Talk:Martin Luther/Archive 10

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Culling needed

I have finally read it. It is interesting, but much too detailled to be an encyclopedia article. There is clearly a lot of apologetics and polemics to cut out in nearly all sections. It does not have to be rewritten; all the information is there, just too much of it. I'd like to help here without causing another edit war. I would like to edit one section at a time with a pause after each section edit for discussion. Comments? RelHistBuff 16:20, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the article is much too long. When there has been condensation in the past, in this and affiliated articles, there has inevitably been backfilling and aggressive POV pushing. However, I see no harm in pressing forward with some aggressive cutting by a fresh eye.--Mantanmoreland 16:43, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
First step taken. I did not touch the lead section yet. I figure that could come last. I also did not touch Section 1 Early life. For Section 2, I cut the description of the nominalist system. There was an HTML comment saying that it was supported by a reference, but the specialised topic on theology is out-of-place in an encyclopedia article. RelHistBuff 07:08, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
As the first edit was small, I went on to section 3 before pausing. Here I acted a bit more boldly. In my view the section is an important description of his understanding of justification of faith before the major controversies began. It is a very good introduction to how he developed. However, I found the details on his understanding of God to be rather heavy reading and oriented to the Luther specialist. RelHistBuff 08:00, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the article should be smaller, but I think that, rather than remove the material entirely from the article, we should move the information to new "main" articles.
Let me suggest again that those of us who are going to work regularly on the article read a few print encyclopedia articles on Luther. It will give us insight on how secular encyclopedias speak about Luther and his significance. It will give us some idea of the level of detail they have found crucial. Lastly, let's discuss here first major changes before we make them.
Also, Mantanmoreland, I would appreciate it if you would focus on the content of this and not make attacks on other editors. It also would help if you would actually offer specifics and cites to support changes that go beyond your opinion on these things. After all, this is about presenting information about Martin Luther from secondary sources, not what you or I or anyone else think about the man. --CTSWyneken(talk) 10:43, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Stop the nonsensical "complaint about nonexistent personal attacks" intimidation tactic. It's getting old, CTS.--Mantanmoreland 13:41, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
This phrase: "backfilling and aggressive POV pushing" is getting old, too. As is ""complaint about nonexistent personal attacks." --CTSWyneken(talk) 14:20, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
If you stop complaining about nonexistent personal attacks, you won't be asked to stop. It's a transparent intimidation tactic. You trot it out every time there is a content dispute.--Mantanmoreland 14:36, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
My intention was to discuss as seen in my first paragraph at the top of this section of the talk page. I did go ahead boldly as recommended by Wikipedia (but with the intention to discuss, as clearly stated). However, I guess I have stepped into a minefield of which I would rather avoid. Please go ahead and revert my changes and I will just quietly observe. RelHistBuff 10:53, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
You should be bold as another editor noted. Some editors in this page simply do not want significant cuts in this article, and will talk you to death on the talk page to beat you down and wear you out. It has happened time and time again in this talk page, and has resulted in an extremely high burnout rate among editors. You made a good, common-sense edit.--Mantanmoreland 13:45, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
No need to quietly observe. I also have no problem with you having waded in on the article itself. Please note that I did not bring everything back.
What I would ask is that we discuss major changes first. For instance, there is some language in the paragraph you left that can go and can be rewritten. There is some material in the quote from the Smalcald Articles that we may not need to keep.
But this is section discusses the heart of what Luther is all about. This needs to be handled carefully because of this. Also, since we've been asked by others not to use summary language that calls Jesus the Christ, we have had to depend upon quotes from Luther to do this. Since, for Luther, theology is all about Christ, you can understand the challenge.
The minefield here mostly has to do with the strain between editors over the material on Luther and the Jews. My note to Mantanmoreland is mostly because he has repeatedly called the article biased, but doesn't seem to want to get into specifics. I'm just asking him to focus on the article. And that is all I really want to say on that subject. --CTSWyneken(talk) 11:08, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


I'd like to back RelHistBuff on this one. To mount a discussion on the Talk Page before making edits does not fit well with the principle "be bold". Much faster progress is made by editing first and referring the changes to the Talk Page for evaluation. Others may then restore some of the cuts and a form of consensual progress results within the actual article; it is more efficient that way. RelHistBuff has an excellent nose for dense mouldering content inappropriate to an encyclopedia and should, in my opinion, continue wielding his scythe.qp10qp 13:24, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree. This was a good cut. Also I disagree with CTS. It is not just the Jewish section that presents difficulty, as this demonstrates.--Mantanmoreland 13:31, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Be bold works well when there isn't a lot of controversy surrounding an article. On one like this, witness Matanmoreland's way of responding to my restoration. Discussion here doesn't have to be lengthy. For example, if a moment had been taken to ask about the material cut, he would have discovered that I find this subject crucial and we wouldn't be having this kind of discussion.
If you really want to see why this is important, try pruning the Martin Luther and Antisemitism section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by CTSWyneken (talkcontribs)
Since RelHistBuff was kind enough to invite me to revert, please discuss here why you feel the section I restored should go. Are you saying that Law and Gospel and Justification by Faith are not important themes in Luther's theology? --CTSWyneken(talk) 14:20, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Look at the first comment in this section. I don't have anything to add to that.--Mantanmoreland 14:33, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I left in the final paragraph which had been omitted, which I trust resolves any reasonable objection to the edit. --Mantanmoreland 14:46, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I would appreciate it if you would at least put the rest of the material here. In light of previous discussions, I believe it important to quote Luther directly. The Smalcald Articles quote is among the clearest statements of the doctrine available, and, given some time to work with the section, can be reduced in size, along with language in the first paragraph, to make the points clear. Please do at least this much. --CTSWyneken(talk) 14:56, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
What do you mean by "here"?--Mantanmoreland 14:58, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
This talk page. --CTSWyneken(talk) 15:02, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

