Full Text for Church Growth and Confessional Integrity (Text)

CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Volume 54: Numbers 2-3 APRIL- JULY 1990 The Christian Family in Today's Society David P. Scaer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Confessional Lutheranism in Today's World RobertD.Preus ............................... 99 The Primary Mission of the Church and Its Detractors ErwinJ.Kolb ................................ 117 Church Growth and Confessional Integrity Carter Lindberg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 Luther in Newman's "Lectures on Justification" Scott Murray. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 The Doctrine in the Liturgy Donald L. Deffner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 Theological Observer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 Homiletical Studies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 Book Reviews. . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219 Church Growth and Confessional Integrity Carter Lindberg Had I not been invited to participate in the 1988 Annual Symposium on the Lutheran Confessions at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, I should still be blissfully unaware of the church growth movement. But the symposium in Fort Wayne-which 1 then thought would be only a momentary distraction from my interest in Reformation social welfare-awakened me from my historical slumbers and made it clear that Melanchthon's dreaded rabies theologorum is still virulent. The symposium in Fort Wayne further complicated my hitherto peaceful life in a number of ways. Above all, the Concordia Theological Quarterly published my paper, "Pietism and the Church Growth Movement in a Confessional Lutheran Perspective."' This article has had the effect of somehow making me an instant expert on the subject. I shall begin by summarizing my previous critique of the church growth movement. After this summary I plan to look a t the church growth movement from the perspective of the article on which the church stands or falls-justification by grace alone. Summary o f Previous Work In preparation for this study, I have been able to use some writings of which I was unaware when I made my first effort to evaluate the church growth movement. In particular, I want to mention some of the writings of the LCMS pastor, Kent R. Hunter, President of the International Lutheran Society for Church Growth and Director of the Church Growth Center in Corunna, Indiana; the report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of the LCMS entitled "Evangelism and Church Growth with Special Reference to the Church Growth Movement"; the review of this report by LCMS pastor Steve Scheiderer a s well a s his master's thesis, "The Church Growth Movement: A Lutheran Analysis";' the excellent paper by Pastor Robert Schaibley entitled "Biblical Basis and Current Practices Regarding 'Spiritual Gifts'";' and the recent LWF statement, "Together in God's Mission: An LWF Contribution to the IJnderstanding of Mi~s ion . "~ I mention these writings because I think they confirm my original criticisms of the church growth movement. 132 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Thus I continue to perceive the church growth movement a s sharing many of the theological deficits manifested by other post-Reformation renewal movements including the Radical Reformation, Pietism, and the charismatic movements. These deficits include the following: (1 .) A triumphalism or theology of glory tends to equate numerical growth not only with faith but with the mind of God. Thus Kent Hunter states that "Jesus' ministry was church growth-oriented."' (2.) A confusion of law and gospel (a) tends to baptize a self- consciously sociological and pragmatic approach to ecclesiol- ogy and theology and thus (b) tilts to a works-righteousness of behavioralism and achievement. Donald McGavran, the pioneer of the Church Growth Movement, protests th i s evaluation. But his very protest sharpens the issue of whether ecclesiology is simply correct sociology plus the doctrine of one's choice. In the revised edition of his influential book, [Inderstanding Church Growth, he wrote: "As you set forth church growth theory and theology for your congregations and your denomination use your own creedal statements, your own system. . .Do not at tack church growth a s theologically inadequate. Make it adequate according to the doctrines emphasized by your Branch of the Church. The test a s to whether you have done this or not is whether your congrega- tions are stimulated to vibrant grateful growth such a s the New Testament churches e~empli f ied."~ One problem with this perspective is that success becomes the criterion for the truth of doctrine. Conversely, lack of success means, again in Hunter's words, that "we are doing something to hinder God's desires.": Another problem is that the doctrine of justification by grace alone is demoted to one doctrine among many. (:L) The Church Growth Movement calls into question the "satis set" of Augustana VII by suggesting that the gospel and the sacraments are not sufficient for the church. There is here the perennial pious desire of all renewal movements to add to the marks of the church. In th is case discipleship and numerical growth are elevated to signs of the church's "real presence." (4.) The ecclesiology that develops from this addition to Article VII displaces Luther's tension-filled dynamic of the theology of the cross and its social anthropology (of both the Christian and the Christian community being simul ius tus Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 133 et peccator) with the church growth motifs of progress and perfection. "For McGavran the whole gospel for all mankind means little, unless it is preceded [my emphasis] by stupendous church-planting. There can be little hope of sustained signs of the Kingdom in the world without the influence of a sufficient number of sons and daughters of the Kingdom."H Need we be reminded that the initial conversation between Luther and Pope Leo X's theologian, Prierias, was about whether the gospel creates the church or whether the church creates the gospel? One commentator on the church growth movement goes so far as to say that, on the basis of a narrow evangelical herrneneutic and theology, the church growth movement "deduces tha t everywhere and in all circumstances the numerical increase of the church is the one goal for which everything else may be ~acr i f iced."