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Nigerian theologian Reynolds examines issues of the interpretation, transmission, and appropriation of the doctrine of justification by faith alone within the context of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, Gongola Diocese.
The elements in the Protestant "angle of vision" that the new converts found intellectually attractive, writes Steinmetz, included: the appeal to Christian antiquity; the intention to restate theology in the fresh language of the Bible rather than the stale one of the medieval Scholastics; the doctrine of justification by faith alone; the dedication not only to studying the Bible but to preaching the word of God; and the theoretical support for institutional reforms (such as lifting the ban on clerical marriage) to correct acknowledged abuses.
In this respect, the doctrine of justification by faith alone seems to me to have done more harm than good, and it needs to be corrected by the epistle of James and by the paradigm of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Far from being the great proclaimer of the familiar and reassuring message of justification by faith alone, Paul is found to inhabit a strange universe of beneficent and hostile angelic powers, sudden miraculous transformations, and a quasi-physical solidarity between the heavenly Christ and his elect.
Against the prevailing heretical tendencies, Edwards delivered a series of sermons on "Justification by Faith Alone" in November 1734.
Is it true that Johnson was an Augustinian Christian and, therefore, that "the foundation of the whole edifice of [his] religion" was "the doctrine of justification by faith alone"?
The way to get at Luther's view of law is to raise the question of which concept of "law" is presupposed by the doctrine of justification by faith alone. In Heckel's perspective, the answer to this question will be nothing other than a legal doctrine of the theology of the cross.
A number of topics come up for discussion in Part Two, including the Protestant position on "justification by faith alone" and Protestantism's relationship with modern science, especially Darwinism.
For example, the Fabrist term vive foy appears as an adaptation of the scholastics' fides viva (which for the scholastics was faith primed by charity) and as distinct from Luther's sola fides (justification by faith alone, that is, without the works of charity).
For example, it is claimed that Bilney's letters to Bishop Tunstall "show that he had espoused the central Lutheran doctrine of justification by faith alone" (278), but what Foxe reported Bilney as writing is a direct quote from Paul's Epistle to the Romans 3:22-25.
But to marginalize conflicts over transubstantiation or "justification by faith alone" as mere "variance," while emphasizing the presence of a "middle ground" in Reformation thinking, is to minimize fundamental issues at stake for the multitude of Christians caught up in the tumultuous experience of the English Reformation(s) (272).
Who has wrote more ably than Martin Luther on justification by faith alone? And who was more ignorant of the doctrine of sanctification, or more confused in his conceptions of it?
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