OK, I have no problem with that. Here is the quote. I think this quote is repetitive of the preceding paragraph:

The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24-25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23-25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law, or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us...Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31).[1]

I don't think it's necessary to quote from Luther on this. Long quotes are a good place to start when culling.--Mantanmoreland 15:11, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

The length of the quotations can be discussed, certainly, but we must have them. Several editors insisted that we use the term Christ in connection with Jesus only in quotation. Since we're talking about central concepts here, quotations become essential. In good faith, then, I ask that you put the quote you've removed here so that both the words and the source can be preserved for use in recasting the first paragraph, which needs work. --CTSWyneken(talk) 15:23, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace...

That would do, I should think. qp10qp 15:40, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but I'm confused. CTS, the omitted quote was replicated above. What else are you talking about? Also I think you're overstating what needs to be done here. Let's move on.--Mantanmoreland 15:44, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry for the confusion. When posts are added above the page I sometimes do not see them. I will drop by later, when a bit of time permits (we're gearing up for the beginning of a school year here) and see if I can make some suggestions for the section. Maybe Drboisclair will drop by or others. And, no, qp10qp, that will not do. It does not explain Luther's theology, based upon that passage, and is really not what we need for this part of Luther's story. This part should be about Luther's "evangelical discovery" of the meaning of several Biblical terms that resulted in his signature theology, adopted whole or in part by most Lutheran and Protestant traditions. The central passage there is Romans 1:16-17. --CTSWyneken(talk) 15:57, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, but now I am confused about something else. The section now reads well and explains things clearly. I still don't understand the need for that quote.--Mantanmoreland 16:03, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Liturgy and Church government

In sympathy with RelHistBuff's methods, I took a scythe to the opening paragraph of the above section. I don't expect my whole cut to survive, but hopefully it won't just be reverted without thought.qp10qp 16:57, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't see why it should not survive. It is a good cut.--Mantanmoreland 17:25, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
If you were to read up on Luther you would see that it is not a good cut. It could be tweaked, but it should be kept in place.--Drboisclair 17:31, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
You must tweak it, then; please do, that's the point: what one person gets wrong another can make good, but along the way some verbiage gets binned. I've just thinned out the section on Luther's Bible as well.qp10qp 17:46, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
In my concern with Manta's wholesale deletions I have not considered your helpful edits. I offer you my apology. --Drboisclair 19:30, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
There were no "wholesale deletions." There were good edits by RealHistBuff that you reverted wholesale. This is why there is such a high burnout rate among editors, when they run into this kind of monolothic obstructionism. I think we need to revisit the whole issue of employees of the Lutheran Church editing this article. This kind of thing is intolerable and must stop.--Mantanmoreland 20:42, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
We are all anonymous here. You repeat the vicious attacks against a particular editor here. As a person who edits Roman Catholic articles on this website you do not share in the ecumenical attitude of the Roman Catholic Church. I will repeat, since I am impelled to by this unfair accusation: an LCMS employee is never paid to edit these articles. The policy of the LCMS is to let the truth be told no matter how embarrassing. I would ask User:Mantanmoreland to stop repeating this false accusation.--Drboisclair 16:14, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
We are all anonymous here unless we identify ourselves on talk pages and user pages as being employees of the Lutheran Church. You're in fine form today, Drbo. Continue.--Mantanmoreland 19:20, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
As far as I can determine there are no employees of the LCMS contributing on this website, Manta, Manta--Drboisclair 19:59, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Please stop wholesale reversions

Drboisclair has reverted en masse every reversion that has been made on this page today except for the most recent one on Luther's Bible, and that's because it hadn't been made yet. These wholesale reversions must stop. This is precisely the problem that has beset this article for months. Every time a good faith effort is made to trim it, the trims are reverted and we are back to square one.--Mantanmoreland 18:10, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

