Reformation Heritage Lecture

Describe – Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson gave a lecture titled “Remaking the World through Law and Gospel.” She began by saying that a better understanding of the Law and Gospel increases our understanding of God and the world. She then began by debunking several false interpretations of Law and Gospel, using Martin Luther’s writings as a guide: first, the idea that the Old Testament is all law and the New Testament is all Gospel; second, the idea that the Gospel eliminates the need for Law; third, that the Law and Gospel are about you and your feelings, and finally, that there is a wrathful Father and a gentle Son in the Trinity. The Law and God’s anger at sin are both born out of love for his creation. She then elaborated on what the Law and Gospel are. The Law is what God commands. It must be followed for it to work. It shows us how to act and shows us what true love is, but does not offer a solution to sin. It judges sin. The Gospel, on the other hand, offers us the solution. The Gospel declares our forgiveness and redemption, our righteousness received because of what Christ has done for us.

Interpret – This lecture really ties into the faith aspect of the Honors program.As a Lutheran, having a stronger understanding of the distinction between Law and Gospel, as well as what they are, is fundamental to understanding my own faith and, by extension, everything else. The Law and Gospel shape my own convictions and relationships with others.

Evaluate – I thoroughly enjoyed this lecture. The speaker had some very good points, most of which were not particularly novel, but explained things I had already heard or believed more thoroughly. I think the best example of this from the lecture was when she was talking about the Law and love. Namely, she made the point that when the Bible talks about the Law being love, that means that the Law shows us what true love is, NOT that what we think love is is what determines the Law.

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