Confessions: The Proper Use

Leif Grane, in his book The Augsburg Confession: A Commentary, writes, “When reading the Confession [AC], we must not ignore the historical circumstance that the AC presents itself as a statement that soberly but self-consciously relates what is being proclaimed in the confessors’ congregations, how these congregations have been ordered, and which abuses have been abolished; otherwise, a free-floating autonomy is imposed upon it which it never claims for itself. The AC does not intend to initiate anything. It does not intend to create any new church doctrine. Rather, its purpose is simply to reproduce what is taught in the Christian church. Its entire design is alien to any sense of what we have come to understand as confessionalism. Thus, it is not without irony that with the formation of the Smalcald League (1531) the AC became the symbol of unity for a special group of princes and cities, and later, as confessionalism spread throughout Europe (e.g., with the Peace of Augsburg, 1555), became the distinctive symbol of the so-called Lutheran church” (pg 18).

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