Thursday, September 6, 2012

Truth in Antithesis

Quoting from Adolf Köberle's book The Quest for Holiness:
The Gospel must be protected as carefully against legalism as against antinomianism. An active pride is as dangerous for faith as the laziness that shirks every task. The merit-seeking efforts of a penitential suppression of the desires of the flesh can harden the heart as effectively as the desires of the flesh that are unrestrained. The battle against dead works is just as important as that against dead faith. If justification is continually exposed to the misunderstandings and dangers of quietism, so sanctification is endangered by the abyss of self-righteousness. A super-ethical, predestinarian monergism is as questionable as the moralizing of the Christian religion by Kant and Ritschl. A transformation of the world through sanctification, that would become a boundless union with general culture, is just as much to be avoided as a separation through justification that would lead to a world flight. Daily renewal of the baptismal covenant is indispensable for a life of faith, but the following devotion to the performance of God’s will is no less necessary. Justification robs all conduct of its appearance of holiness, sanctification guards men against sinning against grace. The promise of forgiveness gives the basis of action, direction and power to all conduct; the Christianity of action prevents “pure doctrine” from becoming mere talk. Each statement is only true in its antithesis, in the answer given by the other.

Adolf Köberle, The Quest for Holiness: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Investigation, Trans. John C. Mattes (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2004) 254.


Norman Teigen said...

I wanted to recommend to you and your discerning readers an article from the current Lutheran Forum magazine. Kathryn F. Wood. "A New Look at the Missouri Schism through the Lens of "Americanism", Lutheran Forum, Vol. 36? No. 3. Fall 2012.

The author offers this unique perspective on the Missouri Schism: "The true story of the split in Missouri may relate best to its history as an immigrant church and it's need to retain a distinctive identity in the face of pressures to Americanize its ecclesiology, it's institutions, and it's self-understanding."

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod

Scott Diekmann said...

Thanks for the recommend Norman!