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Lecture 6

EURO ST 10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura, Adiaphora


Department
European Studies
Course Code
EURO ST 10
Professor
John Smith
Lecture
6

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Professor Smith
Europe Studies 10
Course Code: 24000
4 units
2018 Fall Quarter
Course Notes
Fundamental Tension in Luther
“Thus much concerning liberty, which, as you see, is a true and spiritual liberty,
making our hearts free from all sins, laws, and commandments; as Paul says: ‘The
law is not made for a righteous man’; and one which surpasses every other and
outward liberty, as far as heaven is above earth” (end of “freedom of a christian”)
This means a rejection of external laws and ceremonies as a means to faith or
salvation; and yet not a call for “license”
We must “walk in the middle path”
Does this give christians the right to resist authority? How? How not?
The notions of sola fide, sola scriptura, and sola gratia mean that no “works” and
no intermediary institution (the church) can contribute to salvation. Hence luther’s
campaign against “ceremonies” and indulgences, etc.
This led many to begin attacking and ransacking churches (recall the scene in the
trailer. But this was not luther’s intention)
Priesthood
He rejects the importance of the “priesthood” as a separate group of people who
have special access to the word of god
Instead, we are all priests”
Pastors are mere assistants in the caring of the faithful
They are servants
He says even the pope must be a servant” and not a vicar (Christ’s
representative on earth)
Why might luther have been misunderstood?
Luther’s rhetoric of freedom and equality…”the inestimable power and liberty of
christians” (115)
Nor are we only kings and the freest of all men, but all priests for ever...”(115)
...all we christians are kings and priests...”(117)
This bad system [in the catholic church] has now issued in such a pompous
display of power, and such a terrible tyranny, that no earthly government can be
compared to it...” (117)
That is, the freedom” of a christian entitles him to rail against tyranny
But all that talk concerning freedom is only spiritual
...for here Christ calls himself and his disciples free men, and children of a king,
in want of nothing; and yet he voluntarily submits and pays the tax...” (129)
Another version of the opening paradox
...christians should be subject to principalities and powers...” (129)
And althought tyrants may do me violence or wrong in requiring obedience to
these things, yet it will not hurt me to do them, so long as they are not done
against god” (130)
Hence
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