Category Archives: Ecumenism

Luther’s Implication: Same Sex Attraction Damns

That is indeed what Luther’s thought implies. Really implies. Not just insinuates. But entails. If you hold what he holds, you have to hold this.

Why? For Luther, the greatest of all sins is that which Catholics call “concupiscence.” Concupiscence is the non-free inclination of the appetites to acts deviating from the good. Such deviation can be of sundry sorts: Inclining to the good of ice-cream, but beyond the measure that is due. Again, inclining to the good of heterosexual sex with one’s lawful spouse, but beyond the due measure. Or, it could be an inclination to an object that is evil, such as unnatural sexual relations.

The key is this: Concupiscence is NON-FREE. It is not the object of choice. It is not freely chosen. Because it is non-free, Catholicism defines that it is NOT SIN. Thus, it deserves no punishment. Of course, unnatural sexual actions freely chosen constitute gravely evil sin. Thus, freely chosen actions are the big concern, according to Catholic doctrine. BUT LUTHER REGARDS CONCUPISCENCE ITSELF AS THE GREATEST OF SINS. Thus, he holds that it merits of its nature eternal wrath and punishment.

Shall we stamp approval of that?

It’s wonderful to point out the positive elements in Luther. I have done so myself in sundry published works (esp. in Chap. 10 of my Engrafted into Christ and throughout my article “Sola Salus or Fides Caritate Formata: The Premised Promise of Luther’s Dilemma?”) However, whatever in these is harnessed to an evil end turns out to be evil. And there are sundry evil ends in Luther’s works. And sundry evil presuppositions. Call this an evil presupposition: Concupiscence is the worst of sins, and per se damnable. Such a horrible view of the human condition leads to the flipside horror: That God will just “turn a blind eye” to ongoing sins, because you have “faith.”

Dogmatic Theology 1.4: Organic Development of Doctrine

In this podcast, I defend the place of “propositions” in theology, I discuss the Magisterium and its exercise in greater detail, and I discuss the authentic notion of organic development of doctrine, against the “evolutionary” reading of dogmatic development. The notion of dogmatic development as “evolutionary” is a war against the very faith itself. It is at bottom, wittingly or not, a Pelagian attempt to make man into the God who speaks.

Log, Tree, Bark, Aesthetic

Luther and Catholic Faith in Contradiction?

Nowadays, nearly all are aware of numerous claims on sin and justification shared by Luther and Catholics.

Some Common Teachings on Sin and Justification

  • We cannot justify ourselves: neither cause ourselves to be just (efficiently) nor merit that we be justified
  • God is the author of justification, the efficient cause
  • That we be justified is merited by the labor of Christ, who suffered died and rose
  • This merit of Christ must be applied to the individual in order that the individual be justified.
  • Just because Christ died, the human race is not thereby justified. Individuals are, one at a time.
  • It is good to imitate Christ
  • Sanctification begins, with justification, in this life
  • In heaven, all are holy

 

 Sadly, some have forgotten crucial differences between Luther’s views and Catholic doctrine. These differences are so crucial that they even color the agreed points. For example: It is agreed that God is the author of justification. But if we diverge regarding what justification is, then our understanding of God’s causality in the first place is divergent. Below, I list some other teachings on sin and justification. In looking at just about any row in this list, one would be hard pressed not to find significant contradiction.

