Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tentatio as Teacher

Quoting Luther from Dr. John Kleinig's paper "Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio: What Makes a Theologian?," published in the July 2002 Concordia Theological Quarterly.
I did not learn my theology all at once, but had to search constantly deeper and deeper for it. My temptations did that for me, for no one can understand Holy Scripture without practice and temptations. This is what the enthusiasts and sects lack. They don't have the right critic, the devil, who is the best teacher of theology. If we don't have that kind of devil, then we become nothing but speculative theologians, who do nothing but walk around in our own thoughts and speculate with our reason alone as to whether things should be like this, or like that.
WA 1, 147, 3-14; Luther's Works, American Edition, 55 volumes, edited by J. Pelikan and H. T. Lehmann (Saint Louis: Concordia and Philadelphia: Fortress, 1955-1986)

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