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Being christian in the world: the tertius usus legis as the starting point of a reformed ethic


Aus der Au, Christina (2015). Being christian in the world: the tertius usus legis as the starting point of a reformed ethic. Studies in Christian Ethics, 28(2):132-141.

Abstract

In Protestant theology, the law of the Old Testament still has two functions for Christians: as God’s containment of the chaos in the form of political order and as confronting self-righteous humans in their inability to comply and pointing them to the necessity of grace. For Reformed Protestants however, there is a third use of the law, directed to the renatus, the ‘born again’ Christian, to the iustus and not to the peccator in order for him to keep growing in insight and the practice of God’s will. Different from the Lutheran usus politicus, it is not limited to being God’s containment of evil through the orders of creation, but the realisation of and the public responsibility for those possibilities of life that were disclosed for men/women as partners in God’s covenant by God’s law. Those possibilities are perceived and realised by living in the spirit of God.

Abstract

In Protestant theology, the law of the Old Testament still has two functions for Christians: as God’s containment of the chaos in the form of political order and as confronting self-righteous humans in their inability to comply and pointing them to the necessity of grace. For Reformed Protestants however, there is a third use of the law, directed to the renatus, the ‘born again’ Christian, to the iustus and not to the peccator in order for him to keep growing in insight and the practice of God’s will. Different from the Lutheran usus politicus, it is not limited to being God’s containment of evil through the orders of creation, but the realisation of and the public responsibility for those possibilities of life that were disclosed for men/women as partners in God’s covenant by God’s law. Those possibilities are perceived and realised by living in the spirit of God.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Theology
Dewey Decimal Classification:230 Christianity & Christian theology
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:23 Dec 2015 10:53
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:45
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0953-9468
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0953946815570587

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