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Publication Date

Fall 2017

Publication Details

This article was originally published as:

Jankiewicz, D. W. (2017). Martin Luther and extra ecclesiam nulla salus ("outside of the church there is no salvation"): Did Luther really abandon Cyprian? Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 28(2), 78-96. Retrieved from

ISSN: 1550-7378


220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)


This paper argues that despite initiating the Reformation of the 16th century and boldly proclaiming sola gratia et fides—the very purpose of which was to theologically disentangle soteriology and ecclesiology—Luther ended up endorsing the traditional Catholic position extra ecclesiam nulla salus, i.e., that there is no salvation outside the church. This “church” was now, of course, Luther’s own denomination. Luther’s embrace of this traditional Catholic catchphrase should not be surprising, as it was the logical outgrowth of problematic assumptions that influenced his understanding of justification by faith. Before these assumptions can be explored, however, the ecclesiological framework that led to his embrace of the “there is no salvation outside of the church” doctrine must first be laid down.


Used by permission: the author

© 2017 Darius W. Jankiewicz

Staff and Students of Avondale College may access this article via a PRIMO search here.

At the time of writing Darius Jankiewicz was affiliated with Andrews University.

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