Saturday, June 30, 2007

Lutheran Carnival LIII: Johannes Honterus edition

Welcome to Lutheran Carnival LIII! I'd like to thank everyone who sent submissions to help make my first time hosting a carnival successful. There are lots of submissions this time around!

The Lutheran I've chosen to highlight also highlights my cultural heritage. As regular readers of my blog may know, my grandfather was descended from the Transylvanian Saxons, and so was another Lutheran, Johannes Honterus, the Saxon reformer. He was born in 1498, in Kronstadt, Transylvania. Today, this is part of Romania. But Transylvania, called Siebenbürgen by the Saxons, was originally settled by Germans upon the invitation of Hungarian King Géza II. They had political freedom in their own sphere, and maintained their own traditions.

Honterus graduated in 1525 from the University of Vienna with a magister artium title, having started his studies by earning a baccalaureate degree there in 1522. Some of my sources describe him as a humanist, perhaps because of three years spent in Basel, Switzerland, one of the humanist centers of the day, and Honterus' works on cosmography. However, he is referred to here as “the Luther of Transylvania,” and he was instrumental in spreading the Lutheran faith in the region of his birth and establishing the Saxon Evangelical church. Returning to Kronstadt in 1533, he established a school in 1544, a library a year later, and shortly thereafter became a preacher. The school is known to this day as the Johannes Honterus school, and there is a statue of him in Kronstadt, with his arm stretching out towards it. Honterus wrote and printed schoolbooks for his educational endeavor, using the High German of Luther's Bible.

Just as bloggers of today spread ideas with current technology, Honterus set up the first printing press in Kronstadt and also encouraged the building of a paper mill there, the first in the area. Among many Lutheran publications, Luther's Small Catechism was published on this printing press, as well as Honterus' own “Reformationsbüchlein für Kronstadt und das Burzenland,” or “Reformation Pamphlet for Kronstadt and the Burzenland (the area surrounding Kronstadt)”. Concerning Honterus' work, Luther himself wrote to Mathias Ramser, City Pastor of Hermannstadt, a neighboring city: “Everything that you have asked me can be found in this pamphlet better than I can write it to you. It pleases me very much, because it is such a learned, pure and religious writing. Therefore read this pamphlet and sit down in an understanding with those who serve the church in Kronstadt; they will be the best to assist you with the improvement of your church. Because they have worked hard with this pamphlet to follow the set-up of our church, I draw your attention to these.” (The simple translation from German to English is my own; for the original German see here.) Melanchthon also arranged for a new edition of the Reformationsbüchlein in Wittenberg, with Melanchthon's own forward. Lastly, Honterus authored and published an Order of Worship for All Germans in Siebenbürgen. He held a position of leadership among his people until his death in 1549.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the work of a man instrumental in bringing the Lutheran faith to the region of some of my ancestors, and therefore helping to enable that this faith was passed down to me. Now on with the carnival!

Emily H. at The Children of God shares with us a Catholic religious tradition in Italy in Growing Up with San Gennaro. This post is a look back to her childhood and the annual festival of San Gennaro in Naples, Italy. She gives the details of and the over-looked popular culture surrounding the festival.

The Blair Church Project gives us the poetry of a native German, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in her post, 'Till the Night Be Past: The Bonhoeffer Antidote to Recidivist Christianese, where we read about praying... and living... and dying... like we mean it. Then she takes us to England via the film Becket, looks at the relationship between King Henry II of England and Thomas Becket, and encourages pastors and laypeople alike to find honor in their calling in Will No One Rid Me of This Meddlesome Priest?.

Ryan Schroeder at What Did Jesus Do? writes Dispensationalism: The God That Failed. Dispensationalism, in some form or another, is one of the most popular "Christian" teachings today. This is evident from the popularity of books such Left Behind and The Late Great Planet Earth. Yet, for all of its popularity, dispensational theology robs us Christians of much of our Gospel comforts. In this post, Ryan looks not so much at why dispensationalism is wrong, but why it matters that it is wrong.

In Angry Atheists, Ritewinger at TheoCon looks at two atheists who have recently gained publicity and concludes that these men are not really atheists, but instead are angry at God.

