Re: [form-al confession]

(no name) ((no email))
Fri, 05 Nov 1999 14:35:39 -0600

> ... Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Door.

It was the thesis of Charles Garside, of blessed memory, from whom I took
Reformation history last century, that the *nailing* of the theses is myth. He
argued that such a flagrantly rebellious act would be completely out of
character for the young monk. Luther was certainly appalled by the brazenly
calculating and corrupt indulgence market, and could be brash, but he was
nothing if not faithful. He was no revolutionary, but had clear insight into
the import of the Scriptures, and was squeezed into his role as the founder of
the Reformation when he got caught between that rock and the hard (if squishy)
place of indulgences. Even at the end, after going incognito as Junker George,
and having married, he tonsured his hair again. FWIW.

> What I did *not* know was that there was an 'pseudo-economic' basis

Alas, it was all backed by the bullion of the sacrifice and good works of
Christ (and the saints), so there was essentially no limit to the corrupting
influence. Need a new cathedral? Sell more indulgences.

> To put it in modern terms, human good works have finite positive value

Depending, of course. There's always the birefringence of the Invisible Hand
and other aspects of Common Grace. cf. Gen 50:28, Rom 8:28.

> and Christ's work has Aleph-one positive value.

At least. Free, in exchange for your somewhat used soul. But not for sale.

> since I don't believe economic markets work in the presence of
> singularities (infinite values).

Unlike, say, quantum mechanics, he asked? Noone expects the SI (units)! Our
two weapons are the speed of light, the mass of the Higgs boson, and the
infinite energy density of the QED vacuum ...