Fagerberg, Holsten, and Eugene Lund. A New Look at the Lutheran Confessions (1529-1537). St. Louis: Concordia, 1988. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 4, “The Nature of God” Loc. 2525-2856.
The nature of the triune God is a doctrine that the Reformers and the Roman Catholics held in common. Fagerberg observes some variation in the methods of teaching but uniformity in the doctrine itself (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 2529). Luther especially emphasized the language of the Athanasian Creed to affirm his faithfulness to Trinitarian teaching. “One cannot stress strongly enough that the doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of Reformation theology” (Ibid., Loc. 2559). The Trinity is connected to justification by grace through faith. The Father is approached through the Son who draws people to himself by the Spirit. This in turn relates closely to the idea of Law and Gospel (Ibid., Loc. 2591). A proper view of God is therefore central to Christianity.
Fagerberg goes on to treat the three persons of the Godhead individually, beginning with the Father (Ibid., Loc. 2599). In the Confessions the Father is discussed in relation to the Gospel. God the Father is involved with the creation. “We are led to true knowledge of the Father by the Son, who is the mirror of the father-heart of God” (Ibid., Loc. 2623). The Confessions tie our understanding of the Son to that of the early church tradition by strongly related wording. They stress that Christ alone is our Reconciler and Mediator” (Ibid., Loc. 2652). Our belief in Christ’s work is enabled only by the Holy Spirit (Ibid., Loc. 2675). It is the work of the Holy Spirit to change our heart’s desires (Ibid., Loc. 2693). The Reformers stressed the Holy Spirit working through external means of Word and Sacrament (Ibid., Loc. 2728). Thus, God works in the end through the ministry of the Church (Ibid., Loc. 2738).