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Christian Character FormationLutheran Studies of the Law, Anthropology, Worship, and Virtue$
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Gifford A. Grobien

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746195

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746195.001.0001

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The Problem of the Divine Law in Christian Ethics

The Problem of the Divine Law in Christian Ethics

(p.11) 2 The Problem of the Divine Law in Christian Ethics
Christian Character Formation

Gifford A. Grobien

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with an overview of the meaning of the term “law,” in order to give background to Lutheran disputes over the term. Starting with the work of J. C. K. von Hofmann, scholars have disagreed over Luther and later Lutherans view of the law. Many suggest that Luther understood the law as God’s call to repentance, existentially experienced, so that it could not be used to teach the good will of God, but only to accuse people of sin, excluding the law from ethics. In spite of the efforts of other scholars such as Werner Elert, who argued that Luther and the Lutheran Confessions are in agreement, resolving the underlying tension over whether the law may be used for instruction requires clarification of the meaning of Christian righteousness, and how the law relates to righteousness.

Keywords:   law, J. C. K. von Hofmann, Werner Elert, Luther studies, two kinds of righteousness, Martin Luther

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