The same can be said for wholesale deletions. --CTSWyneken(talk) 18:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Mantanmoreland, why don't you stop disrupting the careful editing of this article. All you do is cause discord.--Drboisclair 19:24, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
You've reverted all of RelHistBuff's edits. This is precisely the kind of rigidity and bad faith "brick wall" obstructionism that has prevented this article from being trimmed in the past. Attempting to drive a wedge between editors -- this ham-handed game of saying "your edits are OK but the other guys are awful" -- is another old game you've played in the past. I hope RelHistBuff hasn't been driven away by your tactics.--Mantanmoreland 20:39, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
What in the world is "ham-handed"? One of your original phrases?--Drboisclair 16:09, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I am not ranting you are.--Drboisclair 19:21, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

why is every one here so uptight? Is anyone's reputation put at risk here...is someone going to lose a job because of this article? In all seriousness, i would think a group of adults could disscuss change without acting like a teenagers. (Im am one by the way)

Theology of Martin Luther

I note that CTS has begun an article entitled Theology of Martin Luther. I think that this might be a useful endeavor if it is accompanied by removing from this article the lengthy, hagiographic material that another editor attempted unsucessfully to remove. However, what if it is yet another tribute to Martin Luther, and is just going to replicate what is in this article, I don't see the need for it and I shall ask for its deletion. Also I suggest that it might be duplicative of other articles (on Lutheranism, obviously) as well. --Mantanmoreland 21:36, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Once again you are engaging in unhelpful leveling of charges. This is not civil and ad hominem in nature. Please stop.
If you would care to read my posts above, you will see that I've suggested this before. If you go into the archives, you'll see I've suggested it many times before.
All of this is per the recommendations of WP:FA. If you could just give us a break, maybe something can get done here and on pages connected to it. --CTSWyneken(talk) 22:50, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
First, stop the nonsensical whining about "leveling of charges." This is an intimidation tactic and it needs to stop.
Theology of Martin Luther is duplicative of this article. I'd like to hear from some other opinions on this article than yourself and Drboisclair. You do not "own" Martin Luther articles.
Unless this article is to be cut way back in size, which will require the brick wall to give way to some trimming, I really don't understand the point of the article. --Mantanmoreland 23:13, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Not once have I ever said I "own" this or other articles. No one owns it, not even you. Yours is only one opinion here and your constant sniping at Boisclair and I has to stop.
As to this and the new article: my intent, repeatedly stated, is to follow the advice of the WP:FA standards. Please explain how rolling out a new article in preparation for applying summary language here is out of step with this or other guidelines, standards and policies?
As to the content of the new article, please discuss it there. If you have no interest in the subject, then find something else to work on. If you are really interested, here or elsewhere, then please cite the literature and contribute, rather than just finding a thousand ways to say "I don't like it." --CTSWyneken(talk) 00:29, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Mantanmoreland is wrong in posting that an article on the theology of Martin Luther is "duplicative." It would help shorten this main article. Mantanmoreland will not be satisfied until Luther is pictured as a villain in this resource. Anything bad that may be said about him will suit him. I think that his own denominational POV is just as much at work in him as he alleges is in others. He is content to be the perpetual antagonist. He accuses others of sniping when he does it constantly.--Drboisclair 00:58, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
"It would help shorten the article." If the new article shortens this article on at least a word for word basis, it may be acceptable. Frankly I am not sure. The ham-handed reversions of the trims today indicate that any effort to make reasonable cuts is impossible.
Right now the new article is patently unacceptable as a duplication of this one. If you want it not to be, stop reverting good-faith trims of this article.
Drboisclair, your constant personal attacks, whining and foot-stomping are getting old. You tried that on Doright and drove him away. You've worn out whole phalanxes of editors. Hopefully your antics and hostile and unreasonable behavior have not already frightened off the editor who made the original cuts that were unjustifiably reverted by the two of you. At one point today I thought it might be possible to get some kind of consensus and compromise, and then down came the brick wall.
This is a nonsectarian encyclopedia and it is for laypeople. It needs to be written with that in mind. It is not an internal Lutheran church organ. It is not, as I said, your property. You behave as if it is, no matter what you may say to the contrary.--Mantanmoreland 02:10, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Mantanmoreland, why are you here in the first place? What do you know of Luther? You are disingenuous at best when you accuse me of personal attacks when your pitiful post is saturated with them against me. If Doright is driven away, I certainly had nothing to do with it. Knowing his track record, his constant cutting and pasting accusations have come back to haunt him. I resent and protest your antagonistic rhetoric. "You've worn out whole phalanxes of editors. Hopefully your antics and hostile and unreasonable behavior have not already frightened off the editor who made the original cuts that were unjustifiably reverted by the two of you." This is clearly an exaggerated false accusation. Your pontificating: "This is a nonsectarian encyclopedia ..." does not mean that the richness of information that is provided on Luther by people who have actually studied him should be trashed by the likes of you. As my third grade teacher used to say about problem students: "you are a cinder in a cold refreshing drink."--Drboisclair 15:36, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I've been editing Luther-related articles for months, and now you ask "why I'm here"? You didn't ask when you thought I was an ally. Your partner Ptmmcain gave me a barnstar because you thought my editing was so great. I'm certainly not the only editor who has pointed out the high burnout rate of editors perceived as hostile to the Luther point of view. I'd suggest you take such comments seriously. Also I think you really need to read comments before criticizing them.[1]. That's exactly the kind of behavior that drives editors away, that and your abuse and foot-stomping and whining.
Do you mind if I stop replying to your tantrum for a moment and discuss the article? Since indeed it appears that some cuts in this article are being made as per my earlier comments, including the quote which another editor made and which you reverted, I see no need to weigh in with cuts of my own right now. If the cuts don't continue, I will commence doing so and also request deletion of Theology of Martin Luther. --Mantanmoreland 16:53, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
What is this diatribe but foot-stomping on your part? You have a knack to project: the shortcomings you perceive in yourself you project onto others. You too are a whiner. You snidely make reference to whether or not editors are clergy and you suspect their honesty and integrity. It seems to me that the only editor who has a problem here is you. That other editors are driven away is an exaggeration on your part. I can name at least two other editors who have been driven away by you. User:Ptmccain need not be brought up here again and again as one should not mention your suspected sock-puppetry.--Drboisclair 19:04, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Wow! Really on the warpath today. I haven't read vile rants like this from than that email you sent me about the "Jewish administrators." You know, the one after which I told you to stop emailing me. Please, continue.--Mantanmoreland 19:19, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I am not ranting; you are. That was a closed issue. Here you are continuing to disclose the content of confidential communications that I never gave you permission to disclose. I would never send you an e-mail again for fear that you would post it all over the internet. I guess there always has to be the perpetual antagonist on this website.--Drboisclair 19:21, 2 September 2006 (UTC) (It's called the internet and it's PUBLIC, nothing is private on the internet)
You dredge up "allegations of sockpuppetry" that have nothing to do with this article -- but you want to slough over your expressions of bigotry toward Jewish editors, which has everything to do with this article, not to mention your behavior. I've never seen such a display. Please, continue.--Mantanmoreland 19:35, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I am not guilty of bigotry against Jewish editors. You are guilty of bigotry against Lutheran editors. You are projecting again. I resent your ungentlemanly slander, sir. Perhaps you should review WP:CIVIL for your personal attacks here.--Drboisclair 19:36, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Your comments speak for themselves and are in the Archives. As for "bigotry against Lutheran editors." What is that referring to? Substantiate that vile slander or apologize. --Mantanmoreland 19:55, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
You said it yourself, "Your comments speak for themselves and are in the Archives." Perhaps, since you are tolerant of your own bigotry you magnify it as you perceive it in others. I do not owe you any apology ever.--Drboisclair 19:58, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
You can't cite any comments I have made that are "anti-Lutheran" because I never made them. Typical of the irresponsible foot-stomping you've been doing. I see I am getting the full "Doright treatment" -- the false accusations, the demagoguery.--Mantanmoreland 20:18, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Talk about display, User:Mantanmoreland, you display behavior that is just as phenomenal as that you project on to others.--Drboisclair 19:40, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and to set the record straight here. When you asked me not to send you anymore e-mails I complied until you continued to send rude e-mails back to me.--Drboisclair 19:31, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
As to your threat of requesting the deletion of Theology of Martin Luther, you would do that out of the spite no less. Perhaps you should review WP:Point.--Drboisclair 19:16, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I didn't "threaten" to delete Theology of Martin Luther. I said that if it is not accompanied by commensurate cuts in this article, it would be duplicative and serve no purpose. Cuts in this article are being made, including the cuts you reverted. Thus there is no current need, but yes, there may be in the future. Clear?--Mantanmoreland 19:50, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Why would you want to delete information? I thought Wikipedia was to be an exhaustive manner of communicating information on to the internet. Why does everything have to be so diminutive in information all of a sudden, provided that information is sourced and accurate?--Drboisclair 19:53, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Duplicative articles and POV forks are removed every day. However, if this article is trimmed -- such as via this kind of edit today [2] -- then there is no need. Would you prefer I mirror your behavior and simply bounce off the walls? If there are good edits, I say so. You may do well to do the same, rather than behaving as you have today.--Mantanmoreland 19:58, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, your behavior here and elsewhere is deplorable, Manta.--Drboisclair 20:01, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

