Thursday, February 08, 2007

Distinct Approaches -- Scaer and Marquart (2/6)

Continuing with my observations regarding the distinct opinions of two respected churchmen of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod on the subject of the third use of the law (their papers are referenced in a previous post), my second observation is how each man defines antinomianism.
  • Dr. Scaer defines antinomianism in two places: "Antinomianism is the belief that Christians are by faith free from all moral and ethical standards" (p. 2) and later, "...the antinomian view that the Law's accusations apply to the Christian as sinner, lex semper accusat, and not to Christian life" (p. 11).
  • Dr. Marquart defines antinomianism: "the neo-antinomian avoidance of sanctification and the Third Use..." (p. 1).
One equeates the law with moral and ethical standards; the other with sanctification. This distinction affects how each man approaches the subject of the third use and its application to the Christian life.


Aaron said...

Pastor Gehlbach,

I think this citation (in one of Fr. Lange's footnotes) of Chemnitz, provides a bridge between the two definitions:

"In our time the antinomians are contending that the use of the Law refers only to external civil life . . . Even now, certain fanatics are claiming that there is no true use for the Law to show the regenerate man how they may learn good works . . . Therefore, they argue, the regenerate has no use for the Law, not even for teaching, because 'His anointing will teach you all things,' 1 John 2:27 . . . But finally these extravagant statements leave in our minds . . . the notion that it is not necessary for a regenerate person to govern his life according to the norm of the divine law, from which he has been liberated; but rather whatever he decides and thinks of and does is by the Spirit."

Susan said...

What about who the antinomians actually were, back then when the Confessions were writing against antinomianism? The guys who said that Christians didn't need ANY law?