Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« Paul Maier's Translation of Eusebius' Church History | Main | This Week's White Horse Inn »

Who Said That?

"What is there greater than the word which persuades the judges in the courts, or the senators in the council, or the citizens in the assembly, or at any other political meeting?-if you have the power of uttering this word, you will have the physician your slave, and the trainer your slave, and the money-maker of whom you talk will be found to gather treasures, not for himself, but for you who are able to speak and to persuade the multitude." 

Leave your guess in the comments section below.  Please, no guesses or google searches.  Answer to follow in one week.

Reader Comments (27)

Jonathan Edwards,

Just a guess but the sentence is long enough to be written by him.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Barber
I find it disturbing and amazing that some Calvinist pastors (like John Macarthur) are now asking change agents to enter their church ministries. Check out the evidence here:
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob
I am assuming "the word" he is talking about is the preached Word of God. I do not know where we have the promise in scripture that others will be our "slaves" due to the fact that we can persuade others. I think there is more said about our being despised and rejected by others and that we will suffer a lot on account of our witness to the word. It is this kind of quote that leads to a politics of power in the Church and makes us more like the world rather than not of this world.

It sounds like an ancient quote again- perhaps some Pope. I do not know and will listen to some more clues before making a final guess. It seems that the Word/Faith preachers would have no problem agreeing with this quote.
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
It sounds like <i>The Secret</i> to me...
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRev. Z. Bartels
Where does this idea that we will have great "success" in this life come from? I guess it comes from reading the blessing and curse sections in the Old Testament where if we are obedient to the covenant of works we will be the head and not the tail so to speak. How many can actually say they have followed the covenant of works though? We deserve much more curse than blessing from our haphazard obedience.

Jesus did not seem to have any type of desire to hob-knob with the rich and famous, the top scholars or the movers and shakers in the culture. He hung out with the despised and the rejected. Now I know you can go a bit to far in that direction and we do not come close to how Jesus functioned in his life but at least we should know that we should not have expectations of worldly "success" much less that others will be our slaves and put money in our pockets. I am miffed as to how that common assumption grows in our warped minds. I guess it is the result of our fall and it becomes so common that we often do not even question it. It becomes like the air we breath. Any in depth reading and understanding of the scriptures should deliver us from that mentality. However, it even the grabs the most well read biblicists at times. I would guess that would be the majority case too.
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt H
George Steinbrenner.
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRichard
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPitchford
Geez! What about suffering as a Christian? Listen to the beautiful bed of roses promised to St. Paul by our Lord after his conversion, Acts 9:15 & 16, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name."

Check it out. Let all of us get beaten--just for the fun of it!: Acts 5:40 & 41 says this, "and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name." Ohhhh baby, give me more of the "victorious Christian life, please!

St. Peter tells us what we may expect in 1 Peter 1:6 & 7, "In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

St. Paul tells us a little more about the expectations of sanctification in Romans 5:3-5, "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Theology of the cross! Christ was called to it, and so are we. Why? So that we may rejoice when we see Him face to face.

But, for now we can hear Him in His Word, and touch Him and be forgiven of our sins in His Holy Sacraments. God, in His love for us richly applies Christ and all of His benefits to us in the Sacraments.

Luther loves Romans 3:4, which says, "By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, "'That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.'"

Brothers and sisters, don't look to yourselves at how much faith you have. (Is it enough faith? Is it the right kind of faith?) Please, don't look to your works in your life, or at how much you are "perservering." (Are you perservering enough?) Looking to yourselves, can, and will be disastrous in having the peace, comfort and assurance of salvation.

Luther always looked outside of himself for the peace, comfort and assurance of salvation. Luther (as we should) looked to Christ, His Word, and His blessed Sacraments.

Luther always thought of the great promises of God "sacramentally." Why? Because the promises in the Sacraments are to you and to me, and "Let God be true though every one were a liar."

My Baptismal certificate actually has a date on it. It is in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the promise contained in it is to----me! (Let God be true though every one were a liar.")

Acts 2:38-39 says "Repent and be (not get) baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children."

Fellow Christians, you and I were baptized, and we received the forgiveness of our sins and the Gift of the Holy Spirit. (Let God be true though every one were a liar.)

Acts 22:16, "Get up (St. Paul was instructed) be (not get) baptized and wash your sins away." (Let God be true though every one were a liar.) God's Word tells me, you and all Christians that our sins were washed away in the waters of baptism (combined with the Word).

Jesus says in Mark 16:16 (eight of the eleven oldest manuscripts contain this verse), "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved." You, me and all Christians believe (because He gave us the ability to believe, Phil. 1:29), and since we were Baptized, Gods word promises that we are saved. (Let God be true though every one were a liar.)

