Monday, December 19, 2011

Swan on Luther's View of the Immaculate Conception

This posting is in response to a comment left by James Swan on his blog on 9:50 PM, December 17, 2011.  Since my response became too long for a combox reply, I am responding on my own blog with this posting.
 
I thought I'd add some faces to the names too and I know many have seen our faces before, but it doesn't hurt to put them out there again...
 
James Swan said...

James Swan
Hi Scott,

JS: Yes, it appears I was too hasty with your final comment. My apologies.

sw: Thank you, apology accepted.

JS: On the other hand,it does seem as if there's a jab with your words. When you say, "I suppose if you want to read Luther without considering the context of Luther - well, that speaks volumes." Are you attributing this to me? If so, you would be in error. 

Scott Windsor
sw: If you're reading Luther without considering the context of Luther's other writings, then it applies to you.  If you are including Luther's other teachings (like that of the "two conceptions") then it would not apply to you.  Either way, there's no error in what I said.


JS:  That was the sentence that provoked me to see your comment as insulting, and really covertly charging me with ignorance. 

sw: No, I am not charging you with anything!  I said, "I suppose if you want to..." - so, if you don't want to and/or are not doing so - then it does not apply to you.  Again, I specifically stated I was NOT accusing you of ignorance either overtly or covertly - we both know ignorance of Luther on this matter does not apply to you.

JS:  If though I've mis-read your words, my apologies. 

sw: Apology accepted, again.

JS:  This is one of the difficulties of printed word exchanges. 

sw:  Understanding someone's motives can be difficult in printed word exchanges, but my words were quite clear on this matter.  It is also better to seek clarification before jumping to conclusions in a printed only exchange.

JS:  You then went on to use the word "disingenuous". Are you inferring that you think my opinion on this topic fits that description? 

sw:  Only if the shoe fits!  If you are willing to accept that Luther's teachings on the Immaculate Conception go beyond the 1532 sermon - then that word and that sentence do not apply to you.  If, however, you're insisting that this 1532 sermon summarizes Luther's belief in the Immaculate Conception (or lack thereof) - then I would have to say that shoe does fit.  

JS:  If there's anyone clearly deceiving and disingenuous currently, it's Voris and his use of the Luther quote in question.Since you've taken up the gauntlet to defend him, you would best spend some of your apologetic time contacting Mr. Voris and help him post honest and well-researched materials.

sw: I have made an attempt to contact Mr. Voris.  Prior to this exchange I have had absolutely no contact with him.  I have seen his "RealCatholicTV" before, but haven't spent much time on it.

JS:  You've now said a few times that it is I and not you who has taken Luther out of context. This is nonsense. 

sw:  If you are not considering the 1527 sermon (and other teachings prior) when reading the 1532 sermon - then you are indeed reading Luther outside the context of Luther.

JS: You haven't even responded to the meat of my comments in this current discussion. 

sw: The "meat" of THIS discussion is based in Luther's expressed belief in the Immaculate Conception - a matter which you have conceded he most definitely held in his earlier life.  My contention is that he never rejected his earlier belief.  He may have stopped talking about it as openly, but - and I repeat - your argument is one from silence.  Silence lends itself to consent, not rejection. 

JS: While you're certainly entitled to your opinion, at this point, it is simply that: a groundless opinion.

sw: Groundless?  I've presented my case (repeatedly now) and you've had a good YEAR to dig up evidence of Martin Luther rejecting the Immaculate Conception, and you - whom I concede has read a lot more Luther than most Lutherans, including myself - a former Lutheran, have not been able to come up with that reference which would silence my argument and elicit my concession.

JS: Quite frankly, I find your opinion and apologetic on this entire issue absurd. I'm sorry if you find that insulting, but I can't think of kinder word, and I'm not saying it with any guile. It's absurd because you've taken a deleted section of a sermon which only in the earliest edition (of a very popular Reformation book, published over multiple years) and attempted to read it into later contexts of a man whose theology of Mary demonstratively changed over time. 

sw:  As long as we're being frank - I find your apologetic and opinion on this matter to be blinded by an anti-Catholic agenda.  All along I have not rejected that the later editions of the 1527 sermon have left out part of it - expressly THE part we're discussing.  Again, the ABSENCE of saying something is not a rejection of it!  Did Luther's views on Mary change throughout his life?  I won't argue against that!  All I AM saying is that while he one time explicitly supported and taught the Immaculate Conception, that even while he mellowed in his support and even didn't speak of it so concisely later on - he NEVER came out and REJECTED it either.