~ (5.) The church growth movement is a bedfellow if not a n advc~cate of culture religion. I t is ironic that McGavran and others in the movement have criticized the WCC for adopting the world's agenda, while the movement itself advocates sociological methods for church growth and posits that the church is a business like any other. The place where this orientation is most obvious and also most corrosive of theology and ethics is the well-known homogeneous unit principle: "Men [sic!] like to become Christians without crossing racial, linguistic, or class barriers.""' The LWF statement mentioned above emphasizes that a missionary congregation "is a n open and inclusive community which does not draw a distinction between people of 'our kind' and others, and which accepts 'outsiders' with love and draws them into its f e l l ow~h ip . "~~ Justification by Faith Alone: The Lutheran Critique o f the Church Growth Movement Most Lutheran churches have, with more or less confes- sional integrity, striven to retain Luther's central proposal of continuing reform of the church on the basis of the article of justification." Indeed, from the beginning of Luther's reform movement, this article of justification has been understood to be non-negotiable because it is the article on which the church stands or falls.' ' Everything else, including the papacy itself, is open for d i~cus s ion . ' ~ From the perspective of Luther and the Lutheran Confes- sions, the fundamental criticism of the church growth 134 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY movement is that it has displaced the article of justification by grace alone through faith alone with the mandate of the "Great Commission." Kent Hunter himself makes this clear when he writes: "While it is essential to solid growth for the church to articulate and demonstrate a theology that is true to the Scriptures and our Confessions, there is an added dimension that is gaining priority, especially among the rhurches of the 1,utheran Church-Missouri Synod. We are moving from the age of reaction (which could be called perhaps the era of the Reformation) to the age of action (which would he properly called the age of mission or the age of church growth)."" In other words, the church growth movement has displaced the gospel with the law. Thus, Kent Hunter defines church growth a s "a theological conviction about what God wants his people to do in this world. I t is not just an academic exercise or a confession of doctrine. I t is a way of ministry, a way of life, and it all begins with a personal recommitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ." Hunter goes on to say, "There is hard work ahead for a congregation that seriously attempts to carry out the New Testament commission to make disciples of the whole world. It costs money. It takes effort."'%t best, t h ~ church growth movement reduces the article of justifica- tion to merely one doctrine among others. 1,uther was quite self-conscious that the article of justifica- tion is what distinguished his reform movement from the renewal movements associated with Wyclif and Hus. Their concern was for moral renewal whereas his concern was for that article on which the church stands or falls: justification by faith alone. In other words, the issue is doctrine: Doctrine and life are to be distinguished. Life is a s bad among us a s among the papists. Hence we do not fight and damn them because of their bad lives. Wyclif and Hus, who fought over the moral quality of life, failed to understand this. I do not consider myself to be pious. But when it comes to whether one teaches correctly about the Word of God, here I take my stand and fight. That is my calling. To contest doctrine has never happened until now. Others have fought over life; but to take on the doctrine-that is to grab the goose by the neck!. . .When the Word of God remains pure, even if the quality of life fails us, life is placed in a position to become what it ought Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 135 to be. That is why everything hinges on the purity of the Word. I have succeeded only if I have taught correctly.I7 The perennial Lutheran obsession with doctrine, especially the article crf justification, has its roots in Luther himself who never tired of emphasizing that doctrine stands above life. Ihctrine "directs us and shows us the way to heaven. . .We can be saved without love. . .but not without pure doctrine and faith." To Luther doctrine and life are not a t all on the same level. If doctrine gives way to love, then the gospel may be denied. That is why the devil "attacks us so cleverly with this specious argument about not offending against love and the harmony among the churches."'" Since Luther was so adamant regarding this distinction between doctrine and life, faith and love, we who are his heirs should also take it seriously. Critical Lutheran theological reflection upon the church growth movement is in order before we accept C. Peter Wagner's judgment that "Luther's sound theology was not sound missiology.""' Luther's emphasis may be misunderstood, especially in our culture which so prizes religious toleration on the one hand and moral activism on the other. So it must be mentioned that Luther's penetrating emphasis on distinguishing doctrine and life was made precisely for the sake of life. Without such a distinction the twin consequences of placing life over doctrine are cheap grace and works-righteousness."' The function of doctrine is the proclaiming of the forgiveness of sins a s unconditional promise. That is why the church stands or falls on the basis of its relation to the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone. This means that the mark of the church is the gospel. The church therefore is also an article of faith, not sight. The certain signs of the existence of the church in the world are not particular persons, not even large numbers of particular persons, but rather events such as the proclamation of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments. In contrast, "The Church Growth Movement has always stressed pragma- tism. . .If some sort of ministry in the church is not reaching intended goals, consecrated pragmatism says there is some- thing wrong which needs to be corrected."2' The Lutheran Confessions reiterate justification a s the chief article of Christian doctrine which may not be surrendered.12 136 CONCORIIIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY ('ontemporary Lutheran theologians follow suit with the forceful clarification that the article of justification is "not just one doctrine among others, but. . .'the article on which the church s t ands and falls ' (articulus s tant is et cadentis rcclesiae)."" This is aptly expressed in the explication of Lutheranism by Eric Gritsch and Robert Jenson a s an 'rcumenical proposal of dogma": The gospel tolerates no conditions. I t is itself uncondi- tional promise. And when it is rightly spoken, it takes the conditions we put on our life a s the very occasions of this promise. This is the first and fundamental Lutheran proposal of dogma. When it is practiced consistently, the 1,utheran Reformation has succeeded, whatever else may happen. When it is not practiced, other departures from medieval Christianity represent only sloth and lack of seriousness." Luther's own account of his struggle with medieval scholas- tic. theology and piety that led to his exegetical insight that the righteousness of God is the gift of God rather than the demand of God is sufficiently well known that we need not rcview it here." Luther's point is that justification by faith done throws the burden of proof for human righteousness hefore God (coram lleo) back upon God. We shall look a t this "('oprrnican revolution" in theology and piety in terms of the human quest for security and human efforts to control life. The oppositional headings "Security versus Certainty" and "('ovenant versus Testament" will facilitate this discussion and also relate it to its historical-theological context. Insecurity versus Certainty In all respects Luther's historical context was characterized by great in~ecur i ty .2~ Medieval theology and piety in its various forms of scholasticism, mysticism, and pastoral care was a coherent effort to create security in an insecure, indeed crisis-laden, time. The pervasive ecclesial and pastoral exhortations to people to "try harder" to attain salvation have led scholars to characterize pre-Reformation piety a s a "piety of achievement" that was preoccupied with the "mathematics of salvation."" The parallels between this medieval peity of achievement and the American values of success and numer- ical increase promoted by the church growth movement need not be belabored. Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 137 The theological resource for the medieval behavior-oriented piety included both the Aristotelian teaching about self- improvement through practice (habitus) and the Augustinian theology of love which speaks of faith formed by love (fides caritate hrmata) . Such a love-oriented ascent to God is not without grace, for God gratuitously infuses grace to initiate our pilgrimage toward the heavenly city. Nevertheless, on the hasis of this imitating grace the burden of proof is upon us to ii~tualize it, that is to do what is in us (facere quod in se est). In popular parlance, medieval theology exhorted people to do their very best. If one did his very best, then God would reward one with the grace to try even harder. The doctrine that God does not withhold grace from those who do their very best Ifkcientibus quod in se est Deus non denegat gratiam) developed in a pastoral climate the intention of which was to provide assurance and security for the anxious sinner. I t also developed in an Aristotelian philosophical climate of the continuity of being. According to Aristotle reality precedes possibility. Thus possibilities are present only on the basis of existing realities. Here, of course, practice makes perfect and that goes for the preactice of infused grace a s well. As commonsensical a s this Aristotelian perspective may be with regard to the develop- ment o f various human attributes, it created difficulty when applied to the relationship with God. The difficulty was precisely in the assumption of continuity between the old and the new, between the sinner and the righteous person before God.'' Such continuity which marks all theologies of progress and development throws the person back upon his or her own resources. In spite of the promise that God gives so much for so little, how do I know the little I do is enough? How do I know if I have done my very best? How do I know if my church is growing fast enough and large enough? The absolute demand of God is relativized to correlate with human ability, but in this process the sinner is thrown back upon him or herself. No matter how much you do and how well you do it, the tormenting question remains: Is this my very best? Thus Luther recalled that as a monk his conscience could never achieve certainty but was always in doubt. Luther's discovery that righteous- ness before God is totally discontinuous with the past is expressed in his conviction that God actually puts the old 138 CONCOHIIIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Adam to death and creates the new justified person out of nothing.'!' Medieval insecurity and uncertainty about salvation was the result of making salvation contingent upon an inner change in the person."' I t seems to me that Kent Hunter approximates this medieval orientation when he speaks about "a New Testament mood of positivism" in his booklet, "Twenty Reasons Why the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is the Church to Watch for Growth."" Hunter uses the example of runner Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile to illustrate how achievement depends upon one's attitude; once Bannister had achieved this record, many others followed suit. "The four-minute mile was broken because people knew it could be done. In many cases, the bold growth of God's kingdom is a matter of our deciding (my emphasis] that we can be used by God to do it. I t is our understanding that God can do anything and that He wants His church to grow. Our attitude is most important [my emphasis]." But justification contingent upon an inner change in the sinner, no matter how stimulated by the grace of God, is bad news because it throws the burden of proof for salvation back upon the person. The good news, Luther discovered, is that justification occurs outside us (extra nos). Justificatim by faith alone means that it is not the sinner who is changed but rather the sinner's situation before God. l2 "In short, the term 'to be justified' means that a man is considered righteous."" In other words, only when the burden of proof for justifica- tion rests on God, is it possible to have any certainty of salvation. Our righteousness before God is not contingent upon our theological expertise, our ethical rigorism, our religious experience, our development of spiritual gifts, nor our church's numerical increase, but rather solely upon God's action in Jesus Christ. There are no human prerequisites to righteousness before God, execpt, of course, sin, and that is a condition we all fulfill. When we examine our lives, we can only be plagued by insecurity and uncertainty; but if we look to God in Christ, we have certainty of salvation. This is what Luther meant when he emphasized doctrine, over life. What was a t stake for Luther and is still a t stake for his heirs is the certainty of salvation. When life (discipleship and fulfilling the Great Commission) Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 139 is placed over doctrine, the ultimate result is what Luther called the "monster of uncertainty": It is obvious that the enemies of Christ teach what is uncertain, because they command consciences to be in doubt. . .Let us thank God, therefore, that we have been delivered from this monster of uncertainty. . .The Gospel commands us to look, not a t our own good deeds or perfection, but a t God Himself as He promises, and a t Christ Himself, the Mediator. . .And this is the reason why our theology is certain: it snatches us away from ourselves and places us outside ourselves, so that we do not depend on our own strength, conscience, experience, person, or works but depend on that which is outside ourselves, that is, on the promise and truth of God, which cannot deceive. ' - J Covenant versus Testament Luther's emphasis on testament over covenant is closely linked to his emphasis on certainty over security. Here, too, his forensic understanding of justification is underlined. A recovery of 1,uther's testamentary theology would be a salutary contribution to the contemporary Protestant fascina- tion with covenantal theology. Rut if life and salvation a re contingent-and Luther wholeheartedly agreed that they are-then to place the burden of proof for salvation on the person by the command to do his or her very best in covenant with God is unworkable. Introspection and activity as means to security lead only to the twin possibilities of pride and despair. What matters "is not whether the sinner has a n impression of what is good and a longing for what is better, but whether he can realize in action the object of his longing. And for Luther the answer to this question is clearly no."'