I'm unsure about the submission by Bryce Wandrey, at Theological Inquiries, and whether he is coming at things from a confessional perspective in his post, Human Nature. Based upon a reading of Pseudo-Dionysius' work "The Divine Names" this post ponders the implications of “the Good” and “Being” in the human in relation to the doctrines of original sin and justification along with the Lutheran dictum simul justus et pecator. I'd love some comments on this.

Cheryl at A Round Unvarnish'd Tale gives a mother's description of her child's faith in Home.

For more on faith in children, Kelly Klages at Kelly's Blog talks about Our daughter's baptism, and other random stuff. After a lengthy hospital hiatus, Kelly takes a moment to announce her daughter's baptism, muse on a children's book she found on the Ten Commandments with the idea of receiving God's commandments simply for the fun of obeying rules... and mentions why infant baptism isn't like that.

At her other blog, CLEAR (Confessional Lutheran Ecclesiastical Art Resources), Kelly has a request as she works to create a Lutheran dingbat font! Got a fun idea for a character in a font that consists entirely of Lutheran-themed clip art? Please post your suggestions and ideas in her comments section! (The finished font will be made available for free online.)

Speaking of baptism, The Rebellious Pastor's Wife reminisces about one of her most rebellious times... when she used to hang out with the Baptists, in Me???.

The Confessing Evangelical gives us an entire series of posts responding to the suggestion by Reformed blogger Alastair Roberts that the Lutheran use of law/gospel terminology differs from the New Testament's use of those terms. Over the course of this series, John argues that the "secret Lutheran doctrine" of objective universal justification helps reconcile the "objective" gospel of "Jesus is Lord" favoured by the likes of N.T. Wright with the Reformation's emphasis on the "subjective" gospel of "Your sins are forgiven".

Over at Necessary Roughness, we move to another current event. The death of wrestler Chris Benoit and family shocked many sports fans, and emotions run the gamut. The suicide of Benoit precludes any justice by the left-hand kingdom, but is he necessarily excluded from the kingdom of the right? Dan asks Whether Benoit, Too, Can Be Saved.

Weekend Fisher at Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength looks at a Litany: for our enemies. She starts with Jesus' words "pray for those who persecute you" and continues with a liturgical responsive prayer for our enemies... and wonders why there isn't a prayer for our enemies in our hymnals.

No small feat, Extreme Theology passes on to us The Most Amazing Sermon I've Ever Heard. This sermon preached by the Rev. Ron Hodel at the Installation of Pastor Jeremy Rhode on Sunday June 23, 2007. Taking as the text 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, Rev. Hodel shares with Pastor Rhode how his task to preach the Gospel of Christ crucified will be seen as foolishness, and gives encouragement and Scripture verses for those dark times when the Gospel may seem foolish to him as well.

We get two posts from Random Intolerance, one from Dan and one from Elle. In News on Norman Nagel, we learn that Norman Nagel suffered a stroke. Your prayers for his recovery are greatly appreciated. In The Husband Difference, Elle discusses why men are a needed part of pregnancy.

At Ask the Pastor, we get to see some of the joys *after* pregnancy. Walter Snyder isn't only the Ask the Pastor guy or just the Lutheran minister in Emma, Missouri: God also gave him the blessed offices of husband and father. Fatherhood's joys are the theme of his Father's Day post, Lucky Dog. Pastor Snyder also answers a questioner who wonders, “Is it possible to speak of a dancing Jesus?

Last (although not alphabetically!), but certainly not least, are two submissions from Aardvark Alley. How could Aardvark Alley continue to call itself a confessional Lutheran blog if it ignored the chief Lutheran symbol? Not to worry, however; the Aardvark offered a commemorative post for The Presentation of the Augsburg Confession on 25 June. Among the recent commemorations, Cyril of Alexandria may have been least known by the readers, a situation that Aardie's post attempts to rectify.

Thank you very much for joining me here! The Lutheran Carnival is still looking for hosts, and I can now say from experience that it's fun, so go on over and sign up!


Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Barb, thank you for your time and an excellent job.

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Beautiful job, Barb!!! You are truly an evil genius!!!


Xrysostom said...

Ya done did good, Barb. Thanks.

Weekend Fisher said...

Thank you!

And let me second what Barb said: hosting is fun. If you haven't tried it lately, give it a spin. I find myself already mentally plotting my next Carnival ...

Take care & God bless