Luther on Being a Theologian

“Moreover, you will find how flat and idle the books of the fathers will seem to you, and you will not only look down upon the books of the adversaries but will also increasingly please yourself less by your own writing and teaching. After you have come to this point, confidently hope that you have begun to become a real theologian who may teach not only the young, imperfect Christians but also the progressing and mature ones;

“But if you feel proud and imagine that you have certainly mastered your field and are tickled at your own little book, your teaching and writing as though you had done very splendidly and preached excellently; if, moreover, you are greatly pleased that people praise you before others and you perhaps also want to be praised–otherwise you would grieve and quit, my friend–if you are of this sort, then take hold of your own ears, and if you grab aright, you will find a beautiful pair of great, long, hairy donkey’s ears.”

Martin Luther

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