By Faith Alone: Essays on Justification in Honor of Gerhard O. Forde

By Faith Alone: Essays on Justification in Honor of Gerhard O. Forde

By Faith Alone: Essays on Justification in Honor of Gerhard O. Forde

By Faith Alone: Essays on Justification in Honor of Gerhard O. Forde

Synopsis

The Lutheran confessions call the doctrine of justification by faith alone the bchief articleb of the Christian faith. Clarifying and defending this article of faith have been the major concern of Lutheran theologians since the sixteenth century. It is not surprising, then, that one of todaybs most prominent Lutheran thinkers, Gerhard O. Forde, has chosen to devote most of his career to probing the depths and developing the implications of the doctrine of justification. And as this volume aptly indicates, Fordebs teaching and publications, his public lectures and sermons, and his influence on ecumenical scholarship and debate constitute one of the most important contributions to a theological understanding of justification in the second half of the twentieth century.

"By Faith Alone" celebrates Professor Fordebs distinguished career, but it also goes well beyond by offering a sustained and serious engagement with his theological motif. Written by twenty theologians from seven countries and several different Christian communions, the book provides a full-orbed, cutting-edge discussion of the doctrine of justification from a wide range of perspectives. The first set of essays explores the theological foundations of the doctrine of justification. The next set examines some key moments in the doctrinebs historical development as well as its ecumenical trajectory. The last set of essays asks how the doctrine of justification applies to church life today, including such ecclesiastical concerns as preaching and pastoral care.

A rich collection of lively and profound thinking, "By Faith Alone" is an ideal resource for teachers, preachers, church leaders, and all those pursuing a deeperunderstanding of Christian belief.

Contributors: C. Fitzsimons Allison

Oswald Bayer

Robert Bertram

Joseph A. Burgess

Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.

Reginald H. Fuller

Leif Grane

Roy A. Harrisville

Scott He

Excerpt

Joseph A. Burgess and Marc Kolden

The Lutheran confessions call the doctrine of justification by faith alone the “chief article” of the Christian faith. This constitutes the major contribution of the Lutheran reformers to the wider Christian community both in the sixteenth century and in various ways ever since.

It is not surprising that a Lutheran theologian in the second half of the twentieth century might choose to devote most of his career to probing the depths and developing the implications of the doctrine of justification. What is surprising is that so few theologians actually have done this. in the judgment of the editors of this volume, Gerhard Forde’s teaching and publications, his public lectures and sermons, and his contributions to ecumenical scholarship and debate represent one of the most sustained and important contributions to a theological understanding of justification by faith in the second half of the twentieth century.

It has been remarked that the problem with the doctrine of justification is not that it has been tried and found wanting but that it has never been tried. After reading Professor Forde’s writings, with their exposition of the radicality of justification by faith alone, apart from works, it becomes more obvious why it has been tried so seldom: the doctrine itself is an attack on the self-justification that controls every human heart. This is no less true if that person is the theologian who is seeking to hold and commend the doctrine! Perhaps it is for this reason that the reader often not only is challenged and enriched at an intellectual level by Forde’s work but also is encountered at a spiritual level — in terms of judgment,

1. See Ap 4:2 and sa 2:1, 1-5.

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