John Stott, defender of the Atonement, dies

The evangelical Anglican John Stott, a pastor and influential author died.  I remember reading Stott at a crucial time in my own spiritual pilgrimage.  Lutheran Anthony Sacramone offers a good tribute:

If you entered the evangelical world when I did, in the 1980s, you were immediately introduced to a Hall of Fame whose inhabitants, some living, some dead, and representing a variety of denominations, had a somewhat uniform presence in the various churches: C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, J.I. Packer, A.W. Tozer, Martin Lloyd Jones, even an Anglo-Catholic such as Dorothy Sayers and a Roman Catholic such as G.K. Chesterton. And, of course, John R.W. Stott, who fell asleep in the Lord today at age 90.

Stott was an evangelical Anglican who for many years preached at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, where no matter the controversy then roiling the Church of England you would always hear the Gospel, and the utter centrality of the Cross. In fact, Stott’s most significant contribution as a teacher may have been his classic work entitled just that, The Cross of Christ, a thorough and biblical defense of the penal-substitution theory of the atonement. In other words, in answer to the question, “What exactly happened on Calvary? What exactly did Jesus accomplish?” penal substitution replies: “Jesus took upon himself the just judgment and punishment due sinners. He accomplished the salvation of those who believe.”

This contentious doctrine continues to drive many up the walls, eliciting some of the most hysterical (in all senses of the words) reactions from Christians who come from traditions that construe the atonement in other ways. Stott never denied that Scripture pictures Christ’s death as multi-dimensional (as Savior, he is also our liberator, model, and healer), only that the minute you lose sight of His role as the ultimate sacrifice for sin, you have lost the key that unlocks the mystery of the Incarnation and how and why God saves.

via John R.W. Stott: Defender of the Faith » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • fws

    Ok. I liked the Lutheran summary of Stott’s thinking. I think it is both accurate and why his teaching was so popular.

    What marked Stott as different from Lutherans was that he denied that God only promises to bring us Justification in, with and under works commanded by God and done by human hands.

    He would have said that this would require us to say that we are Justified by works.

    For this reason , Stott denied that Justification only happens through what Lutherans call “Means of Grace.”

    The Lutheran response from the Apology would be to say that in Justification there are always 3 things that happen” 1) There is a Promise 2) Faith clings to the Promise and 3) Faith receives the Promised Mercy right where God locates the Promise. (art iV “On justification”). Christ Justified us 2000 years ago on the cross. But faith must have an object, outside of itself (“extra nos” in Latin) to cling to. And so God personally applies that promise here in 2011 “in, with and under” Word and Sacrament. It is important to note that , for a Lutheran, faith is in that invisible Promise that is “in , with and under” the commanded act.

    This is the fine point Stott missed. Faith in the outward act apart from the Promise would be idolatry. Yet to separate the outward act from the Promise to which God has joined it, and so not to see the Promise is also idolatry.

    For a Lutheran, justification does not happen then apart from external works done by sinful men by the command of God. This is why for Lutherans justification, in a very real way = word and sacrament, and it is why men here like Don don’t get Lutheranism and why we get heated over the Sacraments.

    To understand this all, one needs to understand the Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms as being another form of Law and Gospel taught. This informs Lutherans as to the intimate relationship between works and faith: Works are as separate from Faith as the earth is from the heavens. Yet faith is always to be found, alone, in, with and under works here on earth. Saving faith is entirely invisible this says. And at the same time it is always in with and under works.

    So why is it then that we cannot visibly distinguish faith from unfaith, wheat from fake wheat and sheep from goat? Because works , even the good works of word and sacrament are also all done by unbelievers as well! The difference is not at all the works done, it is that invisible faith that is “in, with and under” the works done. The difference is alone, in the heart.

  • fws

    Ok. I liked the Lutheran summary of Stott’s thinking. I think it is both accurate and why his teaching was so popular.

    What marked Stott as different from Lutherans was that he denied that God only promises to bring us Justification in, with and under works commanded by God and done by human hands.

    He would have said that this would require us to say that we are Justified by works.

    For this reason , Stott denied that Justification only happens through what Lutherans call “Means of Grace.”

    The Lutheran response from the Apology would be to say that in Justification there are always 3 things that happen” 1) There is a Promise 2) Faith clings to the Promise and 3) Faith receives the Promised Mercy right where God locates the Promise. (art iV “On justification”). Christ Justified us 2000 years ago on the cross. But faith must have an object, outside of itself (“extra nos” in Latin) to cling to. And so God personally applies that promise here in 2011 “in, with and under” Word and Sacrament. It is important to note that , for a Lutheran, faith is in that invisible Promise that is “in , with and under” the commanded act.

    This is the fine point Stott missed. Faith in the outward act apart from the Promise would be idolatry. Yet to separate the outward act from the Promise to which God has joined it, and so not to see the Promise is also idolatry.

    For a Lutheran, justification does not happen then apart from external works done by sinful men by the command of God. This is why for Lutherans justification, in a very real way = word and sacrament, and it is why men here like Don don’t get Lutheranism and why we get heated over the Sacraments.

    To understand this all, one needs to understand the Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms as being another form of Law and Gospel taught. This informs Lutherans as to the intimate relationship between works and faith: Works are as separate from Faith as the earth is from the heavens. Yet faith is always to be found, alone, in, with and under works here on earth. Saving faith is entirely invisible this says. And at the same time it is always in with and under works.

    So why is it then that we cannot visibly distinguish faith from unfaith, wheat from fake wheat and sheep from goat? Because works , even the good works of word and sacrament are also all done by unbelievers as well! The difference is not at all the works done, it is that invisible faith that is “in, with and under” the works done. The difference is alone, in the heart.

  • fws

    To summarize, this is why the reformed, even the better ones like Stott, differ from Lutherans on the sacraments and (not coincidentally!) as to the relation of faith to works as well!

    Reformed: Good works always accompany faith in Christ!

    So then , Good works are the proof of faith, and to be proof, those works of a Christian have to be tangible and evident. This part is true and simply logic. Works are what one does so they must be able to be seen. But then they also add that those “christian” works must also be different than those of pagans as to their qualities and quantity. Here Lutherans differ.

    Lutherans say this instead: In a christian, faith will always accompany works.

    This is to say that it is God the Holy Spirit who providences his Fatherly Goodness and Mercy to be done among all men whether Christian or Pagan , by the carrots and sticks of the Divinely Revealed Law found in the Reason of all men. But in Christians only, these works are accompanied by faith, which is ‘in, with and under” the works done.

