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Showing posts from September, 2012

Luther and Loyola

James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Within Christianity there has always been a tension between two poles. At one end of the spectrum stands Martin Luther, who said that Christian faith is about trusting in God to put us right - or make us righteous - through the saving death of Jesus. Luther came to this conclusion when he was a professor of New Testament studies in a little town in Germany called Wittenberg. One year he decided to teach his students about Paul’s letter to the Romans and that’s when it suddenly dawned upon him that Christian faith is all about trust.

At the other end of the spectrum , stands someone like Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Society of Jesus. He spent a lot of his later life in crisis, first struggling to overcome severe wounds that he had suffered when he was a soldier and then during two short periods locked up in a cell by the Spanish Inquisition. He came to believe that the Christian life is a similar sort of struggle, a lifelong call …