Christian Dogmatics is a two-volume survey of the twelve major loci of Christian doctrine, each treated extensively in terms of its biblical foundations, historical tradition, and contemporary significance. From the perspective of the Lutheran tradition and in view of the unique questions and issues of the American context, each locus is developed independent of the others by six theologians, themselves influenced by divergent theological movements. Contributors include Carl Braaten, Gerhard Forde, Philip Hefner, Robert Jenson, Paul Sponheim, and Hans Schwartz.
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“The necessity for atonement roots therefore in two things: our bondage and alienation, our unwillingness to be reconciled, and God’s decision to be true to himself, to be a God of steadfast mercy nevertheless.” (Volume 2, Page 69)
“Jesus exercises his rule of grace by means of the church’s ongoing witness to his earthly life and ministry according to the Gospels.” (Volume 1, Page 554)
“Because God has elected to have mercy. God has decided not to be for us the God of wrath whom we are bound to have.” (Volume 2, Page 67)
“The point is that we can be saved only by listening to and believing God and God’s judgment. We can be saved only by faith in what God says about us and our final destiny. Viewed coram deo (before God), our virtues are no better than our vices. The difference is only a matter of taste. Some like vice and some like virtue; both do what they like. And virtue may be the more dangerous precisely because it gains everyone’s approval.” (Volume 2, Page 409)
“God is hidden to fallen creatures who will not have him as a God of mercy. By the same token, God is timeless and immutable abstraction, the deus nudus, to those who will not have God clothed in the concrete event—a sheer terrifying abstraction that merges indistinguishably into Satan, the accuser and destroyer.” (Volume 2, Page 73)
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Carl E. Braaten is a leading theologian in American Lutheranism. He taught Systematic Theology for a generation at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and together with Rober W. Jenson founded the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology and co-edited the journal Pro Ecclesia.
Robert W. Jenson is the former senior scholar for Research at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, and professor emeritus of religion at Saint Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. He also spent two decades teaching at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg. With Carl Braaten, Jenson founded the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology and co-edited the journal Pro Ecclesia.