A Jagged Contention: Christ or Not Christ?

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“For unless everything said about Christ and grace were said antithetically, so as to be set over against its opposite – for instance, that outside of Christ there is nothing but Satan, apart from grace nothing but wrath, apart from light only darkness, apart from the way only error, apart from the truth only a lie, apart from life only death – what, I ask you, would be the point of all the discourses of the apostles and of Scripture as a whole? They would all be in vain, because they would not insist on the absolute necessity of Christ, which in fact is their chief concern; and they would not do so because some intermediate thing would be found, which of itself would be neither true nor false, neither alive nor dead, perhaps even neither something nor nothing, and that would be called ‘the most excellent and exalted thing in the whole race of men’!”

– Martin Luther, “The Bondage of the Will” (282)


Question:

Noting the antithetical language of Scripture with regard to Christ and grace Dr. Luther asserts that the true danger comes when we lose this categorical distinction and seek something neutral in the middle. Do you think he is simply being over simplistic? Or is this a crucial help to the reading and proclaiming of the Word of God?

Share your thoughts in the comments below