篇名:Luther Discover the Gospel: Coming to the Truth and Confessing the Truth
作者:Robert Rosin(Professor of Historical Theology at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO)
出處:Concordia Journal, Apr. 2006,  147-160


"To Confess" is first a personal action, an expression of what I believe, and one's heart is truly in it. But there is also matter of the individual's intellectual commitment, not that faith or confessing is the equivalent of an intellectual exercise, ... but we know that God has given us our reason and all our sense and we do indeed think about and reflect what we believe.


"Confess" is also a corporate/collective matter. ...It is a matter of individuals who confess finding others who confess the same thing, read the same thing, understand and believe the same thing from the Scripture, and those who find themselves with this in common stand together and confess as a group, as a community, as the church.
並且作者也強調,這個形成認信群體的過程,並非因為其中的個人魅力或影響,而是"the Holy Spirit has put faith in our hearts one at a time, and I reflect this, and you reflect this, and we reflect this. That is how the Spirit works through the Word."

2.在150頁,作者也論及神學與認信之間的關係,首先他指出"'Theology' is an attempt by believers to say, to reflect what God has revealed about Himself, to restate God first says to us. We seek to put in other words, honestly and faithfully, what God's message seems to be in particular circumstances in our life."並且"We speak theology with great care lest not what God has said to us but what we think or what we would like God to say."

3.在151-152頁,作者回顧了路德改教的時空背景,指出當時的地理、政治、社會背景的確都對改教產生一定的影響。但至始至終,"the Reformation is fundamentally a theological movement. It is a rethinking of how to talk about God (theology!) that arose not as some abstract intellectual movement but as a very real, very personal quest for a loving God."

4.在152頁,作者引述Prof. Koch對於"Luther's understanding of oratio, meditatio, tentatio making a theologian"的看法。Prof. Koch指出"The oratio was a prayer not just in general but to be led to the truth, to be led backinto the Scriptures. And then the meditatio is not merely a thinking or meditating within, but to complete that 'thinking about ' a person has to tell others, to speak forth, to confess what is found."

5.在156頁,作者精簡扼要地表達出中世紀經院神學的救恩觀:"quid pro quo",意即「取得這項是為了那項」("you get this for that"),而其中的關鍵字是"ergo"(即「因此」),一種本於因果邏輯的系統。

6. 在157頁,作者提到路德當時的大學中的神學教育幾乎全被三段式論證(syllogism)所掌控,但他受邀任教的威登堡大學則因為是新成立的大學,並未受此影響,反而是以"studia humanitatis"(the study of man, that is, the humanities, the liberal arts of Renaissance humanism)為主,重視修辭、語言如何用來解釋、改變與遊說等的價值。

7.在158頁,作者提到路德在使用這些方法教導聖經課程之後,也瞭解到自己正在採取一種不同的方法在進行神學表述:非邏輯的,而是文法的。而其中最重要的洞見是"the righteousness needed for salvation is not a quantity of good to be acquired by us but a quality given to us."

8.在159頁,作者提到路德轉向文藝復興的人文主義(Renaissance humanism)方法來尋求幫助,並指出"Humanism was not the answer but it gave him tools to read the texts, and there he found spiritual answers."而作者也認為"The Reformation then can be seen as the product of a kind of educational curriculum movement and also as the product of an individual breakthrough that was multiplied among so many more as this new way, a reforming way of looking at God's revelation, grew and grew."接著作者進一步指出:

Although it grew out of Luther's study and university classroom, theology turned out to be no abstract subject but rather a very personal engagement with God. We see that how we approach theology, the method we use for thinking and talking about God  as we engage His Biblical revelation, makes all the difference in the world. That's why we spend so much time not only on proclamation of the Word but also on education, on how we study--both professionals and laypeople--because how we learn shapes what we learn and what we then confess.

9.在159頁,作者指出"In fact, because doctrine (teaching) is for use and not to be set on the shelf, I think it could even be argued that people who do have the right content but do nothing with it (that is, only 'circle the wagons' in a defense posture) are not really orthodox after all."

1o.在160頁中,作者援引LCMS的主日禱文--"We ask for the Holy Spirit and the wisdom that comes down from above that the Word, as befits it, may not be bound but be preached to the joy and edification of Christ's holy people."而他認為"the point is not to look inward but to make that group of holy people larger. That means the doctrine has to be used."最後作者提出其結論:
There was no guarantee that positive things would come from Luther's confessing, no guarantee that a reformation would be happen. ...It was only up to him to confess. Then it was up to the Holy Spirit to work and produce fruit That's one final lesson for us to learn. We also cannot control. We can only seek to use the best tools available (as Luther did), to make the best presentation, the best confession we can (as Luther tried to do), and then what follows is God's doing. We might be disappointed, ... But we can never be disappointed in what we have: the love of God in Christ, the confidence that by faith alone and by God's grace alone we have life eternal. This is what we confess.
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