JS: Further, as I pointed out here, you've used a flawed methodology to arrive at the bulk of your conclusions.



sw: I've made ONE conclusion in regard to this topic.  I've been quite consistent in that conclusion for over a year now - and even with all your resources which you laud over others how much you spend on them - you have not been able to come up with even ONE SENTENCE from Luther stating he flatly rejected the concept of the Immaculate Conception.  What you HAVE been able to do is establish a valid argument that Luther believed Mary was made immaculate at the time of Christ's conception - and I gave you that LONG ago.  Basically that just makes Luther's position of Mary being immaculate (without sin) a matter of timing, but does not change the reality of his belief that she indeed was/is immaculate.  

sw:  You can lash out emotionally all you want and attempt to label my methodology as flawed or my opinion and apologetic as absurd - but I've really made ONE POINT which you cannot counter - hence the emotional responses and the attacks on the person (ad hominem) instead of just presenting the evidence to gain my concession - OR - just conceding that I too have a point here.

JS: I'll let you clarify if you wish to as to the above statements in question (whether or not you intended a jab), but there really isn't any need to. What your opinion of me one way or the other really doesn't matter.If you want to keep me interested, present facts, contexts, exegesis of text, and interpretations.

sw: All I said was that it would be disingenuous to look at Luther's 1532 sermon without considering what he said just a few years earlier.  Keeping Luther in the context of Luther.  There is no "jab" intended - I merely stated that you can look at Luther in the context of Luther, or you can isolate the 1532 sermon from his previous writings/teachings and make arguments from silence IF YOU CHOOSE.  I choose NOT to accept a modern view of Luther rejecting something he himself never rejects based upon arguments from silence.  If you DO want to consider Luther outside the context of Luther then don't consider it a jab, consider it a well placed right cross and consider changing your apologetic.

JS:  By the way, do you have a complete copy of the 1527 sermon you're using to interpret all of Luther's later comments on the Immaculate Conception, and have you read it? Do you have a complete copy of the 1532 sermon Voris cited and have you read it? Well, I have. 

sw: Whether or not I have the "complete copy of the 1527 sermon" or the 1532 sermon is really irrelevant to the argument at hand.  I not only have considered the 1527 sermon in context, I presented it - without your assistance. 

JS:  I suggest that if you intend to get in to this subject again you track down the sources (if you have not already), because the first thing I will jump on if you haven't is that your presenting an opinion on documents you've never read. 

