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The Meaning of Protestant Theology: Luther, Augustine, and the Gospel That Gives Us Christ

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This book offers a creative and illuminating discussion of Protestant theology, helping readers rethink their own theology and its place in the larger story of Christian thought. Veteran teacher Phillip Cary, an internationally acclaimed expert on Augustine and Augustine’s thought, explains how Luther’s theology arose from the Christian tradition, particularly from the spirituality of Augustine. Luther departed from the Augustinian tradition and inaugurated distinctively Protestant theology when he identified the gospel that gives us Christ as its key concept. More than any other theologian, Luther succeeds in carrying out the Protestant intention of putting faith in the gospel of Christ alone. Cary also explores the consequences of Luther’s teachings as they unfold in the history of Protestantism. This work will appeal to professors and students of theology, pastors, and laypeople.

  • Offers a creative and illuminating discussion of Protestant theology
  • Explores the consequences of Luther’s teachings as they unfold in the history of Protestantism
  • Appeals to professors and students of theology, pastors, and laypeople
  • Introduction: Why Protestantism?

Part 1: Spirituality and the Being of God

  • Philosophical Spirituality
  • Divine Carnality
  • Christ the Mediator in Augustine
  • The Augustinian Journey and Its Anxieties

Part 2: The Gospel and the Power of God

  • Young Luther: Justification as Penitential Process
  • Young Luther: Justification without Gospel
  • Luther the Reformer: Gospel as Sacramental Promise
  • Luther the Reformer: Gospel as Story That Gives Us Christ

Part 3: Christian Teaching and the Knowledge of God

  • Scripture: Demanding the Wrong Kind of Certainty
  • Salvation: Faith in Christ’s Promise Alone
  • Sacrament: Turning Outward to Divine Flesh
  • Trinity: God Giving Himself in Person
  • Conclusion: Why Luther’s Gospel?
  • Appendix 1: Luther’s Devils
  • Appendix 2: Gospel as Sacrament: Luther’s Sermon on Christmas Day 1519
Cary gives a clear and concise definition of the meaning of Protestant theology. Luther’s sacramental conception of the Gospel is the meaning of Protestant theology; even more, it is the essence of Christianity, the key to the right interpretation of the Bible, and the root of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. Cary has prepared a rich theological feast of many courses, serving consumers of various tastes with plenty to take away and digest.

—Carl E. Braaten, professor emeritus of systematic theology, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; founding director, Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology

Years ago, Phillip Cary began to suspect that Augustine’s inward turn was a false step, that what we sinners need is what Luther said we need--a grace that comes to us from outside of us. Here is the fruit of that suspicion, a fully realized account of the meaning of Protestant theology (and spirituality) centered on the Gospel as a sacramental word that gives us Christ. Cary’s account of Protestantism is theological rather than merely sociological; polemical yet ecumenical; and, again and again, surprising. I know of nothing quite like it.

—Matt Jenson, associate professor of theology, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University

  • Title: The Meaning of Protestant Theology: Luther, Augustine, and the Gospel That Gives Us Christ
  • Author: Phillip Cary
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Print Publication Date: 2019
  • Pages: 384
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Resource ID: LLS:MNNGPRTSTNTTH
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2021-02-10T17:04:14Z

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using Overview tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Phillip Cary (PhD, Yale University) is a professor of philosophy at Eastern University in Pennsylvania as well as scholar-in-residence at the Templeton Honors College. He is the author of three critically acclaimed books on the life and thought of Augustine.

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    $27.99

    Digital list price: $32.99
    Save $5.00 (15%)

    In production