Jean’s Gospel: What Happened To The Sermon On the Mount?

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20 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    A couple quick notes…
    This is a Lutheran view of the history of the Roman church and first century Temple Judaism…other church historians would hold different and more charitable views of the time as would (obviously) Roman Catholics.
    Those differences add a great deal of nuance to Lutheran/ Reformed theology that has been roundly debated in those circles.

    After many years in the Reformed camp, I prefer to let the paradox remain between justification by faith and the necessity of good works.
    I also believe that practical sanctification and spiritual formation is a synergistic relationship between man and God.
    Positionally, it is a fait accompli …practically it is an ongoing work between the Holy Spirit and man.

  2. Em says:

    Seems simple to me…. Roots and fruit. ?

  3. Jean says:

    I want to thank Xenia for raising the topic of few days ago and provoking me (in a good way) to consider her critique as well as write a response. It’s a worthy topic.

  4. Duane Arnold says:


    Thank you. I opted to say nothing…

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So much for you Anglicans being “generously orthodox”

  6. Michael says:

    This article was posted by an Anglican on his website…I disagree with him,but I did so as graciously as I could.
    Disagreement and discussion doesn’t mean that we call it unorthodox…

  7. Jean says:

    Michael, if you’re defending the 16 Century Roman doctrine of justification, then you’re implying that Luther is unorthodox.

  8. Michael says:

    Nowhere did I defend the Roman doctrine of anything.
    I merely pointed out to the reader that the historical premises you set are debated by scholars and historians and yours is a decidedly Lutheran outlook.

  9. Jean says:

    Everything is debated by “scholars.” And the article explicitly gives a Lutheran perspective. Tell us: Was Luther, in your opinion, wrong about Roman doctrine?

  10. Michael says:


    Luther leaned heavily on Augustine and Bernard…both “Catholics”
    He also quoted Chrysostom often from the East.
    So…when you talk about “Roman” doctrine I believe it has to be approached with some measure of nuance and specificity as Roman doctrine as never been monolithic in practice.
    There is much easily accessible material debating whether first century temple Judaism practiced a faith based on works righteousness and tons of material discussing pre and post Reformation Roman Catholicism.
    I read it all and think about it without coming to dogmatic conclusions about any of it.
    For myself, I affirm the Thirty Nine Articles…because they’re all open for discussion within an orthodox framework.

  11. Duane Arnold says:


    Which standard Reformation histories have you read? You do of course have a working knowledge of the Devotio Moderna… You know that the Sermon on the Mount was a key concept for the Brethren of the Common Life? That Luther studied with them as did Erasmus? Know what you know and not what you don’t….

  12. Jean says:

    I can defend every single sentence by reference to Scripture in the case of the Pharisees or Luther in the case of Rome.

  13. Michael says:


    I’m sure you think your arguments are airtight and you have grasped hold of the truth that eludes the rest of us.
    Maybe so.
    However, I don’t think so,nor do I choose to contend with you about it.
    If your soul is at peace as mine is, then I simply bid you to go in peace and be with those who affirm you.

  14. bob1 says:

    Apparently the 2 Lutherans on this thread have a huuuuuuge blind spot with their harshness and defensiveness. How ironic that this was in the same thread that they chose to act the way they did.

    Here’s your boy Luther on the subject:

    What does [the 8th Commandment] mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.”

  15. Jean says:


    I’ve never been after affirmation for myself, but for Jesus Christ and His Word and Gospel. If you wish to silence sound theology on your blog that is your call and for your conscience.

  16. Jerod says:

    Duane reminded me of my early collegiate studies…

    Has anyone read Adam’s treatise on Humanity? It informs much of the gravity of this debate:

    Ch. 5 [What was] “hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical and decided he quite liked human beings after all, but he always remained desperately worried abut [sic] the terrible number of things they didn’t know about.”

    Douglas Adams

  17. Michael says:

    “If you wish to silence sound theology on your blog that is your call and for your conscience.”
    We have lots of folks from different traditions with “sound theology”.
    We have Baptists, Anglicans, Orthodox, evangelicals and others…who will all enter heaven even though they didn’t join the LCMS and rejected some of your theological constructions.
    Somehow,they manage to get along with each other here…which is good practice for eternity.

  18. Jean says:

    If you are correct, I look forward to reading their articles. Again, as Duane lamented on a previous article, we have a tendency to set up straw men to have someone to argue against.

    By the way, differing in theology has nothing to do with getting along. As human beings I get along with all sorts of people of various traditions or religions or having none. When we discuss or debate theology, that is a different matter all together.

    I probably side with you more than just about anyone here (though that’s not a big deal), but probably align with you 90% percent on many social and political issues. I also love you as a brother. But, when it comes to Christian doctrine, it’s not mine to compromise; it belongs to and is given by Christ through His evangelists and apostles. But as a brother, I get along with you and wish you only the best.

  19. Michael says:

    I lack the hubris to say that my chosen path is the only right one.
    It’s right for me.
    For all I know the Orthodox have the correct doctrine …or maybe it’s one of the others.
    The Reformed make very good sense…I was sure of them when I was among them.
    I had plenty of hubris, then…

  20. Jean says:

    It may sound like hubris, but, and I am not intending to argue, it’s actually the opposite of hubris. You see, I didn’t **choose** a path. Christ took me and gave me my path. Thus, I take no pride in what I believe.

    However, there is always room to discuss doctrine so that each of us can assure ourselves that we have not heard inaccurately. Some say iron sharpens iron. I agree with that.

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