Thanks for your quotes from the Book of Concord, I was aware that most Lutheran Theology on Justification and Salvation was different from the Presbyterian/Baptist view, but not to the extent that Lutheran ideas were so close in many matters to the Catholic Position.
My question would be, since Lutheranism claims to be Sola Scriptura, how binding is the Book of Concord on Lutherans? Is there a difference in private interpretation of the Scriptures does that trump Concord? As there are various groups or Synods of Lutherans, if one says (as has happened) that women, and practicing homosexuals can be ordianed, and another says they cannot, where does the is authority on dogma or morals is it in the Word, or the Individual? Since at one point Dr. Luther encouraged Private Interpretation, and later in life when he saw the chaos it caused, recanted his statement, is there any final authority beyond what the individual feels, or believes?
Sorry that you felt I was making an accusation. I was posting what my understanding of the subject was from Various Protestants I know, both lay and clergy. I asked for comments on my posting, because I knew you would be a good resource if my posting was not correct.
Now before Lutharanism started, Palagianism was already condemned by the Catholic Church, so we do agree on this point.
Catholics have always believed that we cannot be saved by our own personal merits, but by the Merits of Christ. However as Scritpture plainly teaches, “Faith without works is dead.” We agree that Faith is a gift from God, so it only follows that the works that are attached to Faith, are not merits that we do on our own, but those we accomplish when we are living a life of Grace, and united to God. A baptized person in a state of grace can give $10.00 to a charity, and if they do so to feel better about themselves or to be seen giving charity, they are not doing so their reward is the recognition. However if one does so simply to follow Christ and out of Love for God, then one’s works are not your own, but an offering to God, by following His Commands, and submitting to His will. God and His Grace elevate our works and make them meritorious.