Theology of the Cross


Theology of the Cross Contents

The nature and character of theology

Difficulty level: Adult

Heidelberg Disputation (the theology of the cross) by Martin Luther (that translation is the source of the Luther quotation)

'All Theology is Christology': How Does Every Passage of Scripture Reveal Christ? by David P. Scaer

Difficulty level: Seminary

Luther on the Theology of the Cross by Robert Kolb | Excerpt:

God at his most glorious, in his display of the extent of his mercy and love for his human creatures, appears, Luther believed, in the depth of the shame of the cross. There he is to be seen as he really is, in his true righteousness, which is mercy and love. There human beings are to be seen as those who deserve to die eternally but who now through baptismal death have the life Christ gives through his resurrection, forever.

The Concept of [Temptation] in Luther's Thought by David P. Scaer | Excerpt:

The Law, even placed by Satan in the hands of Christ, leaves the Christian in despair with no hope of release. In this [temptation] God presents Christ the Redeemer as the only hope of sinners. Satan's preparation of the Christian for damnation has become God's preparation for salvation. The Christian brought face to face with hell is rescued for the glories of heaven.

Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio: What Makes a Theologian? by John Kleinig

The Smalcald Articles as a Systematic Theology: A Comparison with the Augsburg Confession by H. P. Hamann

Theology of the Cross Contents

Holy Scripture

Difficulty level: Adult

The Comprehensive Summary, Foundation, Rule and Norm by theologians of the Augsburg Confession

Luther and Chemnitz on Scripture by Eugene F. Klug

The Doctrine of the Word in Orthodox Lutheranism by C. George Fry

The Use of the Church Fathers in the Formula of Concord by J. A. O. Preus

Christ in All the Scriptures: The Biblical Typology of Luther and the Fathers by Chad L. Bird

Difficulty level: Seminary

The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church by Heinrich Schmid | Excerpt:

From those perspicuous passages of Scripture a rule of faith is gathered, which is, so to speak, a summary of the heavenly doctrine extracted from the clearest passages of Scripture. Whatever, therefore, is necessary, is clearly expressed in the Holy Scriptures, says Chrysostom. If certain things in them are very obscure, the knowledge of these is not necessary to all for their salvation; and hence, although we may not always ascertain their true and genuine interpretation, it is sufficient if, in interpreting them, we propose nothing that conflicts with the rule of faith.

The Clarity of Scripture and Hermeneutical Principles in the Lutheran Confessions by Erling T. Teigen

Analogia Fidei as Hermeneutical Principle by John F. Johnson

Reformed Exegesis and Lutheran Sacraments: Worlds in Conflict by David P. Scaer

Prophecy and Typology by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

The Voice of Jesus: "He Interpreted to Them in all the Scriptures the Things Concerning Himself" by Arthur A. Just

Theology of the Cross Contents

The doctrine of God

Difficulty level: Adult

Sermon for Trinity Sunday; Romans 11:33-36 by Martin Luther

Yoga by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

The Gifts of the Spirit: Spirituality or Vocation? by John T. Pless | "Might it be that Luther (if not Lutheranism) is just too radical for the Emergent Church?"

The Holy Trinity and Our Lutheran Liturgy by Timothy Maschke

If God Exists, Why Doesn't He Prove It? by David R. Bickel

Difficulty level: Seminary

Luther and Theosis by Kurt E. Marquart

A Lutheran Professor Educated at Westminster Theological Seminary Looks for Similarities and Dissimilarities [on the article of the Holy Spirit] by Richard E. Muller

The Spirit Understood Christologically by David P. Scaer | Excerpt:

If Jesus was tempted to disarm himself of his humility to exercise his glory (Matthew 4:3), so the Church is tempted to despise her humility to impress the world. Unbelief among her members consists in accepting the world's assessment that she is weak and of no value. She repudiates her history and despises her tradition as ignoble. This unbelief contradicts her own self-confession that she is elect and holy. Distrust of tradition discloses an intellectual arrogance and more importantly a less than full understanding of the Church as the Spirit's work... Remove Christ from the equation of inspiration and the Bible soon becomes a book of laws (principles for living). If the absence of the filioque can be said to lead to universalism (even if the evidence is unconvincing), how much more does its absence lead to a moralistic understanding of the Bible.

