Home > CPH Resources > Lutheran Mythbusting: Luther Does Not Teach a Third Use of the Law – BUSTED

Lutheran Mythbusting: Luther Does Not Teach a Third Use of the Law – BUSTED

November 18th, 2011
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Rev. Edward Engelbrecht, my colleague at Concordia Publishing House, has produced a book that simply and utterly destroys the myth that Martin Luther does not teach a third use of the Law. This myth has been propagated in Lutheranism since earlier in the 20th century and has worked its way deeply into many Lutherans’ way of thinking, particularly those of a liberal bent, but also has raised doubts and confusion among confessional Lutherans, among whom we sometimes hear the claim that there is no such thing as a third use of the Law, that Luther did not teach it, that when the Formula of Concord asserts it, this is not Luther, but later Lutheranism. Ed Engelbrecht utterly obliterates all these myths and errors.

The book is available now from Concordia Publishing House and the professional church worker discount of 20% applies. You can order it online, or call 800-325-3040. You can view a sample here.

Charges of forgery, heresy, legalism, and immorality turn on the question of whether Martin Luther taught a third use of the Law for the Christian life. For the past sixty years, well-meaning scholars believed they settled the question—with dire consequences.
Friends of the Law sets forth a completely new body of evidence that shows how little Luther’s teaching was understood. This new book looks at the doctrine of the Law and invites a new consensus that could change the way Christians view the Reformation and even their daily walk with God.
  • data tables
  • translations of passages not available in English
  • appendices
  • bibliography on Law and Gospel
“For more than a century, each generation of scholars has produced a definitive study that redefines our understanding of Luther’s signature teaching on the ‘uses of the law’.  Edward Engelbrecht’s impressive new title is the definitive study for our generation.  It reflects a masterful command of all of Luther’s writings on point, and of the place of Luther’s teachings on all three uses of the law in the classical and Christian tradition. Crisply written, meticulously documented, and conveniently presented in short chapters, with useful tables and appendices, this is now the go-to book for scholars, students, and pastors alike.”
John Witte, Jr., Emory University
Author of Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation
Engelbrecht forces the reader to face the fact that . . . a modernist confessional theology . . . dismisses the law as oppressive.
Walter Sundberg, Ph.D.
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
A corrective to often unbalanced understandings of Law and Gospel.
Jeffrey K. Mann, Ph.D.
Susquehanna University
Friends of the Law will be of interest to Luther scholars, parish pastors, and parishioners.
Daniel E. Lee, Ph.D.
Augustana College
Engelbrecht . . . shows that Luther maintained a third use of the law.
Prof. Mark Mattes, Ph.D.
Grand View University
An important contribution . . . An eminent ecumenical study.
 Franz Posset, Ph.D.
Author of The Real Luther
Demonstrates convincingly that Luther taught the so-called third use of the law.
 Prof. John Brug, Ph.D.
Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary
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