“We needed an Incarnate God, a God put to death, that we might live… A few drops of Blood recreate the whole world…”
— Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 45.28, 29
Most of the time Luther is busy talking about how nasty the Law is, to make sure we don’t make it our hope. But when he gets around to talking about its good purpose, he can say some very nice things. The “final cause” of a thing, by the way, is its end, goal or telos:
The final cause of the obedience of the Law by the righteous is not righteousness in the sight of God, which is received by faith alone, but the peace of the world, gratitude toward God, and a good example by which others are invited to believe the Gospel. (Comm. on Galatians, 373)
“The authenticity of our theologies is found more in how we proceed than from where we begin.” I think that’s an important sentence.