I didn’t think a month on the subject of piety would be complete without something about the pietistic movement in the Lutheran church. I asked my husband to post about it, because he has much more expertise in this area. I hope you enjoy this bit of Lutheran history!
It’s said that when the early German settlers came to this country they often brought two books with them–Luther’s translation of the Bible and Johann Arendt’s book True Christianity. True Christianity was the opening statement, if you will, in the movement that became known as Pietism. Since that time this movement has been hailed as a saving force for Reformation theology and demonized as a substitution of personal feelings for Biblical truth.
I’ve been asked to write a little about Pietism and I’ll admit that I think it has overall been a good thing, but like any system established by people, it has its flaws and dangers.
The early Reformers did not spend much time on systematizing their theology–they were too busy dealing with the immediate problems and dangers they were facing. In the generations after Luther’s death, Lutheran scholars began to work on theology in way Luther had not…
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