Is Justification Still the Issue?
What is the greatest threat to the church today? Is it the disintegration of the family? Is it the helter-skelter of the Church’s liturgy? Two devout Lutheran theologians present the case that justification is the article “on which the Church stands or falls.”
Rev. Rolf D. Preus is pastor of First American Lutheran Church in Mayville, ND, Grace Lutheran Church in Crookston, MN, and First Evanger Lutheran Church in Fertile, MN. He has an STM degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, where he wrote his thesis on the doctrine of justification. He is the author of “Justification: Am I Good Enough for God?” and is currently writing the volume on justification for the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics Series. You can read many of his papers and sermons at christforus.org. Pastor Preus and his wife Dort have one daughter and 11 sons, three of whom are Lutheran pastors, with four more currently attending Seminary.
Pastor Preus will speak on “Justification as the Center of Christian Theology.” This paper will address, among other questions: How does the article of justification relate to the rest of Christian doctrine? Was the battle of the Reformation only important for its time, or is it still a necessary struggle? Where do Lutherans stand with regard to Rome and the Protestant sects today?
Professor Roland Ziegler serves as Assistant Professor for Systematic Theology at Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS). Born in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, he studied at the Universities of Tübingen, Erlangen, and at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Oberursel. He served as a teaching assistant at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Oberursel, a vicar in Berlin and a pastor in Konstanz. He has for several years taught the course on justification at CTS, and has through his research and writings shown a tenacious grasp of this foundational Christian teaching.
Professor Ziegler will speak on “Was Paul a Lutheran? Current Issues Concerning the Doctrine of Justification.” The famous Anglican theologian, N.T. Wright, has claimed to offer the Church a “New Perspective on Paul.” The traditional Lutheran understanding of Romans and Galatians is being challenged. Do Wright and others help us understand that Paul was not really the “Lutheran” we view him as, or is their perspective really not so new?