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Encyclopedia > Law and Gospel
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Christian theology

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Great Schism · Reformation It has been suggested that Christian theological controversy be merged into this article or section. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1993x1300, 432 KB) A Bible handwritten in Latin, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. ... Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, whom Christians call Jesus Christ, and New Testament accounts of his life and teachings. ... The Bible (Hebrew: תנ״ך tanakh, Greek: η Βίβλος hÄ“ biblos) (sometimes The Holy Bible, The Book, Word of God, The Word Scripture, Scripture), from Greek (τα) βίβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, is the name used by Jews and Christians for their (differing but overlapping) canons of sacred texts. ... Jesus (8-2 BC/BCE– 29-36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. ... This page is about the title. ... For other uses, see Trinity (disambiguation). ... This article outlines the history of Christianity and provides links to relevant topics. ... Timeline of Christianity (1 AD-Present) The purpose of this chronology is to give a detailed account of Christianity from 1 AD to the present. ... In Christianity, an ecumenical council or general council is a meeting of the bishops of the whole church convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice. ... A creed is a statement of belief—usually religious belief—or faith. ... Great Schism redirects here. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which emerged in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe. ...

Major Traditions


Eastern Christianity
Eastern Orthodoxy · Oriental Orthodoxy
Syriac Christianity
Eastern Christianity refers collectively to the Christian traditions which developed in Greece, the Balkans, the rest of Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, northeastern Africa and southern India over several centuries of religious antiquity. ... ... The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only the first three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus — and rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon. ... Syriac Christianity is a culturally and linguistically distinctive community within Eastern Christianity. ...


Western Christianity
Roman Catholicism · Protestantism
Thomism · Anabaptism · Lutheranism
Anglicanism · Calvinism · Arminianism
Baptist · Evangelicalism · Restorationism
Liberalism · Fundamentalism
Pentecostalism · Ecumenism
Western Christianity refers to Catholicism, Protestantism, and Anglicanism (which is also usually included in the Protestant category). ... Catholic Church redirects here. ... Protestantism is a movement within Christianity, representing the splitting away from the Roman Catholic Church during the mid-to-late Renaissance in Europe—a period known as the Protestant Reformation. ... Thomism is the philosophical school that followed in the legacy of St. ... Anabaptists (re-baptizers, from Greek ana and baptizo; in German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ... Luthers seal Lutheranism is a Christian tradition based upon the main theological insights of Martin Luther. ... The term Anglican (from Anglia, the Latin name for England) describes the people and churches that follow the religious traditions developed by the established Church of England. ... Calvinism is a system of Christian theology and an approach to Christian life and thought, articulated by John Calvin, a Protestant Reformer in the 16th century, and subsequently by successors, associates, followers and admirers of Calvin and his interpretation of Scripture. ... // For the Armenian nationality, see Armenia or the Armenian language. ... A Baptist is a member of a Baptist church. ... The word evangelicalism usually refers to a tendency in diverse branches of conservative Christianity, typified by an emphasis on evangelism, a personal experience of conversion, biblically-oriented faith, and a belief in the relevance of Christian faith to cultural issues. ... This article deals with the restoration of Christian authenticity in worship and living; see Supersessionism for a discussion regarding Restorationism in Dispensational Christian views towards Jewish people in the End times. ... For Christian theological modernism in the Roman Catholic Church, see Modernism (Roman Catholicism). ... This article concerns the self-labeled Fundamentalist Movement in Protestant Christianity. ... The Pentecostal movement within Protestant Christianity places special emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as shown in the Biblical account of the Day of Pentecost. ... The word ecumenism (also oecumenism, Å“cumenism) (IPA: ) is derived from the Greek oikoumene, which means the inhabited world. In its broadest meaning ecumenism is the religious initiative towards world-wide unity. ...


Important Figures
Twelve Apostles · Apostle Paul
Church Fathers · Athanasius · Augustine
Palamas · Aquinas
Luther · Calvin · Wesley
The Twelve Apostles (in Koine Greek απόστολος apostolos [1], someone sent forth/sent out, an emissary) were probably Galilean Jewish men (10 names are Aramaic, 4 names are Greek) chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth by Jesus of Nazareth to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles... Saul, also known as Paul, Paulus, and Saint Paul the Apostle, (AD 3–67) is widely considered to be central to the early development and spread of Christianity, particularly westward from Judea. ... The (Early) Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church, particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled Athanasios) (298–May 2, 373) was a Christian bishop, the Patriarch of Alexandria, in the fourth century. ... St. ... Gregory Palamas (1296 - 1359) was a monk of Mount Athos in Greece, and later became Archbishop of Thessalonica. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas [Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino] (c. ... Luther at age 46 (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1529) The Luther seal Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German theologian, an Augustinian monk, and an ecclesiastical reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was an important French Christian theologian during the Protestant Reformation and is the namesake of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism. ... John Wesley (June 17, 1703–March 2, 1791) was an 18th-century Anglican clergyman and Christian theologian who was an early leader in the Methodist movement. ...