Theology of the Cross Contents

The creation of the world and of man

Difficulty level: Adult

The Christian Family in Today's Society Viewed in a Biblical Perspective by David P. Scaer | "'The family which prays together stays together' ...says nothing about true and false religions."

Difficulty level: Seminary

The Use and Misuse of Luther in Contemporary Debates on Homosexuality: A Look at Two Theologians by Prof. John T. Pless

About the domestic state and society, and especially the state of marriage, parents, and masters by John William Baier, edited by C. F. W. Walther | Excerpt:

The duties of the husband are, to protect the wife, to guide her by plans and warnings, to provide the necessities of their life, and to refresh her by caressing conversation. For the wives the duties are, to honor the husband and to obey him, and to have care for family matters. It is possible to define marriage, that it is an association or conjunction of one male and one female, indissoluble, according to the divine institution, born from the mutual consent of both, for the generation of offspring and the mutual help of life.

Theology of the Cross Contents

Divine providence, or the preservation and government of the world

Difficulty level: Adult

Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans by Martin Luther

Difficulty level: Seminary

Divine Providence, History, and Progress in Saint Augustine's City of God by John A. Maxfield

Theology of the Cross Contents


Difficulty level: Adult

Hymn Notes: Advent, Christmas, and Angels by Kantor Richard C. Resch

Difficulty level: Seminary

The Confessions and the Mission of the Church (With special emphasis upon the ecumenical movement) by Robert D. Preus | see pp. 13-14 on demonology

Theology of the Cross Contents

The doctrine of man

Difficulty level: Adult

The Doctrine of Man: Christian Anthropology by Eugene F. Klug

Difficulty level: Seminary

Original Sin by theologians of the Augsburg Confession

Mortal & Venial Sin by Martin Chemnitz

Theology of the Cross Contents

The saving grace of God

Difficulty level: Adult

An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism by Joseph Stump | Excerpt:

He does it purely
1. Out of Paternal and Divine Goodness and Mercy. It is Paternal or fatherly goodness and mercy, because He is my Father through Jesus Christ, and loves me as His child. It is Divine goodness and mercy, because God is love, and only His unspeakable love could move Him to bestow His great benefits upon sinful men, even upon the wicked and unthankful...

Difficulty level: Seminary

The Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (in 95 Theses) by Martin Luther

The Grace of God as the Foundation for Ethics by Jeffery Gibbs | Excerpt:

God's grace, by its very nature, is free from any influences caused by the nature of its objects. The love of God for sinful men is not only undeserved—it is undeservable. Although one fears to say dogmatically what God cannot do, it seems consistent to say that conditional love, evoked in some way by some quality in love's object, is never present in God. He cannot love in that way. Even if there existed a humanity, confirmed in bliss like the holy angels, and therefore perfectly worthy of God's love, still God would not love that humanity for that reason. But rather, the love of God is a free giving which is not increased, decreased, or changed by the qualities possessed by the recipients of that love... It is the grace of God, not the creative power of God, which provides the rationale for Christian ethics. Just as men must receive an "alien righteousness" through faith in Christ in order to be saved, so has all mankind received an "alien value," coming from the outside, by being the objects of God's love in Jesus. This is the plain teaching of the New Testament. The love and concern which Christians must offer to all human beings grows out of the universal love of God for all. Christ's death has purchased forgiveness for all mankind. All persons are the objects of His love. And so they are to be for Christ's people.

Joint Lutheran/Roman Catholic Declaration on Justification: A Response by David P. Scaer et al.

