Preaching the Law in an Antinomian World
Prof. John T. Pless
June 20–22, 2017
Lutheran preachers know that God’s Law and Gospel are to be proclaimed yet rightly distinguished so that the hearers take comfort in Christ alone. Far from being a slogan or a cliché, the distinction of the Law from the Gospel preserves the place of both and is necessary if Christian doctrine is to remain whole.
This seminar will concentrate on how we preach God’s Law in a world that imagines that it is antinomian. Merely asserting the commandments as a divinely-imposed set moral legislation will likely be met with the charge of hegemony. Nor will it help simply to ignore the Law as though one could preach the Gospel without reference to the Law. The question is not whether or not we are to preach the Law, but how are we to preach it so that it does its deadly work of exposing sin for what it is and shutting every mouth so that the whole world is held accountable to the Creator (Rom. 3:19). We will look at Luther’s way of doing it as well as the work of four contemporary Lutheran theologians: Hans Joachim Iwand, Oswald Bayer, James Nestingen and Steven Paulson.
Looking at an upcoming preaching text, we will work together to identify how it is preachers might move concretely to preach the Law from this specific text. (1.5 CEU)