    And so works are the proof that faith is living. How? Faith accepts the judgement of God as to our works and so our best works terrify us! It does not attempt to flee that judgement by doing more and better works to appease God. Faith knows this is idolatry. And then faith, right there in, with and under our visible works, turns alone to the Works of Christ, and hides our visible works behind those works of Christ alone.

    Faith puts the works of Christ to work in with and under the works that our sinfilled human hands are able to do.

  • fws

    To summarize, this is why the reformed, even the better ones like Stott, differ from Lutherans on the sacraments and (not coincidentally!) as to the relation of faith to works as well!

    Reformed: Good works always accompany faith in Christ!

    So then , Good works are the proof of faith, and to be proof, those works of a Christian have to be tangible and evident. This part is true and simply logic. Works are what one does so they must be able to be seen. But then they also add that those “christian” works must also be different than those of pagans as to their qualities and quantity. Here Lutherans differ.

    Lutherans say this instead: In a christian, faith will always accompany works.

    This is to say that it is God the Holy Spirit who providences his Fatherly Goodness and Mercy to be done among all men whether Christian or Pagan , by the carrots and sticks of the Divinely Revealed Law found in the Reason of all men. But in Christians only, these works are accompanied by faith, which is ‘in, with and under” the works done.

    And so works are the proof that faith is living. How? Faith accepts the judgement of God as to our works and so our best works terrify us! It does not attempt to flee that judgement by doing more and better works to appease God. Faith knows this is idolatry. And then faith, right there in, with and under our visible works, turns alone to the Works of Christ, and hides our visible works behind those works of Christ alone.

    Faith puts the works of Christ to work in with and under the works that our sinfilled human hands are able to do.

  • fws

    So then why is it that a Christian is to do Good Works?

    1) Faith believes the Word of God. That Word says that if we fail to do Love for our neighbor, God threatens to send the government or other things to punish us and force us to do this Love. So we are to fear God and not do contrary to his commandments.

    2) Faith trusts the Word of God and so even though his works terrify him because of what God tells him about his works and his heart, he sees the Promise right there, in with and under his works, which tells him that he will not die on account of those works and that God is pleased with him. So his conscience can be at rest in spite of his works. God cannot become an Object of Love as long as the Law can accuse us.

    3) Faith loves God because God is no longer angry with him. And so faith is also free to love his neighbor because now he no longer has the task of working to appease God. Faith can focus the entire effort of hands mind and body towards the urgent needs of his neighbor. Works are no longer to please/appease God. God is already fully pleased in his Son. So works can now be only and all about pleasing our neighbor. And , being pleased, they will give thanks to God! We are now free to do Mercy rather than Sacrifice is now the Confessions put this.

  • fws

    So then why is it that a Christian is to do Good Works?

    1) Faith believes the Word of God. That Word says that if we fail to do Love for our neighbor, God threatens to send the government or other things to punish us and force us to do this Love. So we are to fear God and not do contrary to his commandments.

    2) Faith trusts the Word of God and so even though his works terrify him because of what God tells him about his works and his heart, he sees the Promise right there, in with and under his works, which tells him that he will not die on account of those works and that God is pleased with him. So his conscience can be at rest in spite of his works. God cannot become an Object of Love as long as the Law can accuse us.

    3) Faith loves God because God is no longer angry with him. And so faith is also free to love his neighbor because now he no longer has the task of working to appease God. Faith can focus the entire effort of hands mind and body towards the urgent needs of his neighbor. Works are no longer to please/appease God. God is already fully pleased in his Son. So works can now be only and all about pleasing our neighbor. And , being pleased, they will give thanks to God! We are now free to do Mercy rather than Sacrifice is now the Confessions put this.

  • fws

    So the aim of good works and conformity to the Law is to Love and not the glorification of a sovreign God. God is glorified alone In Christ and alone in faith.

    Faith is the Image of God , not conformity to the Law that is in works.

  • fws

    So the aim of good works and conformity to the Law is to Love and not the glorification of a sovreign God. God is glorified alone In Christ and alone in faith.

    Faith is the Image of God , not conformity to the Law that is in works.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Nice job, fws, laying out the whole “in, under, and with” action of God to be in the means of Grace.

    I remember that when I first became a Lutheran, this was not explained too well (or I just didn’t understand it) to me, but your explanation is quite helpful.

    And while I’m not very familiar with Stott, your explanation of his thinking does seem to fit many in the Evangelical world who also do not have a high regard for the Sacraments.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Nice job, fws, laying out the whole “in, under, and with” action of God to be in the means of Grace.

    I remember that when I first became a Lutheran, this was not explained too well (or I just didn’t understand it) to me, but your explanation is quite helpful.

    And while I’m not very familiar with Stott, your explanation of his thinking does seem to fit many in the Evangelical world who also do not have a high regard for the Sacraments.

  • DonS

    John Stott was a giant of the faith, and an important influence on my faith in my own early adulthood.

  • DonS

    John Stott was a giant of the faith, and an important influence on my faith in my own early adulthood.

  • larry

    What Frank is saying is really the sine quo non of Luther and where he/we differ essentially, as essentially as Rome to Luther did and more. It goes right to the root of faith and Word and flowers outward into what true sola fide, scriptura, gratia really mean. This was the though of Luther throughout that led him to reject Rome of his time and what would become the “radical” (reformed = calvin, arminian, etc…) reformers both in his time and by extension that which came about and is today.

    A nice quote from Walther von Loewenichs on “Luther’s Theology of the Cross” really captures this I think:

    “This, however, brings us a step farther in our understanding of the relationship between faith and Word. We have observed the belonging together of faith and Word from the viewpoint of the line of experience. But as in the presentation of the idea of special faith (saving faith) we were made aware of the two sidedness of the problem of faith and experience, so it is also with the theme of faith and Word. We may consider it from this viewpoint: Faith is not empty; experience arises in the Word. Or as we have already intimated, we can take the Word precisely as the element of inability to experience. By the fact that faith is directed only and alone to the Word – “we have the Word alone” – the renunciation of all experience, rather, all objective experience, is proclaimed. IT IS PRECISELY THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WORD, FOR EXAMPLE, IN TIME OF TRIAL, THAT THROUGH THE WORD WE ARE FREED FROM ALL ANXIOUS SELF-OBSERVATION, FREED FROM ATTACHING VALUE TO OUR OWN PIOUS FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES, FREED ULTIMATELY FROM OUR OWN EMPIRICAL SELF. THE WORD PROVES TO BE THE SHARP, TWO-EDGED SWORD, THAT CUTS THROUGH ALL THE BOUNDS THAT WOULD TIE FAITH TO OUR EMPIRICAL CONDITION.” (emphasis added) –End Quote (Chapter on Luther’s Doctrine of Faith, page 102, third paragraph)

