W. Tyndale and M. Luther on Justification by Faith and the Two Orders: Two Interpretations of the Key Problems of Protestantism

Publication type Article
Status Published
EditionVolume 5 Issue 6 (29)
AbstractThe article considers two interpretations of the doctrines of justification by faith and the two orders, which are essential for the programs of the European reformers of the 16th century. The German reformer Martin Luther said that the need for the salvation of the Christian faith alone, no good works, nor exceptional merits will not help him on the way to the justification of God. English reformer William Tyndale, on the contrary, connects these two forms of man's salvation. In his religious concept harmoniously Lutheran justification by faith with the addition of the benefits of good works. W. Tyndale developed the new contractual theology, which essence consisted that the Lord only carry out his promise, when the person takes a law of God. The latter circumstance is required from the Christian man of performance of good works. In the political program of the Reformation theologians concerned with the question of the relationship between the two authorities — temporal and spiritual. Reformers updated the famous medieval concept of the two cities — the earthly and divine, as set out in the book Aurelius Augustine’s “About State of God”. M. Luther and W. Tyndale transferred Augustinian concept to earth relations, speaking about two opposing orders or directions in the earthly realm: the temporal and the spiritual. Martin Luther puts forward the idea of the autonomy and independence of the two orders, each of which is based on a sphere of rights and carries out certain tasks in a Christian society. William Tyndale refuses to the clergy in imperious powers. Unlike Luther, he breaks off with the representations about equivalence of both orders and puts forward the idea of the superiority of the temporal authority over the spiritual. W. Tyndale belongs the leading role in the development of the theological substantiation of the king supremacy in England. Thus, despite the focus of many of the ideas of M. Luther English reformer, William Tyndale establishes an own theological course and creates different from Luther’s religious and political program of the Reformation in England.
KeywordsReformation, justification by faith, good works, the law of God, the doctrine of the two orders
Publication date10.11.2014
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