Key Points
Fall of Man · Divine Law · Divine Grace
Salvation · Justification · Sanctification
Theosis · The Church · The Future
The fall refers to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, as recorded in the biblical book of Genesis, and the consequences of that expulsion. ... Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh, but not Old Testament, because it does not recognize the concept of a New Testament. ... Divine grace is believed by Christians to be the sovereign favor of God exercised in the bestowment of blessings upon those who have no merit in them. ... For other uses, see Salvation (disambiguation). ... This article is in need of attention. ... Sanctification or in its verb form, sanctify, literally means to set apart for special use or purpose, that is to make holy or sacred (compare Latin sanctus holy). Therefore sanctification refers to the state or process of being set apart, i. ... In Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic theology, theosis, meaning divinization (or deification or, to become god), is the call to man to become holy and seek union with God, beginning in this life and later consummated in the resurrection. ... This article is in need of attention. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

The relationship between God's Law and the Gospel is a major topic in Lutheran and Reformed theology. In these traditions, the distinction between the doctrines of Law, which demands obedience to God's will and Gospel, which promises the forgiveness of sins for the sake of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is critical. It is used as a hermeneutical principle of biblical interpretation and a guiding principle in homiletics (sermon composition) and pastoral care. For the genre of Christian-themed music, see gospel music. ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations historically related by a similar Zwinglian or Calvinist system of doctrine but organizationally independent. ... The word tradition, comes from the Latin word traditio which means to hand down or to hand over. ... Substitutionary atonement is the act of restoring balances by substitution. ...


Other Christian groups have a view on the issue as well, though it has not usually been as hotly debated or rigorously defined as in the Lutheran and Reformed traditions. The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations historically related by a similar Zwinglian or Calvinist system of doctrine but organizationally independent. ...


Sometimes the issue is discussed under the headings of "Law and Grace," "Sin and Grace," "Spirit and Letter," and "ministry (διακονíα) of death/condemnation" and "ministry of the Spirit/righteousness"[1]. Sometimes it is considered in the contrast between Moses and Jesus Christ [2]. Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh, but not Old Testament, because it does not recognize the concept of a New Testament. ... Divine grace is believed by Christians to be the sovereign favor of God exercised in the bestowment of blessings upon those who have no merit in them. ... SiN is a computer game developed by Ritual Entertainment and published by Activision in late 1998. ... Divine grace is believed by Christians to be the sovereign favor of God exercised in the bestowment of blessings upon those who have no merit in them. ... Moses or Móshe (מֹשֶׁה, Standard Hebrew, Tiberian Hebrew Mōšeh, Arabic موسى MÅ«sa, Geez ሙሴ Musse) was a son of Amram and his wife, Jochebed, a Levite. ... Jesus (8-2 BC/BCE– 29-36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. ...

Contents


Lutheran view

Martin Luther

A specific formulation of the distinction of Law and Gospel was first brought to the attention of the Christian Church by Martin Luther (1483-1546), and laid down as the foundation of evangelical Lutheran biblical exegesis and exposition in Article 4 of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1531): "All Scripture ought to be distributed into these two principal topics, the Law and the promises. For in some places it presents the Law, and in others the promise concerning Christ, namely, either when [in the Old Testament] it promises that Christ will come, and offers, for His sake, the remission of sins justification, and life eternal, or when, in the Gospel [in the New Testament], Christ Himself, since He has appeared, promises the remission of sins, justification, and life eternal." [3]. The Formula of Concord likewise affirmed this distinction in Article V, where it states: "We believe, teach, and confess that the distinction between the Law and the Gospel is to be maintained in the Church with great diligence. . ."[4] Luther at age 46 (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1529) The Luther seal Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German theologian, an Augustinian monk, and an ecclesiastical reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. ... Events The São Tomé settlement is founded. ... // Events Spanish conquest of Yucatan Peace between England and France Foundation of Trinity College, Cambridge by Henry VIII of England Katharina von Bora flees to Magdeburg Science Architecture Michelangelo Buonarroti is made chief architect of St. ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... The Apology of the Augsburg Confession was formulated by Philip Melanchthon as the response to the Roman Confutation against the Augsburg Confession. ... Events January 26 - Lisbon, Portugal is hit by an earthquake-- thousands die October 1 - Battle of Kappel - The forces of Zürich are defeated by the Catholic cantons. ... (1577). ...


