Original Research - Special Collection: Change agency in a 21st-century South Africa

The continued debate on law and gospel among selected Lutheran scholars within the change agency paradigm

Ramathate T. Dolamo
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 3 | a5219 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i3.5219 | © 2018 Ramathate T. Dolamo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 August 2018 | Published: 12 November 2018

About the author(s)

Ramathate T. Dolamo, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa


It is interesting that since 1517 when Luther placed the 95 theses on the Wittenberg chapel door, debates ensued with vitality and freshness. Many aspects of the Reformation movement were debated by scholars of all persuasions, including even Roman Catholic theologians. The debates have become contextualised according to regions and countries and the end of the 20th century and the turn of the 21st have seen the deepening of the debates as scholars wrestle with the issues. This article will confine itself to the debate on the law and gospel among some selected Lutheran scholars with the view to finding some common ground on the topic without stunting further debate and research on the topic. In fact, this article should be able to provoke more thought-provoking discussions on the topic with questions like: What is the relationship between law and gospel if God’s Word is both law and gospel? Should we speak of law and gospel or gospel and law? Should we distinguish between law and gospel? What is the use of the gospel and what are the uses of the law? If God’s Word is both law and gospel, how should we strike the balance between the two to avoid overemphasising one at the expense of the other within the change agency paradigm?


Justification; God's law; creativity; law and gospel; soteriology; ethics; Reformation; change agency


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