sw: I have already provided a contextual response (click here) including the context from the 1527 sermon.  Earlier this year you and I discussed a sermon from 1538.  As for the 1532 sermon, here is the context of that statement:
Martin Luther
Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according thy word.
14. That day, that moment when Mary assented to the angel Gabriel’s announcement, Christ was conceived. In that hour when she said, “Be it unto me according to thy word,” she conceived and became the mother of God; and Christ, therewith, became true God and true man in one person. Even though he is a tiny fetus, at that moment he is both God and man in Mary’s womb, an infant, and Mary is the mother of God.
15. The Turks and the Jews make fun of this article of faith and feel that they have excellent reason to deride it. For that matter, we could banter about it as well as they. But as Christians, we must firmly hold onto this article of faith and never waver. From the beginning of time it has been prophesied that God’s Son would become man and that his mother would be a virgin. The first prophecy given Adam and Eve soon after the fall (Gen. 3:15) stated: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel.” God does not say the seed of the man, but rather the seed of the woman. Therefore, the mother of this serpent crusher must be a virgin. Later the patriarchs and the prophets also prophesied of this, until finally the beloved apostles proclaimed it to all the world. We have been baptized into this faith and are called Christians because we believe and confess it to be true. Let us, therefore, persevere unwaveringly in this faith. And if, as time goes on, sectarian spirits deny it, let us take a staunch stand in behalf of it.
16. This article is really the bottom line. Christ wanted his beginning to be like ours, but without sin, because he wanted to sanctify us wholly. We begin life in sin, we are conceived in sin, born in sin, no matter whether we be emperor, king, prince, rich, or poor; every human being is conceived in sin according to Psalm 51:5. Only Christ has the distinction and the honor to have been conceived by the Holy Ghost’s power. Since from our conception we are sinful, we are people whose flesh and blood and everything about us are soiled by sin, as indeed we see in ourselves; or when we look at those around us in the world, beset by evil desire, pride, multiple devils, and miserable unbelief. Thus we are conceived and born. For all of mankind is conceived and born in accord with creation’s decree, as recorded (Gen. 1:28): `Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Christ could not be subject to such impure sinful conception and birth. He, indeed, was a genuinely true, natural human being, but not conceived or born in sin as all other descendants of Adam. That is why his mother had to be a virgin whom no man had touched, so that he would not be born under the curse, but rather conceived and born without sin, so that the devil had no right or power over him. Only the Holy Spirit was present to bring about the conception in her virgin body. Mother Mary, like us, was born in sin of sinful parents, but the Holy Spirit covered her, sanctified and purified her so that this child was born of flesh and blood, but not with sinful flesh and blood. The Holy Spirit permitted the Virgin Mary to remain a true, natural human being of flesh and blood, just as we. However, he warded off sin from her flesh and blood so that she became the mother of a pure child, not poisoned by sin as we are.
17. Thus what the angel spake came true: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest.” For in that moment when she conceived, she was a holy mother filled with the Holy Spirit and her fruit is a holy, pure fruit, at once true God and truly man, in one person. In time, then, this godly mother gave birth to God’s Son, a genuine man, but without any sin. Undoubtedly, his blood was red, his flesh, white; he suckled at his mother’s breasts, ate porridge, cried, and slumbered like any other child; but his flesh and blood were holy and pure. He is a holy person, the son of a pure virgin and God’s Son, true God and man in one person. [Sermons of Martin Luther Vol. 7 (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000), pp. 291-293]. (Emphasis mine). Source: James Swan
sw: So, there we have the context of the 1532 sermon.   I repeat what I said a year ago when talking about the 1538 sermon, this statement from Luther does not preclude the possibility that he's talking about the Holy Ghost covering her and sanctifying her at her own conception - thus leaving MY position to be a valid one.  Whether or not you AGREE with what I've said is not the point!  
sw:  Now, would *I* use this 1532 sermon ALONE to prove Luther still held to the concept of Mary's Immaculate Conception?  No, but taken in the context of his 1527 and earlier statements, it CAN be seen as consistent with his belief in the "two conceptions" theory (which, again, is HIS theory and not mine!).

sw: James, I believe that all along you've been making more of my argument than I am!  I am not one out there arguing that Luther explicitly and concisely taught the 1854 definition of the Immaculate Conception - all I AM saying is that in his earlier life he not only accepted a belief not contrary with the 1854 definition but taught it as well.  Later in life, while he did not continue to be as explicit about he belief in Mary's being made immaculate by the Holy Ghost - he also never flatly rejected the belief or teaching.

In the spirit of the Holy Family (JMJ),
Scott<<<



24 comments:

  1. Scot, I congratulate you for keeping your cool with James Swan in this discussion. Mr. Swan is a difficult fellow to deal with, because of his desire to make reality conform with Protestant fantasies, but you are doing a splendid job of handling him. please do not allow yourself to be dragged into the ridiculous use of derogatory nick-names and crude caricatures that a certain other Catholic blogger uses to put down Swan and the other BA'ers. Your method of being polite at all times, while pointing out errors and logical fallacies, actually causes the other side to act in a respectful manner toward you. I wish the other blogger would wise up and realize this.

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  2. Hi Scott,

    Thanks so much for such a detailed reply- pictures included! This week is a bit hectic for me (and a very merry Christmas by the way to you and the Windsor family). I only have one question of clarification for you previous to any sort of response I may put forth at another time. You state,

    As for the 1532 sermon, here is the context of that statement:

    So, there you have the context of the 1532 sermon, which I do not doubt you have already, but now all those reading along have it too

    Thanks so much for tracking down this context. How do you think Luther's comments on pages 291-293 coincide with what he states on page 284 in the first paragraph, and also point #1 on page 285?

    Regards, James

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  3. Howdy James,
    I'll try to get back to you tomorrow on the other context comparisons. Lots of "honey-dos" tonight before the wife gets home from out of town. If I don't get to it tomorrow, it will likely be next week sometime - after Christ Mass.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours too,
    Scott<<<

    PS- Steve, thanks for the comments. I try not to get into persons, personalities and motives - none of that is relevant to the debate or discussion at hand and leads to invalid argumentation and grammar school playground antics and posturing. I'm not always successful in that attempt - but I do try. As for being a difficult person - I was too when I was a Protestant! I'm sure many Protestants now say that I still am. :-) Mr. Swan has expressed his frustration with me on more than one occasion! All in all I believe that he believes I am sincere - at least I hope he does. My wallet tends to get a bit thinner each time I deal with him and Luther! eg. I now own the complete set of Luther's Sermons - I just don't have time to get to them until tomorrow at the earliest.

