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The Genius of Luther's Theology: A Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church [Paperback]

By Robert Kolb (Author) & Charles P. Arand (Author)
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Item description for The Genius of Luther's Theology: A Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church by Robert Kolb & Charles P. Arand...

While other volumes are available that introduce readers to the theology of Martin Luther, this volume from two eminent Lutheran professors offers a unique approach. Rather than surveying traditional theological subject headings, they focus on two central ideas that informed the basic conceptual framework of Wittenberg theology. The first presupposition concerns Luther's anthropology. His well-known emphasis on justification by faith, or "passive righteousness," described God's grace. But Luther also emphasized a related aspect, the "active righteousness" of love that ought to shape and guide social relationships. The second presupposition concerns Luther's focus on the way God works in the world through his Word--creative, incarnational, and sacramental. Taken together, Kolb and Arand find that these ideas formed a matrix that shaped the theological reflections of Luther and his disciples. Twenty-first century Christians face significant challenges to their proclamation of the gospel and to their existence as a faith community. Living in a tumultuous age, Luther faced equally challenging crises. His theological emphases, which are described and considered in this perceptive study, have much to offer contemporary pastors and theologians who seek to construct their own formulations of God's message for the present age.

Publishers Description
This volume offers a unique approach to the study of the great German reformer, Martin Luther. Robert Kolb and Charles Arand offer an introduction to two significant themes that form the heart of Luther's theology.
The first theme concerns what it means to be truly human. For Luther, "passive righteousness" described the believer's response to God's grace. But there was also an "active righteousness" that defined the relationship of the believer to the world. The second theme involves God's relation to his creation through his Word, first creating and then redeeming the world.
Clergy and general readers will find here a helpful introduction to Luther's theology and its continuing importance for applying the good news of the gospel to the contemporary world.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Academic
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 6.28" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2008
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  080103180X  
ISBN13  9780801031809  

Availability  1 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 20, 2017 02:20.
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More About Robert Kolb & Charles P. Arand

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Robert Kolb is Professor of Systematic Theology emeritus at Concordia Seminary.

Irene Dingel is Professor of Church History and the History of Dogma at Johannes Gutenberg University.

L'ubomir Batka is Dean of Lutheran Theological Faculty at Comenius University.

Robert Kolb currently resides in the state of Missouri. Robert Kolb was born in 1941 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Loyola University, Chicago Loyola University Chicago, USA Loyola Unive.

Robert Kolb has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Christian Theology in Context
  2. Concordia Scholarship Today

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > Luther, Martin
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Lutheran
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Protestant

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Protestant Denominations

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Genius of Luther's Theology: A Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church?

Marvelous analysis of Luther's theology  Jul 9, 2009
For a book that looks like it would be BOORRRING, this is a book that captures the attention of theologian and non-theologian alike. It's a great analysis, not only of Luther's theology, but of what it means to be a Christian in any society or time. I think I wore my highlighter out half way through it!! Whether you are Lutheran or not, any Christian will benefit and be blessed by reading this highly readable and thought-provoking book. What a serendipitous find!!
Genius of Luther's Theology  Sep 25, 2008
The book is very accurate, however it is written in a style which will turn off most readers in the first few pages and will continue to do so as you plod on. The writter likes to use seldom used words is obvious he knows what he writtes about, but his extensive use of long words whuch must be looked up every two minutes makes the book a HARD READ. Recommended only if you wish to take on an intense course in vocabulary improvement which you will succeed in turning off your friends should you use what you learned. Getting the meat from the book is a hard chew.
Insight into 2 Presuppositions that guided Luther's Theology  Apr 24, 2008
Two prominent Lutheran theologians provide their take on two theological presuppositions which fueled and guided all of Luther's theology. First is what it means to be human, and this in two dimensions: to God and to other humans. Secondly, how God relates to humans through all forms of His Word.

Much of this will not be new to Lutherans or readers of Luther, except that this work highlights the oft neglected contrast between Luther's anthropology of active and passive righteousness. These two spheres of human activity thus help immensely in maintaining the tensions found in Scripture between law and gospel, and also God's election and human responsibility.

What this reader found to be so useful in this reading is that their well thought out insights into these theological aspects provide great material for sermons and studies. Diagnostics of the human condition and God's response in Word, both incarnate and revealed in His living Scriptures. Just as several examples to exhibit this point: "In general, every theology of self-glorification exhibits three characteristics. First, theologies of glory must write a new script for God on the basis of human observations about the world around them ... They rewrite God's job description! The new job description for God incorporates human performance into it. Theologians of glory want assurance that God acts in predictable ways." Or one more: "Whether it is weak or strong, faith possesses the complete righteousness of Christ and so the person is completely righteous in God's sight. As faith grows, one could say that the Christian grasps more firmly the righteousness of Christ. As faith grows, just like a tree, it does not become more righteous, but it does produce more fruit."

This is outstanding writing of Luther research shared in language and examples that are readily accessible and applicable. My only wish was that were have been more of the three page conclusion "Thinking with Luther in the Twenty-First Century." Yearned for their examples of challenges to this theology and framing this to twenty-first century hearers. Maybe a second, follow-up volume?
Back to the Future-Lutheran style!  Apr 12, 2008
Once again Drs. Robert Kolb and Charles Arand remind us that Luther's justification by faith alone is a timeless truth so appropriate today for those who are trying to distinguish Christian love from works-generated (and selfishly motivated) self-justification. Kolb and Arand seek to describe the life Christ had in mind for His people. One quote says,
"By repentence, Luther meant a life lived out in the rhythm that God set in motion through His baptismal Word of life...Old Adam in us is drowned through daily remorse and repentence and dies in all sins and evil lusts, and a new human creature daily arises who lives eternally in God's sight in righteousness and purity." Is there any better definition of the sanctified life? This book would be a blessing to any library, Lutheran or otherwise.
For students of Luther the obvious  Mar 28, 2008
For recent students of Luther this book belabors the obvious. That's the con.

For those who are not it may come as a surprise, and a definite read. For too long Lutherans have been in an identity crisis. Fortunately, in recent years theologians such as Dr. Kolb have risen to the occasion to point out the true gems in Lutheran theology, and the points Lutheran theology is 180 degrees from the pop Christian culture.

To be a Lutheran and not know the very basic premises behind Luther's theology is a sorry state. This book fills in the pieces.

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