When Luther advised, “Sin boldly,” what did he mean? Luther saw that many who take Christian life seriously might tend to despair, because as Christians we become more acutely aware of how we rebel against the Lord on a regular basis. Luther says if you’ve sinned boldly, repent even more boldly. The blood of Christ is greater than any sin you may have committed. You’re not to worry and despair over your sins: Look toward the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ in faith and repentance as the one who saves.
The special section on the Protestant Reformation we’re planning for our Oct. 28 issue will include reviews of books about the world-shaking changes that began on Oct. 31, 1517. The best new book on Luther I’ve found is Luther on the Christian Life, by Westminster Theological Seminary professor Carl Trueman—so I interviewed Trueman in front of students at Patrick Henry College. Here are edited excerpts.
Anniversary - Beginning - Protestant - Reformation - Martin
We’re close to the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther famously contrasted a “theologian of glory” with a “theologian of the cross.” What’s the difference?Theologians of glory make God in their own image and assume God thinks and operates in a way closely analogous to the way we operate as human beings. Simple example: If I want you to like me, I will do nice things for you. We assume that God is that way: We do good works for God, and God will reward us for them.
And theologians of the cross?They humbly understand God to be the way He has revealed Himself to be in the broken flesh of Jesus Christ hanging upon the cross. That...
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