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  4. Just checking in for a moment here James, I'm still in Western NY - heading for the airport shortly. I'll be getting to that citation on Luther either this evening or sometime tomorrow. The set I have of Luther's sermons, however, is from the same publisher, but not the same edition - so the page numbers do not line up precisely with what you're referring to.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  5. I am not finding the citation in my set of Luther's sermons - so at this time I can add no further comment in relation to James' questions.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  6. Hi Scott,

    I had assumed that since you quoted the 1532 sermon in your above blog post (you stated, "As for the 1532 sermon, here is the context of that statement") and then you gave this reference, "Sermons of Martin Luther Vol. 7 (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000), pp. 291-293"... that you had actually had the source you were citing. You certainly made it appear that way to me when you went on to say, "So, there you have the context of the 1532 sermon, which I do not doubt you have already, but now all those reading along have it too."

    I'm curious as to where you actually got the citation. It seems suspiciously like the exact same pages I scanned in from my copies and posted on my blog on 12/9/11. Before I scanned the pages in, I did a cursory Google search to try and save myself the aggravation of scanning the pages in, and on 12/9/11 I determined the context in question was not on the Internet. So at about 6 AM with about a half of cup of coffee in me, I tediously scanned the material in.

    If you did cut-and-paste the citation from my blog, I don't have a problem with that. I would ask though that you at least mention in your above blog entry that you didn't actually read the sermon in question, but rather took the quote unchecked from my blog. I noted this same sort of methodology you use here. If by some chance you took the material from somewhere else, especially on the Internet, I would be curious as to where. This morning as I Googled particular phrases from the citation, the only hits I got were the result of what I posted and your blog. While I do enjoy researching this issue, I'm not overly keen on researching this issue for both of us and then commenting on my own research re-posted by you.

    -continued-

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  7. -continued-

    Based on this, I don't have much more to add other than the following. Above you state:

    "I've presented my case (repeatedly now) and you've had a good YEAR to dig up evidence of Martin Luther rejecting the Immaculate Conception, and you - whom I concede has read a lot more Luther than most Lutherans, including myself - a former Lutheran, have not been able to come up with that reference which would silence my argument and elicit my concession."

    I stand firmly convinced my multiple blog posts to you on this issue are cogent and compelling. No one (besides you) has stated otherwise. I see no reason to re-write them all. The only convincing counter-evidence that you appear to be willing to accept is some sort of statement from Luther in effect saying "I, Martin Luther reject the immaculate conception." If that's all you need, I actually provided such a statement last year, and you yourself commented on it back on 12/21/10. That statement from Luther can be found here, and it comes from this source WA 48, 692. See also the Roman Catholic writer, Thomas A. O'Meara, O.P., Mary in Protestant and Catholic Thought (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1966), 118. O'Meara states:

    "In 1532 [Luther] denied any notion of a special conception of Mary."Mary is conceived in sin just like us. . . ." Finally, about this time in an undated letter, Luther agrees with Staupitz' comment that the Immaculate Conception is a "fraud." The subsequent years offer quotations which advocate the doctrine of Mary's sanctification in conception along with passages which could be interpreted as denying it. It is likely, but not certain, that he eventually denied the Immaculate Conception."

    So there you have it Scott, around the time of 1532 (the very year we're quibbling about), Luther agrees that the immaculate conception is a fraud. I've had WA 48, 692 translated, and that indeed is what it says. Lest you think that I'm "blinded by an anti-Catholic agenda" on this tidbit, Father O'Meara must be as well.

    Again Scott, I've got nothing personal against you, and wish you a happy New Year. I think it's ironic that I spent last December with you on the very same topic.

    James

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  8. James,
    First off - I too have nothing personal against you - and have given you plenty of kudos for your research on Luther.

    As for the citation - I was a bit hasty and while I typically DO include full citation of my sources, I failed to do so. I DO know that it was not from your blog that I attained the source. I can't check on that right now, will do so later.