    In this we see just why the Word in, with and under the means of grace are so powerful and real and precisely where the disconnect is theologically between both Rome and Reformed (in the broad sense, arminian and Calvinistic). That’s why the theological essential difference manifest itself in the sacraments. It’s why “I am baptized” means assurance to the Lutheran…to the Christian, especially in time of trial. For the Word, in, with and under the means of grace FREE one from all other empirical evidences (including that which reason imagines), literally frees the soul and body, from these hellish trials and temptations to the nude invisible Worded promise. It is of the very ESSENCE of faith to not be deceived, hence for example, “I am baptized” IS faith not being deceived though the trial against it says, “Yes but see, reason, here…”

    Examples abound from God in the flesh, omnipresence in the local body of Christ here, omnipotence in the impotence of the Cross; and the mystery of the Trinity; to the sacraments (they just look like water, bread and wine to sense and reason, it appears nothing happens, what about those that fall away = devil’s reasoning = “hath God really said”); to the church (she looks like she’s failing all the time); to end times (the point in Paul’s day is alive today, the longer the Lord tarries the more reason says, “where is the promise of His coming”, yet faith sees the positive in the Word “promised coming” amidst the darkness and hiddeness of his tarrying to reason, sense and experience; to even creationism versus old earth. In fact evidence that the earth is old is necessary to hide the article of faith in creation in Genesis. This is why we confess “I believe in God the Father almighty creator of heaven and earth…” and not say “I see, understand, assess, reason, figure out, experience…God the Father is the creator…”.

    Faith is put on trial when reason, senses, feelings, empirical evidences give one thing that is in opposition to what the Word speaks so that ONLY faith can have them and that ‘room is made for faith, quite literally, alone’. Only faith “breaks through” the trial of the opposite to the “other side” to the Word, the Word which seems to be absurdly speaking something opposite of what reason, feeling, etc…empirical evidences are displaying and rationalizing. In our example of “I am baptized”, that is faith breaking through the trial of all that says against “I am baptized” (the trials).

  • larry

    What Frank is saying is really the sine quo non of Luther and where he/we differ essentially, as essentially as Rome to Luther did and more. It goes right to the root of faith and Word and flowers outward into what true sola fide, scriptura, gratia really mean. This was the though of Luther throughout that led him to reject Rome of his time and what would become the “radical” (reformed = calvin, arminian, etc…) reformers both in his time and by extension that which came about and is today.

    A nice quote from Walther von Loewenichs on “Luther’s Theology of the Cross” really captures this I think:

    “This, however, brings us a step farther in our understanding of the relationship between faith and Word. We have observed the belonging together of faith and Word from the viewpoint of the line of experience. But as in the presentation of the idea of special faith (saving faith) we were made aware of the two sidedness of the problem of faith and experience, so it is also with the theme of faith and Word. We may consider it from this viewpoint: Faith is not empty; experience arises in the Word. Or as we have already intimated, we can take the Word precisely as the element of inability to experience. By the fact that faith is directed only and alone to the Word – “we have the Word alone” – the renunciation of all experience, rather, all objective experience, is proclaimed. IT IS PRECISELY THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WORD, FOR EXAMPLE, IN TIME OF TRIAL, THAT THROUGH THE WORD WE ARE FREED FROM ALL ANXIOUS SELF-OBSERVATION, FREED FROM ATTACHING VALUE TO OUR OWN PIOUS FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES, FREED ULTIMATELY FROM OUR OWN EMPIRICAL SELF. THE WORD PROVES TO BE THE SHARP, TWO-EDGED SWORD, THAT CUTS THROUGH ALL THE BOUNDS THAT WOULD TIE FAITH TO OUR EMPIRICAL CONDITION.” (emphasis added) –End Quote (Chapter on Luther’s Doctrine of Faith, page 102, third paragraph)

    In this we see just why the Word in, with and under the means of grace are so powerful and real and precisely where the disconnect is theologically between both Rome and Reformed (in the broad sense, arminian and Calvinistic). That’s why the theological essential difference manifest itself in the sacraments. It’s why “I am baptized” means assurance to the Lutheran…to the Christian, especially in time of trial. For the Word, in, with and under the means of grace FREE one from all other empirical evidences (including that which reason imagines), literally frees the soul and body, from these hellish trials and temptations to the nude invisible Worded promise. It is of the very ESSENCE of faith to not be deceived, hence for example, “I am baptized” IS faith not being deceived though the trial against it says, “Yes but see, reason, here…”

    Examples abound from God in the flesh, omnipresence in the local body of Christ here, omnipotence in the impotence of the Cross; and the mystery of the Trinity; to the sacraments (they just look like water, bread and wine to sense and reason, it appears nothing happens, what about those that fall away = devil’s reasoning = “hath God really said”); to the church (she looks like she’s failing all the time); to end times (the point in Paul’s day is alive today, the longer the Lord tarries the more reason says, “where is the promise of His coming”, yet faith sees the positive in the Word “promised coming” amidst the darkness and hiddeness of his tarrying to reason, sense and experience; to even creationism versus old earth. In fact evidence that the earth is old is necessary to hide the article of faith in creation in Genesis. This is why we confess “I believe in God the Father almighty creator of heaven and earth…” and not say “I see, understand, assess, reason, figure out, experience…God the Father is the creator…”.

    Faith is put on trial when reason, senses, feelings, empirical evidences give one thing that is in opposition to what the Word speaks so that ONLY faith can have them and that ‘room is made for faith, quite literally, alone’. Only faith “breaks through” the trial of the opposite to the “other side” to the Word, the Word which seems to be absurdly speaking something opposite of what reason, feeling, etc…empirical evidences are displaying and rationalizing. In our example of “I am baptized”, that is faith breaking through the trial of all that says against “I am baptized” (the trials).

  • George A. Marquart

    “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” John R. W. Stott was indeed a giant among the servants of God.

    When I was trying to figure out what our Lord meant by the “Gospel of the Kingdom” in contrast to what we Lutherans call the “Theology of the Cross”, I came across this passage in one of John Stott’s books, “Certainly we must never conceive ‘salvation’ in purely negative terms, as if it consisted only of our rescue from sin, guilt, wrath and death. We thank God that it is all these things. But it also includes the positive blessing of the Holy Spirit to regenerate, indwell, liberate and transform us.” (John R. W. Stott, Baptism and Fullness. The Work of the Holy Spirit today. Inter Varsity Press, P. 25, 26.)

    The other memorable quote from that book (here I paraphrase, because I gave the book away), is, “The West has lost the faith, and is therefore loosing its values.” He was writing about the fact that moral behavior is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit after conversion.

