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February 14, 2013

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What would the implications be for Martin Luther, who wanted to eject James from the canon?

Or what about the Anabaptists of the reformation who argued we must do precisely what you're condemning?

This is an incorrect understanding of the Bible, though.  And it's especially troubling when Christians take this approach because it's not the orthodox, historic Christian view. 

You can't claim your position is historic and.then ignore the history of the Reformation. Well you can, but the argument then falls flat.

Those who emphasize the words of Christ as more worth of following than the words of his brother James, or Paul often do so because they are uncomfortable with something that does not fit their personal beliefs or prejudices. Martin Luther misunderstood James as endorsing salvation by works, and the Anabaptists, who are to be commended in their desire to take Jesus model for life seriously,have focused primarily on their understanding of Jesus as a pacifist and that is the driving force behind their selective readings of the Bible. To say that because something was endorsed by a certain reformer or group from the reformation period does not necessarily give it more theological weight than teachings from the apostles and early church fathers, after all Martin Luther was unsuccessful in getting James removed from the cannon and total pacifism is a minority view in the Christian church.

Having studied with the Anabaptist and having had personal interaction with the Red Letter Christians, I can tell you there are serious biases among these folks and it tends to run toward a left leaning political understanding of Jesus. Therefore, it is to their advantage to lessen the importance of the apostles or Moses if their teaching does not support their point of view.

Larry I feel like you kind of missed my point. My point was that historically not all Christians read the bible the way this post suggests. I used the Reformation as an example.

You can't claim historic faith and then ignore the facts of history.

"What would the implications be for Martin Luther, who wanted to eject James from the canon?"

I think Luther actually said that he wanted to start his stove with that book.

Nonetheless, when he translated the New Testament, he translated James right along with it.

It's one thing to wish James weren't in the canon, and another thing to actually remove it.

There are actually a lot of parts of the Bible I wish weren't there. Too bad for me.

Hi brgulker, it's not just history, it's historic faith. Any and every event in history is indeed history, but the phrase historic faith would limit or strain out history and events that do not align with the whole faith, the one that was once delivered. In this sense, as Larry's post answered, your objections were indeed historic, [probably even performed by born again saints] but not within the pale of orthodox historic Christian faith.

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