    The set of Luther's Sermons I have is from 1983, not 2000 - same publisher - and the pages do not match up AND I have not found the 1532 sermon in question in my resource. I have skimmed the 8 volumes looking for it, but have not done an exhaustive search as yet. That is why I cannot offer further comment on the other pages you reference.

    As for irony, I do not find it ironic that we end up talking about the IC this time of year, since the feast day is December 8th - which is why Michael Voris of The Vortex (video linked on this blog) posted his video, which James White responded to - and you piggy-backed on White's response. I responded to both of you.

    As for Fr. O'Meara's comment, the quote is taken out of context, and I believe (still) that the context CAN be read in such a way which does NOT deny the IC. Yes, she was conceived IN Original Sin, just as we are by her parents, Sts. Anna and Joachim, BUT the defined Catholic teaching is that in that very moment she was preserved from the STAIN of Original Sin. In Luther's "two conceptions" view, it would be THAT preservation which was her second conception.

    As for his allegedly agreeing with Staupitz - I have not seen this quoted.

    I, again, have NOTHING against citing you or your blog IF I quote from it. I did not copy/paste from you - and I have no problem citing your blog as A source of that citation. I'll add citation(s) later and will include your site.

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  9. Scott,

    1. Did you, or did you not read the actual sermon from 1532 before you cited it on your blog? I can't figure out why you would claim to have a source, and then quote the source from a different edition on your blog.

    2. If someone posted the same exact lengthy quote as I did, I would love to know who did so. I think from now on I may include small errors in my quotes to identify when someone cuts-and-pastes my material. My guess is wherever you got it, the person you got it from got it from me. That's just a hunch.

    Over on the CARM boards a guy was throwing a J. Pelikan quote at me from an obscure book. I searched it out, and wound up back on one of my own web pages. The quote was from me, because I actually made a mistake in documentation.

    3. The "fraud" quote was linked for you from a primary source. The ball is in your court on that one. If you choose to ignore it, that's fine with me.

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  10. 4. I don't have the '83 set. There were different arrangements of the sets over the years.

    It just occurred to me that you might not be able to find the sermon in your set because you don't know the name of the sermon. If you knew the name, the sermon is easily located.

    I don't mean to nitpick you on this. I guess I just don't understand how someone does "apologetics" without actually reading the materials one cites and comments on, while at the same time criticizing someone who has.

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  11. I think one of my comments is in your spam filter.

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  12. Responding to Swan's numbered questions:

    1. I found enough context to know what we're talking about. Having it already in electronic format was nice and at the time I did not realize it was a different edition than I have and could not go back to the printed copy. I was in a hurry to post the response (getting ready to leave town at the time) and in my haste, I assumed I would be able to find the sermon easily in my set - and I was wrong.

    2. Whomever I got it from may have gotten it from you. I am not finding any other sources tonight other than one who posted AFTER both of us posted our articles. As I said, I have no problem citing you as a source, so I have amended the original article to reflect YOU as the source of the quotation.

    3. I have no idea what you mean by "the fraud quote." Are you saying that YOUR quote was a fraud?

    4. The set I have lists everything by the liturgical year. If you have that name, I would be much obliged.

    As for being critical of you, I do not believe I have been overly or unduly critical. I have a feeling you still hold some feelings based upon your admittedly "hasty" and/or "mis-read(ing)" response to my initial response (this time round) to you. I certainly have not criticized you for your research on Luther and still give you kudos for such. On the other hand, your approach to apologetics seems to include ad hominem quite frequently - and this exchange is no different. You're attacking "methodology" over substance. You ask if I am attacking you in the use of the word "disingenuous" - and I said, "only if the shoe fits!" If you are considering Luther in the context of Luther throughout his life and not just limiting him to ONE sermon on the subject - then that shoe doesn't fit! You decide if you are wearing that shoe and how well it fits - not me.

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  13. I have no idea what you mean by "the fraud quote." Are you saying that YOUR quote was a fraud?

    Scott, in this comment box, go through the comments, search out every instance of the word "fraud." I think it should be clear what I'm talking about (and asking) in regard to Luther, the immaculate Conception, and "fraud". If it isn't, then I think it's best I move on from discussing this with you.

    Thank you for citing my earlier blog entry as a source. As I stated earlier, while I do enjoy researching this issue, I'm not overly keen on researching this issue for both of us and then commenting on my own research re-posted by you.

