Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

Abbreviations

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

This work begins with the word alone and ends with the word mediation.
First, alone. “Grace alone,” “faith alone,” “Scripture alone,” and “Christ alone,” as we know, are the key principles of Lutheran theology. And Martin Luther was, if anything, a man of principle. Some of his principles and positions might not hold up nowadays,1 but the basic one would and should: ..

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1. God and/or the Created World

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pp. 11-38

From a historical standpoint Jared Wicks was on to something when he said that the early spiritual teaching of Luther was marked by a “yearning for grace.”1 The Reformer took it that, in practical terms, sinful humans attempted continually to occupy God’s place, allowing their works to oust God’s gift. ...

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2. The Principle of “Sola Gratia” and the Value of Christian Freedom and Good Works

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pp. 39-58

When Christians say they are saved sola gratia, “by grace alone,” they mean that salvation takes place exclusively through God’s work, action, and intervention. Put another way, salvation does not depend on our works, good deeds, or noble strivings. We simply cannot earn salvation. It is entirely and exclusively God’s gift. This is Lutheran, ...

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3. “Sola Fides” and the Reasoned Assimilation of Christian Revelation

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pp. 59-78

How do I know I am saved? Where do I find a merciful God? These are questions Luther asked himself time and again, often in an anguished way. Many others before and after him would ask the same question. Can I be sure I am justified? Am I certain that God loves me? Is there any way I can leave aside the comfort zone of my individual, ...

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4. “Sola Scriptura” and the Spirit-Guided Transmission of the Faith

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pp. 79-94

The caption sola Scriptura, “Scripture alone,” is perhaps the best-known hallmark of the Protestant Reformation. The English theologian William Chillingworth exclaimed in 1638 that “the Bible, I say, the Bible only is the religion of Protestants.”1 It captures a simple idea: true revelation is to be found ..

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5. “Solus Christus” and the Origins of Christian Life and Spirituality

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pp. 95-106

Luther, as we saw, says that “Scripture interprets itself.” It is a key phrase, not to be taken lightly. Biblical exegesis should not depend on nor be supplemented by external interpretations or “previous understandings” (the Vorverständnis of Bultmann). ...

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6. “Ecclesia Semper Reformanda”, Christian Ministry, and the Faithful Mediation of God’s Gifts

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pp. 107-136

Luther well knew that “we are not the ones who can preserve the church, nor were our forefathers able to do so. Nor will our successors have this power. No, it was, is, and will be the One who says, ‘I am with you always, to the close of the age.’”1 From solus Christus, therefore, we pass on to the church Christ founded, one that, under the Spirit, ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 137-142

Teresa of Avila, the sixteenth-century reformer of the Carmelite order, exclaimed on more than one occasion, Sólo Dios basta: “God alone is enough.”1 Though hardly a devotee of Luther’s, she certainly shared his zeal for the glory of God. She wished the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—to be placed clearly at the center of Christian life. ...

Bibliography

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pp. 143-154

Index

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pp. 155-162

Back Cover

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