Background on the “Article by which the church stands or falls”
Sun-young Kim, Luther on Faith and Love: Christ and the Law in the 1535 Galatians Commentary, Emerging Scholars (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014), 11n21.
T. Mahlmann explains that the expression . . . is traceable to Franz Turrettini. Mahlmann also mentions that the spread of the expression was contributed to by Friedrich Loofs’s “failed attempt at finding the origin of this expression.” . . . Referring to Mahlmann, Eberhard Jüngel also points out in discreet words that, although similar formulae are found in Luther and this phrasing has indeed been employed to signify a high view of this doctrine, the exact phrasing does not appear in Luther. . . . Carter Lindberg draws attention to the usage of this formula by an eighteenth-century Lutheran orthodoxy: “In 1712, Valentin Löscher, the champion of Lutheran orthodoxy, termed the doctrine of justification the articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae.” . . . Lindberg comments that Löscher’s context differs from that of Luther’s. Consequently, although Löscher’s formula is “comparable in intent to Luther’s position,” since Löscher was speaking in the wake of a period of confessionalization, the church to which he referred in his formula was “the Lutheran church as a denomination.”Turretin! Who would have thought . . .