Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Take away assertions and you take away Christianity

Here are some extracts from Luther in his exchange with Erasmus, taken of course from The Bondage of the Will:

For not to delight in assertions, is not the character of the Christian mind: nay, he must delight in assertions, or he is not a Christian. But (that we may not be mistaken in terms) by assertions, I mean a constant adhering, affirming, confessing, defending, and invincibly persevering.

And moreover, I speak concerning the asserting of those things, which are delivered to us from above in the Holy Scriptures.

But why should I dwell upon this; nothing is more known and more general among Christians than assertions. Take away assertions and you take away Christianity.

Whereas, the Christian will rather say this--I am so averse to the sentiments of the Sceptics, that wherever I am not hindered by the infirmity of the flesh, I will not only steadily adhere to the Sacred Writings everywhere, and in all parts of them, and assert them, but I wish also to be as certain as possible in things that are not necessary, and that lie without the Scripture: for what is more miserable than uncertainty.

The Holy Spirit is not a Sceptic, nor are what he has written on our own hearts doubts and opinions, but assertions more certain, and more firm, than life itself and all human experience.


Anonymous said...

Possibly my favourite passage from Luther. Hope you are well.

Martin Downes said...

Yes, good thanks.

We must have a chat soon.