 Some Other Teachings on Sin and Justification

LUTHER’s POSITION                                            CATHOLIC DOCTRINE

Faith, Hope, Love are part of the natural good condition of man Faith, Hope, Love are supernatural gifts
Corrupt human nature is as such totally depraved Corrupt human nature is as such deprived of all graces but not totally depraved
Without grace, present man cannot know God Without grace, man can know the Creator Exists
Without grace, man cannot know the natural law Man can know the natural law without grace
Without grace, man cannot know the one true faith Natural reason can discern signs of the one true religion
All sins are damnable Venial sins are not damnable
Concupiscence (pre-freely chosen tendency to acts of sin) is a damnable sin Concupiscence is not even a venial sin
Concupiscence is the worst sin in us, worse than actual sins (such as adultery on Tuesday) Actual sins are the worst sins; concupiscence is not even a venial sin
Without grace, we sin in every work Without grace, non-sinful works are possible
Even with grace, we sin in every work With grace, non-sinful works are possible
Justification is by faith alone Justification is not by faith alone, but by faith animated by charity
Faith is firm trust in the promise that I am saved Faith is intellectual assent, at the command of the will, accepting as true all that God reveals
Since along with faith there is always charity, and since one can retain faith while committing an actual mortal sin, therefore one can have charity yet have just committed a mortal sin One who commits a mortal sin loses sanctifying grace and charity
It also follows that charity is compatible with the commission of mortal sin Charity is not compatible with the commission of mortal sin
Christ is not a Lawgiver Christ is a Lawgiver, the New Moses
Adequate obedience to the commandments is not possible Adequate obedience to the commandments is possible
Salvation does not require obedience to the commandments Salvation does require obedience to the commandments
God predestines some to hell, not in light of their foreseen sins but apart from them God predestines no one to hell except in light of their sins that he foresees
Because God has foreknowledge of our future acts, there is no free will God has foreknowledge of our future free acts, and these acts are indeed free
The justice by which we are just before God is extrinsic to us (God attributes it to us) The justice by which we are just before God inheres in us (God infuses it into us)
There is no increase in this justice: It is all or nothing There is an increase in this justice: It varies by degrees according to God’s will and our cooperation
The justified are internally worthy of hell The justified are internally worthy of heaven
Even the justified cannot merit heaven by any theological works they do The justified can truly merit heaven by the good works they do in grace

 

New Book of Essays by Joseph C. Fenton

Christian Washburn has just published a collection of essays by Joseph Clifford Fenton entitled The Church of Christ. I have reviewed this on Amazon and will paste the review here. I highly recommend this book, and anything else by Fenton you can get your hands on.

This collection of essays from one of the greatest American theologians, Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton, makes an urgent and marvelous contribution to the renewal of Catholic theology today. The hermeneutic of rupture has been utterly disastrous. The needed renewal urged by the Second Vatican Council must be pursued once again. The thoughtful, balanced, orthodox, and acute analysis of Msgr. Fenton serves as a prime example of the kind of renewal that was and remains desirable, one in organic continuity with the great tradition, committed to the unchanging dogmas of the Church but open to new insights and corrections in matters purely speculative or hypothetical. Fenton is also clearly a man of prayer, a theologian on his knees yet one who truly practices the rigorous scientific discipline of dogmatic theology. This collection of essays is absolutely essential reading for any serious student of ecclesiology. It will serve as a corrective to the misbegotten attempts at renewal which suffer from an unwillingness to embrace all the unchanging dogmas of faith. It will also invite a return to that thoughtfulness and nuance which in fact informed pre-conciliar theology, a thoughtfulness open to legitimate development.

Fenton also exhibits the knack of getting to the real heart of the matter. For instance, he laments that too often ecclesiologists present the chief difference between Catholic and non-Catholic Churches simply in the fact that the former has the “fullness of truth” whereas the latter have only a “portion,” even if a large one, of that truth. Such a difference does exist, but Fenton rightly stresses that that difference is derivative of a much more fundamental difference, that Christ dwells, as in his One Mystical Body, in the Catholic Church alone, not in any other church.

Anyone familiar with post-conciliar theology will recognize that such an insight is almost completely passed over in silence, inevitably distorting the true portrait of the landscape that the theologian has the duty to depict if a true ecumenism is ever to achieve genuine union. For four decades or more, misinterpretations of the enigmatic phrase “subsists in” (Lumen gentium, art. 8) have thrown us two removes from Fenton’s observation. First, the best theologians have simply contented themselves with the statement “The Catholic Church has the fullness of truth,” as though one can be the Church of Christ in degrees, Protestant communities approaching it to some extent and Orthodox all the more so. This was the first forgetfulness of dogma. Second, numerous theologians went further, claiming that the Catholic Church does not even have the fullness of truth. Or they pass this truth over in silence, as though it is embarrassing to claim too much for the Church. However, scholarship is now on the rise that defends the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church. Washburn is among the protagonists of this good effort, as are Stephen Hiipp, Guy Mansini, et alia. I have attempted to weigh in on this discussion as well. That the Catholic Church (the Universal Church consisting of Rome and all the churches united to Rome) is the only Church of Christ is, in fact, dogma, which no council could ever overturn, nor did any council (Vatican II) overturn it. In order to return back to solid foundation in ecclesiology, one does a great service by reading the likes of Fenton, Journet, et alia. It is not Catholic practice to raise the foundations laid of old and erect new ones out of one’s head or on the basis of one’s own slanted reading of the “origins,” as though organic development, pruned over the centuries, had been a complete abandonment of the Church by Divine Providence, as though one’s own Zeitgeist were the rule of faith.

