3996. God placed His Church in the middle of the world among endless external activities and vocations, so that Christians would not be monks, but live among the general population, so that our work and our practice of our faith would be known to the public. For the society of mankind is, as Aristotle said, not an end in itself, but only the means and its principle purpose is that one teachers another about God. Accordingly, as Aristotle said, society isn’t made by a physician teaching a physician, a farmer teaching a farmer, and so on. There are three kinds of vocations; labor must take place, warfare must be carried on, and all must be governed. The state consists of these three. And finally, Plato said that just as oxen aren’t governed by oxen and goats by goats, so men aren’t governed by men but by extraordinary persons. (p. 281)
In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther comments on God’s placement of the church within the world:
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