Series: Lutheran Quarterly Books (LQB)
"Living by faith" is much more than a general Christian precept; it is the fundamental posture of believers in a world rife with suffering and injustice. In this penetrating reflection on the meaning of "justification," Oswald Bayer shows how this key religious term provides a comprehensive horizon for discussing every aspect of Christian theology, from creation to the end times.
Inspired by and interacting with Martin Luther, the great Christian thinker who grappled most intensely with the concept of justification, Bayer explores anew the full range of traditional dogmatics (sin, redemption, eschatology, and others), placing otherwise complex theological terms squarely within their proper milieu -- everyday life. In the course of his discussion, Bayer touches on such deep questions as the hidden nature of God, the hope for universal justice, the problem of evil, and -- one of the book's most engaging motifs -- Job's daring lawsuit with God.
"Oswald Bayer's wide-ranging study of justification is a demonstration that the doctrine is alive, well, and highly salutary for our lost modern world. Concerned as it is not with narrow matters of piety but with all dimensions of life — from creation through faith and ethics to the resurrection of the dead — this book demonstrates the perennial truth and relevance of Martin Luther's historic discovery."
"Oswald Bayer's Living by Faith is a timely address and word of promise to our perennial efforts to justify ourselves and to our double bind of being both 'excuse-making animals' and finding our identities in our achievements. Following Luther, Bayer reminds us that the central subjects of theology are humanity's guilt and condemnation for sin and God the Justifier and Savior of sinners. 'Whatever is asked or discussed in theology outside this subject,' says Luther, 'is error and poison.' With the author of Job as well as with Luther, Bayer understands that the proper issue today, as in all days, is not theodicy but anthropodicy."
"Living by Faith is truly a wonderful book. It does not represent just another voice in Lutheran theology; rather, it brings out Luther's own voice for today. Conversing with a wide range of philosophical and theological traditions, Oswald Bayer illuminates the liberating power of divine justification in a world full of tribunals and self-justification. Having learned much from the German edition, I am delighted to see this gem — a rarity in contemporary German theology — made accessible to English-speaking readers. As a moral theologian, I heartily recommend it."
Anglican Theological Review
"A fascinating exploration of the topic close to the heart of Lutherans. . . This book is an excellent introduction to Luther's thought on justification and sanctification, and their place and relationship in today's world. Bayer is stimulating and challenging, making this book well worth the read."