11:29 PM

Quotes from the Augsburg Confession (1530)

Written by Philip Melanchthon, Luther's right-hand man, the Augsburg Confession was basically a last ditch effort to reunite the Reformation movement with Rome. Perhaps if you read the cited passages below, you will see why it didn't work.

I think it's interesting that Melanchthon is considered a "liberal" Reformer.


On Original Sin: "[...A]ll men are full of evil lust and inclinations from their mothers' wombs and are unable by nature to have true fear of God and true faith in God. Moreover, this inborn sickness and hereditary sin is truly sin and condemns to the eternal wrath of God all those who are not born again through baptism and the Holy Spirit." Doctrine of total depravity, anyone?

On Justification: "[...W]e receive forgiveness of sin and become righteous before God by grace, for Christ's sake, through faith, when we believe that Christ suffered for us and that for his sake our sin is forgiven and righteousness and eternal life are given to us." Go here, thanks to him.

On the New Obedience: "It is also taught among us that such faith should produce good fruits and good works and that we must do all such good works as God has commanded, but we should do them for God's sake and not place our trust in them as if thereby to merit favor before God." Just because something isn't necessary for our salvation doesn't make it irrelevant. (We talked about this a heap in my ethics class last summer.)

On Repentance: "Properly speaking, true repentance is nothing else than to have contrition and sorrow, or terror, on account of sin, and yet at the same time to believe the gospel and absolution (namely, that sin has been forgiven and grace has been obtained through Christ), and this faith will comfort the heart and again set it at rest." You can't have one without the other. Believe me, I've tried.

On the Use of the Sacraments: "It is taught among us that the sacraments were instituted not only to be signs by which people might be identified outwardly as Christians, but that they are signs and testimonies of God's will toward us for the purpose of awakening and strengthening our faith." Yay sacraments!!!

On Faith and Good Works: "[Our opponents] do not teach now that we become righteous before God by our works alone, but they add faith in Christ and say that faith and works make us righteous before God. This teaching may offer a little more comfort than the teaching that we are to rely solely on our works." Haha! A little more, perhaps, but certainly not much. At all.

[Emphases mine.]