In Thesis 15 of Law and Gospel, Walther makes a dichotomy between this
narrow and wide sense of the Gospel. Can you explain the different
senses of the Gospel?
Most humbly confused,
It’s not so much the idea of a different sense, but the fact that the word “Gospel” can refer to different things. If I say Gospel, I can be using in a narrow sense, where I am referring specifically to the good news of the forgiveness of sins in Christ Jesus, or I can use it in a broad sense — consider a reading from the Gospel… that reading may very well contain both good news of salvation, but also law and instruction. (By the by, Law can be used in a narrow sense (specific commands from God) and a broad sense (the Old Testament as a whole, which also points to the Messiah).
It’s the same sort of thing that happens with the word “America”. If someone says “America” are they referring to the United States or to the Continents of North and South America. Context will determine which is being used.
Hope this helps,
Rev. Eric J. Brown
Zion Lutheran Church – Lahoma, OK