Luther on the Perfect Church


Farewell to those who want an entirely pure church and purified church. This is plainly wanting no church at all.”–Martin Luther as quoted by Art Lindsley in Love the Ultimate Apologetic, 119

Soli Deo Gloria!


  1. irishanglican

    Today Luther’s point is still important the visible church will always be a mixed people (alone known to God). But also today, we should not let this principle degenerate the spiritual and moral aspect of the visible church either.

    Fr. Robert

  2. Robert,

    Thanks for the reply. Luther is a mixed bag of nuts to me. Sometimes he nails it. Other times he misses it. All of the time, I am intrigued and curious.

    I agree with your assessment of the visible church. The trick, I think, is to wonder (out loud?) how we can do such a thing without succumbing to a doctrine of perfectionism.

    Hmm. Maybe this has something to do with a proper teaching of God’s grace as it pertains both to justification and sanctification.


  3. irishanglican


    Though I am an Anglican, and Irish born and English trained. I am very close to E. Orthodoxy. Though I cannot put myself wth them totally, I have found that much of their theology and biblical thought to be very Christological. And I do feel that their understanding of the Trinity of God to be the very best doctrinally. That the Father is the regal (cause or origin) of the Godhead, from whom the Son is begotten eternally and also from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds (alone) eternally. This great truth of the Father’s regal nature and origin of the Godhead is simply profound in the nature of God triune.

    It is also here, that the whole reality of God’s “theosis” for us – the process in which God’s life fills and transforms us. Here was the real desire and best of both John and Charles Wesley’s works, sermons and hymns, etc. I have myself been a Reformed Anglican (years ago now), so I know the influence of John Calvin also, who really was overall a great Christian thinker and pastor. Though certainly a man of his time however.

    And just to pass this along, if you have not read JND Kelly’s book: Early Christian Doctrines. This classic work (now in its 5th ed I think) is a must read for all pastor-teacher, and certainly theolog types.

    Father Robert (Anglican)

  4. Robert,

    I have been enjoying much of Anglican teaching if it is anything close to what is taught by NT Wright and if it is in practice anything close to the practice of one of my best friends who happens to be the minister of our local Anglican church. I have also enjoyed much from Stott and Packer.

    I’ll check into the book by Kelly. Perhaps my friend has a copy. He is always eager to share books and I am always eager to read them.

    As for me, I am the preacher in a local Christian church and Jesus loves me. I’m not too far into Calvin or the Wesleys, but I haven’t had a lot of time to read their work. I am influenced, as you can see on my ‘books’ page, by a wide range of theologians and authors even though my list on that page is rather incomplete as of now.

    Thanks for the conversation. Stop by and let’s chat anytime.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: