Presentation on theme: "Lutheranism Lutherans and Soteriology: Distinctive Elements 2015 EFCA Theology Conference Dr. David Luy, Assistant Professor Biblical and Systematic Theology,"— Presentation transcript:
Lutheranism Lutherans and Soteriology: Distinctive Elements 2015 EFCA Theology Conference Dr. David Luy, Assistant Professor Biblical and Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
I. Limiting the Scope
A. The significance of overlap
B. Sites of inter- confessional variance
C. The divine counsel
D. Occasions for confusion and consternation
II. Theological Posture
A. Predestination as ‘ meta-doctrine’
B. Models of doctrinal formulation
3. A formal sketch
III. An Exposition of BoC, Article XI
A. Trajectories in tension
B. Values and criteria
C. Principled asymmetry
“Predestinatio…extends only to the righteous, God-pleasing children of God. It is a cause of their salvation, which God brings about. He has arranged everything that belongs to it. Our salvation is so firmly grounded on it that the ‘gates of hell will not prevail against it’.” Ep. FC, XI, 5.
“A Christian should only think about the article of God’s eternal election to the extent that it is revealed in God’s Word. The Word holds Christ before our eyes as the ‘Book of Life’, which he opens and reveals for us through the preaching of the holy gospel, as it is written, ‘Those whom he has chosen, he also called’ [Rom. 8:30]. In Christ, we are to seek the Father’s eternal election. He has decreed in his eternal, divine counsel that He will save no one apart from those who acknowledge his Son Christ and truly believe in him. We should set aside other thoughts, for they do not come from God but rather from the imagination of the evil foe.
Through such thoughts he approaches us to weaken this glorious comfort from us or to take it away completely. We have a glorious comfort in this salutary teaching, that we know how we have been chosen for eternal life in Christ out of sheer grace, without any merit of our own, and that no one can tear us out of his hand. For he has assured us that he has graciously chosen us not only with mere words. He has corroborated this with an oath and sealed it with the holy sacraments. In the midst of our greatest trials we can remind ourselves of them, comfort ourselves with them, and thereby quench the fiery darts of the devil.” Ep. FC, XI.13.
“The reason why not all who hear the Word believe it (and thus receive the greater damnation) is not that God has not allowed them to be saved. Instead, it is their own fault, for they heard the Word not so that they might learn from it but only to despise, revile, and ridicule it; and they resisted the Holy Spirit, who wanted to work in them through the Word, as happened at Christ’s time with the Pharisees and their adherents [Matt. 23:26-36; Luke 11:37-54; John 7:48; 8:13; 9:16, 41; 12:42)”. SD XI., 78.
“The foreknowledge of God (praescientia) sees and knows…evil before it happens, but not in such a way as if it were God’s gracious will that it take place. Instead, before it happens, God sees and knows what the perverted, evil will of the devil and of human beings intends to and actually will undertake and do. Even in these evil activities and works God’s preascentia (that is, his foreknowledge) preserves order, in such a way that God sets the limits and boundaries for the evil which God does not will:
how far it can go and how long it can continue, when and how he will impede it and punish it. Besides that, God, the Lord rules all things so that they must promote the honor of his divine name and the welfare of his elect to the shame of the godless. God’s foreknowledge is not, however, the origin or cause of evil…Instead, the evil, perverted will of the devil and human beings is its origin and cause…[as it is written]: ‘You are not a God who delights in wickedness.’” Ibid, 6-7.
D. Inquiry and restraint
“We must carefully distinguish between what is specifically revealed in God’s Word concerning this article and what is not. For, beyond what has been said to this point…God has maintained silence and has hidden a great deal related to this mystery, reserving it for his wisdom and knowledge alone. We may not inquire into this or follow our own thoughts in this matter. We may not form conclusions or brood about this but must cling to the revealed Word. This reminder is most necessary.” SD XI. 52.