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Lutheran Theology (Doing Theology) Paperback – April 14, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Doing Theology
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark; 1 edition (April 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0567550001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0567550002
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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'Unwillingto neutralize the core Lutheran teaching that God is in the business of killingoff sinners just so that new beings might rise in faith, Paulson holds thewider Lutheran tradition accountable to Luther's own unique distinction of thelaw as accusation and the gospel as promise. Here we learn much of theLutheran tradition—Paulson himself writes in the grand style of theologicalloci, approaching doctrine as outlined from Paul's argument in Romans.Paulson's approach to faith has an inerasable edge—if theology is to avoidbeing pointless, it must be for proclamation. Here is a theology beholdento God's word that does what it says and says what it does—finally remakinghumanity out of the nothingness of sin and death.' — Mark Mattes, Professor ofReligion and Philosophy, Department of Religion, Grand View University, Iowa, USA.


(Mark Mattes)

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'MartinLuther did not so much set out to reform the church as he did to reformpreaching. Steven Paulson gets to the heart of Lutheranism-not as adenomination nor as a movement-but as the preaching of Christ crucified for thejustification of sinners. Tracing the trajectory of Luther's preaching insubsequent centuries, noting how it bumps up against attempts to domesticate itsassertiveness or ground its doctrine according to one worldview or another,Paulson is persistent in following Luther's own evangelical logic in making thenecessary distinction between law and gospel, God hidden and God revealed toprovide contemporary readers with a vigorous introduction to the loci ofLutheran theology. With the epistle to the Romans as his framework, Paulsondeftly gives an account of Luther's confession of Jesus Christ and withprecision and literary craftsmanship identifies the use (and misuse) of thistheology in the church which bears his name.' - John T. Pless, AssistantProfessor of Pastoral Ministry and Mission, Concordia Theological Seminary, FortWayne, Indiana, USA.


(John T. Pless)

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 'Lookingover Martin Luther's shoulder as he studies the Scriptures and into his heartas it hosts the battle between Satan's deception and doubt and the Holy'sSpirit's truth and trust, Paulson plunges into the depths of Luther's way ofthinking. He penetrates the Wittenberg reformer's intricate yet simple addressof the realities of human experience with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughouthe engages other representatives of Lutheran culture and tradition, criticallyand perceptively, as they repeated or departed from Luther's insights. Thisvolume aids twenty-first century readers in reaping a rich harvest from hisinsight for the proclamation of repentance and the forgiveness of sins in ourday.' - Robert Kolb, Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, USA. (Robert Kolb)

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

'Unwillingto neutralize the core Lutheran teaching that God is in the business of killingoff sinners just so that new beings might rise in faith, Paulson holds thewider Lutheran tradition accountable to Luther’s own unique distinction of thelaw as accusation and the gospel as promise.  Here we learn much of theLutheran tradition—Paulson himself writes in the grand style of theologicalloci, approaching doctrine as outlined from Paul’s argument in Romans. Paulson’s approach to faith has an inerasable edge—if theology is to avoidbeing pointless, it must be for proclamation.  Here is a theology beholdento God’s word that does what it says and says what it does—finally remakinghumanity out of the nothingness of sin and death.’ – Mark Mattes, Professor ofReligion and Philosophy, Department of Religion, Grand View University, Iowa, USA.


(Sanford Lakoff)

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

'MartinLuther did not so much set out to reform the church as he did to reformpreaching. Steven Paulson gets to the heart of Lutheranism-not as adenomination nor as a movement-but as the preaching of Christ crucified for thejustification of sinners. Tracing the trajectory of Luther’s preaching insubsequent centuries, noting how it bumps up against attempts to domesticate itsassertiveness or ground its doctrine according to one worldview or another,Paulson is persistent in following Luther’s own evangelical logic in making thenecessary distinction between law and gospel, God hidden and God revealed toprovide contemporary readers with a vigorous introduction to the loci ofLutheran theology. With the epistle to the Romans as his framework, Paulsondeftly gives an account of Luther’s confession of Jesus Christ and withprecision and literary craftsmanship identifies the use (and misuse) of thistheology in the church which bears his name.’ - John T. Pless, AssistantProfessor of Pastoral Ministry and Mission, Concordia Theological Seminary, FortWayne, Indiana, USA.


(Sanford Lakoff)

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 'Lookingover Martin Luther’s shoulder as he studies the Scriptures and into his heartas it hosts the battle between Satan’s deception and doubt and the Holy’sSpirit’s truth and trust, Paulson plunges into the depths of Luther’s way ofthinking. He penetrates the Wittenberg reformer’s intricate yet simple addressof the realities of human experience with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughouthe engages other representatives of Lutheran culture and tradition, criticallyand perceptively, as they repeated or departed from Luther’s insights. Thisvolume aids twenty-first century readers in reaping a rich harvest from hisinsight for the proclamation of repentance and the forgiveness of sins in ourday.’ - Robert Kolb, Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, USA. (Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

The Revd. Dr Steven Paulson is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, USA.

