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Podcast Throwback: Will the real Luther please stand up? Matthew Barrett with Samuel Bierig

In episode 3 of this mini-series, Samuel Bierig asks Matthew Barrett, author of the new book  The Reformation as Renewal, to introduce us to another side of Martin Luther, that side of Luther often forgotten. Though the oppositional narrative claims Luther radically severed himself from tradition, Barrett shows there’s more to Luther than meets the eye. Narratives of Luther fixate on his 95 theses, but in 1517 another crisis haunted Luther. He was born and bred on the voluntarist-nominalist project of Scotus, Ockham, and especially Biel, a project that led Luther to despair. But in 1517 Luther called them out! If there was a break in the life of Luther, it wasn’t focused on the church catholic (universal) that he loved and desired to renew but on the via moderna which he came to reject, convinced it led him the way of Semi-Pelagianism. As Barrett explores the life of Luther he peels back other layers of misconceptions to arrive at the real Luther: What did Luther really mean by sola scriptura? Why did Luther embrace components of the medieval liturgy in Germany such as the creeds? Did Luther retrieve the lectio divina and put his own Protestant stamp on it as well?

In this episode, Bierig and Barrett bring Luther to life, unveiling the ways Luther wrestled with the past in his colossal effort to return to the Great Tradition as the path forward.

Matthew Barrett

Matthew Barrett is the editor-in-chief of Credo Magazine, director of the Center for Classical Theology, and host of the Credo podcast. He is professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the author of several books, including Simply Trinity, which won the Christianity Today Book of the Year Award in Theology/Ethics. His new book is called The Reformation as Renewal: Retrieving the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. He is currently writing a Systematic Theology with Baker Academic.

Samuel Bierig

Sam Bierig serves as Vice President of Undergraduate Studies, Dean of Spurgeon College, and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Spurgeon College. Sam completed his Ph.D. in Biblical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he wrote his dissertation on hermeneutics and the interpretation of the book of Proverbs. He has written a devotional on Jonah, a book for pastors titled No Neutral Words, and a book for student pastors titled Fulfill Your Student Ministry.