    Sadly, some years ago when I asked a professor at one of our seminaries what he thought of John Stott, he responded, “He is some kind of Pentecostal, isn’t he?” Verily I say unto you, more than a Pentecostal!

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

    BTW, his mother was a Lutheran.

  • George A. Marquart

    “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” John R. W. Stott was indeed a giant among the servants of God.

    When I was trying to figure out what our Lord meant by the “Gospel of the Kingdom” in contrast to what we Lutherans call the “Theology of the Cross”, I came across this passage in one of John Stott’s books, “Certainly we must never conceive ‘salvation’ in purely negative terms, as if it consisted only of our rescue from sin, guilt, wrath and death. We thank God that it is all these things. But it also includes the positive blessing of the Holy Spirit to regenerate, indwell, liberate and transform us.” (John R. W. Stott, Baptism and Fullness. The Work of the Holy Spirit today. Inter Varsity Press, P. 25, 26.)

    The other memorable quote from that book (here I paraphrase, because I gave the book away), is, “The West has lost the faith, and is therefore loosing its values.” He was writing about the fact that moral behavior is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit after conversion.

    Sadly, some years ago when I asked a professor at one of our seminaries what he thought of John Stott, he responded, “He is some kind of Pentecostal, isn’t he?” Verily I say unto you, more than a Pentecostal!

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

    BTW, his mother was a Lutheran.

  • fws

    marquart @ 8

    indeed moral behavior is the work of the Holy Spirit both before and after conversion and is the Holy Spirit extorting that mercy out of Old Adam by the Law.

    there is nothing uniquely christian about moral behavior. Christian is alone faith alone in Christ alone apart from the deeds of the Law.

    in regeneration we receive Christ in us as our New Man. This is not transformation. that would be to make old into new. This is New new new creation. the old adam can only die. he will never be transformed.

    Stott had a different vision. for him the kingdom comes in a way that can be seen. Our Lord says in st Luke that the kingdom comes in a way that cannot be seen.

  • fws

    marquart @ 8

    indeed moral behavior is the work of the Holy Spirit both before and after conversion and is the Holy Spirit extorting that mercy out of Old Adam by the Law.

    there is nothing uniquely christian about moral behavior. Christian is alone faith alone in Christ alone apart from the deeds of the Law.

    in regeneration we receive Christ in us as our New Man. This is not transformation. that would be to make old into new. This is New new new creation. the old adam can only die. he will never be transformed.

    Stott had a different vision. for him the kingdom comes in a way that can be seen. Our Lord says in st Luke that the kingdom comes in a way that cannot be seen.

  • George A. Marquart

    FSW @ 9

    I cannot comment authoritatively on Stott’s vision of the coming of the Kingdom, but from what I have read of his, it does not contradict anything that orthodox Lutherans believe. Having said that, Lutherans believe very little about the Kingdom, for the reason outlined in my earlier posting. We do not look much beyond the Theology of the Cross. But our Lord insisted that (Luke 4: 43), “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

    Presumably you are referring to Luke 17: 20, “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” But what the world cannot see, we see with the eyes of faith.

    Our Lord uses the word “παρατηρησεως”, which refers to “visual evidence”, not the evidence of faith. We know of course that on Pentecost the Kingdom did come with visual evidence, but our Lord refers to the continual coming of the Kingdom, about which He asked us to pray. You will see it coming the next time you see a Baptism. There is no sign that says, “The Kingdom is coming”, but the soul sees a miracle.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    FSW @ 9

    I cannot comment authoritatively on Stott’s vision of the coming of the Kingdom, but from what I have read of his, it does not contradict anything that orthodox Lutherans believe. Having said that, Lutherans believe very little about the Kingdom, for the reason outlined in my earlier posting. We do not look much beyond the Theology of the Cross. But our Lord insisted that (Luke 4: 43), “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

    Presumably you are referring to Luke 17: 20, “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” But what the world cannot see, we see with the eyes of faith.

    Our Lord uses the word “παρατηρησεως”, which refers to “visual evidence”, not the evidence of faith. We know of course that on Pentecost the Kingdom did come with visual evidence, but our Lord refers to the continual coming of the Kingdom, about which He asked us to pray. You will see it coming the next time you see a Baptism. There is no sign that says, “The Kingdom is coming”, but the soul sees a miracle.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • larry

    “Having said that, Lutherans believe very little about the Kingdom, for the reason outlined in my earlier posting.”

    I don’t agree at all with this having moved from the baptist/reformed realm to Lutheran and reading a lot of Luther and the early Lutheran fathers, not a little but a LOT is written and discussed and proclaimed about the Kingdom. In fact I never saw nor had hope for the Kingdom until I began reading Luther/Lutheran.

    In fact it is richly engrained within the theology of the Cross. Those who do not understand the TOC only see it negatively, yet it is the positive of positives.

    In fact some of the sweetest writings on the kingdom come from the pen of Luther and the early Lutheran fathers, not to mention the saturated essence of the kingdom in the liturgies.

    So to say that “…Lutherans believe very little about the Kingdom…”, while it may be true that Lutherans in large American swaths (life long generational ones) have very grown sleepy eyed at this subjectively, it is utter nonesense objectively.

    It’s like sitting at a table feast full of the choicest of foods and wines of plentiful over abundance and belly aching and saying, “Eh, I don’t see much food here”.

  • larry

    “Having said that, Lutherans believe very little about the Kingdom, for the reason outlined in my earlier posting.”

    I don’t agree at all with this having moved from the baptist/reformed realm to Lutheran and reading a lot of Luther and the early Lutheran fathers, not a little but a LOT is written and discussed and proclaimed about the Kingdom. In fact I never saw nor had hope for the Kingdom until I began reading Luther/Lutheran.

    In fact it is richly engrained within the theology of the Cross. Those who do not understand the TOC only see it negatively, yet it is the positive of positives.

    In fact some of the sweetest writings on the kingdom come from the pen of Luther and the early Lutheran fathers, not to mention the saturated essence of the kingdom in the liturgies.

    So to say that “…Lutherans believe very little about the Kingdom…”, while it may be true that Lutherans in large American swaths (life long generational ones) have very grown sleepy eyed at this subjectively, it is utter nonesense objectively.

    It’s like sitting at a table feast full of the choicest of foods and wines of plentiful over abundance and belly aching and saying, “Eh, I don’t see much food here”.

  • George A. Marquart

    Larry @11

    This is not to suggest a compromise just so we both can agree, but sadly, I am reasonably certain from my many years as a Lutheran, that we are both right. Indeed both Luther and the other German reformers wrote a great deal about the Kingdom. In the case of Luther, my major complaint is that I cannot make sense of his explanation of the Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer.

