This book about Luther's theology is written out of a twofold conviction: first, that many of our problems have arisen because we have not really understood our own traditions, especially in the case of Luther; and second, that there is still a lot of help for us in someone like Luther if we take the trouble to probe beneath the surface. In this ground-breaking book, Forde interprets Luther's theology for our own day.
The fundamental theme of the book is the "down-to-earth" character of Luther's theology. Through this theme, Forde points out that we have failed to understand the basic thrust of Luther's theology and that this failure has caused and still causes us grief. Modern scholarship has demonstrated that Luther did not actually share some of the views on the nature of faith and salvation that subsequent generations have foisted upon him and have used to interpret his thinking. This book attempts to bring the results of some of that scholarship to light and make it more accessible to those searching for answers today.
The central questions of Christianity are examined in this fresh restatement of Luther's thought: the relationship between God and humanity, the cross, the sacraments, this world and the next, and the role of the church. The author presents the "down-to-earth" character of Luther's theology in the hope that it will help individual Christians today to be both faithful to God and true to their human and social responsibilities.
This 50th Anniversary Edition includes a preface by Marianna Forde and a new study guide by Bradley C. Jenson, created to encourage new readings and conversations about Forde's influential take on Luther, theology, and the church.
By Gerhard O. Forde - Contributions by Bradley C. Jenson