Friday, December 02, 2005

So what did Luther say?

J I. Packer, in a sermon on the Puritans' understanding of Scripture, remarked on Martin Luther's formula for making a theologian. A theologian, said Packer (quoting Luther), is made under the simultaneous pressure of three forces:

  • oratio - prayer for the illumination of Scripture by the Holy Spirit

  • meditatio - practice of careful meditation on Scripture

  • temptatio - denoting every force of distraction from the above

Packer's is a different reading from the one to which I had grown accustomed. My version had been as follows:

  • oratio - preaching/teaching

  • meditatio - careful meditation on Scripture, primarily, & philosophy & culture secondarily

  • temptatio - temptations. sin

Mine had not been so scripturally attuned. So who has misquoted Luther? Is it Packer, with his scripture-centric reading, or Luther scholars & the theological community with their more existential whole-life approach?

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