Lutheran view of soteriology

eternomade

Well-known member
I could Google this question but I thought if I got a few responses from Lutherans I could somewhat understand the general view.

I do understand that Lutherans claim to be monergistic rather than synergistic, and I agree this is what scripture teaches.

I also understand that Lutherans would most likely agree more with Calvinists rather than Arminians, but I could use some clarification on that, especially if it involves TULIP.

So, a few questions, if you dont mind:

1. How is one saved, and how does this differ from Calvinism and Arminianism?
2. Do Lutherans believe in Free Grace, Lordship Salvation, or something else?
3. Do Lutherans reject any part of TULIP?
4. How do Lutherans have assurance of salvation?

Thanks!
 
I could Google this question but I thought if I got a few responses from Lutherans I could somewhat understand the general view.

I do understand that Lutherans claim to be monergistic rather than synergistic, and I agree this is what scripture teaches.

I also understand that Lutherans would most likely agree more with Calvinists rather than Arminians, but I could use some clarification on that, especially if it involves TULIP.

So, a few questions, if you dont mind:
Fair warning, I'm old school.
1. How is one saved, and how does this differ from Calvinism and Arminianism?
People are saved through the means of grace, the word and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper.
2. Do Lutherans believe in Free Grace, Lordship Salvation, or something else?
As an outsider the question of free grace vs lordship salvation seems poorly formed. Jesus is Lord and we are united with Him in our baptism, etc.
3. Do Lutherans reject any part of TULIP?
I'm pretty sure I've heard Dr Rod Rosenbladt (A Reformed theology friendly sort of fellow, relatively speaking, imho.) say on air that he could agree with maybe a point and a half. I am at about half that.

More fundamental and central for us is Christology. From my perspective, if we agreed on Christology many other disagreements would fade away.
4. How do Lutherans have assurance of salvation?

Thanks!
I guess that would depend on what you mean by assurance of salvation. The Lord's promise to His baptized disciples who were going out to preach the gospel to all people's was that the one who believed and was baptized shall be saved. Since those are the work of God that is strong assurance.
 
People are saved through the means of grace, the word and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper.
Can you expand on this? I assume the three below are all 1 time experiences, correct?
- Grace
- Baptism
- Lord's supper

As an outsider the question of free grace vs lordship salvation seems poorly formed. Jesus is Lord and we are united with Him in our baptism, etc.
I'm sorry about that. I understand that Jesus is Lord, that He is sovereign, these are just terms used to describe theology, like "Trinity".

Is there a theology for Lutheran soteriological views of scripture? A name? I am aware of 4, but maybe Lutherans fall into one of these?
- Free Grace
- Arminian(Prevenient Grace)
- Calvinist(Lordship Salvation)
- Calvinist(Free and Sovereign Grace)

If you're not familiar with any of these then it's no big deal.

Maybe it is in a confession? Do Lutherans have confessions or creeds?
I'm pretty sure I've heard Dr Rod Rosenbladt (A Reformed theology friendly sort of fellow, relatively speaking, imho.) say on air that he could agree with maybe a point and a half. I am at about half that.

More fundamental and central for us is Christology. From my perspective, if we agreed on Christology many other disagreements would fade away.
Where are the disagreements in Christology between you and another "Christian"? Also, which part of TULIP could you halfway agree with? Is this universal among most Lutherans?

I guess that would depend on what you mean by assurance of salvation. The Lord's promise to His baptized disciples who were going out to preach the gospel to all people's was that the one who believed and was baptized shall be saved. Since those are the work of God that is strong assurance.
Means of grace is assurance then, correct? I am not trying to trap you, just learning.

Thanks!
 
I do understand that Lutherans claim to be monergistic rather than synergistic, and I agree this is what scripture teaches.

Yup

I also understand that Lutherans would most likely agree more with Calvinists rather than Arminians

Yup.


1. How is one saved, and how does this differ from Calvinism and Arminianism?

Sola Gratia - Solus Christus - Sola Fide (as ONE inseparable truth). Jesus is the Savior (not self), Jesus does the saving (not self). We apprehend this (it is applied to self) via the divine gift of faith (trust/reliance).