OK, I retract my previous remark about this edit today [3] being a good one. Satisfied? Seriously, if I had made that same minor trim, can you possibly deny that you would have reverted it in a millisecond? --Mantanmoreland 20:05, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
The only reason why your edit was reverted was because it deleted needed information. Why do you persist in suspecting the worst in the work of CTS? CTS is fair and easy to get along with.--Drboisclair 20:09, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I think I was a charm to get along with until I started disagreeing with you on your harassment of Doright.
Actually it was RelHistBuff's edit. I just reinstated it after you reverted contrary to the discussion on the talk page. That same edit was just carried out, I believe, yesterday, by CTS. Apparently when such edits are carried out by CTS they are OK, but when they are carried out by other editors they are "deleting necessary information." These kind of kneejerk reversions are what I was referring to when I said that you and CTS control this article. I'm surprised you can deny that with a straight face.--Mantanmoreland 20:13, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I never harassed Doright. You haven't had the months of experience with Doright to know how he harassed others: constantly challenging them, constantly linking to things they had posted in the manner of a prosecuting attorney. There is a difference to simply deleting something and deleting it while supplying the information elsewhere. We do not control this page at all. We would like to see it fairly and accurately edited, which, I guess is your intention as well.--Drboisclair 20:19, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Precisely. You constantly villified him without any proper basis. Despite all your complaints, he received absolutely zero administrative sanctions while his chief persecutor was blocked indefinitely. I note, incidentally, that you don't deny that if I had made the trim today, you would have reverted it instantaneously.--Mantanmoreland 20:26, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Here again you are wrong. You may have seen my response to what he did, but you did not see the kind of things he did. The user who was indefinitely blocked was not Doright's chief opponent, and he was not blocked for opposing Doright's unpleasant behavior. I think that you are coloring my responses to him. I grant that I did apologize to him on that occasion, but I did that in order to promote consensus. I am apologetic to a fault. Doright never got what he dished out. You do not know the half of it.
I would have to look at what you trimmed before I would make my decision whether to revert or not. I would not revert on reflex.--Drboisclair 20:32, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

