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Analysis Of Pia Desideria

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Pia Desideria (Introduction) – What Philip Jacob Spener is trying to accomplish in this work is bring to light the problems that the Evangelical (and specifically) Lutheran Church has and the effects that are imposed on the populous as a result. More importantly, he wishes to propose solutions to help fix or at least alleviate the bleeding, so to speak. Pia Desideria is made up of three major portions. Firstly, Spener lists the variety of shortcomings of the church. These include, but are not limited to: moral laxity, the problem of underestimating sins, and the failures of church and civil leadership. Secondly, Spener affirms that the kind of reform that the church is in desperate need of is very possible to execute. And lastly, he provides…show more content…
The church and the Christians who run and attend it do not suffer on a material or temporal level, but rather dwell in “spiritual misery” as Spener calls it. This misery stems from what he calls the “defects” in the different levels of the church, among the groups of the civil authorities, the clergy, and the laity. In regards to the civil authorities, they appear to have forgotten that they can use what authority and power that they have to advance God’s kingdom. Spener even boldly proclaims that few members of the civil authorities actually know what Christianity is if one is to base that claim on their behavior. Perhaps the most shocking statement that he makes is that maybe even those who live under the rule of someone who follows a false religion are better off than the Christians who live under the rule of “nominal”…show more content…
Spener does not exclude himself from this group that needs reproach. One way that a person can tell whether or not a preacher is holy or not is by simply looking at the disciplined behavior (or lack thereof) of the congregation. If this is not adequate, one only needs to look at the behavior of the preachers themselves. Many, according to Spener, struggle with the command of Christ to deny themselves. They frequently give in to worldly lusts and pleasures and are more concerned with their promotions within the church instead of diligently leading their flocks. The real shame comes from the very real scenario that Spener puts forth in which the laity looks at the misbehaving preachers and believe that they are an example of what true Christianity looks like. If these were not enough, there is one more issue that is detrimental to the church: the overly emphasized concern with theology. Much like Erasmus, Spener accuses many of the clergy of preoccupying themselves with useless and meaningless questions and end up wasting precious time and resources when they are needed
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