We agree with the Reformed on this. We simply disagree that Jesus died ONLY for some unidentifiable few (which is not only unbiblical but destroys any assurance of salvation) and that God somehow desires some to fry in hell.

We disagree with Arminians in that we reject that we are saved because of a good work WE do (choosing Jesus), that Jesus is not the Savior but only the Offerer.


2. Do Lutherans believe in Free Grace, Lordship Salvation, or something else?

Lost me....


3. Do Lutherans reject any part of TULIP?


Yes. It is a distinctive of a tiny minority of Reformed Christians, no other Christians accept it (and I'm not sure I've actually personlly known a Calvinist who accepts it).


4. How do Lutherans have assurance of salvation?

In God we trust. In self, we are terrified.





Welcome.




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We agree with the Reformed on this. We simply disagree that Jesus died ONLY for some unidentifiable few (which is not only unbiblical but destroys any assurance of salvation) and that God somehow desires some to fry in hell.
Thanks for your response. Would Lutherans say that Jesus died for His sheep? Do you believe His sheep were predestined at all, or elected before time?

We disagree with Arminians in that we reject that we are saved because of a good work WE do (choosing Jesus), that Jesus is not the Savior but only the Offerer.
Good to hear this! Amen.

Lost me....
Sorry about that. I lost @BJ Bear as well, my fault.

Here is what I responded to BJ though:

- Free Grace
- Arminian(Prevenient Grace)
- Calvinist(Lordship Salvation)
- Calvinist(Free and Sovereign Grace)

If you're not familiar with these different doctrines that's fine, was just curious if Lutherans had their own or used one of these.

Yes. It is a distinctive of a tiny minority of Reformed Christians, no other Christians accept it (and I'm not sure I've actually personlly known a Calvinist who accepts it).
Interesting. Maybe I misunderstand you, but all Calvinists believe in all 5 points. If you believe in 4 points, that wouldn't be considered Calvinist, IMO. I believe all 5.
In God we trust. In self, we are terrified.
Amen.

I have assurance because God granted me faith to believe the gospel. Would you say the same?

Thank you for your answers.
 
Can you expand on this?
The means of grace are the ordinary means by which the Lord saves. It doesn't mean that he can't or won't save someone outside those means but they are what He has given the body of Christ, the church, to accomplish His will.

Based on your questions as a whole I would recommend The Way Of Salvation In The Lutheran Church written by Gerberding. It can be read online at the link or downloaded as a pdf or another preferred format.

It is a pleasant high level read written for Lutheran's who were encountering American revivalism for the first time. If a person just reads the first two or three chapters then he will find how we read Scripture and the consequences of reading Scripture in that manner through multiple examples.

The super short answer in that regard is that we read Scripture according to it's God given perfect immediate context. As a rule unless there is some clear indicator in the text itself we read the words according to their plain meaning.
I assume the three below are all 1 time experiences, correct?
- Grace
- Baptism
- Lord's supper
You may be understanding or using grace in a different way than we do. We understand grace, primarily God's unmerited favor, to be a life long activity of God for us on acount of the person and work of Christ for all men.

The one baptism is a one time event with a consequence of a lifelong experience.

I'm not sure what you mean by the Lord's Supper being a one time experience. All who partake of, or receive, the Lord's Supper experience it to their benefit or detriment as often as they partake it or receive it.
I'm sorry about that. I understand that Jesus is Lord, that He is sovereign, these are just terms used to describe theology, like "Trinity".
Ok. A graduate of a Dispensational seminary once explained the dispute to me but I couldn't really affirm either whole heartedly because of the context in which it was presented.
Is there a theology for Lutheran soteriological views of scripture? A name? I am aware of 4, but maybe Lutherans fall into one of these?
- Free Grace
- Arminian(Prevenient Grace)
- Calvinist(Lordship Salvation)
- Calvinist(Free and Sovereign Grace)

