1. "The Formula of Concord," in The Book of Concord, eds. Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000), 486, my italics [hereafter cited as FC].
2. Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 2.03. Available online at www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Office-of-the-Secretary/ELCA-Governance/Constitutions-of-the-Evangelical-Lutheran-Church-in-America.aspx (accessed July 15, 2011).
3. Philip Melanchthon, "Apology of the Augsburg Confession," Articles vii and viii, in The Book of Concord, 178 [hereafter cited as AP].
4. Philip Melanchthon, "The Augsburg Confession," in The Book of Concord, 58 [hereafter cited as AC].
5. "Preface to the Book of Concord," in The Book of Concord, 5.
6. AC XXVIII, 92, 94.
7. AC XXVIII, 94.
8. AC XXVIII, 96.
9. AC XXVIII, 102.
10. AP XIV, 222–3.
11. AP XXVIII, 290.
12. AP XXVIII, 291.
13. Melanchthon notes that Gratian's decretals require non-obedience to a heretical pope; an interesting admission from canon law that a heretical pope is, in fact, possible. Philip Melanchthon, "Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope," in The Book of Concord, 336 [hereafter cited as PPP].
14. Martin Luther, "The Smalcald Articles," in The Book of Concord, 323–4. Luther backs up his exhortation with an appeal to the practice of the early church.
15. PPP, 341.
16. Martin Luther, "The Large Catechism," in The Book of Concord, 393.
17. FC 528.
18. The FC understood the gravity of what was at stake: "Those who are weak in the faith do take offense because of these controversies: some doubt whether the pure teaching exists among us in view of these divisions, and some do not know which group among us they should support regarding the articles of faith under dispute. For these controversies are not merely misunderstandings or semantic arguments, where someone might think that one group had not sufficiently grasped what the other group was trying to say or that the tensions were based upon only a few specific words of relatively little consequence. Rather, these controversies deal with important and significant matters, and they are of such a nature that the positions of the erring party neither could nor should be tolerated in the church of God, much less be excused or defended." FC 526.
© September 2011
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 11, Issue 5