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Sunday, April 15, 2012

"There aren't many people doing Luther right now"– Robert Kolb, Prof. Emeritus

The above quote was taken from a video published by Concordia Journal Currents here at about the 1:30 mark which discusses his new book Luther and the Stories of God.  He implies that he is one of those "doing Luther", but more than that, he would say that he is trying to rectify this situation with his writings and talks.

The LCMS scholars have also hit on the idea that maybe if they concentrate on "doing" the Formula of Concord and the Book of Concord, the basic Lutheran confessions, that they can make the LCMS look more Lutheran, even if they ignore its founder Walther and teacher Pieper.

Robert Kolb is considered by some as a great scholar on Luther and the Lutheran Confessions. In the video,  Erik Herrmann (Assistant Professor of Historical Theology, Concordia Seminary) describes Prof. Kolb as
one of the most prolific and well-respected Reformation and Luther scholars today.
I would heartily agree with Prof. Kolb's statement that there aren't many people "doing" Luther today, but I have to say that he is in part the cause of the turning away from Luther.  How so?  Read on.

I am quite sure that Prof. Kolb is a master of all the languages involved: German, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, etc.  I know his use of the German language is quite good for he even teaches part-time in Germany.  I have not read Prof. Kolb's books.  If I had the time, I would perhaps, but I'll leave them to today's "scholars" and "theologians". (Here's a project for you, Prof. Kolb – translate Margaritha's book into English and publish it.)

So why do I accuse Kolb of being part of the cause of the lack of interest in Luther?  He is part of the LCMS, which condemns Luther for his writings against the Jews.  Kolb himself raises the specter of the so-called Holocaust in a video with a German professor (here at the 3:53 mark), a subject which immediately causes all of today's Lutherans to question Luther.  After all, did not Julius Streicher call on Luther in the witness stand at Nuremburg before he was executed for crimes against humanity?  O well, Kolb and Uwe Siemon-Netto would try to back-pedal on this notion by trying to put Luther into "historical context". They have a great associate in Germany, Professor Dr. Thomas Kaufmann of Goettingen University, who also tries to put Luther into "historical context". But it's not enough.

There are weak Lutheran / Christian bloggers today who agonize over this... who are caused to question all of Luther's teaching because of this accusation! (I was one of those.) O, these bloggers will do their best to skirt this issue... maybe throw out a note of sympathy for today's Jews then try to go on to Luther's other teaching.....    The reality is that all weak Christians should read Luther's On The Jews And Their Lies because it builds the Christian faith!  They should read Vom Schem Hamphoras because it builds the Christian faith!  (Oh, that's right, this work is not generally available... it's untouchable! CPH, how about it?) Professor Kolb, these weak Christians should look past your so-called Luther scholarship and look to Luther!  These writings of Luther should have been what you recommended to the Crossings Community (definitely weak Christians) when delivering your presentation "Discipleship in the Lutheran Tradition".  The old (German) Missouri Synod spoke like Luther.  Pieper corrects Henry Ford when he called Christianity an "Anglo-Saxon" religion in his writings against the Jews, saying it is rather a religion of "faith in the Gospel".

Prof. Kolb, do you know who are the real Luther scholars of today?  C.F.W. Walther and Franz Pieper.  Of course I'm being facetious here because I know that you know Walther and Pieper.  But on the face of it, you are ignoring these scholars.  Why?  Is it because their theology doesn't quite resonate with you and your research... and your LCMS Synod?

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