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 […]

Mediator(s) and Saints

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The Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue in the U.S. has been particularly productive and impressive in its output. One of its best works is the collection The One Mediator, the Saints, and Mary, which examines this obvious point of dispute between the two churches with a common statement as well as a number of supporting papers by […]

Some Thoughts on Saints

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We’re a few days away from Milan, where St. Augustine finally became a Christian, and the day after we’ll overnight in Pavia, home to some relics of St. Augustine… which prompts some thoughts on saints. It’s one of the more obvious differences between Lutherans and Catholics that they former don’t venerate or pray to saints […]