You have and you would. Here's an exchange just two days ago:

"In sympathy with RelHistBuff's methods, I took a scythe to the opening paragraph of the above section. I don't expect my whole cut to survive, but hopefully it won't just be reverted without thought.qp10qp 16:57, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

"I don't see why it should not survive. It is a good cut.--Mantanmoreland 17:25, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

"If you were to read up on Luther you would see that it is not a good cut. It could be tweaked, but it should be kept in place.--Drboisclair 17:31, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

"You must tweak it, then; please do, that's the point: what one person gets wrong another can make good, but along the way some verbiage gets binned. I've just thinned out the section on Luther's Bible as well.qp10qp 17:46, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

"In my concern with Manta's wholesale deletions I have not considered your helpful edits. I offer you my apology. --Drboisclair 19:30, 31 August 2006 (UTC)"

Fine, you apologized. But you still opposed this edit knee-jerk, out of sheeer personal animus toward me. You couldn't let an opportunity pass to say how I hadn't "read up on Luther" when you hadn't even read the edit. That is the very essence of bad faith behavior, and it has to stop. Spare me the platitudes. Let's see a change in behavior.--Mantanmoreland 20:47, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

The same goes for you in your attacks on CTS: accusing him of editing at the behest of the LCMS and unduly controling this article. Your bad faith behavior needs to stop as well.--Drboisclair 20:51, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Don't blow smoke. Do you know how serious it is to oppose an edit that you haven't read? Do you understand the gravity of that? Don't slough it off. This is the kind of childish behavior that drives away editors.--Mantanmoreland 20:55, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I know what you mean. I know of a few editors who have been smoked out. Ditto back to you.--Drboisclair 21:03, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
The ones you've "smoked out" of this article by you bad-faith behavior? About time you stopped. The article does not belong to you, and it is not your role to intimidate other editors by reverting their edits in knee-jerk fashion.--Mantanmoreland 21:05, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Here we go again. Talk about whining. This is enough for me for today. Perhaps the smoke hasn't cleared for you to see your own shortcomings.--Drboisclair 21:13, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Translation: Hell will freeze over before you grasp the seriousness of attacking an edit you haven't read.--Mantanmoreland 21:19, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Eucharistic views and controversies

Well, you lads certainly go at each other. It's like a three-man Colloquy of Marburg here.

Me, I'm do first, discuss later; but I'll just mention that I'm off to try to rearrange and cut down the above section (and maybe even change the clumsy title). At the moment, Philip of Hesse bursts into the middle of it somewhat out of the blue, so I'll perhaps try to reframe the sequence so that Marburg tops and tails the section, giving it a bone structure. My motivation is to produce a clearer section, one that passing readers could follow without getting bogged down. Some of the terms need a word or two to explain them, in accordance with Wikepedia's guidelines on jargon; I've already looked them all up and am ready to have a go at the tricky task of summarising technical terms in brief, appositional phrases that do not interrupt the flow.

Because this will take me ages, I only hope my revision won't be reverted blindly. I'm entirely comfortable with some of the information I cut being reinserted, so long as editors are with me on trying to improve the section as it stands at present in all its garbled magnificence. qp10qp 10:43, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

