Justification Is for Preaching: Essays by Oswald Bayer, Gerhard O. Forde, and Others
Although preachers often question their effectiveness, no task of the church is more important than proclamation. Only the gospel liberates sinners ... Show synopsis Although preachers often question their effectiveness, no task of the church is more important than proclamation. Only the gospel liberates sinners from guilt, despair, and death and grants them freedom, hope, and new life. Few have grasped this truth better than Martin Luther. This volume features contributions by contemporary theologians whose work is shaped by Luther's conviction that God's justification of the ungodly comes through preaching: Gerhard Forde, Oswald Bayer, and their students and friends. Taken from the pages of Lutheran Quarterly, these essays in historical and theological perspective bring the doctrine of justification to bear on contemporary preaching. For Luther, the whole creation has its life out of God's "pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness of ours at all!" Luther's insight to center creation around God's justifying work accents the cosmic scope of the doctrine. Justification is at the core of God's creative and saving activity with respect to all that has been, is, and will be. God's justification of the ungodly is the heart of all Christian theology and mission, and inescapably shapes the character of both. Preaching Christ as the justifier of sinners, in contrast to the accusing directives of the law, does nothing other than establish God's deity over and for the world, and brings an end to sinners' own self-deifying quests, re-creating them as fully human, fully free. Theologians and preachers gain their compass, purpose, and courage from this truth.