What does not occur to them it seems, is the "union" or one might say "consummation" of marriage comes after the forensic declaration of the minister: "I pronounce you man and wife."(At least it does in Christian marriage and most traditional cultures!). This is true both in our time and Luther's. So, even with the use of the marriage metaphor, the forensic judgment must come first.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Luther's marriage metaphor: Not as helpful to the Finns as they seem to think.
The Finnish Luther scholars often point to the fact that Luther's primary metaphor for justification is marriage. Christ marries the Church and takes on himself her punishment, whereas it receives his infinite holiness. Since the Finns conflate mystical union with justification, the idea of "union" of Christ and the person excites them. If man and wife do have union and that's what justification is, then should it not follow that mystical union and justification are really the same thing?