    My point is precisely that “Lutherans believe very little about the Kingdom” today, in spite of some of the wonderful things Luther, Chemnitz, a Stöckhardt, to name just a few wrote about the Kingdom. The after-Calvary aspect of our faith is much neglected.

    It is indeed right and proper that we should at all times remember what our Lord accomplished for us on the cross. But inasmuch as He Himself said (Luke 4: 43), “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose,” we should be aware of what He did for us afterwards, when, in the words of one of the oldest Christian hymns, the Te Deum, “He opened the Kingdom to all believers.” Or, as St. Paul wrote (Colossians 1: 13), “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

    At least from my observation, our people do not think of themselves as being in the Kingdom, and our pastors do not preach about it a great deal. Maybe they are somewhat conflicted when they remember that, “The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself; but we pray in this petition that it may come unto us also.”

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Larry @11

    This is not to suggest a compromise just so we both can agree, but sadly, I am reasonably certain from my many years as a Lutheran, that we are both right. Indeed both Luther and the other German reformers wrote a great deal about the Kingdom. In the case of Luther, my major complaint is that I cannot make sense of his explanation of the Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer.

    My point is precisely that “Lutherans believe very little about the Kingdom” today, in spite of some of the wonderful things Luther, Chemnitz, a Stöckhardt, to name just a few wrote about the Kingdom. The after-Calvary aspect of our faith is much neglected.

    It is indeed right and proper that we should at all times remember what our Lord accomplished for us on the cross. But inasmuch as He Himself said (Luke 4: 43), “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose,” we should be aware of what He did for us afterwards, when, in the words of one of the oldest Christian hymns, the Te Deum, “He opened the Kingdom to all believers.” Or, as St. Paul wrote (Colossians 1: 13), “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

    At least from my observation, our people do not think of themselves as being in the Kingdom, and our pastors do not preach about it a great deal. Maybe they are somewhat conflicted when they remember that, “The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself; but we pray in this petition that it may come unto us also.”

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • fws

    My dear friend George Maquart,

    And I do consider you a friend from the many excellent posts you have posted here.

    Here maybe is one place I can point out something missing. Lutherans talk about Two Kingdoms. There is an earthly kingdom where God rules by the Law and includes everything that you and I can see and do in our bodies both before and after regeneration. Some modern Lutherans say that this earthly kingdom is the two ordos of family and civil government but not the ordo of the Church. But the ordo of Church is part of this kingdom. We enter the visible church, which is an earthly government just as any other government, with one exception, by Baptism.

    Then there is a Heavenly Kingdom. This kingdom is, as Luther says, as far from the earthly kingdom as earth is from heaven, and, to address your point George it does not include anything we can see or do in our bodies. Luther says “How could it?! ALL those things we can see and do in our bodies are already ALL included in that other earthly kingdom of the Law.” We enter this kingdom, the “communion of saints” that is only to be found in, with and under that earthly kingdom ordo of the Holy Catholic Church by Holy Baptism. But this entering is that invisible “comes in a way that cannot be seen”. Here invisible Faith clings to the Promise that is invisibly in with and under the waters of Holy Baptism and invisibly receives, right there, the Promised Mercy applied personally by his baptismal Name.

    So George, my point is this: Whenever Lutherans talk about the Kingdom of God, they say that that ONE Kingdom, that is full of Fatherly Goodness and Mercy, that comes “indeed without our prayer…worthiness….even to all the wicked” is brought by God in two ways. One way is Law (1st article, second and third article) and the other way alone by the Gospel (second and third article, in, with and under).

    So in both Kingdoms of Law and Gospel, Goodness and Mercy are gifts of God that he promises to work. This is why in the second petition Luther says “the kingdom of God comes indeed without our asking but we pray that it would come unto us also.” It is God who works in all men, both to will and to do of His Good Pleasure, both by the Law and by the Gospel. This happens both before and after regeneration George. The difference is not in what we do then. The difference regeneration makes is alone faith, alone in Christ. This is what the Apology calls “new heart movements”.

    George this is also why FC art VI is , exactly, the Lutheran exposition of the Two Kingdoms and how they come to us exactly in the lives of the Believer. Please do read the sermon that FC Art VI points to as the basis and amplification of that article. The topic of Luther there is what? It is the Two Kingdoms and the righteousness God works in both by Law and Gospel! There , in that sermon , you will find the Lutheran teaching of the Kingdom.

    And now dear George, here is what Luther has to say in the Large Catechism about the second petition:

    17] Let this be the first and most important point, that all our prayers must be based and rest upon obedience to God, irrespective of our person, whether we be sinners or saints, worthy or unworthy. 18] And we must know that God will not have it treated as a jest, but be angry, and punish all who do not pray, as surely as He punishes all other disobedience; next, that He will not suffer our prayers to be in vain or lost. For if He did not intend to answer your prayer, He would not bid you pray and add such a severe commandment to it.

    So here even prayer is earthly kingdom Law George. Stott did not believe this. Lutherans do. We do not pray as we ought. And God will surely allow suffering to come to force us to pray more. Faith will accept this earthly kingdom suffering and judgement of God and not flee it because it rests in the heavenly kingdom that is alone faith in Christ and his Perfect Work. And this looks like the following:

    19] In the second place, we should be the more urged and incited to pray because God has also added a promise, and declared that it shall surely be done to us as we pray, as He says Ps. 50:15: Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee. And Christ in the Gospel of St. Matthew 7:7: Ask, and it shall be given you. For every one that asketh receiveth. 20] Such promises ought certainly to encourage and kindle our hearts to pray with pleasure and delight, since He testifies with His [own] word that our prayer is heartily pleasing to Him, moreover, that it shall assuredly be heard and granted, in order that we may not despise it or think lightly of it, and pray at a venture.

    21] This you can hold up to Him and say: Here I come, dear Father, and pray, not of my own purpose nor upon my own worthiness, but at Thy commandment and promise, which cannot fail or deceive me. Whoever, therefore, does not believe this promise must know again that he excites God to anger as a person who most highly dishonors Him and reproaches Him with falsehood.

    22] Besides this, we should be incited and drawn to prayer because in addition to this commandment and promise God anticipates us, and Himself arranges the words and form of prayer for us, and places them upon our lips as to how and what we should pray, that we may see how heartily He pities us in our distress, and may never doubt that such prayer is pleasing to Him and shall certainly be answered; which [the Lord's Prayer] is a great advantage indeed over all other prayers that we might compose ourselves. 23] For in them the conscience would ever be in doubt and say: I have prayed, but who knows how it pleases Him, or whether I have hit upon the right proportions and form? Hence there is no nobler prayer to be found upon earth than the Lord’s Prayer which we daily pray, because it has this excellent testimony, that God loves to hear it, which we ought not to surrender for all the riches of the world.

