In gen., there are 2 views of Christian freedom. One tries to express individual rights as defined and stimulated by the Renaissance* and 18th c. liberal thought in Christian terms; it describes man's self-expression and achievement of highest self-realization as a dynamic imparted by the Christian religion. The other adheres more closely to the NT view. It regards man innately subject to the forces of death and the devil. His Christian freedom is that he has been liberated by Christ Jesus and freed to serve God. Parallel to this is his freedom from the Law as an obligation he must fulfill in order to be godly and the gift of the Holy Spirit to desire what God wills. This freedom does not imply license to be ungodly or selfish, but is simply the will to concur with the will of God and to devote oneself completely to the welfare of man (Ro 14:15; 1 Co 8; Gl 5). This concept was given a fresh and classic expression by M. Luther,* Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen.
H. Thielicke, The Freedom of the Christian Man, tr. J. W. Doberstein (New York, 1963).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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