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Anglican Luther Scholar

A major scholar of Martin Luthers heritage, a priest from the London Diocese of the Church of England, Dr. Jonathan Trigg participated in the work of the LTS II International Theological Conference. Fr. Triggs doctoral dissertation, Baptism in the Theology of Martin Luther, was published by Brill in 1994 and is widely acclaimed among students of Luthers theology.

Dr. Trigg came to his conclusions concerning the theological emphases of the reformer as a result of his studies in the works of Luther himself. He began his investigation of Luther from the popular concept that Luther was solely the theologian of faith. Intrigued by the seeming contradiction that Carl Barth saw between the teachings of Martin Luther on Justification and Infant Baptism, Trigg attempted to resolve such apparent discrepancy. During several years of his dissertation work he practically never met a living Lutheran, rather, he engaged in the study of Luthers writings themselves. A realization of the high significance that Luther gave to Baptism, especially in his mature years, became a true revelation for Trigg. Luthers understanding of Baptism may be a thread that unites all his theology into one coherent whole. Faith, according to Luthers theology, can not rely on itself, but rather must cling to the external, objective acts of God such as, first and foremost, Baptism. In his Lectures on Genesis Luther said: a Christian relies above all on the fact that he has been baptized (LW 5, 240), and this statement may be considered as one of the most important theological achievements of the Reformer, Trigg concluded.

Dr. Trigg taught an STM course at Concordia Theological Seminary two years ago. LTS rector Fr. Alexei Streltsov was one of his students there, and so he later decided to invite Dr. Trigg to come to the conference in Novosibirsk.

At present Dr. Trigg works in the sphere of Lutheran ecclesiology. Accordingly, the two presentations that he delivered at the Conference were dedicated to the topics of Luthers baptismal theology and his understanding of the church as a place of the presence of the means of grace. At the end of the conference work, Dr. Trigg answered the numerous questions of the hearers. He made an interesting observation: that questions that people asked in Novosibirsk were much like the questions he heard in America, so, as he said, Lutherans of different countries are very much alike, despite the huge distances.

Dr. Triggs presentations at the conference will be posted on this site as soon as they are available. The Russian translation will be published along with the other conference materials.

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