Sanctification as Progressive in Lutheran Orthodoxy
People have often attacked the utilization of the term "progressive sanctification," as a strictly reformed or Wesleyan view. I have shown in the past that this concept is clearly taught in the Lutheran Confessions and the Pauline epistles. This teaching is also one that is taught in various Lutheran theologians throughout the centuries. It really is a given in Lutheran Orthodoxy. Here are some examples of Lutheran theologians using the term "progress" in reference to sanctification:
"Accordingly, constant progress in sanctification is the form of a true Christian life." Adolf Hoenecke,Evangelical Lutheran Dogmatics III, 421.
"It is important to remember, however, that the word sanctification has aquired a definite and restricted meaning, and now refers to the progressive growth in holiness which follows in the life of the believer after his justification by faith alone." Joseph Stump, The Christian Faith, 276.
"Now it belongs to the very nature of life to develop, to increase, and to make progress. And it is this development or growth of the new life that we now wish to consider. It is called sanctification."- G.H. Gerberding, The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church, 147.
"Justification being purely an act of God, is instantaneous and complete; sanctification being a work in which man has a share, is progressive." - The Way of Salvation, 148.
"Renovation [a synonym for sanctification in Lutheran orthodoxy] is therefore considered to be a continually progressive action both on God's part and on man's." Heinrich Schmid, The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 506.
"our renovation progresses from day to day." Quensdedt as cited in Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 506.
"Unlike Justification, Sanctification is gradual and has its degrees...Through this struggle the child of God constantly advances toward perfection." - Henry Eyster Jacobs, Elements of Religion, 202.
"Is Renewal or Sanctification instantaneous? The struggle as described in Rom. 7 very clearly points to a gradual process. In Col. 1:9-11, an increase of spiritual gifts is prayed for those who had already experienced a renewal (3:9, 10). So on the positive side." Henry Eyster Jacobs, A Summary of the Christian Faith, 253.