12 September 2011

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Regarding the church of the elect that is still militant on earth, we must answer with proper distinction, since there are two kinds of errors.  Some are fundamental and overthrow the very foundation of faith.  Some are not fundamental and exist together with the foundation of faith.  Furthermore, error can occur in two ways:  temporarily or finally.  The elect can be entangled temporarily.  Some are actually entangled in errors, not only unimportant ones, but fundamental ones.  Nevertheless they struggle out of them again before the end of their life, for otherwise they would not be the "elect" properly speaking, about whom we are speaking here hypothetically.  Hence they do not persevere in fundamental errors, but they can be entangled in unimportant errors (which the apostle calls hay and stubble, 1 Cor. 3:12) not only temporarily but even finally.  These errors in them, however, are consumed by the fire of cross and trial so that they do not lose their salvation.  -- Blessed Johann Gerhard, On the Church, p. 188.

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