Justification

The Politics of Justification

The doctrine of justification is precious among Protestants. And it should be. The fact that God has declared our sins forgiven and that we have a righteous standing in the sight of God united to Christ is comforting and brings great joy. Unfortunately, the biblical teaching on justification is, many times, truncated. We have tended […]

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Hymn of the Justified

Romans 8:31-39 is better sung than commented upon. It’s a thrilling, ecstatic hymn of boisterous assurance that God’s purposes will be accomplished. Yet, I will attempt to comment on them. If we sing Paul’s hymn, let’s make sure we sing with understanding. Given the character of these verses, it’s easy and understandable that they, like […]

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Justified by the King

What appears to be Paul’s first recorded statement on justification comes in Acts 13, in a sermon at Pisidian Antioch. It’s can serve as a summary of Paul’s letter to the Romans, and throws some important light on the themes of that letter. Paul begins his sermon  with a quick survey of Israel’s history. Addressed […]

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The Logic of Luther

I think the logic of the Lutheran Reformation can be summarized in one sentence, attributed to Luther himself: “God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.” The first half of that statement is justification by faith. God doesn’t need our works to satisfy his justice or earn his favor. He justifies us […]

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Our New Task

The newer perspective on justification by faith advocated in various studies in Pauline Theology by N.T. Wright and others, is now utterly relevant to our historical situation. Such work cannot be merely avant garde theologizing. In Luther’s day, everyone was “in” as regards the Church and the faith.  We were all a part of Christendom. The […]

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