Martin Luther (incl. Luther’s Writings)

Vocation: Where Liturgy and Ethics Meet

[1] “The supper is ended. Oh, now be extended the fruits of this service in all who believe” (LW 247). Omer Westendorf’s popular hymn accents the linkage between the Lord’s Supper and our life in the world. The words of the hymn are echoed in the Introduction to Lutheran Worship where we are told “Our […]

Mahn on Christians in Society: Luther, the Bible, and Social Ethics by William Lazareth

[1] Two years ago, I attended a graduate seminar that surveyed the social ethics of foundational Christian thinkers, using Troeltsch’s Social Teachings of the Christian Churches as a roadmap. For our week on Martin Luther, we read “Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants,” “Whether Soldiers, Too, Can Be Saved,” “Temporal Authority: To What […]

Holy Spirit: Gospel Sanctifies in Society (2 of 2)

Part 2 of a 2 part series. From Christians in Society: Luther, the Bible, and Social Ethics by William H. Lazareth, © 2001 Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. For the first part, click here. Priesthood of the Baptized [86] Luther’s theology of sanctifying love in vocation was further reinforced by the ethical doctrine of the […]

Introduction to an Interview with George Forell, September 6, 2001

[1] George W. Forell has been one of the theological giants of the Lutheran churches in America for over half a century. During this time, he has been a major figure in helping to interpret Luther, and particularly a Lutheran understanding of Ethics, to generations of students and scholars alike. His influence on the self-understanding […]

Luther and Christian Liberty

Copyright © 1994, Word & World, Luther Seminary. Word & World, Supplement Series 2, pp. 48-56. First published in the Lutheran Theological Seminary Bulletin 68/1 (Winter 1988), pp. 3-11. Dr. Forell delivered it in lecture form at the October, 1987, “Luther Symposium” at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Used with permission. A Focus of Controversy [1] While Luther […]

Luther and Conscience

Copyright © 1994, Word & World, Luther Seminary.Word & World, Supplement Series 2, pp. 57-65. First published in The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg Bulletin 55/1 (1975) pp. 3-11, and delivered first at the 1974 Martin Luther Colloquium. Used with permission. [1] It is part of the conventional wisdom that the reformation was based upon […]

The Ethics of Martin Luther

Luther did not base his doctrine of the two kingdoms or the two governments on his own speculative thinking. He felt that in this matter too his position was wholly determined by Scripture. He distinguishes two types of statements. One type is characterized by Jesus’ statements in the Sermon on the Mount and the apostles’ […]

Lutheran Ethics and the Ambiguities of Power

Excerpted from: Piety, Politics, and Ethics: Reformation Studies in Honor of George Wolfgang Forell, Carter Lindberg, Editor (Copyright © 1984 by Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, Inc., Kirksville, Missouri) Used with Permission. [1] Being asked to contribute to a Festschrift always presents one with the problem of relating one’s contribution to the opus of the individual […]

Implications of Luther’s Theological Ethic for the U.S. War on Terrorism

The World’s Two Kingdoms (God or Satan; grace or sin) 1. God’s Kingdom. “God created humankind in his image.” (Gen. 1:27) [1] Insights from Christian Tradition. All persons made in their Creator’s holy and loving image are commanded to live in love as a universal human family in peace, justice and freedom under God. They […]

Luther on Vocation

Copyright © 1983 WORD & WORLD, Luther Seminary. Used with permission. From Word & World, Volume III, Number 4, pp. 382-390 [1] The popular view of Martin Luther’s teaching about Christian vocation is that it has to do with one’s occupation. That is, when one is “called” to follow Christ one’s occupation becomes the “calling” […]