You are welcome to work on this. The language is still mostly Schaff, which we needed to reword and reduce anyway. You are also welcome to move detail to other articles, the new one Theology of Martin Luther included. But please take care to represent the views of Luther and others accurately. It would help if you would add citations to your sources as you go along. The only thing I had a problem with on your previous cut is that you did not do this completely. It was my hope to build on what you did before the whole thing was reverted. --CTSWyneken(talk) 11:39, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
It is not necessary to say that Qp10qp is "welcome to work on this," as by definition all editors are "welcome" to work on all Wiki articles. This is not your article, CTS, and it is not appropriate for an editor to take it upon himself to give or withhold "approval" or to tell an editor who is acting in good faith that his work must be "accurate." Yesterday this editor's edit was attacked by an editor who admitted he had not even read what he had done. [4] This kind of talk page rhetoric can have a chilling effect on new editors. Please stop. --Mantanmoreland 13:06, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Please stop your rhetorical assault on other editors and disparaging remarks about their work. It is you that are the problem here. --CTSWyneken(talk) 17:45, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The problem here is that this article is dominated by you and another editor, who behave in proprietary fashion as if you "own" the article and other editors are guests, to be "welcomed" or given the cold shoulder depending upon their "behavior." Comments like the one below -- "minor edits are welcome" -- prove my point.
The problem with your domination of this article is that it results in a high burnout rate of editors. Just yesterday an editor came here and made good-faith edits. He was reverted by you and Drbosclair and he's gone. I repeat: stop acting as if you own this article.--Mantanmoreland 20:06, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
To you, stop your uncivil ad hominem snipes.--Drboisclair 15:38, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I've renamed the Eucharist section "The Eucharist Controversy", restructured it and cut it down considerably.qp10qp 17:41, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


Eucharistic Controversy Section

Very nicely done. Thank you! I don't see anything on first pass that needs changing. Drboisclair, what do you think? --CTSWyneken(talk) 17:42, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I like it as well.--Drboisclair 15:42, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Luther and Justification

I've made an editing pass over this section and gave it a new title. Constructive comments and minor edits are welcome. --CTSWyneken(talk) 18:15, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Widening breach

A comment on this section. It basically uses 6 treatises as the basis of the section and the subsection titles are in fact the titles of three of them. They may be important treatises, but from the point-of-view of a encyclopedia reader, the titles have no impact or meaning ("German nobility", "Babylonian captivity",...). I think it is more interesting for the reader if there were relevant subsection titles covering the points of doctrine. RelHistBuff 20:56, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

We can certainly reduce these subsections and summarize their content. We can work the titles of the work into the flow of the text something like: "in his Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church..." Since three of them sound the signature doctrines of Luther's theology for the first time, we should call them by name. But since at least one or two of them have their own articles, we can treat those as main articles and go to summary style. If you want to take a crack at it, go ahead. --CTSWyneken(talk) 00:02, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
For the moment, no, better someone else does that. I did have plans on editing it, but I'd rather stay out at least for now. But I do want to insist on my original position about the titles. If you look at the TOC at the top of the article, the name of those three subsections really look out of place. "Widening breach" as a section title and "Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity..." as a subsection looks really bizarre. If you really have to keep the three treatises as subsection titles, the top section title should be something like "Three important treatises by Luther". However, if one keeps "Widening breach" then the subsection titles should be something related to why Luther was widening the breach. Maybe something like "Commitment to the laity", "Different views on the sacraments", whatever. Each section could still cover the three treatises, but the titles should match the section title. RelHistBuff 20:24, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I wish you would. I can't edit it -- I will be automatically reverted by CTS and Drbosclair, so there is little point in trying. However, this article needs a fresh eye quite desperately.--Mantanmoreland 20:30, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Let me note that Mantanmoreland has made only one addition to this article, that the material was retained. There was some give and take on it, mostly having to do with positioning and with citation. These were resolved and the section is still there. The recent reversals came because he summarily reverted the work done by me and drboisclair.--CTSWyneken(talk) 21:08, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Not true. My edit the other day was to preserve RelHistBuff's trim, which you reverted [5]. A little silly to rewrite history, CTS. Previous to that, my effort to rewrite and trim the first paragraph was reverted just as you reverted RelHistBuff.--Mantanmoreland 21:18, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Go back and look. I did not put everything back, just two paragraphs, one of which was returned only to keep the text available for trimming. Later, I went back and trimmed a paragraph that had been left alone, included a portion of the quote, and then deleted the rest. All of this would have happened sooner, had you not reverted that work, twice I believe. Just stop the personal smears and disparaging remarks. If you want to work, fine. Do so. But stop the destructive behavior.--CTSWyneken(talk) 21:28, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Not everything -- "only" two out of three paragraphs. When I compromised by just removing the quote and reinstating the rest [6], that was acceptable until Drboisclair vetoed it.[7]. The following day the Luther quote that was so necessary all of a sudden became unecessary.[8] Had I made that edit it would have been reverted automatically. These tactics are typical of how you and Drbo maintain control of the article. And thank you but I don't need your permission to work on the article, even if doing so is waste of time because of your kneejerk reversions.--Mantanmoreland 21:40, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
If no one else gets to it, I'll work on it. As far as the titles go, I think I really wasn't very clear about my thoughts. I didn't mean to suggest that we retain the subdivisions. In fact, I think we can reduce the whole thing to a few paragraphs. What I'm trying to say is we need to call the treatises by name in the flow of the text. --CTSWyneken(talk) 21:08, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
OK, if there will be no subsections than that solves that. RelHistBuff 08:46, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Footnotes

Notes 83 and 114 have no text; the first is a named ref and I'm guessing so is the other. This can happen either because the original ref (with the citation text) is moved after the first use of the name, or because it was deleted. If it's too inconvenient to have the cite text with the first use of the name, it's ok to repeat it with every reference and not use named refs. Gimmetrow 00:12, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! Later today or tomorrow, I'll go back and see what happened to them. --CTSWyneken(talk) 11:03, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
I think I've got 'em. That was fun... --CTSWyneken(talk) 22:01, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Comments on Miscellaneous Changes

Just a few comments on the picky side...