Martin Luther wrote: "Hence, whoever knows well this art of distinguishing between Law and Gospel, him place at the head and call him a doctor of Holy Scripture."[5] Throughout the Lutheran Age of Orthodoxy (1580-1713) this hermeneutical discipline was considered foundational and important by Lutheran theologians. Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther (1811-1887), who was the first (and third) president of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, renewed interest in and attention to this theological skill in his evening lectures at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis 1884-85.[6] Luther at age 46 (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1529) The Luther seal Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German theologian, an Augustinian monk, and an ecclesiastical reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. ... Events March 1 - Michel de Montaigne signs the preface to his most significant work, Essays. ... // Events April 11 - War of the Spanish Succession: Treaty of Utrecht June 23 - French residents of Acadia given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave Nova Scotia Canada first Orrery built by George Graham Ongoing events Great Northern War (1700-1721) War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713... Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm (C.F.W.) Walther (October 25, 1811 - May 17, 1887), was the first President of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod and its most influential theologian. ... Joyce Rollins is a lesbian. ... 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar). ... The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) is the second-largest Lutheran body in the United States. ... 1884 (MDCCCLXXXIV) is a leap year starting on Tuesday (click on link to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1885 (MDCCCLXXXV) is a common year starting on Thursday. ...


The Formula of Concord distinguished three uses, or purposes, in the Law in Article VI. It states: "[T]he Law was given to men for three reasons. . ." (1577). ...

  1. That "thereby outward discipline might be maintained against wild, disobedient men [and that wild and intractable men might be restrained, as though by certain bars]"
  2. That "men thereby may be led to the knowledge of their sins"
  3. That "after they are regenerate. . .they might. . .have a fixed rule according to which they are to regulate and direct their whole life"[7]

We may summarize the three uses thusly:

  1. To restrain external evil (civil use).
  2. To show us God's character and our sin (pedagogical or theological use).
  3. To bring us into conformity with the will of God (moral or sanctifying use).

Reformed view

John Calvin

In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, the Reformer John Calvin likewise distinguished three uses in the Law. Calvin wrote: "That the whole matter may be made clearer, let us take a succinct view of the office and use of the Moral Law. Now this office and use seems to me to consist of three parts."[8] Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvins seminal work on Protestant theology. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was an important French Christian theologian during the Protestant Reformation and is the namesake of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism. ...

  1. By "exhibiting the righteousness of God, — in other words, the righteousness which alone is acceptable to God, — it admonishes every one of his own unrighteousness, certiorates, convicts, and finally condemns him."[9]
  2. It acts "by means of its fearful denunciations and the consequent dread of punishment, to curb those who, unless forced, have no regard for rectitude and justice."[10]
  3. "The third use of the Law. . .has respect to believers in whose hearts the Spirit of God already flourishes and reigns. . . . For it is the best instrument for enabling them daily to learn with greater truth and certainty what that will of the Lord is which they aspire to follow, and to confirm them in this knowledge. . ."[11]

This scheme is the same as the the Formula of Concord, with the exception that the first and second uses are transposed.


Controversy

There has been significant dispute in both camps over the extent to which the first use (or second use in the Reformed scheme) remains valid outside of the original Jewish social context in which the Law was given. In other words, which parts of the Law if any (viz., moral, civil, ceremonial) remain binding on societies today, and more specifically, which portions of those parts.


Lutheran

Apparently some recent Lutherans have disputed the validity of the "third use" of the Law. Paul Althaus writes in his treaty on Law and Gospel: "This [ethical] guidance by the Holy Spirit implies that God's concrete commanding cannot be read off from a written document, an inhereted scheme of law. I must learn afresh every day what God wants of me. For God's commanding has a special character for each individual: it is always contemporary, always new. God commands me (and each person) in a particular way, in a different way than He commands others. . . . The living and spiritual character of the knowledge of what God requires of men in the present moment must not be destroyed by rules and regulations."[12] It seems that these writers feel the third use leads to or encourages a form of legalism, and is possibly an implicit denial of Sola fide. Legalism, in Christian theology, is a pejorative term referring to an improper fixation on law or codes of conduct, or legal ideas, usually implying an allegation of pride and the neglect of mercy, and ignorance of the grace of God. ... Sola fide (by faith alone), also historically known as the justification of faith, is a doctrine that distinguishes Protestant denominations from Catholicism and Eastern Christianity in Christianity The doctrine of Sola Fide or Faith Alone asserts that it is on the basis of Gods grace through the believers...


Reformed

Conversly, Reformed Christians have sometimes seen the two-use scheme of some modern Lutherans as leading to or instantiating a form of antinomianism. Antinomianism (Koine Greek αντι, against, νομος, law), or lawlessness, in theology is the idea that members of a particular religious group are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality as presented by religious authorities. ...


Dispensationalist view

The second of the four basic tenets of Dispensationalism posits "A radical distinction between the Law and Grace; that is, they are mutually exclusive ideas."[citation needed] Dispensationalism is a conceptual overview and interpretive framework for understanding the overall flow of the Bible. ...


