In a recent column (Nov. 17), Cal Thomas criticized politically active evangelicals for advancing a social gospel “more social than gospel,” having become unduly preoccupied with political matters at the expense of fidelity to Christ and his kingdom. As a corrective, he suggested they delve into the writings of Martin Luther, father of the Protestant Reformation, on the subject of how Christians ought to regard the world of governance.

In support of Luther’s ideas, Thomas quotes Revelation 2:4 which reports the risen Christ as admonishing Ephesian Christians for having allowed themselves to come under the influence of the emperor’s cult and, in so doing, forsaking their “first love,” i.e., himself.

I wonder if Thomas realizes that the Book of Revelation, a writing of such importance to him as an ardent evangelical, was one of four New Testament books that his hero Luther — purported champion of “Bible only” Christianity — held in contempt.

The book, Luther contended, “bears upon it no marks of an apostolic or prophetic character … Everyone may form his own judgment of this book; as for myself, I feel an aversion to it, and to me this is sufficient reason for rejecting it.”

In his German translation of the New Testament, Luther set the four previously mentioned books apart from those he deemed “the true and certain books of the New Testament.”

William LaRochelle, Lewiston


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