If you're not familiar with any of these then it's no big deal.
None of the above. We are Christocentric. Our theology begins with the person and work of Christ for all men and then works outward. When a less central doctrine is recognized we don't then say, "Well if this is true then this other less central doctrine X Is or must also be true." Instead we return to the person and work of Christ to see whether there is a correct relationship to the less central doctrine X.
Maybe it is in a confession? Do Lutherans have confessions or creeds?
Yes, all of our Symbols are found in the Book Of Concord.
Where are the disagreements in Christology between you and another "Christian"?
Unfortunately, "Christians" have found ways to disagree on Christology. An obvious example is that typified by the old NIV translation of Acts 3:21. Because of a particular Reformed Christological doctrine it had something like, "Christ must remain in heaven..." Thankfully, the NIV has corrected that error.

A consequence of that Reformed doctrine is found in their views of baptism and the Lord's supper as only symbols. See the Consensus Tigurinus for verification. (Calvin also said he didn't hold a symbol only view but he did sign the Consensus Tigurinus.)
Also, which part of TULIP could you halfway agree with? Is this universal among most Lutherans?
Dr R and myself can go along with total depravity to differing degrees. (Assuming my memory is correct, I don't remember which other point got him to one and a half.)

Yes, there are significant doctrinal disagreements and they can be found in the Book Of Concord. For example, we refer to what is called limited atonement as blasphemous.
Means of grace is assurance then, correct? I am not trying to trap you, just learning.
A promise depends on the one who made it. God's promises are sure and He says what occurs through the word and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper on account of the person and work of Christ for all men. We merely receive what is promised through faith.
You're welcome.
 
Thanks for your response. Would Lutherans say that Jesus died for His sheep? Do you believe His sheep were predestined at all, or elected before time?

Yes, He died for His sheep because He died for everyone. There's no requirement to analogize and terrorized over whether I'm one of the few Jesus died for - something no one can ever know since God didn't publish a list of the few Jesus died for. Nope. He died for ALL. THUS, He died for me.

Yes, I accept election. But this applies to the granting of the gift of faith, not the Cross. It's not CHRIST who is not universal, it's faith that's not.


Interesting. Maybe I misunderstand you, but all Calvinists believe in all 5 points. If you believe in 4 points, that wouldn't be considered Calvinist, IMO

Perhaps. But if so, then I've never met a Calvinist. Just LOTS of people who consider themselves "Reformed" and have been such for some centuries of ancestors. My wife comes from a LONG, LONG time of Reformed folks - including lots of pastors and seminary profs... her parents and sibs are all very active in Reformed churches, she grew up in a tiny Orthodox Presbyterian Church. But none of her family agree with all of TULIP.

At another site, I read a Presbyterian pastor post that nearly all Reformed members think that TULIP is a pretty flower I suspect he's right.


I have assurance because God granted me faith to believe the gospel. Would you say the same?


No. My certainly does not rest in ANYTHING in me, it rests at the Cross. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. My faith may waver all over the place, but my Savior does not.



Thank you for your answers.


Thank you for the conversation.

Years ago, I was active here... but left for another site where I'm very active. But I still (rarely) poke my head over here too.

Blessings!

Josiah



.




.
 
Perhaps. But if so, then I've never met a Calvinist. Just LOTS of people who consider themselves "Reformed" and have been such for some centuries of ancestors. My wife comes from a LONG, LONG time of Reformed folks - including lots of pastors and seminary profs... her parents and sibs are all very active in Reformed churches, she grew up in a tiny Orthodox Presbyterian Church. But none of her family agree with all of TULIP.

At another site, I read a Presbyterian pastor post that nearly all Reformed members think that TULIP is a pretty flower I suspect he's right.
That is interesting, can I ask where you are from? I am in Arizona, USA.

No. My certainly does not rest in ANYTHING in me, it rests at the Cross. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. My faith may waver all over the place, but my Savior does not.
Christ is the object of faith, and faith is the instrument that God uses to save? I realize faith can be very small. I should have worded it more clearly, apologies.

hank you for the conversation.

Years ago, I was active here... but left for another site where I'm very active. But I still (rarely) poke my head over here too.

Blessings!

Josiah
Nice to meet you!
 
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