Lutheranism v Anglicanism

Discussion in 'Questions about Anglicanism' started by Aidan, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    What are the fundamental differences between the two! I was of the opinion that both are very similar
     
  2. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Member

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    I want to know this as well, since both are basically protestant/catholic hybrids. I wanted to know what exactly was the difference between Lutherans vs. Protestants influenced by Luther, and every resource on the internet tends to be vague, or never gives a straight answer. Some claim it isn't what Luther actually taught, but I don't know on what level it's true.

    The way I see it, Lutherans tend to believe that when Luther opposed Rome, he wasn't saying all catholic traditions and customs were ungodly, so long as they did not hinder the core doctrines that he believed in for salvation, since, from what I understand, he still continued to encourage many traditional forms of church practice and the like within the emerging Reformed body.
     
  3. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    They are very similar, so much so that I think the only major difference between Confessional Lutheran theology and Formulaic Anglican theology is Eucharistic theology. Luther insists that the presence is physical, but indiscernible in any physical way, but Anglicans say it is heavenly and spiritual. The difference seems to not really matter but Luther definitely figured it did.
     
  4. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Lutheranism teaches the same unconditional election that Calvinism teaches (albeit with nuances). Anglicans are not confessionally bound to such teaching, and many have been Arminians, or have held to Roman Catholic or Orthodox soteriological models.

    Anglicanism has no dogmatic Eucharistic theology, and the Lutheran Sacramental Union position has been held by a number of Anglicans.
     
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  5. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    What is unconditional election?
     
  6. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The belief that God, before the creation of the world, arbitrarily (not based on anything the individual would do in the future) decided who to save and who to pass over. This belief derives from St. Augustine and was further developed by Luther and Calvin. Arminians, Roman Catholics, and the Orthodox, believe that salvation is conditional, that each individual has the opportunity to accept or reject the Gospel.

    "the belief that God chooses for eternal salvation those whom he foresees will have faith in Christ. This belief emphasizes the importance of a person's free will." Wikipedia.

    Unconditional election is monergistic, the belief that man has no role to play in his salvation. Conditional election is synergistic, the belief that man cooperates with God in the salvation process. The Lambeth Articles (and the Westminster Confession) teach unconditional election, and neither were adopted by the Church of England.
     
  7. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    This may in part be because Luther had a low view of Henry VIII. Whilst both Luther and Henry VIII were essentially stable catholics in theology, and both had problems with the Pope, the problems they had with the Pope were different.
     
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  8. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I agree! Well put...plus the differences on the necessity of bishops
     
  9. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    Lutheranism is not as tolerant of diversity as Anglicanism. This is firstly because Lutheranism is confessional to a degree that Anglicanism is not. Lutheranism, over the course of about 50 years, spawned The Book of Concord. I have long thought it is fairly obvious which portions were primarily the work of Melancthon, which were Luthers, and then the "Formula" and "Epitome of the Formula" from a much later date. 'Confessional' Lutherans -a favorite buzzword among them to separate conservatives from others- require a subscription to the Lutheran formularies as strong or stronger than what the most Evangelical Anglican bishops used to require to the 39 Articles in days gone by. However, the Lutheran formularies do not represent the carefully balanced ambiguity so cleverly written into the 39 Articles. They are thus not open to as broad an interpretive perspective. Those portions written by Luther himself are especially blunt at times, and give little space for private interpretation.

    Lutheran theology is heavily colored by the difficulty that Luther was a highly unstable person. Melancthon tried to temper and sometimes foil this flaw of Luther's personality but as the movement advanced, Melancthon was marginalized for his ecumenical pursuits. He was willing to yield ground back to Rome that was unthinkable to the hardliners in the German states.

    It has already been mentioned that Lutheran soteriology handles predestination from a perspective of God's sovereign decree and views election in a sense that was favorable to the Reformed and Calvinist theologians. I have often thought that some of the differences between the Continental Protestants are probably attributable to language barriers, much like the controversy between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox. Some parties were speaking Romance languages, some Germanic, and then the Scandinavians came to represent a decidedly different sort of Lutheranism.

    The Lutheran eucharistic doctrine has been habitually labeled with the term 'consubstantiation.' The atonement theory is wholly substitutionary, and of the penal variety in the case of Luther's own writings. The ecclesiology has been fuzzy historically, with a weak episcopate which gave way to a more or less Presbyterian form of government, especially when Lutheranism was imported to America. This is where the Scandinavians most differed from there Southern counterparts, as they took the episcopate quite seriously until recent times and had maintained the apostolic succession. American Lutherans who do feign to maintain some semblance of episcopacy will typically argue that it is a concession to church history or a convenient form of government rather than a mark of the church, as our Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral affirms.

    I was LCMS for a few years. When I moved on, I eventually got a terse message from one of my former pastors that had enough bite to have been penned by Luther himself. The line I particularly recall was, "Tell me again which part of the Small Catechism you disagree with?" And my response was that Luther's Small Catechism (which in many parts of the LCMS is something of a minimum standard of orthodoxy for being accepted into altar fellowship) is not disagreeable to the Anglican formularies -in fact, there are Anglican's who use it rather than the overly brief catechism in the Prayer Book in preparing people for confirmation. But, as I have already discussed, Anglicanism does not confine, define, or restrict itself to the extent that Lutheranism does.

    Finally, the Lutheran Mass or 'Divine Service' as most of the American synods have styled it is even more abbreviated than the Prayer Book (in comparison to the contemporary Roman missal). The Lutheran communion service is rather more like the Edwardian Prayer Books than the 1549 or the later editions. And the daily offices have fallen out of common usage in Lutheran life, even though they are still in their service books.
     
  10. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    I leave out episcopacy not because it isn't a difference but because it isn't a difference barring one from the other; Lutherans can obviously have an episcopal polity and still be confessionally Lutheran and Anglicans at the time of the Reformation did not consider it strictly necessary for celebration of the sacraments either. Eucharistic doctrine is the most major difference that made it difficult for a person like Luther to have unity (though the Church of England could have joined the Smalcald League, but King Henry VIII would not give up clerical celibacy, private masses, communion in one kind only, and transubstantiation, which don't really matter today as doctrinal and practical differences, of course.)
     
  11. Khater

    Khater Member

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    Actually, there ARE Roman Catholics who would hold to the same position on Election as traditional Anglicans and Lutherans. They are Traditional Thomists. Thomists would say that before the foundation of the world, God chose some for Election without considering their merits. They will of course freely accept God's grace, and will do good works, but their good works are not the reason they are Elect, and have nothing to do with their Election. Their merits are the effects of their Election, not the cause. God does not actively reprobate anyone( he passes over the reprobate, allowing them to remain in their sin)I myself hold the traditional Augustinian/Thomist position when it comes to Predestination/Election. One of the best works on the subject is Predestination, by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange.

    The other important thing to note is that Anglican Eucharistic theology is broad. I myself have the same view on the Eucharist as the Eastern Orthodox. The bread and wine truly become the body and blood of Christ, but we can not know how, and must be content with that.
     
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  12. Anne

    Anne Active Member Anglican

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    To sum up in a very shallow way as one who has been Calvinist, Baptist, Lutheran....you name it....

    Churches that follow the teachings of one man look at everything through that lens. However excellent that man, he was still a man. We are not to be of any man.

    The marked difference for me when I found myself in an Anglican church was how anonymous the priests make themselves, and how I didn't continually hear "Luther says...." or "Calvin wrote..." but instead we make use of a cloud of witnesses for our understanding.

    This isn't to say that there isn't a lens, but it's vast and full of variety in comparison!
     
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  13. Khater

    Khater Member

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    This is correct. I tend to be very Augustinian theologically, but also draw from St. Thomas, Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, Pusey, Keble, Lagrange, and many others. We are to follow Christ, not certain men.
    As Paul says in 1 Cor 3:4
    "For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,are you not being merely human?"
     
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  14. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Paul and Apollos are the same name
     
  15. Khater

    Khater Member

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    They are two different people. Another verse I was thinking of is 1 Cor 1:12-13
    "What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ".Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?"

    Both of these verses are saying the same thing. We should not be following men, but Christ alone.
     
  16. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I would quality what you mean by "traditional" Anglicans. While many Anglicans over the centuries have held to such an Augustinian/Thomist position, it has never been held by all, nor dogmatically defined. I consider myself a traditional Anglican, and I adhere to the teachings of the Caroline Divines and the Laudians on this matter.

    Without wanting to rehash the monergist/synergist debate, it is recognized by most scholars that Augustine's theories (and they are theories; he was not divinely inspired) were novel and outside the consensus of the early Fathers. The distinction between passive and active reprobation is ultimately meaningless.
     
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  17. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Member

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    Does anyone know why catholic/protestant hybrid denominations like Lutherans and Presbyterians are becoming so accepting of gay marriage? I was surprised to hear about this, but I don't know how prevalent it is, to be honest. I'd think faiths that claim some kind of historicity would be more strongly opposed to this.
     
  18. DivineOfficeNerd

    DivineOfficeNerd Member Anglican

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    The problem is that these churches have been associated with the state, and so like the state, they were influenced by the culture around them. The same thing happened in many parts of TEC, CoE, the Porvoo Communion, et cetera.
     
  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This was a major problem inherited from the Middle Ages, in that the Roman scholastic theologians had no teaching about the Three Orders of Ministry (deacon, priest, bishop). They taught the Seven Orders of Ministry, from Acolyte, to Subdeacon, to Deacon, crowning at the Priest as the highest order. The Pope was be the only true Bishop, the rest being mainly his vassals. Ordination then would habitually be done by bishops, but didn't have to, as it could be done by anyone whom the Pope (the one bishop) appointed for that purpose. For this reason there are records of priests and abbots conducting ordinations.

    This is one of the reasons why Presbyterians and Lutherans were somewhat quick to dispense with Bishops, in that far from rebelling from the catholic order, they in fact were following the major teachings of the previous 1,000 years.

    Among Anglicans this became a very disputed topic, some allowing non-episcopal ordinations but others utterly rejecting them. The debate was settled in 1662, when the revised Ordinal completely forbade non-episcopal ordinations as 'null and void'. We, as inheritors of the 1662 Prayer Book, remain in that understanding, which was actually the Patristic understanding, as the Church Fathers considered non-episcopal ordinations to be a heresy. Anyone wishing to join Anglican orders must be ordained in the Anglican Church, by a bishop, for his orders to be considered fully valid.
     
  20. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral

    American Bishops 1886
    1. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God.
    2. The Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian Faith.
    3. The two Sacraments – Baptism and the Supper of the Lord – ministered with unfailing use of Christ's words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him.
    4. The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church.
    Lambeth Conference 1888
    1. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as "containing all things necessary to salvation," and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.
    2. The Apostles' Creed, as the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.
    3. The two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself – Baptism and the Supper of the Lord – ministered with unfailing use of Christ's words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him.
    4. The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church.
    This is the standard which is measured as the absolute benchmark for ecmenical dialogue. I think in the end the future of a closer relationship with the Lutherans finds the tripping point, not so much in our understanding of the Eucharist but rather in our commitment to the historic episcopate. At the core, we may be willing to move on a number of issues, but not on these. These are are non-negotiables.
     
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