Wie verbindet Martin Luther Sündenvergebung und Abendmahl miteinander? (German Edition)

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The Reformed admit that it is difficult for the human understanding to maintain both that the Bible teaches unconditional predestination and that God is neither unjust nor the author of sin, but they nevertheless maintain the two because to do otherwise would seem to represent a fall away into Pelagianism. Unity on this point is stronger, and is also considered of more importance, than the formal and material variations that the Reformed evidence in terms of the way they address the arguments of their opponents.

Among the distinctions used in this context, the distinction between various types of necessity is most important. Here Peter Martyr Vermigli absolute sovereignty of God in salvation, but on the other hand can cause anxiety for the soul that is already weak. Therefore, if God is revealed as love, then we must say that he is love but must not expect to understand how he is so, and must accept that, for example, he chooses to do apparently unloving things like reprobating some humans absolutely and unconditionally. If God reveals himself to his creatures as love, justice etc.

In the Ethica Aristotle treats the criteria for responsibility. What is it that makes a person responsible for a certain act?

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The concept of hekousion is of fundamental importance, but the meaning of that hekousion is ambiguous and varies between freedom of the will and spontaneity. They sin spontaneously, and thus voluntarily in that limited sense. Above all, this reconciliation is due to a particular notion of freedom as absence of coercion or as spontaneity. See also F. See for example in that volume R. There is no longer a freedom from all necessity, but only from violent coercion. See also A. Arminius did not accept this view on freedom, and for that reason had to attribute freedom of indifference to the human will in order to maintain both responsibility and justice.


This was undoubtedly connected to the process of confessionalization that occurred simultaneously with the arrival of early Orthodoxy and Reformed scholasticism. Some began to dialogue on these questions with their colleagues, but the theological climate was such that criticism of the majority view was hardly tolerated, if at all. Arminius and the Foundation of Theology It was in this theological climate that Arminius received his theological education and as a young pastor developed his own views.

With him there 12 Cf. In the Baker reprint the orations occupy pp. Translations are taken from the same, with modification where necessary. This is the Duplex amor Dei, or twofold love of God. With that, Gomarus appears simply to follow the majority view and does not consider it necessary to explain and prove what for most of his contemporaries was indisputable anyway. He establishes the tone by remarking that the view that makes God the author of sin is the most serious blasphemy of all.

Martin Luther: Great Translators of the Bible

None of the doctors of the Reformed churches can be reproached for explicitly making God the author of sin. Indeed, one cannot but acknowledge that they explicitly denied this, and capably defended themselves in face of such accusations. However, someone may teach something that, unbeknownst to him, implies that God through that teaching becomes the author of sin.

If that is the case, its proponents may not be accused of making God the author of sin, but they still must be urged to abandon and reject their view. It is in this way that Castellio, Coornhert, Lutherans and Catholics all charged some of the teachers of the Reformed churches that one must necessarily conclude that God is the author of sin from their views on predestination and providence.

Arminius, Arminianism, and Europe (Brill's Series in Church History, Volume 39)

The arguments used to prove that this blasphemy results from their views should be given careful consideration. Arminius thus calls his contemporaries to consider, without regard for the persons involved, whether or not from a particular view one can draw the just conclusion that God becomes the author of sin. Arminius argues that the way God wills sin in the views of Perkins, Beza and Calvin does not succeed in acquitting Him of the charge that He effectively wills sin.

Arminius does acknowledge—in contrast to others who did maintain this serious charge—that Calvin, even though he does at times speak improperly, nevertheless cannot be accused of the blasphemies of the Manichees because throughout his writings he clearly acquits himself and his doctrine of that accusation.

It is also in this way that it becomes most clear that God is innocent and free of sin in all his acts, including those of prevention and permission, and is in no way the author of sin. All the distinctions Arminius maintains are intended specifically to avoid these two errors. The same is true of Pelagianism and Manicheism. Arminius begins by outlining three ways in which God would indeed become the author of sin.

If God wills absolutely to realize his own work by means of a creaturely act, while that act cannot be performed without sin. If the creature then has no other option but to perform that act. If God, by inciting his creature to evil, intends that the creature also sin. After this, Arminius goes on to show that his view actually counters these three directly. Secondly, God wills to incite the creature to evil only under the condition that the free will of his creatures responds to the enticement from his side. Should there be no possibility to resist evil, it is no longer a test but coercion to necessary disobedience.

He considers it no less than mindboggling that someone who has even the slightest knowledge of theology would dare to make such an accusation against someone like him who has after all dared to disagree openly with certain views and dogmas of his brothers—and of this they are fully aware!

But he himself teaches no such blasphemy: God is not the author of sin. In the first place, God does not so much have justice as attribute, but rather God is justice.

A Biblical Portrait of Sin

I have already noted that, over against the predominant view that followed Vermigli, Arminius was convinced that spontaneity or absence of coercion was not the sufficient condition for a just imputation of good or wicked deeds. According to Arminius, the real freedom presupposed by justice by definition excludes any and every form of necessity. A similar, essential justice of God can be found in Anselm see above. The second level concerns the remarkable place Arminius gives to justice as fundamental concept for religion in general.