-) Hope cannot come from within us but only from outside, extra nos, in the certainty that God does not lie. Paradoxically, a s we have said above, the precondition for certainty of salvation is real sin. "God offers his grace to real sinners. He will not be turned aside by the unpromising character of the objects of his gener~s i ty . " '~ In the words of Gerhard Forde, "We can be candidates for such righteousness only if we are completely sinners."" This means that all bilateral bets are off and our salvation is contingent on the unilateral action of God. 1 4 0 CONCOR1)IA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY This is clear in Luther's use of the concepts of covenant and testament. In his extensive research on Luther's use of the terms "testament," "covenant," and cognates to 1525, Kenneth Hagtm comes to this conclusion: 1,uther's understanding and experience of covenants, historical and contemporary, seem to be consistently negative because they circumscribe freedom-theologi- cally, the freedom of God. . .'If-type soteriologies are the way of the law. The freedom of the Christian man depends on the sovereign freedom of God to give the promise of the Nrlw Testament. 8' This c.onclusion is vividly expressed by Luther's discussion of inheritance rights and the certainty that a will provides the heir. 1,uther interpreted Hebrews 9 1 7 a s the new testament- thiit is, the new will-in Christ already given us a s "the forgiveness of sins and eternal life."'" The following two quotations from 1,uther sum up, once again, his conviction that justification by faith alone is an event extra noswhich changes our situation before God: A testament, as everyone knows, is a promise made by one about to die, in which he designates his bequest and appoints his heirs. A testament, therefore, involves, first, the death of the testator and, second, the promise of a n inheritance and the naming of the heir. Thus Paul discusses a t length the nature of a testament in Romans 4, Galatians 3 and 4 , and Hebrews 9. We see the same thing clearly also in these words of Christ. Christ testifies concerning his death when he says, "This is my body, which is given; this is my blood, which is poured out" (Luke 22:19-'LO). He names and designates the heirs when he says, "for you" (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:24) and "for many" (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24), that is, for those who accept and believe the promise of the testator. For here is faith that makes men heirs. as we shall see.lU Everything depends, therefore, as I have said, upon the words of t h i s sac rament . These a re t h e words of Christ. . .Let someone else pray, fast, go to confession, prepare himself for mass a n d the sacrament a s he chooses. You do the same, but remember that this is all foolishness and self-deception if you do not set before you the words of the testament and arouse yourself to believe Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 141 and desire them. You would have to spend a long time polishing your shoes, preening and primping to attain an inheritance, if you had no letter and seal with which you could prove your right to it. But if you have a letter and seal, and believe, desire, and seek it, it must be given to you, even though you were scaly, scabby, and most filthy. It is precisely this Lutheran awareness of the conditionality of all covenantal language and the unconditionality of testamentary language which is developed in Lutheranism by Gritsch and Jenson. The structure of convenants is always "if. . .then"; it is a language of conditions to be filled "in order to" receive whatever is promised on the basis of these conditions. In other words, covenantal language is always the Imguage of law. Testamentary language is, however, always the language of gospel, of unconditional promise. Its structure is that of "because. . .thereforeM: The gospel, rightly spoken, involves no ifs, ands, buts, or maybes of any sort. It does not say, "If you do your best to live a good life, God will fulfill that life," or, "If you fight on the right side of the great issues of your time. . .," or, "If you repent. . .," or, "If you believe. . ." It does not even say, "If you want to do good/repent/believe. . ," or, "If you are sorry for not wanting to do good/repent/ believe. . ." The gospel says, "Because the Crucified lives a s Lord, your destiny is good." The Reformation's first and last assertion was that any talk of Jesus and God and human life that does not transcend all conditions is a perversion of the gospel and will be a t best irrelevant in the lives of hearers and a t worst destructive.'' Again, justification by faith alone is not one doctrine among others or a particular content of the church's proclamation among other contents. Rather, justification by faith alone is "ii tnttalinguistic stipulation of what kind of talking-about whatever contents-can properly be proclamation and word of the rhurrh."' : The C'orollaries of J u s tifica tion by Faith Alone The new wine of the gospel cannot be obtained in the old wineskins. So justification by faith alone radically altered clvtvy aspect of late medieval theology. If the gospel i s 142 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY unconditional promise, it shatters all continuity and creates out of nothing. Once grasped by justification by faith alone Luther had to rewrite every aspect of theology. His theological anthropology radicalized the human predicament before God. The old Augustinian understanding of sin a s a turning away from God toward lesser goods (curvatus ad terra, curvatus ad inferior) was displaced by knowing sin a s that egocentricity which feeds upon itself (incurvatusin se). Consequently the old Augustinian theology of progress or growth in righteousness (partim justus, partim peccator) was displaced by a n under- standing of the pilgrim a s wholly righteous and wholly sinner a t the same time (s imul justus et peccator). The medieval (and modern) notions of correlating human progress with the will of God were rejected a s theologies of glory in opposition to the thtwlogy of the cross. And, perhaps most importantly, the theological method was developed for correctly making these and other distinctions a s well a s maintaining the uncondition- ahty of justification by faith, namely, the dialectical distinc- tion between law and gospel. The corollaries of justification by faith alone are the fundamental motifs of 1,utheran systematic theology. A brief presentation such a s this does not allow elaboration of all these motifs. I Rut it may be helpful to say a few words about them in order once again to emphasize t h a t the centrality of justification by faith alone is so critical to Lutheran theology that no particular theological motif or doctrine or church growth technique may be seen in isolation from it. The following comments will be organized with reference to justification and to the motif of law and gospel. The former is the 1,uthcran proposal of dogma and the latter is the Lutheran proposal of thtlological method to the church catholic. I ' 1,a w and Gospel: The Methodological Proposal 1,uther never tired of asserting that the dialectical distinc- tion Iwtwrcn law and gospel is the essential nerve of theolog- ical thinking; it is that which makes a theologian a theologian: "Nearly the entire Scripture and the knowledge of all theology drpcnds upon the correct understanding of law and gospel."4h "The person who knows how to distinguish correctly the gospel from the law may thank God and know that he is a theolo- gian.'" In fact, justification by faith is itself only understood in its trut. significance in the light of this "decisive standard o f thtlologic*;iI judgment."" Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 143 It is important to realize that the distinction of law and gospel is neither any kind of dualism nor a n "either-or" relation. Neither can replace nor exclude the other. Nor are they complementary-the gospel needing the addition of the law for fulfillment or vice versa. The law is not the gospel and the gospel is not a new law. The centrality of this distinction for theology, the reason that it is constitutive for being a theologian, is because i t is not a theoretical distinction but a practical one. The distinction between law and gospel is not a process of logic but rather involvement and commitment in proclaiming the Word of God. What is critical here is not so much content but use.4') Correctly distinguishing law and gospel is proclamation. Preaching i s not instruction concerning correct theological procedure but the proclamation, the enactment of salvation (fides ex auditu). Thus the distinction between law and gospel is not incidental but central to the event of preaching. "Their confusion is not :I small misfortune, a regrettable failure but rather in the strict sense against salvation itself." I" Confusion of law and gospel is not merely preaching a partial gospel or preaching the gospel without sufficient clarity; it is rather the loss of the gospel itself and the preaching of law: Therefore we always repeat, urge and inculcate this doctrine of faith or Christian righteousness, so that i t may be observed by continuous use and may be precisely distinguished from the active righteousness of the law. t For h.v this doctrine alone and through it alone is the church huilt, and in this it consists [my emphasis]). Otherwise we shall not be able to observe true theology but shall immediately become lawyers, ceremonialists, legalists and papists. Christ will be so darkened tha t no one in the church will bc correctly taught or comforted. 'Therefore if we want to be preachers and teachers of othtw, we must take great care in these issues and hold to this distinction between the righteousness of the law and that of Christ. This distinction is easy to speak of; but in experience and practice it is most difficult of all, wtln if you tlxercise and practice it diligently. For in the hour of death or in other conflicts or conscience these two kinds of' righteousness come together more closely than you would wish or ask.'' 144 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY This brings us back to our earlier comments on justification. The distinction between law and gospel is the distinction between two fundamental kinds of speech. The law is the communication of demands and conditions; it imposes a n "if. . .thenv structure on life. It is the language of covenants. It is the language of the 1)euteronomic historian. In its inverted form it is the language which blames the victim. All law communication presents a future contingent upon the person's works. The gospel, however, is the language of promise; its structural pattern is "because. . .therfore."" It is the language of' testament. It is a promise which is unconditional because it is made by Christ who has already satisfied all conditions including death. It is this understanding of the dialectic of law and gospel tha t is behind talk about justification a s "a metalinguistic stipulation of what kind of talking - about whatever contcnts - can properly be proclamation and word of the church." Of course, there is content a s well a s use in the law and gospel. The gospel is univocal; its only use is the proclamation of unconditional promise. Its content is the cross of Jesus which communicates in the theology of the cross that God ;rlways confronts us under His opposite. In h is famous " t ieidelberg I )isputation," I .uther labeled all theologies which strive to ascond to God theologies of glory. Again, against Aristott>lian thtwlogy, 1,uthtv asserttd that like is not known by likv hut hy unlike. Justification by faith alone is not our ;iscvnt to God hut (;ad's descmt to us; it is a theology of the rross: That person dot's not deserve to be called a theologian who looks upon the invisible things of God a s though they were cltwrly perceptible in those things which have ;wtually happentd (Romans 1:N). Htl dcservw to t)c called a theologian, however, who cv)mprchends thc visible and manifest things of God seen through suffering and the cross. . . A theology of glory calls evil good and good evil. A thcology of the cross calls the thing what it actually is. . . . . .wisdom is not itst4f evil, nor is the law to be evaded; but without the theology of the cross man misuses the best in the wol.st manner. ' I Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 145 The theology of the cross stands against the great vice of what is passed off a s Christianity then and now-false security or otherworldliness or both. The theology of the cross opposes a11 efforts to ascend to God whether they be specul- iitive, ethical, sociological, or experiential. God deals with sinners on the basis of their sin, not on the basis of their iichievements. The theology of glory (cheap grace) fails to comprehend that God is hidden under the cross and that faith is not based on empirical verification or signs and wonders. "(iod's gifts and benefits are so hidden under the cross that the godless ctan neither see nor recognize them but rather c-onsidcr them to he only trouble and disaster. . . " I ' The thtwlogy of tho cross reveals God in His concealment in Jesus iind thtm cross whereas the theology of glory conceals God in 111s rc~\vlat~on. 