Graphical Representation of Lutheran Soteriology and (lacking) Theodicy

This first graph is the Lutheran view of soteriology (as it has taken me years to pry out of them).  They believe there are three major soteriological teachings of Scripture (“Christ died for all”, “Not all will be saved”, and “Salvation is a work of God Alone”) and that we should not try to discount one of them in order to form a logical system.  Thus, Lutherans believe Calvinism,  Arminianism, and Universalism are each attempts to form logical systems which are detrimental to one of the three teachings.

If the teaching “Not all will be saved” is rejected then the soteriology opposite is the result; Universalism. If the teaching “Salvation is the work of God alone” is rejected then the soteriology opposite is the result; Arminianism. If the teaching “Christ died for all” is rejected then the soteriology opposite is the result; Calvinism. Lutherans uphold all three teachings and do not look for a logical system.  Their view is sometimes called “paradox” but I believe is better called “tension.”

The second chart I’ve made is an application of this teaching to Theodicy – attempts to solve the problem of evil. All Christians affirms, to some extent, these three teachings: (God is good, Evil exists, and God is all-powerful). Lutherans affirm all three of these views and do not attempt a Theodicy. Augustine at one point rejected that evil exists.  Thus I’ve placed him on the graph to fill what would otherwise be a gap. Arminians play lip-service to “God is all-powerful” but relinquish this power in their “Free-will Theodicy.”

1 thought on “Graphical Representation of Lutheran Soteriology and (lacking) Theodicy”

  1. The bottom line is that Lutherans (Eutychians) do not like to subject their thinking to the bible and in certain respects are hostile to the God of the Bible especially concerning the Doctrine of God’s Sovereignty. It is simply distasteful to them.

    They like to count the Reformed out of the kingdom because they don’t hold to Luther’s imaginations and innovations concerning the Lord’s Supper accusing us of an improper Christology. They are clearly Eutychians. This is the central disagreement between the Eutychians (Lutherans) and the Reformed.

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