Theology of the Cross Contents

The doctrine of Christ

Difficulty level: Adult

On the Incarnation by Athanasius

The Kingdom of Christ by Martin Luther

Learning to Preach in Advent and Christmas from Luther by John T. Pless

Luther's Small Catechism and the Heidelberg Catechism by Ulrich Asendorf

Difficulty level: Seminary

Against Heresies by Irenaeus

Disputation On the Divinity and Humanity of Christ by Martin Luther

Luther's Concept of the Resurrection by David P. Scaer

Justification and the Book of Acts by Peter J. Scaer

The Crucifixion and Docetic Christology by Edwin M. Yamauchi

Luther on Atonement—Reconfigured by Kenneth Hagen

Parables of Atonement and Assurance: Matthew 13:44-46 by Jeffrey A. Gibbs

The Gospel of Luke and the Christology of Martyrdom by Peter J. Scaer

Theology of the Cross Contents

The application of salvation

Difficulty level: Adult

Luther's Tower Experience: Martin Luther Discovers the True Meaning of Righteousness by Martin Luther

Definition of Faith by Martin Luther

Difficulty level: Seminary

Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians by Martin Luther

The Word of God is not rightly divided when there is a disposition to offer the comfort of the Gospel only to those who have been made contrite by the Law, not from fear of the wrath and punishment of God, but from love of God by C. F. W. Walther

The Word of God is not rightly divided when one makes an appeal to believe in a manner as if a person could make himself believe or at least help towards that end, instead of preaching faith into a person’s heart by laying the Gospel promises before him by C. F. W. Walther

Agreement and Disagreement on Justification by Faith Alone by Gottfried Marten

Successful or Justified? The North American Doctrine of Salvation by Works by Robert A. Kelly

Theology of the Cross Contents

The Christian life, or sanctification and good works

The Christian life, or sanctification and good works:

Theology of the Cross Contents

Final perseverance

Difficulty level: Adult

The Third of the Smalcald Articles by Martin Luther | Excerpt:

On the other hand, if certain sectarists would arise, some of whom are perhaps already extant, and in the time of the insurrection [of the peasants] came to my own view, holding that all those who had once received the Spirit or the forgiveness of sins, or had become believers, even though they should afterwards sin, would still remain in the faith, and such sin would not harm them, and [hence] crying thus: "Do whatever you please; if you believe, it all amounts to nothing; faith blots out all sins," etc.—they say, besides, that if any one sins after he has received faith and the Spirit, he never truly had the Spirit and faith: I have had before me [seen and heard] many such insane men, and I fear that in some such a devil is still remaining [hiding and dwelling]. It is, accordingly, necessary to know and to teach that when holy men, still having and feeling original sin, also daily repenting of and striving with it, happen to fall into manifest sins, as David into adultery, murder, and blasphemy, that then faith and the Holy Ghost has departed from them [they cast out faith and the Holy Ghost]. For the Holy Ghost does not permit sin to have dominion, to gain the upper hand so as to be accomplished, but represses and restrains it so that it must not do what it wishes. But if it does what it wishes, the Holy Ghost and faith are [certainly] not present. For St. John says, 1 John 3, 9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, ... and he cannot sin. And yet it is also the truth when the same St. John says, 1, 8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

Difficulty level: Seminary

The Word of God is not rightly divided when the preacher describes faith in a manner as if the mere inert acceptance of truths, even while a person in living in mortal sins, renders that person righteous in the sight of God and saves him by C. F. W. Walther

The Word of God is not rightly divided when a false distinction is made between a person's being awakened and his being converted; moreover, when a person's inability to believe is mistaken for his not being permitted to believe by C. F. W. Walther | "Consider that according to the Scriptures it is not at all difficult to be converted, but to remain in a converted state, that is difficult."

Theology of the Cross Contents

The means of grace

Difficulty level: Adult

Galatians Commentary by Martin Luther | Excerpt:

God never said to Abraham: "In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because thou hast kept the Law." When Abraham was still uncircumcised and without the Law or any law, indeed, when he was still an idol worshiper, God said to him: "Get thee out of thy country, etc.; I am thy shield, etc.; In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." These are unconditional promises which God freely made to Abraham without respect to works.

