Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Two Luther statues: a good laugh... or weeping?

I am postponing the final installment of Walther's 1859/1880 LDJ essay (see Part 1 for Table of Contents) because of one particular quote that I ran across and I want to expand on it even before I present the whole final Part 32.  To preface this, in an earlier blog post, I quoted Franz Pieper who wrote about Walther's praise of Martin Luther, especially in his polemical writings.  I have to laugh at the beginning of this quote:
"It's all entertaining. That Luther speaks so bluntly is because he fought either the Antichrist or miserable fanatics. You cannot cure all diseases with buttermilk and honey, but also bitter medicine must be given.  Luther had a thousand year old oak tree of enormous extent before him, therefore he could not cut with a penknife but had to use huge axes and sharp saws.  His heart would melt with sorrow over the poor souls who sat in darkness.  Whoever stumbles over Luther's zeal, stumbles against God who has chosen such a tool." – C.F.W. Walther
Now compare this to Walther's statement in his 1859 LDJ essay:
Therefore the whole of Europe once sat at his [Luther's] feet; hence also it yet now comes that an iron monument of him is being built at Worms [Germany] in which we admittedly take no part, but rather we prefer to place a monument to him in our hearts by accepting his doctrine.
With the ease that the Internet allows me to do this, I could not resist showing the reader what Walther is talking about of the "iron monument of [Luther] being built at Worms".  Below are 2 pictures of a Luther statue:
Two Luther statues
Left - Worms, Germany; Right - Concordia Seminary, St. Louis USA
Sources: Wikipedia–Diet at Worms and Concordia Seminary
As the caption indicates, the statue on the right, which looks very similar to the one on the left, is not the same one as that on the left.  You can read about the Worms' statue construction (in Walther's day) on the website.  But here is what the Wikipedia article says of the one on the right, the one at Concordia Seminary-St. Louis (COSL):
The statue is an exact replica of one that exists in Worms, Germany.
Well now, that is interesting.  C.F.W. Walther just said above that --
"...we prefer to place a monument to him in our hearts by accepting his doctrine".
... yet in 1903, Concordia Seminary went ahead and built a replica of the great "iron monument" in Worms, Germany anyway, even though Walther warned against a false honoring of Luther.  Could Concordia Seminary's replica now rather be a monument to their unfaithfulness to Luther's doctrine as it is also in Germany?

I can just picture it now... someone from Concordia Seminary saying to me: "You have it all wrong.  The Worms statue isn't made of iron, its a bronze casting!"  ... and maybe add that their St. Louis statue is partly plastic? (Ha, ha, ha, ha! Psalms 59:8)

Read it and weep! you who are in the LC-MS and yet want to be faithful Lutherans!  Weep indeed...
The final installment of Walther's 1859 LDJ essay follows in Part 32...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments only accepted when directly related to the post.