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Customer Reviews

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Well written and concise.
Walt Fleming
It is a book you Can read multiple times and glean more and more Each time.
Ken
A brief review for now (just to get a 5-star rating next to the book!).
David F. Sczepanski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David F. Sczepanski on June 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A brief review for now (just to get a 5-star rating next to the book!). I recently began a weekly class in our (non-Lutheran) church to study this book. It's not only about Lutheran Theology, but is a loose commentary on Romans from the Pauline/Luther understanding of the law-gospel distinction. Paulson's book is a big help, and we want the content of this added to our corporate conversation. I appreciate how Dr. Paulson has continued to build on the work of Gerhard Forde.

UPDATE:
As I mentioned above we are working (emphasis on 'working') through this book a chapter a week, now at Romans 8. We have been deeply challenged and enriched in our 'mutual conversation'. You have no idea how rooted you are in the legal scheme until your thinking is examined in light of a right and thorough dividing of law and gospel. (Dr. Paulson mentions at the beginning that this book, among other things, is a history of the repeated return of Lutherans to the legal scheme. In that sense, it is about all of us.) This book is a gift to the church!

UPDATE #2:
Here are a few quotes from Dr. Paulson's book that have recently made their way into my sermons --

Lutheran theology begins perversely by advocating the destruction of all that is good, right, and beautiful in human life. It attacks the lowest and the highest goals of life, especially morality, no matter how sincere are its practitioners. Luther said the "sum and substance," of Paul's letter to the Romans "is to pull down, to pluck up, and to destroy all wisdom and righteousness of the flesh." (1)

This is no ordinary philosophy about life, nor is it ordinary Christian religion. For thousands of years Christians routinely described life using an allegory of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Judith Guttman on October 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If this book doesn't knock your socks off, you aren't paying attention. It is electrifying, exciting -- am I talking about a theology book? Yes. The sad thing is that it makes me wonder if there are any real Lutherans out there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dalton VINE VOICE on February 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
The emphasis on our standing before God makes Lutheran Theology by Steven D. Paulson a significant book. "Luther said the 'sum and substance,' of Paul's letter to the Romans 'is to pull down, to pluck up, and to destroy all wisdom and righteousness of the flesh'" (1). Paulson goes on to state: "The second task of all theology is to make way for a completely foreign, new righteousness that has no law in it at all -- 'we must be taught a righteousness that comes completely from the outside and is foreign. And therefore our own righteousness that is born in us must first be plucked up'" (2). The goal or meaning of life becomes a person, Christ (3). It goes beyond just imitating Christ. "It is a new life outside the legal scheme without law at all. It means to have a new life outside one's self who is dead according to the law, and in Christ exclusively" (3).

Paulson goes on to make a valuable point: "The key to any theology, especially done the Lutheran way, is to ask what role the law plays in its system" (4). Distinguishing between law and gospel is a major theme in this book, which is organized as a commentary on the book of Romans. The focus is on key verses and ideas rather than a verse-by-verse explanation, which Paulson elucidates from a Lutheran perspective. Even so, Paulson's outstanding scholarship makes this a unique and valuable commentary. His breadth of knowledge is evident in frequent references to historical events, the writing of others, and his understanding of Scripture.

In relation to the latter, he is not afraid of controversy. Chapter 1 starts with the appropriate subtitle, "The Bombshell." Predestination is central to Lutheran theology.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matt Metevelis on May 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steve Paulson's latest book mirrors his subject matter. "Lutheran Theology" is a stunning work of theological investigation which runs at light speed while inviting the reader along for the ride. His writing grabs you and refuses to let go as he introduces you to the power of the gospel through the preached word. The book itself is a sermon which points to the crucified Christ who so often gets lost among the weeds of theological speculation and introspection. Besides the elegantly blunt and straightforward prose the author is gifted with, the author employs an ingenious method. Instead of offering a dry flaccid chronicle of the "history of Lutheran thought" Paulson approaches Lutheran teaching like Luther did - by reading Romans. Paulson tells the story of Lutheran theology by holding it accountable to Paul's description of the gospel which is "righteousness apart from the law" (or "the legal scheme" as the author calls it). Paulson restates brilliantly in modern terms how God works salvation in sinners through the sacraments and the preached word by "putting them to death" and creating them anew through faith. In order to do this Paulson also, like Luther, serves as a brilliant iconoclast criticizing subsequent Lutheran theology including Melancthon, the orthodox Lutheran theologians of the seventeenth century, the pietist "tropologists", and the neo-orthodox and not so orthodox which would merge the gospel and the law together, or at least leave a place for the legal scheme. Paulson finds striking flaws in entire systems of theology in a single sentence.Read more ›
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