Justification and Participation in Christ

The Development of the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification from Luther to the Formula of Concord (1580)


The unity of the early Lutheran reformation, even in the central themes such as justification, is still an open question. This study examines the development of the doctrine of justification in the works of the prominent first and second generation Lutheran reformers from the viewpoints of divine participation and effectivity of justification. Generally, Luther’s idea of Christ’s real presence in the believer as the central part of justification is maintained and taught by all Reformers while they simultaneously develop various theological frameworks to depict the nature of participation. However, in some cases these developed models are contradictory, which causes tension between theologians resulting in the invention of new doctrinal formulations.

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Olli-Pekka Vainio, D. Theol. (2004) in Ecumenical Theology, University of Helsinki, is Researcher in the Department of Systematic Theology and Adjunct Professor of Ecumenical Theology at the University of Helsinki.
"This is an erudite and thoroughly researched work, which makes significant contributions
to our understanding of the formative decades of early Lutheranism. In so doing, it
will capitalise contemporary debates about Lutheran identity, as well as ecumenical discussion
in which this identity is at stake."

Philip G. Ziegler, University of Aberdeen
Journal of Reformed Theology 4 (2010) 145-168

1. Introduction
2. The Beginning of the Lutheran Reformation: Justification as Participation in Christ
3. Philip Melanchthon: Justification as the Renewal of the Intellect and the Will
4. Andreas Osiander and Matthias Flacius Illyricus: The Controversy over the Genuine Interpretation of Luther
5. Joachim Mörlin and Martin Chemnitz: Towards the Synthesis of the Extremes
6. Unio cum Christo in the Theologies of the Other Contributors to FC
7. The Doctrine of Justification in the Formula of Concord
8. Concluding remarks: What is the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification?

Sources and Bibliography
- Abbreviations
- Documents
- Literature
Index of Names
Index of Subjects
All those interested in formation of early Reformation theology, Lutheran fundamental theology, and contemporary ecumenical dialogue.
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