  1. Luther's role as town preacher is important in the 95 theses story because he likely would never have composed them, if he were not a confessor of ordinary folk. When they presented the plenary indulgence to him, told him that they were off the hook and did not have to confess and relayed to Luther what Tetzel preached, Luther decided to act. The souls of these people were at sake, in his view, because they believed they did not have to repent. Now, that doesn't mean we want this level of detail in a summary paragraph, but it is not just there to defend a picture. It's the match that lit the fuse.
Ok, but then some adjustment to the original text would be needed with the usual citations. Otherwise it looks out of place from the point-of-view of the non-Luther specialist. As the only mention of St. Mary's church in the article are in two photo captions, it looked like the text was placed there so that the photos could be included. RelHistBuff 12:34, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I have no problem with that. The whole section still needs adjusting in light of the 95 Theses article. I moved some material a little while ago, but haven't gotten back to it. If time permits, I'll check the treatment in an encyclopedia article or two and see if I can get some guidence as to how it can be done shortly and sweetly.--CTSWyneken(talk) 13:06, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. It is anachronistic to refer to Catholicism, at least before Luther's excommunication. The same can be said for the term "Protestant," at least before the second Diet of Speyer. Up to the first point, everyone was Catholic. Up to the second, the term didn't exist. In fact, Luther, Lutheranism and the Reformed never viewed themselves as having left the Church. In their view, it was the supporters of the Pope who left them. It was only much later that phrases like "Roman Catholic" came into use. I think it would be better to avoid using the term in this fashion. --CTSWyneken(talk) 11:53, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I thought about the anachronism of the word, but then as the clause is being used to describe Eck from the present day point-of-view (describing Eck in his whole life), I thought it was ok. Eck came into the flow of the text rather suddenly without any introduction so I added that clause. If you know of a better way to describe him, then go ahead and change it. RelHistBuff 12:34, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
It's good to have an introductory clause there. Again, this is sheer pickiness, so there's no hurry in coming up with a better phrase. If I think of one, I'll try it out here. --CTSWyneken(talk) 13:06, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I just cut a section

I cut the following section (reasons below):

Luther, the papacy, and the Council of Trent

Luther was known for his bitter attacks on the papacy, which grew more vitriolic in his later years. In the context of the opening of the Council of Trent in 1545, Luther wrote a pamphlet entitled, Against the Roman Papacy an Institution of the Devil.[2] It was his bitterest attack against the institution of the papacy.[3] One conservative Roman Catholic commentator observed with respect to this document:

Perhaps no one in history abhorred the Church and all she stands for more than Martin Luther. His diatribes against the papacy and the structure of the Church in general are well known. Popes, bishops, and cardinals are referred to as "Roman sodom." One of Luther's pamphlets is entitled "Against the Papacy Established by the Devil" (1545). He once blessed a group of followers, saying: "May the Lord fill you with His blessings and with hatred of the Pope." [4]


My motivation is to help get the article down to fighting weight. This clumsily titled section is mainly filled with a quote by some commentator who makes the ridiculous suggestion that Martin Luther abhorred the Church more than anyone else in history. Also the title in the pamphlet is translated differently in the quote than in the article text. Finally, the Council of Trent was in effect a series of councils that went on till 1563; its placing in this chronological point in the article makes it seem an important event in Luther's life, but it began only shortly before he died. In short, the section has no substance.

I do think the Council of Trent's worth mentioning, and also this pamphlet: but they can be referred to in other parts of the article.

Any comments? qp10qp 16:21, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

The purpose of this section was to add something of the Roman Catholic POV to the article. I'm not married to this section as is but perhaps you can distribute some of this content elsewhere. --Mantanmoreland 01:19, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to look at Luther's conflict with the papacy and reinsert the references there; the chronology can be got round by a formula like: "Later, he wrote the pamphlet such and such" etc. (and words to dovetail that into context).

I agree that the Catholic argument against Luther should be included, but I think that would be better made by a contemporary voice than by a commentator. The trouble is that the Catholic prosecutors of Luther at the time weren't impressive figures, it seems (I mean people like Leo X or Eck). Only two figures of comparable stature to Luther occur to me: Thomas More and Erasmus; I will look for a statement by one of them to oppose Luther, preferably one that avoids name-calling and gets to the issues.qp10qp 10:55, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like a good plan. Another way to handle it would be to take up in the last section that Luther's rhetoric grew more harsh, vile and vulgar in his last years. We have the matter of not only giving as good as he got in battle with the Papacy and attacked the Jews, but also targeted Muslims and Anabaptists, as well. --CTSWyneken(talk) 12:38, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I noticed that the pamphlet on the Jews was chronologically out-of-place and I wondered if it shouldn't be placed later along with his other last harsh writings. I would agree that your solution is good. In putting it together, it will unfortunately be a somewhat large section concatenating the various polemics, but it does show the items in chronological context. RelHistBuff 13:21, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
OK. I think this is all reasonable. The Catholic POV needs to be in here as well and the hostility viz the Pope is important.--Mantanmoreland 13:41, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Sections and headings

I went through the sections and headings trying to standardise and rationalise them—removing a typo, a "the" (well, I've just read the featured-article suggestions), some italics, some wordiness, some capital letters.