Arminius makes a distinction between Legal and Evangelical theology: the first pertains to theology before the fall, the second to the postfall situation. Arminius emphasizes that theology is in the first place practical, that is, directed to human worship of God and thus ought to be methodologically adapted to the limited human understanding. The object of theology, which is God, must be clothed in such a way that it advises suadere worship of God, and persuades persuadere people to do it.

Arminius always uses these criteria when he evaluates other theological positions and viewpoints. Deinde puto duplicem in universum esse viam modum et rationem obtinendae felicitatis aeternae supernaturalis. Unam strictae iustitiae et legalem, alteram misericordiae et Evangelicam: quemadmodum etiam duplex est foedus Dei, operum unum, alterum fidei; unum iustitiae, alterum gratiae; unum legale, alterum Evangelicum. Per illam viam et rationem felicitas obtinetur perfecta legis creaturae a Deo datae obedientia: per hanc vero viam et rationem obtinetur felicitas inobedientiae remissione et iustitiae imputatione.

Aliam viam mens humana concipere nequit: saltem nulla alia sacris Scripturis est patefacta. Hi duo modi hunc inter se ordinem habent, ut iste praecedat, sic iustitia Dei, conditione creaturae, et natura rei ipsius postulante: alter modus sequatur, si quidem per illum priorem felicitas creaturae obtingere nequeat et Deo visum sit etiam illum creaturae proponere, quod omnino est puri puti arbitrii divini.

As Creator, God has the right to determine how humanity ought to worship him. This is his providence, which he executes in a holy, just and wise manner sancte, juste et sapienter. There are two components to that covenant: promise and obligation. God demands to be obeyed and worshiped, and is ready to reward that abundantly. Determinative for the Evangelical theology is that sin must now be reckoned with as a factor, yet the way sin is taken into account is entirely consistent with the way God revealed Himself in the Legal theology: as a good and just God.

Through the fall into sin, the Legal theology is no longer sufficient to attain the goal. Humankind is under condemnation, people are children of wrath and in need of justification Homo iustificandus erat. For that reason, the Legal theology is not suited to salvation. For salvation to be possible, a new beginning must be made: the Evangelical theology is needed. The goal of theology, worship of God, remains the same.

However, the three elements that needed to be known and that sufficed within the context of the Legal theology are no longer sufficient after the fall. This is impossible without faith Rom. Thus a revelation concerning Jesus Christ was necessary, and as a result the foundation of the theology that will contribute sufficiently for the salvation of the sinner needs two objects: God and Christ.

The Evangelical or Christian theology has two objects that may not be separated, even if the second that is Christ is subordinate to the first subordinatum. Yet his justice also determines that his wrath remain on unbelievers because they are outside of Christ. With his unshakeable justice, God remains hidden behind Christ; his wrath can and will be poured out only when Christ has been rejected as Mediator.

The third level concerns the continuous attention Arminius gives to justice above and beyond the first two. Contra R. Qui possit? Arminius identifies the twofold love of God as the foundation of religion in general, and of the Christian religion in particular. The first and most important love is that for justice, the second and subordinate love is for humankind.

In other words, God can love a person only when his justice has been satisfied with respect to that person. And when that is indeed the case, God will also certainly love that man or woman. Hartsoecker eds. The entire nineteenth argument is devoted to the Duplex amor Dei.

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Its content, length, and relationship to the other arguments allow one safely to conclude that its placement near the end of the Declaration does not imply it is subordinate to the earlier arguments, but is instead where Arminius finally builds his argument up into a climax. This is the manner in which it lays down the position,—that God has willed to give to the creature not only something which does not belong to it, but which is connected with its greatest injury: Which is another act directly opposed to his justice.

In accordance, therefore, with this doctrine, God, in the first place, detracts from himself that which is rightly his own, and then imparts to the creature what does not belong to it, to its great misery. His love for humankind is that he wills to give them eternal life, should they seek God.

Arminius writes: A mutual relation subsists between these two kinds of love, which is this: The latter species of love, which extends itself to the creatures, cannot come into existence, except so far as it is permitted by the former, [the love of justice]: The former love, therefore, is by far the most excellent species; but in every direction there is abundant scope for the emanations of the latter, [the love of the creature]—except where the former [the love of justice] has placed some impediment in the range of its exercise.

In that case, God loves the person more than justice. The end of religion, which is practical, consists in the worship of God. Nay, he will by an irresistible force draw me to obey him, rather than not suffer me to be made his heir. This [twofold—WdB] love, however, is to be considered in a manner somewhat different, in consequence of the change in the condition of man, who, when he had been created after the image of God and in his favour, became by his own fault a sinner and an enemy of God. Sinners profit from this justice and share in the righteousness won by Christ through faith in Christ.

Communion with Christ is established through faith in Him, and his righteousness is imputed to those who believe. Arminius is moreover convinced that a supralapsarian view of predestination conflicts with the foundation of the Christian religion in two ways. In what human mind soever either of these pests is fostered, it is impossible that any true and proper worship of God can there reside.