    As to my emphasis on methodology. I'm sorry if this comes across as ad hominem against you. I stress it because I contend you arrive at the wrong conclusions on this issue because of the method in which you approach it. I think it's great that it appears to me you've recently bought the 1983 8 volume set of Luther's sermons. Now, instead of simply getting your "apologetic" content from me on this, crack open those books and read some complete contexts.

    By the way, it appears Mr. Voris is in trouble with his bishop.

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  14. Ah, Ok, you've got the moderation filter on.

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  15. Ah, Ok, you've got the moderation filter on.

    Well, it was automatically set to hold all new comments after 2 weeks from the original article posting and as of this morning, it's been 2 weeks... I have extended that to 4 weeks now.

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  16. >> sw: I have no idea what you mean
    >> by "the fraud quote." Are you
    >> saying that YOUR quote was a
    >> fraud?
    >
    > js: Scott, in this comment box,
    > go through the comments, search
    > out every instance of the word
    > "fraud." I think it should be
    > clear what I'm talking about (and
    > asking) in regard to Luther, the
    > immaculate Conception, and
    > "fraud". If it isn't, then I
    > think it's best I move on from
    > discussing this with you.

    Got it, context helps. I did respond to that earlier too and again, context helps - the comment from Fr. O'Meara is out of context and the conclusion is based on that out of context statement. IN CONTEXT that statement that she was born into sin "just like the rest of us" is coupled with the fact that she was ALSO made pure by the Holy Ghost. Again, I am not rejecting Luther's "two conceptions" view - as I do not believe he ever did.

    > js: Thank you for citing my
    > earlier blog entry as a source.
    > As I stated earlier, while I do
    > enjoy researching this issue, I'm
    > not overly keen on researching
    > this issue for both of us and
    > then commenting on my own
    > research re-posted by you.

    Well, regardless of who posted it first (that really doesn't matter in the long run - what is the truth is what should motivate us). When I posted it, I was relatively certain my source was not you or your blog but like you, I am not finding any other sources out there at this time - so I have no problem attributing it to you.

    > js: As to my emphasis on
    > methodology. I'm sorry if this
    > comes across as ad hominem
    > against you. I stress it because
    > I contend you arrive at the wrong
    > conclusions on this issue because
    > of the method in which you
    > approach it.

    How we reach the evidence should not be the issue - if the evidence is correctly quoted then we can discuss the facts - not how we got to them.

    > js: I think it's great that it
    > appears to me you've recently
    > bought the 1983 8 volume set of
    > Luther's sermons. Now, instead of
    > simply getting your "apologetic"
    > content from me on this, crack
    > open those books and read some
    > complete contexts.

    I plan to. Again, if you have a name to share, please do.

    Scott<<<


    By the way, it appears Mr. Voris is in trouble with his bishop.

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  17. Got it, context helps. I did respond to that earlier too and again, context helps - the comment from Fr. O'Meara is out of context and the conclusion is based on that out of context statement.

    Scott, you don't appear to be reading my comments carefully, or I'm not being clear. If the later, my apologies. I'm going to try one last time by re-posting what I wrote above on Saturday, December 31, 2011 5:59:00 AM, bolded.

    The only convincing counter-evidence that you appear to be willing to accept is some sort of statement from Luther in effect saying "I, Martin Luther reject the immaculate conception." If that's all you need, I actually provided such a statement last year, and you yourself commented on it back on 12/21/10. That statement from Luther can be found here, and it comes from this source WA 48, 692.

    I'm not sure what about this statement warrants being ignored by you, considering such statements you've made like:

    "you've had a good YEAR to dig up evidence of Martin Luther rejecting the Immaculate Conception, and you - whom I concede has read a lot more Luther than most Lutherans, including myself - a former Lutheran, have not been able to come up with that reference which would silence my argument and elicit my concession ..."

    and:

    "All I AM saying is that while he one time explicitly supported and taught the Immaculate Conception, that even while he mellowed in his support and even didn't speak of it so concisely later on - he NEVER came out and REJECTED it either."

    I posted the Thomas A. O'Meara comment to validate the statement from WA 48, 692, and to show you the quote wasn't some sort of Protestant conspiracy. There's exactly the type of comment from Luther you're asking for, along with a link to a primary source.

    As to taking quotes from my blog and then forgetting where you got them from, you've taught me a valuable lesson, and I plan on encoding slight tactical errors from now on in anything I cite so as to avoid anyone else forgetting where they took the material they claim to have, and to have read.