The Scofield Reference Bible, 1917 edition, notes at John 1:17[1]: "Grace is "the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man. . . not by works of righteousness which we have done" Titus 3:4,5. It is, therefore, constantly set in contrast to law, under which God demands righteousness from man, as, under grace, he gives righteousness to man Romans 3:21,22; 8:4; Philemon 3:9. Law is connected with Moses and works; grace with Christ and faith ; John 1:17; Romans 10:4-10. Law blesses the good; grace saves the bad ; Exodus 19:5; Ephesians 2:1-9. Law demands that blessings be earned; grace is a free gift ; Deuteronomy 28:1-6; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 4:4,5." The Scofield Reference Bible is a widely circulated annotated study Bible that was edited and annotated by Bible scholar Cyrus I. Scofield. ...


John Nelson Darby in The Law, and the Gospel of the Glory of Christ[2] wrote: "There is the greatest possible contrast between law and gospel. Paul calls the one the ministration of death and of condemnation, and the other the ministration of the Spirit and of righteousness." "There is no grace in law (the two are opposed to each other), but God's grace dealt with individuals." John Nelson Darby John Nelson Darby, (November 18, 1800 - April 29, 1882) was an Anglo-Irish evangelist, an influential figure of the original Plymouth Brethren, and considered the father of modern Dispensationalism. ...


Notes

  1. ^ 2 Cor. 3:6-9.
  2. ^ John 1:17.
  3. ^ F. Bente and W.H.T. Dau, ed. and trans. Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921), Apology IV (II).5, p. 135
  4. ^ Triglot Concordia, FC Epitome V, (II).1, p. 503ff
  5. ^ Martin Luther, Dr. Martin Luthers Sämmtliche Schriften, St. Louis ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, N.D.), vol. 9, col. 802.
  6. ^ The Proper Distinction Between LAW AND GOSPEL: 39 Evening Lectures, W.H.T. Dau tr., 1897.
  7. ^ Triglot Concordia, Epitome VI (I)
  8. ^ Inst. 2.7.6
  9. ^ Inst. 2.7.6
  10. ^ Inst. 2.7.10
  11. ^ Inst. 2.7.12
  12. ^ Paul Althaus, The Divine Command, pp. 43, 45

1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...

See Also

The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations historically related by a similar Zwinglian or Calvinist system of doctrine but organizationally independent. ... Theonomy is a view of Christian ethics associated with Christian Reconstructionism, most noted for its attempts to show how the ethical standards of the Old Testament are applicable to modern society, including the Standing Laws of the Old Testament, as well as its general ethical principles. ... Legalism, in Christian theology, is a pejorative term referring to an improper fixation on law or codes of conduct, or legal ideas, usually implying an allegation of pride and the neglect of mercy, and ignorance of the grace of God. ... Antinomianism (Koine Greek αντι, against, νομος, law), or lawlessness, in theology is the idea that members of a particular religious group are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality as presented by religious authorities. ...

Books

Lutheran

  • F. Bente and W.H.T. Dau, ed. and trans. Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921. [[3]]
  • Paul Althaus, The Divine Command: a New Perspective on Law and Gospel. Trans. Franklin Sherman. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966.

Reformed

  • Stanley N. Gundry, ed. Five Views on Law and Gospel. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996.
  • John Murray. Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1957.
  • Greg L. Bahnsen. Theonomy in Christian Ethics. S.L.: Covenant Media Press, 2002.

External links

  • The Struggle to Balance Law & Grace, by Bernie L. Gillespie
  • Law and Liberty, Law and Gospel – Link list at monergism.com

Lutheran

  • Klug, Eugene F. "Confessional Emphasis on Law and Gospel for Our Day" [online]Concordia Theological Quarterly 42 (1978) no. 3:241-257. Available from <http://www.ctsfw.edu/library/files/pb/1704>[[5]]
  • Bucholtz, Jon D. "Justification: Handling the Word of Truth, part 3 of 5."] Forward in Christ, April 2006. WELS publication, Accessed April 17, 2006.


Reformed Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm (C.F.W.) Walther (October 25, 1811 - May 17, 1887), was the first President of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod and its most influential theologian. ... WELS Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) is a United States religious denomination belonging to the Lutheran tradition within Christianity. ...

  • Michael Horton, John Calvin, and "Law & Gospel", by Bill DeJong
  • Mixing "Law" and Gospel in the Abrahamic Promise, by Mark Horne

  Results from FactBites:
 
Law and Gospel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1253 words)
The relationship between God's Law and the Gospel is a major topic in Lutheran and Reformed theology.
In these traditions, the distinction between the doctrines of Law, which demands obedience to God's will and Gospel, which promises the forgiveness of sins for the sake of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is critical.
John Nelson Darby in The Law, and the Gospel of the Glory of Christ[2] wrote: "There is the greatest possible contrast between law and gospel.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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