Please look at this great promise of God in Gal. 3:27, "All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." (Let God be true though every one were a liar.) You, me, and all Christians have been clothed with Christ in Baptism! This is God's promise to us, in His blessed sacrament, as He instructs us out of His Word.

Do you need more convincing? 1 Peter 3:21 say's this, "This water (of Noah's flood) symbolizes baptism that now saves you also." (Let God be true though every one were a liar.) God's Word says that Baptism saves me. And I love the promise, because it is addresed to me--Lloyd!

In the Sacrament of the Altar, after the supper, Christ took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is pourd out for you for the forgiveness of sins."

(Let God be true though every one were a liar.) You, me and all Christians, have the forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper. Again, I don't look to myself, but to the Sacrament, which is combined with His Word, and contains His promise!

Thinking of God in His Word, and especially sacramentally, is Biblical and comforting. And because God is true, and He keeps His promises, I need not look to myself, but to His great promises in His Body, Blood, bread and wine (the sacramental union; the heavenly elements joining the earthly elements), and to the waters of Baptism (combined with His Word), which creates faith, sustains faith (in adults), and washes away our sins.

God does not want us to look at how we are perservering, or how much faith, or what kind of faith that we have. He does not want us to see how much fruit we are bearing in our lives. He does not want us to check and see if we "feel saved" or not. None of us feel saved most of the time. This can be totally disastrous.

We must do, and think the way that Luther did, and that is to think sacramentally!

God says it. (Let God be true though every one were a liar.) I believe it. That settles it!
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
Look closer. "physician your slave," "money maker gathering for you," all from fancy speeches? This is clearly a modern left wing thinker.
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJW
Ellen White? It sounds 19th-century-cult-ish...
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCoyle
The power of the message to persuade..".senators in the council, the citizens in the assembly...", probably ancient rather than contemporary, Either Greek or Roman. Plato or Cicero?
January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharles S
It might be a great orator from the ancient world rather than someone talking theologically. It sounds more sophist or politician than one of the great ancient philosophers. The great ancient Greek and Roman philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Seneca) were extremely bright and I doubt would make such statements as those mentioned on the above quote. They were often rejected by the movers and shakers of the cultures they lived in and spoke against the spirit of their times. That is why they are worthwhile to read.

I still do not know who it is but if it is not some ancient Pope I will go with a ancient politician or sophist- Pericles or how about Pelagious the monk.
January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
Someone that confuses the two kingdoms. Maybe from the Southern Baptist camp, or one of the popes.

Oh what the heck, I'll throw Finney into the mix. Although the first half of the statement could be James Dobson.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
Cicero. Fairly confident.
January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarter
I still think this is from ancient history but I am leaning more towards Roman than Greek. I do not think it is from the civil war era or contemporary because of the way the political references are stated (although I may be wrong). It could be Cicero because he was a great persuader and orator of the Roman senate. I do not think he was as opportunistic as this quote seems to be. So, I am still miffed- it is a great Who Said That quote though. I cannot wait to find out who said it. I think I need to get a life these days.


You will never get the Calvinists to think sacramentally like Luther. They are way to entrenched in thinking covenantally. I had this discussion on the Heidelblog with Scott Clark about that paper that was discussed on Issuesetc about how Calvin and Luther differed in their understanding of justification by faith alone. Clark thought that it was a caricature of Calvin by Lutherans from 150 years ago. He did not elaborate further and I did not press the issue.

The issues that divide Calvinists and Lutherans will probably never be settled this side of heaven but I find the debate between the two camps fascinating. I can kind of relate to Melancthon and how confused he must have been after Luther died and he began developing a relationship with Calvin, Bucer and the other guy whose name starts with a B but I cannot recall for some reason now. I know Melancthon's errors are well documented by the later Lutherans but he certainly was kind of a tragic figure who died undecided about certain theological issues (or just held some erroneous views according to both Lutheran and Calvinistic confessions).

I am sure there will be opportunities in the future to further gain insight into the debates that have never really been resolved. I try to read everything I come across to try to gain greater insight and understanding into the differences that still divide us.
January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel

I am currently reading Luther's commentary on the first five chapters of Genesis (he has eight of them on Genesis alone). What an incredible understanding Luther had on the first book in the Bible. What a blessing it is to be able to read someone who is able to distinguish between allegory and historical narrative in the creation account. Luther is faithful in applying solid exegesis in his interpretation of it.

