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Luther Discovers the Gospel: New Light Upon Luther's Way from Medieval Catholicism to Evangelical Faith [Paperback]

By Uuras Saarnivaara (Author)
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Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.86" Width: 5.84" Height: 0.37"
Weight:   0.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2003
Publisher   Wipf & Stock Publishers
ISBN  1592441475  
EAN  9781592441471  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Discovers the Sospel NEW LIGHT UPON LUTHERS WAY FROM MEDIEVAL CATHOLICISM TO EVANGELICAL FAITH By UURAS SAARNIVAARA, PH. D. TH. D. CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE SAINT LOUIS COPYRIGHT 1951 BY CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE PRINTED IN THE U. S. A. This book is dedicated to my - father, Dean Emil Edward Saarnivaara of Finland, whose counsels and prayers have been a great blessing to me, and whose support and encouragement have meant much in my theological work and to the memory of my beloved mother, Olga Maria Saarnivaara b. Linna, who passed to glory when I was twiting this book in the summer of 1943 Preface WHEN the Protestant world in 1883 celebrated the quadricentennial of the birth of Martin Luther, the great Reformer, a new interest was aroused in the study of his life and teachings. This interest received a new impetus from the crushing defeat brought by the First World War to the optimistic dreams of the liberal the ology and culture. Men felt that they needed a more vital Chris tianity and a deeper theology than the anemic one which had been prevalent up to the great war. This seemed to be offered by the great Reformer, who had found a way to the fountains of divine grace and life and who had rediscovered the Gospel, which helps men to be reconciled with God and to come into a living experience of fellowship with Him. The revitalized Luther research, which was now growing into a Luther renaissance was not satisfied with studying the teach ings of the Reformer. It felt that its first task was to give answer to the question How did Luther himself find a way to a fellow ship with God and to an evangelical faith It was convinced that his teaching of the way of salvation could be rightly understood only in the light of his own struggles and experiences. An intense study was therefore focused on the early life of Luther and on his way to the evangelistic faith. More prominent scholars studied this question, and more studies were published on it than on any other topic in the field of Luther research. It was, however, unfortunate that many of the men who tried to trace the path of the Reformer from the Roman Catholic to an evangelical faith had received their theological schooling in the liberal tradition of the pre-war theology. The result was very strange indeed These students of Luther came to the conclusion that Luthers early teaching of justification, which was somewhat related to the ideas of the prevalent liberal theology, was his real IX X Preface teaching and that he himself did not remember correctly his own struggles and his path to the light of the Gospel. He made gross mistakes these theologians said in relating his own way and the decisive turning points of it. Only now his way to the evangel ical faith and the doctrine he taught was rightly understood. Some theologians doubted these results, and no wonder. It is hard to believe that a man like Luther could have given such a wrong picture of the great turning points of his spiritual pil grimage. The present writer became aware of the unreliability of the prevalent results of recent Luther research while making an in vestigation into the issue in preparing a dissertation in partial ful fillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. The present volume is an outcome of this investigation. It tries to show what was Luthers path to a living fellowship with God and to a par ticipation in the grace through which he gained the joyful assur ance that he was acceptable to God. The author is confident that his interpretation is more reliable than the prevalent one because it respects Luthers own statements on the matter and - takes into account all the other documents and facts which throw light on the issue. The author feels himself under obligation to express his grat itude to Professor Wilhelm Pauck, his adviser, for valuable guidance and constructive criticism during the course of the work...

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Spiritual Anguish Lead Luther to reject Roman/Calvinist Predestination  Apr 8, 2010
"The doctrine of Predestination was a further cause of much affliction and anguish of soul to Luther. The Nominalist teachers at Erfurt, following Gabriel Biel, taught that the salvation or perdition of man depends entirely upon the divine decree of predestination, which no man can change. On the other hand, however, the declared that the basis of election is the merit of man forseen from eternity (propter meritum praevisum). By meriting the divine grace man merits his own election. This peculiar contradiction in the Nominalistic doctrine of election created in Luther an uncertainty which caused him to waver between hope and despair. Regardless of how he sought to merit grace and election, he could never attain certainty, since the final determining factor was the arbitrary decree of God." (Uuraas Saarnivaara, "Luther Discovers the Gospel" (St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 1951) Pg. 30
Recently my college mentor, Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, had a book by Uuraas Saarnivaara "Scriptural Baptism" republished with a forward written by him. You can order that here. It is a great book on Baptism, and shows a Lutheran how to debate with a Baptist and figuratively at least give the guy a swirly.
However, I didn't buy my mentors book with the forward, because I already inherited in prodigal fashion an earlier edition of this book in the "Concordia Heritage Series" which should be reprinted, talk about an essential Lutheran Library! The added benefit of this edition was a second book by Uuraas. (Finns don't have enough consonants, because the Poles stole them all. That's my theory.) This second book is "Luther Discovers the Gospel" and what a wonderful book it is.
What grabbed me about this is that predestination was the source of Luther's anguish. Lutheran's of course have a doctrine of predestination, but it is a different doctrine than the one explained above. It also marvels me how persistent this false doctrine of predestination is! This is precisely the intuitu fidei controversy that racked the Missouri Synod, and American Lutheranism in the 19th century! And this idea of intuitu fidei (in view of faith) has its roots in the same false view of predestination that Calvin also espoused. That is a view of predestination and election that is divorced from the means of grace, and is dependent on a decree not really made in eternity, but just a long long time ago before God even created the earth. Eternity is like another dimension of time, it is not just time going on forever, if it was God would be bound to time. God is outside of time. Perhaps String theory can sort all that out. But it is a skewed view of what is meant by eternity that give rise to this nonsense that tortures souls. God from eternity elects people to salvation now in time through the means of grace. Baptism is an act of election, for instance. In Baptism God elects the baptized to salvation, he grabs hold of them and makes them his own.
I think this also explains why there seems to be such an affinity in the reformed world for Roman Catholics, when you get done bouncing back and forth between Arminianism and Calvinism you can find a compromise in Catholic Nominalism. Predestination didn't get its start with Calvin. Indeed one wonders if he might have first got his feet wet with this doctrine when he was studying to be a Priest in Paris.

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