Washburn’s presentation of Fenton makes one want to read not only the essays in this volume but Fenton’s other essays and books as well.

I would note also that Fenton’s weaving of Scriptural data in his dogmatic (aka, systematic) approach to ecclesiology provides a wonderful model that can be discipled. Due to the excesses of historical criticism, recently revived scholastic practices of theology can tend to shy away from an appropriation of Scriptural data. By contrast, Fenton reads the Scriptures responsibly, in a manner both reasonable and also indebted to the eyes of faith, and thus enables one to appreciate the mystery of the Church in an unexpected manner. For instance, he draws an analogy about the way our Lord is present to the Church today from the very incarnate way he was present to a band of men two millennia ago. This marvelous comparison can be contemplated with perusal of attention and yield considerable fruit. It is neither inimical to nor indebted to historical critical approaches; it transcends them. Indeed, it already anticipates the call of the Second Vatican Council to render Scripture the “soul” of theology (which does not mean that “historical criticism” ought to be its soul.)

Good Old Garrigou-Lagrange: Purgatory and the Meaning of Life

Purgatory tells us that iniquity is punished, that there is retributive justice, that one cannot simply stop sinning and everything is alright but that offenses must be expiated and forgiven.

Purgatory also tells us that our life gains great meaning from the seemingly senseless suffering we endure. Note that if we lack a rational explanation of our suffering, but we still suffer anyway, that we will grow very angry at the apparently meaningless suffering.

How many young people are very angry today! Why? Obviously for various reasons. I suggest that underlying the anger of many is a failure to understand the meaning of pain, the possibilities of suffering, the value of a redemptive acceptance of suffering.

And since our life is under the Cross — no matter what the trans-humanists hope for — we inevitably will have our share of suffering. Hence, everyone will be angry, unless he has an account.

Many ancient religions assigned an account: You have done the gods wrong! This is a good starting point, as JHNewman tells us (Grammar, chap. 10). It is a good start because it is correct. The gods do care, and we have done wrong. Recognizing that puts into wildly different perspective all the pain and suffering people endure. Imagine these race riots today illuminated by the insight: Each of us has done wrong, we have all gone astray.

Now, the classical Jewish and Christian approach to this is balanced. First, each approach is anchored in the Truth and in Right Moral Laws. Second, each holds out hope. Third, each offers concrete ways, given us by God, to achieve that hope.

What the angry person needs is a way forward. Fight the evil that can be justly fought and conquered; accept the evil that cannot be justly fought and conquered; hope one’s way forward with regard to both evils. This is the recipe for a brighter future, a future that uplifts.

Now, many will be the evils that must be endured, esp. as our society devolves into the most unnatural of evils. Hence, great must be our endurance. We can pick up the mantel of Christ, that is, his Cross. Our life does have meaning. Its meaning is largely, or to a large extent, acceptance of suffering. If you strip that from me, you really do reduce my meaning. Also, you tell me a lie. Because I cannot be having pleasure all the time. There is repetition, and sometimes that really does “drag one down” … unless one can see the point.

Where does Garrigou-Lagrange fit into all this? He stresses the importance, the meaningfulness, of a life of redemptive suffering. He also notes how sad, how tragic indeed, is the heretical doctrine that denies that meaning. He notes one Lutheran who saw through just how awful was Luther’s own idea:

“To deny the necessity of satisfaction in this world and and of satispassion in purgatory amounts to denying the value of a life of reparation. Such denial involves the Lutheran negation of the necessity of good works, as if faith without works could suffice for justification and salvation.

At the end of a conference which I gave in Geneva, a Protestant, intelligent and well-instructed, came to see me. I said to him, ‘How could Luther come to the conclusion that faith alone and the merits of Christ suffice for salvation: that it is not necessary to observe the precepts, not even the precepts of the love of God and neighbor?’ He answered me, ‘It is very simple.’ ‘How very simple?’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘it is diabolical.’ ‘I would not dare say that to you,’ I answered, ‘but how is it that you are a Lutheran?’ ‘My family,’ he answered, ‘has been Lutheran for generations, but in the near future I shall enter the Catholic Church.’

