1887

n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - Writing "new" decalogues : Martin Luther's development of the Pauline-Augustinian tradition of natural law : research article

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Abstract


Hierdie artikel verdedig die standpunt dat Luther 'n natuurregbenadering in sy teologie geakkommodeer het. 'n Diepgaande studie van Luther se natuurregstandpunte word ondersteun deur Brown se opvatting dat Luther se bydrae tot die natuurregtradisie nie vertolk kan word as die grondslag vir die teorie oor die goddelike reg van konings wat gedurende die 17de eeu gegeld het nie. Sonder om betrokke te raak by die debat oor natuurreg versus juridiese positivisme, is bevind dat die boodskap van Luther se natuurregteorie belangrike politieke implikasies vir die hele mensdom inhou. Luther waarsku naamlik teen positivistiese en legalistiese beskouinge van die reg omdat dit kan lei tot verwarring, relativisme en historisme. Volgens Luther se standpunt moet die mens terugkeer na meer fundamentele beginsels (of waardes) wat verteenwoordigend is van "ideale", "goeie of "ware" norme waaraan die mensgemaakte reg getoets kan word. Meer spesifiek behels Luther se sienings oor die natuurreg 'n eskatologiese visie van die Christen se betrokkenheid by en arbeid in God se skepping. Hierdie visie is daarop gegrond dat die mens deur God aangestel is in sy amp en vrede in die samelewing moet handhaaf. Ook impliseer hierdie visie dat die mens sy gesag van God ontvang en dat hy in nederigheid moet bydra tot God se betrokkenheid by samelewings wat ly onder die gevolge van legalisme of wat deur konflik uiteengeskeur is.

This essay argues in favour of Martin Luther subscribing to the theory of natural law in his theology. An in-depth study of Luther's views on natural law finds support for Brown's thesis that Luther's contribution to the tradition of natural law cannot be taken to form the basis of the theory of divine right prominent in the seventeenth century. Without venturing into the debate on natural law versus legal positivism, it is found that the perspective emanating from Luther's natural law theory has an important political message for mankind as a whole in its implicit warning against positivistic and legalistic perspectives on law because these are apt to lead to confusion, relativism and historicism. Man, according to Luther's view, therefore, has to revert to more fundamental principles (or values), representative of "ideal," "good," or "true," norms for testing man-made law. The more specific implications of Luther's views on natural law for Christians concern an eschatological vision of Christians' involvement and work in God's creation. This vision concerns man's divine appointment to hold office and promote peace in society, and to contribute humbly towards God's involvement in societies suffering from the effects of legalism or torn apart by conflict.

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/content/koers/70/3/EJC59205
2005-01-01
2016-12-06
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