'l'htb realism of the theology of the cross is manifest in its rtljtlction hoth of all flight from the world through speculation ;ind rrligiosity and of triumphalist programs to establish the k~ ngdom of'( h d by works. The criticism of the theology of glory with its sclf-chosen crosses of religious works is that it makes tium:in aspirations appear significant in direct proportion to t ht>ir pcmond and social irrt>lwance. The theology of the cross, howt~vc~r, propclls prrsonal engagement where God wills to be f'ound rather than where persons desire Lo find Him; this c n c i fbrm sh;ipc1 of life precludes all spectator stances in ~.cfilat~ol~ t thc world. " 1 I n thrl perspective of' 1,uther and 1,utheran theology, justific.;it.ion by faith alone does not make the Christian intrinsic.:dly righteous. The Christian "should not be so smug, ;is though ho wrw purtl of a11 sins. . .He is righteous and holy 1)y ;in ;ilion or foreign holincss." Sin is forgiven but it still rc1rn:iins. , , 'I'h(1 ( 'hristian, that is, the forgiven sinner, is thim4'orcl simultaneously righteous a n d sinner. Sin here is hasic-;illy unht~licf and [wing curved in upon the self; it is the dt~siro 1 0 ho (;od and thr concommitant refusal to let God be (;od. - Sin, therefore, is so radical that only God's gracious imputation of (Ihrist's rightcousntw can overcomc it. The s~nncr ' s :icbc*t>ptanw ot' God's judgmrnt enables him or her to l ivc as righttv)us in spitc of' sin. t3y ldting God bc (;od thr sinner is allowed to he what he o r shca wits ~ntt.ndtd to Iw-human. ," 'l'hta sinntsr is not culled 146 CONCOHDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY to deny his or her humanity and seek "likeness" (similitude) with God. Rather, the forgiveness of sin occurs in the midst of human life. The Christian before God "is a t the same time both a sinner and a righteous man; a sinner in fact, but a righteous man by the sure imputation and promise of God that he will continue to deliver him from sin until he h a s completely cured him. And thus he is entirely healthy in hope, but in fact he is still a sinner. . .""" In the light of this brief excursus into the simul justus et peccator motif we may return to a n equally brief summary of the content of the law a s understood by Luther and Lutheran theology. It is of interest tha t the traditional way of speaking of the law in Lutheran theology is in terms of its uses. The civil use of'the law is to build up society through the encouragement of good and the discouragement of evil. The content of this use of' the law is known through reason, which comes to the cwnclusion that life is better when we act toward others a s we wish them to act toward us. In this sense Luther remarks that the Ten Commandments are the Jewish version of Saxon ('ommon Law, in short, a kind of human survival kit.6' However, this civil use of the law instituted by'God for public peace and preservation does not make one righteous before GOd.'t2 In its theological use the law reveals and multiples sin. Thus the law poses the question for which the gospel of justification by faith alone is the only proper answer. Without the question the answer appears to be a trivial non sequitur. Without the answer the question creates presumption or despair. The dialetic of law and gospel runs through Lutheran theology lwcause it is the form by which the gospel is proclaimed. The distinction of law and gospel is not a theoretical abstraction hut the dynamic proclamation of the gospel by which the presumptuous are terrified and the terrified comforted. Article VII of the Augsburg Confession is elegant in its simple definition of the church a s "the assembly of all believers :imong whom the gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments arc administered according to the gospel." Thus I.uthrr can liken the church to a "mouth house" because faith comes by hearing the gospel. The marks of the church are not t h e like-mindedness, the homogeneity, the giftedness, or the size of the community, but rather the proclamation of the Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 147 gospel of the unconditional promise of God embodied in word and sacraments. "The human structures of the church, of course, exhibit the same life a s the church's members-a life under the cross which is simultaneously sin and righteousness. Thus the church, like its members, also lives by the continuous encounter with the Word of God which i s why i t needs constant reform. This is another way of saying that the church is not specified by the character of its members but rather by the character of the assembly-the preaching of the gospel. This is the basis upon which the church stands or falls."" The church is not recognized by its growth but by the "possession of the holy word of God." In Luther's words, "Now, wherever vou hear or see this word preached, believed, professed, and lived, do not doubt that the true ecclesia sancta catholica, 'a ('hristian holy people,' must be there, even though their number is small. . .And even if there were no other sign than this alone, it would still suffice to prove tha t a Christian holy people must exist there, for God's word cannot be without God's people and, conversely, God's people cannot be without God's word."' ' ENDNOTES CTQ, 52:2-3, pp. 129-147. Versions of the present article were presented to the "Free Lutheran Theological Conference of the Peninsula," San Mateo, California, 2-3 February, 1989, and the Northeast LCMS Pastors Conference, Cape Cod, Massachu- setts, 31 October, 1989. I am grateful for these invitations that provided the opportunities to pursue reflections upon the church growth movement and Lutheran theology. 'I'his thesis (11' 1985 is available in typescript from the bookstore of'('onc.ordia Theological Seminary, Port Wayne. 'I'his paper is to appear in the Lutheran Quarter1.v. 1, W F lloc~umtwtntion, No. 26 (November 1988). K e n t K. Hunter. Your Church Has Persona1it.y (Nashville: Ahingdon I'rrss, 198T,), p. 64. 1)onuld McGavran, Understanding Church Growth, Revised Kdition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 19XO), p. 8. 148 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Your Church Has Personality, op. cit., p. 81: "God expects growth. It is normal for God's church to grow. If it is not growing, it is because we are doing something to hinder God's desires." Eddie Gibbs, 1 Believe in Church Growth (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 19811, p. 19. Charlrs Tabor, "Contextualization," in Wilbert Schenck, ed., Exploring Church Growth (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), p. 119. McGavran. op. cit., p. 223. 1,WF. op. cit., p. 21. "No, the point is not whether we are Lutherans, but whether we are Christians-whether we confess the Lord. What counts is the content of our inheritance, something which imposes on us an obligation." Klaus Schwarzwaller, "The Lutheran Tradition and Its Obligation," 1,utheran Quarterl-v, N.S. 1:2 (19871, pp. 172- 17:L "If the raison d'etre of 1.utheranism is not oriented to the ongoing reform of the una sancta catholica et apostolica ecclesia in terms of the article o f justification by faith alone apart from the law. then 1,utheranism has defaulted on the promise of its reforming mission. Then in establishing itself a s an independ- ent church aloneside other churches. each left to its self- . . indulging ways, 1,utheranism has indeed exchanged the true marks of the church for those of' a sect." C h - l E. Rraaten, f'rinciplcs of'L,uther;u~ Theo1og.y (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, I9X: l ) . p. :$5. Mutatis mutandis the same can be argued for the Reformed churches; cf'. James Andrews and Joseph Burgess, rds., An invitation to Action: The 1,utheran-Refbrmed ilialogue. Srrirs 111. 