Martin Luther on Preaching Christ Present



This article advances the thesis that proclamation in Martin Luther's theology illumines Christ's non-manipulative presence and sacrament his available presence. It is demonstrated that Luther's interest in the church as Mundhaus was not advanced at the expense of an emphasis on the sacraments. Hearing and seeing as correlates of Word and sacrament advance different theological points of emphasis vis-à-vis Christ's sovereign yet available presence. Moreover, I suggest that these themes of Word and sacrament – held in tension – roughly correspond to the following pairs in the thought of Luther: pride and despair; redemption and creation; and forensic and effective metaphors of justification. In conclusion, some suggestions regarding the utility of the theme of real presence are advanced for understanding the world as the object of God's saving actions.