Re: Inspiration

From: Tom Pearson (
Date: Mon Sep 25 2000 - 19:50:06 EDT

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    At 02:48 PM 09/21/2000 -0400, george murphy wrote:

    I had said:

    >> Insofar as Bonhoeffer
    >> was a Lutheran (and there is some dispute over this),

    And George responded:

    > There is no serious doubt about this - unless being "Lutheran"
    means that
    >one is not allowed
    >to point out any shortcomings in traditional Lutheran views.

    Actually, there has been some spirited debate among Bonhoeffer scholars the
    last 15 years or so over Bonheoffer's theological lineage. He evidently
    was raised in a family that spent some time associated with the Swiss
    Reformed Church -- and Bonhoeffer was deeply influenced early on by the
    writings of Karl Barth. Part of the debate arises from the lack of
    American-style "denominations" in Europe until the second half of the 20th
    century, so it's not as easy to place Bonhoeffer.

    Then, unfortunately for me, George also added:

    > The Lutheran Orthodoxy of the 17th & early 18th century
    insisted upon
    >the inspiration of the text of scripture itself. E.g., Hollaz (in Schmid,
    >"All the words, without exception, contained in the Holy Manuscript, were
    >by the Holy Spirit to the pen of the prophets and apostles." For some of the
    >orthodox dogmaticians this included inspiration even of the Masoertic vowel
    > Note - I am not arguing that these ideas are correct, or that
    >represent the best of the Lutheran tradition. But they are a significant
    part of
    >that tradition.

    Having transgressed the limits of my own knowledge, I stand corrected.
    Thanks, George. It turns out that not only Hollaz, but also Balthasar
    Meisner and Abraham Calov, said approximately the same thing. If I
    remember correctly, however, Meisner and Calov are later representatives of
    Lutheran Orthodoxy (I don't know Hollaz' dates), and I don't recall the
    early guys (like Gerhard and Chytraeus) talking that way; perhaps the later
    writers were already coming under the influence of Reformed thought. But
    I don't know this theological time period as well as I should, and I could
    well be wrong. Anyway, I appreciate the correction, George.

    Ain't chatting up Lutheran minutiae fun?

    Tom Pearson

    Thomas D. Pearson
    Department of History & Philosophy
    The University of Texas-Pan American
    Edinburg, Texas

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