Luther’s Iustitia Dei: The Distinct Breakthrough

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LIBERTY UNIVERISTY
LIBERTY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

LUTHER’S IUSTITIA DEI:
THE DISTINCT BREAKTHROUGH

A PAPER
SUBMITTED TO DR. NIXON
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE
HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY II
CHHI 525 – B03

BY
DEREK WILDER

FISHERS, INDIANA
JUNE 12, 2011 CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION 1 IUSTITIA DEI 1 LUTHER’S BREAK WITH THE VIA MODERNA 3 LUTHER’S BREAK WITH AUGUSTINE 5 ALTERNATIVE VIEWS 7 RITSCHL ON LUTHER 10 CONCLUSION 11

INTRODUCTION
The doctrine of justification is certainly one of the most influential concepts underlying the Protestant Reformation. Accordingly, the distinct breakthrough Luther experienced regarding iustitia Dei, the righteousness of God, within the context of the Protestant doctrine of justification has been a topic of significant debate. This paper will prove that Luther’s view of the nature of iustitia Dei culminates in an iustitia Christi aliena, which characterizes Luther’s distinct breakthrough.
The forthcoming study will provide a brief etymological introduction of iustitia Dei followed by an analysis of Luther’s break with the theology of his peers, the via moderna. The distinct nature of Luther’s breakthrough will then be revealed in his divergence with Augustine. An engaging exploration of potential traditional alternatives to Luther’s distinct breakthrough will be explored, and finally, a fascinating look into a possible non-traditional alternative embodied in Ritschlian theology will be investigated.

IUSTITIA DEI
Iustitia Dei is a Latin term defined as the justice or righteousness of God. However, the meaning is much less conspicuous than the definition conveys. In fact, Paul’s view of iustitia Dei continues to be debated with no definitive conclusions in sight. The meaning of iustitia Dei has altered through history as it has transitioned from Hebrew, Greek, and, finally, into the Latin language. However, it plays a crucial role in understanding Luther’s



Bibliography: Augustin, Saint. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Volume 5: Augustin: Anti-Pelagian Writings. Edited by Philip Schaff. Translated by Peter Holmes and Robert Ernest Wallis. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1999. Collins, W. Lucas. Cicero: Ancient Classics for English Readers. Middlesex, UK: Echo Library, 2007. George, Timothy. Theology of the Reformers. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1988. Lotz, David W. “Albrecht Ritschl and the Unfinished Reformation.” Harvard Theological Review 73, no. 3-4 (July-October 1980): 337-72. ———. Ritschl & Luther: A Fresh Perspective on Albrecht Ritschl 's Theology in the Light of His Luther Study. New York: Abingdon, 1974. Luther, Martin. Luther’s Works. American edition. 55 vols. Edited by Jaroslav Pelikan and Helmut T. Lehman. Philadelphia: Muehlenberg and Fortress, and Saint Louis: Concordia, 1955-1986. McCue, James F. “Simul Iustus Et Peccator in Augustine, Aquinas, and Luther: Toward Putting the Debate in Context.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 48, no. 1 (March 1980): 81-96. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1463542 (accessed May 29, 2011). ———. Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification. New York: Cambridge University, 2005. ———. Luther 's Theology of the Cross: Martin Luther 's Theological Breakthrough. Second ed. United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. ———. Luther 's Theology of the Cross: Martin Luther 's Theological Breakthrough. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1985. Muller, Richard A. Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1995. Oberman, Heiko A. “"Iustitia Christi" and "Iustitia Dei": Luther and the Scholastic Doctrines of Justification.” Harvard Theological Review 59, no. 1 (January 1966). Reynolds, Terrence. “Ritschl 's Appropriation of Luther.” A Reappraisal 55, no. 2-3 (April-July 1991): 105-30. [ 2 ]. Alister E. McGrath, Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification (New York: Cambridge University, 2005), 21. [ 9 ]. W. Lucas Collins, Cicero: Ancient Classics for English Readers (Middlesex, UK: Echo Library, 2007), 92-93. [ 15 ]. Alister E. McGrath, Luther 's Theology of the Cross: Martin Luther 's Theological Breakthrough (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1985), 86. [ 17 ]. Alister E. McGrath, Luther 's Theology of the Cross: Martin Luther 's Theological Breakthrough, second ed. (United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 177. [ 20 ]. Luther, “Preface to the Complete Edition of Luther’s Latin Writings, 1545,” LW, 34: 337. [ 22 ]. Saint Augustin, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Volume 5: Augustin: Anti-Pelagian Writings, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. Peter Holmes and Robert Ernest Wallis (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1999), 88-89. [ 26 ]. Martin Luther, “Lectures on Romans,” in Scholia, ed. Hilton C. Oswald, trans. Jacob A. O. Preus, vol. 25 of Luther’s Works (LW), American ed., ed. Jarosalav Pelikan and Helmut T. Lehmann (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1965), 332-33. [ 31 ]. Alister E. McGrath, Luther 's of the Cross: Martin Luther 's Theological Breakthrough, second ed. (United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 184. [ 34 ]. Timothy George, Theology of the Reformers (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1988), 69. [ 40 ]. Heiko A. Oberman, “"Iustitia Christi" and "Iustitia Dei": Luther and the Scholastic Doctrines of Justification,” Harvard Theological Review 59, no. 1 (January 1966): 19. [ 47 ]. Martin Luther, “The Freedom of a Christian,” in Career of the Reformer I, ed. Harold J. Grimm, trans. W. A. Lambert, vol. 31 of Luther’s Works (LW), American ed., ed. Jarosalav Pelikan and Helmut T. Lehmann (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1965), 351. [ 49 ]. David W. Lotz, “Albrecht Ritschl and the Unfinished Reformation,” Harvard Theological Review 73, no. 3-4 (July-October 1980): 339. [ 50 ]. Terrence Reynolds, “Ritschl 's Appropriation of Luther,” A Reappraisal 55, no. 2-3 (April-July 1991): 106. [ 55 ]. David W. Lotz, Ritschl & Luther: A Fresh Perspective on Albrecht Ritschl 's Theology in the Light of His Luther Study (New York: Abingdon, 1974), 98-104.

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