Date of Award
Doctor of Theology (ThD)
Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)
1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 14:40; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Acts 9:4; Exodus 33:20; Galatians 5:17; Galatians 5:6; Joel 2:28; John 10:1-11; John 3:8;
This dissertation compares and contrasts Luther's and Calvin's theology of ministry because spiritual gifts are in some sense ministry gifts (using the broad definition of ministry as "every form of preaching the Gospel or administering the means of grace" as carried out by Christians in general) which are exercised by believers. Because spiritual gifts are not limited to the priests, this dissertation examines the understandings of both reformers concerning the priesthood of all believers. In turn, because spiritual gifts have often been understood as miraculous, so that it is necessary to explain what Luther and Calvin taught on the miraculous. Also, since spiritual gifts are somehow involved in sanctification, it is necessary to understand what both men believed about that topic. Yet one cannot understand Luther’s theology of sanctification apart from his doctrine of justification, so that a comparison of both reformers on this critical subject is necessary in order to understand their views on sanctification.
It is well known that Lutheranism and Calvinism are sharply divided, although not all are convinced that the division should not be attributed to personality rather than to theological differences. Indeed, this present writer well remembers how forcefully a Calvinist professor in seminary argued that the only true separation between Luther and Calvin was Luther's stubbornness. This dissertation, however, will demonstrate that even on the subject of spiritual gifts, there is much more dividing the two traditions than personality and nationality.
Wetmore, Robert, "The Theology of Spiritual Gifts in Luther and Calvin: A Comparison" (1992). Doctor of Theology Dissertation. 7.
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