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  18. As to taking quotes from my blog and then forgetting where you got them from, you've taught me a valuable lesson, and I plan on encoding slight tactical errors from now on in anything I cite so as to avoid anyone else forgetting where they took the material they claim to have, and to have read.

    I did not take the quote from your blog - but apparently the source I got it from did. Unless you inaccurately quoted/cited the primary source - it was properly "documented" - just not fully "attributed" which should have included "qtd on" with credit going to you and/or at least the other site. I assume the responsibility for this and will try to be more careful in the future. I'm not sure why you would feel the need to plant "slight tactical errors" other than to make a "gotcha" argument - which would be divergent from the original topic. Again, I have no problem giving credit where credit is due and actually appreciate the attention to "keep me honest" - I was hasty in posting the context of Luther's sermon - but that has been rectified now... so how about letting it go and we focus on the REAL topic?

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  19. JS: Scott, you don't appear to be reading my comments carefully, or I'm not being clear. If the later, my apologies. I'm going to try one last time by re-posting what I wrote above on Saturday, December 31, 2011 5:59:00 AM, bolded.

    The only convincing counter-evidence that you appear to be willing to accept is some sort of statement from Luther in effect saying "I, Martin Luther reject the immaculate conception." If that's all you need, I actually provided such a statement last year, and you yourself commented on it back on 12/21/10. That statement from Luther can be found here, and it comes from this source WA 48, 692.

    JS: I'm not sure what about this statement warrants being ignored by you...


    Seeing as how I commented on it I've not really ignored it, have I? That being said, you weren't very precise in citing who said what other than links to entire articles (one from you and one from me) on the subject. If you have something specific to reference, I'd be happy to look at it.

    Then, in this response you point to primary source documents/images which you link to for this statement from Luther, but they are in Latin and German - not too helpful. While I can pick out pieces of Latin, I'm not a proficient translator of it - nor can I translate any German.

    JS: ...considering such statements you've made like:

    "you've had a good YEAR to dig up evidence of Martin Luther rejecting the Immaculate Conception, and you - whom I concede has read a lot more Luther than most Lutherans, including myself - a former Lutheran, have not been able to come up with that reference which would silence my argument and elicit my concession ..."

    and:

    "All I AM saying is that while he one time explicitly supported and taught the Immaculate Conception, that even while he mellowed in his support and even didn't speak of it so concisely later on - he NEVER came out and REJECTED it either."

    I posted the Thomas A. O'Meara comment to validate the statement from WA 48, 692, and to show you the quote wasn't some sort of Protestant conspiracy. There's exactly the type of comment from Luther you're asking for, along with a link to a primary source.


    (continuing...)

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  20. (continued...)
    I also responded to Fr. O'Meara's out of context statement earlier in this combox, let me repeat that for you:

    Got it, context helps. I did respond to that earlier too and again, context helps - the comment from Fr. O'Meara is out of context and the conclusion is based on that out of context statement. IN CONTEXT that statement that she was born into sin "just like the rest of us" is coupled with the fact that she was ALSO made pure by the Holy Ghost. Again, I am not rejecting Luther's "two conceptions" view - as I do not believe he ever did.


    So, to be clear:
    - I've never accused you of a "Protestant conspiracy" here.
    - Assuming you've accurately represented the quote from Fr. O'Meara, I reject his commentary on the out of context statement of Luther. Reading Luther in context (ironic because you claim champion contextual argumentation and then throw in such an out of context commentary) he's not rejecting the Immaculate Conception in that sermon. Again, while I concede that that particular sermon ALONE is not great support for the IC, it is not a denial of it and considering Luther's "other conception" or "second conception" arguments from previous sermon(s) one should not definitively attempt to use the argument from silence position to and flatly claim Luther rejected the IC by this time.
    - Linking primary sources to "dead" and/or foreign languages is not helpful.
    - We've still not seen a definitive rejection of the IC by Luther.

    For what it's worth, and I believe I've expressed this sentiment before, I really don't care much whether Luther ever rejected the IC or not. I've corrected the original article (which set off this discussion over a year ago) and have provided valid arguments as to why one would not have to insist that Luther rejected the IC. I've conceded that FROM SILENCE one can argue he no longer supported it, but again, MY argument was only that he never flatly rejected it. Yes, we have some commentaries - even Catholic ones - which state he did, but we don't have evidence from Luther himself of such a rejection. We have silence and we have the removal of a portion of a sermon, which is removed without explanation, which then is still an argument from silence.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  21. Scott,

    1. You've been soundly refuted according to your own criteria by my citation of WA 48, 692. It isn't my problem if you don't care enough to have it translated, nor is it my problem if you can't understand why I cited O'Meara.