    24] And it has been prescribed also for this reason that we should see and consider the distress which ought to urge and compel us to pray without ceasing. For whoever would pray must have something to present, state, and name which he desires; if not, it cannot be called a prayer.

    And so now , specifically, what Luther has to say about that second petition George:

    50] But just as the name of God is in itself holy, and we pray nevertheless that it be holy among us, so also His kingdom comes of itself, without our prayer, yet we pray nevertheless that it may come to us, that is, prevail among us and with us, so that we may be a part of those among whom His name is hallowed and His kingdom prospers.

    51] But what is the kingdom of God? Answer: Nothing else than what we learned in the Creed, that God sent His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, into the world to redeem and deliver us from the power of the devil, and to bring us to Himself, and to govern us as a King of righteousness, life, and salvation against sin, death, and an evil conscience, for which end He has also bestowed His Holy Ghost, who is to bring these things home to us by His holy Word, and to illumine and strengthen us in the faith by His power.

    52] Therefore we pray here in the first place that this may become effective with us, and that His name be so praised through the holy Word of God and a Christian life [Gospel and Law here! ] that both we who have accepted it may abide and daily grow therein, and that it may gain approbation and adherence among other people and proceed with power throughout the world, that many may find entrance into the Kingdom of Grace, be made partakers of redemption, being led thereto by the Holy Ghost, in order that thus we may all together remain forever in the one kingdom now begun.

    53] For the coming of God’s Kingdom to us occurs in two ways; first, here in time through the Word and faith; and secondly, in eternity forever through revelation. Now we pray for both these things, that it may come to those who are not yet in it, and, by daily increase, to us who have received the same, and hereafter in eternal life. 54] All this is nothing else than saying: Dear Father, we pray, give us first Thy Word, that the Gospel be preached properly throughout the world; and secondly, that it be received in faith, and work and live in us, so that through the Word and the power of the Holy Ghost Thy kingdom may prevail among us, and the kingdom of the devil be put down, that he may have no right or power over us, until at last it shall be utterly destroyed, and sin, death, and hell shall be exterminated, that we may live forever in perfect righteousness and blessedness.

    Peace and blessings to you dear George!

  • fws

    My dear friend George Maquart,

    And I do consider you a friend from the many excellent posts you have posted here.

    Here maybe is one place I can point out something missing. Lutherans talk about Two Kingdoms. There is an earthly kingdom where God rules by the Law and includes everything that you and I can see and do in our bodies both before and after regeneration. Some modern Lutherans say that this earthly kingdom is the two ordos of family and civil government but not the ordo of the Church. But the ordo of Church is part of this kingdom. We enter the visible church, which is an earthly government just as any other government, with one exception, by Baptism.

    Then there is a Heavenly Kingdom. This kingdom is, as Luther says, as far from the earthly kingdom as earth is from heaven, and, to address your point George it does not include anything we can see or do in our bodies. Luther says “How could it?! ALL those things we can see and do in our bodies are already ALL included in that other earthly kingdom of the Law.” We enter this kingdom, the “communion of saints” that is only to be found in, with and under that earthly kingdom ordo of the Holy Catholic Church by Holy Baptism. But this entering is that invisible “comes in a way that cannot be seen”. Here invisible Faith clings to the Promise that is invisibly in with and under the waters of Holy Baptism and invisibly receives, right there, the Promised Mercy applied personally by his baptismal Name.

    So George, my point is this: Whenever Lutherans talk about the Kingdom of God, they say that that ONE Kingdom, that is full of Fatherly Goodness and Mercy, that comes “indeed without our prayer…worthiness….even to all the wicked” is brought by God in two ways. One way is Law (1st article, second and third article) and the other way alone by the Gospel (second and third article, in, with and under).

    So in both Kingdoms of Law and Gospel, Goodness and Mercy are gifts of God that he promises to work. This is why in the second petition Luther says “the kingdom of God comes indeed without our asking but we pray that it would come unto us also.” It is God who works in all men, both to will and to do of His Good Pleasure, both by the Law and by the Gospel. This happens both before and after regeneration George. The difference is not in what we do then. The difference regeneration makes is alone faith, alone in Christ. This is what the Apology calls “new heart movements”.

    George this is also why FC art VI is , exactly, the Lutheran exposition of the Two Kingdoms and how they come to us exactly in the lives of the Believer. Please do read the sermon that FC Art VI points to as the basis and amplification of that article. The topic of Luther there is what? It is the Two Kingdoms and the righteousness God works in both by Law and Gospel! There , in that sermon , you will find the Lutheran teaching of the Kingdom.

    And now dear George, here is what Luther has to say in the Large Catechism about the second petition:

    17] Let this be the first and most important point, that all our prayers must be based and rest upon obedience to God, irrespective of our person, whether we be sinners or saints, worthy or unworthy. 18] And we must know that God will not have it treated as a jest, but be angry, and punish all who do not pray, as surely as He punishes all other disobedience; next, that He will not suffer our prayers to be in vain or lost. For if He did not intend to answer your prayer, He would not bid you pray and add such a severe commandment to it.

    So here even prayer is earthly kingdom Law George. Stott did not believe this. Lutherans do. We do not pray as we ought. And God will surely allow suffering to come to force us to pray more. Faith will accept this earthly kingdom suffering and judgement of God and not flee it because it rests in the heavenly kingdom that is alone faith in Christ and his Perfect Work. And this looks like the following:

    19] In the second place, we should be the more urged and incited to pray because God has also added a promise, and declared that it shall surely be done to us as we pray, as He says Ps. 50:15: Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee. And Christ in the Gospel of St. Matthew 7:7: Ask, and it shall be given you. For every one that asketh receiveth. 20] Such promises ought certainly to encourage and kindle our hearts to pray with pleasure and delight, since He testifies with His [own] word that our prayer is heartily pleasing to Him, moreover, that it shall assuredly be heard and granted, in order that we may not despise it or think lightly of it, and pray at a venture.

    21] This you can hold up to Him and say: Here I come, dear Father, and pray, not of my own purpose nor upon my own worthiness, but at Thy commandment and promise, which cannot fail or deceive me. Whoever, therefore, does not believe this promise must know again that he excites God to anger as a person who most highly dishonors Him and reproaches Him with falsehood.

