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Distinguishing Between Law and Gospel


The folks over at Mockingbird have posted an excerpt to help distinguish between Luther’s categories of Law & Gospel. The excerpt comes from the new book, Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints), coauthored by Will McDavid, Ethan Richardson, and David Zahl.

On Sundays, therefore, some form of the Law is ideally preached to kill, and the Gospel to vivify—“the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6). But in many situations, the Law is mistakenly preached to give life…

I’m no Lutheran and am not going to be one. But to overlook Luther’s strengths just because I disagree with his view of the sacraments or his ecclesiology would be a foolish oversight. I have come to appeciate the Lutheran view of Law & Gospel. It seems to be the most Biblical option out of all the Law & Gospel doctrines out there. It avoids the Theonomy error of an over emphasis on the Law, and the Dispensational error of relegating Law to a bygone era. For those like myself who are Reformed, you will recognize these principles from the Confessions as they are careful to define the proper use of both Law and Gospel.

This short excerpt will help those who are struggling to understand this divison and pastors who find themselves leaning too far in either direction. It has already helped me to see how I can be more faithful to present both in a Biblical light.

Read: Distinguishing Between Law & Gospel: A Brief Guide




5 thoughts on “Distinguishing Between Law and Gospel

  1. This is all very familiar when I was first saved I went to a fundamenatal denomination church and they were all law and then to a mennonite and they were no law and then an orthodox and that was scary weirrd and now just reformed and i know and feel amd believe my sins need to be and are forgiven.

  2. Greg Levin

    Luther strikes again. Good post

  3. Will

    Hey Aaron are you going to do a review of this book? I’d be interested in seeing one. Maybe I’ll just buy it without a review. It looks promising.

  4. Marie Pizzi

    I found this very helpful. Thanks Aaron. It is hard for some of us to understand this all but the law is good if used right. The problem is so many people want to use it wrong.

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