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The height of knowledge in Christendom

Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014

New Testament on Staff and Scrip, Dr John Dunn First posted Wednesday, 15 January 2014 at 21:30

In his sermons, Luther preached against covenantal Christianity, advocating instead the theology of the cross.

This difference between the Law and the Gospel is the height of knowledge in Christendom. Every person and all persons who assume or glory in the name of Christian should know and be able to state this difference. If this ability is lacking, one cannot tell a Christian from a heathen or a Jew; of such supreme importance is this differentiation. This is why St. Paul so strongly insists on a clean-cut and proper differentiating of these two doctrines. (Martin Luther, Sermon on Galatians, 1532)
He must have seen, however, that a return to the Law was taking hold in early post-Reformation Europe and he would have interpreted this movement with dread. He knew that in the early days of the church the unbelieving mind had interpreted the cross as nonsense. A religion founded on the crushing, filthy death of a man cursed by God was foolishness to Greeks and an offence to Jews, depending on whether their sin was intellectual arrogance or moralistic self-righteousness. In the theological turn taken, soon to be full-blown Calvinism, Luther could see the same rejection of the cross and cycle of sin repeated.

John Dunn.

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