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Happy Reformation Day!

Luther's 95 Theses

On 31 October 1517, a monk, priest, and university professor by the name of Martin Luther posted publicly, on the door of the castle church at Wittenberg a scholarly objection entitled, ‘Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the power and efficacy of Indulgences.’

Not so much an act of defiance as a scholarly objection to the church’s practices, it is hard to believe that Luther had so much as an inkling that ‘The Ninety-Five Theses,’ as they are commonly known, would in many respects serve as the spark that would be fanned into the flame of Reformation.

Today, as we commemorate Luther’s Disputation and the Reformation that it sparked, it seems only fitting to share some goodies related to Luther and the Reformation.

 

enough

Like many, I struggle to come to grips with what it means to have ‘enough.’

What is enough?

Did I purchase enough?

When do I have enough?

How do I know if I have enough?

Will I ever have enough?

Will I ever be good enough?

Will I ever know enough?

You get the idea.

And, in our hyper-speed,1 increasingly connected world,2 I struggle with the idea of enough. After all, there’s always someone with something newer, better, faster, bigger, etc.  Read more

  1. When I upload this, I’m doing so via an internet connection that averages over 10mbps upstream and over 120mbps downstream. Doesn’t that make you feel as if your up to 3mbps internet service isn’t enough?
  2. If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll know that it is highly likely that I am typing this out on the keyboard of my 2014 MacBook Air. I’m not. But if I was, you would probably feel that your sluggish Windows PC or 2007 iMac (whose keyboard I’m actually typing this out on) is woefully insufficient. Not enough.

Disputatio pro Declaratione Virtutis Indulgentiarum

Amore et studio elucidande veritatis hec subscripta disputabuntur Wittenberge, Presidente R. P. Martino Lutther, Artium et S. Theologie Magistro eiusdemque ibidem lectore Ordinario. Quare petit, ut qui non possunt verbis presentes nobiscum disceptare agant id literis absentes. In nomine domini nostri Hiesu Christi. Amen.

1. Dominus et magister noster Iesus Christus dicendo `Penitentiam agite &c.’ omnem vitam fidelium penitentiam esse voluit.

2. Quod verbum de penitentia sacramentali (id est confessionis et satisfactionis, que sacerdotum ministerio celebratur) non potest intelligi.

3. Non tamen solam intendit interiorem, immo interior nulla est, nisi foris operetur varias carnis mortificationes.

4. Manet itaque pena, donec manet odium sui (id est penitentia vera intus), scilicet usque ad introitum regni celorum. Read more

Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences

Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects at that place. He requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.

In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said “Repent”, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.

2. This word cannot be understood to mean the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, which is administered by the priests.

3. Yet it does not mean inward repentance only; for there is no inward repentance that does not produce outwardly various mortifications of the flesh.

4. The penalty [of sin], therefore, continues so long as hatred of self continues; for this is the true inward repentance, and continues until our entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Read more

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

According to Mick Jagger, the song propelled the Rolling Stones from being a band to being ‘a huge, monster band.’ Jagger credits the catchy title and memorable lyrics with the song’s success. There’s no question that he’s on to something. But I also think there’s more to it than that. I think the song’s enduring success is due, in large part, to its ability to tap into the lack of contentment and angst that dominates so many aspects of society, so many aspects of life.

Whether it is lack of contentment stemming from our white shirts not being as white as they could be. 

Or angst the builds up because we’re included or excluded on the basis of branding––‘he can’t be a man because he doesn’t smoke the same cigarrettes as me.’ 

At the end of the day, so many experience a lack of satisfaction, a lack of contentment. Therein, is the genius of the song. It taps into our insecurities and let’s us know that we aren’t alone. 

Here’s my question: What keeps you from experiencing satisfaction/contentment? Comparison? Inner angst and unrest?  

I’d love to hear from you. And, while you ruminating on a response, here’s a video to inspire you… 

 

 

Having, First, gained all you can, and, Secondly saved all you can, Then ‘give all you can.’

This famous quote comes from John Wesley’s sermon ‘The Use of Money.’ It’s a great quote. I’ve used it a time or two. Although short and succinct, there’s a lot to unpack and it truly takes a lifetime to live out. Today, I’d like to share a portion of the sermon. In the section that follows, Wesley expounds upon the notion of gaining all that one can.  Read more

A brief word on rosaries

Earlier, I received this question:

What is the difference between the Catholic rosary and the Anglican rosary?

It’s a good question. One that I will try to answer, in as brief a manner as possible. Admittedly, I should preface what I am about to say by letting you know that I am neither a Catholic, nor am I an Anglican. Thus, I speak as an ‘outsider,’ but as an ‘outsider’ with some knowledge and experience.

What was referred to as the ‘Catholic rosary’ is more properly, and commonly, known as the ‘Dominican rosary’ or simply ‘The Rosary.’ The Rosary (with a capital ‘r’) is a prayer, whereas the rosary (lowercase ‘r’) are the prayer beads. The rosary contains 59 beads, which are composed into ‘decades’,1 with each decade representing a ‘mystery.’ In all, there are fifteen mysteries, which are divided into three groups.  Read more

  1. ‘Decades’ consist of ten beads.

The Jesus Prayer

Candles of Prayer

It was bound to happen I suppose. For my PhD I’m researching John Wesley and the connections between Wesleyan-Methodist ecclesiology and early Pentecostal ecclesiology. Needless to say, along the way I have immersed myself in liturgy––liturgy of the Church of England during the time of Wesley; liturgy of the early Methodist societies; liturgy of the American Methodist movement; and liturgy of the Anglican Church, just to name a few. Along the way I rediscovered a prayer that I first heard while taking a class in spiritual formation at Houghton, as an undergrad. It’s a prayer that I have heard, and recited, various times since. Yet, it is a prayer that has taken on new significance, as part of the Anglican rosary that has become a part of my daily prayer time each day. The prayer is as follows:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Have mercy on me, a sinner.

Simple. To the point. This prayer is anything but verbose. Yet, in its simplicity is a profound truth––I/we are in need of mercy. I/we are sinners at the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The profundity of the prayer does not end there. Each of the twelve words of the prayer are rooted in humility. Jesus is God, I am not. I am at His mercy. I am a sinner in need of forgiveness––a forgiveness that only He can grant; a forgiveness that only He can provide. Of course, this is an aspect of the prayer that I feel as if I must relearn daily.

What spiritual practices/disciplines are you utilizing to help shape and mold you on your spiritual journey? What are you learning as you engage in these practices/disciples?

Te Deum

[Latin]

Te Deum laudamus:
te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem
omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli;
tibi caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim
incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra
maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum
sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem,
non horruisti Virginis uterum. Read more

‘Homestyle Cooking': I just don’t get it…

I’m watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and on two occasions, in as many episodes, Guy Fieri has visited restaurants touting ‘homestyle cooking.’ Many of the comments were along the lines of ‘tastes like home’ and ‘tastes like mom used to make.’

Here’s my question: If it takes like something you can get at home, why not just eat at home?

Seriously, save yourself some money and just make the meatloaf at home. You can make a whole meatloaf for what you would spend on that single, solitary, gravy-soaked piece at the restaurant. You can get 5 lbs of potatoes for what you paid for your dollop of potatoes.

If you are going to go out to eat, if you are going to pay good, hard-earned money for a meal it seems to me that you should get something you can’t make at home. At least something you don’t know how to make or something that you don’t eat regularly. Read more