    22] Besides this, we should be incited and drawn to prayer because in addition to this commandment and promise God anticipates us, and Himself arranges the words and form of prayer for us, and places them upon our lips as to how and what we should pray, that we may see how heartily He pities us in our distress, and may never doubt that such prayer is pleasing to Him and shall certainly be answered; which [the Lord's Prayer] is a great advantage indeed over all other prayers that we might compose ourselves. 23] For in them the conscience would ever be in doubt and say: I have prayed, but who knows how it pleases Him, or whether I have hit upon the right proportions and form? Hence there is no nobler prayer to be found upon earth than the Lord’s Prayer which we daily pray, because it has this excellent testimony, that God loves to hear it, which we ought not to surrender for all the riches of the world.

    24] And it has been prescribed also for this reason that we should see and consider the distress which ought to urge and compel us to pray without ceasing. For whoever would pray must have something to present, state, and name which he desires; if not, it cannot be called a prayer.

    And so now , specifically, what Luther has to say about that second petition George:

    50] But just as the name of God is in itself holy, and we pray nevertheless that it be holy among us, so also His kingdom comes of itself, without our prayer, yet we pray nevertheless that it may come to us, that is, prevail among us and with us, so that we may be a part of those among whom His name is hallowed and His kingdom prospers.

    51] But what is the kingdom of God? Answer: Nothing else than what we learned in the Creed, that God sent His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, into the world to redeem and deliver us from the power of the devil, and to bring us to Himself, and to govern us as a King of righteousness, life, and salvation against sin, death, and an evil conscience, for which end He has also bestowed His Holy Ghost, who is to bring these things home to us by His holy Word, and to illumine and strengthen us in the faith by His power.

    52] Therefore we pray here in the first place that this may become effective with us, and that His name be so praised through the holy Word of God and a Christian life [Gospel and Law here! ] that both we who have accepted it may abide and daily grow therein, and that it may gain approbation and adherence among other people and proceed with power throughout the world, that many may find entrance into the Kingdom of Grace, be made partakers of redemption, being led thereto by the Holy Ghost, in order that thus we may all together remain forever in the one kingdom now begun.

    53] For the coming of God’s Kingdom to us occurs in two ways; first, here in time through the Word and faith; and secondly, in eternity forever through revelation. Now we pray for both these things, that it may come to those who are not yet in it, and, by daily increase, to us who have received the same, and hereafter in eternal life. 54] All this is nothing else than saying: Dear Father, we pray, give us first Thy Word, that the Gospel be preached properly throughout the world; and secondly, that it be received in faith, and work and live in us, so that through the Word and the power of the Holy Ghost Thy kingdom may prevail among us, and the kingdom of the devil be put down, that he may have no right or power over us, until at last it shall be utterly destroyed, and sin, death, and hell shall be exterminated, that we may live forever in perfect righteousness and blessedness.

    Peace and blessings to you dear George!

  • fws

    George, the solution to Lutheran poverty as to Kingdom talk is not to point to Stott. It is rather to point Lutherans to read their own Confessions.

    There they will find that our dear Lord’s parables are nothing less than a his 3 year lecture series on Law and Gospel in the form of the Two Kingdoms that come by Law and Gospel. This is how the Kingdom of God is presented in FC art VI in the lives of believers, and I bet money George, that you have never read the fine Luther sermon that is entirely about the Kingdom of God that FC art VI points to as it’s basis! Ponder: Why would FC art VI point to a sermon who’s topic is the Two Kingdoms as it’s basis? There is a reason you are homing in on the Kingdom of God George. You are being a good Lutheran to do so!

    One could also, Confessionally , say it the way Luther says in the Small and Large Catechism as well: THE Kingdom that is Fatherly Goodness and Mercy that comes to us in with and under the Law and the Gospel.

  • fws

    George, the solution to Lutheran poverty as to Kingdom talk is not to point to Stott. It is rather to point Lutherans to read their own Confessions.

    There they will find that our dear Lord’s parables are nothing less than a his 3 year lecture series on Law and Gospel in the form of the Two Kingdoms that come by Law and Gospel. This is how the Kingdom of God is presented in FC art VI in the lives of believers, and I bet money George, that you have never read the fine Luther sermon that is entirely about the Kingdom of God that FC art VI points to as it’s basis! Ponder: Why would FC art VI point to a sermon who’s topic is the Two Kingdoms as it’s basis? There is a reason you are homing in on the Kingdom of God George. You are being a good Lutheran to do so!

    One could also, Confessionally , say it the way Luther says in the Small and Large Catechism as well: THE Kingdom that is Fatherly Goodness and Mercy that comes to us in with and under the Law and the Gospel.

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  • fws

    george,

    i just thought of something rereading your posts. I could be absolutely wrong. So please forgive me if that is the case.

    You seem to talk about the kingdom of God being only the kingdom of Grace that we enter into in holy baptism. this is as if God does not reign over us prior to baptism and does not rule over the unwashed. Maybe this is why you dont see the Kingdom in the Confessions? in the Confessions God rules over All old adams to work his Goodness and Mercy without our prayer, worthiness even for all the wicked through the Law. and he works his Goodness and Mercy, in Christ, in , with and under the visible government called the Holy Catholic Church in the invisible Communion of saints.

    in all three ordos, family state and church, God rules us in what we do by the Law. he extorts goodness and mercy out of us there.

    in the communion of saints he works his goodness and mercy alone in the works of Christ, apart from our works in that other earthly kingdom of the 3 ordos.

    I am not seeing this law and gospel distinction in what you wrote. I assume I am misreading what you wrote therefore dear brother!

  • fws

    george,

    i just thought of something rereading your posts. I could be absolutely wrong. So please forgive me if that is the case.

    You seem to talk about the kingdom of God being only the kingdom of Grace that we enter into in holy baptism. this is as if God does not reign over us prior to baptism and does not rule over the unwashed. Maybe this is why you dont see the Kingdom in the Confessions? in the Confessions God rules over All old adams to work his Goodness and Mercy without our prayer, worthiness even for all the wicked through the Law. and he works his Goodness and Mercy, in Christ, in , with and under the visible government called the Holy Catholic Church in the invisible Communion of saints.

    in all three ordos, family state and church, God rules us in what we do by the Law. he extorts goodness and mercy out of us there.

    in the communion of saints he works his goodness and mercy alone in the works of Christ, apart from our works in that other earthly kingdom of the 3 ordos.

    I am not seeing this law and gospel distinction in what you wrote. I assume I am misreading what you wrote therefore dear brother!

