Conservative Revolutionary: Luther

Sources: Carter Lindberg, The European Reformations (Blackwell, 1996); Denis R.. Janz, A Reformation Reader: Primary Texts with Introductions (Fortress, 1999); Steven Ozment, The Age of Reform (Yale, 1980); Heiko A. Oberman, Luther: Man between God and the Devil (Doubleday, 1992); Diarmaid MacCulloch, "The Reformation 1500-1650" in Richard Harries and Henry Mayr-Harting, Christianity: Two Thousand Years (Oxford, 2001).

Reading: Romans 3, Romans 7.

Solus Christus: The Cross as Criterion of All Things
Luther rejects Thomas Aquinas' Aristotelian analogy of being
Reliable theology pursues a theologia crucis, not a theologia gloriae
Lutheran theology is radically Christ-centered and i
ncarnational

Sola Gratia: Gospel as Promise
The Law's promise is conditional; the Gospel's promise is unconditional
Righteousness is not divine/human synergy (so purgatory, indulgences, Masses)
... but divine monergy (so declaration or imputation of God's "alien righteousness")
The center of Christian faith is justification by grace through faith
The Word of God is threefold: Christ, written gospel, preached gospel
Baptism and communion are "the visible Word"
Church is where the Word is heard and kept

Sola Scriptura: Judging all Tradition

Sola Fide: A Normative Experience
Romans 1-8, Augustine, Psalms describe Luther's experience, and everyone else's
The Law convicts of sin; the Gospel arouses faith in justification apart from works

Priesthood of all Believers
Christian life is perfect freedom and perfect servitude
Luther nullifies monastic vows, closes monasteries, marries Katherine von Bora
Luther translates the Bible, stresses preaching, trains with catechisms, advocates libraries and schools for boys and girls
Confession is no longer auricular and specific; absolution becomes assurance
Eucharist is a sign of material help for poor neighbors, not individual salvation

A Conservative Revolutionary: What Luther Doesn't Overturn
Episcopal church structures
Fixed, formal church liturgies
Images of Jesus and the saints
The practice of (infant) baptism and Eucharist as sacramental
The Bible's apocryphal books
Key doctrines (Trinity, incarnation, Church) and creeds
Constantinianism and obedience to (even unjust) civil authority
Anti-Judaism (sadly)
Why the conservatism? Evangelical priority and patience with weak faith