Duggan: the individual responding to the Word
Commemoration of Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Friar, Priest, Martyr, 1941
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
—Romans 1:16-17 (NIV)
Luther’s rejection of Papal authority was not due to any difficulty he may have experienced in reconciling the claims made for the Petrine office with the character of the men who occupied the Papal throne in his time, nor to any confusion caused by the Conciliar Movement. His objections went much deeper and sprang, not from the concrete existential situation of his time, but from his theological principles. Luther saw quite early that his theory of justification by faith alone implied a denial of any divinely appointed hierarchy in the Church. Already in 1518 he had accepted the Hussite doctrine that the True Church, the Church of the promises and the Mystical Body of Christ, is invisible. Luther’s saving faith is the response of the individual soul to the Word of God revealed in Scripture; in his theology there is no place for any created activity to mediate to men God’s saving action nor for any active sharing by men in the dispensation of grace or divine truth.
... George H. Duggan (b. 1912), Hans Küng and Reunion, Westminster, Md., Newman Press, 1964, p. 21-22 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
Lord, You are the sole purpose for the church.
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