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Pull up a chair next to Martin Luther

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The good theologian chuckles at how absurdly good the gospel of Jesus is. He laughs, because he doesn’t take himself too seriously. And he knows the power of a good giggle: tittering at what tempts him robs it of its power. So don’t be a pompous ass. Be a merrie theologiane!

Luther knew how to be merry: at home, Luther had his own bowling alley (he loved bowling – he’s said to be the guy who standardised the rules, fixing the number of pins at nine); he even had his own brewery.  Much of the Reformation in Germany stemmed from Luther having people over for dinner.  He had people over the whole time.  And over supper they’d talk theology: sometimes it was justification, sometimes the theology of farting.  For example:

“I resist the devil, and often it is with a fart that I chase him away.  When he tempts me with silly sins I say, ‘Devil, yesterday I broke wind too.  Have you written it down on your list?’”

Clearly the Devil’s taunts weren’t so bad after that! 

Fancy some more?  Laugh your way through this most rip-roaring read:


12 comments on “Pull up a chair next to Martin Luther

  1. Did Luther get hoisted on his own petard?

    ‘But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.’

    wonder what godly humour is. Suffice to say that humour is a funny thing.

  2. That quote is actually not from \”Here I Stand,\” but from a more recent book titled \”The Wit of Martin Luther\” by Eric W. Gritsch (p. 68). Just thought someone might want to track that one down.

  3. 9 pins? What standard is that? I thought it’s 10 pin bowling ;0)

    Liking it though. I may have to make The Merrie Theologiane my local from now on.

  4. Please, please, please could we have a named author(s) of the blog? Dealing with an anonymous \’Merrie Theologiane\’ is plain weird and makes it sound as if there\’s something to hide. It would be really nice to have some names of the managers/editors of the website available somewhere too. Thank you.

  5. This post reminds of a book I read in grad school, and possibly the best biography of Luther in existence. It’s by Heiko Oberman and titled "Luther: Man Between God and the Devil." There’s a chapter titled "The Gospel in Filthy Language" that I think is simply fascinating.

  6. This post reminds of a book I read in grad school, and possibly the best biography of Luther in existence. It’s by Heiko Oberman and titled "Luther: Man Between God and the Devil." There’s a chapter titled "The Gospel in Filthy Language" that I think is simply fascinating.

  7. I think this is great. Funny and lighthearted. As someone once said, the religious take themselves far too seriously and don’t take God seriously enough but godly Christians don’t take themselves very seriously at all but take God very seriously indeed. Bring on more!

  8. To Ros Clarke; I hear it is none other than Martin Luther himself… others say it is John Calvin; again others, it is Augustine! Who truly knows who this Merrie Theologiane is?

  9. An article from my denomination leader: Trinitarian Theology “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV UK) “Garbage in—garbage out” is a truism in many areas, and the most important area is in our personal theology. Wrong concepts about God result in lives that miss the fullness of life that God wants us to have.Now, the whole idea of theology might sound a little intimidating, but really it’s just another way of saying “God knowledge.” Our personal theology consists of whatever we believe to be true about God. So in one way or another, we all have a theology. And certainly every church and denomination has a theology. It’s the framework that undergirds and informs their doctrines and practices.‘Trinitarian theology’ is a particular approach to theology that sees the Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—as the core and foundation for understanding the Bible and all aspects of Christian faith. Trinitarian theology, seeking to know God as God is, correctly begins with “Who?” It asks, “Who is the God made known in Jesus Christ, and who are we in relation to him?” The Bible, of course, gives us the answers. There we learn that the Triune God created all people to participate through the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ in the love relationship enjoyed by the Father, Son and Spirit. Jesus said “…I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:20).Jesus Christ is the representative and the substitute for humanity at the right hand of the Father, and he draws all people to himself by the power of the Holy Spirit. In him, humanity is loved and accepted by the Father. As we learn in Romans 5:1-2, “…since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Salvation does not come about through some kind of transaction in which God gives us salvation in exchange for our repentance and faith. It is a free and unearned gift. Jesus Christ paid for all our sins—past, present and future—and there is no longer any debt to pay. The gospel is about a relationship, a relationship which God healed and made real by God’s own action in Christ on our behalf. It’s not about a set of demands, nor is it about a simple intellectual acceptance of a set of religious or Bible facts. Jesus Christ not only stood in for us at the judgment seat of God; he drew us into himself and made us—with him and in him, by the Holy Spirit—God’s own beloved children. Prayer Heavenly Father, it has to be the greatest privilege for a human being to know you, to have you reveal yourself to him or her. And we thank you that this is the real biblical, theological and religious knowledge you want us to have. Help us, now knowing your nature just a little a little better, to live that nature in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen Study by Joseph Tkach

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