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Augustine versus Luther on Sin, Sexuality, and Salvation


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Augustine versus Luther

Augustine of Hippo and Martin Luther had absolutely foundational influences over the thought, practice, and development of Christian theology. Yet somehow the work of these two theological giants has produced out-of-balance perspectives within Protestantism on marriage, sexuality, and singleness—thanks to Augustine’s view of sexuality as shameful and Luther’s exaltation of marriage as the sure way to holiness.

Augustine versus Luther on Sin, Sexuality, and Salvation analyzes how the theologians’ views on sin and salvation affected their divergent perspectives on marriage and sexuality. Their drastically different conclusions are still evident in Christian attitudes toward marriage and singleness today.

Top Highlights

“Avarice, or self-love, turns a person from ‘the pursuit of the common good to one’s own individual good out of a destructive self-love.’” (Page 11)

“Concupiscence, in its broadest sense, means desire and encompasses all human emotion and passion.” (Page 9)

“Augustine’s distinction between good and corrupt concupiscence lies in the struggle between desires of the spirit and desires of the flesh. Desires of the spirit can be concupiscentia bona or concupiscentia naturalis. Concupiscentia bona is ‘a concupiscence of the spirit against the flesh, and a concupiscence of wisdom.” (Page 10)

“it is the sin that ultimately keeps people from salvation—they do not believe in Christ” (Page 31)

“Although Augustine and Luther form a single voice on matters of grace, they provide a form of doublespeak in church history on the issues of marriage and sexuality. Augustine’s prevailing opinion of both borders on the negative while Luther’s is overwhelmingly positive.” (Page 5)


  • Introduction
  • Augustine on Sin
  • Augustine on Salvation
  • Luther on Sin
  • Luther on Salvation
  • Conclusion

Product Details

  • Title: Augustine versus Luther on Sin, Sexuality, and Salvation
  • Author: Wendy L. Widder
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 72
  • Format: Logos Digital
Wendy Widder

Dr. Wendy Widder contracts with Faithlife as a contributing editor for Logos Mobile Education, but has spent much of her career in the classroom. She began with fifth graders, then made her way into the college and seminary environments. Presently, Widder enjoys teaching and preaching in her local church as opportunities arise.

She has a PhD in Near Eastern studies from the University of the Free State, South Africa, and has also earned an MA in Hebrew and Semitic studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an MDiv with an emphasis in educational ministries from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

Widder is the author of two books for singles, Living Whole without a Better Half (2nd edition; Kregel Publications, 2014) and A Match Made in Heaven: How Singles and the Church Can Live Happily Ever After (Kregel Publications, 2003). She also coauthored a book with her father for Christian school teachers, The Forest and the Trees: Helping Teachers Integrate a Biblical Worldview across the Curriculum (Wipf and Stock, 2008). Additionally, her master’s thesis and PhD dissertation have been published by Logos Bible Software and Walter de Gruyter, respectively.  Widder is currently writing commentaries on the book of Daniel for two new series by Zondervan (The Story of God; Hearing the Message of Scripture). Her greatest passions are writing biblically and theologically solid materials for laypeople, as well as teaching the Bible in an engaging way.


Sample Pages from Augustine versus Luther on Sin, Sexuality, and Salvation


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