That is how I introduced the folks over at the Reformation 500 blog (please note: I frequently, yet tactfully and gracefully, try to make known my disagreements with my Reformed friends there) to my previous post. Here’s what I said next:
That’s OK. I humbly submit to you that many Lutherans – even many who call themselves Confessional – are as well.
Have no fear – this post should clear go a long way in clearly things up… (note that Pastor Matt Richards, mentioned in the article, frequently blogs at Pastor Jonathan Fisk’s Worldview Everlasting site).
Or such is my intention.
Warning: the post will take you into the thick of an intra-Lutheran debate that has been raging for, oh, the last fifty years or so…
And here is a nice quote from Pastor Holger Sonntag that goes a long way in bringing some light to this long-dark situation:
“Therefore, while the triumphant Christian is indeed the one who is completely righteous in God’s judgment by faith, the militant Christian is the Christian as he concretely exists in his person and as he is both incipiently, but inadequately righteous in himself and still filled with ‘much wretchedness’ that just waits for an opportunity to come to the fore unless vigorously combated by the new man in the Christian.
“In other words, the concrete person of the Christian is here not described as totally sinful man before God, an expression which Luther can also use in the Antinomian disputations, but as a Christian, that is, as a believer who, while already justified and triumphant over all sin and condemnation before God for Christ’s sake, still battles his way forward on the path of progressive sanctification.
“This means that Luther here conflates, without any confusion of faith and works in the article on justification, two related ways of describing the Christian as, on the one hand, totally righteous and totally sinful (totus iustus, totus peccator) and as, on the other hand, partly righteous and partly sinful (partim iustus, partim peccator). He does so in order to be able to express anthropologically what happens in the battle in us that is progressive sanctification.”
Rev. Dr. Holger Sonntag, “God’s Last Word”: http://bit.ly/141MFOa
Update: Great – masterful – show on the Law by the upstart seminarians at Pseudepodcast.