To save this undefined to your undefined account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your undefined account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In 1520 Luther wrote To the Christian Nobility urging 27 proposals for the reformation of the Church. One of these called for the reform of the universities. Taking up the humanist principle of returning to ancient sources, its aim was to encourage the intensive study of Scripture. Four years later Luther developed this proposal when he wrote To the Councillors of all German Towns, That they should Establish and Maintain Christian Schools. Luther started from the rediscovery of the Gospel; his concern was that this precious experience might be lost again, and that the ‘thunderstorm of God's Word’ might move away. Appropriate forms of education therefore needed to be developed both for young people and for the clergy, in order that the rediscovered Gospel might be preserved: ‘Whoever can grip and hold must grip tight and hold fast.’
Several years before the mode of Christ's eucharistic presence became a controverted issue which would presently provoke a lasting schism among the Churches of the Reformation, Luther could unaffectedly propound the traditional dogma of the bodily presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar as a necessary consequence of the evangelical quest for the sensus grammaticus of the words of institution. The same exegetical method which led to his reappropriation of the doctrine of the justification of the sinner ‘by grace, for Christ's sake, through faith’ obliged him to confess that ‘the bread is the body of Christ’. Already here, in the mordantly anti-Roman treatise On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Luther has laid his finger on the model in terms of which he will understand the real presence to the end of his days: the consecrated host is the body of Christ, just as the assumed humanity of jesus Christ is the Son of God. The displacement of the scholastic theory of transubstantiation by the model of the incarnate person illustrates the Reformer's allegiance to the Chalcedonian Definition: ‘Luther is really replacing Aristotelian categories by those derived from Chalcedonian christology, to which he remained faithful: “unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably”.’ While the doctrine of the real presence moved from the periphery to the centre of Luther's theology and piety as the 1520s wore on, his conception of the modality of the eucharistic presence remained constant throughout.
‘The Holy Scriptures teach ethics, or the theory of duties, far better than any Ciceros or Aristotles’, claimed Luther, comparing the Bible with the standard ethical handbooks of antiquity, both Latin (Cicero's De Officiis) and Greek (Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics). Luther had in fact lectured on Aristotle's Ethics in 1508/9, a few years before he received the degree of ‘Doctor in Biblia’. It was as a Professor of Bible, mainly of the OT, that Luther earned his living for over thirty years, and Calvin too expended a large proportion of his efforts as preacher, commentator and lecturer on the OT. Comparisons of their use of the OT have tended to concentrate on the law and to a lesser extent on Christological (Christocentric) hermeneutics. This essay will endeavour to cast the net more widely and to broach the question of the law as it arises within a broader context.
Exhaustive studies of Martin Luther's preaching are few, and for good reason. The persistence of his scribes has resulted in a corpus of more than 2,000 sermons — and a tangle of questions concerning their authenticity and integrity. His theological program was such that in matters of content he did not maintain a rigid distinction between treatise and sermon. Everything we have from Luther ‘preaches’. Complicating the picture are the various postils, which are usually identified as ‘sermons’. The postils were not intended to do more than set a standard for others; yet they probably were delivered verbatim from some pulpits, and in The German Mass Luther says they should be!
The paradigm for Christians' descriptions of their liturgy occurs at 1 Cor. 11:
The Lord Jesus on the night that he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said. ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’
Christian theology, because of its concern with ‘all things’, is sometimes able to provide salvific insights into academic areas far removed from theological syllabuses. In this article I take one such example and show how theology can make a rich contribution to the understanding of another discipline. The example is education.
In a previous issue of SJT Paul Helm reviewed the work of R. T. Kendall in which Kendall ‘contends that Calvinism in general and particularly English Calvinism down to 1649 shows a marked departure from the teaching of John Calvin’. Mr Helm concluded that Kendall's thesis ‘does not stand up to serious scrutiny’. More recently, Mr Helm has underscored his rejection of Kendall's thesis with the publication of his monograph, Calvin and the Calvinists. A major point of contention concerns Kendall's assertion that Calvin teaches a doctrine of unlimited atonement. Mr Helm also takes exception to the implications for faith and assurance which Kendall draws from this view of the atonement. In his refutation of Kendall's work Mr Helm begins with a presentation of what he believes to be Calvin's own position. After a survey of quotations, primarily from the Institute, he concludes that,
in Calvin's teaching the work of Christ, from incarnation to heavenly intercession, is one work, focused on the death of Christ which expiated sin by satisfying divine justice. Christ's death brings salvation to the elect, for in dying Christ intended only the salvation of the elect (p. 22).