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date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The one, holy, catholic, apostolic church, according to Luther, is created and sustained by God’s Word. His ecclesiology is not institutional or structural but soteriological and kerygmatic. Christ is the head of the community of the saints, which constitutes the church. Outside his people there is no salvation. All the baptized are given spiritual authority and called to use his Word for others, but these priests call pastors, who lead the ministry of the Word in the congregation. Luther’s ecclesiology and view of the priesthood of believers and the pastoral office remained quite consistent but developed with different emphases within the context of his disputes with Roman Catholics and Anabaptists in five distinct chronological stages.

Keywords: church, communion of saints, office of the keys, priesthood, baptized, believers, pastor, marks of the church, papacy, Antichrist

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