I felt that the "Confessions" heading linked the unlikely bedfellows "Catechisms" and "Augsburg Confession" rather spuriously, and also that the Augsburg section would follow more naturally from the "Eucharist controversy" because Marburg prefigures Augsburg. So I've moved "Catechisms" in between "Peasants' War" and "Luther's German Bible", where I think it fits well chronologically and, because it concerns the German people, thematically. qp10qp 22:15, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the Book of Concord, a.k.a. the Lutheran Confessions, contains the Augsburg Confession, the Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Luther's Large Catechism, Luther's Small Catechism, Luther's Smalcald Articles, Luther's On the Power and the Primacy of the Pope and one document written after Luther's lifetime, the Formula of Concord. THe Augsburg Confession, while written by Luther's friend Melanchthon, was done so with Luther's direction. They are related in time, the catechisms coming out in 1529 and the Augustana in 1530. So, the heading groups three documents printed in the same book, the same way a book of essays does and are thought of by Lutherans together. To this day, our laypeople subscribe to the Small Catechism and our church workers the whole Book of Concord, which contains them all.
Now, that doesn't mean we should necessarily treat them together, or label them in this way, but they very much are related. --CTSWyneken(talk) 01:03, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Of course, I didn't mean they were unlikely bedfellows in the Lutheran faith or in the Book of Concord (LOL) but only in sharing a section together in such a forced way. Firstly, if the title of the section is "Confessions", there has to be a rationale, expressed in the text, for the link between the two parts of it under that heading. In fact, the word "Confession" was only mentioned once in the "Catechisms" section and then not in reference to the catechisms as a whole; and the two parts did not refer to each other, the first being about the everyday people, the second about a formal statement in a political context. I believe that the general reader would not grasp the connection (I certainly didn't).
There are forms of words that could unify these two parts of a section called "Confessions", but they would be laborious, and I do think the parts work better separately (I love the "Catechisms" section: it's cleanly written, with an exemplary balance between text and quotes, and introduces a breather into an article that is mainly about people arguing).qp10qp 11:24, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I have no problem with treating them separately. They fit together chronologically, so perhaps we could place them one after the other.
I'm also thinking that the handful of Luther's most important works should have their own articles and we can refer to them here rather briefly. These would include: Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (95 Theses),Small Catechism, Large Catechism, Freedom of a Christian, Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, Bondage of the Will, his 1535 Galatians commentary and the Smalcald Articles.--CTSWyneken(talk) 12:27, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree. This article certainly requires summary style in places. We could also maybe get rid of the "See Also" section, which seems to me a bit random and duplicates a number of links provided in the text. qp10qp 20:05, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Augsburg Confession

I felt I had to tweak this because the word "confession" is in this context a technical word which needed a touch of clarification for the Wikipedia reader. And I also tried to make slightly clearer what happened at Augsburg. I was unable to discover quite what proportion of contribution Luther and Melanchthon each made to the Augsburg text, however, and as I didn't want the Melanchthon article saying Phil was the main man while the Luther article said Martin was, I've made that neutral.qp10qp 22:29, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Melanchthon wrote the actual words (and thought of himself as the author), Luther provided the content and approved the final form. The princes subscribed to it. From the beginning, all throught of it as a common confession of the whole Lutheran tradition. If you'd like, I can provide a link to a historical overview of the thing for you. --CTSWyneken(talk) 01:07, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I've come to the conclusion that Luther and Melancthon's specific contributions can't be quantified, though clearly Luther's ideas were the powerhouse. By all means give me the link, though I did spend hours trying to run this to ground. (But one reason I like working on this article is that I know you guys have the resources to straighten out any details I get wrong.}qp10qp 11:37, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate the work you and RelHistBuff have been doing here. You have a good eye for material that we do not necessarily need to have in the article. The occaisonal item or two I've had problems with are easy to repair. For the historical introduction to the documents in the Book of Concord, see "Historical Introductions to the Lutheran Confessions." This is a digitization of a classical history of the confessions, used as a text by many Lutheran seminaries. It is public domain and reads like it, I'm afraid. Let me know if you need further resources. --CTSWyneken(talk) 12:18, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
    • ^ Martin Luther, The Smalcald Articles in Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2005), 289, Part two, Article 1.
    • ^ LW 41:259-376.
    • ^ LW 41:259.
    • ^ Emanuel Valenza, "Christ Among Us? No. Heresy and Revolution, Yes!" The Angellus 8 (1985) No. 3. http://www.sspx.ca/Angelus/1985_March/Christ_Among_Us.htm.