So far in this series we have been talking about what I call the categorical distinction, i.e., the Creator/creature distinction. At the 1518 Heidelberg Disputation Martin Luther unveiled what he called his theology of the cross, (theologia crucis) against what he described as Rome’s theology of glory (theologia gloriae). By the latter he meant to define a complex of ideas, including the notion that one is ultimately justified before God on the infused grace and cooperation with grace and the notion that the human intellect intersects with God’s. The theologian of the cross, “says what a thing is,” because he relies on divine revelation in Scripture, rather than a neo-Platonic continuum of being. For Luther, we do not know God savingly in nature. In nature, the sinner learns only Law and condemnation. He made a vital distinction between God as he is in himself, which he called the theology of glory and God as he reveals himself to us, or the theology of the cross.
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