The Genius of Luther's Theology: A Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church
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.
Readable, insightful, thought-provoking
By Stuart Bloom - March 20, 2008
This book, by two Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod seminary professors, is an excellent summary of Luther's theology, presented in a nontraditional (i.e., not topical) but highly effective way.
The book is divided into two sections. In the first, the authors explain how Luther defined human beings through two kinds of righteousness -"passive righteousness," or righteousness with God, which comes solely through God's initiative and His grace and favor; and "active righteousness," righteousness with each other (and by extension with the rest of God's creation), which comes through the good works that flow from us when we respond with faith and trust to the great gift of God's passive righteousness.
In the second part, the authors explain how Luther regarded the Word of God, that creative and recreactive Word that bestows passive righteousness.
I am a layman (ELCA Lutheran), not a theologian or seminarian, yet I found this book very readable. The authors... read more
Insight into 2 Presuppositions that guided Luther's Theology
By rodboomboom - April 24, 2008
Two prominent Lutheran theologians provide their take on two theological presuppositions which fueled and guided all of Luther's theology. First is what it means to be human, and this in two dimensions: to God and to other humans. Secondly, how God relates to humans through all forms of His Word.
Much of this will not be new to Lutherans or readers of Luther, except that this work highlights the oft neglected contrast between Luther's anthropology of active and passive righteousness. These two spheres of human activity thus help immensely in maintaining the tensions found in Scripture between law and gospel, and also God's election and human responsibility.
What this reader found to be so useful in this reading is that their well thought out insights into these theological aspects provide great material for sermons and studies. Diagnostics of the human condition and God's response in Word, both incarnate and revealed in His living Scriptures. Just as several... read more
Back to the Future-Lutheran style!
By Timothy C. Matthew - April 12, 2008
Once again Drs. Robert Kolb and Charles Arand remind us that Luther's justification by faith alone is a timeless truth so appropriate today for those who are trying to distinguish Christian love from works-generated (and selfishly motivated) self-justification. Kolb and Arand seek to describe the life Christ had in mind for His people. One quote says, "By repentence, Luther meant a life lived out in the rhythm that God set in motion through His baptismal Word of life...Old Adam in us is drowned through daily remorse and repentence and dies in all sins and evil lusts, and a new human creature daily arises who lives eternally in God's sight in righteousness and purity." Is there any better definition of the sanctified life? This book would be a blessing to any library, Lutheran or otherwise.