Lutheran Christ- Centered Theology
The defining characteristic of Lutheran theology is its christology; or to put it another way, a defining characteristic of Lutheran theology is its reliance on the person of Jesus Christ as the key to all other doctrines. This is not a new thing that Lutherans have invented. In fact, this approach to theology is a very Scriptural and historical approach because the Apostles’ treatment of Baptism (Romans 6), Holy Communion (1 Corinthians 10), and other aspects of the Church’s life were all informed by their knowledge of who Jesus is and why He came.
This way of doing theology continued on in the early Church when various heresies arose concerning the person of Jesus Christ. Some theologians wrongly believed that God did not dwell in Jesus’ body but only his mind. Others said that he was a good man but was not God himself and was only called the “Son of God” because he was perfectly obedient. However, the Church resisted and condemned these theories because they were not consistent with the practices and doctrines of the Church as they had been handed down from the Apostles. If the Son of God only inhabited the mind of Jesus then only the mind was saved and not the body. But the Scriptures teach that through baptism into Jesus Christ we will also be saved in our bodies (Rom 6; Phil 3). Therefore, the claim that the Son of God only took on the mind of Jesus fundamentally changes our understanding of baptism, the cross, and salvation as a whole. How the Church has responded to such theories exemplifies just how important the person of Jesus Christ is to ALL theology.