That was a fine trick they discovered!

“Search Scripture, for you seem to think, you presume to imagine, that you will gain your salvation there” (Jn 5:39). Words cannot tell how cruelly this defrauds the poor and needy folk. For all their words and deeds ensure that the poor man is too worried about getting his food to have time to learn to read; moreover they have the nerve to preach that the poor man should let himself be flayed and fleeced by the tyrants. How on earth is he to learn to read the Scripture? Yes, yes, my dear Thomas, but you are getting too fanatical! The biblical scholars should read their fine books and the peasant should listen to them, for faith comes by listening. O yes, that was a fine trick they discovered! It would replace the priests and monks with worse rascals than have been since the very beginning of the world. . . . Christ speaks to these pious people, the biblical scholars: ‘My word will not remain with you’ (Jn 5:38).

– Thomas Müntzer, ‘A Manifest Exposé of False Faith

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Suffering, violence, and the Word of God: First thoughts on Müntzer.

I am just supposed to let this all overwhelm me? – Thomas Müntzer

I don’t typically enjoy reading Reformation authors (not that I have read many). Unless I really want to spend the time tracking their logic I find the content has not aged well and reads like bad worn out pietism. Thomas Müntzer’s writings have largely evaded that experience. I really did not know much about him other than he is more or less shunned in mainstream Mennonite thought and history because of his involvement in violent revolts. In this post I just want to note a couple observations as I am about half finished his collected works (minus much of the liturgical pieces unfortunately).

Continue reading “Suffering, violence, and the Word of God: First thoughts on Müntzer.”