1981-198:1(Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), pp. 9- I:(: "Joint St;ttt~mt~nt on Justification." Stle, for example. Srott H. Hendrix, Luther and the Papacy: S t i j g ~ ~ in a Rchrmation Conflict (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1981), p. 149. "I am willing to kiss your feet, pope, and to acknowledge you a s the supreme pontiff, if you adore my Christ and grant that we have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life through His death and resurrection and not through the observance of your traditions." "Lectures on Galatians," 1525. WA, 40, p. 356; LW, 26, p. 224. Kent Hunter, Twenty Reasons Why the Lutheran Church- Missouri S-vnod Is the Church to Watch for Growth (Corunna, Indiana: Church Growth Center, 1986), p. 44. Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 149 Kent K. Hunter, Your Church Has Personality, op. cit., p. 109. WA, TK 1, p. 295; cited by Steven Ozment, "Humanism, Scholasticism, and the Intellectual Origins of the Reformation," in F. Forrester Church and Timothy George, eds., Continuity and 1)isc~ontinuity in Church History(Leiden: Brill, 1979), p. 148; and by Eberhard Jungel, "Gottes Umstrittene Gerechtigkeit: Lint. reformntorisch~ Hesinnung zum Paulinischen Regriff 'dikaiosune theou,"' in his Ilnterwegs zur Sache (Munich: Kaiser. 1972), p. 62. "l,ectures on (ialatians," 15:15. WA, 40 11, pp. 51-52; LW, 27, pp. 4 1-42. It is of interest that in this passage Luther is responding to thtb Enthusiasts and Sacramentar ians with the same argument that he made against the papists. Luther regarded the Knthusiasts and the papists a s two sides of the same coin of works-righteousness. See, for example, "Lectures on Galatians" ( I.Y{T)), WA, 40, p. 6O:i; I, W, 26, p. 396; and the Smalcald Articles ( 1 Xi71 in Theodore Tappert, ed., The Book of Concord(Philade1- phi;): Fortress f'rrss, 1 MI)), p. 3 12. ('. Peter Wagner, 1,e;iding Your Church to Growth (Ventura, California: Regal Hooks, 1984), p. 154. See Gerhard Ebeling's excellent chapter, "Faith and Love," in his 1,uther: An Introduction to His Thought (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970), especially pp. 172-173; and Jungel, op. cit., pp. (22-66. For t i recent 1,utheran discussion of this distinction in relation to liberation theology, cf. Wordand World, 7:l (1987), which includes some of the papers of the "Justice and Justifi- cation" Consultation held in Mexico City in 1985 under the ;iuspicw of the Al,('. Wagner, Leading Your Church to Growth, op. cit., p. 201. For irn analysis of'this orientation to "the end justifies the means" and to pragmatism, cf, Steve Scheiderer, "The Church Growth Movement: A 1,utheran Analysis," op. cit., pp. 40ff.. 192ff. See the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 4 justification"), and the Formula of Concord, Solid Declara- tion, Article 3 ("Righteousness"), in Tappert, pp. 107,540; Robert ,lenson, "On Recognizing the Augsburg Confession," in Joseph A. Burgess, ed., The Kole of the Augsburg Confession: Catholic and Lutheran Views (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980), pp. 151-166; John F. Johnson, "Justification According to the Apology of' the Augsburg Confession and the Formula of Concord," in H. George Anderson, T. Austin Murphy, Joseph A. Burgess, eds., Justification by Faith: Lutherans a n d Catholics in Ilialogue VIZ (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1985), pp. 1 85- 199. 150 CONCOH1)IA 1'HE:OLOGICAL QUARTERLY Eric W. Gritsch, "The Origins of the Lutheran Teaching on Justification," in Anderson, Murphy, and Burgess, op. cit., p. 163 and note 3 on p. 351; cf. also Gerhard Mdller and Vinzenz Pfnur, "Justification-Faith-Works," in George W. Forell and James F. McCue, eds., Confessing One Faith: A Joint Commen- tary on the Augsburg Confession by Lutheran and Catholic Theologians (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1982), p. 188. This position is so widely held that i t i s not necessary to provide extensive references a t this point. It is the leitmotif of the Lutheran contributions in the volume mentioned above a s well a s in the recent major analysis of ecumenical dialogues by Andre Birmele, Le Salut en Jesus Christ dans les Dialogues Oecumeniques (Paris: Cerf, 1986). On the famous phrase itself, cf. Alister McGrath, Iustitia Dei. A History of the Doctrine of Justification, I1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), p. 193, note 3. McGrath mentions not only its rootage in Luther (e.g., WA, 40 111, p. 352,3) but also its seventeenth-century Reformed use. I.:ric- W. (iritsch and Robert W. Jenson, Lutheranism: The Tht~ologit.al Movemen t and Its Cbnfessional Writings (Philadel- phia: Fortress I'ress, 1976), p. 44; cf. also Gerhard Porde, "Kadicxl I,uthr.ranism," 1,uthcwn Cguarterly, NS, 1: 1 (1987), pp. .-)-I 8. i'uther recounts his struggle over the righteousness of God in his 154#5 pref'act1 to the edition of his Latin writings: LAW, 34, pp. :{25-:l:IX, esg. :l:ICi-:l:I7. For clear discussions of Luther's medieval religious context see Steven Ozment, The Age of Reform: 1250- I . i?O(New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980), pp. 2:1:&243, a n d 1)avid Steinmetz, 1,utherin Context (Bloomington: Indiana [Iniversity I'ress, l9X6), pp. 1-1 1. A recent study on I ,uthrr's cwnvcwion taxperience is by Marilyn J. Harran, Luther IJII C'onversion: The Ehrlv Years (Ithaca and London: Cornell I!nivwsity l'rtw, 19X:j). For an overvit~w of'this assessment and references to relevant literature see my "1,uther and the Crises of the Late Medieval Kra, An Historical Interpretation." Africa Theological Journal 1 ;I:% ( 1 9X4), pp. 9% 104. Jacques Chiffolrau, 1,a Comptabilite de I'au-dela. Les Hommes, la Mort r l t Iw Kcdigion dans la Kegion d'Avignon a la Fin du Mo.yen Age (vtvx I320-vers 1380) (Rome: Ecole Francaise de Rome, 1980). "The doctrine of justification by faith alone implies that human reality is not a substance given prior to all community. Rather, humanity happens in the event of communication, in the Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 151 speaking and hearing of the word. . .What I am is not defined in advance by some set of timelessly possessed attributes; it is being defined in the history of address and response in and by which you and I live together." Gritsch and Jenson, op. cit., p. 68. This incompatibility of justification by faith alone and any process of becoming righteous is discussed by Gerhard Forde in this essay, "Forensic Justification and Law in Lutheran Theology," in Anderson, Murphy, and Burgess, op. cit., pp. 278- 303. 29. "Second Disputation against the Antinomians," 1538. WA, 39 I, p. 470, 7-8. 