World Lutheran News Digest on 02.14.2013
Today’s audio features Rev. Dr. Martin Noland of Trinity Lutheran Church in Evansville, Indiana, talking about Philipp Melanchthon and the role he played in Lutheran history.
Philipp Melanchthon (16 February 1497 – 19 April 1560), born Philipp Schwartzerdt, was a German reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellectual leader of the Lutheran Reformation, and an influential designer of educational systems. He stands next to Luther and Calvin as a reformer, theologian, and molder of Protestantism. Along with Luther, he is the primary founder of Lutheranism. They both denounced what they believed was the exaggerated cult of the saints, asserted justification by faith, and denounced the coercion of the conscience in the sacrament of penance by the Catholic Church, that they believed could not offer certainty of salvation. Melanchthon made the distinction between law and gospel the central formula for Lutheran evangelical insight. By the “law”, he meant God’s requirements both in Old and New Testament; the “gospel” meant the free gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ.