Martin Luther - Lesson 20

Luther for Evangelicals

Martin Luther's writings can encourage people to pursue their relationship with God on a deeper level.

Gordon Isaac
Martin Luther
Lesson 20
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Luther for Evangelicals

Luther for Evangelicals

Luther, the Pastor: 2 Kings 15:16


Luther as a Word event- The spoken word not only describes reality but it also shapes reality.

The theology of the cross transforms the landscape of the age.


I. We began our class with some thoughts entitled "About Reading Luther."

A. McGrath's vision of evangelicalism

1. Reformation thought

2. Puritanism

3. Pietism

B. Evangelicalism's actual regarding appropriation

C. Mark Noll's suggestion regarding Luther's utility - Article in First Things in 1994

1. Doctrine of the church

2. Augustinian view of human nature

3. Objectivity of salvation

4. Voice of Luther


II. The State of Evangelicalism

A. Revisioning evangelical theology - Stanley Grenz

Modernist approach to theology is now no longer an adequate approach, therefore, theology should be a practical in terms for today in contextual terms.

B. Donald Bloesh

C. How far have we come?


III. Where Luther can be helpful to us

A. Luther needs to be at the table - a partner in dialogue

Incredible classic texts

1. "Freedom of a Christian"

2. "Bondage of the Will"

B. Luther's non-speculative theology

1. Fundamentalist vs. Modernist led to apologetics that place us under scientific model and now this paradigm of modernity is shaken.

2. Proclamation is different than explanation.

C. Luther's theology of the cross

We as evangelicals have been willing to operate on a power paradigm and business strategies contrasts Luther's focus on hearing the Word and being changed by it.

D. Luther's drive to preaching.

1. Theology is 2nd order discourse, a talking about God.

2. Luther's method drives towards proclamation embedded in the theology of the cross.

E. Luther's nose for the gospel

F. Luther's concern for the church

1. Church is not just another reform.

2. In and with the Church is the word of salvation.

3. "We are beggars as that is the truth."

All Lessons
  • Introduction to the life and theology of Martin Luther.

  • Luther expressed his views in a way that was shaped by his theology and the culture.

  • Martin Luther was born in Germany in the late 15th century, just after Guttenberg developed his printing press.

  • When Martin Luther posted the 95 theses, his intention was to discuss and debate the misuse of indulgences, but it was interpreted by the church heirarchy as an attack on the power of the papacy.

  • Luther's writings demonstrate his ability to understand and articulate issues that are at the core of the nature of God and man. His theology is distinct from philosophy and consists of many comments on passages in Psalms and Romans.

  • Faith alone justifies. By faith the Christian is made to love God, therefore a person does good works because they cannot remain idle.

  • The work of Christ when he allowed himself to be crucified on the cross, teaches us about God's nature, our nature and our relationship to God.

  • Luther's fourfold sense of scripture focused on historical (literal), allegorical (figurative), tropological (moral), and anagogic (future).

  • Luther's view of the atonement differs from classical views taught during his time and view held by the scholastic tradition.

  • Luther's teaching on justification by faith is central to his theology.

  • Theology of the cross assumes bondage and moves to freedom.

  • Four positions on predestination include the Calvinist, neo-Protestant, intuitu fidei, and Gnesio-Lutherans.

  • Luther's commentary on Galatians is an attempt to set "Law" in its proper setting.

  • The sacraments are an external expression of an internal reality.

  • Luther's teachings on the importance of baptism and arguments for infant baptism.

  • Luther's view of the theological and personal significance of the Lord's Supper.

  • The kingdom of God and secular government have areas of unity and areas of differences.

  • Luther gives a definition of the church and describes characteristics of the church.

  • Luther developed a catechism to help people focus on the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith.

  • Martin Luther's writings can encourage people to pursue their relationship with God on a deeper level.

This course is an introduction to the life and writings of the great German reformer, Martin Luther. There are 20 lectures totaling approximately 18 hours. These lectures were given at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.