Lutheran “APOLOGY OF AUGSBURG CONFESSION” versus Trent and Augustine

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.

2 thoughts on “Lutheran “APOLOGY OF AUGSBURG CONFESSION” versus Trent and Augustine

  1. Somewhat tangential, but I just heard an excellent podcast on the Anabaptist uprising in Muenster, Germany. The narrator’s viewpoint is rather secular, but he still does a great job looking at the historical narrative. Even further to his credit, he traces the Anabaptist rebellion back to Luther’s rejection of authority and assertion of personal inspiration. He does show his cards at the end, and says that he feels sympathetic to the Church during the protestant revolution.

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