Archive for March, 2011

I’ve always had the fixed idea that Martin Luther was anti-Jewish, and there is plenty of evidence out there that he was.  So it’s with some surprise that, simply by dipping into his Table Talk (1566), I’ve come across the following anecdote of him showing a different side:

Luther via Wilipedia

“That the Jews have better Teachers and Writers of the Holy Scriptures than the Gentiles.

When I read in the Psalter, said Luther, I do much admire that David had such a spirit.  Oh, what high enlightened people were among the Jews!  This David was a married man; he was a king, a soldier, and a preacher; he was busy in temporal affairs, yet nevertheless he wrote such an excellent surpassing book.  The New Testament was written also by men that were Jews, and the Apostles themselves were Jews: God would signify thereby that we should adore his Word, we should preciously esteem thereof, reverence, and love the same.”

Source: Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext06/tlhr10h.htm

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Recent events in Pakistan have reminded us of aspect of traditional Islam: that for some Muslims, apostasy is the ultimate crime, punishable by death.  For those of us brought up in the Western tradition of freedom of belief, this is a shocking, even repellent doctrine.  How has it come about? (more…)

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In recent posts, I’ve thought aloud about the human need to believe in something, anything: some architecture of hidden meaning which reveals itself only fitfully.  Above all, we are driven by our desperate search for explanations for all that we experience in life. What does it all mean?  Why do we suffer?  How can we lead a good life? (more…)

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