Justification: The Article by Which the Church Stands or Falls

Justification: The Article by Which the Church Stands or Falls

Justification: The Article by Which the Church Stands or Falls

Justification: The Article by Which the Church Stands or Falls

Synopsis

In Part I, Braaten assesses Luther's view of justification and its subsequent interpretation by orthodoxy, by Calvin, by Ritschl and Harnack, by Tillich, and by Barth. In Part II, the discussion turns to ecumenical dialogues on justification and the relation of the doctrine to evangelization, to the distinction between law and gospel, to pastoral care, and to the church's involvement in secular issues. Always lucid, often challenging, this book will stimulate thought and discussion beyond confessional lines.

Excerpt

Lutherans in America stand at the crossroads of decision concerning their identity and future as confessing heirs of the sixteenth-century Reformation. In 1961 the American church historian, Winthrop S. Hudson, concluded his book, American Protestantism, with this prognosis:

The final prospect for a vigorous renewal of Protestant life and
witness rests with the Lutheran churches which had overcome
much of their fragmentation by 1960 and had grouped themselves
into three main bodies. All had exhibited an ability to grow during
the post-World War II years, with the Lutheran Church-Missouri
Synod making the greatest gains. The Lutheran churches are in
the fortunate position of having been, in varying degrees, insulated
from American life for a long period of time. As a result they have
been less subject to the theological erosion which so largely stripped
other denominations of an awareness of their continuity with a
historic Christian tradition. Thus the resources of the Christian
past have been more readily available to them, and this fact suggests
that they may have an increasingly important role in a Protestant

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