2022 Christianity Today Finalist, Theology (Academic)
God's Word creates what he commands
In Justification by the Word, Jack D. Kilcrease reintroduces Martin Luther's key doctrine. Though a linchpin of the Reformation, Luther's view of justification is often misunderstood. For Luther, justification is an expression of God's creative Word. To understand Luther on justification, one must grasp his doctrine of the Word. The same God who declared "let there be light"--and it was so--also declares "your sins are forgiven." Justification is an objective reality. It is achieved in Christ's resurrection and received through an encounter with the risen Christ in Word and sacrament. Justification turns us outward, away from our own unsteady feelings and limited understanding, to look to Christ. And the church must preach justification, lest we so easily forfeit the joy of the gospel.
Justification by the Word inspires readers to reencounter the radical doctrine of justification by faith alone.
Jack D. Kilcrease (PhD, Marquette University) is a professor of historical and systematic theology at the Institute of Lutheran Theology in Brookings, South Dakota, and the author of The Self--Donation of God: A Contemporary Lutheran approach to Christ and His Benefits and The Doctrine of Atonement: From Luther to Forde. He also is the coeditor of Martin Luther in His Own Words: Essential Writings of the Reformation.