Friday, January 21, 2011

Law and Gospel Quiz

Lutheran Pop Quiz:

Class, please take out a sheet of paper and a number 2 pencil...

Does the following statement fail to distinguish between Law and Gospel?  Why or why not?

“The sum of the preaching of the Gospel is this: to convict of sin; to offer for Christ’s sake the forgiveness of sins and righteousness, the Holy Spirit, and eternal life; and that as reborn people we should do good works.”
Bonus: Who said it?


Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

This statement certainly passes my smell test. That is because just as "law" has several meanings in theology and scripture, so does "gospel." In this case, it refers generally to what Christian preaching should involve. And I would say this even if it were not the case that this is a passage right out of the Apology's article on repentence, which is to say that it is from the pen of the Praeceptor Germaniae.

Steve said...

Fr. Beane,
Ok, I'll jump. I'm going to say it doesn't pass my small test, even though my brother Latif is most certainly more read than me. It is the law that shows us our sin and brings us to terror. The Gospel gives us comfort and joy in our Savior and his sacrifice for us.

I've no idea who said it.

Praying for you,
Steve SSP

William Tighe said...

The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XII(a), para. 28.

Just googled it up,so can claim little credit for it, but when I saw it I had the immediate notion that it must come from some primary Lutheran document.

Father Hollywood said...

Dr. Tighe and Google (as well as Br. Latif) are correct! It is the Apology 12:28, and Dr. Melanchthon wrote it.

I think we American Lutherans sometimes "sever," rather than "distinguish" Law and Gospel. And there certainly is a broad understanding of the Gospel that includes the Law.

The wonderful thing about our Book of Concord is its holistic theology - which is unfortunately too often reduced to slogans and bromides. The sinful flesh is all too eager to be "evangelical" to the expense of any and all uses of the Law.