30. There is widespread scholarly agreement on this prevalent lack of certainty about salvation in the Middle Ages. The focal point of this uncertainty was in the sacrament of penance. Thomas Tentler, Sin and Confession on the Eve of the Reformation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977), pp. 347, 362, points out the self-conscious promotion of insecurity by the medieval penitential system; and Ozment, op. cit., p. 216, makes a similar observation. Dietrich Kolde, author of the most widely used catechism of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, confesses his own uncertainty at the end of his catechism when he says: "There are three things I know to be true that frequently make my heart heavy. The first troubles my spirit, because I will have to die. The second troubles my heart more, because I do not know when. The third troubles me above all. I do not know where I will go." Denis Janz, ed., Three Reformation Cate- chisms: Catholic, Anabaptist, Lutheran (New York and Toronto: Mellon Press, 1982), p. 127. 31. Corunna, Indiana: Church Growth Center, 1986, pp. 44-45. 32. For a concise discussion of this point cf. Gerhard Ebeling, op. cit., pp. 154-158. "'Disputation Concerning Justification," 1536. LW, 34, p. 167; WA, 39 I, p. 98, 13-14. Ibid., LW, 26, pp. 386-387; WA, 40 I, p. 589. In the essay "Justification-Faith-Works" by Miiller and Pfniir cited earlier, it is argued that this question of certainty of salvation was one of the major issues in the late Middle Ages but that it is "a presupposition which no longer exists today"; op. cit., p. 119. I strongly disagree with this latter judgment. It is precisely the question of certainty of salvation that is behind so much of contemporary media evangelism and the charismatic move- ments. I have discussed this at length in my The Third Reforma tion ? Charisma tic Movements and the Lutheran 152 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Tradition (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1983); Charismatic Renewal and the Lutheran Tradition (Geneva: LWF, 1985); and "Justice and Injustice in Luther's Judgment of 'Holiness Movements,'" in Peter Manns and Harding Meyer with C. Lindberg and Harry McSorley, eds., Luther's Ecumen- ical Significance (New York and Philadelphia: Paulist Press and Fortress Press, 1984), pp. 161-181. The Roman Catholic scholar, Carl Maxcy, makes a similar judgment when he writes: "In my opinion, the twisted spirituality which has plagued Roman Catholics in the twentieth century is also partially the result of the post-Freudian obsession with self-analysis. The tendency is quite 'ecumenical,' because it afflicts Christians of every denomination. Our culture has told us that introspection is the proper modus operandi in life. As a result contemporary spirituality has turned increasingly to navel-gazing and has made us unable to get outside ourselves. . .A healthy person is one who looks outside for truth and meaning. . ." "Catholic Spirituality, Catholic Ethics and Martin Luther," Ecumenical Trends, 10:4 (1981), p. 57. David Steinmetz, Luther and Staupitz: An Essay in the htellectual Origins of the Protestant Reformation (Durham: Duke University Press, 1980), p. 114. Ibid., p. 88. "Forensic Justification," op. cit., p. 281. Kenneth Hagen, "The Testament of a Worm: Luther on Testament to 1525," Consensus 8:l (1982), pp. 16-17. See Kenneth Hagen, A Theology of Testament in the Young Luther: The Lectures on Hebrews (Leiden: Brill, 1974), p. 82. "The Babylonian Captivity of the Church," 1520. LW, 36, p. 38; WA, 6, pp. 513, 22-514, 10. "A Treatise on the New Testament," 1520; LW, 35, p. 88; WA, 6, p. 361, 3-7; cf. also "Lectures on Galatians," 1519; LW, 27, p. 268. Gritsch and Jenson, op. cit., p. 42. Ibid., pp. 42-43. This may, so to speak, provide a "theological umbrella" for the various biblical themes expressing the gospel and thereby speak to the tensions between biblical and systematic theologians with regard to the uniqueness of justification as an expression of the gospel; cf., for example, Birmele, op. cit., pp. 30, 106-111, and John Reumann, "Right- eousness"in the New Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, Church Growth and Confessional Integrity 153 1982). I agree with William Rusch's comment that the "meta- linguistic" stipulation does not require the specific language of justification; cf. Rusch, "How the Eastern Fathers Understood What the Western Church Meant by Justification," in Ander- son, Murphy, Burgess, op. cit., p. 133. For Luther's own overview of his theological motifs see his "Preface to the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans," 1546 (1522). L W, 35, pp. 365-380. "If justification by faith is the proposal of dogma which the Lutheran Reformation made to the church catholic, then the proper distinction between law and gospel is its major metho- dological proposal. It is a distinction that is to be applied to all doctrines and their use in the church." Forde, "Forensic Justification," op. cit., p. 293. WA, 7, p. 502,34-35. "Lectures on Galatians," 1535. WA, 40 I, p. 207, 17-18. Ebeling, op. cit., p. 113. See Forde, "Forensic Justification," op. cit., pp. 293ff. For an illuminating discussion of the difference between Luther's law- gospel dialectic and all letter-spirit typologies cf. 296ff. and also Forde's "When the Old Gods Fail: Martin Luther's Critique of Mysticism," in C. Lindberg, ed., Piety, Politics, and Ethics: Reformation Studies in Honor o f George Wolfgang Forell (Kirksville, Missouri: Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, 1984), pp. 15-26. Ebeling, op. cit., p. 117 (my translation from the German, Luther, Tiibingen: Mohr, 1965, p. 129). "Lectures on Galatians," 1535. LW, 26, p. 10; WA, 40 I, p. 49. This entire introductory section to the lectures treats the distinction of law and gospel. For Luther's discussion of these language patterns see, for example, his "The Bondage of the Will," 1525. L W, 33, pp. 132ff., 158. Gritsch and Jenson, op. cit., pp. 42-43. Ebeling begins his Luther study with what he calls "Luther's Linguistic Innovation" (or "Language-Event" [Sprachereignis]). A recent effort to apply this insight to doctrine is George Lindbeck, The Nature o f Doctrine, Religion and Theology in a Pos tliberal Age (Philadel- phia: Westminster, 1984). Theses 19-21,24. LW, 31, p. 53; WA, 1, p. 362,28-29. 154 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY "Psalm 118," 1529-1530. WA, 31 1, p. 51, 21-24. Walther von Loewenich, Luther's Theology of the Cross (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1976), pp. 112-113. Jerome King del Pino, Luther's Theology of the Cross as Reflected in Selected Historical Contexts of Social Change from 1512-1525 (Ph.D. dissertation, Boston University, 1980), pp. 130-131. "Commentary of Psalm 51," 1538. LW, 12, p. 328; WA, 40 11, p. 352, 33-34. "Lectures on Romans," 1516. LW7 25, p. 291; WA, 56, p. 304,25ff. The human inability to let God be God is from thesis 17 of the "Disputation against Scholastic Theology" of 1517: "Man is by nature unable to want God .to be God. Indeed, he himself wants to be God, and does not want God to be God." LW, 31, p. 10; WA, 1, p. 225. "Commentary of Psalm 51," LW, 12, pp. 342-343; WA, 40 11, p. 373, 25-35. "Lectures on Romans," LW, 25, p. 260; WA, 56, p. 272, 16-20; cf. also WA, 57, p. 165, 12-13; 2, p. 497, 13. "Lectures on Galatians," 1535. LW, 26, pp. 274-275; WA, 40 I, pp. 429-430. Ibid., LW, 26, p. 309; WA, 40 I, pp. 479-481. Lindberg, The Third Reformation?op. cit., p. 51. "On the Councils and the Church," 1539. LW, 41, p. 150.