The Gospel Is What Lutherans Care About by Norman E. Nagel | concise

The Keys: Christ's Word of Law & Gospel by Lawrence Rast | Excerpt from Luther:

The key which binds is the power or office to punish the sinner who refuses to repent by means of a public condemnation to eternal death and separation from the rest of Christendom. And when such judgment is pronounced, it is as a judgment of Christ himself. The loosing key is the power or office to absolve the sinner who makes confession and is converted from sins, promising again eternal life... A simple trusting heart can boldly rely on God's action. And in times of deep distress, with our conscience accusing us, we may say: Well then! I have been absolved of my sins, however many and great they may be, by means of the key, on which I may rely. Let no one remind me of my sins any longer.

Theses on justification by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod | Excerpt:

It is contrary to Scripture and the pure Gospel to teach:

That the word of absolution may be pronounced conditionally, e.g., I forgive you your sins, on the condition that you believe and change your life;

That absolution is not a true forgiveness, a divine verdict by which God exonerates and forgives sins, but merely an offer of forgiveness to those who believe;

That since we cannot be certain of the true contrition and faith of anyone, we cannot pronounce an unconditional absolution.

Difficulty level: Seminary

Private Confession and Absolution in the Lutheran Church: A Doctrinal, Historical, and Critical Study by P. H. D. Lang

Baptism and the Lord's Supper in the Life of the Church by David P. Scaer | Excerpt:

The Lutheran cliche, "word and sacrament," could falsely give the impression that baptism as a rite needs the corrective or complementary activity of preaching and faith. But baptism is the all-encompassing sacrament. Preaching should not be viewed as a separate function but rather it represents to the believer that same Christ in whose death and life he shared through baptism. Preaching directs unbelievers to baptism to find Christ and believers back to baptism to reestablish their faith in Him. The organic unity between baptism and preaching must be preserved.

Sacraments as an Affirmation of Creation by David P. Scaer

The Augsburg Confession and its Missiological Significance by Karl Hartenstein

Theology of the Cross Contents

Law and Gospel

Difficulty level: Adult

A sermon by Martin Luther from his Church Postil, 1520's by Martin Luther

Sermon for the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity; Matthew 22:34-46 by Martin Luther

Killing with Kindness by Kurt E. Marquart

Difficulty level: Seminary

The Word of God is not rightly divided when the Law is preached to those who are already in terror an account of their sins or the Gospel to those who live securely in their sins by C. F. W. Walther

The Word of God, the Law and the Gospel, is not rightly divided, but commingled, when the preacher describes faith in a manner as if it makes a person righteous and saves him for the reason that it produces in him love and a reformation of his mode of living by C. F. W. Walther

The Word of God is not rightly divided when the person teaching it does not allow the Gospel to have a general predominance in his teaching by C. F. W. Walther

The Word of God is not rightly divided when sinners who have been struck down and terrified by the Law are directed, not to the Word and the Sacraments, but to their own prayers and wrestlings with God by C. F. W. Walther | Excerpt: other words, when they are told to keep on praying and struggling until they feel that God has received them into grace. ...the sects teach false doctrine concerning the Gospel. They regard it as nothing else than an instruction for man, teaching him what he must do to secure the grace of God, while in reality the Gospel is God's proclamation to men: "Ye are redeemed from your sins; ye are reconciled to God; your sins are forgiven." No sectarian preacher dare make this frank statement.

Justification: Basic Linguistic Aspects and the Art of Communicating It by Theodore Mueller

Choose Life! by Walter Obare Omwanza

Theology of the Cross Contents

Holy Baptism

Difficulty level: Adult

Second Christmas Sermon; Titus 3:4-8 by Martin Luther

The Baptism of Children by Paul E. Kretzmann

Luther on Baptism by Mark D. Tranvik | Excerpt:

To exclude anyone from baptism on the basis of... age would not only challenge an ordinance of God; it would also suggest that the divine promises were dependent upon human activity.

