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Tuesday
Oct182011

Theological Term of the Week

Augsburg Confession
The oldest Protestant confession and the most significant Lutheran one, drafted by Philip Melancthon in order to explain the teachings of the Lutheran churches, and presented to Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire at the Imperial Diet in 1530.

  • From the Augsburg Confession

    Article I: Of God.    

    Our Churches, with common consent, do teach that the decree of the Council of Nicaea concerning the Unity of the Divine Essence and concerning the Three Persons, is true and to be believed without any doubting; that is to say, there is one Divine Essence which is called and which is God: eternal, without body, without parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible; and yet there are three Persons, of the same essence and power, who also are coeternal, the Father the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  And the term “person” they use as the Fathers have used it, to signify, not a part or quality in another, but that which subsists of itself.

    They condemn all heresies which have sprung up against this article, as the Manichaeans, who assumed two principles, one Good and the other Evil- also the Valentinians, Arians, Eunomians, Mohammedans, and all such.  They condemn also the Samosatenes, old and new, who, contending that there is but one Person, sophistically and impiously argue that the Word and the Holy Ghost are not distinct Persons, but that “Word” signifies a spoken word, and “Spirit” signifies motion created in things.

  • From A Summary of Christian History by Robert A Baker and John M. Landers:
  • Luther… being under the ban of the empire, could not appear at the diet in Augsburg [in 1530]. He aided Melancthon in preparing the confession for presentation to the diet. The confession and a subsequent defense were rejected by the diet and the Lutherans were given one year to forsake their heresies or bear the consequences. The Lutheran princes formed a military alliance known as the Schmalkaldic League. The Catholic princes had also joined together for military action. Emperor Charles did not find it expedient to attack the Lutherans. The Turks were threatening, the Lutherans were fairly strong, and King Francis I of France was ready to fight again.

Learn more:

  1. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: Augsburg Confession
  2. Theopedia: The Augsburg Confession
  3. A. A.Hodge: A Short History of Creeds and Confessions
  4. WikipediaAugsburg Confession
Related terms:
  • Belgic Confession
  • Heidelberg Catechism
  • Canons of Dort 
  • Westminster Confession 
  • London Baptist Confession

Filed under Creeds and Confessions.

Do you have a term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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Reader Comments (2)

Hooray! We just learned about this last week in our homeschool history. The kids will be excited to see this.

October 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy

Oooh...perfect timing. I love it.

October 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca

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