Did you know that the Lutheran church has a “calendar of saints”? Of course we teach that every Christian is a “saint” by virtue of the righteousness of Christ which is given to them in their baptism and which covers all of their sins, just as the Scriptures teach. But we also recognize that there have been Christians throughout the centuries through whom God has richly blessed his people and whose lives have made an enormous impact on the world. One of those saints we remember on April 21 is Anselm of Canterbury.
I’ve never written a newsletter article on a saint before, so it may seem odd that I would choose to begin with someone you’ve likely never heard of. Anselm of Canterbury is relatively unknown compared to theologians like Martin Luther or St. Augustine, yet his work continues to influence the life and teaching of the church even today.
Anselm was born in 1033 in Italy and became a monk. He lived a quiet life of prayer and contemplation until in 1093 he was made the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leading church position in England at the time. Anselm worked tirelessly to keep the English king from interfering in the affairs of the church until his death on April 21, 1109.
You may not know Anselm, but you’ve been the beneficiary of his teaching. [Read more…]