Infant Baptism: An Ongoing Event in the Christian Life by Peter J. Scaer | Excerpt:

Then, also, each day, we are called to draw Baptism's power. Each day, as we rise, we repent of our sin and acknowledge our indebtedness to God. Then, having done so, we draw upon our Baptism as the assurance that God loves us and forgives us.

Roundtable 10: Baptism by Paul T. McCain et al. | Excerpt:

...we have no grounds to agree with parents who have chosen not to baptize a baby, and then have lost it, that the child is certainly in heaven. Likewise, if we know a believer who has not yet received Baptism, we should not allow him to rest in the promise of salvation, but should spur him on actually to RECEIVE what the Gospel promises.

Baptism (Lutheran Doctrine)—International Standard Bible Encyclopedia by W. H. T. Dau

Difficulty level: Seminary

Baptism as Church Foundation by David P. Scaer

Luther, Baptism, and the Church Today by David P. Scaer | Excerpt:

Luther's linking of God to the sacraments as masks behind which He works raises the question of their necessity. Not unexpectedly, Luther says that God can save without baptism, but distancing himself from a Zwinglian position adds, "but in the church we must judge and teach, in accordance with God's ordered power, that without that outward baptism no one is saved." Simply because one finds these masks unsatisfactory or repugnant, one is not free to search for God in other places, such as pilgrim sites, devotions and prayer. Setting up the golden calf in Bethel is an idolatrous example of contempt for God.

Theology of the Cross Contents

The Lord's Supper

Difficulty level: Adult

Of the Sacrament of the Altar by Martin Luther

What Would Martin Luther Say? An Excerpt From Martin Luther's Spiritual Last Will & Testament by Martin Luther

Difficulty level: Seminary

Philosophical Presuppositions in the Lutheran-Reformed Debate on John 6 by Lowell C. Green

God's People in Fellowship at the Communion Table by Lowell C. Green | Excerpts:

Zwingli held that on Ascension Day, Christ ascended to heaven in such a way that he is now separated from the Church on earth till he comes again at the end of time. Behind this was what Bultmann calls the mythological view that the earth is flat, and that heaven and hell are both spatial places like this world, except that the one is above the earth and the other beneath its surface. Since Christ had gone straight up in his Ascension, according to Zwingli, he could not be present in the Bread and Wine of the Sacrament... Lutheran theologians did not accept the mythological view of heaven and hell... Werner Elert writes: "It was Luther's Reformed opponents, who played their view of Christ's Ascension against Luther's doctrine of the Lord's Supper, that led Luther to loose the relationship between Here and the Hereafter from the worldview of his time. 'Heaven' as the dwelling-place of God is not a place in the spatial sense... The results of Luther's stand have had an incalculable influence on the development of the modern worldview." [John of Damascus had made this observation centuries before Luther]

Theology of the Cross Contents

The Christian Church

The Christian Church:

Theology of the Cross Contents

The public ministry

Difficulty level: Adult

Theology and Practice of "the Divine Call" by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Luther on the Ministry by Eugene F. Klug

Difficulty level: Seminary

The Lutheran Doctrine of the Office of the Ministry by Hermann Sasse

The Teaching Office by Adolf Hoenecke

Theology of the Cross Contents

Eternal election

Difficulty level: Adult

A Sermon on Predestination by C. F. W. Walther

The Doctrine of Election: A Lutheran Note by David P. Scaer

Difficulty level: Seminary

Free Will, or Human Powers by theologians of the Augsburg Confession

Election by theologians of the Augsburg Confession

Theology of the Cross Contents

Eschatology, or the last things

Difficulty level: Adult

Sermon for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity; Matthew 25:31-42 by Martin Luther

A Lutheran Response to the "Left Behind" Series by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Difficulty level: Seminary

The End Times: A Study on Eschatology and Millennialism by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Theology of the Cross Contents

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Last updated: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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