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Law and Gospel in Martin Luther’s Pastoral Teachings as Seen in His Lecture Notes

Finding Guidance in Genesis and Galatians to Serve the Household of God

AiHe Zheng

The author presents a close reading of Martin Luther’s lectures on Galatians (1531) and Genesis (1535–1545). It reveals that Luther employed his unique understanding of Law and Gospel to inculcate in his students the understanding and desire to faithfully live out their callings in the vocations to which God had appointed them. He provided resources to do the same in the parishes they were to serve. Though in recent years the field of Luther studies has begun to appreciate the invaluable pastoral insights of this experienced master of pastors, the research has focused primarily on Luther’s early works. Moreover, little attention has been given to exploring Luther’s message as he cultivated an upcoming generation of pastors in his classroom. This work seeks to address this lacuna.
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Aihe Zheng received his Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He received a research grant from the Rolf und Ursula Schneider Stiftung, the DAAD Graduate Scholarship, the Herzog-Ernst-Stipendium der Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, as well as grants from the Institut für Europäische Geschichte Mainz. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of Historical Theology and Systematic Theology at the International Chinese Biblical Seminary in Europe.

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