christ. For the political right, this Christ liberates an agenda that supports stability for the traditional family but license for the economy (even when that economy is indifferent to the traditional family’s well-being). For the political left, this Christ liberates an agenda that promotes diversity in family structures but seeks to tame an economy run amok.”
Mark Mattes, Law and Gospel In Action: Foundations, Ethics, Church

“Faith grasps a promise in complete assurance. When faith has a promise it does not submit, it fights—not on the basis of a legal claim or human power but on the basis of the free, imputed justice of Christ apart from the law. That is, Christ forgives the sinner, and this forgiveness becomes the ground for powerful assertions—even against God himself. For Erasmus, faith goes silent before the hidden God, but for Luther, faith gets its voice and begins verbalizing to God in prayer by asserting: you promised!”
Steven D. Paulson, Luther's Outlaw God: Volume 1: Hiddenness, Evil, and Predestination

G.K. Chesterton
“It seems to me a very real problem, to which I have never seen an answer even such as I shall attempt here, why a democracy should produce fads; and why, where there is so genuine a sense of human dignity, there should be so much of an impossible petty tyranny.”
G.K. Chesterton, The G.K. Chesterton Collection [34 Books]

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