  • George A. Marquart

    FSW, first, thanks for the kind words to me. Secondly, I am sorry, but you overwhelm me with words, so let me answer the main question in your last posting:

    The Kingdom about which I write is the one abut which our Lord spoke, when He said, Luke 4: 43, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

    and of which St. Paul writes:

    Colossians 1: 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

    This Kingdom is also called “the Church” in our Confessions. The Confessions do indeed have quite a bit to say about this Kingdom, but the contemporary Church does not seem to care a great deal about that.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    FSW, first, thanks for the kind words to me. Secondly, I am sorry, but you overwhelm me with words, so let me answer the main question in your last posting:

    The Kingdom about which I write is the one abut which our Lord spoke, when He said, Luke 4: 43, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

    and of which St. Paul writes:

    Colossians 1: 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

    This Kingdom is also called “the Church” in our Confessions. The Confessions do indeed have quite a bit to say about this Kingdom, but the contemporary Church does not seem to care a great deal about that.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • fws

    Dear George, it is good to read the Apology on the Church here. There the Church is addressed that is the Kingdom of the Law which is the Holy Catholic Church that includes baptized unbelievers and hypocrites. This is Gods Kingdom. Then too God’s Kingdom is that Communion of Saints that is in , with and under that other Earthly kingdom which includes the HCC.

    Baptism is also the entrance to this kingdom, but this kingdom comes to us in away that cannot be seen. Faith trusts in the Promise that is in with and under Baptism and there receives the Promised Mercy.

    To mistake the Holy Catholic Church for the heavenly kingdom of faith is a common mistake of even so called “confessional Lutherans.”

  • fws

    Dear George, it is good to read the Apology on the Church here. There the Church is addressed that is the Kingdom of the Law which is the Holy Catholic Church that includes baptized unbelievers and hypocrites. This is Gods Kingdom. Then too God’s Kingdom is that Communion of Saints that is in , with and under that other Earthly kingdom which includes the HCC.

    Baptism is also the entrance to this kingdom, but this kingdom comes to us in away that cannot be seen. Faith trusts in the Promise that is in with and under Baptism and there receives the Promised Mercy.

    To mistake the Holy Catholic Church for the heavenly kingdom of faith is a common mistake of even so called “confessional Lutherans.”

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    “What exactly happened on Calvary? What exactly did Jesus accomplish?” penal substitution replies: “Jesus took upon himself the just judgment and punishment due sinners. He accomplished the salvation of those who believe.”

    Having argued much with the Reformed lately, this is what jumps out at me. “He accomplished the salvation of those who believe.”

    The kingdom is announced to the entire world.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    “What exactly happened on Calvary? What exactly did Jesus accomplish?” penal substitution replies: “Jesus took upon himself the just judgment and punishment due sinners. He accomplished the salvation of those who believe.”

    Having argued much with the Reformed lately, this is what jumps out at me. “He accomplished the salvation of those who believe.”

    The kingdom is announced to the entire world.

  • norman teigen

    Stott’s obit was in the NY Times several days ago. Readers might be interested to know of Stott’s great prestige in the larger community.

  • norman teigen

    Stott’s obit was in the NY Times several days ago. Readers might be interested to know of Stott’s great prestige in the larger community.

  • fws

    George @ 16

    Those are great passages. I hope that you also know that the Lutheran Confessions teach us that we are also in the Kingdom of God even as unbelievers.

    It is the same kingdom of the same Goodness and Mercy , since there is only one King, yet it can and is called a different Kingdom in our Confessions, since, unlike the passages you quoted, comes to us by way of the Law of God.

    I don’t think that Stott and the Reformed believe this biblical fact to be true. It makes a huge difference in theology George,

  • fws

    George @ 16

    Those are great passages. I hope that you also know that the Lutheran Confessions teach us that we are also in the Kingdom of God even as unbelievers.

    It is the same kingdom of the same Goodness and Mercy , since there is only one King, yet it can and is called a different Kingdom in our Confessions, since, unlike the passages you quoted, comes to us by way of the Law of God.

    I don’t think that Stott and the Reformed believe this biblical fact to be true. It makes a huge difference in theology George,

  • fws

    bridgitte @ 18

    Bingo. Here is an article by an Anglican that help sort alot of that out.

    http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/carysolafide.pdf

  • fws

    bridgitte @ 18

    Bingo. Here is an article by an Anglican that help sort alot of that out.

    http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/carysolafide.pdf

  • fws

    George marquart @ 8

    You quote Stott as saying this George. It is simply wrong and contrary to our Lutheran Confessions:

    The other memorable quote from that book (here I paraphrase, because I gave the book away), is, “The West has lost the faith, and is therefore loosing its values.” He was writing about the fact that moral behavior is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit after conversion.

    The fact is that moral behavior IS , indeed, the work of the Holy Spirit, but that moral work is done by the Holy Spirit, by the Law of God both before and after conversion George!

    The proof passage here is Romans 2:15. There it says that the Divine Law of God is written and revealed in the Reason or Conscience of all men, including those without Bibles. This is why Reason agrees with the Decalog. Reason is the same Divinely Revealed Law!

    George, it is this same Law, worked by the Holy Spirit that is what is at work, in with and under sinful Old Adams that God uses to bring about all the Goodness and Mercy you see enumerated by Dr Luther in the 1st article of the Small Catechism.

    I would invite you to please think about what it is saying there and in the 4th petition. It states that all this Goodness and Mercy (earthly morality!) happens how? It happens without our “worthiness”, “indeed without our prayers “(ie without faith!), and…. “even for all the wicked”. This too is God doing Goodness and Mercy as a King in a Kingdom George! And it is from that same Goodness and Mercy that God chose to send his Son in the second article and the Holy Spirit and Holy Baptism to save Old Adams in the third article. See?

  • fws

    George marquart @ 8

    You quote Stott as saying this George. It is simply wrong and contrary to our Lutheran Confessions:

    The other memorable quote from that book (here I paraphrase, because I gave the book away), is, “The West has lost the faith, and is therefore loosing its values.” He was writing about the fact that moral behavior is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit after conversion.

    The fact is that moral behavior IS , indeed, the work of the Holy Spirit, but that moral work is done by the Holy Spirit, by the Law of God both before and after conversion George!

    The proof passage here is Romans 2:15. There it says that the Divine Law of God is written and revealed in the Reason or Conscience of all men, including those without Bibles. This is why Reason agrees with the Decalog. Reason is the same Divinely Revealed Law!

    George, it is this same Law, worked by the Holy Spirit that is what is at work, in with and under sinful Old Adams that God uses to bring about all the Goodness and Mercy you see enumerated by Dr Luther in the 1st article of the Small Catechism.

    I would invite you to please think about what it is saying there and in the 4th petition. It states that all this Goodness and Mercy (earthly morality!) happens how? It happens without our “worthiness”, “indeed without our prayers “(ie without faith!), and…. “even for all the wicked”. This too is God doing Goodness and Mercy as a King in a Kingdom George! And it is from that same Goodness and Mercy that God chose to send his Son in the second article and the Holy Spirit and Holy Baptism to save Old Adams in the third article. See?


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