28 February 2011

Not the Mark of a Christian Mind

The vagueness and slipperiness and elusiveness of some today in their theological discourse is not new, even if you slap a new-sounding label on it (postmodernism, post-postmodernism, etc). Warfield and then Machen were dealing with it a century ago (replace 'assertions' below with 'facts' and you'll think you're reading Christianity and Liberalism), and I'm just now discovering, as I begin Luther's Bondage of the Will for the first time in my life, that this was what drove Luther so crazy about Erasmus.

Early on the irascible German writes:
It is not the mark of a Christian mind to take no delight in assertions; on the contrary, a man must delight in assertions or he will be no Christian. And by assertion--in order that we may not be misled by words--I mean a constant adhering, affirming, confessing, maintaining, and an invincible persevering.
--Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will, in LW 33:19-20

It is one thing to be duly cautious in the name of appropriate intellectual humility. It is another to be cowardly under the guise of intellectual humility.

One day God will bring all things out into the open (1 Cor 4:5).


Mike Berttucci said...

was this by change posted in regards to the release of Rob Bell's new book and all the talk of it?

Dane Ortlund said...

Hi Mike. I assume you mean chance not change? No, it was not directly related because I read this in Luther last week and flagged it as blog-worthy then. But it certainly is appropriate and timely in light of Bell's distressing video. And of course as a Calvinist I don't really believe anything is 'by chance'! ;)