Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Difference Between Doctrine & Life

Quoting Luther:
The great difference between doctrine and life is obvious, even as the difference between heaven and earth. Life may be unclean, sinful, and inconsistent; but doctrine must be pure, holy, sound, unchanging... not a tittle or letter may be omitted, however much life may fail to meet the requirements of doctrine. This is so because doctrine is God’s Word, and God’s truth alone, whereas life is partly our own doing.... God will have patience with man’s moral failings and imperfections an forgive them. But He cannot, will not, and shall not tolerate a man’s altering or abolishing doctrine itself. For doctrine involves His exalted, divine Majesty itself (WA, 30 III, 343 f.)
Quoted from Getting Into the Theology of Concord, Robert D. Preus (St. Louis: CPH, 1977) 14.

1 comment:

Family of Michael & Jen-Yi Paul said...

Thanks, Scott. Luther has a whole multi-paged section in his 1531/1535 Galatians lectures/commentary where he talks about this as well (LW 27:106ff. or so) For example: "We must proclaim concord in doctrine and faith as much as they proclaim concord in life. If they preserve this in its soundness together with us, we shall join them in praising the concord of love, which is to be subordinated to the concord of faith or of the Spirit. For if you lose this you have lost Christ; and once you have lost Him, love will not do you any good (107)...the forgivness of sins should not prevail in the area of doctrine, as the Sacramentarians maintain, but in the area of life and of our works" (111).