-Wir sein pettler. Hoc est verum.--"We are beggars. This is true."--Martin Luther-

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lutheran Quote of the Day: Thielicke On the Simul

I just read this today. I think it reflects well what I previously posted on Luther's simul, particularily argument 4.

Helmut Thielicke argues against the misuse of the maxim: peccator in re, justus in spe "sinful in fact, righteous in hope." Namely those who feel one's state of justification makes no difference on one's sin in time.

He writes:

"The false reasoning behind such a thesis runs as follows. As long as we are never anything but sinners who have received mercy, nothing really changes in our existence as sinners. Inasmuch as we have to pray each day "forgive us our trespasses," we must continue to be perfectly intact trespassers. The only thing that changes, according to this view, is our relationship to our trespasses and sin: they can no longer seperate us from God. We may therefore accept-- in a sense in which Luther definitely did not intend it-- the tranquilizing imperative: "Sin boldly!" [Pecca fortiter!]...The miracle of the Holy Spirit would then relate only to the sphere of man's "inwardness"; outwardly everything would remain unaltered." (Theological Ethics; Foundations. trans. William H. Lazareth. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966, 41.)

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