In continuing the series on public theology over at CredoCovenant, I wrote a blog, examining how Luther extended the arguments of Augustine’s “City of God” in developing a Protestant view of public theology. Enjoy!
In the previous article, we discussed Augustine’s classic work City of God as a means of demonstrating how the Church interacts with the culture in the public sphere. Now, we will examine Martin Luther’s development of Augustine’s ideas.
Much of Luther’s public theology can be examined by interacting with Luther’s 1523 essay Temporal Authority: To What Extent It Should Be Obeyed. In this essay, Luther taught that the temporal authority (i.e. the civil state) exists by divine ordinance (cf. Genesis 4:14-15; 9:6), having existed since creation and having been confirmed by Moses, John the Baptist, and Christ Himself. Luther divided the human race into two groups, one belonging to the kingdom of God and the other belonging to the kingdom of the world. Luther argued that the citizens of the kingdom of God need neither law nor sword, whereas the…
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