Father Monsabré wrote the following words: ‘Its principles regarding justification led Protestantism to deny the dogma of purgatory. Man, saved by faith alone, by the merits of Christ, without relation to his own deeds, need fear nothing from divine justice. Divine justice must acknowledge his audacious and imperturbable conscience in the redemptive virtue of Him whose merits he exploits, even though he himself may have violated all the commandments. The negation which follows from these principles, invented to shield the wicked, is as odious as it is absurd. It is unintelligent and barbarous, for nothing is more conformable to reason than the doctrine of the Church on purgatory, and nothing is more consoling for the heart. Protestant, at the last hour, faces the terrible perspective: everything or nothing. How count on heaven when a man looks back on a life of sin, sees that he is offering to God only a late repentance, without reparation for so many offenses? Hence there remains only the perspective of malediction” (Garrigou-Lagrange, Life Everlasting, pp. 161f).

Now, GL indeed notes that death bed conversions are possible. They even happen. But they are not frequent. Indeed, they are very difficult. Devotion to sin, devotion to neglect, failure to repent, repeated sin, etc…. All this hardens the heart and makes it less likely that one will achieve salvation. Conversion at the last second is possible, but let us not presume on God’s mercy, while he is right now calling us to conversion.

APOLOGY OF AUGSBURG CONFESSION vs. JPII and TRENT

Apology of the Augsburg Confession John Paul II and TRENT
“If the promise required the law and condition of our merits, it would follow that the promise is useless since we never keep the law.”

 

Melanchthon’s implication is clear: Therefore, the promise does not require obedience to the law as condition of final salvation.

In this way, a close connection is made between eternal life and obedience to God’s commandments: God’s commandments show man the path of life and they lead to it. From the very lips of Jesus, the new Moses, man is once again given the commandments of the Decalogue. Jesus himself definitively confirms them and proposes them to us as the way and condition of salvation. The commandments are linked to a promise. – From Veritatis splendor, art. 12.

 

Perfection demands that maturity in self-giving to which human freedom is called. Jesus points out to the young man that the commandments are the first and indispensable condition for having eternal life, art. 17

 

The performance of good acts, commanded by the One who “alone is good”, constitutes the indispensable condition of and path to eternal blessedness: “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:17). Jesus’ answer and his reference to the commandments also make it clear that the path to that end is marked by respect for the divine laws which safeguard human good.Only the act in conformity with the good can be a path that leads to life, art. 72.

 

Keeping God’s law in particular situations can be difficult, extremely difficult, but it is never impossible. This is the constant teaching of the Church’s tradition, and was expressed by the Council of Trent: “But no one, however much justified, ought to consider himself exempt from the observance of the commandments, nor should he employ that rash statement, forbidden by the Fathers under anathema, that the commandments of God are impossible of observance by one who is justified. For God does not command the impossible, but in commanding he admonishes you to do what you can and to pray for what you cannot, and he gives his aid to enable you. His commandments are not burdensome (cf. 1 Jn 5:3); his yoke is easy and his burden light (cf. Mt 11:30)”, art. 102.

Lutheran “APOLOGY OF AUGSBURG CONFESSION” versus Trent and Augustine

LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS CATHOLIC
Apology of the Augsburg Confession:

 

Cites Romans 7:7, 7:23, etc. All on Paul’s use of “sin” for the justified. Comments: “These testimonies cannot be overthrown by sophistry. For clearly they call concupiscence sin, which nevertheless is not reckoned to those who are in Christ even though it is by nature worthy of death where it is not forgiven. This is undoubtedly what the Fathers thought.

AUGUSTINE: … Baptism gives remission of all sins, and takes away guilt, and does not shave them off; and that the roots of all sins are not retained in the evil flesh, as if of shaved hair on the head, whence the sins may grow to be cut down again….

 

Concerning that concupiscence:… But although this is called sin, it is certainly so called not because it is sin, but because it is made by sin, as a writing is said to be some one’s hand because the hand has written it. But they are sins which are unlawfully done, spoken, thought, according to the lust of the flesh, or to ignorance— things which, once done, keep their doers guilty if they are not forgiven (Augustine, Against Two Epistles of the Pelagians, Chap. 13 or 27, depending on the numbering).

TRENT / DOGMA: If any one denies, that, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is conferred in baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted; or even asserts that the whole of that which has the true and proper nature of sin is not taken away; but says that it is only shaved off [analogy to shaving hair, which still has its roots in place] or not imputed; let him be anathema. For, in those who are born again, there is nothing that God hates; because, There is no condemnation to those who are truly buried together with Christ by baptism into death; who walk not according to the flesh, but, putting off the old man, and putting on the new who is created according to God, are made inno-[Page 24]cent, immaculate, pure, harmless, and beloved of God, heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ; so that there is nothing whatever to retard their entrance into heaven. But this holy synod confesses and is sensible, that in the baptized there remains concupiscence, or an incentive (to sin); which, whereas it is left for our exercise, cannot injure those who consent not, but resist manfully by the grace of Jesus Christ; yea, he who shall have striven lawfully shall be crowned. This concupiscence, which the apostle sometimes calls sin, the holy Synod declares that the Catholic Church has never understood it to be called sin, as being truly and properly sin in those born again, but because it is of sin, and inclines to sin. TRENT, SESSION V, CANON 5.

Official Lutheran Document vs. Trent, Part 1

Sigrid Undset is said to have defended her conversion from Lutheranism to Catholicism simply by translating Luther for her fellow citizens. By reading what Luther actually had to say, some were amply convinced that she made the right move.

I have been bringing forward words from Luther. Not isolated ones. Key ones. Pivotal ones. Ones that exhibit the very structure of his view.

But someone will object: Luther is not ‘the authority’. Rather, insofar as there is any authority outside of Scripture, the ‘reference point’ for a Lutheran is the Book of Concord. Some Lutherans demand adherence to all the Book of Concord. Some not. With regard to the former, I will present some very clear teachings from the Solid Declaration. These are in contrast to Trent.

I begin today:

Lutheran Solid Declaration COUNCIL OF TRENT
“It is correct to say that in this life believers who have become righteous through faith in Christ have first of all the righteousness of faith that is reckoned to them and then thereafter the righteousness of new obedience or good works that are begun in them. But these two kinds of righteousness dare not be mixed with each other or simultaneously introduced into the article on justification by faith before God. For because this righteousness that is begun in us­—this renewal—is imperfect and impure in this life because of our flesh, a person cannot use it in any way to stand before God’s judgment throne. Instead, only the righteousness of the obedience, suffering, and death of Christ, which is reckoned to faith, can stand before God’s tribunal.” III:32

 

“The only function or characteristic of faith remains that it alone and absolutely nothing else is the means or instrument by and through which God’s grace and the merit of Christ promised in the gospel are received, laid hold of, accepted, applied to us, and appropriated. Love and all other virtues or works must be excluded from the functions and characteristics of this application and appropriation of the promise.” III:38

 

“Neither renewal, sanctification, virtues, nor good works are to be viewed or presented either as the form or as a part or as a cause of justification.” III:39

 

If any one denies, that, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is conferred in baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted; or even asserts that the whole of that which has the true and proper nature of sin is not taken away; but says that it is only brushed over or not imputed; let him be anathema. For, in those who are born again, there is nothing that God hates; because, There is no condemnation to those who are truly buried together with Christ by baptism into death; who walk not according to the flesh, but, putting off the old man, and putting on the new who is created according to God, are made innocent, immaculate, pure, harmless, and beloved of God, heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ; so that there is nothing whatever to retard their entrance into heaven. TRENT, SESSION V, CANON 5.

Thus, not only are we considered just, but we are truly called just and are just, each one receiving within himself his own justice…. Trent Session VI, chap. 7.

 

Therefore, we must believe that nothing further is wanting to the justified for them to be regarded as having entirely fulfilled the divine law in their present condition by the works they have done in the sight of God. Trent VI, chap. 16.

 

If anyone says that men are justified without the justice of Christ, by which he merited [justification] for us, or that they are formally just by that very justice: let him be anathema. Trent VI, canon 10

 

If anyone says that men are justified either by the imputation of the justice of Christ alone or by the remission of sins alone, to the exclusion of grace and charity which are poured forth through the Holy Spirit into their hearts and which inhere in them, or even that the grace by which we are justified is only the favor of God, let him be anathema. Trent VI, canon 11.

