“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.
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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. . . . This book demonstrates the perennial truth and relevance of Martin Luther’s historic discovery.
—Colin Gunton, professor of systematic theology at King’s College, London
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.
—Carter Lindberg, professor emeritus of church history, School of Theology, Boston University
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.
—Anglican Theological Review
Oswald Bayer is professor emeritus of systematic theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and director of the Luther Academy Sondershausen-Ratzeburg. He is also an ordained pastor of the Lutheran Church of Württemberg and was the editor of Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie from 1986 to 2006. His research focuses especially on Luther and Johann Georg Hamann.