I am finding gems in my old notes and stuff I wrote in the margins of class papers but I have no way of quoting or giving a reference to who said it and when. Here is one –
“The Gospel is a rare guest in men’s hearts; the Law, however, is a star boarder in man’s heart, because by nature reason knows the Law.” Therefore Luther admonished his co-workers to strive with might and main to maintain this precious truth and properly distinguish between the Law and the Gospel. But already in his own day he saw evidences that even the Church of the Reformation would not retain this article in its truth and purity. What Luther foresaw has been realized fully in the subsequent history of the Protestant Church. In fact, the entire history of doctrine in Protestantism can be viewed as a continuous mingling of Law and Gospel. The same antitheses which Luther encountered are still plaguing the Church today and come to the surface in various forms of Protestant theology.
It is usual to place all non Roman Christian denominations into one category under the nondescript term “Protestants.” They are not aware of the basic difference which divides Protestantism into two definite camps, Lutheran and Reformed theology. These two theological camps are separated by such a deep chasm that it is impossible to bring the two together.
This is important stuff and I tell folks all the time that the reset button for human beings always goes to self righteousness and legalism. It is important to stay on top of the old nature and get this doctrine right. Concordia Publishing House has come to our aid again and published a wonderful collection of essays on the distinction between the Law and the Gospel.
This is a post from the International Lutheran Council before the publication-
USA – When representatives of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), and Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) started meeting together more than five years ago, it was decided that the group would sponsor a book of essays on the proper distinction of God’s Law from His Gospel. That book will be available from Concordia Publishing House in August 2017.
Edited by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver III (LCMS), Rev. Dr. James Arne Nestingen (NALC), and Prof. John T. Pless (LCMS), The Necessary Distinction: A Continuing Conversation on Law & Gospel contains thirteen essays on the relationship of the law/gospel distinction to preaching, pastoral care, missions, ethics, and the Christian life. Essayists include Mark Seifrid, William Cwirla, Peter Brock, Larry Vogel, Mark C. Mattes, Naomichi Masaki, James Arne Nestingen, Stephen Hultgren, John T. Pless, Steven Paulson, Albert Collver III, and Roland F. Ziegler.
“I’m pleased that we have brought together a variety of confessional Lutheran scholars from North America and Australia to provide our churches with vigorous and fresh discussion of a theme at the heart of Lutheran theology,” said the work’s editor John T. Pless. “It is our hope that this book will be used in pastoral gatherings throughout the NALC, LCC, and LCMS to challenge and better equip pastors to engage the fine art of distinguishing Law and Gospel in all that they do.”
The book’s forthcoming publication has garnered praise from a number of theologians and church leaders. “These authors take Christ, the Scriptures, and our confessions seriously,” President Robert Bugbee of Lutheran Church–Canada noted. “They are not carbon copies of each other. They put you through your paces, even if you wrestle with certain details of their views. Pastors as well as informed lay theologians will profit from them. What a welcome contribution to the 500th Reformation anniversary year!” In addition to serving the Canadian church, President Bugbee also serves as Vice Chairman of the International Lutheran Council.
“When participants of the LCMS, LCC, NALC consultation first discussed the need for a book on the distinction between Law and Gospel, we couldn’t have conceived this collection of essays would be so practical, direct, helpful and accessible!” explained Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, NALC’s Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism. “In our day, when many Lutherans seem to have lost their way biblically, this book is much needed. It is for those who preach the Word and those who hear the Word, for pastors and laity, for the theologically trained and those who aren’t. It is a gift to our churches and to all who are committed to the ‘necessary distinction.’”