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Living by Faith: Justification and Sanctification

ISBN: 9781506427133
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Digital list price: $22.00
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“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.

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 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.

Get this and other Lutheran resources in the Eerdmans Lutheran Thought and History Collection (15 vols.).

Resource Experts
  • Reflects on how justification frames discussions of every aspect of Christian theology
  • Interacts with Martin Luther’s writings on justification
  • Discusses complex theological themes within the context of everyday life
  • In the Dispute of “Justifications”
  • The Lawsuit about God before the Court of Human Reason
  • The Passive Righteousness of Faith
  • Faith Comes by Hearing
  • Faith and Sanctification
  • Faith within the Lawsuit about God—Before God

Top Highlights

“No, it is the gift of self-forgetfulness. The passive righteousness of faith tells us: You do not concern yourself at all! In that God does what is decisive in us, we may live outside ourselves and solely in him.” (Page 25)

“It is the being of the world and its relation to God that hinge upon justification.” (Page xiv)

“ dealing with the relation of justification and sanctification and” (Page 67)

“Those who are born anew are no longer entangled with themselves.” (Page 25)

“When, nevertheless, Luther speaks about ‘sanctification’ he simply talks about justification. Justification and sanctification are not for him two separate acts that we can distinguish, as though sanctification follows after justification, and has to do so. In talking about sanctification Luther stresses the institutional side of the event of justification. In keeping with the first and second tables of the decalogue he differentiates the spiritual and the secular ‘regime and government’ of God,2 the church belonging both to the spiritual realm and to the secular just as well.” (Pages 58–59)

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 (born September 30, 1939 in Nagold) is a German Lutheran theologian, and is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the Evangelical Theological Faculty of the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany. The author of several books in German, he is also an ordained pastor of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg and president of the senate of the Luther Academy in Ratzeburg.


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  1. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch


    When I started this small book, I thought I had erred in choosing to read it. I found the first chapter (and most of the 2nd) to be very philosophical - and required quite a bit of concentration and re-reading to follow the Author. But I praise the Lord that I persisted as from Chapter 3 onward this small book took hold of Luther's arguments and made them come alive, as the Author addressed not only the areas of Justification and Sanctification, but also covers how this applies to Theodicy (ie the problem of evil). The Author really seems to grasp what Luther argued for - not only in his debate with Erasmus - but in the whole concept of Passive Righteousness. Strongly recommended for fellow Lutherans, and those who want to come to grips with the Lutheran views in these areas. This is an excellent book, and one that I will read again!


Digital list price: $22.00
Save $4.01 (18%)