The Genius of Luther's Theology
While other volumes are available that introduce readers to the theology of Martin Luther, this volume from two eminent Lutheran professors offers a unique approach. Rather than surveying traditional theological subject headings, they focus on two central ideas that informed...
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While other volumes are available that introduce readers to the theology of Martin Luther, this volume from two eminent Lutheran professors offers a unique approach. Rather than surveying traditional theological subject headings, they focus on two central ideas that informed the basic conceptual framework of Wittenberg theology.
The first presupposition concerns Luther's anthropology. His well-known emphasis on justification by faith, or "passive righteousness," described God's grace. But Luther also emphasized a related aspect, the "active righteousness" of love that ought to shape and guide social relationships. The second presupposition concerns Luther's focus on the way God works in the world through his Word--creative, incarnational, and sacramental. Taken together, Kolb and Arand find that these ideas formed a matrix that shaped the theological reflections of Luther and his disciples.
Twenty-first century Christians face significant challenges to their proclamation of the gospel and to their existence as a faith community. Living in a tumultuous age, Luther faced equally challenging crises. His theological emphases, which are described and considered in this perceptive study, have much to offer contemporary pastors and theologians who seek to construct their own formulations of God's message for the present age.
This volume offers a unique approach to the study of the great German reformer, Martin Luther. Robert Kolb and Charles Arand offer an introduction to two significant themes that form the heart of Luther??'s theology. The first theme concerns what it means to be truly human. For Luther, ???passive righteousness??? described the believer??'s response to God??'s grace. But there was also an ???active righteousness??? that defined the relationship of the believer to the world. The second theme involves God??'s relation to his creation through his Word, first creating and then redeeming the world. Clergy and general readers will find here a helpful introduction to Luther??'s theology and its continuing importance for applying the good news of the gospel to the contemporary world.
"This eminently readable volume marks a high point in theological reflection on Martin Luther's contribution to today's church. Eschewing standard topical analyses that have often distorted Luther's thought, the authors--in essays focusing on God's twofold righteousness and God's powerful Word--have uncovered the very core of Wittenberg's theological revolution in a winsome, nondefensive manner. They thereby provide a radically new perspective on contemporary Christian faith and witness. This book is an invaluable tool for preaching, teaching, and learning the faith."--Timothy J. Wengert, Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor of the History of Christianity, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia "Kolb and Arand have provided a great service to all who seek a deeper understanding of reformational theology. "The Genius of Luther's Theology" is a fresh and innovative examination of the heart of Luther's theology. This book makes Luther more understandable and thus more usable for readers of all levels."--Jack Preus, president, Concordia University, Irvine, California "Aside from a few slogans and provocative quotes, Luther's theology is largely unknown in the land that Bonhoeffer called 'Protestantism without the Reformation.' Christianity in America desperately needs the wisdom and penetrating insight into gospel logic that is winesomely introduced in this rewarding volume."--Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California "Stressing Luther's theological anthropology and his view of the living and active Word of God, Kolb and Arand have given us a useful, pertinent, and contemporarily significantintroduction to the genius of the great reformer's thought. This book is a valuable contribution to Luther research."--Lawrence R. Rast Jr., professor of historical theology and academic dean, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Robert Kolb is Mission Professor of Systematic Theology and director of the Institute for Mission Studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
Robert Kolb (PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison) is Mission Professor of Systematic Theology and director of the Institute for Mission Studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the author of numerous books, including Martin Luther as Prophet, Teacher, and Hero, and co-editor of The Book of Concord. and most recently Genius of Luther's Theology.
Charles P. Arand (ThD, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis) holds the Waldemar and June Schuette Chair in Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the author of That I May Be His Own: An Overview of Luther's Catechisms and Testing the Boundaries: Windows to Lutheran Identity and most recently Genius of Luther's Theology.
- Introduction: The Genius Of Luther's Thought: Two Presuppositions Of Wittenberg Theology<br>part 1: "our Theology": Luther's Definition Of The Human Creature Through "two Kinds Of Righteousness"<br>1. Anthropology As A Matrix For Luther's Way Of Thinking<br>2. The Core Of Human Identity<br>3. The Shape Of Human Performance<br>4. The Subversion Of Our Human Identity<br>5. The Dynamic Of Faith<br>part 2: When The Word Is Spoken, All Things Are Possible: Luther And The Word Of God<br>6. The Functions Of The Word<br>7. The Enfleshed And Written Forms Of God's Word<br>8. The "means Of Grace" As Forms Of God's Word<br>9. God's Word Takes Form As His People Convey It To One Another<br>conclusion: Thinking With Luther In The Twenty-first Century