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Andreas Osiander And Matthias Flacius Illyricus: The Controversy Over The Genuine Interpretation Of Luther

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the Osiandrian controversy. After Luther's death, Andreas Osiander argued against Melanchthon's forensic soteriology, claiming that Melanchthon had corrupted Luther's teaching with his "frigid imaginations" of imputed righteousness. Both Gnesiolutherans and Philippists condemned Osiander's interpretation of Luther. One of the most important opponents of Osiander was Matthias Flacius Illyricus, who furthered the forensic style of Melanchthon. However, Flacius occupied the other extreme position, and his doctrine of justification was in danger of becoming mere fiction. Stancarus accused Osiander and Melanchthon of Arianism due to their claim that Christ's divine nature took part in satisfaction. Although Flacius repeated the forensic and extrinsic aspect of Melanchthon's doctrine of justification, it was the intrinsic that caused him problems. The examination of Osiander's and Flacius's thought shows the theological disunity and instability of early Lutheranism.

Keywords: doctrine of justification; Francesco Stancarus; gnesiolutheran; Lutheranism; Matthias Flacius Illyricus; Melanchthon; Osiandrian controversy; Philippist



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