 

 

 

Trent vs. Luther

LUTHER COUNCIL OF TRENT
Sin is really sin, regardless of whether you commit it before or after you have come to know Christ. And God hates the sin; in fact, so far as the substance of the deed is concerned, every sin is mortal. It is not mortal for the believer; but this is on account of Christ the Propitiator, who expiated it by His death. As for the person who does not believe in Christ, not only are all his sins mortal, but even his good works are sins, in accordance with the statement (Rom 14:23): ‘Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.’ Therefore it is a pernicious error when the sophists distinguish among sins on the basis of the substance of the deed rather than on the basis of the persons. A believer’s sin is the same sin and sin just as great as that of the unbeliever. To the believer, however, it is forgiven and not imputed, while to the unbeliever it is retained and imputed. To the former it is venial; to the latter mortal. This is not because of a difference between the sins, as though the believer’s sin were smaller and the unbeliever’s larger, but because of a difference between the persons. For the believer knows that his sin is forgiven him on account of Christ, who expiated it by His death. Even though he has sin and commits sin, he remains godly. On the other hand, when the unbeliever commits sin, he remains ungodly. This is the wisdom and the comfort of those who are truly godly, that even if they have sins and commit sins, they know that because of their faith in Christ these are not imputed to them.[1]

Thus we abide in a humility that is not fictitious or monastic but authentic, because of the filth and the faults that cling to our flesh; if God wanted to judge severely, we would deserve eternal punishment on account of these.[2]

If any one denies, that, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is conferred in baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted; or even asserts that the whole of that which has the true and proper nature of sin is not taken away; but says that it is only rased, or not imputed; let him be anathema. For, in those who are born again, there is nothing that God hates; because, There is no condemnation to those who are truly buried together with Christ by baptism into death; who walk not according to the flesh, but, putting off the old man, and putting on the new who is created according to God, are made innocent, immaculate, pure, harmless, and beloved of God, heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ; so that there is nothing whatever to retard their entrance into heaven. But this holy synod confesses and is sensible, that in the baptized there remains concupiscence, or an incentive (to sin); which, whereas it is left for our exercise, cannot injure those who consent not, but resist manfully by the grace of Jesus Christ; yea, he who shall have striven lawfully shall be crowned. This concupiscence, which the apostle sometimes calls sin, the holy Synod declares that the Catholic Church has never understood it to be called sin, as being truly and properly sin in those born again, but because it is of sin, and inclines to sin. TRENT, SESSION V, CANON 5.

If anyone says that in every good work the just man sins at least venially,[126] or, what is more intolerable, mortally, and hence merits eternal punishment, and that he is not damned for this reason only, because God does not impute these works into damnation, let him be anathema. TRENT SESSION 6, CANON 25

 

[1] LW 27:76.

[2] LW 27:86.

Luther and the Saints

What Luther Says What Saints Say
“We would perhaps have disregarded corruption [i.e., our own sin] and been pleased with our evil unless this other evil, which is wrath [i.e., the punishment threatened by divine anger], had refused to indulge our foolishness and had resisted it with terror and the danger of hell and death, so that we have but little peace in our wickedness. Plainly wrath is a greater evil for us than corruption, for we hate punishment more than guilt.”[1] “It is characteristic of the virtuous to flee from moral wrong because of its very nature and not because of threatened punishment. But it is characteristic of the wicked to flee from moral wrong because of threatened punishment.” Thomas Aquinas, On Evil, 1.5, ad 11
“Hence, just as wrath is a greater evil than the corruption of sin, so grace is a greater good than that health of righteousness which we have said comes from faith. Everyone would prefer – if that were possible – to be without the health of righteousness [internal holiness, truly loving God] rather than [without] the grace of God [i.e., the favor whereby he does not punish the guilty], for peace and the remission of sins are properly attributed to the grace of God, while healing from corruption is ascribed to faith.”[2]

 

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love” (1 Jn 4:18).

[1] Martin Luther, Against Latomus (LW 32:224 [WA 8.104.17–21]). See the whole discussion (LW 32:223–27 [WA 8.103.35–106.28]).

[2] Martin Luther, Against Latomus (LW 32:227 [WA 8.106.4–20]).