Friday, December 02, 2005

(more) Karl Holl quotes:

"Overly minute attention to the petty necessarily leads to failure in the face of the great and important."

"Whoever worries about a possible sin will surely fall victim to it."

"(Luther) could only verify the fact that evil is never conquered through direct combat but only indirectly, through strengthening the opposite good."

"The very idea of a duty to oneself seemed to put him on guard: it looked too much like the complacency and egotism he wanted torn out by the roots."

"For domestic life he gave the advice sober people have always given: in case of doubt choose what is contrary to your natural inclinations. By training oneself in this way, one may eventurally come to the point where even in an extraordinary deed one may regard oneself as an instrument of God. This means nothing other than that for Luther moral action is at its highest level inevitably creative..."

"The Spirit propels people so that they cannot do otherwise."

"If it was true that even the believer sins in every good work, then how could inner certitude be attained? Every moment there was the possibility that one had sinned or was at least on the verge of sinning, and this possibility gave occasion to a restless self-analysis and a casuistic anxiety (--Tell me about it! DZ? SMZ?--) similar to that of the more sensitive members of the Catholic church (read: Jantzenists). From personal experience Luther knew this mood full well (phew!). However, he also encountered it among those who had learned from him, even in his closest circle, in men like Melanchthon and Weller. Whenever he saw others suffering from this problem, he always -- and for good reason -- put considerable (underline) humor into his advice to them. But jesting concealed a deep earnestness and a well-considered purpose. Luther showed how to conquer the difficulty by advising that the anxious thoughts be courageously thought through to the end. There is not only the possibility that one is sinning or has sinned but this possibility is an actual reality. Yet it is even more of a reality that God nevertheless approaches the sinner, whome he wants to use in his service, even though guilty of killing a thousand in one day. For this reason it is correct to regard oneself unreservedly as the sinner one really is, but just as unreservedly to find courage to live and act in the mercy of God and in the strength Christ gives to the Christian. The apprehension of reality is what saves us. (underline) The apprehension of reality is what saves us. Whoever batles only with possibility has not yet become fully honest -- despite all apparent earnestness (i.e., doubts their justification, assuming it in some sense to be based upon their own performance). Some arrogance is still there, since one is unwilling to admit that as a human being one is always in the process of becoming -- and that means always a sinner."

3 comments:

Jeff Dean said...

Who is Karl Holl?

:-(

John Zahl said...

Two words: Lutheran Ethics!

all quotes taken from "the Reconstruction of Morality", an amazing book!

Tim Galebach said...

Jeff Dean just got pwned!!!