Pastor Kim once said, "Let the theologians do the Bible, and the scientists do science." And, in my opinion, the scientists butcher up the Bible almost as much as the politicians do! God is the creation of all science, and in many instances, the scientists just have plain, poor, ever changing theories, because it is just a case of the finite trying to comprehend the infinite. Man can surely be commended on his curiosity of such things--but more times than not, it will just reveal his folly!

God is just totally incomprehensible (Isaiah 55:8 & 9), apart from His revelation to us in His Word and the Sacraments. He does give us a peak in His creation (Romans 1 and Psalm 19), but to try to figure it out, only leads to us having to change our science books every couple of years!

Anyway, this morning, Luther was talking about the way that God instituted the tree of knowledge of good and evil for the purpose of eliciting the first act of obedience from Adam as an act of worship.

Here Luther says, "But this is a matter of theology that here this statement about the tree is put before Adam in order that he may also have some outward physical way of indicating his worship of God and of demonstrating his obedience by an outward work."

Luther goes on to say, "But alas! Despite its fine purpose this method of showing outward obedience brought about a most wretched result. Similarly, we see even today that the holy and excellent Word is an offense to the wicked. Christ institued Baptism to be a washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5). But haven't the sects stirred up a great offense on account of it? Has not the entire doctrine concerning Baptism been wretchedly corrupted?"

"Thus this text truly pertains to the church or theology. After God has given man the administration of government and of the home, has set him up as king of the creatures, and has added the tree of life as a safeguard for preserving this physical life, He now builds him, as it were, a temple that he may worship Him and thank the God who has so kindly bestowed all these things on him. Today in our churches we have an altar for the administration of the Eucharist, and we have platforms or pulpits for teaching the people. These objects were built not only to meet a need but also to create a solemn atmosphere. But this tree of the knowledge of good and evil was Adam's church, altar, and pulpit. Here he was to yield to God the obedience he owed, give recognition to the Word and will of God, give thanks to God, and call upon God for aid against temptation."

I just found it interesting, that Luther comments on page 94, in his Genesis commentary about; 1. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was Adam's church, altar, and pulpit. 2. And then, Luther, on Baptism ask's the rhetorical question; "But haven't the sects stirred up a great offense on account of it? Has not the entire doctrine concerning Baptism been wretchedly corrupted?"
January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle

The amount of biblical knowledge and insight that Luther and Calvin possessed was incredible. They interpreted the texts with such meticulous care and detail that one wonders if they did not have their nose in the scriptures at least 8 hours a day. They were truly amazing.

Where did you get your hands on that commentary on Genesis?- I would love to browse through that.
January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
Niciolo Machiavelli
January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip J. Johnson

You can get it at Northwestern Publishing, (NPH). It is the WELS book store. I also use Concordia Publishing. Just look for "Luther's Works."

The only problem with reading Luther daily, is that a person can get so spoiled. Of course, I'll read and study all good Lutheran stuff, but Luther is just the "bomb." At least for me, once you read him every day, most other books are boring.

He not only uses more of the Scriptures than anyone--bar none, but there is not any issue that he doesn't touch on in theology, or life in God's creation. He will cover every aspect of the Christian life; of a pastor, teacher, father, wife, child, animals, creation--really everything!

Lutherans consider Luther the greatest theologian since St. Paul. What I really enjoy, is that Luther is so darn relevant for us today. If I didn't know any better, I would swear that he was living in Phoenix in 2010.

And I say this respectfully to my Reformed friends. But, the Book of Concord is, by far the most accurate summary of what the Bible teaches. How good is it? Please notice that Lutheran scholars, pastors and theologians don't even attempt to add one piece of doctrine to it. There are no improvements needed. It is that thorough.

Lutheranism is so steeped in church tradition and history. Most of it, is not anything new. It is extremely Biblical, well thought out and coherent. It is so easy, that a four year old gets it. But, it is so theologically rich, that the greatest Christians minds and theologians adore it, because it is so deep, and never, ever boring. Personally, I hate boring theology--and Lutheranism is never that! Lutheranism has color. It has a great tradition. Our theology is also steeped in the arts.

Just one small example: Calvin had a little spark of the Cov't of Works. Then Reformed theologians like Berkhof, added the Cov't of Grace. Other Reformed theologians have added other books in further developing their theology. Then you have different Reformed confessions which teach different doctrines--but they'll all agree on the five points. R.C. Sproul is a pretarist, others are something else. It sometimes appears that they are all over the place.

If a screwball Lutheran somewhere attempts to come up with a new doctrine, confessional Lutherans will just disregard it, because we have our massive Book of Concord, which has already impeccably settled all matters of doctrine almost 500 years ago, according to the Scriptures.

It's just the way that I see it.
January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.