    2. You quote books you don't have of sermons you've never read (nor no the name of), and post quotes that you don't know where you got them from.

    3. This will sound arrogant, but I do not wish to dialog extensively with someone with these sort of apologetic standards.

    4. If by some chance I have anything further to add, I'll post it on my own blog.

    Thank you for allowing me to comment on your blog. This will be my final comment on this topic on your blog. You may have the last word.

    Regards, James Swan

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  22. Hello James,

    As long as you're dishing out criticism, can you take it as well as you dish it? Unlike your typical methodology, MY typical response is point by point, sometimes line by line! This response will be no different, I will give your points the respect of an answer - and not "ignore" them. I have never deliberately ignored ANY of your points. When you have pointed out where you feel I have passed over something, I have given you the time and respect of an answer. On the other hand, you seem to pick out a point here or there that you will focus on - and often such points (like methodology) are not even really related to the REAL TOPIC at hand.

    1a) By which "standard" of mine do you declare your citation of "WA 48, 692" utterly refutes me? Your citation is to an image of Latin and German - and this is an English speaking blog. I could do your homework for you and get them translated so that the statements could be validly used in a debate going on in English - but that's YOUR JOB! YOU made the citation - YOU get them translated! For you to claim victory ("soundly refuting") over such a citation is quite pathetic.

    1b) Oh, I understood WHY you quoted Fr. O'Meara - I just pointed out the IRONY of you, who champions the cause of contextual argumentation, quoting Fr. O'Meara making an OUT OF CONTEXT quote of Luther and (allegedly) drawing a conclusion based solely on THAT OUT OF CONTEXT quote!

    2a and c) I hastily quoted from a website, NOT YOURS, as I was leaving town for the holidays. My set of Luther's Sermons had arrived, and I assumed it would coincide with the citation I copied earlier. I was wrong - and had the humility to admit it to you when I got home and was able to look into them. You have taken that humility as an opportunity to attack me personally. You don't seem to realize that ad hominem attacks are INVALID in debate - or if you do, you just don't care.

    2b) I've read enough context of the sermon(s) in question to know what Luther was saying in the specific parts which have been quoted directly AND contextually. If YOU have been the source of the quotes - I have recognized you without a lot of hoop-la, no, I take that back - I've given you PLENTY of kudos for your work and research. I STILL appreciate that - but I don't appreciate your turning to personal attacks, especially over points where I have had the integrity to credit your research after I had failed to cite the source initially.

    3) My "standards" are quite high. I have quoted DOZENS of primary sources regarding Luther and "messed up" only a VERY FEW times. When error has been brought to my attention, I have not hesitated to correct it. If you can't handle a mistake every now and then, then you're going to find it very difficult to have an "extensive dialog" with ANYONE! The last I heard, the last impeccable person walked this earth nearly 2000 years ago.

    4) I have never had an issue with you posting to your own blog. I'm not all about "ownership" of the discussions. I have often responded to you, and others, on my blog - mostly because combox replies are rather limited (in size and format). All I would ask is that if you're continuing a discussion from here - you link to it so that one reading along can follow. You're usually pretty good about that, I'm just making the request formally.

    5) I am not all about having "the last word" either. If you choose to stop posting here on this topic - sobeit - if you continue the discussion on your own blog, you're not really allowing me to have "the last word" - you're just changing the location.

    May God bless you and guide both of us to His Truth,
    Scott<<<

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  23. Scot, again, congrats on how you handled the dialogue with Mr Swan. Mr. Swan got a little bit peeved, but as least it was mature talk between two adults, not a couple of kids throwing md at each other.

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  24. Thanks Steve,
    It would appear that as Swan was being trapped by his own arguments that it was easier to jump ship than face the challenges and have to admit he was caught in his own attack - especially in his Fr. O'Meara out of context citation. He already had to admit to and apologize for taking ME out of context earlier in this discussion - clearly, he didn't want to do that again - and clearly he would HAVE to if he continued. No, it was at this point that he attempts to turn the discussion into personal attacks and attacking the methodology over dealing with the substance.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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