What would you consider the most important aspect of Martin Luther’s theology? How does your view of his theology impact you personally and in your church?
There are many important aspects to Luther’s theology. Gonzalez does a good job in pointing out some of the major tenants of his theology in chapter four of his work The Story of Christianity Vol 2. In this volume Gonzalez list five major aspects which include the word of God, the theology of the cross, law and gospel, the church and sacraments, and the two kingdom view. For me to pick any one aspect of his theology as most important is rather hard to do. But in having to pick I must say that his views on the word of God is the most stirring. According to Gonzalez, “ Luther sought to make the Word of God the starting point and the final authority for his theology.”
Think about it for a moment if you will. In order for him to garner a correct understanding of anything of from Scripture he must first have Scripture in the right place. He would not be able to develop any other aspect of his theology apart from right understanding of the word of God. Luther had such a high view of the Bible and of Jesus, that when someone leveled an attack against it, “Luther responded that it was neither the church who made the Bible, nor the Bible that made the church, but the Gospel, Jesus Christ, that had made both Bible and the church. Final authority rest neither in the church nor in the Bible, but in the gospel, in the message of Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God incarnate.”
Martin Luther’s theology as a whole plays a pretty decent role in my life, while not adhering to all of his tenants I do believe in the five solas, which if I am not mistaken started with Luther. I am a big proponent for a person being justified by faith alone, by grace alone, through Christ alone. I personally am reformed and follow more of what is attributed to Calvin so as I said there is some deviation there. But had it not been for Luther starting what he did Calvin’s work may not have come along as it did. I am part of a reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA). So our views again come from some of the groundwork laid out by Martin Luther we celebrate reformation Sunday each year.