Luther] lists no preconditions for the spiritual marriage of the soul with Christ except only that we believe Christ . . . and trust that he will bestow all [that he promises]. Not a single word is said about the mutual love by which the soul loves Christ . . . nor do we hear anything about the other divine commandments, to which the keeper of which eternal life is both promised and owed. What else do those who boast of such a base spectacle do than make of the soul . . . a prostitute and an adulteress, who knowingly and wittingly connives to deceive her husband [Christ] and, daily committing fornication upon fornication and adultery upon adultery, makes of most chaste of men a pimp? As Christ does not take the trouble . . . to choose . . . a pure and honorable lover! As if Christ requires of her only belief and trust and has no interest in her righteousness and the other virtues! As if a certain mingling of righteousness with iniquity and Christ with Belial were possible
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Early Catholic Response to "Freedom of a Christian"
I found this when I was doing research for my new article and came across this response to Luther's use of the mystical marriage motif in Freedom of a Christian. It embodies the Catholic problem with Luther's understanding of justification. It was written by the Dominican inquisitor Jacob Hochstraten in 1526: