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Antinomian Controversy.

Began 1527 when P. Melanchthon* urged the Law to prevent abuse of free grace. J. Agricola* held that the Law had no place at all in the ch. and that knowledge of sin and contrition to be wrought not by the Law but by the Gospel. M. Luther* made peace bet. them. December 10, but Agricola did not abandon his view and, as prof. at Wittenberg 1536 through Luther's influence, promoted it in various ways. His teaching spread to Saalfeld, Brandenburg, and Frankfurt a.m. Main and esp. influenced J. Schenk* in Freiberg. Luther stopped Agricola from lecturing. Agricola agreed to recant but left it up to Luther to formulate the recantation and continued secretly to teach antinomianism. Finally Elector John* Frederick called Agricola to trial. Agricola escaped by accepting a call of Joachim II (see Joachim, 2) to Berlin, where he continued to defend his position.

The 2d Antinomian Controversy began 1556. Main issue: 3d use of the Law. A. Poach,* A. Otto,* A. Musculus,* and M. Neander* denied that, with respect to good works, the Law was of any service whatever to Christians. Theses such as these were defended: “The Law does not teach good works. Evangelical preachers are to preach the Gospel only and no Law.” The antionomianism of followers of Melanchthon was expressed by P. Crell* as follows: “The Gospel alone is expressly and particularly, truly and properly, a preaching and a voice of repentance, or conversion.”

FC VI settled the matter by recognizing the triple use of the Law: (1) for outward discipline, (2) for revealing sin, (3) for the rule of life to the regenerate, who need it because of their Old Adam.

See also Antinomianism; Bugenhagen, Johann; Faber, Wendalinus; Hutchinson, Anne.


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod


Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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