Order in the House? The Reception of Luther's Orders Teaching in Early Lutheran Genesis Commentaries
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Taylor & Francis
Reformation and Renaissance Review
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The notion that human life at Creation had been set into a series of ordered relationships was central for the Lutheran reformers’ understanding of Church, home, and state. Expositors developed this imaginative theological construct primarily out of the narrative of the Creation and Fall, and they used it as a framework for understanding the obligations of humankind in relation to the Creator, as well as for homes and societies rightly ordered.The Christian home, however, did double duty, serving as an archetype not only of life rightly ordered (law) but also of the love and freedom given by Christ in union with the Church (gospel). Lutheran expositors struggled to balance these two, especially when they derived the coercive authority of the state from parental, or paternal power. Could the institution of marriage simultaneously provide the foundation for state authority, and image the love between Christ and the Church?