The Role of Justification in Contemporary Theology
By Mark C. Mattes
(William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Paperback, 9780802828569, 198pp.)
Publication Date: October 2004
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Offering both an excellent review of recent trends in Christian theology and a powerful analysis of these trends, Mattes points readers to the various ways in which the doctrine of justification has been applied today. Despite the greatness of their thought, Jungel, Pannenberg, and Moltmann each accommodate the doctrine of justification to goals aligned with secular modernity. Both Jenson and Bayer, on the other hand, construe the doctrine of justification in a nonaccommodating way, thus challenging the secularity of the modern academy. In the end, Mattes argues that Bayer's position is to be preferred as closest to Luther's own, and he shows why it offers the greatest potential for confronting current attempts at self-justification before God.