Monday, 31 January 2022
Aaaah, "The Reformation!" In every age there have been "radical reformers." I'm referring to men who thought for themselves, beyond what they were "spoon fed" by their teachers. They were always called radical and heretical by the "established" fathers of the faith, but many of them brought a fresh perspective of reality to their walk with the Lord.
Rabbi Trail: John Wycliff, who lived in England in the 1300s, became an early reformer within the Catholic priesthood. He oversaw a translation (what is now known as) the Wycliffe Bible directly from the Vulgate. (The Vulgate is the Latin Bible written by St. Jerome in the 4th century.) What Wycliffe did was to put the Bible into a language that common people could understand. He also stood up against the elitism of the priesthood. His followers became known as Lollards after his death. His writings influenced the Czech, (almost) his contemporary, Jan Huss, whose execution in 1415 sparked the Hussite Wars. Both of these men were key contributors to a movement that eventually became the Protestant Reformation.
The Protestant Reformation was chiefly framed by Martin Luther. Originally, there were only two Solae, Sola Gratia (grace alone) and Sola Fide (faith alone). The other three (Sola Scriptura (only Scripture), Solus Christus (only Christ), and Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone) were added variously and later. Even to this day there are those who are trying to change the make up and especially the meanings of the Solae. End RT.
I bring up the reformation to offer some thoughts related to our subject, Law and Grace. The reformation got much right, but it also did not go far enough in some areas and actually got some things wrong. It did not go far enough in reforming the gentile churches relationship to Israel, Jewish people and Jewish things. I also believe that the reformers flat out missed on their interpretation of Sola Gratia (grace alone).
I agree with principle of Sola Gratia, but it is the reformer's interpretation of it that I find objectionable. Salvation is an unearned gift of God. The "leap of faith off a high cliff" is to think that because we are saved by grace, we no longer need God's commandments. In some ways, God's commandments are a fence that He has erected to keep us in "safe space." When we cross His established boundaries (so to speak), we remove ourselves from the safe place of His protection. It puts us at odds with at least one of the other Solae, Sola Scriptura.
We believe (by faith) the Bible. If we start to "cherry pick" the Bible,then that's an obvious problem. We have to deal with these verses ... 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness, so that the person belonging to God may be capable, fully equipped for every good deed. And this too ... Psalm 119:104-106 From Your precepts I get discernment, therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed to observe Your righteous rulings.
Give these things some thought. I'm going to pick up right here next time.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,