Studies on the articles of the Formula of Concord
The Formula of Concord has two parts, the Epitome and the Solid Declaration. Together, these comprise the final document of the Book of Concord (1580), or the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The last single-issue article of the Formula of Concord, Article XI is unique in that it was largely preemptive. While acknowledging that no major struggle had yet erupted over this article of faith...
Arguably the most opaque passage of the Creed is that Christ descended into hell. The passage is based on Scripture, but these scriptural passages (e.g., 1 Peter 3) lend themselves to multiple interpretations...
Both historically- and theologically-speaking, seeing these two articles together is proper and useful. They almost serve as “A and B” of the same conversation, two sides of the same coin.
The seventh article in the Formula of Concord deals chiefly with the controversy stirred up within the churches of the Lutheran confession by the Sacramentarians.
Even during Luther’s lifetime, a strong “antinomian” (against the Law) spirit had risen up among certain theologians who claimed that, once the Gospel regenerates the heart, the Law is no longer needed.
This article considers whether the gospel is a preaching of repentance that rebukes sin and unbelief. The authors of the Formula conclude that the answer depends on what you mean by “gospel.”
As we’ll study more below, the Confessors of the Formula of Concord took great care to properly define “good work” as that which flows, not unto faith and salvation, but from faith and salvation.
In article III, we will see how the Lutheran Confessions address and faithfully refute old and new efforts to refashion the doctrine of justification as some change within us.
The Confessions are not just a history book of what was once at stake for true Lutheran confession, but they are also a description of what is still at stake for true Lutheran confession.
The authors of the Formula developed a strategy to bring unity and peace among Lutherans without compromising the truth. This goal led them to adopt an irenic but firm tone in the Formula.