Catholic Scholars of Luther

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Johannes Cochlaeus was a contemporary of Luther’s and his first “heresiographer,” in the words of Ralph Keen*—in other words, the opposite of a hagiographer, one who demonizes a supposedly wicked and impious enemy of the church. Cochlaeus’s 1548 biography, “The deeds and writings of Dr Martin Luther from the year of the Lord 1517 to […]

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification: So Much More Exciting Than It Sounds

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This bulkily named declaration is exciting, first of all, because it’s the first time ever that the Lutheran and Catholic churches mutually committed to a statement about the Christian faith. Given the range and depth of their accusations against each other all these centuries, the JD is nothing short of miraculous. It’s also exciting because […]

On the Way to the Joint Declaration

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Since Lutherans have said for centuries now (to be precise, since Franz Turretini in 1682) that the doctrine of justification is the doctrine on which the church stands or falls, it’s not surprising that it has been central to Lutheran-Catholic discussions. Four heavy-hitter statements deserve notice: “The Gospel and the Church,” popularly called the Malta […]

Ecumenical Instructions for Catholics (Protestants, Please Eavesdrop)

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While much visible ecumenical work takes place at an official level—like in the national and international dialogues—Unitatis Redintegratio expects all Catholics to get involved in some way or another. The decree lays down the marching orders for this new Catholic calling. “Catholics, in their ecumenical work, must assuredly be concerned for their separated brethren, praying […]