9.11.10

The Lutheran Church Has No Dogma of 'The Sacraments'

"It is noteworthy that the Reformed confessions used to have an article on the Sacraments before dealing with the individual sacraments. The Lutheran Church has no dogma de sacramentis. In the Augsburg Confession an article on the use (or purpose) of the Sacraments follows the articles on Baptism, the Lord's Supper, Confession and Penance. At any rate, the attempts to understand the Sacrament of the Altar from the general concept of a sacrament should be abandoned; they have no biblical foundation. It is really astonishing that the churches which claim the sola Scriptura so emphatically, as e.g. the Calvinistic churches, have accepted so much from Augustine without asking whether or not these doctrines are truly scriptural. How amazing is the power of tradition in the church!"

From This Is My Body, Luther's Contention for the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar, footnote 10, p 21 (Revised Australian Edition, 1977, Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide).

Blog Editor's Note: This footnote, which begins on page 19 of the Australian edition and continues over three pages, is a short essay in itelf, and must be one of the most remarkable footnotes in modern theology. Sasse concludes that Augustine's influence on Calvinistic, Catholic and Lutheran doctrines of the sacraments has been disastrous.

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